FO4 Build: The General


The General

This is the last in my main quest faction build series of sorts that I’ve been working on, with my first three builds being the other parts of it. As my first playthrough of the game was also with the Minutemen I wanted to wait until I played through the other faction questlines before revisiting them. Like the others, this build is named after the player’s rank/role in the organization, in this case, general is of course the one and only title the character holds in the Minutemen. Selfless to a fault, he does everything he can to help the people of the Commonwealth while doing his best to avoid getting entangled in the interests of other factions like the Railroad or Brotherhood of Steel. As you might expect, this is a settlement-heavy build so if you’re thinking about making a settlement building character then this is a good choice.

Before I go on any further with the build, I’d like to go over a unique property of one of the General’s most important weapons, the Laser Musket. Outside of VATS, you can crank it multiple times and your next shot will take those multiple cranks into account (obviously), regardless of whether you do so in or out of VATS. However, with subsequent shots in VATS (as well as your first VATS shot should you not crank your musket beforehand), your character will just crank it once before shooting. While that doesn’t mean taking multiple shots with the Laser Musket in VATS isn’t viable, I chose to focus on taking single, powerful, shots in VATS with several cranks behind them instead.


Strength (1): The General really isn’t a melee fighter and Preston (his companion of choice) can be used to make up for any deficiencies in carrying capacity so Strength is a more or less unnecessary attribute for this build.

Perception (7): As we’ll only be taking single shots in VATS a good Perception score is essential for ensuring that they hit. Grab the bobblehead here so you can reach the eight Perception required for the Sniper perk.

Endurance (4): The Minutemen General’s Uniform (the build’s outfit of choice) is unfortunately a rather poor option as far as armor goes. Its inherent damage resistance isn’t that great, it’s incompatible with Ballistic Weave, and you can’t wear other armor pieces on top of it. However, good Endurance, the Medic and Life Giver perks, and letting Preston (who gets buffed through the Inspirational perk) draw fire away from you will mitigate the issue. While the build’s starting Endurance isn’t particularly high you’ll be getting an extra three points here from the bobblehead, You’re SPECIAL, and a level-up for a final total of seven.

Charisma (9): I envisioned the General as being a rather charismatic guy, able to rally the masses to defend themselves, so it only made sense to put a lot of points here. Besides, all the benefits that come with having high Charisma are quite useful for this build as well. While you don’t need the bobblehead here for any perks I still recommend picking it up.

Intelligence (5): The General’s a reasonably intelligent sort, and the build calls for several of the lower end Intelligence perks, plus the increased EXP gain is nice. You’ll want to grab the bobblehead here early on in order to pick up the Science perk

Agility (1): As mentioned earlier, this build takes only single shots in VATS, so there isn’t much need for Agility. Still, you’ll want to get the bobblehead here as soon as possible so you can start perking Commando.

Luck (1): High luck or not, your critical meter won’t be filling very fast if you’re only taking single shots in VATS, so there’s no need to invest here.



Listed (roughly) in order of priority. All of them should be maxed out (with the exception of any DLC exclusive ranks) unless indicated otherwise.

Locksmith/Hacker: The General frequently scavenges for crafting materials in abandoned prewar locations, so being able to open up locked rooms and containers is immensely useful.

Commando: While the standard version of the Laser Musket works off of Rifleman this build actually relies on automatic weapons more often, making this the more important perk. You can get away with using automatic weapons effectively in the earlygame without this perk but make getting the Agility bobblehead one of your top priorities.

Rifleman: Necessary for boosting the damage of the Laser Musket.

Gun Nut: At the very least you’ll want the first rank of this in order to construct Heavy Machine Gun Turrets and Laser Musket Medium/Long Scopes. However, since this build makes heavy use of ballistic weapons, even more than energy weapons, I recommend maxing this out.

Science: Most of the higher-end Laser Musket mods require this perk, as do certain settlement objects. Note that you don’t need the last rank of this perk unless you have the Wasteland Workshop DLC and want to build Fusion Generators. Otherwise, you can pick up an extra point of Endurance.

Medic: You’ll take damage fairly quickly with this build, but with this perk you can heal back even quicker and cut down on overall Stimpack usage. The first rank will also unlock medical shops to build at settlements in conjunction with the second rank of Local Leader.

Sniper: Enhances the effectiveness of your scoped Laser Musket. The third rank is particularly useful here; few targets can survive a headshot from a fully cranked Laser Musket.

Inspirational: It’s like Lone Wanderer if Lone Wanderer required significantly more Charisma and only worked on your companions when they’re traveling with you. Even if you hate Preston, the boosts this perk provides are too useful to ignore.

Life Giver: The extra health is pretty nice to have when you have low damage resistance, and the health regeneration is especially useful.

Demolition Expert: I haven’t made an explosives build yet so I thought I’d switch things up a little this time around perking this and incorporating some grenades into the mix. The throwing arc provided by the second rank also works for the Artillery Smoke Grenades, making for pinpoint bombardments. It also works for the Vertibird Signal Grenades (should you destroy the Brotherhood of Steel and want to use them), though there’s really no need for it there.

Local Leader: Essential for a settlement heavy build like this. I didn’t perk until later on though, opting to focus on my combat abilities first.

Cap Collector: This perk, combined with your high Charisma, will allow you to buy whatever you need (i.e. crafting materials) for dirt cheap while being able to sell your own stuff at a good price. The second rank will also unlock various tier three shops to build at settlements in conjunction with the second rank of Local Leader.

You should be at level 50 once the build is complete.




For my primary weapon, I wanted something that works well in close to midrange combat (since the Laser Musket is best suited for mid to long-range) and worked off of both the Gun Nut and Commando perks (since otherwise they wouldn’t be seeing much usage). I went through a variety of such weapons over the course of the game but an Assault Rifle was my endgame weapon of choice (which was renamed 1776 in keeping with the theme of the Minutemen). While the Laser Musket may be the signature weapon of the Minutemen you’ll end up using this more often than not.


Of course, that doesn’t mean the Laser Musket’s being ignored. It’s great for taking out enemies from a distance or eliminating particularly strong opponents.


Not the most useful weapon in the world, but since this is a Minutemen build I wanted to incorporate it. It’s reasonably useful when hip-fired in close quarters with the Beam Splitter attached but this is definitely a weapon that goes for fun more than effectiveness.


While this is barely qualifies as a weapon, being able to summon Minutemen reinforcements is a useful ability in its own right.


I included this in my loadout for roleplay reasons, an officer’s sword befitting the General’s image. It’s also useful for killing the weaker vermin found throughout the Commonwealth (e.g. Molerats). You could go with the Shem Drowne Sword instead, but I decided against that as it involves the very un-Minutemanly act of digging up someone's grave.


I’m only mentioning this one due to its status as a Minutemen weapon of sorts. Initially, I tried incorporating it into my loadout, but as it was occupying the same role as the Laser Musket I didn’t have much use for it. Ultimately I ended up giving it back to Ronnie Shaw to use as her personal weapon.


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