Last Updated on Samuel Franklinby
Fallout 4 DLC Order – Release Date & Recommended Level
Deciding on the right Fallout 4 DLC order for your adventure into the post apocalyptic world of The Commonwealth is a common question amongst first and repeat playthroughs. In this guide to Fallout 4 DLC you’ll learn more about the story of each, the important equipment or perks you can obtain from those DLCs and accordingly which order is best depending on your preferences. In total Fallout 4 has 6 pieces of downloadable content that were released throughout 2016 and like past titles in the franchise this boosts the gameplay on offer significantly while being available in the single Fallout 4: Game of the Year Edition collection. Notably three of these are workshop packs that focused on adding additional objects to the settlement build mode rather than large amounts of quest content.
After you’ve conquered and explored everything that The Commonwealth has to offer players can find their next action RPG adventure on our games like Fallout 4 page. Given this article below discusses Fallout 4 content in detail there are some story spoilers related to the below.
Fallout 4 DLC Order Release Dates
Like Fallout 3 DLC and Fallout: New Vegas DLC the release date order is an effective default choice for players in Fallout 4. When in doubt or the factors noted below simply don’t matter to you following the release order is generally the recommendation for play order.
The following are the release date orders for Fallout 4 DLC and the default playthrough order recommended:
- Automatron (March 2016)
- Wasteland Workshop (April 2016)
- Far Harbor (May 2016)
- Contraptions Workshop (June 2016)
- Vault-Tec Workshop (June 2016)
- Nuka-World (August 2016)
A Fallout 4 High Resolution Texture Pack was also released exclusively for PC players in early 2017 and available for free. Wasteland Workshop and Contraptions Workshop add new objects to the settlement build mode only and are not discussed in detail further given these are essentially always active and do not factor into a Fallout 4 DLC play order. Vault-Tec Workshop is similar although is only available from level 20 and does include some simple quest content.
The other factors in considering which order to complete the Fallout 4 DLC are as follows:
- Automatron triggers a number of robot related events and mechanics across the core Commonwealth location. Most players will wish to trigger this as soon as possible to start using these mechanics while other players might want to retain the vanilla Fallout 4 world experience and do this at the end of their adventure instead depending on the experience you want.
- Far Harbor provides some great armour and weapons that can assist players with their broader adventure. While it’s a standalone story it also builds on the story of a core companion for story focused Fallout 4 players.
- Vault-Tec workshop provides players with various utility mechanics and useful equipment by completing the small Vault 88 adventure. Doing this as soon as possible is often recommended because of this to start maximising the benefits as soon as possible.
- Nuka World is a significant challenge and intended to serve as a capstone piece of content towards the end of your adventure or as a post game challenge. Given the story of Nuka World offers a wealth of content for a bad karma pathway players who are seeking to be a good karma player in the core Fallout 4 game will either delay this to the end of a playthrough or sneakily do this before initiating the main storyline.
- Accessed By: Tune in to the Caravan distress frequency and visit Wattz Consumer Electronics in the top middle of the map
- Recommended Level: 15 – 20
- Notable Rewards: Various robot themed mechanics which provide utility to your adventure including the ability to build robots and unlocking the Eyebot pod. Also allows players to obtain the unique Tesla Rifle and Mechanist armour.
Unlocking at level 15 Automatron is the first of the Fallout 4 DLC releases and unlocks some fantastic robot related mechanics to the game. Obtaining maximum benefits from these mechanics not only add an additional layer of content throughout your adventure but can also help your overall progression. Depending on your preferences though if you’d rather not have these additional mechanics during the main story players can instead activate this DLC much later. Automatron is not necessarily an easy adventure though at level 15 depending on your build so full completion of this Fallout 4 DLC may need to wait until level 20. The focus of this extra content is the mysterious Mechanist who has released evil robots into every corner of the Commonwealth with players creating their own robot army to fight back.
One of the highlights of Automatron is the added ability for players to build robot companions which can be customised for you needs. Popular choices include pack mules to carry gear across The Commonwealth for players or a melee/ranged fighter that complements your own Fallout 4 character build. Building robots early can be a drain on resources but generally worth the investment and adds a nice place to invest your resources not available in the base game.
Robots also double as potential settlers to help you build up your settlement numbers and supply lines or simply remove the human settlors for a robot themed location. Completing the Automatron quest line also provides two new schematics for build mode with a spotlight that is useful for spotting and tracking attackers and the Eyebot pod. With Eyebot pods you can command an Eyebot army to search for materials for you and then visit the discovered location to obtain a cache of the item you select.
In terms of equipment the Automatron Fallout 4 DLC introduces players to the Tesla rifle which is a solid weapon for the level you can unlock it and will likely become a staple weapon for some time. Players can also obtain the Mechanist armour which is again a strong early game option and in time if players obtain the Ballistic Weave mod for it can even take it through mid to late game content.
Far Harbor Summary
- Accessed By: Complete the Getting a Clue quest in the main Fallout 4 storyline and then visit the Nakano Residence in the north-east section of the map.
- Recommended Level: 20+
- Notable Rewards: Useful mid game equipment with the likes of the Radium Rifle and Marine Armour
With closer ties to the core Fallout 4 storyline players will need to reach a specific point in the main quest line to access this DLC content. Designed with Nick Valentine in mind players are encouraged to bring him along as the companion for your adventure which provides additional situational dialogue although by no means a must have if you prefer to travel alone or have a favourite companion. Set on its own island Far Harbor is a standalone story where you search for Kasumi Nakano while battling the politics between the synths and Children of Atom and ultimately deciding the fate of the island.
With a range of difficult content a minimum level of 20 can be a good point to consider tackling Far Harbor although 25+ and beyond gives you an easier time although this will shorten the lifespan of some of the equipment you obtain within. Doing this DLC early also comes with the benefits of some fantastic armour and weapons that will help you push through mid game content in the main Fallout 4 adventure. This includes the Marine armour that provides some of the highest defence of non power armour options in the game and the Radium rifle that is an effective radiation based weapon. The unique Skipper’s Last Stand also literally equips players with a harpoon gun that is an extremely fun heavy weapon to use.
Vault-Tec Workshop Summary
- Accessed By: Vault 88 radio beacon and visiting the Quincy Quarries in the southern middle of the game map.
- Recommended Level: 20+
- Notable Rewards: Utility benefits (SPECIAL boosts and water supply), useful under armour and the large Vault 88 building area
The only workshop DLC in Fallout 4 that adds any significant quests in addition to the new build mode items which makes this another DLC to factor into your ideal Fallout 4 DLC play order. While you can beat this DLC at level 20 generally you’ll want to complete Far Harbor first for the useful equipment it provides given some tough encounters are littered throughout your journey. Centred around the strange Vault 88 players will be creating their own vault and engaging in vault experiments if they wish after meeting with the Ghoul Overseer.
While a hilarious adventure to the darker side of Fallout lore that allows you to shift away from your usual role of vault experiment victim it’s the rewards and utility from this DLC content you’ll be mostly interested in. In Vault-Tec Workshop this sees players obtaining the ability to construct water fountains at settlements for only 3 steel which provide an amazing supply of water and healing that can be a lifesaver in survival mode. Survival mode also allows players to fill up empty containers they obtain in their adventures to take some purified water with them just like other water sources from The Commonwealth. Players also gain access to the Vault-Tec water pump that produces a regular amount of purified water that doubles as a potential cap income stream if required.
Uniquely the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC provides players with a range of SPECIAL stat boosting objects that can give you +1 to your choice of SPECIAL which stay with you during your adventure. Players can only have one active at a time but this flexibility can be invaluable by allowing you to shift the point as your character progresses. Lastly on the equipment side of things players earn themselves the Legends of Vault 88 jumpsuit for completing the story that provides large boosts to energy resistance and radiation. As an under armour piece of equipment players can then layer this with armour pieces to create a balanced defensive option.
- Accessed By: Tune in to the Nuka-Cola Family Radio and visit the Nuka-World Transit Centre in the far west of the Fallout 4 map.
- Recommended Level: 30+
- Notable Rewards: Various powerful faction related perks and weapons
Nuka-World is a tough and unique piece of content in the Fallout 4 universe that starts via the radio at level 30 or can be kicked off earlier if players visit the location. The setting for this adventure is an amusement park with players exploring different zones within the park that have their own themes. Ultimately Nuka-World is about the raider factions and other Fallout creatures that live here and fighting for control of the area with some spill over into the broader Commonwealth as you claim settlements on behalf of raiders. This setting means that Nuka-World can impact on your karma, relationships with other Commonwealth factions and your broader role playing experience.
The intention of this DLC is an end game piece of content with players wanting to be a high level with appropriate gear and perks to ensure success. While this is the developer intention some savvy players in the Fallout 4 community have created some unique strategies to create a different story than intended by starting your Fallout 4 story with this DLC adventure. While difficult to do in practice this option is favoured by some players as it allows you to fully commit to the darker side of the DLC content without significantly impacting your karma and other Commonwealth faction reputation. After completing Nuka-World players then meet up with Preston Garvey in Concord to start the rest of the main story line without worrying about when to fit in the Nuka-World content and allows you to utilise the rewards throughout your Fallout 4 journey.
A popular alternative to this approach is to play Nuka-World as one of or your very last act in The Commonwealth so you can similarly not worry about the impacts of your actions. The negative of this approach is that you won’t be able to gain benefit from the rewards. Rewards include powerful faction perks equivalent to that of other Commonwealth factions based on who you side with between The Operators, The Disciples and The Pack. The Nuka-World DLC perks are particularly to melee and stealth characters although do provide a resist damage perk (Pack Alpha) that is useful to all characters. Non-melee builds can also enjoy the Splattercannon that is easily acquired from the Nuka-World market.