“They will go apesh*t”: Todd Howard Knows One Fallout 4 Feature is the Most Slept on Advantage It Has Over New Vegas and Fallout 3

How Todd Howard and Bethesda Reshaped Fallout

fallout 4, fallout 3, new vegas


  • One of the standout features of Fallout 4 is its settlement building mechanic, a first for the franchise.
  • When Todd Howard, Bethesda's VP of development, embarked on creating Fallout 4, his vision extended beyond just another sequel.
  • While some players may have found settlement building to be a distraction, for many, it became a core part of the Fallout experience.
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In post-apocalyptic gaming, few titles hold as much sway as Bethesda’s Fallout series. When Todd Howard sets his mind on a game, the world knows to pay attention. As the VP of development at Bethesda Games Studios, he has been the driving force behind some of the industry’s most beloved open-world franchises.  


With Fallout 4, Howard and his team took a step back from the previous installments and reimagined the Fallout universe, not as an addition to Fallout 3 but as a fresh start.

The Introduction of Settlement Building in Fallout 4

The Introduction of Settlement Building in Fallout 4
Settlement Building Fit Right in With The Fallout Style. | Bethesda

In an interview with The Guardian, Todd Howard and Pete Hines, Bethesda’s VP of marketing talked about how settlement building was a natural evolution for the franchise.


They explained that the team didn’t just want to create “Fallout 3 plus this,” but instead took a step back to consider what a new Fallout game should feel like.

In Fallout 4, you don’t go into some menu and say, ‘I want a house like this’, and then the game builds it. No, you’re putting down the floor and ceiling and deciding where the lights go and stringing in the copper wire.

In Fallout 4, this philosophy shines through with the introduction of settlement construction. Players scavenge materials to build homes, defenses, and amenities, reclaiming a sense of normalcy in the post-apocalyptic chaos.

It’s somewhat akin to games like Minecraft – if you give people the tools to express their creativity, they will go apesh*t, and make stuff you never contemplated in a million years. You can’t change the entire world in Fallout 4, but there are a lot of spaces that you can make your own, if you want to. 

One of the key advantages of settlement building is the sense of ownership it gives players. In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, players were limited to exploring pre-built towns and cities, with little opportunity to leave their mark on the world.


In Fallout 4, however, players can create their own settlements from scratch, deciding everything from the layout of the buildings to the defenses against raiders.

Settlement Building Fit Right in With The Fallout Style

Settlement Building Fit Right in With The Fallout Style
The Introduction of Settlement Building in Fallout 4. | Bethesda

Fallout 4 begins with players witnessing the pre-apocalyptic world, a society inspired by the 1950s, on the brink of destruction. They then wake up 200 years later in a Vault, with everyone they knew gone. 

This juxtaposition of past and present, of normalcy and devastation, sets the tone for the entire game. It’s about loss and self-sufficiency, about rebuilding a new life in the aftermath of tragedy.



Am I the only one that wishes Fallout 3 & Fallout New Vegas had base game settlement building options?
byu/modollahs inFallout

The settlement building mechanic was a game-changer for Fallout 4, setting it apart from its predecessors. This feature not only provides a creative outlet for players but also serves a practical purpose, offering a source of income and a safe haven in the harsh wasteland. 

The Introduction of Settlement Building in Fallout 4
Settlement Building is now a Fallout staple. | Bethesda

While some may argue that settlement building detracts from the core narrative of Fallout 4, others see it as a natural extension of the game’s theme of rebuilding and survival. It’s just one of Fallout 4’s many great features. The fact that settlement building has become a staple of the franchise, even making its way into Fallout 76, speaks to its popularity among players. 

In the end, whether you’re a fan of settlement building or not, it’s clear that Todd Howard and his team have a knack for identifying the elements that resonate with players. It’s a feature has become synonymous with the Fallout experience.


Written by Daniel Royte

Articles Published: 171

Daniel is a gamer through and through with a passion for gaming in his veins. His current adventures have taken him into the world of Elden Ring, Wuthering Waves, and Genshin Impact, amongst others.