I love the idea of using whatever you find in the Wasteland to turn trash into treasure and junk into survival tools. It’s one of the most alluring parts of open world gaming and specifically the world of Fallout. Scavenging pieces to make the total creation greater than the sum of its parts. With the release of Automaton came even more opportunity to salvage, hack, invent, and build. 

He was the “MacGyver” of the military before the bombs fell. Able to craft and fix anything from anything, his ingenuity turning junk and everyday items into wonderous inventions and weapons earned him the nickname “The Gearhead.” Smart and just the right amount of peculiar, he feels more at home on his own with his thoughts, inventions and robotic helpers than people. 

S – 5
P – 4 (get bobblehead in Concord for Demolitions Expert asap)
E – 3
C – 3
I – 9
A – 3 (special, bobblehead)
L – 1

Brotherhood of Steel: Get access to tech and Power Armor (including a free Jet-Pack after the main quest), work on the biggest Robot of all (Liberty Prime). The real prize of this faction for this build is this little known bonus: Teegan sells over 200 railway spikes per reset after finishing the main story! This makes the Railway Gun your easy go-to weapon.

Recommended Bobbleheads:
Perception, Agility, Repair, Explosives, Energy, Big Guns, Barter


Rifleman – Boost the rifle damage of The Gearhead. Especially making the main weapon, the Railway Rifle totally dominant.

Heavy Gunner – For Junk Jet, Missile Launcher, Broadsider

Demolitions Expert – able to craft anything into an explosive as well as giving the broadsider and missile launcher an extra kick.

Scrapper – part of the scavenger role and helpful to keep track of and store up building components.

Lone Wanderer – you’re better on your own, but using a robot companion later on fits the role too.

Science – necessary for upgrades and weapon mods.

Nuclear Physicist – better power core life is helpful early on and useful later when using Jet-Packs.

Robotics Expert – super overpowered perk and amazing in Automatron play through. Can shut down, self-destruct or order them to attack.

Hacker – part of the role of being a super smart techie, useful for hacking and and easier access.

Gun nut (Junk Jet / Railway Rifle) – I hate spending points on this perk, but using unique guns like the railway rifle and junk jet mean you can only upgrade them with this perk. You’re simply not going to find a modded railway rifle. Also, if you want to outfit your robots with the best weapons, you need at least 1 rank.

Armorer – for PA and robot upgrades

Blacksmith - primarily used for robotic melee weapons upgrades, but also RP friendly.

Action Boy – later after agility bobblehead and investment, helpful to recharge AP for use in PA and Jet-Packing. 

Life Giver - adds a little extra boost for adventuring.

Power Armor, Mix and Match Armor (Raider, Robot, Metal), Road Goggles (+1 INT and looted from Zoe at onset of Automatron), Ballistic Weave Dirty Army Fatigues (+1 Str & Agi) or Bomber Jacket, Ushanka Cap (+1 INT)

Junk jet, Railway Rifle, Laser Rifle, Broadsider, Missile Launcher, homemade bombs & mines (ideally an explosive minigun, which I never found)

Junk Jet notes: Only acquired in Call to Arms, you have to join the BoS to get access to it in ArcJet systems. You can use anything in your junk inventory as ammo and damage is set no matter what it is. Pre-War Money is the prized jewel as it is weightless in your inventory (at least, outside of new survival mode). It is not a great long-range weapon as it cannot be sighted. It cannot be silenced. It is not highly modifiable. It only benefits from Heavy Gunner. But, you can KILL A SPUERMUTANT WITH A TEDDY BEAR!!! Or plunger. Or Jangles the Moon Monkey in VATS slow-mo. Bottom line, it’s too fun and too fitting for the RP to avoid, but it won’t be a long-term weapon.

Getting Started and Play Through Notes:
From Vault 111, setup shop at the Red Rocket. Go ahead a grab the PA and bobblehead in Concord and meet-up with Danse in Cambridge. He’ll do the heavy lifting through ArcJet Systems, which yields the Junk Jet (not to mention Righteous Authority and entry into the BoS).

Run a few missions to gain experience and maybe upgrade your PA before heading south to Diamond City and Big John’s Salvage yard. This is a tough fight, so come prepared. Once you clear the yard, find John’s bunker and the Railway Rifle.  Make sure you frequently visit Arturo, Myrna, Kleo and Daisy to stock up on their limited Railway spike supply. Once you’ve got access to the Prydwen, Teegan also carries them and as noted above, he has over 200 spikes per cycle after the main quest! This makes using the Railway rifle an easy primary weapon choice.

Collect as much junk as you can carry on every outing. Don’t forget to scavenge plants and animals for cooking and bomb creation. Perk Lone Wanderer and take Dogmeat with you and load him up too. Collect baseballs, lunchboxes and other items needed to make homemade bombs and mines. Track down Wasteland Survival Guides and at least a few Jerky Junktown issues to round out the scavenger vibe.

At level 15, Automaton kicks in. Make sure to loot Zoe at the first stage for your road goggles. Fighting robots is unique in that some will be super easy to take out, and some will wreck you in one hit. Be warned!

Build up the Red Rocket into your robotics and invention yard. Collect Power Armor, especially make sure to grab the new Tesla Armor from Automatron. Create mix and match sets. Much of my playthrough I used a T-51 helmet on T60 Tesla Torso & Arms, with modded legs. Upgrade the helmet with Internal Database for more INT. The final suit swapped in the X0-1 Helmet and explosive leg vents, while keeping the 3 Tesla pieces with a jetpack for a fine looking kit with plenty of pop & protection. 

The Gearhead could be considered an OCD hoarder. Collecting all the junk in the Wasteland, but organizing it meticulously. Lining up his PA suits and assigning his robots to duties, this is no ordinary junkyard scrapper. He’s super smart, inquisitive and wants to figure out how technology works. All of this fits fairly well with the BoS. He gets to track down tech, work on rebuilding the biggest robot of all (Liberty Prime) and take out the selfish, God-Playing Institute. As for Father, The Gearhead believes he is flat out lying, thus he has no qualms about taking him out with the rest of the scientists who he believes have used their intellect perversely.

Follow along with The Gearhead in my Long Character Story over at the Story Corner. 

Closing Notes:
Play around with different combinations of bombs, robots, mines, gun mods, Power Armor and as much miscellaneous crafting as possible, The Gearhead is not for those looking for a quick, OP playthrough. Heavy on roleplay and crafting may turn some off, but the Fallout 4 world is begging to be played this way! Click here for more of my Fallout 4 Builds! Thanks Raid and Al and others for renaming help (Formerly: The Picker). Tip of the cap to our original host - Mason, who originated the player card idea featured at the top.

Tags: Fallout 4 Build, Motty Build

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Replies to This Discussion

Ah alright, makes sense, I've never actually fired the gun but from what I've seen it looked perfect, (Now if only we could mount a bed on a Sentry Bot Automatron, we'd be able to save anywhere!) The Gauss Rifle would've worked nicely too come to think of it (It kinda looks like a Wastelander built it) Perhaps if you used Automatics the Tesla Rifle would've worked out better,

Does anyone have any suggestions for a laser rifle to use as your primary with this build, and suggestions on modding it?  I like the Righteous Authority but I can see that this build isn't really going to get much more out of it than anyone else?

The only known/named one that comes to mind is Arturo's Old Faithful in Diamond City. 

It comes with the legendary effect of double damage if opponent's health is full. 

To answer you Auto-pistol question, it can def work with the 10mm. I don't think I'd go VATs with it though. I'd keep my person super fast and nimble with some sprinter's armor and have a big AP pool to sprint. But that's me. The other option is an auto-laser pistol. They can get really powerful.

This build was a lot of fun, I just finished the main quest line & automatron on my first playthrough, but I do notice that I made a number of minor mistakes such as not taking Heavy Gunner or Demolition Expert.  The basic jist of the character was great though.

Cool thanks for sharing your experience.


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