Good evening, gamers! Welcome to the trophy hunter/ achievement unlocking side of my blog. In honour of my Fallout 4 review, I thought I’d focus on Fallout trophies, specifically the Benevolent Leader achievement – arguably the hardest of them all.
The majority of the achievements/ trophies for this game can be acquired simply by following the main questline and a few specific side quests, making Fallout a great game for those just starting out on their cheevo-unlocking missions. Some of the remaining trophies can be gained by: collecting various items such as 20 Bobbleheads found throughout the world; crafting items such as weapons mods or food items and/or drugs and scavenging for junk to use; carrying out specific tasks, such as placing a grenade/mine in an unsuspecting victim’s pockets (after unlocking the perk) or killing 300 individuals in the Commonwealth, leading to the aptly named “Masshole” achievement and its creature-killing equivalent “Animal Control”. Levelling up, hacking, recruiting companions and discovering locations all contribute to trophy/achievement gains, which promotes utilising every aspect of the game rather than just ignoring the many terminals/ talking to people/ deliberately jumping off something and blowing yourself up in order to complete the game. I know a lot of people don’t care about achievements and basically ignore a lot of the games features in order to complete the game but it is fun to be rewarded for painstakingly listening to a companions sob-story in order to get a trophy at the end.
Whilst most of the trophies don’t require real tears to unlock, the Benevolent Leader trophy was an absolute nightmare. I decided to keep it till last as I read online early on that it would be the most difficult but even I wasn’t ready for the terrible journey that was trying to unlock this damn trophy.
Ironically, there are gamers who achieved this trophy very early on and without a great deal of effort. I’m not sure if waiting until I’d completed literally everything else had anything to do with it or not but I’d suggest making sure you have no time-limited quests available when you try to do this just in case.
There are various methods to unlocking this trophy which you can find all over the web. My method was an adaptation of basically all the suggestions I read about, as well as the patience of a saint and a lot of tea, which then turned into drinking straight gin. So, without further ado, let’s get you started on your quest to become the Benevolent Leader Bethesda wants you to be!
Unlocking perks useful to this achievement
As I said at the start, I completed this trophy once I had completed the main game and achieved every other trophy. In order to follow my plan and achieve the trophy, you need unlock certain perks whilst you are levelling up; notably, the local leader perk rank 2 and it would help to have your charisma at level 10, though wearing charisma boosting gear seems to help too. The Local Leader perk lets you open shops on your settlements, and the 2nd perk allows you to open 1st, 2nd and 3rd tier shops – the 3rd being the biggest and best. You also need a tonne of caps, as the 3rd-tier stores are around 1600 caps a piece.
Deciding what settlement to use
I tried for hours – days – to use Sanctuary Hills to complete this trophy, but it just wouldn’t work. I had around 20 different settlements to choose from and decided to start from scratch with Red Rocket Truck Stop, just 30 seconds in-game running from Sanctuary. I deliberately hadn’t set up this settlement at the start of the game so that I could use it solely for this purpose. My main piece of advice here is use any other settlement, but perhaps avoid Sanctuary.
Now that you’ve chosen your location, you need to decide what to do with it. I would start by clearing/ scrapping every last item you can on the settlement because a) it gives you resources and b) gives you clearer land to work on if you’re bothered about aesthetic. If you have other settlements, I’d suggest sending a provisioner over on a supply line so that you can access to other resources. Next, build roofed and walled buildings for your settlers to live and if there are already buildings there, use them. Even though the in game buildings are blown half to bits, they still count as floored, walled and roofed buildings. Then, place steel-framed beds in, leaving wide enough gaps for the settlers to be able to get in and out of bed. I remember reading that having framed beds in roofed/walled/floored houses made your settlers happier, because who wants to lie on a mattress outside, am I right?
Your next job is to place crops and water. The best crop to use is the Mutfruit plant, as it’s the only crop that generates 1 Food – the rest are all 0.5 Food. Place around 5 or 6 of these to start with and then place 3 or 4 water pumps. Regarding food-water-defence-settler ratios, follow this plan: Your water should be number of settlers + your food count; your defence should be your fount count + your water count – AT A MINIMUM. In my experience, the better defence and water you have, the happier they are. Then, all you need to do is build a radio tower and wait for them to flock to your sweet set up!
Assigning settlers and generating happiness
Hopefully after a few minutes of waiting, you should have a few settlers. Wait or sleep for 12-24 hours to see if any arrive if not. Once the first settler arrives, assigned them to food to get them started. I needed around 20 settlers to get this to work, and had 3 settlers assigned to 23 food, therefore had a minimum of 45 water (the basic pump goes up in 3’s) and 70 defence (basic turret in 5’s). In all, I built: 13 clinics, 2 restaurants, a trading stand and a clothing shop, all 3rd tier stores. I would also suggest making sure there are no companions at the settlement, as not all of them can be properly assigned and unassigned settlers, i.e. lazy bums, contribute to declining happiness.
Another element of this trophy is that it has to be in a “large” settlement, but that doesn’t mean it has to be geographically large like Sanctuary; it means that the size bar has to be yellow to indicate it is getting full, or large. A good way of doing this that attributes to your happiness is adding decorations to your settlement. I found 3 separate cat paintings in my ramblings in the Commonwealth, so I adorned literally every available wall with cat pictures, both as a way of filling up the size bar and adding happiness. I also added a lot of rugs for the same effect. You should also place the bell somewhere in your settlement and place a chair for your character there. If you ring the bell, your settlers will gather around you and it increases their happiness by just standing near you (sweet, huh?). After that, it was a waiting game.
Getting to this stage may take a while, but once you hit the 80-90 happiness stage, do not leave your settlement. I reached 90 happiness when I was at about 14 settlers and had to wait around 2 real life hours to unlock the achievement from this point. What I did was a mixture of ringing the bell, standing in amongst the settlers till they all dispersed, then sat in a chair/stood about/ ran around for 5 real life minutes, then slept or waited for 24 hours. A new settler arrived every 24 hours or so during this stage, so I built another clinic or whatever and repeated the previous steps. It took almost an hour alone to get from 99 to 100 during which it dipped to 98 because someone new arrived (the swine!). For the final point I stood beside the bell and rang it 2 or 3 different times to gather my settlers, wait for them to leave, then gather them again. I then sat on a chair for around 10 minutes real life time – incidentally, I called my sister during this point, because I was at a bit of a loose ending waiting for it to happen – and the trophy popper up, followed by the Platinum PS4 trophy (BONUS!).
As I said, it may happen relatively quickly for you or it may take an age, but it is achievable. I’ve also heard of people achieving this with: one settler, one food, two water, fairly high defence, a 3rd tier store like a clinic or restaurant (they provide the highest happiness out of all the stores) and then filling the settlement with decorations/ junk until the size bar is almost full. This is totally doable, despite it seeming like a fluke. I also know of other games who have 5 or 6 settlements stuck at 98/99 and it is driving them up the wall, so I do apologise for the frustration my lengthy method may cause.
Anyway, to prove I’m not calling your bluff, here are my screenshots from the glorious moment I earned this elusive trophy. Good luck, trophy hunters!