The Fallout video game franchise has been around for a long time. First developed by Interplay Entertainment in 1997, Fallout has since become the intellectual property of Bethesda Softworks, which is the company that developed Fallout 4. Fallout 4 is one of the most successful entries in the series, mixing critical acclaim with high sales back in 2015. Much like Bethesda's other open-world RPGs, Fallout 4 finds most of its appeal in exploration with players roaming an irradiated wasteland that used to be Boston and finding all kinds of trinkets, treasure, monsters, and stories.
Much like The Elder Scrolls V: Skryim before it, Fallout 4 focused on creating a huge map full of content for players to discover. Adding on to that was a settlement mechanic that allowed players to create small towns from scratch, a huge enticement for players who were more interested in collecting items and building. When you offer such a vast amount of stuff to do in one game, there are going to be some quests that live up to the promise, and some that don't.
This list counts down all the best and worst hidden quests in Fallout 4, the side quests that every player needs to complete to say they've truly experienced what the game has to offer and the side quests that can be safely skipped without the player missing out. We're taking into account both the narrative impact of these quests alongside the in-game rewards you can get from them, be they items or currency.
Here are 10 Hidden Fallout 4 Quests Every Player Needs To Complete (And 10 That Aren't Worth It).
20 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Pickman’s Gift
The Pickman Gallery, located in the North End of Boston, may sound like it would be a bastion of civilization and art in the nuclear dystopia of the Fallout games. This is not the case, as entering the gallery will start the player on a bloody quest inside the mind of a deranged "collector," Pickman himself.
The quest finds the player in the middle of a battle between Pickman and several raiders, and the player will likely side with Pickman as he seems normal at the start. Over the course of the quest, however, it becomes clear that the raiders have a legitimate grievance, as Pickman has been collecting their gangs' heads. Even if that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, the reward you get for completing the quest, a powerful knife, is well worth it.
19 NOT WORTH IT: The Great Hunt
Fans of the more narrative-driven side of the Fallout series may enjoy this quest, but players looking for good fights and large rewards were disappointed by The Great Hunt, which features a mariner in the Far Harbor DLC telling the story of a dangerous beast. The fearsome creature actually turns out to be a tiny bloodrage mirelurk, which is a heck of an anti-climax.
Perhaps the reason this felt so disappointing was due to it being a part of the DLC for Fallout 4, which automatically means it was mostly played by those serious about getting the most out of the game. On the story side, you get a fun choice between lying to the village to save the mariner's reputation or not, but in terms of actual in-game rewards it had little to offer.
18 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Carbonated Concerns
When players first discovered that contained within Fallout 4's bombed-out Boston was a replica of the bar from Cheers, the internet went wild. But it's not quite as much of a hidden reference as you might think: after all, there's a quest that takes you right into it. That quest is Carbonated Concerns, where you have to find the key to a Nuka-themed café.
That key is found on a body in the Prost bar (which is German for "cheers"). The quest itself is fine, as it nets you access to a diner, but the real prize for Cheers fans is seeing all the references in Prost. From the layout to the baseball posters to the skeletons of various characters, this is a location you don't want to miss.
17 NOT WORTH IT: Kid In A Fridge
The Kid in a Fridge quest is somewhat notorious among fans of Fallout 4 for being especially bad on a story level. It revolves around a ghoulified child the player can find locked in a refrigerator just south of University Point, who has apparently been trapped there for 200 years.
There are... a lot of plot holes here. Chief among which is that Fallout has made it clear several times that ghouls cooped up in dark places with little or no food or water are pretty much invariably feral, and yet the kid here seems weirdly normal despite apparently being in a fridge for centuries. Even worse, you get very few rewards for this quest! So when you hear a kid yelling for help from the fridge, just ignore it.
16 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Here There Be Monsters
This is a big side quest that's surprisingly easy to miss. Here There Be Monsters takes place on the Yangtze submarine, which sits in the harbor just in front of the docks behind the Shamrock Taphouse. You might hear about the sub from Donny Kowalski, or you might just swim out and see it on your own.
Once you're on the sub, you come face to face with Captain Zao, who will ask you to repair the nuclear submarine. It takes a bunch of work to get the materials he requires, but his sad story and the the rewards he gives at the end (Zao's own sword plus homing beacons that allow the player to summon a tactical nuke from the sub) are each powerful in their own way.
15 NOT WORTH IT: Fallen Hero
This quest is the epitome of a lot of risk for no reward. Fallen Hero can be acquired from Joe Savoldi, the owner of the Bunker Hill bar, and he asks the player to go to the Old Gullet sinkhole in Malden, just northeast of the middle school. He wants you to find the remains of Brent Savoldi, his grandfather.
Well, the good news is it doesn't take too long to find Brent. The bad news is you'll have to get past a deathclaw to do it. If you can defeat or slip past the huge scaly beast, you'll find Brent, along with his old Minuteman hat. You can take it back to Joe, and he'll let you keep it for some reason, meaning your only reward for besting a deathclaw is an extremely ordinary hat with no special properties.
14 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Spectacle Island
This one isn't technically an official quest, but it still deserves to be on the list because of some notable traits. First, Spectacle Island is the largest settlement in all of Fallout 4, and second, it's very easy to miss. Despite one of Fallout 4's main gameplay hooks being the settlement mechanic, you can do every big story and side mission without ever setting foot on Spectacle Island.
You have to swim all the way out to Spectacle Island, which is to the northeast of the Warwick homestead, and then fight several mirelurks just to make it possible to settle. It takes a lot of work to make this area available, but it's worth it if you're one of those people who plays Fallout 4 for the settlement-building gameplay.
13 NOT WORTH IT: Vault 81
This quest line has its share of supporters, but as far as we're concerned it isn't worth the trouble. At first, Vault 81 seems normal, but closer inspection reveals it, just like the other vaults, had a terrible plan for the dwellers. They managed to avoid it until the quest Hole in the Wall starts, which has a child struck by a seemingly incurable illness.
The player has to venture deep into the vault to get the cure, which takes a while and can get the player infected with the same disease. The other quests aren't much better in terms of gameplay or rewards. The one redeeming factor is that you can get the robot companion Curie from all this. If you think she's worth it, then by all means, have fun with the mole rats.
12 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: The Silver Shroud
The Silver Shroud is one of the more famous side quests in Fallout 4, and with good reason. Evoking nostalgia in a way that was still fun to play (something not every video game manages), the Silver Shroud was a fun quest that was especially rewarding to undertake near the beginning of your playthrough.
Aside from getting to act like a noir-inspired superhero and getting to know Kent in the Goodneighbor Memory Den, this quest also has more tangible in-game rewards. Specifically, if Kent survives, he'll upgrade the Silver Shroud costume, which ends up being some of the best (and certainly best-looking) armor you'll find early in the game. And even if you do it late, it's still fun.
11 NOT WORTH IT: Pool Cleaning
Try to keep up with us here, because this one is pretty complex: Pool Cleaning is a side quest where you clean a pool. That's pretty much it. To start Pool Cleaning, talk to Sheng Kawolski on the outskirts of Diamond City. He'll ask you to clean the city's water supply, and he'll pay you to do it.
Unless you really want to role play as a Diamond City Janitor (or you're desperate for approval from some of your companions), you can pretty safely skip this chore masquerading as a quest. Sheng is pretty fun to talk to, but there's no real point to the actual quest. All it nets as a reward is a tiny amount of experience and a few caps. Skip it.
10 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Cabot House
Very close to the Pickman Gallery is another hidden location that has a fairly involved quest: Cabot House. It requires you to work with and for Jack Cabot, a scientist and the son of Lorenzo Cabot. After a couple other quests, Jack will ask you to undertake a more serious matter: ending the life of his father Lorenzo.
Completing the quest, whether you side with Jack or Lorenzo, will net you powerful rewards: Jack will give you Lorenzo's Artifact Gun, a unique kind of gamma radiation gun, and Lorenzo will give you a "lifetime supply" of a mysterious serum that will aid you in battle. Those who play for the narrative will also enjoy the wild tale of familial violence and scientifically engineered immortality.
9 NOT WORTH IT: The Lynn Woods Siren
Another entry on the list that isn't an official quest but deserves to be here all the same. Lynn Woods, a small, uninhabited section of the map infested primarily by deathclaws, contains a small tower. That small tower contains a siren. Do not activate the siren if you want to have a pleasant time in Lynn Woods. If you do, a fight awaits you.
Turning on the siren causes not one, but two deathclaws to arrive at the tower, blocking the player from making an easy escape. There's a strong chance you'll have to fight raiders just to get this far, so you'll probably already be tired. Defeating the monsters does not grant you any special loot or experience. The Lynn Woods siren just brings you a fight you probably would prefer to avoid.
8 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: USS Constitution
Rebuilding the USS Constitution tops many gamers' lists for best quests in any Fallout game. It takes a lot of work, but players found themselves enjoying even the drudgery of finding every missing component thanks to the quality of the writing. In the quest, players help Ironsides, a sentry bot with a ton of personality who just wants to take to the air one last time.
Players can betray Ironsides and destroy his crew, but most opt to let the flying boat have one final voyage. He'll give you a couple rewards for that, but the real joy is just interacting with the robots. Greedier players can sabotage the Constitution and take all the salvage for themselves if that's not enough for them, so there's really something for everyone.
7 NOT WORTH IT: The Memory Lounger
The Memory Den in Goodneighbor may be where you can meet Kent and start The Silver Shroud, one of the better side quests in the game, but it also has the opportunity to relive a cutscene the player saw at the beginning of the game. It may feel like you're finding a hidden easter egg by bribing your way into a memory lounger, but trust us, it isn't worth it.
To use the memory lounger, you have to go to the Den before you get Nick Valentine as a companion, and either persuade or bribe Irma into letting you use it. She'll let you, but all you'll see is the cutscene of Kellogg shooting your spouse and taking your son (the one you saw at the game's start). This is obviously not worth the time it takes to do.
6 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: The Lost Patrol
The Lost Patrol is a side quest that can only be acquired from the Brotherhood of Steel, as it involves finding an AWOL patrol of Brotherhood soldiers at a few scattered distress signals. Completing the quest will grant a reward of a strong Power Armor chest piece and a laser pistol, but the reward isn't the only reason to do it.
The Lost Patrol sticks out in many players' memories because of the forlorn nature of much of the quest, finding the bodies of several members of the Brotherhood of Steel, separated from their squad and forgotten by headquarters. That is, until they find Paladin Brandis, the only survivor, who can be convinced to rejoin the Brotherhood and become the players' companion.
5 NOT WORTH IT: The Devil’s Due
You might notice something of a theme in the "not worth it" side of this list, as several of these quests involve fights with very powerful enemies. The Devil's Due is one of these, beginning in the Museum of Witchcraft with creepy holotapes hinting at some monster haunting the museum.
Well, that haunting turns out to just be a large deathclaw, one that you have to go through to get the quest's most important item: a pristine deathclaw egg. You can either give the egg to Wellingham in Diamond City or return it to a deathclaw nest in Lynn Woods. You'll either get a recipe to make food out of deathclaw eggs or a deathclaw gauntlet— both of which are perfectly fine rewards, but as a whole feel pretty anti-climactic.
4 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Cambridge Polymer Labs
Cambridge Polymer Labs stands as something of a counterpoint to Kid in a Fridge, in that it also has the player finding ghouls that have been locked away for centuries. However, this quest actually has some real narrative behind it, as the player discovers exactly why the researchers at the labs have been locked up.
Unlike the kid, these researchers don't contradict the lore of the games, and their quest gives the player a reward worth searching for: a unique piece of Power Armor. Thus, even if you don't enjoy the story of this side quest hidden in the southwest corner of Cambridge, it's at least worth doing for the reward.
3 NOT WORTH IT: Vault 75
Vault 75 is both a place (the vault underneath Malden Middle School) and a quest, as entering the area begins a quest to explore that area. Exploring Vault 75 holds little benefit, however, as there's extremely little in the way of loot, or even story. You have to fight your way through a hidden Gunner stronghold the whole time, and it just isn't worth it.
You'll learn about the horrific fate of the vault-dwellers of Vault 75, largely children getting harvested for their genetic material. And... that's it. No rewards, no impact on the main story. Thanks for visiting Vault 75, you can go away now. Unlike other vaults that at least offer a narrative or loot, Vault 75 gives you pretty much nothing.
2 NEEDS TO COMPLETE: Mr. Tiddles
Again, this one isn't an official quest, but it's still a hidden thing every Fallout player should find. There's an unnamed church in South Boston, west of the Castle. If you don't look closely, you might think it is completely unremarkable. But if you visit the church's basement, you'll find what can only be called a cat shrine.
A single cat occupies the basement, alongside a few feral ghouls, several skeletons, and an altar dedicated to "Mr. Tiddles." The altar has a picture of a cat, a food bowl, and several candles (plus a smaller picture of a man in colonial garb behind it). There is no in-game explanation for this. Obviously, it has to be seen to be truly experienced.
1 NOT WORTH IT: Confidence Man
Confidence Man is a fairly simple quest, by Fallout 4 standards. You are asked to help Vadim Bobrov in a series of wacky hi-jinks intended to make Travis Miles, Diamond City's radio DJ, more confident. Naturally, something goes wrong, and the player ends up saving Vadim from some raiders with Travis' help.
This would all be fine— the mission itself isn't anything special, but it's not especially bad, either— except for the fact that players tend to dislike the main "reward," which is hearing a more confident Travis on the radio. Players tend to prefer Travis' DJ style when he was still nervous and timid. And it doesn't grant much experience or money, either.