In Fallout 4 there are tons of things to do, from building and maintaining settlements, to upgrading weapons and armor, and plundering the Commonwealth for loot. All of these things in one form or another requires two things; inventory space and things to find or break down for component parts.
The problem is that in Fallout 4, there is a distinctive problem in regard to bag space; this is especially true if one decides (like I did) to forgo the use of power armor due to a speed problem or a hatred for the Fallout 4 Power Armor’s UI (both of which I agree with).
Issues With Bag Space
The first issue regarding inventory space is that aside from getting 20 points extra for every piece of “Deep Pocketed” (10 for a standard Pocketed piece) and 10 points for every level of Strength the player has; there are only two ranks of the Strong Back perk that give more carry weight.
Currently, my Sole Survivor has 370 carry weight with an entire set of Deep Pocketed modded gear, 8 points in Strength and both carry weight enhancements for Strong Back. Why is this a problem you ask? Because EVERY piece of junk in the Commonwealth is necessary for either Settlement building and maintenance or upgrading armor and weaponry. While your companion has the capability to carry items for you, certain characters (Such as Dogmeat, Strong, and Nick Valentine) are unable to equip armor with extra pockets, thereby limiting what they can carry for you.
I will admit that I am a huge packrat in Fallout games. This is even more truthful with the settlement mechanic since I am working on building settlements all over the Commonwealth as well as maintaining the ones I’ve already gotten situated. This means that I am always picking up salvage items for steel, oil, copper, and all the other bits and bobs required for Generators, Turrets, and even simple things like beds.
In small buildings or quest areas this isn’t much of a problem, as I can usually give my companion excess guns or armor to free my bag for extra materials. The larger buildings and complexes however can pose a problem, as I either have to leave and fast travel back home to free up bag space (thereby interrupting my search or quest through a particular area) or drop items that might have necessary components so that I am not bogged down by slow movement due to being overloaded.
An even larger issue arises when the player looks at the fact that every bit of food, chemical, and junk piece has its own carry weight. This means that if you wish to cook food and carry it with you (aside from the weightless stimpaks, radaway and rad-x) then you will be sacrificing precious bag space that could wind up being very necessary. On higher difficulties these food items are VITAL, as they can mean the difference between life or death as some food items enhance combat capabilities or heal more than a stimpak (if the Medic Perk isn’t already in effect).
Frustration For Non-Strength Based Characters
Rogue-ish characters are punished even more by this if you plan on stealing items your bag space will fill up quicker due to what you are already carrying. Especially if the player sacrifices their strength stat for Agility or Perception, as a lacking Strength stat limits how much you can carry extensively.
This also makes using heavy weapons like rocket launchers (or specializing in multiple types of weapons for that matter) highly frustrating, as the heavy weapons are anywhere between 15-30 pounds of carry weight, and carrying multiple weapons can easily reserve 50+ carry weight that could be used for temporary storage.
I know many of you are probably saying “Yes it is annoying but it is easily managed! Just deal with the inconvenience of going back and forth to your home settlement! Besides, what do you suggest is a solution or alternative?”
Easy Solutions To Fix Bag Space Issue
There are a few answers to this issue frankly. If I was playing Fallout 4 on a PC (I have the PS4 version) I would suggest a Carry Weight/Bag Space mod or small Fallout 4 update. I am very supportive of mods and user created content and if it was available on PS4 I’d mod my Fallout 4 to the moon and back. Since I am on a console there are a few things that Bethesda could do to make my experience somewhat easier or more entertaining, here’s a shortlist.
- Eliminate the weight amount on food – This wouldn’t be difficult, a small Fallout 4 update and Bethesda could even make it an option to it turn on or off if more hardcore players wanted the challenge. This would free up quite a bit of space and would make using things like cram and Nuka Cola more feasible.
- Make Junk weightless – Ok, I’ll admit it doesn’t make much sense for a bag of cement to not weigh anything but it is frustrating having to leave things behind because I can’t carry anymore. This could also easily be toggled on or off to free up bag space depending on difficulty level or player preference in what could also be a Fallout 4 update or mod.
- Increase options for extra bag space – These sorts of add-ons have been created for games for ages. Saddlebags for horses in The Witcher 3 are a great example, only for Fallout 4 it could be a backpack or satchel that adds more space to the inventory. Alternately more perks could be added in the Strength section of the tree for higher carry weight (or even an agility tree option to make objects weigh less to the player).
- Give companions unlimited bag space – I already use my companions as pack mules, why not let me just abuse them a little more? It would make things much easier and would still give an edge of challenge to those players who prefer to travel solo rather than bring along extra help.
- Portable Storage – Pillars of Eternity introduced a stash that could be accessed anywhere, why not provide something similar for Fallout 4? A portable vault that players could call to them wherever they might be or remotely access could be a great Fallout 4 update for certain players.
Sure, I might be more obsessed with inventory management than most people, but these are legitimate concerns that could be addressed by Bethesda (and have been most likely beenn addressed by Fallout 4 mods for PC users). Fallout 4 is an amazing game but stopping to empty your bags can easily break the immersion of a quest. I’m not asking for a removal of carry weight entirely, just more options to manage it.