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Fallout 4 Terminal password and hacking guide – Destructoid | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #hacker


I love terminal hacking in Fallout 4. I don’t know why. It isn’t very exciting, admittedly, but I think it’s the clicking sounds. If you have the intelligence, you’ll be hacking terminals a lot, so this may help speed up the process.

Note that terminals come in four flavors. You have access to the Novice rank off the hop, but if you want to crack anything beefier than that, you’ll need the Hacker perk. You’ll then be able to interact with tougher and tougher terminals as you rank it up, which sometimes requires you to be at a certain level. They are:

  • Level 1: Advanced
  • Level 2 (Player level 9): Expert
  • Level 3 (Player level 21): Master
  • Level 4 (Player Level 33): Failing won’t lock the terminal

How Fallout 4’s terminal hacking works

Fallout 4’s hacking system is largely the same as the one in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. You’re slapped with a wall of text, and it’s up to you to sort of guess the correct password. These take the form of blurbs of legible text among all the garble. If you were good at word searches as a child, you may have an innate aptitude here.

You’re given four guesses from the start. You have to pick one of the words, at which point it will tell you how many letters of that word are in the correct spot. This is rated as “likeness” and appears on the right side of the screen.

So if the word is BUCKET and you pick BILLED, you’ll be told that it has a likeness of 2. That’s because the B and the E are in the correct spot. This tells you that the word you’re looking for is something like B***E*, which might be enough information to go off of, but otherwise, you can pick another word and roll the dice on the likeness. Maybe you’ll get a couple more hints that will make it more obvious.

If you spend all four attempts and still don’t get the password correct, the terminal will lock for quite an extensive amount of time. 

Screenshot by Destructoid

Fallout 4 terminal hacking made easy

The most helpful advice I can give you to make terminal hacking easy is, when you’re down to your last guess, just exit the terminal. When you interact with it again, you’ll have once more have four guesses, and you can start fresh. This makes the whole minigame negligible, as it’s sometimes faster to just randomly pick words until you only have one guess left, then exit and try again. This allows you to easily brute force the terminal.

 Otherwise, if you want to do this with integrity, make use of brackets. These are the characters {}, [], (), and <>. If you can find an open and closed pair in the jargon and move the cursor over it, it will highlight. If you click on this (it won’t use an available attempt), it will either remove one of the incorrect passwords or refill all your attempts.

If you pair these two techniques together, hacking a terminal is a piece of cake. The only thing that will keep you from cracking one is the skill level of the terminal, which, unfortunately, there’s no quick way around.

However, you can also ask a companion to handle the hacking for you. Each one has a different aptitude for it, but they still have a chance of success as long as they’re comfortable with the security rank, with Nick Valentine having the highest aptitude. If a companion fails, they will be locked out of the terminal, but you can still attempt it yourself. You’ve got nothing to lose.

Buffing your hacking

Finally, there are two ways you can upgrade your hacking beyond just increasing the Hacker perk rank. The first is finding the Science bobblehead located in Vault 75 which is southeast of your starting settlement underneath Malden Middleschool. This bobblehead will permanently add a fifth attempt to your hacking abilities.

The second way is to max out your relationship with Nick Valentine. Getting top affinity with him will grant you yet another guess and will also reduce the lockout timer when you fail an attempted hack.


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