How to hack terminals in Fallout 4

How to hack terminals in Fallout 4
Images via Bethesda

Written by 

Samam Hasan


1st May 2024 14:28


Fallout 4 has a bunch of terminals located around the world, which keep certain secrets and access to lucrative loot locked behind them. The only way to unlock these terminals is by hacking them. As such, these are essential skills to have for any survivor in the Commonwealth. Hacking is quite complex in the game and is not easy to grasp at first.

That's why I'll explain how to hack terminals properly in Fallout 4.

How hacking works in Fallout 4

fallout 4 terminal hacking
Click to enlarge

In Fallout 4, you'll be given a wall of various texts and symbols to guess the correct password. The harder the terminals are, the more complex the passwords will be. You'll be given four tries to guess the correct password. If you succeed, the terminal will be opened immediately. If you fail, however, you'll be locked out of the terminal for ten seconds. After that, you'll be able to try again but the wall of texts and symbols will generate again.

How to hack terminals easily in Fallout 4

Check the Likeness Rating

When starting to hack, check the likeness number after one or two tries. This will provide you with insight into whether you're heading in the right direction by guessing the places of the letters.

For example, if the correct password is PEAKS, and if you select YEAST, then the Likeness Rating it will receive is 2 since 'E' and 'A' are in the same spot. So, what you'll be looking for is a similar word to: *EA**

It's a little bit like a post-apocalyptic Wordle.

Use Nick Valentine or an Automatron for hacking

fallout 4 nick valentine
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Nick Valentine, who you meet early on in the game, has the ability to hack terminals. When you're near a terminal, you can command Nick to hack it. In most cases, he will hack it and give you access. Maxing your affinity with him will also give you one extra try for guessing the password and reduce the lockout time by half.

Additionally, if you have an Automatron with the Hacking Module mod, then they will be able to hack also. However, there is a chance that both Nick and the automation may not be able to hack it properly and they will be locked out permanently from it. Although, you will be able to access it again.

Remove the enclosed symbols

fallout 4 terminal hacking
Click to enlarge

There are a few enclosed symbols with various brackets like (), <>, {} and []. Using these will remove duds as well as reset your tries. For the latter, you will need to have at least one try remaining to restore your three used tries. This is a much easier way to clear out the false passwords and make it easier to guess them.

Invest in the Hacker perk

fallout 4 hacker perk
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The Hacker perk is pivotal as it will give you access to harder terminals located in various locations. Not only that, the fourth rank will never lock you out of the terminals when you guess the passwords wrong after all your tries. The levels are as follows:

  • Rank 1- You can hack Advanced Terminals. Requirement: INT 4.
  • Rank 2- You can hack Expert Terminals. Requirement: INT 4, LVL 9.
  • Rank 3- You can hack Master Terminal: Requirement: INT 4, LVL 21.
  • Rank 4- You won't get locked out from a terminal after guessing wrong. Requirement: INT 4, LVL 33.

Getting the Science Bobblehead

The Science Bobblehead, found in Vault 75, will grant you one more try when trying to hack. You can get this by visiting the location and getting the Vault 75 Lab Access Card from a Gunner commander inside. 

That's everything you need to know about hacking terminals in Fallout 4. We also have guides on getting the Tesla Cannon, the Heavy Incinerator and assigning workers in the game so be sure to check those out as well.

Samam Hasan
About the author
Samam Hasan
Samam Hasan is a freelance writer with a strong love for video games. He enjoys playing sim racing and RPG games in his free time, along with the occasional FPS. When he’s not writing about or playing video games, you’ll find him watching classic Japanese and European movies or learning about medieval history.
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