The player about to sit on a couch next to a companion and the waiting menu.

How to Wait in Fallout 4

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Reyadh is a writer of fantasy, horror, and science fiction who loves to play video games full of monsters and magic. When he's not scribing unique and unrelenting speculative fiction or slaying demons in virtual worlds, he is writing strategy guides to help others reach their gaming goals.

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Waiting is a mechanic that has been around in the Fallout franchise for most of the main series games. It allows you to essentially skip periods of time at command. Here’s everything you need to know.

Table Of Contents

    What is Waiting, and When Should You Wait?

    Waiting is often classified separately from other mechanics that lets you skip periods of time, such as sleeping, in that waiting doesn’t offer any buffs or health recovery–simply convenience.

    There are many situations where waiting can ease the tedium of certain tasks or let you progress further in a particular quest. Throughout the gameplay of the respective titles, there are plenty of times in Fallout games where you must wait until a certain time to meet up with an NPC, defend against an attack, and much more. It used to be that you could wait anywhere at any time, however, in Fallout 4, you can now only wait by sitting down.

    The player about to sit on a couch in their home next to Cait, one of their companions, who is wearing a red and white shirt as well as blue pants.

    The reason for this is likely to prevent some of the bugs that can occur when waiting, as well as to possibly prevent players from abusing this mechanic. Waiting in certain spots while exploring a dynamic world can allow for some sneaky ways in and out of places, as well as more exploits. Forcing you to sit and be literally attached to an object could very well be a manner of keeping players out of trouble in the eyes of the developers.

    Where someone sits in order to wait doesn’t make a difference—the waiting mechanic is the same for any chair, couch, or seat of some sort that one can find in Fallout 4. A shabby couch in the player’s abode will work the same for waiting as a pre-made chair in any given location. Furthermore, whether one builds a chair to sit in to wait, or uses an existing one doesn’t matter, as the mechanic will be the same for both in Fallout 4.

    Fallout 4’s Waiting Mechanic: Explained

    The waiting option that appears at the bottom of the screen while sitting next to the waiting menu displaying the date and time.

    Waiting is pretty simple to do, despite still requiring a specific type of object to now activate. To wait in Fallout 4, walk to any object that players can sit on and press the button that appears with the “Sit” prompt. This prompt will show up when you’re looking at an object that you can set on and is close enough to interact with. The corresponding button, or key, will change depending on the platform and the player’s personal button/key bindings.

    When you’re sitting, you’ll see a prompt at the bottom of your screen to begin waiting. If you press the button next to this prompt, a small menu will pop up to show the date and time, as well as let you decide how long you would like to wait. In this manner, you can wait for anywhere between 1 hour to 24 hours, or, alternatively, you can back out of the waiting menu if you change your mind.

    How to Make a Chair to Sit In for Waiting

    If you’re lacking places to sit in your favorite settlement, you can build more. All you need is the materials, which can be gathered from junk found while exploring the world.

    Where You Can Make Chairs

    The sanctuary location on the map and the workshop in sanctuary.

    You can only make items within a designated settlement, such as Sanctuary, which is the first location outside the starting vault that you will see. In every settlement, there is a Workshop that takes the form of a red workbench somewhere central to that location. If you interact with the Workshop, you’ll enter build mode, which will bring up a menu of craftable items and allow you to place them if you have the required materials.

    Placing and Sitting in a Crafted Chair

    Crafting and placing a simple chair on a road and then looking at it.

    In the menu that appears after interacting with a Workshop, you can go through the sub-menus to find the furniture section with all of the available chairs. From here, you can hover over certain models to see the materials it will take to make it, as well as a hologram to preview what it will look like. If you want to build one, simply press the button next to the “Build” prompt at the bottom of the screen to place the desired chair where the preview currently is resting.

    When done, you can exit build mode with the designated button and examine your handiwork. Like with every other kind of chair in Fallout 4, you can look at your newly built chair to bring up the “Sit” prompt. When sitting in their chair, you can wait in the same manner as mentioned before.

    How to Wait in Pre-fabricated Chairs

    The red rocket truck stop on the map and then looking at a chair inside of the same location.

    If you’re not on your settlement with your comfortable, self-made chairs, you can still wait by using pre-fabricated chairs found around the world. All that’s required is for the chair to be an interactable object, as there are some that are only for decoration. You can’t interact with chairs that are only part of the scenery.

    However, with interactable chairs, you can sit down and wait in the usual fashion. This can be done even in combat, though it isn’t recommended to casually take a seat during a firefight for obvious reasons.

    The Difference Between Waiting and Sleeping

    A bed and then looking at the lover's embrace perk in their pip-boy menu.

    Waiting is a passive mechanic that is intended to only let players skip time for convenience without granting any sort of benefit. It’s true that sleeping can be used to pass time, however, it does more than that if players take a nap in a bed that they own. Sleeping, even for just an hour, will grant the “Well Rested” temporary perk, as well as possibly granting the “Lover’s Embrace” one if players sleep while a romantic companion is close by.

    Effects of the Well Rested Temporary Perk

    Grants you +10% XP from everything as well as gives +2 Endurance and +2 Agility to your stats for 8 hours.

    Effects of the Lover’s Embrace Temporary Perk

    Grants the player +15% XP from everything for 8 hours. It should be noted that you can also sleep with Magnolia from The Third Rail jazz bar in Goodneighbor or Gilda Broscoe in Vault 118 to acquire this perk instead of sleeping with a romantic companion.

    While sleeping is arguably better due to granting buffs, waiting is a great option for players looking to pass some time, which can easily be done thanks to chairs being plentiful in Fallout 4—regardless of what kind of seat they may be.