Fallout 4 Hacking Guide

When faced with the hacking mini game in the Fallout  series, most people just try and guess the correct password, as the games do a terrible job of explaining how the system works. This leads to what can be a lengthy and frustrating session of trial and error, I used to save before hacking a terminal so I wouldn’t have to wait when I inevitably got locked out.

However once you understand the system, you’ll be able to find the password in the 4 tries the terminal gives, and hacking goes from being highly annoying to quite satisfying and much less time consuming.                             


First things first, before guessing any of the words, do a scan for any closed brackets, any of <> {} [] () will work. If the brackets close off other characters, that is fine also. Highlight them so both the brackets are highlighted, and select them. More often than not, this will remove dud entries and not take any of your tries. On the odd occasion that it doesn’t remove a dud, it’ll reset your tries back to 4, which is all but useless to us, but never mind.  There are normally 3 or 4 of these in each hacking sequence.

Next comes the hard part (that hasn’t really been explained in any of the Fallout games)

Choose your first word, I normally look over the words, and pick the one that is most different to the rest, because they are often the password, but it doesn’t really matter.

These are from a terminal in the game:

WOODS
WHICH
SLIDE
KICKS
SENDS
WITCH
DEEDS
SPEND
SPIED
TOMES
STARS
HOLES
STERN
LINES

I found 4 closed brackets so now I have:

WHICH
SLIDE
SENDS
DEEDS
SPEND
SPIED
TOMES
STARS
STERN

For my first pick, I’ve gone for “WHICH”
I got 0 matches, so I can now eliminate 2:

WHICH
SPIED
SLIDE

Because the “i” matches, and our password doesn’t match “WHICH’ at all.

I can also get rid of “WITCH”
WHICH
WITCH

Because the “w” and the last “h” match.

Next I try “DEEDS” which has one match.

I can eliminate:
DEEDS
SENDS

Because it matches on 3 letters – “e” “d” and “s”.

I can eliminate:

DEEDS
SPIED

Because it doesn’t match on any letters.

DEEDS
TOMES
STARS
STERN

All match on one letter, “TOMES” and “STARS” on the last “s’, “STERN” on the third “e” so our password has to be one of those three.

Next I pick “STARS” because it shares 3 letters with “STERN”

It matches on one again, so our password is “TOMES”

STARS
TOMES

The last “s” is the only letter that matches.

When I first learnt the system, I always wanted to get the biggest number of matches, but as you can see from this example, low number matches, or even no matches can help just as much.

You may find it easier to jot the words down on a pad to see which letters match, but I just do it in my head. As the terminals get more advanced, the words get longer, but if you follow the system, it isn’t that much  more difficult.

This example was taken from the game, and I entered things exactly as I wrote here, (Yes I got in the terminal!)

Good luck and happy hacking!