Save yourself a bunch of money and don't waste as many perks. Let this guide you through the process of getting the Benevolent Leader achievement with much less investment than what the other guys are telling you.
The Benevolent Leader achievement has proven pretty difficult for a lot of people to get, and most guides and videos recommend investing way more than you need to. Don't worry, I'm here to help. Here's what you'll need:
- A settlement (naturally)
- 6 settlers
- Level 2 Local Leader perk
- Level 1 Medic perk
- 9,000 caps
- Approximately 600 each of wood and steel
- Various other crafting materials
- A few hours of your time
So what is a large settlement anyway? No, it has nothing to do with the square footage of your land, and it also (surprisingly) has nothing to do with the population. Any settlement can become a large settlement, so pick the location in which you want to spend the next few hours (though it is recommended that you do not do this achievement in Sanctuary or The Castle. A lot of people will have difficulties in The Castle if you are unprepared.)
Once you have your location selected, it's time to start building. You can set up a recruitment radio beacon at another location so that you will have settlers when you are ready, but you don't need any settlers at your location yet, and you should not set up a recruitment radio beacon at this location. Your happiness will remain a nice even 50 before you move people in, and you don't want them showing up before you are ready. To prepare for them, you need to build the following basics:
- A housing unit for your 6 future settlers
- 7 beds -- 1 for each settler and 1 for yourself
- Enough crops to provide 6 food (6 mutfruit is the simplest option)
- 2 water pumps to provide 6 water
- A generator to provide electricity
- 5 level-3 clinics
- As many defense turrets as you want, but at least enough defense to match your food and water combined (12). More is always better, so go crazy and jack it up over 100 to be "safe".
Once you've built the basics, you can move your settlers in from another location or keep building and move them in later.
Making It "LARGE"
Fallout 4's definition of a "large settlement" is one in which the "size" in the top right corner of your build screen has turned yellow. You can increase this bar by building. Everything contributes, and the bar seems to go up at different rates at different settlements. This is the biggest reason I recommend not trying this at Sanctuary because it seems to have a pretty high build capacity. Red Rocket, on the other hand, seems to fill the bar pretty quickly. But, as mentioned earlier, you can do this at any settlement.
In addition to your housing unit, you can build a separate building to put your crafting stations in. You can build a wall around your entire settlement. You can make a separate floor in your housing building and put a bar in it, a bunch of chairs, a jukebox, TVs, etc. Put a bunch of decorations all over the place to make your shack less boring. Just fill that bar until it turns yellow. Once it's yellow, it is officially large.
When you're ready for people to move in, head to another location and enter workshop mode. Click on your settler and hit the option for "move" to send them to your new paradise. Grab up 6 of them and then travel back to your large settlement. You'll likely get there long before they do, so you can rest or just keep building until they show up.
Once they arrive, assign one person to the crops and the other five to the five clinics. It is also beneficial to actually assign them to their beds. At this point, you can ignore your people and get back to decorating just to pass the time.
Pursuit of Happiness
With your settlers all employed and a roof over their heads, you should see an Up Arrow next to the "happiness" level when in workshop mode. As long as the arrow is there, you're on the right track. Now you just have to wait for the numbers to actually go up. Head to your bed and sleep or take a seat somewhere and wait. Either way, you'll want to pass enough time that you reach the next game day.
When you get up, take a stroll around your settlement. Make sure you're in workshop mode so you can monitor your happiness level, and just kill some time. You can keep decorating, rearranging, build another floor on your house, place more turrets, or just walk away from your game for a few minutes. It doesn't really matter. You just need to spend a few minutes real time in your settlement until you notice the happiness level go up. Occasionally it will already be higher when you wake from your rest, but you cannot just sleep for 24 hours over and over to speed up the process. It just doesn't work that way.
When you do see the happiness level go up, however, you are free to go back to bed for another day. The happiness level doesn't seem to be able to move more than once per day, so head to bed for another 23 hours to start a new day. Wake up and repeat the process. It seems to take 10 to 15 minutes of real time for the happiness level to rise once you start a new day, so getting to 100 will take about 3 hours.
Once you start this process, it's important that you do not leave your settlement. People aren't happy when you go away, and you need to be able to monitor your happiness level to make sure that Up Arrow stays there. You may be able to maintain a happiness level in the 80s, maybe even 90s, while you go save the Commonwealth, but it will never hit 100 if you aren't there to oversee the process.
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Credits: Special thanks to Landismackdown for this guide.