How to force start a quest in Fallout 4

Console commands will make Fallout 4’s quests “just work.”


Screenshot by Gamepur

Fallout 4, as is expected in many of Bethesda’s open-world role-playing games, is quite buggy. While the occasional texture or animation issue may not raise much alarm, significant problems can occur when a missing NPC or quest step locks the player out of major questline progression. If this happens, there is a way around it, but you need to be careful. That’s why we put together this guide for force-starting quests in Fallout 4, so you never miss a single one.

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How to force a quest to start in Fallout 4

Screenshot by DoubleXP

To force a quest to start in Fallout 4, you need to use console commands. To do this, you need to open the console with the Tilde key, which looks like this ‘~‘ and should be next to the ‘1‘ key. Once the console is open, you need to use the ShowQuestStages command, which is often shortened to ‘sqs‘ to find all the stages the quest you’re looking for could have. A quest will cycle through these stages as you progress. If you want to track a quest and see all its stages, enter ‘sqs *******‘ where the * text is replaced by the quest ID. For example, the Nuclear Option quest that sees you aligned with the Railroad has a quest ID of ‘MQ302RR’.

You need to find out the ID of the quest you want to tackle. Then, when you know it, you need to check all the stages it has. We’ll use the above example to walk you through it. We know the quest ID, so we would open the console and type in ‘sqs MQ302RR‘ to see a list of every stage of the quest and the associated IDs. The list shows us that the first stage of this quest has the ID ‘10‘. Now, we need to type in ‘SetStage MQ302RR 10‘ to trigger the quest and see it start in-game.

How to find the ID of a quest in Fallout 4

To find the ID of the quest you want to start, you can open the console and type in ‘help quest 0‘. This brings up a list of all the quests in the game. You can now scroll through the list until you find the quest you’re after and use that ID.

If, however, you do know the name of the quest you’re looking for, you can type ‘help <quest name> 0‘ into the console to find the ID. This speeds up the process of triggering the quest or advancing the stages if you’ve become stuck in it. This is very similar to how you get item ID codes in the game.

Should you use console commands to force quests to start in Fallout 4?

Screenshot by Gamepur

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Every quest in Fallout 4 operates as a series of integer-based stages. Whenever the player accomplishes a task marked out by the quest, the number associated with that quest’s internal ID updates to that of the next stage. This triggers the next step of the quest and makes it possible to progress and complete it. At times, the internal ID of a quest doesn’t update, or a series of choices you’ve made in your playthrough so far cause a bug preventing a quest from starting in the first place. Forcing a quest to start ensures you get to play it, but there is a chance you’ll miss any preamble that came before. This, unfortunately, is a side effect of using console commands to force quests to start in the game.

Forcing quests to start in Fallout 4 can be dangerous because there’s always a chance it will corrupt your save file. We recommend making a backup if you plan to do any quest force starting. Bethesda has said that there are systems in place in Fallout 4 that ensure all quests pop up eventually, even if they’re bugged. But this doesn’t always happen when you want it to, so forcing a quest to start comes in. If you desperately want to play a bugged quest, then try forcing it to start to see what happens. If you can wait, then we suggest you do so and explore the wasteland a little more.