Fallout 4, as is common in many of Bethesda’s open-world role-playing games, is quite buggy. Where 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. Should this problem arise, there are in-game console commands that can be used to force oneself into starting quests that they would otherwise be unable to do.
Forcing a Fallout 4 quest to start
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, progressing upwards until the quest concludes.
Central to the process of brute-forcing quests are the following two commands: SetStage and ShowQuestStages. Both must be used in tandem to — in theory — set the player at the very first stage of a new quest.
ShowQuestStages, or alternatively the much simpler input of “sqs,” can be used to find all of the potential stages involved with a particular quest. Say, for example, if the player would like to start The Nuclear Option while aligned with the Railroad, they could enter “sqs MQ302RR” into the console, displaying multiple stage values with the smallest — and, by extension, earliest — being 10.
With the knowledge of this quest’s earliest stage value being 10, the player could then try to set that quest to its first stage with SetStage. Entering “SetStage MQ302RR 10” into the console will consider the Nuclear Option to be freshly started, even displaying the HUD animation for a new quest at the top left of the screen.
Has a quest item somehow gone missing? Try spawning it in using item ID codes.