Life, The Universe And Gaming: A Survivor’s Guide To Fallout 4 With A Partner
When people talk about relationships being a bumpy road filled with obstacles, trials and tribulations, what they’re really referring to are Bethesda games.
Nothing tests the bounds of a relationship quite like a Bethesda game. Closer to the Fallout 4’s release you will have eventually been forced to have the talk with your partner. You know the talk I’m talking about. The one where you lay it all out on the line, and try to figure out the exact terms of how many hours per day you’ll be allowed to play Fallout 4 while maintaining a happy home environment. That talk.
Parents, I can’t help you. I am truly sorry.
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For the rest of you, I have a few quick tips to help things along. Because Fallout 4 is a massive game that requires incredible amounts of playtime, and unlike those singles you don’t get to spend an entire month in hibernation. You traded that ability in for the chance to have sex, and go for brunches together. Here are some quick and easy tips for surviving Fallout 4 when you’re in a relationship.
- Always tell them how much you appreciate them — Think of Fallout 4 when you do it, naturally. That way you seem sincere, as if you really mean it. And that way, hopefully, they’ll love you just that little bit more to let you play another hour before bed.
- Always make a little extra time for them — They’ll appreciate that you care enough to leave your game to love them, and besides those loading screens in Fallout 4 take a while so you’ll get plenty time for this.
- Encourage time off with friends — Let their friends have them for a week, if they’re gone then you can just sit and play at your leisure, for as much and as long as you’d like.
- Maximise your daily efficiency — Time spent doing things like grocery shopping, commuting, and making supper offer excellent opportunities to strategise and plan the building of your settlements, as well as allowing you to figure out what quests to do next.
- Feed them well — If they’re eating, they can’t talk, so you are free to play a little more Fallout 4. Hopefully they’re so full that they just fall asleep afterwards, leaving you free to play for the rest of the night.
- Get them their favourite series, books, or even their own copy of Fallout 4! — Basically a bribe to ensure you get the time you so rightfully deserve. Best case scenario, they start their own Fallout 4 campaign and you can both spend entire evenings playing separate stories, together. True love.
By now I hope it’s obvious that I’m just kidding around, but just in case (I am so sorry), let me make it abundantly clear: I am just kidding around!
The truth is that reconciling a life-consuming game like Fallout 4 with either a partner, a family, or a job, means having to master a very tense balancing act. You can’t spend all day playing, no matter how much you want to, no matter how much you remember doing so as a kid, and no matter how much you fantasise about it now. You just can’t. You’re an adult, and that means things like playing games are exactly as they sound — you’re playing a game.
If you think you’re in one of those relationships where your partner is cool about letting you play games, think again. It’s a debt that you now owe them, and you can bet your ass you’ll have to repay it sooner or later. The only exception perhaps is that they’re also heavily into gaming, in which case there’s every chance you’ve stopped playing most singleplayer games altogether in favour of co-op games, with the odd singleplayer game when they’re feeling like some time on their own.
Here are some better, more relevant tips for playing Fallout 4 while in a relationship. Serious ones this time.
- Always put them first — This cannot be overstated. Your partner is there to support you and will let you play games, but if they need to spend time with you then don’t cling to Fallout 4. Surely they deserve a few hours of your time at the least? Fallout 4 will eventually end, but how would you feel if your partner ignored you when you wanted to spend time with them? Don’t do it.
- Set aside a certain amount of time per day — Because you can’t spend all night playing Fallout 4, set aside an hour to play. No partner would begrudge giving you an hour of free time per night, so just use that time and things should go swimmingly. Just be sure to mutually agree on the specific time for this, so they’re not caught unawares.
- Don’t be afraid to waste time in-game — One of the biggest problems with playing games when you have a day-job, a family, and minimal play-time in-between, is prioritising what to do in these games. If you’re not consistently making progress you feel as if you’re wasting your time. Don’t worry about that any more. If you had fun, it’s not wasted time. Remember that. You can always progress that story tomorrow.
- Try to plan your in-game activities — This one is for if you really must progress the game each day. Just set a goal for each day. For example, “Today I will finish a few missions for the Minutemen,” or, “Today I will customise my settlement.” Baby steps. It helps to visualise what you plan to do, but don’t be afraid to deviate from this. Having an idea of what you’re doing just allows you to focus, a bit more.
The simple truth is as you get older, it gets tougher to find the time for Bethesda games. You go from spending a few weeks playing the game, to spending a few months trying to play some of the game. It’s the unfortunate reality of life, and it happens whether you’re in a relationship, a parent in a family, or working a particularly hectic day-job. Kudos if you have all three and still manage to find the time for games.
The saving grace, however, is that gaming tends to feel a lot better. Gaming time feels a lot more precious, so you enjoy your gaming more. But you’re also a lot harder on the games you play, because after all if they’re bad then they’ve wasted your precious time.
Ultimately though, it comes down to balance and sacrifice. Make time for your relationships, and your relationships will make time for you. Unless you’re a parent because then you’re fucked. I’m sorry.