|Votes:||+30 (100% positiv)|
|Created:||November 6, 2018 at 1:22 pm|
|Updated:||January 30, 2019 at 10:24 am|
|Planner:||⚙ Open in Build Planner|
Hello, welcome to my build guide! That featured build you see up there is an example build for a heavy weapons user in power armor; Revenant can be swapped out during solo play (probably for Rejuvenated), likewise Lone Wanderer can be swapped out for team perks. This post will be a bit different from most other builds featured on this site, instead of focusing on a single build I will be analyzing how I feel character optimization should be approached as a whole in Fallout 76. It should be noted, however, that the ideas I argue in this post, while informed, are still opinions. There is no right or wrong way to play Fallout 76, and any perk loadout (or non-perk loadout) can succeed in this game. My point is that in trying to optimize characters in Fallout 76 (or any game for that matter) one has to make a series of assumptions on what matters most, and what doesn’t matter, not to mention all the assumptions that have to be made around a lack of clarity and information in game mechanics. If we disagree on these base assumptions be warned that our opinions of what choices are good and bad may differ wildly. On that matter, for building optimal characters in FO76 I place an emphasis on combat ability, particularly at the highest level of content (high level events, nuke zones, PVP), and less emphasis on convenience (eg. carrying more junk). This is because players can manage to get all the resources they need reasonably without having to devote space (at least permanently) in their limited SPECIAL and perk pools towards it. Combined with the ability to swap out perks on the fly, there will be less focus on perks that simply give convenience and more focus on the perks that greatly increase character power, the ones you’ll want all on at the same time when the going gets tough. Oh, I forgot to mention, if you haven’t noticed yet this post will be quite long. Sorry about that, but I appreciate anyone who takes the time to read through this. I hope you find something in here useful, so without further ado…
Table of Contents: (Use ctrl+f to find a section)
2.) The Tier System
5.) The Skeleton Build
6.) Build Packages
7.) Latest Changes
2.) The Tier System
Throughout this guide I will be using a color system to denote how powerful I feel different features are. When I do this the name of a feature will appear in the corresponding color. NOTE: This will NOT be the case for perks. All perk names on this site are automatically made into hyperlinks to display their information when hovered over, and therefor all appear in a color very similar to my use of Gold. This may be confusing, and also prevents me from giving colors to any perk name. Due to this, all the perks will be ranked in a list. Please reference this section if needed when certain perks are mentioned elsewhere, in order to find their tier.
I break up my ratings into four different tiers, based mainly on their power and their universality across a variety of characters. These are
Gold: Exceptional on every character, and you should make sure you have room in your build for them.
Blue: Pretty good on most or all characters; OR exceptional on certain characters. Pay attention to these.
Green: Nice to have but not very important. Otherwise pretty good on certain characters, or alright, but not particularly impressive, on everyone.
Red: Sub-optimal or just plain bad. Either outclassed by other choices or just plain not useful. I’d keep away from these unless you really like them.
LUCK: Modifies durability of looted gear and how fast critical hits charge. The real big deal on this stat though is the plethora of great perks that most characters will want.
AGILITY: Improves your stealth, increases your action points (which is a great deal) and offers perks that let you utilize them. AP is great for both increasing your damage (VATS crits), or lowering your opponents’ (Dodgy).
STRENGTH: Increases carrying capacity, but more importantly each point increases melee damage by 5%! Melee and unarmed focused characters should probably max this out.
CHARISMA: Gives better group rewards, vendor prices, and lets you share higher rank perk cards with teams, though really this function works just fine at one charisma. On the other hand, however, there are a couple particularly good perks here.
INTELLIGENCE: Affects the condition of crafted items, xp gained, and rewards from scrapping. This could be a dump stat, but with a small investment you can get access to all terminals and crafting in the game, not to mention the overpowered Demolition Expert perk.
PERCEPTION: Allows you to detect things on your compass from further and each point slightly increases accuracy in VATS, which is nice but too little to be important. There isn’t really much reason for most players to put many points here. It is worth noting that most of the rifle perks are here, however, which keeps it out of RED.
ENDURANCE: The worst stat. Each point adds only a very small amount of hit points. On top of that, the best perks in this stat are only OK (eg: Rejuvenated, Revenant, Radicool). NOTE: The big exception to this is Fireproof, which is a top tier defensive perk for high level PvP. Most characters would be fine leaving this rather low, maybe even at 1.
The tier list for perks will be split into two sections. The first list will rate perks as if they are left equipped for long periods of time or indefinitely. The second list will rank some perks based on how useful they are to swap in for just a moment, to use them and swap them back out. Hopefully this will give you an idea of what perks might be useful to grab while not misleading you into thinking you should have them on all the time. Note that some on the swap-in list may not appear in the standard list, this is because I can’t find any good reason why they should be left on more than a few seconds.
GOLD: Blocker, Lone Wanderer, Strange in Numbers, Action Boy/Action Girl, Adrenaline (1st Rank), Class Freak, Serendipity (PvP), Starched Genes, Tenderizer (1st Rank), Dodgy (PvP), Demolition Expert, Fireproof (PvP)
BLUE: Weapon Damage Perks (1st Rank), Incisor, Martial Artist, Exterminator, Born Survivor (1st Rank), Enforcer, Grim Reaper’s Sprint, Radicool, Team Medic (1st Rank), Dodgy (PvE), Critical Savvy, Serendipity (PvE), Ghoulish, Glow Sight, Four Leaf Clover, Gun Fu (1st Rank), Concentrated Fire, Suppressor (PvE ONLY), Revenant, Party Boy/Party Girl, Bloody Mess, Mister Sandman, Better Criticals (1st Rank)
GREEN: Weapon Damage Perks (2nd/3rd Rank), Barbarian, Scattershot, Crack Shot, Fire in the Hole, Grenadier, Long Shot, Skeet Shooter, Cola Nut, Rejuvenated, Bodyguards (1st Rank), Field Surgeon, Rad Sponge (1st Rank), Squad Maneuver, First Aid, Stabilized, Adrenaline (2nd/3rd/4th/5th Ranks), Escape Artist, Evasive, Gun Runner, Marathoner, Ninja, Secret Agent, Sneak, Curator, Mysterious Savior, Quick Hands, Tormentor, Team Medic (2nd/3rd Ranks), Ordnance Express, Gun Fu (2nd/3rd Ranks), Nerd Rage, Gunsmith, Bandolier, Batteries Included, Traveling Pharmacy, Power User, Robotics Expert, Luck of the Draw (1st Rank), Wrecking Ball, Tank Killer, One Gun Army, Covert Operative, Fireproof (PvE).
RED: Basher, Bear Arms, Bullet Shield, Full Charge, Lock And Load, Pack Rat, Strong Back, Sturdy Frame, Awareness, Fortune Finder, Night Eyes, Night Person, Refractor, Adamantium Skeleton, All Night Long, Aquaboy/Aquagirl, Cannibal, Chem Fiend, Dromedary, Homebody, Hydro Fix, Iron Stomach, Ironclad, Lead Belly, Lifegiver, Munchy Resistance, Natural Resistance, Nocturnal Fortitude, Photosynthetic, Professional Drinker, Rad Resistant, Slow Metabolizer, Solar Powered, Sun Kissed, Thirst Quencher, Vaccinated, Animal Friend, Anti-Epidemic, Bodyguards (2nd/3rd/4th Ranks), E.M.T., Friendly Fire, Happy Camper, Happy-Go-Lucky, Healing Hands, Injector, Inspirational, Magnetic Personality, Overly Generous, Philanthropist, Quack Surgeon, Rad Sponge (2nd/3rd Rank), Spiritual Healer, Tenderizer (2nd/3rd Rank), Wasteland Whisperer, Pharmacist, Born Survivor (2nd/3rd Ranks), Dead Man Sprinting, Goat Legs, Modern Renegade, Moving Target, Packin’ Light, Thru-Hiker, Better Criticals (2nd/3rd Ranks), Can Do!, Good With Salt, Dry Nurse, Junk Shield, Last Laugh, Luck of the Draw (3rd Rank), Lucky Break, Mystery Meat, Ricochet, Sniper, Good Doggy, Bloodsucker, Portable Power, Pain Train, White Knight, Licensed Plumber, Percepti-bobble, Pannapictagraphist, Home Defense, Light Footed, Makeshift Warrior, Psycopath, Mysterious Stranger, Storm Chaser.
NOT FUNCTIONING: Luck of the Draw (2nd Rank)
NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY: Barbarian/Evasive (If your relevant SPECIAL stat is a fraction due to Class Freak, these stop functioning entirely.), Concentrated Fire (No Damage Buff), Martial Artist (Affects the firing speed of gatling guns, heavy users rejoice!)
Eventually you can have every perk and thus swap in a card for any imaginable scenario, but some of them are useful enough to make a note of picking up even early on, I’ll just rank the notable ones here, according to which I think are the highest priority.
BLUE: Picklock, Expert Picklock, Master Picklock, Armorer, Chemist, Gunsmith, Makeshift Warrior, Power Patcher, Science, Science Expert, Science Master, Ammosmith, Green Thumb, Travel Agent, Hard Bargain, Cap Collector.
NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY(?): Scrapper
5.) The Skeleton Build
What is the skeleton build? The skeleton build is a set of SPECIAL and perks meant to work as a framework, or the skeleton, for other builds to be built around and flesh out. Its focus is to contain all of the strongest perks that are exceptionally useful for most, if not all, characters, regardless of what kind of gear they like to use. By using this guide you can very quickly build a strong foundation for a character before deciding on what personal touches you want to add onto it, so I hope it will be useful for planning your own builds.
Level: 26 (29-33)
Strength – 3: Blocker
Perception – 3: Concentrated Fire
This gives you a very good starting point for just about any character, but it isn’t complete. From this point on you should add in the perks that will let your character excel at what you want them to do. You could simply splatter in other highly rated perks, but if you need a little more help…
6.) Build Packages
In this section I’ll list bundles of perks that can be added to a character to make them competent at a specific play style. Note that the SPECIAL requirements listed need to be added on-top of any SPECIAL you are already working with, such as from the Skeleton Build, unless you weren’t already using those SPECIAL points for other perks. Also note that you may be able to fit multiples of these bundles onto a single build, usually by switching between the perks, and this should be taken advantage of. “Basic” bundles contain only the best perks for a certain play style, “Specialized” bundles also add in perks that are nice but not as necessary to excel, and finally “Hyper-Specialized” bundles include everything to improve fighting with that specific focus, efficiency be damned (Most won’t contain weight-reducing perks as they just aren’t helpful for combat). *Specialized and Hyper-Specialized bundles only list perks that are changes from lower versions of the bundle.
Specialized Heavy Guns: 3 STR, 3 LCK, 3 INT. Stabilized.
Basic Explosives: 5 INT. Demolition Expert.
Specialized Explosives: 5 INT, 3 STR. Ordnance Express.
7.) Latest Changes
- Luck moved back up to GOLD tier. With two-shot being HEAVILY nerfed, VATS makes a strong comeback as optimal guns will once again actually be able to hit in it. The best primary modifiers on guns now will be bloodied, furious, and junkie’s, which all lack the negative synergy two-shot weapons had.
- Fireproof moved up to GOLD tier for PvP, and GREEN tier for PvE. Despite the huge nerf to the explosive legendary effect, it is still the best in slot for 2nd legendary effects, and will push guns into huge damage numbers (though not as ridiculous as before). This means that against anyone using an explosive weapon Fireproof becomes an incredibly strong defensive perk, nearly cutting their damage in half.
- The first rank of Better Criticals moved up to BLUE tier. The big two-shot nerf means optimal endgame guns will actually be able to hit in VATS, making VATS and crit builds more viable again.
If you’ve read this far through all of the guide I must say that I’m impressed, and sincerely grateful that you would devote your time to reading all of this. Thank you. In any case, I can’t promise that I’ll always keep this guide up to date, although I do like the thought of it. You can help me by giving your feedback on gameplay or writing. I would definitely appreciate you pointing out any errors I’ve made, or just arguing with me on what is good or not. I imagine by learning from all of you that I can fine-tune this guide into something better. That said, remember that I understand the statements within this guide are just my opinion, and I’m not claiming them to be the absolute truth. Finally, there is no right or wrong way to play Fallout 76, please don’t let anyone’s opinion on characters deter you, HAVE FUN. Thank you.
Also check out my shotgun build at https://www.falloutbuilds.com/builds/theshotgunbuild/ (I mean if you feel like it or something…)
November 6, 2018 at 1:22 pm