The Heavy – solo and mutation swap

A Fallout 76 Build by Jetrpg.


Author: Jetrpg
Votes: +4 (100% positiv)
Created: November 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm
Updated: November 13, 2018 at 8:37 pm
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The Heavy

This is a non power armor build using heavy weapons. This allows very flexible use of Heavy weapons and STR perks for Weight reduction and Damage.

The goal for all my builds is to make them the strongest they can be for both teams and solo play; using mutations or not. For ALL BUILDS, even pure solo, 4 CHA is required in any build and a minimum 5-7 CHA should be strongly considered; there is never a reason not to do this. This build can switch to power armor without much loss, but its not min/maxed.


Heavy Weapons work well without power armor because of the Strength Perks required for it. Power Armor and Heavy Weapon builds are largely stuck with Gatling Laser (maybe plasma throwers if they are in the game and cryolator if flagged heavy non explosive) related to weight purposes. However, we lose Stabilized, which is a massive loss when not using power armor. On the other hand we get to use explosives better and well they rock.

Strength -13-

Adds 5 carrying wt per and 1 melee damage per.

  • Heavy Gunner Perk Cards (10/15/20% Heavy Gun damage). This build takes 3/3 stars into one of these and 1/3 in the other two. Do consider maxing all these. Most builds don’t need to max their weapon types, but the way DR works is the higher the hit the less effective DR is. Heavy weapons have low individual hits. Single Shot, 2-h melee weapons, etcetera all have high individual hits so they are largely already penetrating DR/ER. In this way, every little amount of increased damage is magnified against armored targets. I assume high hit damage weapons penetrate most mob DR (we don’t know Mob DR in fo76), i assume Heavy weapons will not (not including broadsider). This makes all damage increases highly attractive.
  • Lock and Load (Reload Heavy Weapons 10/20/30% faster; 3/3 stars). This can be swapped out, but its both a DPS and QoL increase. Drop it if it doesn’t effect missile/grenade launchers; with the clear effectiveness of explosive weapons on high DR targets and pvp, we focus the build more to that. But in general PvE just gun everything down 🙂
  • Blocker (15/30/45% less melee damage taken; 3/3 stars). Always a strong talent, As we will be in the front even better talent.
  • Barbarian (+2/3/4 DR per STR, +38 DR; 1/3 stars). A great talent better at 1 star than others.
  • Bandolier , Bear Arms, Ordnance Expert – whatever saves you more (end game pvp its going to be the explosives one more than likely.)
  • Pack Rat; Another option that might reduce wt more than other options.

Perception -1-

Endurance -11-

5 Health per point, decreases Action Point (AP) cost of sprinting, increases disease resist.

  • Ironclad (50 DR/ER; 5/5 stars.) is nice.
  • Rejuvenated (Doubles effect of well fed and satiated; 2/2 stars.) +25 HP and +25 AP Regen for two points … sign me up.

*Optional: (4 stars)

  • Fireproof (+20/40/60 Fire Resist; x/3 stars). As FR is even less common than DR or ER its a really good pick up, however, its one of these Perks that verse many enemies will not help. But verses those that does help with its one of the best perks there is (and honestly there are a lot of Scorched, Anglers, and some crazy fire looking lvl 50 dragon-like mobs). I think in the long run some points into this Perk will be an optional choice.
  • Lifegiver (max +45 HP; 4 point cost.) A good choice and +45 HP is a good amount (350 vs 395, or +12.9% Health). The first point is the weakest, so its all or nothing.
  • Adamantium Skeleton is nice; keeps you moving and firing.
  • Rad Resistant is nice for vs rads. 1/3 stars will give you 10 rad resist, which actually should cut most radiation damage you take in 1/2.
  • Aquaboy/Aquagirl is useful at times (but i would just swap when needed.)

Lead Belly (No rads from water or food; 3/3 stars). This is stronger with Rejuv., but good regardless. Rad damage is an issue from my experience so far, this is one way you can just eat meat and water you find it. But it is my last choice as its more QoL than min/max. (Note- probably one of the best starting perks in the game. You never have to worry about hp, food, water, and it helps protect you from disease.)

Charisma -6-

A ton of options here with the Perks themselves very strong. In four (4) member teams Charisma Perks and the Special itself are far superior to every other Special group. These are also the Perks that we will swap between Solo to Party play.  Father Down is a solo build link you can Perk swap to. The reason Charisma is so strong is because every team member can share a Perk Card with all his teammates (It active on everyone.) The limit to sharing is the Shared Card’s Star cost * 3 = Charisma. So if you have 9 CHA you can share any 3 star card with your team mates. If you have 15 CHA, you can share a 5 star card (Ironclad, with your entire team, even if they only have 1 END.) Remember each person can do this effectively providing an each member in a four man team with an extra 9 star points worth of perks (at 9 CHA after Perks). 

  • Tenderizer (target takes 5% more damage for 5 sec after attack; 1/3 stars) – [so this was 15% for 3/3 stars, but now just 7%. Only ever go 1 point… but its still an unbeatable 1 point.] This is good solo for you also as you’ll often be shooting targets more than once. Its ~20% dps increase for a group for 1 star.
  • Magnetic Personality (+1/2 Charisma for each teammate, excluding yourself) In a 4 man team, 1 star will give you 9 CHA allowing you to share a 3 star/point perk. In a 3 man team 2/2 stars. 2 man or solo, drop it and only share a 2 star/point perk (you’re a bad friend :P). This does mean at some point you’ll need 1/2 and 2/2 cards.
  • Strange in Numbers (1/1 star) – If you and your group are playing using mutations a 25% buff to them is impossible to beat. If you haven’t, or don’t plan on working to, obtaining good mutations just drop this.
  • Bodyguards (+6/8/10/12 DR/ER; 1/4 stars). 1 star, never more. Its +18 DR/ER in a 4 man team for 1 point; super good. Every point after provides only +6 DR/ER each, not good. Team size bonus at 1 star = 6/12/18 = 2/3/4 man teams. In 2 man teams its not great but once you get 3 man teams its better than others and at 4 man teams its very good.

* Optional (Swaps for above points):

  • Squad Maneuver (20% faster in a team; 2/2 stars) – Speed up while moving around and laying down lead. My current preferred.
  • Suppressor (target does 10/20/30% less damage after being attacked for 2 secs; 3/3 stars). Its very strong and stacks with DR, Fire Resist, etcetera and works for anyone the target attacks helping your team out. Only one person a team should have it.
  • Team Medic (Stimpacks also heal teammates, for 50/75/100% amount; 1-3/3 stars) Many people seem to be missing that this is possibly strongest Perk in the game. Think about it, if 2-3 people in a team have this its a ton more healing. Or better yet, have a person with 3 Star in it share. Now EVERYONE in your team has it. Technically, its weakest per star at 3/3 stars; but as it is so strong its good at any star. Pick if your teammates are scrubs and don’t have it.
  • Rad Sponge (When affected by rads, you periodically heal 80/140/200 rads on nearby teammates). 1/3 stars if you want to pick it up can help keep entire teams rads down.
  • Friendly fire (flame attacks give high heal regen to team members hit- no Molotov Cocktails). This works really well if you have Bear Arms. As holding the extra hevy weapon has far less impact on your WT. Not sure if it hurts friendly if so, use the weakest one you can find…?

– There are so many options here and if you have 1-2 other team members with 5-9+ base charisma then they have a lot of options they/you can pick up also like The Weird (up to +30 Rad resist for the entire team), Philanthropist (Eating an drinking deceases parties hunger and thirst), many resurrection options, and many more one pointers that add utility.

Intelligence -7-

Durability of crafts and scrap amount. Unless you have a great friend (or an alt) get 5 INT so you can swap perks to craft max tier items; the exceptions is energy weapons which may need 3-6 Int. 3+ Int will allow you to repair items to 200% their durability, which is an issue in this game; also craft armor mods. If you want to let others craft and/or repair for you you can get some very nice Luck, CHA, or END Perks.

  • First Aid (+45% effectiveness of stimpacks; 3/3 stars.) I believe this will effect Team Medic also.

*Optional (2 stars):

  • Demolition Expert (2-4/5 stars) 40% increase explosive damage is really nice.
  • Gunsmith (2/5 stars) 20% reduction of weapon condition damage. Nice keeps those Heavies firing longer.
  • Wrecking Ball (deal +80% damage to workshop objects; 2/3 stars.) not a bad option if you’re raiding some workshops, massive dps increase.
  • Pharmacist (+60% increase effect of Radaway; 2/3 stars.) Disease, damage, DR, etc are largely covered by this build, but Radiation is an issue in FO76. This helps manage it rather well and in combat areas when needed. I would suggest skipping it if you have Lead Belly, as it does cut down your rads.

– I don’t like Nerd Rage. It kicks in at 70 or less Health. And is a FLAT DR (and some AP and damage buff) which just isn’t enough to care much about or think it will save you.

As you can see INT is rather underwhelming without power armor use; however, its does let you craft your own items and with at least three (3) INT you can do 200% repairs and full armor mods and max Hacking Perks. Additionally, you can pick up Scrapper Perk for 1 star to swap to for additional scrap returns.

Agility -6-

+10 Action Points per point and sneak ability.

  • Action Boy (15/30/45% AP regen; 3/3 stars.)
  • Marathoner (Sprinting consumes 20/30/40% fewer Action Points; 1/3 stars.)

*Optional (1 star):

  • Adrenaline (+6% [up to 36%] damage per kill for 30s. Duration refreshes with kills; 1/5 stars.) This is good for killing a lot of weaker stuff. +36% damage isn’t nothing. Far less useful on some larger/ harder mobs.
  • White Knight (armor breaks 30/60/90% more slowly and is cheaper to repair.) Could be helpful for longevity.

Luck -12-

Increases recharge rate of Critical Hits and durability of items looted. Has good DPS Perks we don’t get.

  • Bloody Mess (+15% bonus damage enemies may explode; 3/3 stars.) Flat unconditional DPS increase.
  • Starched Genes (cannot mutate from rads and Radaway doesn’t cure mutations; 2/2 stars.) This is used to use mutations (which you will see below are very strong and this keeps you from getting bad ones as well.) Can skip if not planning on using, but its prevention of bad mutations is very nice (most of which are -hp, carry wt, or -4 str). The trick to using this is to remove this perk until you get a/many mutations you want, then swap it on.
  • Class Freak (25/50/75% reduced negative effect of mutations). This allows stacking of mutations that have a few negatives that effect your characters without it being so negative. Later i will provide non mutation builds.

Serendipity (Below 35%HP, 45% chance to avoid attacks; 3/3 stars.) This is also not to be underrated. Another great option if you want to play the super tank in this build.

– Why not Grim Reaper’s Sprint? I believe YOU have to get the kill and its 35% chance at that. In a 3 or 4 man team… Not worth just always doing 15% more damage. Also again favors weak mobs, but solo it may be better than Bloody Mess.

The Solo Perk Swap

The only changes are in Charisma (click the title for the build link):

  • Lone Wanderer (20% less damage taken, 30% action point regen; 4/4 stars)

*Optional (2 Stars):

  • Tenderizer (1 star)
  • Bloodsucker (Blood packets no longer irradiate, 100% more healing, satisfy more thirst; 1-2/3 stars). The reason to use this would be as an alternative to stimpacks and water that you would use more in groups. So store these up in group play for us in solo play, and then you can store more water and stims for group play while solo playing.
  • Suppressor
  • Field Surgeon (Stims and rad away work faster (heal same amount over shorter time; 2 stars). I don’t prefer this, but solo pvp its good. Drop Tenderizer.

– Again there are a ton of options for these points. 30% less cap cost with traveling, double liquor effectiveness, while effected by alcohol 2 extra luck, and more.


These can be randomly acquired via radiation gains and removed with Radaway and other radiation removal methods. Some of these can also be purchased via mutagen serums (You drink it you get the mutation). Listing the ones that really help out.

  • Speed Demon (+20% move and reload speed, increase thirst and hunger [probably 20%.]) 20% movement speed is crazy, you already have a flat 20% that is a base increase of 40% move speed.. Oh also Strange in Numbers (+5% move and reload speed).
  • Grounded (+100 ER, -20% energy damage.) Thats right… +125 ER with Strange in Numbers … massive. Another benefit of non power armor builds as if they are going the Gatling Laser route well you shouldn’t with this mutation.
  • Herd mentality (+2 to all Specials when in a team, -2 when not.) Really strong, allows for easier 3 Star Perk Card sharing also. Yes, you always have to be in a group, but people will make friend lists to just group for this to work. You don’t even have to be near each other or in same servers.
  • Empath (teammates take -25% damage, you take +25% damage). It does end up being 12.5% more damage taken for you (31.25% less for team mates) but with a team mate using Suppressor and your mid range and other defensive perks you will be fine. If it stacks between team members its massively op; hope it doesn’t so you can actually enjoy the game.
  • Scaly Skin: +50 (+62.5) damage and energy resistance, -25 AP (-8).   I  mean, Yes please.


  • Carnivore/Herbivore: Meat/Plant items give 2x benefits and no disease, but no vegetables/meat. Its possible for these to give ~12-15% Damage.
  • Electrically Charged: Chance to shock enemies upon being melee attacked.
  • Healing factor: Health regen +300% (375%, only works out of combat or in combat regen is so low you don’t really see it), chem effects -55% (-17.2% with Class Freak). Very nice the down side is largely mitigated, and for Stims well you get a Perk bonus anyway.
  • Marsupial: +20 (+25) carry weight and improved jump height, -4 Intelligence (-1 INT).
  • Unstable Isotope (chance to explode in an AOE to enemy melee attackers). Wonder if it scales with explosive damage 🙂

No Mutations Build

Main changes are removing Stranger in Numbers, I like Rad Sponge, but you can pick whatever works with your team. Possible to be the person sharing Team Medic or the person with 3/3 Suppressor also.

Next Drop Class Freak and Starched Genes from luck and spend those 5 points however you want. For solo Grim Reaper’s Sprint is nice; for team play Serendipity is a very strong low HP defensive ability and a few extra points in Luck of the Draw to keep those Heavies spitting hot lead is nice. I would focus more on criticals but with a crit with a heavy is well weak when looking at crits with other weapons. But you should charge crit fast making Four leaf clover another possible place for investment. Crit is better than people think of this builds. As you can charge it with Heavy Weapon and use the crit with a Missile.

Leveling Guide

This is for a first character, so it picks up some QoL Perks that are not needed later on. Its best to follow the Special distribution, the build does count on Perk Packs helping out a bit. If you get very unlucky you might need to be lvl maybe 52 or 53 to complete the build. This is unlikely as there are a few gaps where you can pick whatever you want. Don’t worry too much about it, Perks are very flexible Specials aren’t.

Heavy Gun start showing up later in game when compared to the rest of the weapons. This means you can select a different weapon type to help level (use Perks for until 30s or just pick up other Perks and use whatever weapons you want until 30s). Tip Throwing weapons (knifes/explosives) + any rapid fire weapon (SMGs, pistols, unarmed or 1-h melee) works really well with no investment. Throwing weapons are consumable but do tons of damage and DPS so use these on the rare hard mobs.

Level 7

(click the title for the build link)

So you might not get perk cards you want or need from the packs, in this case you might be a level or two behind the guide. remember Specials matter, perks don’t.

My preferred choices for first characters:

  • 2 – End point, pick Lead Belly (want a total of 2 if possible).
  • 3 – End point, pick Lead Belly
  • 4 – CHA point, pick Lead Belly if you don’t have 3 stars of it yet. (Perk Pack) Otherwise, if solo Lone Wanderer, First Aid or action boy if grouped (which every you don’t have). You should get another perk pack at this level. If you get say extra of these  you can pick from the other 1 Star card you don’t have yet (Like Action Boy Pharma Farma, etc. Still you will want these cards more than others could just pick them anyway.)
  • 5 – INT/AGI point. If you are grouped pick a Bodyguards (just 1 , never upgrade this), otherwise, pick First Aid or action boy.
  • 6 – Born Survivor (under 20% HP use a stimpack… once every 20 sec; 1/3 stars). Currently lets say someone launches a mini nuke at your forehead. You die… nope this actually auto-resurrects you once every 20secs. Yeah… Its good just playing also ghouls beating on you , at 20% HP you’ll stim yourself with no delay.
  • 7, 8 – INT/AGI points. Keep picking First aids and Action Boys until you are done with them.

Don’t worry if things aren’t going perfectly, if you get a Perk Pack or two you should have cards for your 1 points Specials. For the rest of the Perks they are ideal if you get lucky from Perk packs.

Level 18

From here on out it really opens up. Just work toward the build. I recommend picking up when possible a 1-3 star Lone Wanderer, the hacking perk, and other INT and CHA cards for repairing, crafting, and selling.

  • 10 – Junk shield – I don’t like this Perk, but seeing as other than boadyguards you don’t have a lot of other DR/ER Perks. And even at 14 Barbarian isn’t worth it because even if we max Pack Rat and 1 point Barbarian that is 8 DR. But that is an alternative. So STR or Luck. The STR Plus Pack Rat will let you carry far more.
  • 12, 13 – Get to 5 END, Pick Rejuvenated.
  • 14 – Can pick Marathoner.
  • Get to 3 CHA – Pick a Magnetic Personality first (3 CHA + 1 star of this, in a 4 man team, will let you share 2 star Perks). You can add an extra CHA around here and get This perk to 2/2 stars if you want, but its only useful if often you are grouping with less than 4 people.

Level 27

So keeping picking up crafting and support Perks on off levels, you can pick up say 1 star commando or whatever for damage while doing this.

Level 39

  • 30, 31, 32 – Pick Heavy Gunner. Finally we will find some heavies and get some dps increase for them at the same time. (30 – Perk Pack)
  • 33-36 Starched Genes you can pick this up before Ironclad or after. And if you don’t want to mess with Mutations, just skip it.
  • 37,38,39 – Pick Lock and Load for 10/20/30% reload with heavy weapons.

Hopefully you will get a free card or two of these from pack. No big although if you don’t.

After this work toward the lvl 50 build.

  • 40 – Expert Heavy Gunner. Just 1 point for now.
  • 42, 43, 44 – Bloody Mess. 3/3 stars
  • 46 – Tenderizer. 1/3 stars (never increase)
  • 47 – Class Freak (if you have like Mutations and what to go this way). If you don’t just read the mutation section for other card options. (You can always pick this up later to try them out.) Unless you are very lucky you will not get 3/3 Class Freak until you are above 50, just pick them when you can.
  • 49 – Adrenaline. Keep at one point (never increase).
  • 50 – Master Heavy Gunner. Keep at 1 star.

We are back loaded, it will take 3-4 extra levels to get the build perfect unless you are skipping Class Freak or get lucky. Remember the perks aren’t so important the Specials are.

Please feel free to provide any feedback. Am i missing something? Is a Perk currently bugged, etcetera.

November 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm

24 +18 3B+12

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2 Replies


I like how much thought you put into this!

Are you sure that Magnetic Personality and Herd Mentality affect whether or not you can share a higher level card? I read that it depends only on how many points you have actually put into the stat, but I haven’t personally tested it.

Your build is similar to mine here https://www.falloutbuilds.com/builds/minmax_heavy_support_mutant/
but without power armor and with a much bigger focus on carry weight. I haven’t done the math on the carry weight and just resigned myself to only pick up a little junk at a time before having to return.

Did you do the math on this? How much difference in carry weight there actually is?

Especially Bandolier seems like overkill to me. If you put those points into weapon damage instead, you would do an extra 10% damage, although it would take at least one extra level to reach that point.


I am sure that active (not base) CHA effects what you can share, as of the last beta.

Under the STR section i stated that Bear arms (pack rat) might be preferable. I can tell you, you just toss ammo at mobs. Its insane if you are using it often. To the point where i considered a shotgun for most content and heavy weaponing for hard targets, but that makes heavys seems kinda gross. I like the idea of Bear arms because it means you can just have a lot of different heavy weapons.

To the point where auto rifles seem pointless at times, which is sad because i have 2 builds using them. Hope 10mm SMGs just sucks an assault rifles are good.

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