Fallout 76 is all about levels and equipment, but there are always smarter methods to leveling up and rooting out bottle caps than the standard old grind. While generally busying yourself with quests and events can percolate a steady stream of XP and cash-flow, maximizing your time means a faster route to end-game content and the endless hunt for Legendary gear. Whether it’s a handy loop ritual, a specific location packed with tough enemies, or some clever workarounds to ensure players make the best use of their time rambling through Appalachia, there’s usually a smarter way to work the system.
As Bethesda’s newest entry in the fan-favorite Fallout series, Fallout 76 has prompted a less-than-brilliant critical response. Existing as something of a spin-off prequel, it provides the first ever multiplayer-only Fallout title, with gameplay that mixes the looter-shooter, survivalist, and open-world sandbox FPS genres, to decidedly mixed results.
Navigating the massive map of Appalachia as a low-level sole survivor scrub is hard, but leveraging a few methods to maximize your XP gain and bottle-cap accrual can help hasten the process. Screen Rant is here with a comprehensive guide to ensure that new players know the best way to rank up and get rich.
Regarding Fallout 76's Exploits & Glitches
Before we can get into some ways to boost your progress, it’s important to grant some attention to the curious and unintentional functions that are available to exploit in the game as it is. Bethesda may have fixed a few of these problems with the most recent patch, but the overall vulnerability of Fallout 76 to experimenting players has revealed a few potential fast-tracks to massive bounties of XP and caps.
Some players might see methods like the Home Defense Perk exploit (patched out, as of this writing, but it’s possible that it may still work in certain cases and locations) and the item duplication trick as outright game-ruining cheats, but that’s on the developer to polish out prior to launch. Nothing in this guide will make use of these techniques, but players can obviously search for and experiment with them at their discretion. That being said, the game’s focus on combat makes leveling in Fallout 76 mostly consistent through conventional means, with caps accrual a slightly slower affair without coordinated strategies.
The Whitespring Resort Caps Stash Run
The Whitespring Resort is a dangerous area on the border of The Forest and The Savage Divide. A golf club community teeming with gleaming green lawns and all manner of friendly robots defending the grounds, it’s otherwise a diverse ecosystem of enemy mobs, including Legendaries. It’s not uncommon to find Legendary variants of ghouls, radscorpions, scorched, and other higher-tier threats in the building interiors and parking lots, making Whitespring a dangerous locale for lower-level solo players, though these players can hide behind the resort’s automated defenses when outnumbered.
Beyond the generally high yield for combat in Whitespring, it’s also known as a fantastic source for “caps stashes,” or boxes of bottle caps laying in plain sight. Collaborative Redditors have put their minds to a few terrific maps detailing these stashes, allowing players to design their own Whitespring stash-loops, which can produce upwards of 1000 caps per trip. Additionally, players will usually find golf outfits throughout the interiors, which are low-weight and high value items worth trading with vendors for caps as well.
Note that the Whitespring run, helpful as it is, also runs the risk of being partially looted by another player, since caps stashes are replenished on an unspecified schedule. Server-hopping might help in this regard, though the popularity of the farming technique make this caps run a go-to for many players.
Your best bet is to earn and equip the Fortune Finder Perk card, which will alert you when in the general vicinity of a stash with a unique sound. If a region of the Whitespring run isn’t prompting those sounds, you can save time normally spent checking empty stash locations and just head to another area in the region, or change servers.
Fallout 76's Nuke Events
Speaking of Whitespring: ever wonder why it’s always being nuked these days? Bombing the resort has become de rigeur in the current Fallout 76 meta, thanks to the massive amounts of mutatable Legendaries which can then be found all over the area. Lower-level solo players with decent radiation gear (like the hazmat suit or some Power Armor) can join in on the fun too, so long as they manage to ding any enemies being rounded up by the power-leveling death squads who flock here during events.
The most recent Fallout 76 patch on December 4th may have nerfed some of the XP yield, but it’s not uncommon to find yourself still gaining a handful of levels in 30 minutes of nuked Whitespring play, along with a decent chance to obtain Legendary weapons and armor pieces. Considering the state of Fallout 76’s patch schedule, it’s likely that Bethesda will further tweak how nukes function in this area but, until then, go hog-wild anytime you see that big red circle pop up on Whitespring.
Other decent nuke event locations include: Morgantown, Eastern Regional Penitentiary, Watoga, and Clarksburg.
The math breaks down like this: there are 7 factions in Fallout 76, all of whom stock 200 caps in their vendor budget which replenishes every 24 hours. If you have 1400 caps’ worth of assorted vendor trash, those caps can be yours through daily trade, with minimal caps spent on fast-traveling if you plot your course right, or opt to just travel most of the route on foot.
The map image above can give you an idea of how things break down. Specific paths between the different vendors depend on a number of factors — for instance, accessing the unique Enclave faction vendor in Whitespring requires players to complete a fetch quest — but, so long as you can figure out which vendors are accessible, you can go about designing a path to hit as many different ones as possible in a single load screen. For instance: Lewisburg Station >> R&G Station >> Whitespring Locations >> Watoga Locations >> Harpers Ferry
This route to obtaining caps is the most straightforward one, but incorporating a preferred vendor run gives players a nice “daily quest,” of sorts, and 1400 potential caps will allow you to purchase a new plan or two from the inventories on offer. Here’s some specific tips on vendor standards that can help properly prepare for one of these runs:
- You can’t sell: ammo, notes, most common crafting components (like steel or wood), pre-war money, or holotapes.
- You can sell non-scrapped junk, weapons, apparel, aid items like stimpaks and prepared food, bobbleheads, mods, bulked scrap, and some premium crafting components.
- Vendor caps pools are instanced per player, not per server, which means that server-hopping does not replenish vendor caps.
- Grahm is a unique Super Mutant vendor whose caps pool isn’t faction-aligned, but his location is randomized daily and somewhat unpredictable. He does favor roads, though, and carries 200 caps for trade.
Don’t forget: although Legendary weapons and armor pieces can’t be scrapped at benches, they can be sold to vendors. Make sure to sell any undesired Legendaries to vendors (or other players), rather than leave them to take up valuable space in your Stash.
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- Fallout 76 (2018 Video Game) release date: Nov 14, 2018