Fallout 76 has finally gone live, but new wastelanders have a lot to learn about the way things work in the online-only sequel. The game brings a range of new weapons, strategies, secrets, and hidden gameplay systems that merge with what’s expected from modern Fallout traditions, many of which relate to its new online-only instanced multiplayer servers.
Fallout 76 officially releases on November 14 after a series of extended beta sessions, which led to copious bug reports and changes that are now being worked into the game; it’s one of the reasons for the massive day-one update that’s even larger than the install-size. With a wide open world that is four times larger than any previous Fallout game, Fallout 76 can be daunting, so PC and console players waiting to join in the fun should peruse the following list.
Appalachia may pose some similarities to other Fallout game locations, and while its main quest objectives will lead you through a number of lessons and tutorials, there’s a surprising amount of systems in Fallout 76 that are never actually revealed or explained in a straightforward manner. Luckily, fans have been sharing tips, secrets, and smarter approaches as they experimented with the early game, and we’re combining our own time in the beta with insights pulled from Redditors and forum posters.
Read on for some valuable Fallout 76 early-game info, tips, and tricks.
- There’s no need to spend hours playing with sliders in the in-depth character creator upon waking up in Vault 76; you can always adjust your appearance via the game menu at a later time.
- S.P.E.C.I.A.L. distribution has had a total revamp in Fallout 76. There is no rerolling of your stats allowed (a.k.a. “respeccing”), but the Perks Cards system offers a modular range of boosts that can be adjusted on the fly. Each point in S.P.E.C.I.A.L. allows players to equip an equivalent points’ worth of Perk Cards, so think about the Perks and types of bonuses you’re interested in using as you begin to shape your stats. Also, if you don’t mind juggling menus, you can safely equip your Lockpick Perks whenever needed, then swap them back to a different Perk at any time.
- Speaking of S.P.E.C.I.A.L., the Charisma stat presents the most unusual changes this time around. Since Fallout 76 doesn’t have any human NPCs or dialogue trees, Charisma has a few unique qualities based on its Perks, turning higher Charisma players into something of a supportive class in team-based play. High Charisma players can share Perk Card effects with teammates based on their stat level, and even gain unique bonuses when out traveling alone.
- Main quests and side quests are forever, but daily quests are temporary. They’re so delicate, in fact, that they can be interrupted and completely lost by switching servers or turning the game off. Make sure to complete a daily quest after engaging one and, if your schedule doesn’t allow it, don’t finish part of it and just skip the quest entirely. When you load back into your game, you’ll notice that you any quest-related items will be automatically removed from inventory (though any random loot that was picked up mid-quest will still be there).
How to Optimize Inventory Management in Fallout 76
Inventory and stash limit: the true hidden menace of Fallout 76. Until Bethesda increases stash size, expect to spend considerable time fussing with inventory management, but there are a few tips that can keep your 400lb stash lean:
- Sell chems for caps rather than drag them around. Some chems can be considerably heavy, especially when toting a dozen or more at once. Keep a very small amount of important preferred chems, but don’t allow the rest to meaninglessly clutter up inventory (also, unfortunately, aid items cannot be scrapped).
- Scrap power armor frames, especially in the early game when the higher-level armor pieces can’t be equipped. Power armor spawns in reliable locations and a set can be pilfered when needed, or when work begins on theorizing advanced power armor builds in the mid-to-late game. Individual armor pieces are somewhat rarer, but the frame can be safely scrapped for materials.
- Speaking of scrapping: always scrap when stumbling on a workstation in the middle of a quest or hike. Chances are that there’s junk in your inventory, and its weight can be reduced by scrapping.
- Always scrap unnecessary guns or duplicates, as this is the most effective way to unlock new mods.
- If you ever stumble onto a stranger’s camp, you can always quickly access your personal stash from their stash box.
- After level 10 or so, there’s a good chance that you’ve accumulated a lot of ammo, some of which isn’t even being used. Small portions of ammo amount to negligible weight, but higher amounts of ammo or unique ammo (like missiles) can bog down that limited space.
- The Strength stat and its related Perk Cards offer increases to carry weight and reduction of junk weight. Even non-melee builds will probably get use out of these benefits.
- If you really just want to run around Appalachia with a low level character in a Power Armor frame, there are bonuses, including a Strength increase (allows for higher carry weight) and protection from falls of any height. For that matter, be mindful that when the armor is removed, you can become instantly overencumbered if your inventory is full.
- Soup recipes can be a better option for hunger/thirst levels since it satisfies both but only takes up one inventory slot.
How To Deal With C.A.M.P. Bugs in Fallout 76
- Your C.A.M.P. is mobile, and can be relocated for a fairly nominal amount of caps. Unfortunately, building bases has sparked a number of reported bugs and glitches, a common one being the loss of a set C.A.M.P. when entering a new server. Fret not, as the former base should be bundled within your C.A.M.P. device, which is always accessible through the Pip-Boy and can be replaced in a newly selected area at no resource cost (make sure to access these base pieces through the “stored” section of the menu).
- All of this means that if you’d prefer a new C.A.M.P. location, you can try entering a new server several times and see if its removal has been triggered. This may change with future patches, but the method can save a few caps in the long run.
- You can lock your C.A.M.P. and resource producers to stop other players from accessing them. They can still try, but it will take longer, and this won’t slow your access to them at all.
- Always fast-travel to Vault 76 or your own C.A.M.P. first, if either one is on the way to your actual destination; this always counts as a free trip, and can cut down the distance-based caps cost to another location.
- Helmets, gas masks, and other similar headgear lowers your Perception stat, which makes enemies harder to detect on radar (if not nearly impossible on lower Perception levels). These armor pieces tend to have considerable benefits, however, including radiation and disease protection, so it’s a good idea to keep one in your inventory for opportune moments.
- Figure out the different loot containers and their contents quickly, so you can spot and prioritize them from a distance. Ammo boxes always contain ammo, explosive crates contain grenades, mines, and molotov cocktails, and first aid kits have various types of water supplies, Med-X, and stimpaks.
- Plans and recipes are not automatically learned on pickup. Players will have to open their Pip-Boys and select these in the “notes” section under “items,” where they can be activated one by one. It’s also possible to obtain duplicate copies of plans and recipes, which can’t be re-used, but can be taken by teammates and other players.
- Speaking of plans and recipes: you’ll encounter some standard ones among loot and throughout the main questline, but many specialized varieties can only be purchased from the vendor protectrons scattered throughout Appalachia, though some are prohibitively expensive.
- Supply crates can be dropped by drones and are instanced, so they can be looted by each player on a server, regardless of team composition. They’re most easily recognizable by a sparking red flare and trail of smoke, but can also be found as a marker on the game map whenever active, regardless of distance. The loot in these crates can be incredibly valuable, and it’s always worthwhile to travel to one however you can, even at the cost of caps.
- Nuclear launch codes can be discovered one at a time and at random on roamers, and can be recognized by the steady double-beeping sound and flashing red light.
- An important note about looting these codes (or looting anything, really) for teammates: both teammates will need to have inflicted damage on the roamer to obtain their own codes, which will always be identical.
- Always be Well Rested! It only takes about 30 seconds of sleep on a bed to obtain this bonus (a +5% boost to XP), but note that sleeping on beds placed on the ground carries a chance to inflict a disease (just like real life).
Fallout 76’s Reclamation Day has finally arrived, but many mysteries in its world remain. Can the series really survive an unprecedented shift to multiplayer? What are those two glowing red eyes staring out at you from the cliffside at night, and who exactly is broadcasting from The Top of the World?
Screen Rant will have an assortment of new Fallout 76 guides rolling out, as well as our complete review, so watch this space.
- Fallout 76 (2018 Video Game) release date: Nov 14, 2018