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What To Know Before Playing Fallout 76

Hey there Mountain Mama, that good old post-apocalyptic country road of Fallout has taken us home this time to West Virginia. Fallout 76 launches in 2 days and to get the best out of it we’ve got a beginner’s guide for you to test your teeth on.


Not Like Any Camping, You’ve Done Before

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, camp, workstation

In Fallout 76 instead of having a fixed structure or settlement as we did in Fallout 4, we have a CAMP system. The very first thing you need to do in the game is to pick up your CAMP system in the vault and you’ll be able to set up your CAMP outside. The CAMP is movable and it’s a place where you can rest, cook and craft all sorts of things in your Workshop.

If you’ve played Fallout before you’ll know that making food having access to clean water is pretty darn important in a radiation filled wasteland. Also parasites. No need to die of dysentery here.

Your CAMP also serves as the fast travel point, so place it somewhere safe. Set up a bed inside and take a nap whenever you need to restore health. Later on, you will be able to regen health using Stimpaks, but in the early stages of the game sleeping is your best option.

As for building structures at your CAMP, Blueprints can be placed to save your layout. This means that whenever you log out of the game or just need to move the location of the CAMP to somewhere less hostile, you can restore your camp to how it was by bringing up the blueprint list. Just be mindful of where you’re building your camp as it can only be built on flat ground and not near any other buildings that already exist.


Embrace The Hoarder In You

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, inventory, loot, stash

Every single piece of loot in Fallout 76 is valuable, simply because every item is unique and spawns only once. For example, if you’ve picked up items from a certain place, the other player who comes across the same location will not be able to get that loot anymore. So just pick up everything you see.

Every piece of junk can be turned into scrap, which in its turn can be used for crafting and repairing your weapons and armor or expanding your base. So make sure to fill your inventory with as much loot as you can find. When you hit that inventory cap though like I did quite often just use your Workshop to make things. If however, that’s still not enough you can either increase your Strength perk to increase your carrying capacity or keep an eye out for Stashes.

The little boxes all over the world are safe for you to keep your loot in. But I’d still keep emergency stuff on you. Stashes are open for use to all players, but you will find only your items inside them. You’ll also be able to build your own Stash inside 0f your CAMP.


Armouring You Up!

Fallout 76, Vault 76, Bethesda Game Studios, Wasteland, West Virginia, Reclamation Day

Much like life, fashionable clothing like hats and outfits don’t offer any defensive bonuses. If you want to prevent damage, you’re best off equipping body armour or finding one of the coveted Power Armor sets hidden in Appalachia. Gas masks, on the other hand, do provide a tiny bonus.

Since weapons and armour can break, you’ll occasionally need to repair them. This can be done at any workbenches in Appalachia, either at your CAMP or in other locations. If a piece of equipment should become broken, it won’t disappear from your inventory, but you won’t be able to equip it.

Regarding those coveted Power Armour frames, you can find them often next to Power Armour Stations. Should you come across one, if you transfer armour plates that you are unable to equip into your inventory, you can enter the frame and lock its ownership to you. After this, you can exit the frame and put it into your inventory, or allow it to be transferred automatically to your inventory after a short amount of time.


Is That A SPECIAL Or Are You Happy To See Me?

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, Perks, SPECIALs

Much like all the other Fallout games, you can allocate points to one of the SPECIAL stats upon levelling up, but you’ll also be able to choose a Perk Card. There’s usually a new type of card per SPECIAL rank, though this is not always the case. This card doesn’t have to be from the stat you just increased, so you can take a Perk Card specialising in one-handed weapon damage, even though you just increased Charisma. They are filtered by category for easy navigation.

You can find out a lot more about them in our Fallout 76 perk cards guide, so head on over for the full rundown of how to equip, obtain, and upgrade them, as well as a full list of the currently known Perk Cards in the game. You should also be made aware that Bobbleheads and Magazines return, but they are very different from their Fallout 4 counterparts.


Mutant And Proud

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, mutation, perks, specials

It’s hard to hang out in the irradiated Wasteland without contracting some sort of radiation problem, leading sometimes to diseases and mutations. Diseases are only removed with cures or by letting it run its course. Bed rest in a decent bad with a frame is one way to prevent diseases entirely. Ironically, dying doesn’t even get rid of it, or indeed any radiation you might be accruing.

Radiation is a little more problematic as only RadAway can get rid of it. However, it can also introduce new mutations that either enhance or deteriorate a particular part of you. Useful mutations can be kept if you so wish, by using the Starched Genes perk card, which allows you to keep any active mutations forever, or prevent any new ones from coming.


That’s A Lot Of Damage!

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, camp, workstation, weapons, crafting

Make sure you have a melee weapon as a backup. Ammunition is not easy to come by, even though guns are plentiful initially. You can also visit any Tinker Station to craft more ammunition, but you’ll need the corresponding junk to make them.

Since the game has a rather limited view, either first or third person, VATS can be your best friend. If you tap the button when nothing is there, you’ll just get an audio cue, but if something is there, it will flag up. This can be great for spotting enemies or minefields and other traps, but each press does cost Action Points (AP), even if it doesn’t detect anything. Therefore you should use it only when you think you might need it.

VATS has also changed in Fallout 76 so that your target is highlighted in real time. The percentage to hit will increase depending on how far away you are and your stats. You don’t need to manually aim, but with the right perk card equipped, you can target specific points on their body. The critical meter is also back from Fallout 4, meaning you can pull off a critical hit once it is filled with any shot.

Finally, don’t be too afraid to take on an enemy that’s a higher level than you. They may be able to dish out more damage than lower levelled versions, but the rest of the stats don’t scale in the same way. For example, a Bloatfly can be killed rather quickly despite being several levels higher, but it can also deal more damage if you get too close. Should you run into a high levelled, big scary monster with each claw the size of a small car, then you should probably run.


I Worked Hard On That!

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, E3 2018

There are plenty of crafting stations in the game, with Vault 76 and the Overseer’s Camp being particular crafting hotspots, a bit like one of those startup hubs in bigger cities. However, since only one person at a time can operate any workstation, it may be better to invest in creating your own crafting station at your own CAMP. While you’re at it, make sure to build a “Vault-Tec Stash” for storing all your items and junk.

Also, be sure to collect as much junk as you can have on your person within reason. It can be scrapped into base components that are useful for crafting, weapon and armour modding, building, and even preparing elegant wasteland cuisine, though it’s better to bring it intact back to your CAMP. However, there is a catch in that when you die, you drop all the junk you currently have in your inventory in a “death bag”. This can be retrieved by simply picking it all up, as long as nobody got to it first. When you have enough junk, you can either spend some caps to transport it to your CAMP or head there personally to store it. Keeping items in the Vault-Tec Stash will allow you to use them at a workstation or when at your CAMP.


I’ve Come Up With A New Recipe!

Fallout 76, Bethesda Game Studios, multiplayer, pvp

While you’re searching for loot, you should also keep an eye out for recipes. You’ll begin your new life in post-apocalyptic Appalachia with a few basic recipes, but the only way you’ll find any more is by finding them in the wild and in chests, or trading from designated traders and other players.

Those wishing to be the next top chef can find food recipes by finding food or plants for the first time, while mod recipes can be found by dismantling a weapon with that mod. If you dismantle a weapon or armour piece in perfect condition, you may even obtain a recipe for that item, but otherwise, traders and looting chests seem to be the best way to find them. You can also get a tutorial on how to prepare food and drink by following the main quest-line, which will also reward you with some bonus loot to get you started. Some valuable stuff can be found via treasure maps, so head to our  Fallout 76 treasure maps guide to begin your search in earnest.

Also, if you see any timber, make sure you grab it as wood is required for cooking recipes. Even critters moving around can provide invaluable meat used to make a small snack in a pinch. Bodies of water can be collected and processed to filter out any impurities, so be sure to keep a steady supply.


This should be enough to get you started outside of the same confines of Vault 76. Best of luck Vault Dweller, Ad Victoriam!