One of the staples of the Fallout franchise is perks. Although the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system has been constant since the beginning, the perk system has been explored and expanded with each new iteration of Fallout.
From the wacky “Wild Wasteland” perk of Fallout: New Vegas, to “Rad Resistant” in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, to the “Bloody Mess” found in all the more recent Fallouts, these perks can greatly enhance your gameplay and the entertainment found within.
Although perks are very much tailored to your play-style, these perks that are mentioned are a good all-around foundation for any first-time player, or someone that is looking for a starting point for their adventure.
The best overall perk in the Strength tree is easily “Strong Back”. Strong back increases your carry weight by 25 at the first rank, 50 at the second rank, allows you to use action points to run when over-encumbered at the third rank, and allows you to fast travel when over-encumbered at the fourth and final rank.
Early on in the game, this perk will come into play as carry weight is extremely important to establishing and building your character. At the beginning of the game, you will want to take with you all you can. This perk will greatly help in that aspect.
Another great Strength perk is the “Big Leagues” perk. This increases your melee damage with every single rank. This helps out tremendously as ammunition is often difficult to find in the Wasteland. (If you are wanting to know how to find ammo better, click here.)
This is especially an important perk early on, as melee weapons are easier to find than ammunition. If you choose to go with a melee build, this perk becomes even more important.
The final two Strength perks to discuss are the “Armorer” and “Blacksmith” perks. While these two perks do not actually contribute to any of your character stats, they do allow you to craft more items.
The “Armorer” perk allows you gain access to armor mods which each rank that you invest in. The “Blacksmith” perk works in a similar way by giving you access to melee weapon mods with each rank as well.
Perception is a great stat to invest in if you plan to use V.A.T.S. on a consistent basis. In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, V.A.T.S. was a must. However, Fallout 4 did a great job with the gunplay. What this did was reduce the importance of using V.A.T.S. while engaged in combat. Although it can be very effective, it is not necessarily essential.
Because of this, there aren’t as many important perks in the Perception tree as some of the other stats. The best perk to invest in will be the “Locksmith” perk. This perks works exactly how it sounds.
With each rank of “Locksmith” that you gain, you gain the ability to unlock Advanced, Expert, and Master locks. The final rank allows you to use bobby pins without breaking them.
It is easy to see that this is the best perk under the Perception stat. However, if you wish to use V.A.T.S. on a consistent basis, you will want to invest in a few other perks. “Awareness” allows you to see an enemy’s Damage Resistance while using V.A.T.S. “Concentrated Fire” increases your accuracy (and eventually damage at higher ranks) on one body part with every shot that you take in V.A.T.S.
The Endurance stat is one that many will invest in right off the bat because it increases your health points with every point you put towards it. Along with that, Endurance has some of the best perks in the game.
The “Toughness” perk increases your damage resistance by 10 with every rank. This will give you an edge in battles. Of course, this does not affect you in Power Armor.
Another great perk is the “Lead Belly” perk. This one is unique in the fact that it allows you to take less radiation poison from drinking water and eating food.
At the highest rank, it keeps you from taking any radiation from eating or drinking! This can be extremely beneficial when it comes to exploring as it is often to get cooked food and purified water in the wasteland.
Although most of the perks of Endurance could be on this list, one last perk to mention is the “Lifegiver” perk. With each rank of “Lifegiver”, you gain 20 points for your maximum health. On the last rank (rank three), you also slowly regenerate health.
The “Lifegiver” perk really helps in the long run as you will not have to worry about your health outside of combat situations.
Charisma is one of the lesser stats in the game (read our article about the best starting stats here), but its perks can still be utilized to give you a good advantage.
Charisma does help when it comes to peaceful gameplay as it will help you in speech checks. It is also important to invest in if you want money.
With that being said, “Local Leader” is one of the best perks under the Charisma stat. At first glance, it doesn’t seem very important. After all, who needs supply lines? However, the key here is that supply lines connect your settlements in the game. That means, if you have an abundance of steel in a settlement (say from scrapping a lot of vehicles), any settlements that are connected to the original will also have access too that steel.
However, the “Local Leader” perk doesn’t just stop there! At the second rank, it allows you to build stores and workshops in your settlements. This is an important part of being able to develop your weapon mods, as well as sell and buy merchandise. In the long run, it also allows you to make money from your stores.
There are more great Charisma perks, but “Local Leader” is easily one of the best under the Charisma stat.
Intelligence is a good stat because it helps increase the amount of XP that you receive from doing various things throughout the game. There are also a few great perks that go along with the Intelligence stat.
One of the best perks under the Intelligence tree is the “Scrapper” perk. “Scrapper” is a perk that has two ranks with the first allowing you to salvage uncommon parts like screws and copper when scrapping armor and weapons. The second rank lets you salvage rare components like nuclear material and circuitry.
Along with that, the second rank also will highlight any items that contain components that you have favorited. For instance, if you are needing adhesive for a mod that you are wanting to make, you can favorite it, and then things like wonder glue and duct tape will glow making it easier for you to see.
Although “Scrapper” is the best all-around perk in the Intelligence stat, there are several others that are great. The “Gun Nut” and “Science!” perks grant you access to weapon mods with each rank. This is great for customizing your killing machines.
The “Hacker” perk works like the “Locksmith” perk that was discussed earlier. With each subsequent rank, you are able to hack advanced, expert, and master terminals. The final rank allows you to never get locked out of a terminal.
Agility is an interesting stat from the list. Its primary use is to increase your action points which help in running and in V.A.T.S. It also helps with being sneaky and pickpocketing.
The advantage of the Agility perks are more geared towards really customizing your character. Perks like “Mister Sandman” allows you to instantly kill someone that is sleeping.
Other perks like “Commando” and “Gunslinger” increase your damage when using specific weapon types.
Picking a best overall perk in the Agility tree isn’t easy, but the “Quick Hands” perk will take the win. “Quick Hands” at the first rank allows you to reload your weapon faster. This is very crucial during a gunfight-especially with certain weapons like the hunting rifle or revolver.
At the second rank, “Quick Hands” allows you to reload guns in V.A.T.S. without using those precious action points. This is super helpful when it comes to weapons with smaller magazines.
The final stat in S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is Luck. Luck is a great perk all around as it helps increase your good fortune. It also increases the recharge rate of critical hits.
Along with it being one of the better stats in the game, it has some pretty great (and a few wacky) perks as well.
All of the perks could be mentioned, but the top two perks overall would have to be “Scrounger” and “Fortune Finder”. The “Scrounger” perk is simple-with each rank of the perk, you will find more and more ammo in containers (ammo boxes, crates, etc.). This can be incredibly advantageous as ammunitions is not easy to come by in the Wasteland.
The “Fortune Finder” perk works in a similar way. With each rank that you achieve, you will find more and more caps in containers. On the final rank, there is a chance that an enemy will explode into caps upon killing them.
Other perks in the Luck tree help with critical hits in V.A.T.S. One of the more wacky perks is “Bloody Mess”, which gives you a chance that an enemy you shoot explodes into…a bloody mess.
Although “which one is best?” arguments can be made about the majority of perks in the game, the ones mentioned above will help the average player get started on their Wasteland exploring.
As you progress through the game though, don’t be afraid to tailor your experience by selecting specific perks. After all, it is a role-playing game-that’s what you are supposed to do.