The best Fallout 76 perk cards to start you off and make you feel SPECIAL

In a game like Fallout 76 when you can be exploring alone one moment and then teaming up with a buddy the next, having perks that you can mix and match on the fly is beyond useful. Getting rid of the skill tree from Fallout 4, Fallout 76 perk cards are meant to be changed up whenever you want - not just when you level up. You’ll semi-regularly get given a random assortment of new perk cards each time you level up, then after picking which S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skill you want to put a point into you’ll get to choose a perk. Here’s exactly how Fallout 76 perk cards work, how best to use them, and which ones are up for grabs. 

There are a lot of these cards to unlock as you level up and earn packs, from which you choose an option. There’s an element of randomisation to these, and some cards are locked to specific levels, so I’m not going to go through all of them. Instead I’m just going to focus on the first few you can get in the initial hours of the Fallout 76 beta, and the best ways to use them. 

How do Fallout 76 perks and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. cards work?  

Each time you level up in Fallout 76 you’re able to choose a card from your deck and assign it to a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute, boosting that characteristic and unlocking the card’s effects. You’ll also receive packs of cards at certain intervals to expand your collection (levels 2, 3, 4, 5 and then every 5 after that).  

Each card has a point value, and you can equip as many as you like in a given attribute as long as you don’t exceed the point value you have for that characteristic. So, for example, if you have a Strength of 3, you can equip three one point cards, a one and two, or a single three point card. 

What S.P.E.C.I.A.L. cards are there in Fallout 76?  

There are a lot, okay. As mentioned, you’ll get packs of cards at set points in the game to build out your deck, specifically at levels 2, 3, 4, 5, and then every 5 after that. Using these you can then add the perks you like to your character and build out the attributes and skills you want. 

These are the initial cards you’ll get over the first five levels or so, which should be a good foundation to get you started: 

Strength

  • Gladiator - One handed melee weapons deal 10% more damage (lvl 2)
  • Traveling Pharmacy - Weights of all chems (including Stimpaks) are reduced by 30% (lvl 3)
  • Iron Fist - Your punching attacks deal 10% more damage (lvl 5)
  • Slugger - Your two-handed melee weapons deal 10% more damage (lvl 6)

Perception

  • Concentrated Fire - V.A.T.S. now targets limbs. Focus fire to gain accuracy and damage per shot. (lvl 2)
  • Butcher Bounty - 40% chance to find extra meat when you search an animal (lvl 3)
  • Green Thumb - Reap twice as much when harvesting flora (lvl 4)
  • Picklock - Gain +1 lockpicking skill, and the lockpicking sweet spot is 10% larger (lvl 5)

Endurance

  • Lead Belly - You take 30% less radiation from eating or drinking (lvl 2)
  • Dromedary - All drinks quench thirst by an additional 25% (lvl 3)
  • Iron Stomach - Your chance to catch a disease from food is reduced by 30% (lvl 4)
  • Slow Metabolizer - All food satisfies hunger by an additional 25% (lvl 5)
  • Thirst Quencher - Drinking any liquid has a 30% reduced chance to cause disease (lvl 6)

Charisma

  • Inspirational - When you are on a team, gain 5% more XP (lvl 2)
  • Happy Camper - Hunger and thirst grow 40% more slowly when in camp or in a team workshop (lvl 3)
  • Lone Wanderer - When adventuring alone, take 10% less damage and gain 10% AP regen (lvl 4)
  • Bodyguards - Gain 6 damage and energy resistance (max 18) for each teammate, excluding you (lvl 6)

Intelligence

  • First Aid - Stimpaks restore 15% more lost health (lvl 2) 
  • Makeshift Warrior - Your melee weapons break 30% more slowly and are cheaper to repair (lvl 3)
  • Hacker - Gain +1 hacking skill and terminal lock-out time is reduced (lvl 4)
  • Licensed Plumber - Your pipe weapons break 30% more slowly and are cheaper to repair (lvl 5)

Agility

  • Action Boy/Girl - Action points regenerate 15% faster (lvl 2)
  • Born Survivor - When you fall below 20% health, you will automatically use a Stimpak, once every 20 seconds (lvl 3)
  • Gun Runner - Your running speed is increased when you have a pistol equipped (lvl 4)
  • Moving Target - Gain +15% damage and energy resistance while sprinting. (No Power Armor.) (lvl 6)
  • Thru-Hiker - Food and drink weights are reduced by 30% (lvl 7)

Luck

  • Pharma Farma - 40% chance to find extra first aid chems when you search a chem container (lvl 2)
  • Scrounger - 40% chance to find extra ammo when you search an ammo container (lvl 3)
  • Serendipity - While below 30% health, gain a 15% chance to avoid damage (lvl 5)
  • Can Do - 40% chance to find an extra canned good when you search a food container (lvl 7)

The best Fallout 76 perks for single player 

If you’re playing on your own then you really need to boost your survival in combat and ability to manage multiple enemies single-handedly. To that end the combo of Concentrated Fire to let you target limbs in V.A.T.S. and Action Boy/Girl to boost Action Point regen should make kneecapping Scorchers easier. Lone Wanderer, Moving Target, and Serendipity meanwhile will help you take less damage, and Born Survivor will keep you alive if your health drops too low. 

Perception

  • Concentrated Fire - V.A.T.S. now targets limbs. Focus fire to gain accuracy and damage per shot (lvl 2)

Charisma

  • Lone Wanderer - When adventuring alone, take 10% less damage and gain 10% AP regen (lvl 4)

Intelligence

  • First Aid - Stimpaks restore 15% more lost health (lvl 2) 

Agility

  • Action Boy/Girl - Action points regenerate 15% faster (lvl 2)
  • Born Survivor - When you fall below 20% health, you will automatically use a Stimpak, once every 20 seconds (lvl 3)
  • Moving Target - Gain +15% damage and energy resistance while sprinting. (No Power Armor.) (lvl 6)

Luck

  • Serendipity - While below 30% health, gain a 15% chance to avoid damage (lvl 5)

The best Fallout 76 perks for multiplayer 

There are two main cards you want to equip if you’re planning on playing with friends, and they’re Inspiration and Bodyguards. The first boosts your XP gains, while the second boosts your damage. It’s basically a waste to not equip these while playing co-op. 

Charisma

  • Inspirational - When you are on a team, gain 5% more XP (lvl 2)
  • Bodyguards - Gain 6 damage and energy resistance (max 18) for each teammate, excluding you (lvl 6)

The best Fallout 76 perks for an assault class

If you just want to hurt things, you really want to maximise damage, mobility, and weapon durability (because you’ll be using them more). The Strength cards will boost whatever melee preference you have - handy as, so far, enemies really like getting in close. Some Intelligence options will help you keep your weapons in good condition, and Gun Runner will let you move faster if you’re using a pistol.   

Strength

  • Gladiator - One handed melee weapons deal 10% more damage (lvl 2)
  • Iron Fist - Your punching attacks deal 10% more damage (lvl 5)
  • Slugger - Your two-handed melee weapons deal 10% more damage (lvl 6)

Intelligence

  • Makeshift Warrior - Your melee weapons break 30% more slowly and are cheaper to repair (lvl 3)
  • Licensed Plumber - Your pipe weapons break 30% more slowly and are cheaper to repair (lvl 5)

Agility

  • Gun Runner - Your running speed is increased when you have a pistol equipped (lvl 4)

The best Fallout 76 perks for a stealth class

There aren’t a great set of options for stealth early on in Fallout 76, which isn’t really surprising in its online world. However, if you grab Picklock and Hacker you should have some non-combat options, letting you open up as many chances to be sneaky as possible.

Perception

  • Picklock - Gain +1 lockpicking skill, and the lockpicking sweet spot is 10% larger (lvl 5)
  • Hacker - Gain +1 hacking skill and terminal lock-out time is reduced (lvl 4)

The best Fallout 76 perks for survival 

There are plenty of options to boost your chances of staying alive in Fallout 76. I wonder why - it’s almost as if not dying in an irradiated wasteland full of killer mutants was hard or something… Anyway, this selection of cards will help you find more food, water and chems, carry them, get more from using them, and enjoy the benefits longer. 

Perception

  • Butcher Bounty - 40% chance to find extra meat when you search an animal (lvl 3)
  • Green Thumb - Reap twice as much when harvesting flora (lvl 4)

Endurance

  • Lead Belly - You take 30% less radiation from eating or drinking (lvl 2)
  • Dromedary - All drinks quench thirst by an additional 25% (lvl 3)
  • Iron Stomach - Your chance to catch a disease from food is reduced by 30% (lvl 4)
  • Slow Metabolizer - All food satisfies hunger by an additional 25% (lvl 5)
  • Thirst Quencher - Drinking any liquid has a 30% reduced chance to cause disease (lvl 6)

Charisma

  • Happy Camper - Hunger and thirst grow 40% more slowly when in camp or in a team workshop (lvl 3)

Agility

  • Thru-Hiker - Food and drink weights are reduced by 30% (lvl 7)

Luck

  • Pharma Farma - 40% chance to find extra first aid chems when you search a chem container (lvl 2)
  • Scrounger - 40% chance to find extra ammo when you search an ammo container (lvl 3)
  • Can Do - 40% chance to find an extra canned good when you search a food container (lvl 7)

If you’re wondering what Fallout 76 feels like to play then check out how Fallout 76’s online world is the perfect way to explore its prequel setting and tell a fresh story.