The Complete Wasteland Survival Guide to Not Dying in Horrible Ways – by bunnyears

fallout 76 discussion and inform - The Complete Wasteland Survival Guide to Not Dying in Horrible Ways - by bunnyears

Hello fellow vault dwellers!

I've been reading this subreddit a lot and there have been a lot of helpful posts and useful information by a lot of people, so I wanted to provide some knowledge to people as well, new and veteran alike, because the game doesn't make a lot of things clear and I've learned a lot since I started playing. I'm level 172, I've been playing since release day and I haven't used any glitches, exploits or bugs to gain EXP or modify my carry weight. I love the game (although I won't deny it has it's problems – though they're being quickly fixed) and I want to help people have as smooth a time as possible so they stick around. I love meeting people out in the wasteland!

(Disclaimer: If I give keybindings, its gonna be for PC. sorry, dont know the Xbox/PS4 equivalent)


If you press escape and then T you will go into photo mode. Take pictures! Take lots of pictures! They show up in the loading screens and its really cool, and now I have a bunch of pictures documenting my progress and journey and I'm glad I did. I love this feature.


Be careful of the trade glitch


Honestly, just play the game. Explore, do quests, do side quests, do events, check out anything you see that looks interesting. EXP will come naturally. Generally speaking, you get more EXP from killing mobs than completing quests, but most of the time completing a quest will require killing mobs anyway. I leveled from 1 – 60ish from just playing the game and not trying to grind, and it didn't take a whole lot of time.


Each time you level up you get to allocate a SPECIAL point (up to level 50. Past level 50 you continue to get perk cards, or may choose to reallocate a SPECIAL point) and choose a perk card. You don't have to choose a card from the SPECIAL you put the point into, even though the game will make you think otherwise. Just filter by a different attribute.

Keep in mind different cards unlock at different levels, so you won't be able to see everything as you level.

Generally speaking, each weapon type will correspond to a different attribute. It's good to decide on a "build" before max level depending on what weapons you like to use, because although it is possible to change your stat points around later if you mess up, it's tedious.

Most weapons have three cards worth 20% bonus damage at 3 ranks, for a total of 60% bonus damage. That means if you want full bonus you'll want at least 9 points in the corresponding SPECIAL, plus extra if there's other perks you want, which there probably are. However, at rank 1 each card is worth 10% damage. That means you can invest 3 points, or 1 point per card, for 30% bonus damage in a weapon type. It's less damage but a much more economical investment. For instance if you're a rifleman investing 9 points into rifle damage, you could invest 3 into melee weapons for backup. Regardless, you're going to want to pick your main stat early on, whichever corresponds to your weapon of choice.

There's also many perk cards to supplement weapons, often times in SPECIALs that don't correspond to the main perk. For example, Non Automatic Rifles uses Perception, but there is a perk in Luck that gives rifles a chance to cripple.

Bloody Mess is a luck perk that gives a flat 15% bonus damage, all builds should invest in it.

There are many situational perk cards that are worth investing in past max level like Glow Sights for example, which is 60% bonus damage against all glowing enemies. In Nuke Zones like Whitesprings, ALL enemies are glowing, so its a flat 60% damage increase. Situational, but effective.

There are perks in intelligence for crafting Melee and Ranged weapons (Makeshift Warrior and Gunsmith, respectively) these also make your weapons more durable and are very effective.

Things to keep in mind

There are some interesting interactions certain items have, which may effect your perk choice. For instance, Fist Weapons are powerful and fall under the Unarmed category. They only have one perk card, Iron Fist, unlike most other weapons that have three. However, fist weapons are powerful by nature, and there are a few mutations you can use to supplement them. Keep in mind that you cannot use any fist weapons in power armor currently though.

Certain weapons benefit from multiple categories of perk cards. A pipe revolver with a stock modded onto it will benefit from both the Pistol and Rifle perk cards. This means by investing 9 points in Agility and 9 points in Perception you can get 120% bonus damage, as well as the supplemental perk cards for both pistols and rifles.

Legendary weapons with the Explosive property also benefit the Explosives perk in Intelligence. This makes explosive weapons some of the most powerful in the game.

Using this Perk Calculator is going to be your best bet for planning out a build.


Which build do you actually want though?

STRENGTH: Heavy Weapons, Shotguns, Unarmed, Melee Weapons.

PERCEPTION: Automatic Rifles, Non-Automatic Rifles


AGILITY: Automatic Pistols, Pistols

Generally speaking, Melee weapons are quite strong. They dont require ammo, do tons of damage, and with the right perks and mutations hit insanely hard. The downside is that you dont have range, and fighting Scorchbeasts can be a pain in the ass. However, as a Strength based build that means its easy to swap to a Heavy Weapons build, especially with points invested into Intelligence because many of the Power Armor perks can be found there. Not to mention some of the perks related to Heavy Weapons require you to be in Power Armor. Shotguns are satisfying, but feel a little weak since you might as well be melee at that range. However, powerful legendary shotguns (Two Shot, Explosive) absolutely shred because of the mechanics with the number of pellets being fired. Most guns with those attributes are pretty damn good though. Rifles are strong, especially single shot paired with the appropriate perks and legendaries. Not great in groups though, since if you're one shotting everything with 2.5x sneak damage and an instigating black powder rifle no one else is getting experience. Best to wait til someone else gets a hit in. Pistols feel kind of underpowered right now, unless you're going the pipe route and combining them with rifle perks.

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That's all just my opinion on the current state of things, and I encourage everyone to experiment.


Enemies with the legendary prefix have a chance to drop legendary items, which are weapons and armor with a random prefix that gives it a unique effect. Some are situational, some are pretty bad, some are good and others are just insane. Legendaries with two or three stars next to their name have a chance to drop a legendary with up to a corresponding amount of effects. The number of diamonds next to an items level in the inventory screen is its number of attributes, and you can examine it with "X" to see all of them.

Generally speaking the ones you want to keep an eye out for are Furious (especially with machine guns), Instigating, Executioner's and Two Shot on weapons. Explosive is a secondary affix and requires the item to be at least two stars, thus being quite rare.

Almost all enemies have a chance of being legendary, and the more concentrated the group of enemies the more likely to find legendaries. That's why placed like Whitesprings are so popular to nuke and farm. However, exploring is still rewarded especially in high level zones because of this. There is a group of mirelurks that live near my base in a pond, and every time I spawn in there is a chance one of them is a 3 star legendary. You will start to notice legendary spawn points as you play and explore.


CAMPS are great. I love them, and with this last update, theyre even better. Now they just need a way to allow you to broadcast it and set up vendors :D.

Your CAMP allows you a place to rest in a bed(for that XP bonus), play an instrument (for that AP bonus), craft, eat, drink, hang out, and get ready for wherever you're exploring next. It's also another level of progression, with finding new plans for cool objects and better materials to make bigger and more complex bases. And if you dont care about any of that, it can be a ring of crafting benches surrounding a campfire and a tent! It's not mandatory either way.

CAMPS can be placed from entering the pip boy and pressing Z. This will place a device showing the radius in which you can build. Flat ground is best ground, but good luck finding it in WV. Water allows you build water purifiers, and theres places in the world with nodes (junk, concrete, aluminum, etc) that you can build your CAMP near and place resource collectors onto.


Moving your CAMP after you've placed it costs caps, which seems to be tied to your level, not the distance youre moving or complexity of your CAMP.

Plans for various buildings, items, and wall types can be found throughout the world both in vendors and spawning on the ground or in containers. Tool boxes have the highest chance of spawning CAMP plans. Workshop Defense Events (explained later) will also rewards CAMP Plans upon completion.

Each camp has a maximum budget, which is how many things youre allowed to place.

Turrets take up a huge amount of budget, so be sparing with your placement. They're also terrible on their own, and are best paired with a Spotlight (also found in defense section) which will illuminate enemies and your turrets will then target them. In order to build these more advanced turrets and spotlights you need Home Defense, which is an Agility perk.

Lights, Electrical Objects, and certain things like Small Letters take up a large portion of your budget. Simple things like walls, doors, chairs and tables take up much less.

In order to power your base you need a generator. Once youve built one, you have to connect it to your base. If it's inside your base, you still need to make sure power is adequately distributed. Theres a section for Power Connectors, and there is a small metal one with three types that can be placed on the walls, floor or roof and this is most effective for spreading power. In build mode, if you press Tab you can swap to edit mode, and from there you can press Space on electrical devices to wire them to connectors or the generator itself. Certain things need to be directly plugged in, and other things like wall and ceiling lights just need to be on a wall or foundation that is near a power source.

It's free to fast travel to your CAMP, and its also free to fast travel to Vault 76. If you strategically place your camp (SW, SE, or Central) you can cut back on Fast Travel costs.

Experiment and have fun with the CAMP system, theres always new cool places to find to build. Try to get creative and see what ways you can interact with the terrain to make a unique base.


Workshops can be found scattered throughout the map, and provide a passive income for various resources. They can be claimed at the workbench, and contested by other players (although the munitions factory seems to be the only one ever contested).

Resource collectors need to be built on the nodes there, and powered. In the build mode, any resources shown in green mean the workshop is providing them and they dont come out of your own stash.

If you dont lock your resource collectors other players can come and take the materials. You need to highlight it in build mode and then press F and choose a lock.

Workshops trigger defense events, where waves of enemies comes and must be killed. Turrets and spotlights help with this, and can even take care of it on their own. If you enjoy CAMP building they are always worth doing because they reward plans for items and building types. You can defend other peoples workshops for these rewards as well.

The ammunition factory in the north can produce ammunition for you, but its generally its faster to craft it. Which brings me to….

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Its easy to go through a lot of ammo, especially with Heavy Weapons. To make most ammo, you need Steel, Lead and Gunpowder.

Steel is easy, it comes from pretty much all weapons and some armor. Just go anywhere and kill a bunch of scorched or super mutants and scrap their stuff. Many world objects also contain steel.

Lead can be found in a few locations easily. Cans scrap into lead. The Eastern Region Penitentiary in the Toxic Valley has a number of can traps inside the cell blocks. Disarming these awards 9 cans each, giving around 36 cans per run. The Green County Lodge near the Vault Tec Agricultural Research Center has a weight room full of weights that scrap into lead, and the Charleston Fire Department in the Ash Heap has a weight room with even more lead.

Gunpowder can be found in many containers, and Super Mutants tend to drop a handful. It can also be crafted from a Chemistry Workbench from Cloth and Acid, netting 15 per craft.

Ammosmith is a perk in Agility, where at 2 stars you get 80% more ammo. Super Duper is a perk in luck that gives you a 30% chance to get double results per craft, at max rank. Its reccomended to equip both of these perks before crafting ammo.


There are a number of robot vendors you can encounter in Fallout, and Graham a travelling trader. Each vendor "faction" has a cap pool of 200. Once theyre out of caps, you have to buy things from them to increase it (at 25% of what you pay) or wait 20 hours for them to reset. Jumping servers will not reset the timer, but it will reset their stock. Certain vendors are worth server hopping to refresh their inventory such as Watoga Station, Watoga Shopping Plaza, Harpers Ferry and Enclave.

Heres a Vendor Map showing their locations in color code. There are seven unique vendors, not including Graham, which means you can consistently sell enough to make 1400 caps each cycle of resets. Make sure to use Hard Bargain and Travel Agent perks when you do your vendor loop. Grape (?) Mentats will also get you better prices, so take one before doing the sales.

Graham is a travelling Super Mutant trader with a unique inventory. He has a big patrol route, and I've seen him glitched out and stuck in a canal before, so its hard to say where he will be at any given time. Mostly you just run into him by accident. But if youre desperate to find him, the most places Ive run into him were near munitions factory in the north, and the Overseers Camp near Vault 76. Run up and down the road near it, if hes not there, server hop and look again. Eventually you will find him, with enough patience.


One thing that was tough for me was to unlearn being a pack rat. With limited stash space, you just cant pick up everything. Its good to manage the junk and ammo and meds that you store.

I keep maximum 300 Aluminum, 100 Black Titanium, 300 Ballistic Fiber, 300 Adhesive, 200 Screws, 200 Gears, 300 Springs. Steel I keep at around 300 and Wood at 100. Most other things I keep at 50, and a couple at 75. If you build a lot of electronics, youll want more Copper and things like Fiber Optics. Basically, you dont need a million of everything. Especially at high level.

Early on, repairing and maintaining your armor and weapons is a nightmare. In fact, its best to just save your materials and roll with what you find until you can get the relevant perks. Its even cheaper to build new armor instead of repair the old most of the time.

White Knight (Agility) makes your armor (non Power) break 90% slower and its cheaper to repair. At max level all your armor takes only 1 of each material to repair.

Licensed Plumber (Intelligence) makes your pipe weapons break 90% slower and cheap to repair, and also stack with Gunsmith to make them almost never break.

Chems and drugs weight a TON. Without Travelling Pharmacist (Strength) stimpaks weigh 1 lb each! Be conservative with how much drugs youre carrying on you, or invest in the perk.


If youre struggling to get ballistic fiber, theres a number of guaranteed spawns. Most military (circled star on map) have Military Grade Duct Tape and Military Ammo Bag spawns, which scrap into 2 Ballistic Fiber. They can also rarely be found in lockers and toolboxes.

Here some images of where I look for ballistic fiber. Search the camps and in the tents to find their spawns (the camps are small) and you will be able to get it consistently. There are also two spawns inside Camp McClintock, on the table on 1st floor and upstairs on a locker in the office.


Im tired and cant think of anything else right now, although Im sure im forgetting a bunch. Ill update it if I think of anything. If anyone else wants to add anything comment it and I can add it in and credit you.


For anyone interested, heres photos from my journey through Appalachia, split into some categories.

Interesting Places

Interesting Corpses

Friends I've Met

Base Building

Thanks for reading and good luck in the wasteland

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