The Capital Wasteland is an unfriendly place that’s full of danger and death, but the price tag on that official strategy guide isn’t too pretty, either. Here are some tips we’ve put together on our own after spending a few dozen hours in Fallout 3 and quite a bit of time analyzing all the perks, skills, and stats and how they work in-game.
Perks : good, bad, ugly
Intense Training (multiple times if need be – see our character guide for why this is good), Black Widow (specifically for female characters, as there are so many men in Fallout 3), Scrounger, and Educated (take this one as soon as you hit level 4) are all fantastic perks to get. For those who love using guns along with V.A.T.S., Action Boy/Girl, Grim Reaper’s Sprint, Sniper, Mysterious Stranger, Better Criticals, Commando, Gunslinger, and Bloody Mess are all great.
Melee characters will eventually want to work towards the Ninja perk and may want to get a few hits in Intense Training and Life Giver for higher stats and more health, but getting Pyromaniac is great if you’re going to use a Shishkebab for your endgame main weapon. You will probably have enough skill points to max the Unarmed or Melee Weapons skills, so you probably won’t need Little Leaguer.
Avoid perks like Paralyzing Palm, Chem Resistant, Light Step, Chemist, Adamantium Skeleton (stimpacks fix limbs well enough), Solar Powered (especially since you’d have to miss Grim Reaper’s Sprint to get it), Entomologist, Lead Belly, Infiltrator or Computer Whiz (that’s what save/load is for!). If you don’t feel like any perks are jumping out at you after a level-up, then tossing one into Intense Training or Life Giver can’t hurt.
Here’s a list of all the perks in the game along with descriptions and requirements. It’s worth poking around here to think about where you want to take your character. Most paths are great, but always give yourself at least one solid combat option.
Maxing Skill Points
There are a few important things you can do to max the number of skill points you get in a game. The first is to jack up your Intelligence in the game’s introduction, either to 9 or 10 (depending on whether you think you’ll find the Intelligence bobblehead) to max skill gains. The other is to grab the Educated perk right when you hit level 4; do these and you can be getting 20 skill points each at levels 2 and 3, and 23 skill points from level 4 and up. Depending on the overall character you want to make, you may find yourself maxing Intelligence during the intro, and filling in your « main » stat or stats later in the game with a few instances of the Intense Training perk.