Box art - Fallout 76

Fallout 76 Hacking – How to Get and Use Hacking

Fallout 76 has many skills, perks, and upgrades, but along with Lockpicking one of the most vital skills to learn is the Fallout 76 Hacking ability. Much like in the single-player Fallout games, players can upgrade their Hacking skill to gain access to computer terminals throughout the wasteland. However, much like lockpicking or fast travel, hacking in Fallout 76 works a little differently. Even when you have access to the skill, it’s still not obvious how to upgrade it, let alone how to hack things. We’re here to guide you through the ins-and-outs of Fallout 76 hacking.

How to Get the Fallout 76 Hacking Skill

In the single-player Fallout games, to be able to access locked terminals all you’d need to do is to level up and put some points into the Hacking skill, and also your Intelligence if you want to have an easier time of it. Fallout 76 works a lot differently, mostly due to how skills and levelling up works in the game. It’s now based around Perk cards rather than simply putting points into a skill.

As you level up, you can choose Perk cards to equip, which all have different special abilities for your character. Hacking is one of those Perks. You can get the skill by opening a Perk card pack at certain levels, which contain a bunch of random cards. Alternatively, once you get to level 5, you can go to your “Intelligence” S.P.E.C.I.A.L. ability and select the Hacking skill card manually. Equip it in an Intelligence card slot, and you can start hacking any terminals you find. Well, up to a certain level…

How to Upgrade Fallout 76 Hacking Skill

Upgrading the Fallout 76 Hacking skill is also a little different. There are three levels of hacking in the game, and four strengths of computer terminals. Level 0 terminals can be hacked even without the Hacking Perk card, although these terminals are rare enough to be pointless. Levels 1-3, on the other hand, need the actual skill equipped.

However, unlike other Perk cards, you can’t just get three of the regular Hacking card and then combine them together. Much like Lockpicking, you need to get three separate, specific Perk Cards, and then equip all of them. While level 5 gives you the opportunity to unlock and equip the regular Hacking skill card, further cards will need much higher levels to get hold of. Here’s the three Hacking Perk cards you need:

  • Hacker – Enables you to hack level 1 terminals.
  • Expert Hacker – Enables you to hack level 2 terminals.
  • Master Hacker – Enables you to hack level 3 terminals.

One you have all of these, you’ll be able to hack any computer terminal in the game. Of course, you’ll now need to know how to actually do that…

How to Hack Terminals

fallout 76 hacking screen

If you’re a veteran of previous Fallout games, specifically Fallout 3, 4, or New Vegas, you’ll be intimately equated with the Hacking minigame in Fallout 76 since it’s exactly the same, once you get past the Perk card confusion. Press ‘Use’ on a terminal that needs hacking, and if you’re at the correct skill level you’ll be presented with a screen full of gibberish, interspersed with a load of random words. One of these words is the terminal password, and you have to choose the correct one to proceed.

You have four attempts to choose the correct password. Pick any word to start with. The game will tell you how many letters you got right. If, for example, you got two letters correct, you should then look for another word with two letters the same (in the same place). I picked “Wasted” in the picture above and got two letters right, so I then chose other words ending in “ed” such as “rocked,” although it could just have easily been other letters.

Make sure that only those two letters are the same. “Melted” for instance can be ruled out, because that’s got three letters the same, not just two. Keep on going this way and, with a little luck and skill, you’ll find the correct word. Or if you’ve got one attempt left and you’re not sure, exit and try again…

Can Robots Be Hacked?

Unfortunately, Protectrons, Liberators, Eyebots and other robots in Fallout 76 cannot be hacked in any way. There’s no remote or long-range hacking in the game, and even after you deactivate them there’s nothing left to hack. The only things to hack are computer terminals, although they can be used to change nearby robots’ behaviors, such as getting them to stop attacking humans.