Fallout 76 Character Creation and Perks Systems Detailed

Fallout 76 is getting closer and closer to release, and at QuakeCon this week, Bethesda outlined more details for the upcoming entry to the Fallout universe. At the panel for the game, Development Director Chris Mayer, Project Lead Jeff Gardiner, and Game Director Todd Howard outlined the character creation and perks system for the game.

Overall, character creation does look very similar to Fallout 4. The developers did not dive too deep into the mechanic, but from what was shown at the panel, the system does look awfully similar. The panel members did, however, announce in this portion of the panel that a picture mode will be available in the game, which the first use of will be to take a photo for an ID badge for your character. Another interesting note was that a player can change their character’s appearance anytime in the game, without any penalties.

As for the leveling and perk systems, it will be rather different from previous entries. S.P.E.C.I.A.L is still around in Fallout 76, but rather than being a simple stat that unlocks more cumulative perks, cards are involved. In the game, each perk is represented by a baseball card with a cost attached to it. Each perk will be equipped individually, but can stack, and will be limited by how many points you put into each part of S.P.E.C.I.A.L. For instance, a player must have a Strength level of three to equip either three perk cards which cost one point each, or one card worth three points and so on and so forth. Players will be able to upgrade each individual perk card to increase its effects, but also its cost.

But how will you get these perk cards? The first way is simply by leveling up and then choosing one card out of the many that are available at that time. But if you miss out on a Perk Card the first time around, you can get more in a Perk Card Pack. These will be given to players every two levels until level 10, and then once every five levels. In the packs, players will get a random selection of Perk Cards (which also have different rarities), a stick of gum that actually lowers hunger in the game, and a joke written by a team member at Bethesda.

As for leveling itself, the panelists stated that there is no limit to how many levels a player can gain. However, at level 50, players will no longer receive points to put into their S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats and that the limit to each stat is 15 points. Players can also share perks with their teammates and it was noted that the charisma stat is geared towards this mechanic with its emphasis on group effects; thus it will be more beneficial for a player to level this stat up if they play in groups.

Finally, mutations were mentioned during the panel. These will work like more like an involuntary perk, than anything else. Whenever a player gains a large number of RAD points when they are near radiation, they will be given a mutation, without opting-in for one. The mutation detailed during the panel as an example was one called “Bird Bomb” which allows a player to jump high but at the cost of lowered strength. So mutations will be a double-edged sword in the game and so there is some risk and reward involved in trying to get them.

Oh, and of course, we got a lovely Vault-Tec cartoon covering the very basics of all these features: