Everything You Need to Know About SPECIAL in Fallout 76 & What Each Stat Does
While Fallout 76 may venture off the beaten path that many entries in the series before it had laid out, it does keep one thing fairly similar. SPECIAL returns once again, allowing players to develop their character’s attributes and assign perks to suit their playstyle.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the series, or a veteran, Fallout 76 does change up a few things to do with SPECIAL, so we thought we’d do you a favor and run you through everything you need to know.
What SPECIAL Stands for & Why They’re Important in Fallout 76
As has been the case in Fallout games for a while now, SPECIAL is what you’re going to pour your perk points into every time you level up your character in Fallout 76. To level up a SPECIAL stat, press Circle on PS4 or B on Xbox One to open up your Pip-Boy, and then press Triangle or Y.
This will bring you to the Perks screen, and once you’ve leveled up, you’ll be given the ability to cycle through each SPECIAL attribute.
By doing so, not only will you be able to assign an additional perk card to that stat, but you’ll also boost that stat’s passive effect. We’ve broken down all of these passive effects down below, so you know exactly what you’re hard-earned perk points are going towards.
- Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much you can carry, and the damage of all melee attacks.
- Perception affects your awareness of nearby enemies, your ability to detect stealthy movement, and your weapon accuracy in VATS.
- Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. It affects your total Health, the AP drain from sprinting, and your resistance to disease.
- Charisma is your ability to lead and help others. It allows you to share higher point Perks and also affects your rewards from Group Quests and prices when you barter.
- Intelligence is a measure of your overall mental acuity, and affects your ability to hack terminals, the condition and durability of items that you craft, and the return you get from scrapping.
- Agility is a measure of your overall finesse and reflexes. It affects the number of AP in VATS and your ability to sneak.
- Luck is a measure of your general good fortune, and affects the recharge rate of Critical Hits as well as the condition and durability of items that you loot.
Always be sure to take this into account before you go ahead pouring points into one of these stats. You’ll often have an idea after a few hours in Fallout 76 of what SPECIAL stats you want to focus on investing in, and which you’ll leave by the wayside.
SPECIAL is more than just core stats in Fallout 76, though. Each perk point you invest in each of these will grant you a perk card point, we’ll call them. Perk Cards are how you’ll increase your lockpicking, damage output with specific weapons, or other handy buffs to have out in the wasteland.
The more perk points you have invested in a specific SPECIAL stat, the more Perk Cards (or higher level perk cards) you can equip.
Upgrading Perk Cards & SPECIAL Points
Perk Cards can be leveled up multiple times throughout the course of Fallout 76. You’ll do so by getting duplicates of the same card, and then pressing Square or Y while in the Perk screen we mentioned before on that perk card to upgrade it.
Upgrading Perk Cards will cause the two or three duplicate cards you have to be combined into one, superior card. For example, the Strength Perk Card, Pack Rat, at level 1 will reduce the weight of all junk items by 25%. At level 2, this increases to 50%, and at level 3 it increases to 75%. This is all well and good, but it comes at a cost.
A level 3 Perk Card in Fallout 76 will require you to have three available Perk Points within that specific stat. So in our previous example, if you had a level 1 Gladiator Perk Card equipped already under Strength, you’d need a total of four perk points invested within Strength for you to be able to equip your level 3 Pack Rat card, as well.
As such, managing your SPECIAL stats and Perk Cards in Fallout 76 is incredibly important, and doing so frequently depending on your circumstances is highly recommended.
And that pretty much covers everything you need to know about SPECIAL in Fallout 76, including how it affects perk points, perk cards, and upgrading perk cards for the best load out for your character.
For more tips, tricks, and guides to help you on your quest across the wasteland of West Virginia, be sure to check out our ever-expanding Fallout 76 guide wiki.