Fallout 76 Lockpicking: How to Pick Locks

How to Pick Locks in Fallout 76 & More on Lockpicking

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The wasteland of West Virginia is filled with locked doors and padlocks that you’ll want to bust open. Lockpicking, therefore, is an essential skill in Fallout 76, and you’ll need to not only master the minigame itself, but also know a few more things to become a master lockpick. Here’s how to pick locks in Fallout 76, and a few other tips and tidbits of information on lockpicking to help you on your adventure.

Not every lock is created equal in Fallout 76, and this is the first thing you’ll need to be aware of. When you approach a door, or a footlocker or whatever it is you’re trying to pick the lock of, you’ll need to look at the lock level. You can check this by walking over to a safe, door, or whatever it is. Text will then appear on the screen which indicates your lockpicking level, and the level required to pick the lock.

We’ve included a screenshot down below.

Fallout 76 lockpicking, how to pick locks, lock level

As long as your lockpicking skill is equal to, or higher than the level of the lock, you can then press A on Xbox One, or X on PS4 to begin lockpicking. This is where you’re thrown into Fallout 76’s lockpicking minigame.

How to Beat the Lockpicking Minigame in Fallout 76

It’s worth noting that, before you can even begin picking locks in Fallout 76, you’ll need a bobby pin. These are an item that you can buy from vendors and grab from other locations, that we’ll dive into a little further on in this guide.

As long as you’ve got a bobby pin in your inventory, you’ll then be greeted with a screen that looks something like the one below.

Your goal here is to use the left analog stick to move your bobby pin around within the lock to find the sweet spot. To find the sweet spot, you’re going to very gently turn the right analog stick over to the right. If you do this too fast and you’re not in the sweet spot, you’ll break your bobby pin, and if you run out of bobby pins in Fallout 76, you won’t be able to pick locks until you get any more.

fallout 76 lockpicking, pick locks

The best method we found for finding the lockpicking sweet spot is to take a bit of a guess for your first attempt, and then incredibly gently push on the right analog stick. If your controller doesn’t vibrate and there isn’t much resistance, keep slowly turning with the right analog stick while keeping the left in the same position.

As soon as you see the animation of the bobby pin beginning to tremble in the lock, or vibrations begin to get stronger in your controller, you want to stop and readjust the spot of the left analog stick a little in one direction. The closer you get to the sweet spot to open the lock in Fallout 76, the further you’ll be able to turn it.

This kind of makes it a bit of trial and error. The main thing you need to do is be patient and take your time. Rushing in lockpicking in Fallout 76 will result in many broken bobby pins and no easy loot or junk items.

Your ultimate goal is to have the lock turn 90 degrees entirely, just a smidge more round than we had it in the screenshot above. Once you’ve done this, you’ll hear the satisfying sound of the lock opening, and you’ll earn some XP which varies depending on the lock level as a reward. You’ll also get whatever was inside the container or behind the door, of course.

How to Increase Lockpicking Skill

Unlike most other perk cards in Fallout 76, your lockpicking perk is not upgraded by getting duplicate Lockpicker cards. Instead, there are three different perk cards that increase your lockpicking skill, and you’ll need to get each one in order to increase your lockpicking skill. These are as follows:

  • Picklock – Enables you to pick level 1 locks.
  • Expert Picklock – Enables you to pick level 2 locks. – Unlocked at level 19.
  • Master Picklock – With this perk card, you can pick and open level 3 locks.

Not only does each one increase the level of lock that you can pick in Fallout 76, but they’ll also make the ‘sweet spot’ for lockpicking gradually bigger each time. Each lockpicking card has to be equipped to enable you to open their corresponding locks, so you’ll need to manage your SPECIAL stats and perk points carefully if you think you’re going to spend a lot of time picking locks in Fallout 76.

How to Get Bobby Pins

One of the most infuriating parts of lockpicking in Fallout 76 is when you think you’ve been nice and gentle with your right analog stick, only for the darn bobby pin to shatter almost instantaneously. To get more bobby pins, you’ll generally want to go around searching the corpses of your fallen enemies.

Head over to them and use the d-pad to scroll through what they have on them. If they have a bobby pin, you can press A on Xbox One or X on PS4 to take it.

Similarly, you can do the same from any containers you come across around the world. However, from our time with Fallout 76 so far, there’s not a whole lot of bobby pins just lying around.

fallout 76, bobby pins, lockpicking

Your best bet to get bobby pins in Fallout 76 is to make your way to most of the train stations or other locations you’ve found a Vendor Protectron. Press X or Square to trade with them, and then see if they have Bobby Pins for sale. They normally cost around 13 Caps per Bobby Pin, so just make sure you’re using them sparingly and being careful.

That’s pretty much all you need to know about lockpicking in Fallout 76. For more tips, tricks, and information on the game, be sure to check out our ever-expanding Fallout 76 guide wiki. We’ve also included some of our most popular Fallout 76 guides down below for your convenience.

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Chris Jecks
Chris Jecks has been covering the games industry for over eight years. He typically covers new releases, FIFA, Fortnite, any good shooters, and loves nothing more than a good Pro Clubs session with the lads. Chris has a History degree from the University of Central Lancashire. He spends his days eagerly awaiting the release of BioShock 4.