Fallout 76 builds: 7 of the best character builds to help you survive

Here are the 7 of the best Fallout 76 builds, whether you want to be a stealthy assassin or do your best Grognak impression

fallout 76 builds

Fallout 76 makes sweeping changes to the way you build your character, but with more tools than ever before there are some truly wild character builds you can sport out in the Appalachian wasteland.

Fallout 76 builds are going to be a little trickier to assemble than in previous Fallout games. For starters, you’ll need to rely on a degree of RNG to get the right Perk Cards to make your character build work, but also most clothing in Fallout 76 will not provide you with any stat boosts other than defense, which makes it much more difficult to alter traits like Charisma and Agility.

So, to help you get the best possible start in Fallout 76, we’ve constructed eight of our own Fallout 76 builds, ranging from genuinely useful to wacky classes that make use of chems, alcohol, and mutations.

We’ve got plenty more Fallout 76 help to offer while you’re here, from a guide to all Public Workshop locations to some tips for setting up your Fallout 76 C.A.M.P. Of course, if you just want a list of all Fallout 76 Perk Cards so you can get on with planning your own builds then we’ve got that as well.

Here are 7 of the best Fallout 76 builds:

fallout 76 brotherhood of steel

The tank

This character build is designed to get the most out of heavy weapons and Power Armor, so a lot of these Perk Cards won’t become relevant until you’re above level 30 and have access to high level gear and a decent set of Power Armor.

The basic aim with this Fallout 76 build is to deal stacks of damage and soak up even more. As such, you’ll note few points have been allocated to S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes like Agility, Perception, and Endurance. Traditionally, Charisma is an attribute heavy classes would forego, however, it is vital in Fallout 76 if you want to play in a group as perks like Bodyguards buff your damage and energy resistance for each member of your team.

S Blocker (3) Bullet
Shield (3)
Heavy
Gunner (3)
Expert Heavy
Gunner (3)
Master Heavy
Gunner (3)
P Exterminator
(3) 
Glow Sight
(2) 
E Adamantium
Skeleton (1) 
Nocturnal
Fortitude (1) 
Rejuvenated
(2) 
C Bodyguards (1) Magnetic
Person (2)
Strange in
Numbers (1)
Suppressor
(3)
Tenderizer (1)
I  First Aid (3) Power
Patcher (3)
Stabilized (3)
A Action Boy/
Action Girl (3) 
Adrenaline 
(1) 
L Bloody Mess
(3) 
Luck of the
Draw (3) 
One Gun
Army (3)
Starched 
Genes (2) 

The majority of our points have been loaded into Strength and Luck. The former contains three cards dedicated to the damage of heavy weapons, while the latter contains more damage perks, plus a couple that will make your life as a tank much easier. For example, Luck of the Draw is helpful as it adds the chance of your weapon instantly repairing itself when you hit an enemy – heavy machine guns have an irritating tendency to break after sustained use. Starched Genes is essential as this build makes use of Mutations – you’ll want to acquire Speed Demon, Scaly Skin, Herbivore, Carnivore, Grounded, and Empath.

Playing this class is all about being the damage magnet for your team, so you might also consider making room for the Revenant perk, which provides you with a massive +50% damage bonus after being revived – although going down is a rarity with this build. Finally, there is a perk called Power User that will let you get a lot more out of each Fusion Core, however, this perk doesn’t unlock until you’re level 50 so we’ve left it out of this build – it’s definitely worth adopting if you can get it to its max rank.

fallout 76 sniper

The sniper

This class is designed for to scratch that lone wanderer itch you might be getting after emerging into a player-populated Appalachian wasteland. Perks and S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes have been allocated to ensure you deal stacks of damage with rifles, are capable of surviving in harsh conditions, and can loot to your heart’s content.

Most of the points and perks have been allocated to Perception and Agility as these are where you can really maximise non-automatic rifle damage and sneak attack bonuses. We also have Sniper and Tanks equipped, which mean you’ll negate a good portion of enemy armour and find aiming a great deal easier. Every sniper should have a backup though, so we’ve also made use of the two shotgun-buffing perks in the Strength section – Shotgunner to get an extra 20% damage and Scattershot so they weigh less and reload faster.

S Pack
Rat (3)
Scattershot
(3)
Shotgunner
(3)
P Tank
Killer (3)
Rifleman
(3)
Expert
Rifleman
(3)
Master
Rifleman
(3)
Sniper
(2)
E  Lead
Belly 
(3)
Thirst
Quencher
(3)
Dromedary 
(2) 
C  Lone
Wanderer
(3)
I Gunsmith
(5)
Licensed
Plumber (1)

A  Action Boy/
Action Girl
(3)
Born
Survivor
(1)
Escape
Artist
(1)
 Sneak
(3)
Covert
Operative
(2)
L  Good
With Salt
(3)
Starched
Genes
(2)

This build is also designed to make you relatively hardy when it comes to taking on radiation and satisfying your hunger and thirst meters – Good With Salt will dramatically slow the rate at which food spoils, while Lead Belly and Thirst Quencher combine to make drinking water, no matter how toxic, relatively safe. As with all good Fallout 76 builds, we plan on making use of Mutations to buff this even further, so you’ll want to acquire Herbivore, Carnivore, and Speed Demon before equipping Starched Genes.

fallout 76 party combat

The Partier

This Fallout 76 build is built around heavy substance abuse and high shotgun and explosive damage. This is by no means an efficient build, with many of the perks devoted to the theme of the class and the pursuit of fun rather than the best possible damage output and defense. You’ll also want to load on as many positive Mutations as possible and consider making space for some of the zanier ones like Marsupial.

The partier build is all about chaos, which is why we’ve opted to pile most of the damage-based perks into buffing shotguns and explosives. Between the various Shotgunner perks and Demolition Expert, you’ll be able to dish out plenty of damage whether you’re wielding a double-barrel shotgun or a molotov. You can buff those stats even further by taking lots of Psycho, safe in the knowledge that you won’t become addicted to it and it won’t make you any more hungry or thirsty than before thanks to Munchy Resistant, Hydro Fix, and Chem Resistant. You may also want to adopt the Professional Drinker or Quack Surgeon perk so you never become addicted to alcohol or can revive friends with liquor, but neither are must-have perks.

S Scattershot (3) Shotgunner (3) Ordnance
Express (2)
Master
Shotgunner (3)
Expert
Shotgunner (3)
P Fire in the
Hole (1)
Grenaider (2) Skeet Shooter (3)  Butcher’s
Bounty (2)
E Aquaboy/
Aquagirl (1)
Chem
Fiend (2)
Chem
Resistant (2)
Hydro Fix (2) Muchy
Resistant (2)
C Strange in
Numbers (1)
I Demolition
Expert (5)
Chemist (1)
A Action Boy/
Action Girl (3)
Goat Legs
(1)
Marathoner
(3)
Enforcer (3) Evasive (3)
L Bloody Mess
(1)
Last Laugh
(1)
Class Freak (2) Starched
Genes (2)

Agility is another important aspect of this build as it allows you to get in close to targets with your boomstick or run away from grenades you’ve misthrown. Action Boy/Action Girl and Marathoner are very important in this respect, while Enforcer will buff your shotguns even further. Evasive is another solid perk for this class and will help to make you a bit less squishy. As for Luck, the essentials are Class Freak and Starched Genes as they will help you incorporate a wide range of Mutations into this build. Bloody Mess and Last Laugh aren’t essential, but are a lot of fun.

Finally, what Mutations should you seek out? Pretty much all of them so long as the negative effects aren’t so strong that they prohibit you from equipping important perks – hence Class Freak’s inclusion in this build. The only mutations you’ll want to avoid are Healing Factor, Empath, Eagle Eyes, Egg Head, Talons, and Twisted Muscles.

The Support

Don’t even consider running this build unless you’re with a group of coordinated players, otherwise a lot of the perks will be going to waste and you’ll find yourself unable to drop most enemies you encounter. This support class is all about reviving your teammates and buffing them through passive bonuses and carrying spare junk for the whole team, which is why all the Strength Perk Cards revolve around reducing carry weight.

Endurance is mostly designed to keep you upright rather than helping your friends. Adamantium Skeleton will help you soak up limb damage, while Cannibal, Ghoulish, Sun Kissed, and Photosynthetic will keep all of your various meters ticking in the right direction over time.

S Traveling Pharmacy (2) Pack Rat (3) Strong Back (3)
P Refractor (4) 
E Adamantium Skeleton (3) Cannibal (2)  Ghoulish (2)  Photosynthetic (2)  Sun kissed (2)
C  Strange in Numbers (1) Team Medic (3)  Healing Hands (1)  E.M.T. (3)  Bodyguards (3) 
I  First Aid (3)
A Thru-Hiker (3)  Born Survivor (1)
L Class Freak (3)  Dry Nurse (1)  Mysterious Saviour (3)  Starched Genes (2)  Pharma Farma (3) 

Charisma is where we’ve allocated most of our points as every perk in this category will make you a more capable healer. Team Medic, for example, is essential as it allows you to heal your whole group without tending to them individually. E.M.T. and Healing Hands mean the players you revive will be fit for battle with no rads and high health regen for a short duration. We’ve also equipped Bodyguards to ensure you won’t need constant medical attention between helping your fellow Vault 76 dwellers.

Luck is a surprisingly useful attribute for this class, particularly due to the new Mysterious Saviour perk that can randomly revive you. Pharma Farma and Dry Nurse will keep your stocks of heals and chems relatively high, while Starched Genes and Class Freak will help you make the most out of essential Mutations for this class like Healing Factor, Scaly Skin, Grounded, and Empath.

To play this class you should remain just behind your group dishing out damage through either snipers, explosives, or heavy weapons. Heal regularly and be ready to enter the fray to revive a pal before retreating to safety. Out of combat you can horde gear for your friends, provided they trust you with it.

The pugilist

Melee is great and all, but nothing beats a master pugilist. This build is designed to help you survive in close-quarters fights and deal high damage with your fists and any unarmed melee weapons. Playing this class is simple: run in and punch your enemies to death.

Naturally, you’ll find that the biggest investment has been made to Strength. With Blocker you’ll soak up a lot more damage when fighting other melee-using foes, while Incisor, Martial Artist, and Iron Fist mean your attacks will deal massive amounts of damage and even ignore a lot of the enemy’s armour. Bloody Mess, Nerd Rage, and Tenderizer will also help in this regard, albeit in a more general capacity.

S Barbarian (2) Blocker (3) Incisor (3) Iron Fist (3) Martial Artist (3)
P Refractor (4)
E  Adamantium Skeleton (3)  Ironclad (5)  Lifegiver (3)  Radicool (1)
C Suppressor (3) Tenderizer (3)
I First Aid (2) Nerd Rage (3)
A  Action Boy/Action Girl (3) Dead Man Sprinting (1) Dodgy (3) Moving Target (3) Adrenaline (1)
L Bloody Mess (3)

We’ll also be ignoring Power Armor for this build, so Ironclad will be essential for buffing your damage resistance – alternatively, you can swap it out for Sturdy Frame, which will help you equip heavier armour without overburdening you.

Endurance is a key area for strengthening this build with five points already devoted to Ironclad. Adamantium Skeleton will keep your limbs strong no matter how much damage you’re taking, while Lifegiver will ensure you’ve got plenty of health to tank attacks with.

You won’t need V.A.T.S. on this build so you can forego a few Action Points in exchange for avoiding 30% of incoming damage thanks to the Dodgy perk. Fortunately Action Boy/Action Girl will keep your AP points ticking up constantly, allowing you to also use Dead Man Sprinting in case you need to escape a tricky situation. This is one of the only Fallout 76 builds we haven’t used Mutations on, but you can easily free up some space by cutting back on your Agility-based perks.

fallout 76 fireaxe

The Grognak

This build is quite similar to the unarmed class, but makes more use of two-handed melee weapons like the Super Sledge. The gameplay principles are basically the same: rush in and hit really, really hard.

Strength is still the main focus here, but we’ve opted for the fully ranked up versions of all three Slugger perks to ensure as much two-handed melee weapon damage as possible. Barbarian will buff this even further while Incisor means you’ll be able to ignore plenty of your target’s armour with each blow.

S Barbarian
(3)
Expert
Slugger (3)
Incisor
(3)
Master
Slugger (3)
Slugger
(3)
P Glow
Sight (1)
E Vaccinated
(3)
Rad
Resistant
(3)
Ironclad
(5)
C Suppressor
(3)
Lone
Wanderer (3)
I Nerd
Rage (2)
A Adrenaline
(5)
Dead Man
Sprinting (1)
Evasive
(2)
Moving
Target (3)
L Junk
Shield (3)
Starched
Genes (2)

In terms of Endurance, we’ve opted for a couple of quality of life improvements on top of the stalwart Ironclad. For example, Vaccinated will help you avoid diseases from creatures biting you – this happens a lot as a melee character – and Rad Resistant will mean you don’t have to keep popping Radaway every time you go up against a glowing enemy.

Nerd Rage is a good pick for melee classes as it helps you clutch out of tricky fights, which is the same reason we’ve strapped a fully ranked Adrenaline perk on this Fallout 76 build, too. As for Charisma, we’ve geared this class towards solo play, but you can easily scap the Lone Wanderer perk in favour of more co-op friendly buffs.

Finally, you should look into acquiring the Electrically Charged, Grounded, and Scaly Skin Mutations to further enhance this build.

fallout 76 coop

The trader

This one’s for hardcore roleplayers only. The premise is simple: harvest, gather, craft, and cook as much as possible, load it all into your inventory and travel the Appalachian wastes trading with other players and vendors for better gear, caps, and whatever else your heart desires. Your combat output is naturally pretty limited, so we’d suggest making the most of your high Strength stat and using melee weapon where possible. With all of these perks combined ammo, explosives, food and drink, meds, and junk are lighter. Other perks will help you loot more ammo, food items, and meds from containers, ensuring your inventory is as bloated as possible.

We’ve also buffed Intelligence for this build so that you can craft advanced weapon and armour mods, which you should be able to sell onto other players for plenty of caps. It’s worth noting that you can swap these perk cards out whenever you’re not actually crafting for buffs to explosive damage or extra weapon and armour duration.

S Bandolier (2) Ordnance Express (2) Pack Rat (3) Strong Back (3) Traveling Pharmacy (3)
P Butcher’s Bounty (1) Crack Shot (2) Green Thumb (1)
E Ghoulish (1) Adamantium Skeleton (3)
C Bodyguards (4) Happy Camper (2) Hard Bargain (3) Travel Agent (1) Lone Wanderer (3)
I Batteries Included (1)  Exotic Weapons (2) Gunsmith (4) Makeshift Warrior (5) Science (2)
A  Light Footed (1) Dead Man Sprinting (1)  Thru-Hiker (2)
L Can Do! Good With Salt (2) Pharma Farma (1) Scrounger (1)

Finally, we’ve put a few points into Charisma – Hard Bargain will help you get better prices from NPC vendors, while Happy Camper means you can slow the onslaught of thirst and Hunger while you’re at your C.A.M.P. Depending on whether you’re playing solo or in a group you’ll want to keep a few points spare for either Lone Wanderer or Bodyguards.

 

And there you have it: 7 Fallout 76 builds to help you craft the perfect wastelander. If you’re still struggling to get used to some of the other quirks of a multiplayer Fallout game, then check out our guide to joining the various Fallout 76 factions, or our tips on leveling up fast in Fallout 76. Now, whether you’re planning on brutally bashing you enemies to bits with a baseball bat, or want to live the life of a chem fiend, get back out there and start reclaiming.