Legendary SPECIAL Perks for Newbies – Tales From the Fallout 76 Wasteland

A Fallout 76 player character posing with the game's version of the Mothman

I’m still playing Fallout 76, pretty much exclusively. We’re coming up on another short monthly recap, folks!

My new character, created shortly after the TV series ended, hit level 200 last night. That’s actually slow progress compared to most Wastelanders but I’ve just accepted that I’m a slow, methodical gamer and there’s no upside to comparing myself to others. Level 200 sounds crazy high given that the level cap at launch was, iirc, 50. But I’ve seen plenty of characters with 4 digit level numbers.

The old hands consider levels 1-50 like some kind of long tutorial and generally consider you a newbie until level 100. Level 100, by the way, seems to be the level cap for mobs, excepting a very few bosses that are maybe 110?  But gear maxes out at level 50. So think about that. At level 50 you stop getting attribute increases (S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points in Fallout terms — you’ll have a total of 56 at level 50) and stop getting higher level gear. And now you have to go fight a level 100 super mutant. At level 50 I could not imagine how I’d ever get strong enough to fight level 100 mobs. At level 200 I take out a level 100 super mutant with 3 or 4 rounds from my rifle.

Mind you, I’m talking bog standard level 100 super mutants but still…

So how does that work? How do you get stronger after level 50? Well it’s kind of a combination of your build, your gear, mutations, food and chem buffs, and legendary perks. That’s a lot, and I’m no pro, nor do I want to write a 10,000 word post no one will read, so today let’s just talk about the Legendary Perk system.

Legendary Perks

Legendary Perk interface from Fallout 76
Here’rs part of my level 200 character’s Legendary Perks interface

Legendary Perks are a special kind of Perk Card that you put in Legendary Perk Slots. You don’t have to go find Legendary Perks cards; you get them all as soon as your character is ‘born.’ But you don’t get your first slot to put them in until level 50. Then you unlock additional Legendary Perk slots at (going from memory here) levels 75, 100, 150, 200 and I think the last one is at level 300. So by level 300 you can slot 6 Legendary Perks.

In all there are 26 Legendary Perk Cards, and there is a list of them over at the Fallout 76 Wiki. I won’t claim to know off-hand what they all do, but specifically there are 7 that add to your SPECIAL values, one for each attribute. This is, as far as I know, the only way to get more SPECIAL points beyond the 56 you have at level 50.  Each SPECIAL attribute maxes out at 15 (well there’s some nuance there but we’ll leave that for another day) so if you’re running a build that already has the Strength attribute maxed at 15 and you slot the Legendary Strength Legendary Perk card, you can now reduce your Strength attribute to 14 and use that extra point on another attribute. The Legendary Strength Perk will keep your strength at 15.

Legendary Perks can be ranked up 4 times, and the SPECIAL cards add +1, +2, +3, and finally +5 to the relevant SPECIAL attribute as you rank it up (values not cumulative, unfortunately). That means if you use all 6 of your Legendary Perk slots on Legendary Special perks, and rank them up to max, you’ll have another 30 SPECIAL points. That’s going to take you a while to hit though. Step 1, you have to get to level 300 to unlock all the slots. Step 2, though…

And Now, Some Possibly Correct Math

Then the real work begins: ranking up those Legendary SPECIAL cards. You do that via Perk Points. OK so where do Perk Points come from? Perk Points come from scrapping Perk Cards. You choose 1 Perk Card per/level, and if the level is divisible by 5, you get a “Perk Pack” of 4 random cards. Every card scrapped gives you 2 points/card level. If you scrap every card you get, you’ll get 18 Perk Points/5 levels which works out to 3.6 Perk Points/level.  Your level 1 Legendary Perk cards are free, as mentioned. Then it take 50 Perk Points to rank them to level 2, 100 to rank them to level 3, and 150 to rank them to level 4. That IS cumulative, so it takes 300 Perk Points to max out a card. So that’s about 83 levels. 83.33 exactly, and there are 6 of them, so by level 500, you’ll have them all maxed. Of course it’ll really be more than that because you’re going to want to USE many of your Perk Cards. Non-legendary Perk Cards are ranked up by combining duplicates and have a max rank of anywhere from 1 to 5.

Anyway I’m going down a silly math rabbit hole. Point is, it takes a lot of levels to max everything. But wait, there IS a shortcut! Fallout Seasons! I’m only now enjoying my second Season so I can’t speak with authority on this, but in both seasons I’ve experienced there have been bundles of Perk Points given as part of the Season Rewards. This season there is a repeatable 25 Perk Point bundle (the equivalent of 8-9 levels worth of scrapped Perk Cards) at level 150. THAT is the golden goose of leveling up Legendary Perk Cards and that is my goal this season.

By the way a couple of other Legendary Perk cards that can be very useful early on are Master Infiltrator which, for 1 Legendary slot, gives you a 3 ranking in hacking and lockpicking. That frees up 6 slots in your build if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to swap out cards every time you need to unlock or hack something. Second is Ammo Factory; great if you’re someone who crafts their own ammo and who is always running short. At level 1 it gives you an extra 50% of ammo when you craft, and if you rank it up to 4, an extra 150%.

Oh, one last thing about Legendary Slots; they are account-wide. So if you have them all unlocked and then roll a level 1 alt, they will come out with all 6 slots ready to be filled. They’ll have to rank up their own Legendary Perks, but at level 1 (or even 20, since you can now start at 20) having an extra +1 for each SPECIAL attribute would be really handy.

Back to my journey, I started with Master Infiltrator then did Intelligence and Luck since those are both always handy (currently every point of Int = +3% experience) and then added Strength and Agility just because. I still need to do a lot of ranking up, though! At level 300 I’ll probably add Perception.

OK that was a lot about Legendary Perks, but at least I scratched the writing itch I was having!

I am still very new to the game, so if you are an old pro and I got anything wrong, please let me know in the comments and I’ll make corrections where needed!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.