Guide to Fallout 2 perks: the Best, Worst, and Funniest
The Fallout 2 perks available in the classic Interplay title are varied and generally useful. However, there are some clear functional front runners and some to avoid even in the best Fallout title. This guide will teach you the ins and outs of the best, worst, and funniest perks in the game
Basic Guide to Fallout 2 Perks - Character Customization
Perks in Fallout 2 are available at every third character level up (every fourth if the 'skilled' trait was taken at character creation) and the options offered will depend on skill and stat levels. Due to the fact that the available perks for a given character will vary significantly due to player choices, this guide will simply point out the options available at each level, and add in a few suggestions on which perks may be better, worse, or just plain hilarious. And one other hint - if starting out, consider this Fallout 2 guide to obtaining Power Armor and 7-8 character levels early in the game.
Early Perks: Fallout 2 Level 3 Perks
- Awareness - Offers information on NPCs and critters
- Thief - Boosts skill percentages for those with slippery fingers
- Bonus Hand to Hand Damage - Bonus to kick and punch damage
- Toughness - Immediate boost to damage resistance
- Comprehension - Bonus to experienced earned by reading books
- Earlier Sequence - Act earlier in combat rounds
- Swift Learner - Bonus to experience points earned
- Strong Back - Carry more equipment
- Cautious Nature - Perception bonus in determining random encounters
- Survivalist - Immediate boost to outdoorsman skill
- Stonewall - Makes it harder to knocked down in combat
- Faster Healing - Heal more quickly when resting
- Here and Now - Immediate level up
- Healer - More hit points gained when using medical skills
- Smooth Talker - Boost to Intelligence when determining speech options
- Quick Pockets - Reduces AP cost for accessing inventory in combat
- Kama Sutra Master - Better performance during adult encounters
- Night Vision - Reduces darkness level when in caves and unlit areas
- Presence - Boost to initial NPC reactions in conversation
- Scout - More map squares are revealed when moving over the world map
The best Fallout 2 perks at this level can vary depending on character type, but in general you can't go wrong with Awareness. A perception of 5 is required, but Awareness provides information on NPC hit points and equipped weapon. This can be invaluable in combat when planning the use of stimpacks or targeting opponents. If Perception is lacking, your character probably has sufficient agility to take Quick Pockets, and in frenzied combat the ability to minimize AP use taken to use a stimpack can be invaluable.
The only perk to avoid at this level? Here and Now. You'll level up as the game progresses. It is a waste to take it early on.
Intermediate Fallout 2 Perks - Level 6
- Bonus Move - 2 extra AP points usable solely for combat movement
- Silent Running - Run and sneak simultaneously
- Snake Eater - Bonus to Poison Resistance
- Adrenaline Rush - Strength boost when health drops below half
- Salesman - Boost to the barter skill, beneficial to your personal finances
- Bonus Ranged Damage - Additional damage done by ranged weapons
- Educated - Additional skill points when leveling up
- Empathy - Dialog tree is color coded to show NPC reactions
- Ranger - A further boost to the outdoorsman skill
- Rad Resistance - As you might guess, boosts resistance to radiation
- Gambler - Boosts Gambling skill, Useful if you hang out in New Reno
- Harmless - Boosts Stealing skill, Useful if you hang out anywhere
- Quick Recovery - Reduces AP used to get up when knocked down
- Pathfinder - Reduces time to travel on the world map
- Fortune Finder - Extra money found during random encounters
- Ghost - Makes it easier to use Sneak skill when it is dark
- Pack Rat - Carry even MORE equipment
- Negotiator - Boosts Speech and Barter skills
- Heave Ho! - Adds to strength when using thrown weapons like grenades
- More Criticals - Increases chances of scoring critical hit for extra damage
- Magnetic Personality - Increase to number of characters allowed in party
Bonus Move is dead useful in combat, as AP is always running lower than you'd like, and moving two spaces can mean an opponent gets one less attack per round. Educated is another worth grabbing - extra skill points come in handy, and three levels means the perk can be taken multiple times. Just avoid Pathfinder: Fallout 2 perks exist that are far more useful, and there is no time limit to the game.
High Level Perks - The Level 9 Set
- Light Step - Lowers the probability of setting off hostile traps
- Speaker - Offers a bonus to the speech skill
- Sharpshooter - Adds a bonus to perception for range modifiers
- Demolition Expert - Become better, much better, with things that go boom
- Dodger - Adds a Bonus to armor class above what is being worn
- Pyromaniac - Boost to damage done by fire based weapons
- Better Criticals - Bonus to the critical hit calculations
- Explorer - Increased chance of finding special random encounters
- Mysterious Stranger - An ally may randomly appear in combat
- Mutate - Change one of your original traits
- Karma Beacon - Magnifies the effect of Karma in character interactions
- Master Trader - Adds discount when doing business with a shopkeeper
Here's where you really have to start loving Interplay. Fallout 2 perks really start taking off at higher levels, offering increased bonuses albeit with increased stat/skill requirements. The best perk at this level will depend a lot on the type of character being played. Master Trader is good for finance oriented types, and both Sharpshooter and Dodger are common combat boosters. About the only perk not worth taking is Mutate - unless you really, really hate one of the traits you took at gamestart.
Interplay Fallout 2 - Elite Perks
Perks available at level 12 include:
- Weapon Handling - Boosts strength for determining weapon use stats
- Action Boy - Extra AP points usable for any purpose in combat
- Gain Statistic - Boost an inherent character stat by one point
- Tag - Add an additional Tag skill, doubling its rate of increase
- Mr. Fixit - Boosts Repair and Science skills
- Cult of Personality - People love you no matter who you are
- Hand to Hand Evade - Makes it harder to hit you when weaponless
- Medic - Boost to medical skills
- Master Thief - Adds to the Lockpick and Steal skills
- Lifegiver - Additional 4 hit points added at each level up
- Living Anatomy - Increase the Doctor skill and do more damage in combat
Regardless of character development, there are some skills to target here. Action Boy is absolutely vital if available, as a couple points in this perk plus the Bonus Move perk from Level 6 means you'll dominate in combat. Lifegiver is similarly essential, as with a few more levels the added effect of 4 more hit points at each level will tank out your character.
Ah Interplay. Fallout 2 comes with such wonderful perks...so why include Weapon Handling? If you've made a Navarro Run at any point, you'll possess Power Armor, which boosts strength. Since few players use a character with less than 5 strength, Power armored characters will be able to use any weapon in the inventory anyway.
Level 15 and Beyond - Specialization Perks
The Interplay Fallout 2 experience leads to only a few perks coming available between levels 12 and 24. Selecting perks that were passed over at earlier stages is highly advisable.
- Bonus Hand to Hand Attacks (lvl.15) - Unarmed attacks cost 1 less AP
- Bonus Rate of Fire (lvl.15) - Ranged weapon attacks cost 1 less AP
- Pickpocket (lvl.15) - You can now steal from any angle without penalty
- Silent Death (lvl.18) - Successful sneak attacks do double damage
- Slayer (lvl.24) - All hand to hand attacks result in critical hits
- Sniper (lvl.24) - Ranged attacks have an increased critical chance
Obviously there are no best/worst perks to take here - selections will depend wholly upon character type and preference.
The Funny Section
Dark humor must have been a class at Interplay. Fallout 2 is full of irreverent examples - from the speech bubble reading "Out, damned pee!" over a toilet to coming across a crashed Federation Shuttle surrounded by the corpses of red-shirted ensigns.
Fallout Perks are no exception to this dedication. Play the game as a man or woman with the Sex Appeal trait and take the Kama Sutra Master perk and find yourself taking part in any number of willing post apocalyptic sexual partners of either gender. Of course, beware: those seeking conquests in a certain rural area may find themselves the bride or groom at a literal shotgun wedding...