by: Aaron R.
; edited by: Eric Stallsworth
; updated: 4/18/2012
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Success in Fallout 3 often requires that you have the best gear possible for the job. If you are interested in wearing some power armor and storming a super mutant stronghold, then you need to read inside to find out everything that you could every want to know about Fallout 3 power armor.
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Getting Power Armor Training
This is actually pretty simple. In order to wear power armor in Fallout 3, you have to have the power armor training perk. At the moment, this can be gained in two ways.
The first is for the player to follow the main quest. Once you get to the Citadel, you have to talk to Elder Lyons and gain his permission to receive training at the base. You can usually find him in the laboratory or walking around the A-ring. He should have a quest marker on him for awhile.
Once you've gained his permission, you just have to talk to Paladin Gunny. He's usually in the courtyard training all the initiates during the day. Start up a conversation and ask for the training. You'll get the perk after a quick fade as Paladin Gunny explains the process. If you never actually ask him for the training, you'll automatically get a crash course from Sarah Lyons before the “Take it Back!" quest. I would advise getting it sooner though. There's no reason not to do it as soon as possible.
The second method is fairly straightforward too. If you have Operation Anchorage, then just play through the simulation. You will automatically gain the power armor training perk after you complete Operation Anchorage. This is possibly a faster way for most new players to get the armor without rushing through the main quest.
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Managing Your Power Armor
Just being able to wear the power armor isn't enough though. You should really understand a few things about it.
Just about all the custom power armor cannot be repaired by you. This is rather annoying, since there aren't many good mechanics in the wasteland. The best option is to invest in caravans through the options in Canterbury Commons. Doc and Wolf can become quite good, if you are willing to look for them each time you need repairs. You can also choose to give the armor to your companion. They will wear it, but it won't deteriorate on them.
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Finding the Good Power Armor
Getting power armor isn't that hard. You should be able to grab a basic set off of one of the desks in the laboratory at the Citadel. You'll probably want the cool stuff though.
Enclave armor is usually the best general power armor. You should be able to cobble together a half decent suit when you start fighting the enclave regularly as the main quest advances. Their Tesla armor is particularly good, especially if you consider the benefits it gives to your energy damage resistance and your energy weapons skill. Enclave Hellfire Armor also works well, but its only available if you have Broken Steel. It's the most easily repairable armor in the game.
Brotherhood armor is alright, but your only option is to get it from dead Brotherhood of Steel fighters. It offers an extra point to strength, but takes away another point from agility. The trade-off isn't really worth it in my opinion. Especially since it isn't easy to find spare suits for repairs.
Outcast power armor is a mixed option. It's fairly good armor on level with the Brotherhood of Steel, and it looks pretty cool. You should still be aiming for Tesla though.
There are plenty of better custom suits. The penultimate is the Tb-51 that you can get through the “You Gotta Shoot'em in the Head" quest. There are a few ways to go about it, but in the end, someone has to retrieve the power armor from Fort Constantine.
You'll get the Winterized version of the Tb-51 when you complete Operation Anchorage. It's a decent backup version to swap in if your normal set of Tb-51 is damaged.
There is a set of Prototype Medic Power Armor in the sewers of Old Olney. It is somewhat useful due to its unique ability to administer Med-X if your health gets low.
My personal favorite is Ashur's Power Armor or the Tribal Power Armor. They are statistically the same, with extra bonuses to luck and charisma. You have to have The Pitt to get it though.
Some players who like small guns might actually prefer the Reilly's Rangers armor. It's not power armor, but offers good protection without encumbering you.
So, you have the best perks, your skills are high, and you think you're ready to take on a thousand Deathclaws at once. But wait - you're missing perhaps the most important part of survival. Your Weapon.