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General information

In Fallout 2, perks are selected every third level (or fourth with the Skilled trait). There are 70 regular perks and 12 special perks. For perks with multiple ranks, the benefit listed should be interpreted as "per rank".

Chems can be taken (e.g., Mentats or Buffout) to increase desired SPECIAL stats temporarily; this allows gaining perks that normally would be unavailable. Perks taken under drug influence remain permanent, even when the stats fall under the requirements after the chems wear out.

List of perks

One quirk of Fallout 2 it inherited from its predecessor is the absence of balance in perks, although the lack of an arbitrary level limit has eliminated some of the systemic issues, increasing the number of viable perks. As in the previous games, Awareness (detailed combat information) alongside Bonus Rate of Fire/Bonus HtH Attacks (global reductions of AP costs for attacks) are universally useful, joined by Slayer and Sniper, which become available due to the increase in the amount of experience gained in a regular playthrough. The remainder of viable perks is virtually the same (Action Boy/Girl, Bonus Move, More Criticals/Better Criticals, Quick Pockets, Dodger, and Toughness), joined by Living Anatomy.

The remaining perks

  • Several of the newly added perks rely heavily on the player's build and min-maxing, such as the seven Gain Attribute perks, or Mutate!
  • The virtually unlimited amount of experience points and absence of an arbitrary level limit make perks focused on increasing the rate of experience gain (Swift Learner) slightly attractive, but also eliminate the need for skill point perks like Educated, Gambler, Harmless, Master Thief, Medic, Mr. Fixit, Negotiator, Salesman, Speaker, or Survivalist. Unlike later games, these perks do not unlock any additional dialogue options either. Here and Now is also made pointless by the absence of a clear benefit outside a bulk experience gain.
  • Design of stealth and theft is primitive. Failure to steal causes most, if not the entire map, to become permanently hostile, as does failing to sneak (Ghost, Silent Death, Silent Running, and Pickpocket).
  • Dialogues have systems that are poorly or even unimplemented. The reaction system is fundamentally broken, making it nearly impossible for a character to react negatively (rendering Cult of Personality, Empathy, and Presence useless), while Speech is far more important than Intelligence (Smooth Talker).
  • Lack of balance in combat marginalizes most combat perks. Bonus HtH Damage and Bonus Ranged Damage offer minimal bonuses, Demolition Expert and Pyromaniac affect marginal use weapons, Earlier Sequence is meaningless due to the way turn-based combat is implemented in the game, Rad Resistance and Snakeater increase resistance to marginal threats, Weapon Handling, Night Vision and Sharpshooter have a limited impact due to the underlying chance to hit calculation that prioritizes weapon skills, while Animal Friend does not affect genuine threats like deathclaws. Heave Ho! does not have any effect unless the player character's strength is less than 4 (and affects weapons of marginal usability). Quick Recovery and Stonewall affect a marginal issue in combat.
  • Despite the variety of world map encounters, perks related to it provide marginal benefits (Cautious Nature, Mysterious Stranger, Pathfinder, Scrounger, Survivalist), while special encounters rely principally on raw Luck, eliminating the need for Explorer, Ranger, Scout.
  • The remainder of perks is affected by general balance. Strong Back and Pack Rat are rendered meaningless by the infinite capacity of party members like Ian, while Fortune Finder and Master Trader have little impact due to the abundance of loot for trading. Traps are extremely rare, eliminating the need for Light Step, while the ready availability of Sexpert obviates the need for Kama Sutra Master, while the presence of stimpaks does the same for Faster Healing and Healer. Finally, Comprehension is rendered useless due to the fixed threshold at which skill books stop giving benefits.

Regular perks

Name Level req Other requirements Ranks Benefit
Action Boy 12 AG 5 2 Additional action point available in combat
Adrenaline Rush 6 ST < 10 1 +1 to Strength when HP drops below 50%
Awareness 3 PE 5 1 Examining a target shows hitpoints, weapon and ammunition count
Better Criticals 9 PE 6, AG 4, LK 6 1 20% bonus on the critical hit table
Bonus HtH Attacks 15 AG 6 1 Hand-to-hand attacks cost 1 AP less to perform
Bonus HtH Damage 3 ST 6, AG 6 3 +2 points of damage for hand-to-hand and melee attacks
Bonus Move 6 AG 5 2 Two extra APs per turn that can only be used for movement
Bonus Ranged Damage 6 AG 6, LK 6 2 +2 points of damage for attacks with ranged weapons
Bonus Rate of Fire 15 PE 6, IN 6, AG 7 1 Ranged weapon attacks cost 1 AP less to perform
Cautious Nature 3 PE 6 1 +3 to Perception during random encounters
Comprehension 3 IN 6 1 50% more skill points when reading books
Cult of Personality 12 CH 10 1 People will always view the user favorably, regardless of reputation nor their alignment
Demolition Expert 9 AG 4, Traps 75% 1 Explosives do more damage and always detonate on time
Dodger 9 AG 6 1 +5 to Armor Class
Earlier Sequence 3 PE 6 3 +2 to attack sequence
Educated 6 IN 6 3 +2 skill points at level up
Empathy 6 PE 7, IN 5 1 Reaction levels are shown when in an indepth conversation
Explorer 9 1 Higher chance of finding special places and people in random encounters
Faster Healing 3 EN 6 3 +2 bonus to user's healing rate
Fortune Finder 6 LK 8 1 Additional money is found during random encounters
Gain 12 (Statistic) < 10 1 (x7) +1 to the respective Statistic
Gambler 6 Gambling 50% 1 +20% to Gambling
Ghost 6 Sneak 60% 1 +20% to Sneak in dark conditions
Harmless 6 Steal 50%, Karma 50 or more 1 +20% to Steal
Healer 3 PE 7, IN 5, AG 6, First Aid 40% 2 4-10 more hit points healed when using First Aid or Doctor skills
Heave Ho! 6 ST < 9 3 +2 to Strength when determining range of a thrown weapon
Here and Now 3 1 Immediately gain an extra level
HtH Evade 12 Unarmed 75% 1 +2 for each unused Action Point, plus 1/12 to user's Unarmed skill to Armor Class at the end of a combat turn
Kama Sutra Master 3 EN 5, AG 5 1 Some characters more likely to have sex with user
Karma Beacon 9 CH 6 1 Karma is doubled for the purposes of dialogue and reactions
Lifegiver 12 EN 4 2 Additional 4 Hit Points on level-up
Light Step 9 AG 5, LK 5 1 50% reduction in user's chance of setting off a trap
Living Anatomy 12 Doctor 60% 1 +10% to Doctor and +5 damage to living creatures
Magnetic Personality 6 CH < 10 1 +1 to the number of party members who can be recruited
Master Thief 12 Lockpick 50%, Steal 50% 1 +15% to skills: Lockpick and Steal
Master Trader 12 CH 7, Barter 75% 1 25% discount when purchasing items from stores and traders
Medic 12 First Aid 40% or Doctor 40% 1 +10% to skills: First Aid and Doctor
More Criticals 6 LK 6 3 +5% chance of critical hits
Mr. Fixit 12 Science 40% or Repair 40% 1 +10% to skills: Repair and Science
Mutate! 9 1 Change one of user's traits
Mysterious Stranger 9 LK 4 1 Chance of gaining a temporary ally in random encounters
Negotiator 6 Barter 50%, Speech 50% 1 +10% to skills: Speech and Barter
Night Vision 3 PE 6 1 20% reduction in darkness level
Pack Rat 6 1 Carry an additional 50 lbs. of equipment
Pathfinder 6 EN 6, Outdoorsman 40% 2 25% reduction in travel time on the world map
Pickpocket 15 AG 8, Steal 80% 1 Size and facing modifiers are ignored when stealing from someone
Presence 3 CH 6 3 +10% to initial reaction of non-player characters
Pyromaniac 9 Big Guns 75% 1 +5 points of damage with fire-based weapons, more violent fire death animations
Quick Pockets 3 AG 5 1 Inventory access during combat only costs 2 AP
Quick Recovery 6 AG 5 1 Getting up after being knocked down in combat only costs 1 AP
Rad Resistance 6 EN 6, IN 4 2 +15% to Radiation Resistance
Ranger 6 PE 6 1 +15% to Outdoorsman
Salesman 6 Barter 50% 1 +20% to Barter
Scout 3 PE 7 1 Amount of viewable map increased
Scrounger 9 LK 8 1 Doubles amount of ammunition found in random encounters
Sharpshooter 9 PE 7, IN 6 1 +2 to Perception when determining range modifiers
Silent Death 18 AG 10, Sneak 80%, Unarmed 80% 1 When sneaking, HtH attacks from behind do double damage
Silent Running 6 AG 6, Sneak 50% 1 Able to sneak and run at the same time
Slayer 24 ST 8, AG 8, Unarmed 80% 1 All HtH attacks are critical hits
Smooth Talker 3 IN 4 3 +1 to Intelligence for the purposes of dialogue
Snakeater 6 EN 3 2 +25% to Poison Resistance
Sniper 24 PE 8, AG 8, Small Guns 80% 1 Increased chance to score a critical hit with ranged weapons
Speaker 9 Speech 50% 1 +20% to Speech
Stonewall 3 ST 6 1 Reduction in chance to be knocked down during combat
Strong Back 3 ST 6, EN 6 3 Carry an additional 50 lbs. of equipment
Survivalist 3 EN 6, IN 6, Outdoorsman 40% 1 +25% to Outdoorsman
Swift Learner 3 IN 4 3 +5% bonus whenever XP is earned
Tag! 12 1 Pick an addition Tag Skill
Thief 3 1 +10% to skills: Sneak, Lockpick, Steal and Traps
Toughness 3 EN 6, LK 6 3 +10% to damage resistance
Weapon Handling 12 ST < 7, AG 5 1 +3 to Strength for weapon calculations

Special perks

Name Requirements/cost Location(s) Benefit
Alcohol Lowered Hit Points 2 Luck, Consume 100 bottles of Alcohol-Z Vault City -2 HP
Alcohol Lowered Hit Points II 1 Luck, Consume 100 bottles of Alcohol-Z Vault City -4 HP
Alcohol Raised Hit Points 9 Luck, Consume 100 bottles of Alcohol-Z Vault City +2 HP
Alcohol Raised Hit Points II 10 Luck, Consume 100 bottles of Alcohol-Z Vault City +4 HP
Autodoc Raised Hit Points <4 IN, 9 Luck, Ride the Autodoc Rodeo Vault City +2 HP
Autodoc Raised Hit Points II <4 IN, 10 Luck, Ride the Autodoc Rodeo Vault City +4 HP
Autodoc Lowered Hit Points <4 IN, 2 Luck, Ride the Autodoc Rodeo Vault City -2 HP
Autodoc Lowered Hit Points II <4 IN, 1 Luck, Ride the Autodoc Rodeo Vault City -4 HP
Dermal Impact Armor Combat armor, $5000–$7000, 2 days Vault City, Redding, San Francisco +5% to Damage Resistance against normal and explosion damage
Dermal Impact Assault Enhancement Dermal Impact Armor, combat armor, $30000-$40000, 5 Days Vault City, Redding, San Francisco +10% to Damage Resistance against normal and explosion damage, -1 Charisma
Expert Excrement Expeditor >4 Intelligence Broken Hills +5% Speech skill
Gecko Skinning Rescue Smiley Toxic caves Ability to skin geckos for sale
Phoenix Armor Implants Combat armor, $8000–$10000, 3 days Vault City, Redding, San Francisco +5% to Damage Resistance against plasma, laser and fire weapons
Phoenix Assault Enhancement Phoenix Armor Implants, combat armor, $30000-$50000, 4-6 Days Vault City, Redding, San Francisco +10% to Damage Resistance against plasma, laser and fire weapons, -1 Charisma
Vault City Training 75% Doctor Skill Vault City +5% to skills: Doctor and First Aid
Vault City Inoculations 75% Doctor Skill, Vault City Training Vault City +10% to poison and radiation resistance

Weapon perks

These are hidden perks that apply whenever the user has a particular weapon equipped, providing additional bonuses.

Name Effect Weapons using the perk
Weapon Accurate +20% hit chance at all ranges See article
Weapon Knockback Knocks back the target (1 hex per 5 points of damage) See article
Weapon Long Range Hit chance reduced for targets farther than 4*(Perception - 2) hexes (200% increase) See article
Weapon Penetrate Target's Damage Threshold reduced by 80% See article
Weapon Fast Reload Reduces reloading cost to 1 AP .44 Magnum (speed load)
Weapon Flameboy Lowers threshold for burning death animation to 15 points of damage Improved flamer
Weapon Night Sight Removes penalties for illumination FN FAL (night sight)
Weapon Scope Range Hit chance reduced for targets farther than 5*(Perception - 2) hexes (250% effective range) Scoped hunting rifle

Armor perks

These are hidden perks that apply whenever the user wears a particular armor, providing additional bonuses.

Name Effect Armors using the perk
Combat Armor Radiation Resistance is increased by +20% See article
Powered Armor Strength is increased by +3 and Radiation Resistance by +30% See article
Armor Advanced I Strength increased by +4 and Radiation Resistance +60% Advanced power armor
Armor Advanced II Strength increased by +4 and Radiation Resistance +75% Advanced power armor Mk II
Armor Charisma Charisma increased by +2 None

Cut or legacy perks

Some Perks were either cut from the game or leftover as legacy content from Fallout and thus still can be found in the game files.

See also

Perks in Fallout 2