Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

To browse specific character builds or to contribute one of your own, please visit the Forum:Fallout 3 character builds page.

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In Fallout 3, the creation and development of a character is under a player's control. The decisions made at character creation and at level-ups, as well as the gameplay choices made during the game, contribute to the specific character build.

Considerations for building a character

Maximum level

Main article: Level
  • In Fallout 3, level 20 is the maximum level attainable for any character.
  • With Broken Steel installed, the maximum level is raised to 30.


Main article: Fallout 3 SPECIAL

During the quest Baby Steps, you will choose your initial primary statistics, which have a direct effect on:

  • the character's starting skill levels.
  • which perks will become available at level-ups.
  • the derived statistics.

SPECIAL stats can be raised during the game by:

  • collecting bobbleheads.
  • the quest reward for Those! includes either +1 Strength or +1 Perception depending on the choice of reward.
  • Lucky 8-ball gives a semi-permanent +1 Luck: it counts towards perk requirements (unlike other item bonuses), but the bonus is active only as long as you have the ball with you.
  • wearing clothing and armor items.
  • taking perks.

The maximum value for a SPECIAL stat is 10.


Main article: Fallout 3 skills

Initial skill levels are determined by one's primary stats. During the quest Future Imperfect, three skills are chosen to receive a one-time boost of 15 points.

Skills can be raised during the game by:

  • distributing points at level-ups.
  • collecting bobbleheads.
  • choosing perks.
  • reading skill books.
  • wearing clothing and armor items.

Each skill book, when read, raises the corresponding skill by one point (two points with the Comprehension perk). There are 25 skill books for each skill.

The maximum value for a skill is 100.


Main article: Fallout 3 perks

Some perks directly affect a character's primary stats and skills. Others have a variety of gameplay effects.

Which perks become available depends on:

  • the character's level.
  • their SPECIAL stats.
  • their skills.
  • their gameplay choices.
  • the installed expansion packs, for instance see Broken Steel perks.

Only one perk can be taken at every level-up.


There are 20 bobbleheads to be found in-game - one for each of the 7 SPECIAL stats and one for each of the 13 skills. Once picked up, each bobblehead permanently raises a SPECIAL stat by one point or a skill by 10 points.


Clothing and armor can have a direct effect on the SPECIAL stats and skills.