This page lists all perks in the original Fallout.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For perks in other Fallout games, please see "Perk."
  • For an overview of Fallout content, please refer to "Portal:Fallout."

List of perksEdit

Perks in Fallout are acquired every three levels (four with the Skilled trait), with the first available at level 3 (4). As such, the player can choose seven perks (five with the trait) out of a total of 53. Some perks have multiple ranks, with stacking benefits (all benefits are listed per-level). It is possible to obtain perks that the player's character doesn't qualify for by the use of temporary stat improving chems before the selection menu (i.e. a character with 4 Intelligence can use Mentats to select the Educated perk, which requires 6 Intelligence).

One quirk of Fallout and its sequel is that no effort was made to balance the perks, due to the last-minute replacement of GURPS with SPECIAL. As such, out of the 53 perks only a dozen are implemented in a fashion that gives a functional benefit. Perks like Awareness (detailed combat information) or Bonus Rate of Fire/Bonus HtH Attacks (global reductions of AP costs for attacks) are effectively mandatory for the player due to their impact on gameplay. The remainder of beneficial perks include Action Boy/Girl, Bonus Move, More Criticals/Better Criticals, Quick Pockets, Dodger, and Toughness, i.e. perks that improve combat performance.

The remaining 43 perks are largely useless due to systemic issues present in SPECIAL and general game balance (or lack thereof):

  • The limited amount of experience points and arbitrary level limit make perks focused on increasing the rate of experience gain (Swift Learner), provide per-level benefits (Lifegiver), or consume a perk slot to alter the trait selection (Mutate!). They also relegate perks like Slayer or Sniper to curiosities, as they are not available without significant grinding. At the same time, each level-up provides enough skill points to eliminate the need to pick Educated, Master Thief, Medic, Mr. Fixit, or Speaker. Unlike later games, these perks do not unlock any additional dialogue options either.
  • 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, 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, 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). Friendly Foe is a perk that should have been a default part of the interface and is implemented as such in Fallout 2.
  • The limited variety of world map encounters and the reliance of special encounters on raw Luck renders Explorer, Mysterious Stranger, Pathfinder, Ranger, Scout, Scrounger, and Survivalist meaningless.
  • The remainder of perks is affected by general balance. Strong Back is rendered meaningless by the infinite capacity of party members like Ian, while Fortune Finder and Master Trader have little impact due to structural flaws of the bartering system (where items the player sells are always sold at full value). The ready availability of a psychic nullifier eliminated Mental Block, while the presence of stimpaks does the same for Faster Healing, and Healer. The lack of permanence for drug addiction claims Flower Child as well.

Regular perksEdit

Name Level req Other requirements Ranks Benefit
Action Boy 12 AG 5 3 +1 AP per rank
Animal Friend 9 IN 5, Outdoorsman 25% 1 Animals will not attack on sight
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 to critical hit damage
Bonus HtH Attacks 6 AG 6 1 Hand-to-hand and melee 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 3 +2 AP per turn that can be only be used for movement
Bonus Ranged Damage 6 AG 6, LK 6 2 +2 points of damage for ranged weapons attacks
Bonus Rate of Fire 9 PE 6, IN 6, AG 7 1 Ranged weapon attacks cost 1 AP less to perform
Cult of Personality 12 CH 10 1 People will always view you favorably, regardless of your reputation or their alignment
Dodger 9 AG 4 2 +5% to your 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 converstaion
Explorer 9 1 Higher chance of finding special places and people in random encounters
Faster Healing 3 EN 6 3 +1 bonus to your healing rate
Flower Child 9 EN 5 1 50% less likely to be addicted to chems, and withdrawal time is halved
Fortune Finder 6 LK 8 1 Additional money is found during random encounters
Friendly Foe 6 PE 4 1 In-combat characters on your team are highlighted green, instead of red
Ghost 6 Sneak 60% 1 +20% to Sneak in dark conditions
Healer 3 PE 7, IN 5, AG 6, First Aid 40% 3 2-5 more hit points healed when using First Aid or Doctor skills
Heave Ho! 6 3 +2 to Strength when determing range of a thrown weapon
Lifegiver 12 EN 4 3 +4 HP
Master Thief 12 1 +10% to skills: Sneak, Lockpick, Steal, and Traps
Master Trader 9 CH 7, Barter 60% 1 +25% to Barter skill, hidden[1]
Medic 12 1 +20% to skills: First Aid and Doctor
Mental Block 15 1 Resistance to Master's psychic attacks
More Criticals 6 LK 6 3 +5% chance of critical hits
Mr. Fixit 12 1 +20% to skills: Repair and Science
Mutate! 9 1 Change one of your traits
Mysterious Stranger 6 LK 7 1 Chance you will gain a temporary ally in random encounters
Night Vision 3 PE 6 3 10% reduction in darkness level
Pathfinder 6 EN 6, Outdoorsman 40% 2 25% reduction in travel time on the world map
Pickpocket 9 AG 8, Sneak 80% 1 Size and facing modifiers are ignored when stealing from someone
Presence 3 CH 6 3 +10% to initial reaction of NPCs
Quick Pockets 3 AG 5 3 Inventory access during combat cost 1 AP less
Rad Resistance 6 EN 6, IN 4 3 +10% to Radiation Resistance
Ranger 6 PE 6 3 Chance of hostile random encounters is lowered
Scout 3 PE 8 1 Exploration is increased by 1 square in every direction on the world map
Scrounger 9 LK 8 1 Doubles the amount of ammo found in random encounters
Sharpshooter 6 PE 7, IN 6 2 +2 to Perception when determining range modifiers
Silent Death 18 AG 10, Sneak 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 18 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 1 +25% to Poison Resistance
Sniper 18 PE 8, AG 8, Small Guns 80% 1 Increased chance to score a critical hit with ranged weapons
Speaker 12 1 +20% to skills: Speech and Barter
Strong Back 3 ST 6, EN 6 3 Carry an additional 50 lbs. of equipment
Survivalist 3 EN 6, IN 6, Outdoorsman 40% 3 +20% bonus to Outdoorsman for survival checks
Swift Learner 3 IN 4 3 +5% bonus whenever XP is earned
Tag! 12 1 Pick an additional Tag Skill
Toughness 3 EN 6, LK 6 3 +10% to damage resistance

List of weapon perksEdit

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

Name Effect Weapons using the perk
Weapon Accurate +20% hit chance at all ranges
Weapon Knockback Knocks back the target (1 hex per 5 points of damage)
  • Sledgehammers
Weapon Long Range Hit chance reduced for targets farther than 4*(Perception - 2) hexes (200% increase)
Weapon Penetrate Target's Damage Threshold reduced by 80%

List of armor perksEdit

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

Name Effect Armors using the perk
Combat Armor Radiation Resistance is increased by 20%
Powered Armor Strength is increased by +3 and Radiation Resistance by +30%

See alsoEdit


Perks in Fallout
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