top of page

Fallout 76 S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls and Stats Explained

Updated: May 19

Thank you to Gilpo, Mapex, and Zeek for their patience and for answering my consistent questions.

 

S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls and Stats


Unlocking the full potential of your character in any game requires a deep understanding of the Specials and Stats system. While numerous game guides and videos may advise you to buff certain attributes without elaborating on the reasons behind those choices, this comprehensive guide aims to bridge that knowledge gap.


Specials, short for Special Attributes, form the foundation of your character's abilities and define their unique strengths. Each Special represents a distinct aspect of your character's skills and capabilities. By carefully considering the implications of each Special and understanding how they synergize with your desired playstyle, you can make informed decisions about which ones to prioritize.


Additionally, Stats play a crucial role in shaping your character's effectiveness in combat, exploration, and other in-game activities. These Stats directly influence your character's performance, providing bonuses and advantages that can make a significant difference in challenging situations.


To maximize the potential of your character, it is essential to understand the purpose of buffing these Specials and Stats. This guide delves into the specifics, explaining why each attribute deserves your attention and the benefits you can expect from buffing them.

 

Tips, Tricks, and Information


Most food buffs do not stack with each other. For example, you can not take two Intelligence food buffs to get higher Intelligence. AP refill buffs are an exception to this rule.


To further optimize your character's performance, there are various buffs that can be stacked alongside food buffs. These include:

  • Alcohol buffs

  • Ally Buffs

  • Armour Buffs and Stats

  • Bobblehead buffs

  • Chem buffs

  • Camp object buffs

  • Event buffs (Path to Enlightenment)

  • Magazine buffs

  • Mutations

  • Perk Cards


Damaged Limbs can affect your stats

Your limbs, head, and torso can take damage during combat. If they take too much damage, they'll become crippled.


Crippled Head

Vision and healing will become distorted.


Crippled Arms

Harder to aim your weapon.


Crippled Torso

Reduces how fast your AP regenerates.


Crippled Legs

You will move at a reduced speed.



Hunger and Thirst Bar

While the debuff from having empty hunger and thirst bars has been removed, the benefits are still there. Run the perk card Rejuvenated and Perfect Bubblegum on top of your other food buffs for the added stat boost.

Downloadable version here.

 

Recommended buffs for your build


Unlike previous Fallout games, in Fallout 76, you need to pick a build and stick with it. Min Max and Hybrid builds are possible, but they require a lot of resources to run and maintain.


To make the most of your build, it is crucial to focus on specific Specials and Stats that align with your desired playstyle.


Below is a list of bare minimum buff recommendations based on different build types. Depending on your chosen playstyle, you can then add to and fine-tune your character's attributes.



Ranged

Includes Rifles, Commando, Sneak, and Bows.


Being ranged, you don't need as much damage resistance or HP, as you are further away from the enemies, or if you are a sneak build, then the enemies shouldn't be able to see you to hit you.



Specials and Stats to buff

  • Perception

  • Agility

  • Luck

  • Crit Damage

  • Max AP

  • AP Regen

  • AP Refill (if you feel that you need it)

  • Energy Resistance


Melee

Includes Unarmed, 1 Handed, and 2 Handed weapons.


Being melee, you are in the thick of the fighting so you need to be able to take a hit or two without dying.



Specials and Stats to buff

  • Strength

  • Endurance

  • Agility (If you are running Hack & Slash Legendary Perk Card)

  • Melee Damage

  • Max AP (If you are running Hack & Slash Legendary Perk Card)

  • AP Regen (If you are running Hack & Slash Legendary Perk Card)

  • Max HP

  • HP Regen

  • Damage Resistance

  • Energy Resistance

  • Rad Resistance

  • Disease Resistance


Heavy Weapons

Includes Energy and Non-Energy Heavy weapons.


It is highly recommended that you wear Power Armour when running heavy weapons, this is for two reasons.


The first is for the perk card Stabilized. This will only proc if you are wearing Power Armour and have a heavy gun equipped. This perk card offers the below:


Rank 1 Stabilized Perk Card

  • Gain more accuracy (narrows the cone of fire so more shots hit your target)

  • Ignores 15% of your enemy's Damage and Energy Resistance

Rank 2 Stabilized Perk Card

  • Gain even more accuracy (narrows the cone of fire so more shots hit your target)

  • Ignores 30% of your enemy's Damage and Energy Resistance

Rank 3 Stabilized Perk Card

  • Gain excellent accuracy (narrows the cone of fire so more shots hit your target)

  • Ignores 45% of your enemy's Damage and Energy Resistance


You can run the stabilized perk card and an Anti-Armour weapon at the same time, but you get diminished returns once you reach the 50% mark.


The second reason is the benefits that Power Armour offers:

  • Damage Reduction of 7% per piece (full set 42% damage reduction)

  • Rad Reduction of 15% per piece (full set 90% rad reduction)

  • Immunity to Fall Damage

  • Immunity to Limb Damage


Because of the bonus damage reductions, you don't need to buff your damage resistance or HP as much.


You can use any mutation while running a heavy weapons build as there are no real plus or minuses. However, if you PVP then go down the Carnivore or Hybrid food buff route, otherwise Herbivore is fine for PVE.


Specials and Stats to buff

  • Perception

  • Intelligence

  • Agility

  • Max AP

  • AP Regen

  • AP Refill (if you feel that you need it)


XP Farming


Specials and Stats to buff

  • Charisma

  • Intelligence

  • XP


PVP


Specials and Stats to buff

  • Endurance

  • Agility

  • Max AP

  • AP Regen

  • AP Refill

  • Max HP

  • HP Regen

  • Damage Resistance

  • Energy Resistance

  • Poison Resistance

 

Strength

Strength caps at 100 points.


If you wear Power Armour, your weight is capped at 205 pounds (not including Calibrated Shocks) until you reach 12 Strength.


Melee mods that offer fire, energy, cold, poison, and electrical damage scale with Strength and Melee Damage.


Having high Strength does not increase or affect damage output for Heavy Weapons. Putting points in Strength while running a Heavy Guns build simply means you can equip more Heavy Weapon damage perk cards.


The higher your Strength:


Carry Weight

Capped at 1500 pounds over your character's current carry weight. Anything over this carry weight limit will be destroyed when you try to drop it or move it.


The more carry weight you have.

150 pounds + (Strength × 5)


Melee Damage

There is no cap or limit on Melee Damage, it is only limited by the Strength cap.


Melee damage is calculated on how many Strength points you have.

1 Handed weapons, 2 Handed weapons, and Bash Damage: Weapon base damage + (Base damage x Strength/20)

Unarmed: Weapon base damage + (Base damage x Strength/10)


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

*Chally's Milk stacks on top of other Strength food buffs.

 

Perception

Perception caps at 100 points.


The higher your Perception:


Compass Range

There is no cap or limit.


The longer and larger the range at which enemies and locations appear on your HUD (the yellow and red dots).

1 point of Perception = +12 feet.

(Perception × 12).


VATS Accuracy Bonus

This caps at 95%.


The higher your Perception, the better your VATS accuracy is.

1 point of Perception = +0.4% Accuracy.

(Perception x 0.4).


Having high Perception does not increase or affect damage output for Ranged Weapons. Putting points in Perception while running a Ranged build simply means you can equip more Ranged Weapon damage perk cards.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Endurance

Endurance caps at 100 points.


HP Bar

There is no cap or limit on your HP bar, it is only limited by the Endurance cap.


For each point of Endurance, your HP is increased by 5. The more HP you have, the more damage you can sustain before death.

250 + (END × 5).


Sprinting AP Drain

There is no cap or limit on Sprinting AP Drain, it is only limited by the Endurance cap.

For each point of Endurance, your AP drain while sprinting is reduced by 5%.

1 point of Endurance = - 5% drain

(Endurance × 0.05).


Disease Resistance


Disease Resistance is affected by the player's current Endurance stat (END). This includes the base SPECIAL as well as any END buffs or debuffs.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Charisma

Charisma caps at 100 points.


Sharing perk cards is based on your amount of Charisma. You need 3 points of Charisma per rank of perk card.


Buy and Sell Prices

This is capped at 25 Charisma.


The higher your Charisma, the better buy and sell prices you receive from Robot and NPC vendors.


Bonus XP

This is capped at +75% XP.

If you are on a team and successfully complete an event, you will receive extra XP.


Bonus Caps

This is capped at +75% caps.

If you are on a team and successfully complete an event, you will receive extra caps.


It does not affect your event reward drop/drop rate. That is purely down to RNG.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Intelligence

Intelligence caps at 100 points.


The higher your Intelligence:


XP/Experience points

This works on a curve and is capped at 100 Intelligence.


The more XP you receive. Due to working on a curve, having super high Intelligence will reduce the amount of XP per point of Intelligence you receive.


67/68 Intelligence is the sweet spot for XP farming. This allows you to achieve max XP from kills and events without using too much effort or resources.


Scrapping

This caps at 25 Intelligence with a 33% return of materials.

The more materials you get back from scrapping weapons and armour. This stacks with the Scrapper Perk Card.


Condition/Duration Bar

This caps at 20 Intelligence which works out to an added 100% durability.


The longer the duration bar on any weapons and armour you craft. This works on a curve and is capped at 20 Intelligence.


Hacking

This is capped at 10 Intelligence.

The fewer words show on a locked terminal, making it easier to hack and guess the password.


It does not affect your event reward drop/drop rate. That is purely down to RNG.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6


All Intelligence and XP Buffs


 

Agility

Agility caps at 100 points.


The higher your Agility:


AP Bar

There is no cap or limit on your AP bar.


The more Action Points (AP) you have. AP is used for VATS, sprinting, gun bashing, power attacks, and jet packs.

1 point of Agility = +10 Action Points (AP)

60 + (Agility x 10).


V.A.T.S. will only allow 16 shots to be queued, regardless of any remaining AP afterward.


Sneak Bonus

There is no cap or limit on Agility Sneak Bonus, it is only limited by the Agility cap.


The better you will remain at being undetected during sneak.

1 point of Agility = +5 Sneak Rating

(Agility x 5).


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Luck

Luck caps at 100 points.


The higher your luck:


VATS Crit

The faster your VATS crit meter refills.

1 point of Luck = 1.5

5 + (Luck x 1.5)


Use the calculator below to work out what perk cards, legendary effects, food buffs, and Luck you need to have a VATS crit proc every second shot.


File > Make a Copy > Enter your values into the copy.


Condition/Duration Bar

This caps at 50 Luck which works out to an added 85% durability.

The longer the condition bar on weapons and armour that is looted from bodies, or drop as event rewards.


Luck does not affect your event reward drop/drop rate. That is purely down to RNG.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

XP

XP caps at 6000 XP for events and 4000 XP for creatures.


Experience points.



67/68 Intelligence is the perfect spot for XP farming. This allows you to achieve max XP from kills and events without using too much effort or resources.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6


All Intelligence and XP Buffs

 

Carry Weight


Helping hoarders fast travel to train stations since 2102.


Capped at 1500 pounds over your character's current carry weight. Anything over this carry weight limit will be destroyed when you try to drop it or move it.


Carry weight food buffs do not stack with each other.


At the time of publication, there is currently no set carry weight buff for Herbivore players. However, if you run the Herbivore mutation and take a Herbivore serum, then you can eat a Smoked Mirelurk Fillet which can buff up to an extra 112.5 pounds carry weight.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Crit Damage

There is no cap or limit on Crits Damage.


Also referred to as VATS Crits or VATS Crit Damage.


Crits Damage buffs do not work with melee weapons.


Each successful hit in VATS builds up the crit damage meter. When the meter is full, trigger VATS crit, to guarantee a hit with extra damage.


VATS Crits ignore most enemies' damage reduction.


Use the calculator below to work out what perk cards, legendary effects, food buffs, and Luck you need to have a VATS crit proc every second shot.


File > Make a Copy > Enter your values into the copy.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Melee Damage

There is no cap or limit on Melee Damage, it is only limited by the Strength cap.


Provides additional damage


Melee Damage stacks on top of Strength to increase your melee damage output.


As of the 5th of December 2023, melee damage food buffs DO NOT stack on top of each other.


Works on all unarmed, 1-handed, and 2-handed melee weapons.


Takes your base damage and adds the % buff to it.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Max AP


Makes your AP bar longer.


AP Bar

There is no cap or limit on your AP bar.


The more Action Points (AP) you have. AP is used for VATS, sprinting, gun bashing, power attacks, and jet packs.

1 point of Agility = +10 Action Points (AP)

60 + (Agility x 10).


Action points are also spent when attempting to enter VATS while no VATS targets are visible. The cost of this is 5 action points per attempt. No action points are spent when successfully targeting.


V.A.T.S. will only allow 16 shots to be queued, regardless of any remaining AP afterward.


Weapon mods can affect AP cost

Lower AP cost: anything with the prefix "Light, Quick, Hair Trigger, Advanced, Reflex, Marksman or Sharpshooter" reduces AP cost in V.A.T.S.


Higher AP cost: anything with the prefix "Heavy, Long, Rapid, Piercing, Automatic, Large, Drum, Full, Scope and Sniper" increases AP cost in V.A.T.S.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

AP Regen

There is no cap or limit on AP Regen.


The higher your AP Regen, the faster your AP bar refills.


The base action point regeneration rate is 6.0 per second or 16.66 seconds (1100/6.0) from 0% to 100%.


The following can be stacked to achieve a higher AP Regen:

  • Legendary armour effect "Powered" - Increases Action Point refresh speed. Full set/5 pieces can be stacked for a total of +25% AP Regen.

  • Alcohol - AP Regen buff.

  • Nukashine (Sugar-free, Vintage, or Standard) - Stacks on top of food and alcohol buffs.

  • Food/Teas/Drinks - AP Regen buff.

  • Magazine - Live & Love 3, Live & Love 4 or Guns & Bullets 4.

  • Action Girl/Boy perk card.

  • Lone Wanderer perk card (You need to be running solo for this card to proc which means that you will miss out on the benefits of team bonuses including Strange in Numbers and Herd Mentality).

  • Nerd Rage perk card (only if you run a Bloodied build and stay at 20% Health).

  • Rejuvenated park card.

  • Well Tuned.

  • Fully Hydrated.


File > Make a Copy > Enter your values into the copy.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

AP Refill


Refills your AP bar quickly.


Some food buffs provide two buffs in one, for example, Cranberry Relish is an XP buff and also an AP Refill buff. The XP buff will be buffed by mutations, Strange in Numbers perk card, and magazines but the AP Refill side will not be buffed.


AP Refill buffs will stack on each other.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Max HP

This is no cap or limit on HP.


Makes your HP bar longer.


The more HP you have, the more damage you can sustain before death.


Note: Mutations, Strange in Numbers perk card, or magazines, can not buff pies.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

HP Regen


Hit Point Regeneration, a Passive form of healing, similar to Healing Factor mutation but on a lower and slower scale.


*HP Regen food buffs are currently bugged. Due to missing keywords in the game files, HP Regen foods are not buffed by mutations, Strange in Numbers perk card, or magazines.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Damage Resistance (DR)

There is no limit on Damage Resistance, however, it works on a curve so will offer diminished returns the higher your resistance.


The higher your Damage Resistance:


The less physical (bullets, knives, fists, etc) damage you will take from enemies.


For common and day-to-day enemies, 300 to 400 Damage Resistance is more than enough.


For Expos, Nuked Bosses (Earl, Titan, and Queen), Encryptid, Daily Ops, and Heart of the Swamp bosses, aim for a Damage Resistance of 700+ while also running damage avoidance perk cards and gear.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Energy Resistance (ER)

There is no limit on Energy Resistance, however, it works on a curve so will offer diminished returns the higher your resistance.


The higher your Energy Resistance:


The less energy (plasmas and lasers) damage you take from enemies.


For common and day-to-day enemies, 300 to 400 Energy Resistance is more than enough.


For PVP, Expos, Nuked Bosses (Earl, Titan, and Queen), Encryptid, Daily Ops, and Heart of the Swamp bosses, aim for an Energy Resistance of 700+ while also running damage avoidance perk cards and gear.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Rad Resistance (RR)


You can not achieve 100% Radiation Resistance, regardless of armour, hazmat suits, PA, buffs, and chems. You will at a minimum always receive +1 Rad per second.


The higher your Radiation Resistance, the lower the Rads per second you receive.


The higher your Rad Resistance, the less radiation (from the environment, creatures, and specialised weapons) damage you take from enemies.


The same Rad Resistance buffs will stack on top of each other.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Poison Resistance (PR)

There is no limit on Poison Resistance, however, it works on a curve so will offer diminished returns the higher your resistance.


These buffs can be fairly difficult to farm for. I would suggest running the Legendary perk card Funky Duds instead, however, if you aren't a high enough level or don't have room to run that perk card, then these poison resistance buffs will work well enough.


The same Poison Resistance buffs will stack on top of each other.


Can be found/purchased from:

Cave Fungus Soup


Steeped Black Bloodleaf Tea


Tato Soup


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Disease Resistance


While most diseases can be ignored, diseases that affect stats such as Blight, Jelly Fingers, Sludge Lung, and Rattle Hands should be treated immediately as they can affect AP and damage output.


I recommend running a Disease Resist food buff for things like PVP, Expos, and large events such as Scorched Earth, A Colossus Problem, Seismic Activity, Heart of the Swamp, etc.


*Disease Resistance food buffs are currently bugged. Due to missing keywords in the game files, Disease Resistance foods are not buffed by mutations, Strange in Numbers perk card, or magazines.


Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Other Food Buffs


Random and oddball buffs that are good to know about but no one really uses because there are better options available.

Food Buffs

Downloadable version here.


SIN = Strange in Numbers perk card

Magazine:

Herbivore - Live & Love 3 OR

Carnivore - Backwoodsman 6

 

Nuka Cola Products


Mostly used for PVP, XP Farming, and Melee Builds, Nuka-Cola products can provide a nice little boost where needed, but only if you can run the Cola Nut perk card. The buffs without this perk card might not be worth the time and effort required to find and farm for the drinks themselves.


Nuka-Cola Dark is a great Strength buff. It stacks on top of other buffs and offers an extra +6 Strength if you equip Cola Nut and Party Girl/Boy max rank perk cards.


Nuka Twist will stack, but not on the same buffs. For example, the Strength buff and the Strength buff will not stack, but Strength, Intelligence, and Perception will. You will need to have Cola Nut (Endurance perk card) equipped in order for Nuka Twist to stack.


Cola Nut Rank 1 allows the player to have two Nuka Twist buffs running and Cola Nut Rank 2 allows the player to have three Nuka Twist buffs running.


Nuka Cola Buffs

Downloadable version here.

 

Alcohol Buffs


Equip Party Girl/Boy under Charisma to double or triple the effects of alcohol.


Super duper does not work when crafting alcohol.


Alcohol has a 5% to 15% chance of addiction which results in -1 Agility and -1 Charisma.


You can only run one alcoholic buff at a time but it does stack with other buffs in other categories. The exception to this rule is Sweetwater's Special Blend and Nukashine (standard, sugar-free, and vintage).


For example, Nukashine and Nuka Cola Dark do stack. Nukashine and Whiskey do stack. Nuka Cola Dark and Whiskey do not stack.


Alcohol Buffs

Downloadable version here.


 

Chem Buffs


Chems can not be buffed but you can extend the length of their effects by equipping the perk card Chem Fiend and running the torso mod "Bio Mesh".


Chems do not stack with each other, but they can stack with the same buffs from other categories.


Chems have a 10% to 35% chance of addiction, depending on the chem.


Chem Buffs

Downloadable version here.


 

Camp Items

I ran out of room on the infographic so head over to here for an up-to-date list of camp items that buff.

 

Underarmour

Downloadable version here.

 

Love food buffs?


Join us at Buffs n Brew, a group dedicated to food buffs and food buff farming.

Discord - All Platforms

Facebook - PC

Facebook - XBOX

Facebook - PlayStation (Opening July 2024)

 

Hi, I'm Kat or Duchess

I'm an Australian data miner who writes farming, event, and food buff guides for Fallout 76.

I believe that all knowledge and information should be free, which is why my guides will never be locked behind a paywall. However, running a website and photo and video editing software does not come cheaply.

​​

So, If you found my guides helpful, please consider buying me a ko-fi (coffee) using the link below.

​​

 

All monies go towards the tools for writing my guides and maybe for an actual cup of coffee or 3 ;)

Alternatively, share my guides with your fellow vault dwellers and help them to survive the wasteland.


6,996 views2 comments

2 Comments

Rated 0 out of 5 stars.
No ratings yet

Add a rating
Sercan Uzun
Sercan Uzun
Jul 28, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

best explanation that i have ever seen so far. Thanks a billion.

Like

Daniel.K
Daniel.K
May 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Another large and beautiful detailed document for Fallout 76. Thank You!

Like
bottom of page