WIP – This page is a work-in-progress. We would have finished it sooner, but Grover told us there would be a monster at the end of this guide.
When you’re starting out, you don’t need to stress too much about gearing up, but you do need to start learning what you’re doing so that you’re ready as you approach level 50. Gear basically consists of armor and weapons. Outfits are cosmetic, and don’t enhance your stats as they did/do in other Fallout games. Further, headgear is also generally cosmetic, unless it’s a piece that functions as a gas mask, or a power armor helmet.
DR – Damage Resistance
ER – Energy Resistance
RR – Radiation Resistance
Wearables and armor come in layers. Power armor is generally mutually exclusive to every other layer, in that if you’re wearing power armor, you basically aren’t considered to be wearing anything else (although we hope you’re not going commando, but you do you). Assuming you’re not wearing power armor, then you have under armor, armor pieces (two arms, two legs, and a chest piece), and then you have outfits and other cosmetics.
Under armor is the oft-forgotten part of gear, but it can give a decent boost to your stats (assuming you’re not in power armor). There are several categories of underarmor, and each of them can be modded to add bonus stats to the piece, and within those categories you usually have several options you can pick to suit your fancy (although since they’re under everything else, you probably aren’t going to see much of them if anything at all).
The base unit of underarmor, by default, has a standard lining. You can upgrade that to treated, resistant, protective, or shielded (you don’t have to go in order, realistically you should ignore everything but shielded). While shielded under armor require the most materials to mod, it also gives the best stats, and can still be equipped at any level. With that in mind, either craft, or have someone else craft shielded under armor for you as soon as you can.
- Brotherhood of Steel 13 DR, 9 ER, 5 RR, +2 Strength, +3 Endurance
- Brotherhood Fatigues
- Brotherhood Knight Suit
- Brotherhood Officer Suit
- Brotherhood Soldier Suit
- Casual 5 Dr, 5 ER, 5 RR, +3 Charisma, +3 Intelligence, +1 Luck
- Flannel Shirt & Jeans
- Military Fatigues
- Undershirt & Jeans
- Enclave 9 DR, 13 ER, 5 RR, +3 Strength, +2 Perception
- Forest Operative Underarmor
- Urban Operative Underarmor
- Marine 9 DR, 9 ER, 9 RR, +2 Strength, +1 Perception, +2 Endurance
- Marine Wetsuit Prevents Damage & Disease from Waterborne Hazards
- Raider 10 DR, 5 ER, 0 RR, +3 Perception, +3 Agility, +1 Luck
- Long Johns
- Raider Leathers
- Road Leathers
- Secret Service 15 DR, 15 ER, 15 RR, +4 Strength, +2 Perception, +4 Endurance
- Secret Service Underarmor
- Vault Tec 5 DR, 5 ER, 5 RR, +1 Strength, +2 Endurance, +2 Intelligence, +2 Luck
- Vault 51 Jumpsuit
- Vault 76 Jumpsuit
- Vault 94 Jumpsuit
- Vault Tec University Jumpsuit
Generally speaking, the type of armor isn’t as important as the mods and legendary effects on it, but you still want to have the best you can get. Marine armor is widely considered to be the best overall piece (although there’s pretty much no paint options for it), however if you can find the heavy variants of combat armor, that’s even better than marine armor. If you’ve got the interest, and the inventory space, other armor sets might have excellent defenses against certain types of damage, while being poor against others. If you’re planning on min-maxing, having specific sets for specific occasions can be nice, but there’s really not much that demands that type of min-maxing in this game.
While there are five potential stars on weapons and armor, nothing currently goes beyond three stars (although there used to be a couple of things). If you’re looking for a full list, the wiki has a great page for that. We strongly suggest you become familiar with these, and think about how different legendary effects would benefit or harm your build. Unyielding and bolstering work together for some very popular builds right now (although with online games, rebalancing is always a thing), and snipers often enjoy the sentinel’s bonus. Think about what works well for you, and start saving items that have at least some of what you want. You can also look on Reddit or other groups for trading if you’re really keen on getting specific pieces.
Armor mods are tremendously important as well, and if you’re not sure what’s the what, again, the wiki has a solid amount of info. Some of the plans for mods you can learn from scrapping that type of armor (marine armor for marine armor mods), which takes a lot of scrapping, but it is what it is. Some mods, however, must be learned from plans which you can purchase from vendors, or as event rewards, or rare drops. You can also have someone else mod your gear for you, but make sure it’s someone you trust, as some people might just gank that sweet piece for themselves. Again, familiarize yourself with what’s available, and test how different things work out with your build. If you try something, and don’t like it, you can always change the mods later.