General Hints and Tips

Fallout 3 Walkthrough and Guide by Absolute Steve  

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Fallout 3 Guide

General Hints and Tips

Save your game, and keep multiple files.  Yes, any and all guides will tell you this.  Seriously, it cannot be stressed how important this is.  Yes, you will die every now and then.  Besides, you'll often want to figure out how things could've went, should you have acted in a different way.

Holster your gun when you're not about to use it [hold Square]. This will allow you to run faster, and you won't scare people as quickly.

At the start of the game, go for Repair Skill and Small Guns Skills.  Be sure to repair your weapons and armor consistently.  The healthier your equip, the easier your wastelander life will be.

Never waste ammo, never waste Stimpaks.  If you want to heal yourself, do it properly and sleep in a bed.  By using the V.A.T.S. most of the time, you'll be able to conserve loads of precious ammunition.  If you sleep in a rented bed or own bed, you'll get the

Well Rested status that grants 10% extra EXP until it wears off after a couple of hours.

Collect items just for resell purposes.  You can check up the value (VAL) of an item in your inventory, and it's wise to sell these whenever the next possibility comes up; Don't let them clutter up your inventory, especially not when you're on a lengthy quest.

Always search a Nuka-Cola Vending Machine.  There are often regular bottles inside, but you also have a 10% chance that a Nuka-Cola Quantum bottle is in the machine.  These are part of a quest and are rare and finite (94 total).  Once you've checked a machine, what's inside stays the same.

Exploration is the golden rule of Fallout 3.  It is the intention of the game for you to explore everything, so don't go rushing through the areas - trust me, you'll end up missing a lot.

When given a Speech Challenge, try to save before talking to someone.  This way you can keep loading the Speech Challenge until it passes.

Fast Travel with your Worldmap! If you are on the worldmap and you find yourself stuck, don't hesitate to use the fast travel option!

IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT FINDING ITEMS: This Guide is quite specific when it comes down to describing what you can find laying around in Fallout 3.  Most of the time this will be correct, and most of the time this will only apply to useful findings anyway, but sometimes you may find different things in cabinets, desk drawers, lockers, etc.  I suspect this has to do with the random factor that the game applies.  Skills can also affect this.  Use this Guide and don't take the minor findings too seriously.  Thanks.

How do you solve the checklist problem?  Simple.  Just tick off everything that I listed - things that were inside for me - and grab everything that you get from the looting instead.  Amounts are often similar, as are items.  That is the reason they're still listed: To give you a good impression.

Items with no weight (--) should always be picked up.  Even if the item seems useless, you can always sell it in larger amounts later on.  If an item does weigh something, look at its value.  Is the weight 1 and the value 1?  Better leave the item.  Is the value 50 and the weight 2?  You can sell the item and make a profit without getting too much weight on your shoulders!

The checklists feature two kinds of brackets. [] means that the item doesn't cost you any Karma for taking it, while {} may cost you Karma.  Therefore, those are optional.

At Level 5, pick the Comprehension Perk which doubles the effectivity of any read Skill Book.  That means 2 points for every book read!

ONLY read Skill Boosting Magazines after learning the Comprehension Perk at LVL 4 .  This allows you to get 2 Skill Points instead of 1 from every single magazine, which makes for a large boost in the end.

Speaking of Skill Books, note down how many you've found of each!  Seriously!  You can save yourself a lot of trouble searching for the ones you haven't found already if you note down the ones you've already found.  In fact, if you don't, you're likely to waste a lot of time.

NEVER put any Skill Points into Big Guns when you gain levels.  You can get infinite Skill Books for this by going to the Bethesda Ruins (East Office) and have this area's enemies respawn time after time.  The Raider with the flamethrower  upstairs holds a Big Guns Skill Book - which you can thus respawn.

Check [S5] to see a good build for a character!

Odds & Ends:

If you cause trouble in a town - and everyone turns against you - wait 3 in-game days to reset their aggressive behavior towards you.  There is one exception to this rule, which is Paradise Falls.  Mess with them, and they'll stay hostile for the remainder of the game.

Using a Stealth Boy significantly increases your ability to pick pockets.  Speaking of picking pockets, you can never steal any equipped items (these simply won't appear).  Also try placing a ‘Live' Grenade or Mine into their inventory and quietly back away!

Using Chems (Med-X, Buffout, etc.) can lead to addiction, which in turn leads to negative consequences for your stats.  You are allowed to take 2 of the same chem in a 30 hour span.  If you take more you'll become addicted.  You can effectively wait a long time in order to prevent addiction.

Alcohol doesn't work like chems.  If you consume Beer or Wine the chance that you get addicted is 5% (1 out of 20 times).  If you consume a harder beverage, the chance becomes 10% (1 out of 10 times).  This is the case with Whiskey, Vodka and Scotch.

Chems don't stack on themselves, but do stack with other chems.  I'll try to elaborate:  If you take 2 Psycho's, your damage is still only increased by 25%.  However, if you use a Psycho and a Yao Guai Meat, it increases to 35%.

Storing Items when exploring:
It's quite possible that you're going to run out of weight to carry when you pick up all the useless junk lying around.  But when you're exploring an area, it could be a good idea to pick a Metal Box/Locker/Cabinet/Whatever nearby the exit and dump all and any “junk” you might need later on.  This way you can make several trips to a trader or your home and pick up all the items from one simple location, namely that one box you put everything in during exploration.  Takes a little extra time, but can save you lots of time later.

Game Difficulty:
In comparison to many other games, you can ALWAYS adjust the difficulty whenever you want during your playthrough, at any given time.  If you feel like the game is too easy, simply put it on Very Hard and watch your head being shot off in no time.  Oh wait .. is that even possible to see for oneself?
Below is a table with the effects of tweaking with the Game Difficulty:

                |Difficulty: |Player's Damage: |Enemy Damage: |
                |Very Easy   |       200%      |      50%     |
                |Easy        |       150%      |      75%     |
                |Normal      |       100%      |     100%     |
                |Hard        |        75%      |     150%     |
                |Very Hard   |        50%      |     200%     |


Comments for General Hints and Tips

Add your comment8 comments, latest first.
Tip : never hug a death claw]

Added 28th Apr 2014, ID #379791

How do i get to the white house

Added 6th Apr 2013, ID #271245

Just wondering what difficulty you played on when you wrote this guide?

Added 31st Jul 2012, ID #170716

how do get into the cellar in the houses when you first come out the vault with the game of the year edition

Added 15th May 2011, ID #43140

every thing was helpful, your maps needed a little bit more work

Added 25th Sep 2010, ID #13588

I'm being picky, but still it should be Effectiveness, not effectivity.

Added 6th Sep 2010, ID #11703

lol i never knew there was a difficulty setting THANK YOU!!!

Added 7th Aug 2010, ID #7857

this game rocks
this guide is awesome
checkout for cheats

Added 12th Jul 2010, ID #4114

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