Fallout: A Beginner’s Guide

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Fallout 4 is upon us. But for those of you either living under a bomb shelter during the release of Fallout 3 or New Vegas (or simply too young), here’s an easy guide to playing a 3-D Fallout game. May the G.O.A.T.S. be with you.

The World is Massive

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Now, when I save “Massive,” I’m not being cute like GTA or Borderlands. Fallout has a truly giant world. It’s not a sandbox, the whole damn state. As a new player, you may feel overwhelmed with things to do and places to go. Treasure this feeling. That’s what playing Fallout is all about. If you ever feel lost, you have a map and mission guide to show you the way.

Your Storage, and Resources, Are Limited

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Because the world is so huge, you will need to be well equipped. The problem is, you’re playing in a post apocalyptic wasteland. You will never be truly “well equipped.” Money, or “caps” are scarce, even among venders, and good armor drops are often random. Worse yet, you have a limited storage. You can’t carry every little thing you find. This is good, because its suppose to instill in you a certain level of desperation, making you more of a survivor than ultimate hero. But it also means you’ll need to decide what’s important and what’s not. Unless you manage to score a storage box somewhere, then your golden (bugs and glitches no withstanding).

Weapons and Armor Break Down and Need Repair

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During your travels, you will notice that your own weapons have a health bar. This indicates the weapons usability. If it runs out, mostly due to overuse, it will need repair. You’ll need to find a similar weapon and sacrifice it for the one you’re fixing. If you have certain perks, you’ll actually make your original weapon better as a result. Sadly, this system prevents you from using the same weapons and armors all game, unless you’re really stubborn about it.

You’ll Also Need Repair

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Another system in the Fallout franchise is injury. You and your enemies can aim for a particular body part and injure it. Shot the legs, and they can’t walk fast. Shot the arms, and there goes two handed weapons. This works both ways. So you will find yourself in need of repair. This mostly consist of losing a health pack, or “stim-pack,” to get your body back. Or you can waddle your way back to a doctor. Oh, and fast travel is strictly a no-no if your legs are busted.

Dialogue Choices Matter

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In most games, when you make a Dialogue Choice, you still end up with the same result. In Fallout, if you make a Dialogue Choice, you might wind up getting shot at. In almost every conversation, your response will affect the parameter of a mission, or the relationship you might have with a NPC. You might wind up getting locked out of a quest, or missing a sweet item, because you stuck your foot in your mouth. And for those worried that the more peaceful route bears the least fruit, making dialogue choices also adds experience. You’ll also need high charisma to get some of the funnier lines.

Walking and Fast Travel

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One of the reasons why you need to be so well prepared, and why the world seems to big, is because you’re ganna be doing a lot of walking. There are no vehicles in Fallout. You, as the player character, need to reach every destination by foot. You need to survive the horrors of the wasteland with nothin’ but your gun and your wits to reach your goal. But once discovered, a location is unlocked in your map and you can fast travel to that place whenever you want!

There you go. Have fun out there!


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