Advice for beginners
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- First, read the Game Rules. You might benefit from these Guides too.
- Review the list of in-game Commands and the list of game Abbreviations.
- It's a very good idea to review the Changelogs too.
- Get familiar with the FATConfig.exe and the FOConfig.exe. Both of these configuration tools are integral parts of the game, and control how you play it.
- Understand that Aftertimes is significantly different from the original Fallout games in terms of mechanics. Old builds, perks, weapons, quests and NPCs will not behave similarly and are balanced for a multiplayer platform. Choosing to roll a Gambling build may not be in your best interest, and don't expect to be able to obtain Advanced Power Armor.
- Research and plan out your character's build. It is very easy for new players to wing it and treat this like a single-player Fallout game with no real thought put into builds. Rolling a half-assed build will get you killed a lot, and may severely limit your game experience. Here are some tips to get you started:
- Making a well rounded character (as in, all 4-6's in SPECIAL) is one of the worst mistakes new players make. No matter what the character is for, specialized builds are important.
- Understand that Small Guns is by far the easiest weapon skill to begin the game with.
- At level 1, talk to the Boneyard Guard to get a bonus to one of the combat skills: Small Guns, Energy Weapons, Big Guns, Close Combat or Throwing.
- If you're choosing a ranged weapon skill (Small Guns, Big Guns, Energy Weapons, or Throwing), be sure to invest into that skill to at least 180 and incorporate the perk Bonus Rate of Fire. It reduces the AP cost of your attacks by 1, and therefore enables you to squeeze out more shots from your AP pool.
- You require at least 4 Intelligence to interact with some NPCs. However for most merchants and quest givers 2 Intelligence will be enough.
- Tagging Repair is not needed, as there is no level cap to the game. With that said, getting that skill up can have its benfit at low level, as well as in the late game. To keep your gear from breaking, getting the Repair skill to 50 helps alot, but a skill of 75 is required before you can take any level 1 professions in the areas of Gunsmithing (Small guns and /Big guns), Armorer, Ironworker, and Ironmaster.
- Outdoorsman is a valuable skill for newer players. Having a score of 100 will provide you significantly more encounter prompts while traveling on the world map, and will allow you to obtain the Ranger support perk which enables you to build Safe Houses instead of Tents.
- You can save up to 99 Skill Points for later levels. Skill Points cannot be saved forever though, and are lost over this limit. You can delay choosing a Perk, but you must choose it before you reach the next Perk. If you have an unspent Perk, and gain a new Perk-giving level, your saved Perk will be lost. Temporarily delaying your choice of a Perk can be useful if you cannot afford its requirements with your current skills; you may be able to still get it in the next couple of levels, in time before you reach the next Perk.
- Review the list of Guides too. Experienced players have contributed some helpful advice.
- When you exit the game, your character remains in-game for 3 more minutes before it disappears. In that time, other people can see you, kill you, Steal from you, and shove you into an Exit Grid, so be careful where you logout. Most players chose to logout while on The World map.
- Once you're in the game, you may want to know some Hotkeys. Here is a list of some useful ones:
- Control+G shows
- Q shows your character's field of view.
- W shows the effective range of your equipped weapon.
- A changes to attack mode.
- B switches between your two hand slots.
- G picks up items from the ground.
- Control+G picks up all items in that hex!
- Control+D drops all items from inventory at once!
- P opens your Pip-Boy.
- F opens your Fix-Boy.
- F1 displays shortcuts and ping.
- F2 saves messages to a file.
- F3 saves a screenshot
- F4 show/hide command bar
- F5 expand/collapse the message window
- F6 displays names above players' heads. It should be on by default.
- F8 mouse-scrolling toggle (helps in window mode)
- F10 toggle Town Control display area
- F11 toggle Town Control alerts
- F12 minimize client window
- Beware when you're in towns without guards (Most Northern towns!). Players and gangs there will kill you without hesitation. You should try to do some quests to gain your first levels.
- Guards punish assault with deadly force, however will ignore theft unless the thief fails in their attempt, in which case they will be attacked. Keep your most valuable items in your hands where they cannot be stolen. (Note that open carrying of weapons can trigger some NPCs to become hostile, so keep your weapon in your second hand slot or inside of your inventory.)
- Use of Drugs is an effective way of enhancing your build and is popular among most players. They can lead to addictions in Chem Reliant characters.
- Pay attention to your reputation. Attacking or stealing in a guarded town may make town NPCs hate you. Killing slavers will get you hated in Den, killing NCR police patrol will make you hated in NCR, and so on. Of course, animals are usually reputation-free so you can kill them guilt-free with no change to your reputation.
- When communicating in-game you may encounter Abbreviations. Check their wiki page to learn more about them.
- In the beginning, trust nobody. Seriously, newbie-abuse is very popular.
- If a player puts a bomb on you in a guarded town, do not try to drop it from your inventory, as guards will attack you for having it. Your best bet is to quickly leave and drop it on the world map.
- Even in guarded towns, do not idle in public or let anybody stand or walk next to you. Keep moving and keep on guard.
- If you do idle in a public area, do not bring anything you don't wish to lose.
- Communicate with other players. The best way to communicate with other players is Aftertimes's Discord chat, or the Official forum, or lastly in-game radios.
- Shovel shit for experience and caps. Several towns contain a brahmin pen (Klamath, Modoc, Vault City, Redding, NCR...). Talk to the pen keeper, grab his shovel and you're ready to clean the pen of all the shit there is! Talk to the pen keeper again when you're done, you'll be rewarded for your work. You can easily reach your first level this way.
- Random encounters are deadly at the start of the game. Even rats can kill you if you don't run fast enough, and guns will often explode in your face with gun skills under 100.
- Once you have obtained your first weapon and gun skill 100 or more, look for creature encounters. Human NPCs are tough for a new player to kill since they're armed, and don't provide as much XP as monsters. Spore Plants, Rats, little geckos, Radscorpions, Brahmin, Molerats, Pigrats, Ants, and Mantis are good to begin with. Dogs are tough and fast, so beware. The Scout perk will be very handy once you can get it.
- In the wasteland, you may find Resources in random encounters and some public locations. These raw resources can be crafted into usable items and equipment.
- Craft your own gear. You start the game with no gear, but you can collect resources and craft your own. Everyone can craft basic weapons and Ammo.
- Obtaining a Folded Tent, by whatever means, should be your first priority. The wasteland is harsh, but having Tents makes it more survivable. Each character can have up to 10.
- Here are two ways to obtain a tent:
- Once you hit level 2, you should be able to do the quest, A Tent in the Wasteland. If you are level 2 and cannot see the new encounter on your world map, relog.
- You can craft your own Folded Tents. The raw materials you'll need are Brahmin Hides, Fibers, and Wood. You may find some of these resources sold by some traders, but the best way to obtain them is by harvesting them yourself in the wild.
- Before you have a tent you can hide your stuff in town. Choose a town with very few people and hide your stuff well, it should be moderately safe if you don't leave it there too long.
- Once you have a tent you can begin gathering resources for crafting, and hunting for equipment. Look for NPC encounters commonly known as "versus encounters", in which two factions fight and the victorious one is often the non-aggressive one, for example Vault City Patrol versus Raiders around Vault City. The town patrols almost always win, and once they are done looting corpses, then you can loot the rest and get whatever is left over.
- Even with good gear, you need sufficient gun skill to shoot enemies accurately. Most people rush out too early and experience many weapon fails. Consider mining first. You can usually get several levels in a short time crafting Gunpowder, Metal Parts, and Alloys. Then making Ammo gives even more XP and also provides something you can sell.
- Accumulate caps. After your tent is built, begin saving up your Caps. Caps are the most fluid currency of the wasteland.
- Do not spend caps at merchants. If you want an item from a trader, find out what that trader will buy and barter those items. Caps are best saved for buying Vehicles, Bases, learning Professions, and trading with other players.
- A note on the Economy. Most of the caps in circulation are already in the hands of other players. To get around this check back at the shops every hour, because the storekeepers' supply of caps is periodically refreshed. If you get lucky you can find individual traders who haven't been relieved of their wealth yet, and some of them carry upwards of 10,000 caps, or more if wealthy players have made huge purchases there!
Loot for the Win
- Start the game with a character that has Lockpick skill tagged. Level up a few levels and put all your points to Lockpick. Since Random Encounters in city ruins have a fairly high chance of spawning Footlockers, you can unlock them and find valuable loot. Be wary of traps around the footlockers. You can find good armor and weapons, plus many other items including Drugs and Ammo. You will also find Blueprints which you use for superior crafting, or sell to other players for a quick buck.
- A popular Footlocker hunting area is the small city ruins near Brotherhood of Steel-Base and Junktown. Most of the times you only encounter neutral Junktown Scouts or BoS-Patrols, making this zone appealing to weaker characters. But beware: PKs hunt players here a lot too!