Advice for beginners

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Advice

Pregame

  • 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.
  • It will greatly benefit your play experience and is highly recommended to join the game's Discord channel. There is an important "Information" channel, and the "Announcements and News" channel is where all of the information and changes about the game are released by the developers before they make it to the wiki. If you have any questions the "Help-Questions" channel is the best place to ask and get quick answers. There are also many unique events hosted by the developers and players which happen in game that are worth it to participate in, and joining the Discord channel is the best way to know when they will happen if you don't want to miss any!
  • Understand that Fonline 3 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. It is possible to play the game this way and you can reroll your character at any time, but a little planning beforehand will save you a lot of trouble. 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. Your first character should probably have at least 3 Intelligence if you want to have any flexibility with skill points. If you have 6 Intelligence, you can rapidly up your Science skill to 50 in order to easily get the Swift Learner support perk from Mrs. Stapleton in the Hub, which can be very helpful for a "leveling" build.
  • Rushing Repair is not needed as there is no level cap to the game.
  • 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 store (probably) infinite amount of Skill Points. You can delay choosing a Perk, but you must choose it before you reach the next Perk, eg. if you get perk at level 3, you can wait to choose it till level 5. 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. If you got perk at 24 level, you can wait with choosing it until level 30.
  • Review the list of Guides too. Experienced players have contributed some helpful advice.

Basics

  • 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 choose to logout while on The World map, or in their own private Bases or tent.
  • Turn-Based combat is fine, especially for leveling in the beginning, but eventually you will have to do combat in Real Time in order to go to harder areas and get better loot, and it is going to take some practice. This is part of mastering the game. Don't be scared when enemies start moving really fast and overwhelming you. Don't freak out. Think it out first and then act. To be good at this you need to be able to heal yourself and others and remove poison rapidly, so it is highly recommended to make easily pressed Hotkeys for "Use Items - Super Stimpak, Stimpak", "Use First Aid Self", and "Use Items - Antidote", as well as "Use Super Stimpak on Other" with the options in game.

Here is a list of some other useful ones:

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. Do not attack anyone in cities with guards, and keep your most valuable items equipped 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 almost universal among experienced players. Even if you do not approve of drugs, do not be afraid to use them in this game because they will make you much more powerful! They can lead to addictions in Chem Reliant characters, but this is not significant enough to be a real concern as Drug Antidote is easily obtained.
  • 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. You can reset your reputation at the Cathedral south of San Francisco for 5000 caps, but you will not want to be heading there until you can survive some of the more difficult random encounters, so you may want to be careful not to anger any of the factions for a while.
  • When communicating in-game you may encounter Abbreviations. Check their wiki page to learn more about them.

Survive

  • In the beginning, trust nobody. Seriously, newbie-abuse is very popular. Some players will be nice to you and try to form groups or share what they have, but some will attack you on sight and kill you for amusement, then take your gear even if they don't need it just to make you suffer and possibly even make fun of you for complaining or asking them why. Do not trust easily, they are all potential enemies who could be making friends with you just to find out where your base is and take your stuff! It is possible to be very hurtful to other players!
  • Do not use any equipment that you don't want to lose. Sometimes you may find something quite rare in the beginning, but you are eventually going to die and lose every single thing you find. If you do, it may be worth it to save some of your better equipment until you are high level so you don't lose it so easily. When you find something good, return to your base IMMEDIATELY if you want to save it. Don't use anything that it will break your heart to lose. It might not be glamorous or easy, but if you use only your worst equipment the tradeoff is never losing anything you care about.
  • Go about your business in towns quickly and stay far away from other players if you have any valuables. Do not idle in public or let anybody stand or walk next to you. Keep moving and keep on guard.
  • If a player plants 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 run to the closest exit grid and drop it on the world map.
  • 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 FOnline 3 Discord chat, or in-game chat. You can also ask for build help there.
  • Try to run around the prologue map after leaving the cave and do some Quests in the tutorial area.
  • 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 some Experience 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.
  • Open containers in The Hub, Junktown or Shady Sands to get some free loot.
  • Crafting your own gear will make starting out much less painful. You start the game with no gear, but you can collect resources in quarries (for example in those near Shady Sands or Junktown) and craft your own (using FixBoy - hotkey F). Everyone can craft basic weapons and Ammo with the following resources:

Grow Stronger

  • Obtaining a Folded Tent, by whatever means, should be your first priority so you have a private place to store your gear. The wasteland is harsh, but having Tents makes it far more survivable. Each character can have up to 10 Tents.
  • Here are two ways to obtain your first 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 if you have no Bottle Caps or stuff for to sell 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 (but honestly - don't). 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 failures. 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 Currency at merchants. If you want an item from a trader, find out what that trader will buy and barter those items. Currency are best saved for buying Vehicles, Bases, Installing Implants and trading with others players.
  • A note on the Economy. Most of the Currency 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 Currency 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 Currency, or more if wealthy players have made huge purchases there!

Loot for the Win

  • Lockpick skill is very valuable throughout the whole game, but since Random Encounters in city ruins have a fairly high chance of spawning Footlockers, you can unlock them and find valuable loot even at the very beginning. Level up a few levels and put all the points into lockpick skill if you want to try it. 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 Books and Blueprints which you can use or sell to other players. Don't forget about taking the Treasure Hunter support perk to get more loot out of the boxes.
  • 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!