It’s a big, bad, skinless-dog-eat-dog world out there in Fallout 76. Creatures drawn from local folklore, lethal flora, other players who were born with the jerk gene — if you want to have any hope of surviving these you’ll need to power-level fast. Fortunately, we’ve trekked across more of Appalachia than any critic or content creator thus far. We know where the sweetest XP lies…
Join with us now as we teach you the best way to transition from fragile noob, straight outta Vault 76, to a Mad Max-esque Lone Wanderer who eats high level enemies and pees success. Possibly literally, via the Cannibalism perk.
Phase 1: Quick XP Straight Away
Forget hanging around Vault 76 for XP. Popping lowly Liberator bots and punching skinless dogs is an exercise in banality and boredom. The bigger XP is farther afield, to your southeast.
Open up your Pip-Boy map and place a marker on the white building in the center that’s girded by mountains. This is The Whitespring Resort (aka The Greenbrier), a treasure trove of friendly AI bots and angry enemies. Basically, it’s Fallout 76’s equivalent to an open-air Thunderdome.
Once you’ve legged it over there (which takes about ten minutes) you should definitely hit the brakes at the main gate, or somewhere else far removed from this palatial retreat. There’s a high-to-certain chance you’re going to die in the next few minutes. Plonk down your C.A.M.P. somewhere out of the way. Respawning and trying to fast-travel back to The Whitespring Resort will cost you bottle caps. Respawning and teleporting back to your portable cubby house is free. S.M.R.T.!
Obviously, the foes lurking about the stately gardens of the Whitespring are beyond any of you. They may as well be Balrogs and you a hobbit. That said, work smarter, not harder. Put a few shots on a beastie and then, with the saxophones of the Benny Hill chase theme ringing in your head, sprint to one of the main entrances of the resort. In the cheesing biz we call this “kiting.”
Phase 2: Flying Kites for Easy XP
If all goes to plan you’ll be able to safely peek-shoot at your pursuer from behind a level 60 Sentrybot or an equally potent Protectron. Sit back and watch the laser fireworks and XP roll in.
In the event that your burly protectors become too damaged to help, have a backup plan set up with the cars in the nearby parking lot. Chip a few of them down to a fraction of health and when the hordes overwhelm your droids, tactically detonate a few Chryslers for a free mini-nuke kill. Also, before the droids die you should consider putting a few rounds into what passes for robot kidneys. Hey, only the truly ruthless get to survive the post-apocalypse.
Stick to this Alamo fight until you’re low on ammo and stimpacks. Then, make a tactical retreat inside The Whitespring Resort as it’s essentially an enemy-free sanctuary. The benefits of this: you can wait for the storm outside to settle, so you can then dip outside and corpse loot. Also, being in this non-enemy environment will allow you to fast travel away from this place, or you sneak out the back way and smoke bomb off into Appalachia.
In our initial playthrough, the enemies around The Whitespring Resort were averaging around the 30 level mark, with legendary foes spiking to 45. Once you’re in the same level band, consider moving to the next hunting ground — a military base called Huntersville. You’ll find it nestled in the mountains, southeast from the resort. It can be easily located by the sound of gunship-like level 30 Vertibots.
From here it’s the same deal: Plonk down a C.A.M.P. and run in to engage the Super Mutants on site. They’re only level 10s but in our playthrough they came in a fairly constant stream and were promptly mowed down by the bots. Put shots on and reap the free XP. You should also consider luring local wildlife into the path of the Vertibots, too.
Phase 3: Uber Profit
Once you’ve ‘roided up sufficiently on XP it’s time to enter the big leagues. Open your map and mark the large icon of Watoga that lies in the extreme southeast. This place is more or less a maniac’s version of The Whitespring. On the outskirts, you can expect level 20ish Deathclaws, Mirelurks, and Gulpers. In the city, you’ll be hunted by level 26 Protectrons who are in a near-constant siege with winged, level 65 Scorchbeasts. In Avatar terms these draconian freaks are Toruk Makto levels of dangerous.
Your best bet now is to find a house or shack out in the fields to the southeast. Basically anywhere that will afford you overhead protection from their sonic blasts and AoE radiation attacks. Once hunkered down, wait for this air unit to lose interest and hunt other prey out on the field (hopefully the Deathclaws). Nip out and put a hit on one of them, preferably with a gun that has some range to it. Because trust us – you don’t want a front row seat to this clash of the titans.
If all goes to plan, and with a bit of luck, your feats of derring-do (using economical amounts of bravery) will boost your survival prospects considerably. Now all you need to worry about is finding sweet power armor and avoiding other players. Topics for another time, so check back here often for more Vault-Tec approved user manuals!