FallOut 3 Fundamentals – Part 3 – Useful TipsAuthor: Author | Filed under: Guides & Hints
1.) Take Things Slow – There’s no reason to rush around the Capital Wasteland. In fact, rushing around is likely going to get you killed, and at the very least, it will remove much of the fun of the immersive experience of Fallout 3. Take it all in. Walk around deliberately, look at everything, and talk to everyone. Find every location, explore every tunnel, and kill every kind of enemy. Only after you’ve done all of that (and more) have you truly experienced Fallout 3, and by rushing through the game for no reason, you’ll end up missing a great deal of it.
2.) Arm Yourself For the Occasion – With so many weapons available to you in the game, there’s no reason to keep yourself armed with the same stuff time and time again. The fact is, some weapon types simply aren’t that effective against certain enemy types. But beyond that, ammunition is a precious, precious commodity in Fallout 3. You don’t want to rip through it all, especially through all of one type of ammo, because you never know when you’ll need it. Generally, weaker enemies you know you can take should be taken out with melee weapons that don’t use ammunition. But for stronger enemies, like Super Mutant Behemoths, wasting 10mm ammo is really not a wise idea, especially when you might just have Missiles or Mini-Nukes sitting around for just such an occasion.
3.) Conserve Ammo – We said it above, but it bears repeating — ammunition is a rare, valuable commodity. While it’s not technically finite in the game, it can be extremely hard to come across (an interesting survival horror twist to the shooter-RPG that is Fallout 3). Don’t go around shooting things for no reason, or shooting your gun off, or in any other way wasting ammunition. It’s simply not worth it. Constantly utilization of V.A.T.S. to aim carefully at your enemies is probably the best way to make sure that fired ammunition doesn’t get wasted.
4.) Conserve Meds – Just like ammunition, you’ll also want to conserve medication as much as possible. Don’t go around stabbing yourself with Stimpaks for fun, because they’re expensive and sometimes hard to come around. Instead, risk radiation poisoning and eat some foodstuffs (you can often find meat on enemies you’ve killed, especially monstrous ones). The same goes for radiation medicine, like Rad-X and RadAway. Don’t just use them because you’re mildly radiated. Instead, consider going to a clinic and getting cleaned up that way, so that when you need those Stimpaks or Rad-X treatments during a firefight or when you’re in a tough spot, you’ll actually have them to use.
5.) Sleep Where You Can – The best and more desirable way to heal yourself is to sleep. You can’t sleep in beds that you don’t own, but you’re going to come across plenty of beds that you can use as you play. Remember where those beds are and use them when you’re in their vicinity in lieu of visiting a clinic or using valuable medicine. And if you encounter a bed during gameplay, say at a Raider compound, clear it out and then sleep in the bed to heal yourself. Those Raiders did own the bed… but they’re dead now, aren’t they?
6.) Never Pass Up Experience – The maximum level your character can reach in Fallout 3 is 20, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to get there quickly. Quite the opposite is true, actually — getting to level 20 is a true challenge, and you’re going to need to use all of the experience-earning opportunities you encounter to get there. If you see a computer terminal to hack, hack it. Even if it generates a pesky and useless Protectrons, kill the Protectron for even more experience. See where we’re going? Experience can be found everywhere, and you never, ever want to pass it up. Kill every enemy you encounter, pick every lock, hack every computer, and locate every location. You’ll be all set with experience if you do all of that regularly.
7.) Collect & Sell – There are so many inconsequential, useless items in Fallout 3 that it’s a wonder Bethesda managed to fit them all in. Some are seemingly useless but actually have some sort of use, but many of them, like Bent Tin Cans and Empty Soda Bottles will boggle your mind as to their use. Collect what goods you can, especially if you can quickly get back to a settlement to trade them off for money. The more you can collect and sell, the more Bottle Caps can be earned, thus the more you can purchase. Don’t hesitate to collect what you can, but keep in mind that you’ll become encumbered if you collect too much! Generally, rampant collecting should only be done when you’re not in the middle of a quest to avoid just such an issue.
8.) Use Points Wisely – Since you can only level-up to a finite degree, you don’t want to waste your Skill Points. You really need to think about how they can best be used when you’re presented with them in between each leveling-up sequence. The biggest mistake you can make is to distribute them evenly. Avoid this tempting pitfall in lieu of buffing-out some of your most-used attributes. If you’re not hacking many computers, why put anything into that skill? If you don’t use melee attacks, then don’t bother putting points there. Put the points where they count, because you’ll only have so many of them, and once they’re used, they’re gone forever.
9.) Explore – We can’t stress this enough — explore. Washington D.C. and the surrounding environment are vast, and the game’s main quest won’t even scratch the surface as far as places that you can visit. Much of the fun in Fallout 3 can be derived from aimlessly traveling and searching for new locales, seeing how far you can get before you run into enemies that are just too strong for you to handle. This is the best, most pristine way you can enjoy Fallout 3 and take it all in. Just explore. Once an area is discovered, you can always teleport back there later, so populating your map with markers for instant teleportation is a great idea, and one that can only be done with rampant exploration.
10.) Save Often – The game auto-saves like it’s going out of style, but you’ll want to create a bunch of your own save files as you go. This is extremely important, believe it or not, and that’s because of the permanence of your choices in the game. If a situation doesn’t pan out the way you wanted it to because of choices you made (such as running into Megaton and trying to kill everyone), you can override your auto-save and start from a fresh save to try things a different way. The permutations presented to you in Fallout 3 necessitate such an approach. Otherwise, choices made become permanent, and while that might be a realistic approach to the game, the fact is it could ruin an otherwise awesome experience. Consider saving, and consider saving often.