Level 10 Perks
Animal Friend Requirements: Cha 6 - At first rank, animals won’t attack, and at second, animals will come to your aid. The problem is that by level 10 animals will be easily killed with a single shot to the head, so all this perk really gets you is the chance to roam the wasteland without being molested by Mole Rats every two minutes.
Finesse Requirements: None - This gives you an extra chance to score a critical equal to 5 points of luck. This simply means that your chance to score a critical will increase by 5%, since every point of luck increases your chance to crit by 1%. This does continue to stack with the luck attribute even if you have the maximum of 10 luck. This perk is very useful for combat-oriented characters.
Here And Now Requirements: None - Instantly increases your level. This is good if you’re impatient about leveling up, but otherwise skip it. Remember, while this may get you to the maximum level quicker, you’ll have less useful perks once there.
Mister Sandman Requirements: Sneak 60 - You can instantly kill a sleeping human or ghoul while in sneak with this perk. The problem is that you almost never come across sleeping humans or ghouls, and those you do come across are usually in a public area. As a result, this perk is worthless.
Mysterious Stranger Requirements: Luck 6 - This strange perk causes a character with a powerful magnum to show up while you are in VATS. The Mysterious Stranger is very powerful and can easily one-shot most enemies. However, you’ll never know when he will show up. This perk is a lot of fun, but not that useful.
Nerd Rage _Requirements**:** Science 60, Int 5_ **-** Basically a berserker perk for characters with a high science skill, this increases your strength to 10 and increases your damage resistance by 50% whenever your health is below 20%. Considering you rarely want to be under 20% health, and that the strength increase is capped at 10 (so if you have 10 strength already, you gain nothing) this perk is a pass.
Night Person Requirements: None - Gives you +2 to Intelligence and Perception at night up to a maximum of ten. If you don’t mind always traveling at night, this is the easiest way to increase attributes in the entire game.
Level 12 Perks
Cannibal Requirements: None - This lets you eat a corpse while in sneak mood to gain health. But you lose karma, and if anyone sees it, they get really really mad at you. The health gain is nice, but because the karma loss can quickly make absolutely everyone hate you, this perk isn’t worthwhile.
Fast Metabolism Requirements: None - This gives you a 20% boost in the amount of health Stimpaks rejuvenate. This turns out to be significant. This is a good perk to pick if you’re a melee or high-endurance character who burns through health points, and a decent perk for anyone else.
Life Giver Requirements: End 6 - Take this perk and you’ll have 30 extra health, straight up with no strings attached. That seems nice, until you consider how many other perks are available that increase your damage resistance or make it easier to heal yourself. Suddenly, the measly health bonus seems less important. When it comes to survivability-enhancing perks, this is a low priority.
Pyromaniac Requirements: Explosives 60 - Increases damage with fire-based weapons by 50%. That is a lot. It turns weapons like the flamer - which is already powerful - into a doomsday machine. The catch? You need 60 points in explosives to use this perk, and 60 points in explosives is not that useful. This is a very good perk however, and if you happen to like explosives enough to put a lot of skill points into it, this perk is a must-have.
Silent Running Requirements: Agi 6 Sneak 50 - Adds 10 points into sneak, and running no longer makes you more likely to be detected. This is an absurdly powerful perk which defines high-level stealth characters. With maxed sneak skill and Silent Running you can dash from one place to another at full speed without anyone being the wiser. Then once you’re in position, you can easily perform a one-hit kill with a sneak attack.
Robotics Expert Requirements: Science 50 - Adds 25% to damage done to robots, and gives you the ability to instantly shut down any robot you sneak up on. The additional 25% damage to robots is not that appealing, but the instant shut-down can make certain parts of the game a cake-walk for stealth characters, particularly if combined with Silent Running.
Level 14 Perks
Adamantium Skeleton Requirements: None - Decreases damage to limbs by 50%. This isn’t a very good perk, because it isn’t very often that you’l find your limbs crippled. And even if you do, you can take care of it with a stimpak. I wouldn’t advise that anyone take this perk.
Chemist Requirements: Medicine 60 - Causes any chems you take to last twice as long. If you’re like me, you don’t really use chems that often, so this is useless. Sure, it is nice to have buffout last a long time, but there are other much stronger perks available.
Contract Killer/Lawbringer Requirements: Bad/Good Karma - Both of these give you a trophy when you kill someone of the opposite alignment, which you can then sell for caps. But the amount of caps you receive is only 15, which is hilariously few. These two perks are easily the worst perks in the game.
Cyborg Requirements: Medicine 60, Science 60 - Adds 10% to your damage, poison, and rad resistance, and adds 10 points to your energy weapon skill. This is a very powerful perk, which increases survivability and offensive power at the same time. The catch is you need 60 points in medicine and Science to qualify, plus you need to be using Energy Weapons as you main form of offense for the bonus to be of any use. Few characters have all of those prereqs, but if yours does, you should take this perk.
Light Step Requirements: Per 6 Agi 6 - Once you take this perk, you never set off mines or floor-based traps. This is often not useful, but the first time you step into a mine field and realize that you have absolutely no reason to be afraid, the feeling is wonderful. This is not a high priority, but can be a good one to pick up if you prefer to be able to charge in a fight without worrying about what might be around a corner.
Master Trader Requirements: Cha 6 Barter 60 - Reduces the price of every vendor item by 25%. Completely useless, since by level 14 you’ll be rolling in caps.
Next: Visit Level 16-20
This is part two of an article series covering all of the Perks in Fallout 3. Visit the first and third articles for opinions on those perks, and visit the final article for an overview containing general tips you should always keep in mind when allocating Perks. When taken together, these articles provide a comprehensive overview of the Perks in Fallout 3, allowing you to make the best choices when allocating them.
This post is part of the series: Fallout 3 Perk Guide
Fallout 3 is a complex game, with choices that will challenge you throughout your life in the Wasteland. One of these choices is your Perks - the abilities that make you more powerful than the average survivor. This guide will help you choose the best Perks, so you can not only survive, but thrive.