Level 16 perks
Action Boy/Girl Requirements: Agi 6 - Gives you 25 more action points to use in VATS. I found this to be less useful than I expected, mainly because at this point in the game you’re becoming powerful enough and accurate enough that combat outside of VATS is rather painless. This is not a bad perk, but it is less important than straight-forward combat perks like Better Criticals, Sniper, or Commando.
Better Criticals Requirements: Per 6 Luck 6- Increases the damage bonus for a critical hit by 50%. Can you say insta-gib? This is a must-have perk.
Chem Resistant Requirements: Medicine 60 - Makes you 50% less likely to get hooked on chems. I was addicted only twice during my time playing Fallout 3, and the addiction was more inconvient than a real problem, so this perk is fairly awful.
Tag! Requirements: None - Lets you select a fourth skill as a Tag skill. This increases that skill by 15 points. This is a very useful way of boosting your overall skill points. As long as you have already picked up the crucial combat-oriented perks, such as Better Criticals, this is a good choice.
Level 18 Perks
Computer Whiz Requirements: Int 7, Science 70 - This allows you to re-hack any computer you’ve been locked out of. The usefulness of the perk depends on how good you are at the hacking mini-game. If you find it simple, pass. If you have problems with it, then pick this perk up. It will save you from many reloads.
Concentrated Fire Requirements: Small Guns 60, Energy Weapons 60 - This will increase your accuracy each subsequent time you hit the same part of your opponent’s body in VATS. In comparison to all the other more straight-forward VATS accuracy increasing perks, this is not very good. But the real kicker is that you need 60 points in both Small Guns and in Energy Weapons. Since any well-built character is only going to be focusing on one of those skills, chances are you’ll never get the chance to pick this perk up, anyway.
Infiltrator Requirements: Per 7 Lockpick 70 - Allows you to try and re-pick a broken lock, just like Computer Whiz lets you re-hack a computer. The difference is that the lockpick mini-game is really easy, so there isn’t any need to ever take this perk.
Paralyzing Palm Requirements: Unarmed 70 - If you’re an unarmed character, this gives your attacks in VATS a chance to paralyze your opponent for 30 seconds. That is a very, very long amount of time. Of course, this perk only applies to unarmed characters, but if you are playing unarmed you absolutely should pick this up. Also, note that this perk does work with any weapon which is based off the unarmed skill, including the Power Fist.
Level 20 Perks
Note: Remember that level 20 is the last level in Fallout 3. Unlike every other level of Perks, you will only be able to select one Perk from this list. Be careful to choose one that you’ll find useful for the rest of the game.
Explorer Requirements: None - This perk reveals every location on the map. This has nothing to do with the power or effectiveness of your character, so the decision to take this is up to you. Would you rather come across locations randomly, or would you like to have them already located on your map, allowing you to explore in a more planned fashion?
Grim Reaper’s Spirit Requirements: None- If you kill a target in VATS, you have all of your action points left when you leave VATS. Insanely powerful? Yep. A deadly high-level character never really has to leave VATS once this perk is selected. As long as you’re not a melee character, this is the best level 20 perk.
Ninja Requirements: Melee Weapons 80, Sneak 80 - Increases your chance to perform a critical with melee and unarmed attacks by 15%, and sneak attack criticals do 25% more damage. This is a very powerful perk which, when stacked on top of other crit and sneak-attack improving perks, and can turn your melee or unarmed character into a real powerhouse. There is a catch for unarmed characters, however - you need 80 points in melee weapons to get this perk. That is a pretty big catch, and makes this perk a poor choice for unarmed characters. Even if you planned to have the 80 points in melee, those 80 points could go into some other more useful skill.
Solar Powered Requirements: End 7 - With this perk, you gain two points of strength when in sunlight and you regenerate health. If this perk was placed somewhere lower, it wouldn’t be terrible. But as a level twenty perk, it is awful. Grim Reaper’s Spirit is far, far better in any situation.
Next: General Tips
This is the third in an article series covering Fallout 3 Perks, and is the last of the articles which covers individual perks. The next and last section of the series provides general tips which are crucial for allocating Perks. While guides such as this one which list opinions on individual Perks helps a great deal when choosing between a few different Perks in a given level, there are other factors which must be considered in order to build the best character. The last article provides tips which will help you see the big picture and plan a character who is effective from start to finish.
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.