Ever since Fallout 3, the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system of player attributes has been a cornerstone of the series. That will remain true in Fallout 76. However, there are some major changes coming to the system, including the addition of Fallout 76 Perk Cards. These cards will replace the perk abilities of previous titles, and now that gameplay from the Greenbrier press event has been released, Bethesda has published more details about how they will work.
How Fallout 76 Perk Cards Work With the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. System
Both Pete Hines and Todd Howard have spoken about the Fallout 76 Perk Cards before. Indeed, Howard presented a brief talk about the cards in particular during QuakeCon. Now, however, players finally have gameplay footage of the new system in action, giving a much clearer picture of how it all actually works. The first key difference is that players won’t be allotting points to their S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes at the start of the game; “In Fallout 76,” says Bethesda; “the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. character system returns and all attributes start at 1. You can build your character as you level up by allocating points to your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. You can allocate 1 point to a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. category with each level up until level 50.”
Interestingly, this means that the attributes will no longer be capped at 10, as they have in previous games. Investing points in different attributes is very important, as players can also equip Perk Cards to each attribute. You cannot equip more Perk Cards to any attribute than you have points in that attribute. Players will gain Perk Cards in packs every few levels, and there are far more cards than there were perks in previous games. Moreover, due to the new system, players can equip and un-equip them whenever they want; this allows players to alter their character builds on the fly.
“When you have duplicate Perk Cards,” continues Bethesda; “you can even combine them to increase their level and the bonuses attached to them. These higher-level Perk Cards will require more S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points, but it will be worth it for increasing important things like your First Aid skill or your ability to drink dirty Wasteland water.”