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In the SPECIAL character system, perks are bonuses obtainable by the player character or companions. The number of ranks each perk has determines how many times the perk can be obtained. In contrast to traits, perks are almost purely beneficial, only some exceptions.
Development and use
Perks were created, along with the SPECIAL system, in 2 weeks with perks being created last. The initial premise for perks came from Brian Fargo who had played Fallout 1 over a weekend, but wanted something more than just skill points when leveling up. Chris Taylor had came up with a list of perk to add to Fallout in a single day, and Tim Cain had programmed and implemented them the next day. Brian Fargo played Fallout over the weekend again and loved the perks, and so did everyone else in Q/A who could differentiate their characters from one another with them.
When a critical hit with a perks ability is used a gif of that perk is seen at the bottom of the screen.
Type of perks
The most common perks, selected during a level up compared to the perk rate. They are classed by level or point required, and generally have stats requirements for appear selectable.
Perks obtained by special actions or interactions with other characters.
Perks obtained as a reward for quests.
Perks obtained through implantation of implants by an Auto-Doc and costing money. In Fallout: New Vegas, the number of original implant perks (not those of Old World Blues) you can receive is equal to your Endurance statistic.
Perks obtained as a reward for challenges.
Perks adding special unarmed moves.
Perks related to a companion and affecting the party as a whole. The perk disappears if the companion is no longer in the party.
Unique companion perks
Perks of a companion, affecting only them.
A character's perk rate determines how often the player gets to choose a new perk (or an additional level for an already obtained one). In Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics the player can choose a perk every three levels, with Fallout Tactics offering different rates for non-human characters. When choosing the Skilled trait, the perk rate is reduced so that the player can choose a perk every four levels. In Fallout 3 and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, the player gets to choose a perk (or "skill") at every level-up. In Fallout: New Vegas, the perk rate is set at 2.
List of perks
Lists of perks for each game can be found on these pages (also listed above):
- Fallout perks
- Fallout 2 perks
- Fallout 3 perks
- Fallout: New Vegas perks
- Fallout 4 perks
- Fallout 76 perks
- Fallout Tactics perks
- Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel perks
You can view Category:Perks for an alphabetical listing of perks (as well as all perk-related content) in all Fallout games.