10 Best Mutations in Fallout 76

It's okay to feel a little bit like a mutant.
Fallout 76 Scorchbeast Queen
Screenshot by Prima Games

In any other post-apocalyptic game, you’d want to avoid radiation like the plague, but that’s not the case in Fallout 76. It can help buff your character, but first, you must learn the best mutations in Fallout 76 to focus on.

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The Best Mutations in Fallout 76

You can acquire various mutations in Fallout 76 by experiencing intense bouts of radiation throughout Appalachia. These mutations are a double-edged sword, however, providing both negative debuffs and positive buffs, with some increasing specific types of damage and others reducing your stats.

Either way, you can factor mutations into your build to help push you through the various end-game content.

It’s important to note that you can become an absolute monstrosity with 18 out of the 19 available mutations. The only exception, as you will see below, is having to choose between either Herbivore or Carnivore for a food buff. You can only select one.

Marsupial

Fallout 76 Melee Build in a Tower
Screenshot by Prima Games
PositivesNegatives
+20 Carry Weight
Increased Jump Height
-4 Intelligence

Everyone loves Marsupial. If you ask any Fallout 76 player what their favorite mutation is in the game, they’ll probably mention Marsupial. It increases your jump height significantly, making traversing the rough landscape a breeze. Plus, it provides +20 carry weight, which, in a game about crafting and breaking down junk, is a massive buff.

The downside, however, is the significant reduction in your Intelligence STAT. Intelligence affects your dialogue options (not a big deal), the skill points you receive per level (not a problem at high levels), and the yield you receive when scrapping (kind of a big deal).

Healing Factor

PositivesNegatives
+300% Health Regeneration (Outside of Combat)-55% Chem Effects

As someone who doesn’t often use chems in Fallout 76, I found Healing Factor to be more beneficial than not. As soon as you leave combat, you begin restoring health at an exceptional rate of +300%. For those of us who run through Stimpaks frequently, the ability to heal without aid items is a godsend.

That said, if you care about the debuff, you will endure -55% chem effects, which means when you pop Psycho, you won’t enjoy as big a buff to your damage. It’s a trade-off that I believe is well worth it every time.

Speed Demon

PositivesNegatives
+20% Movement Speed
+20% Reload Speed
+50% Drain on Hunger and Thirst while moving

Appalachia is a big world with zero mounts, so unless you spend all your caps fast-traveling from point A to point B, you will wind up walking more often than not. To ensure you’re not wasting time, Speed Demon increases your movement speed. While in combat, it increases your reload speed. It’s a two-fold buff that helps at all times.

But for such benefits, you will consume more food. You will endure a +50% drain on your hunger and thirst meters, which means topping off frequently. You will want to learn plenty of cooking recipes!

Herd Mentality

PositivesNegatives
+2 to All SPECIAL Stats when in a Group-2 All SPECIAL Stats when Solo

As Fallout 76 is a pseudo-MMORPG, which relies heavily on group-based content (You can still solo!), the ability to bolster your SPECIAL Stats while in a group can make you a contender against any foe. As you will often group up with random players or with a friend to run events, Herd Mentality increases all of your stats by two.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, if you choose to play solo at any time, you will receive a damaging two per stat debuff. It can kill your build. There’s always someone with a public group available to join in every lobby.

Carnivore/Herbivore

Fallout 76 CAMP Cooking Station
Screenshot by Prima Games
PositivesNegatives
Eating meat/plant food doubles hunger satisfaction, increases HP restoration and consumable buffs, and has no disease chanceEating the opposite type of food (meat/plant) has the opposite effect

As Fallout 76 leans heavily into survival game mechanics, like sleeping and eating, you will want to consume food and drink regularly. But what type of food? Depending on your choice of mutation, either Herbivore or Carnivore, you will want to focus on consuming meat or plant-based items.

For meat, hunt and kill the various fauna in Appalachia, then cook their remains over the open fire. But plant-based food is a bit tougher. You can forage and scavenge certain items, but they’re not as readily available as meat products. Either way, you can get significant buffs for sticking to the diet.

Bird Bones

PositivesNegatives
+4 AGILITY
Slower Fall Speed
-4 STRENGTH
Additional Limb Damage

It’s unbelievable how often you will spend traversing mountainous landscapes and jumping down cliffsides in Fallout 76. It’s like you’re the horse in Skyrim. To ensure you don’t succumb to severe fall damage every time, Bird Bones increases your agility and reduces your fall speed so that you have greater control over the situation.

Unfortunately, this also means a significant reduction to your strength skill, so you can’t carry as much or deal as much melee damage. You also endure additional limb damage, even from fall damage, so you run the risk of crippling yourself. It’s a gamble.

Adrenal Reaction

PositivesNegatives
Increased Weapon Damage at Low HP-50 Max Health Points

What is the most popular build in Fallout 76? The Bloodied Build, right? With this specific build, as your health drops lower and lower, your damage increases exponentially. If you pair the right legendary weapon with the Bloodied trait alongside Adrenal Reaction, you’ll find your time-to-kill skyrocketing no matter the encounter.

That said, with the significantly reduced health points, you must be careful about every encounter you tackle. One wrong move is enough to leave you in the mud!

Electrically Charged

PositivesNegatives
Increased chance to electrocute melee attackers.Small amount of damage per electrical attack to the player.

Many of the enemies you face in Fallout 76 prefer to close the distance and attack using melee, which can feel overwhelming when trying to land the perfect shot. But with Electrically Charged, them punching you is a mistake. For every hit, they run the risk of enduring electrical damage.

Unfortunately, every time the ability activates, you also take damage. As such, you want to keep track of your health in close-quarters combat to avoid succumbing to melee and electrical damage.

Eagle Eyes

PositivesNegatives
+4 PERCEPTION
+50% Critical Damage
-4 STRENGTH

The Eagle Eyes mutation is perfect for a soldier or sniper-type build that utilizes rifles. The increased perception improves your odds of landing shots, and the massive +50% boost to Critical Damage means taking down enemies faster with fewer bullets. It’s a win-win.

The downside is the reduced strength, but so long as you’re not overdoing it with your carry weight or attempting to melee as a secondary form of attack, you should be just fine.

Twisted Muscles

Fallout 76 VATS
Screenshot by Prima Games
PositivesNegatives
+25% Increased Chance to Cripple Limbs with Melee Damage-50% Gun Accuracy

I recently ran a melee-only build in Fallout 76 and found myself having a ton of fun just whacking everything in sight with a rocket-powered sledgehammer. With Twisted Muscles, I could more easily cripple limbs, which works well when paired with VATS to target legs, to immobile targets, and dance around them more effectively.

If you’re purely melee-only, the reduced firearm accuracy isn’t a significant deal. You’ll find yourself closing the distance with a heavy melee weapon most often, anyway.

If you want more Fallout 76, we recommend learning how to set up C.A.M.P. for the ultimate home-away-from-home!

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Brandon Morgan
From Company of Heroes to DayZ, Brandon immerses himself wholly in video game worlds, then sits down to write about them. Since 2012, Brandon has focused on providing top-tier video game guides of his favorite games and the hottest releases. The more lore and immersion in the game, the better!