RPGs pride themselves on diversity. This can come from unique characters, branching quests, or letting the player create their own playstyle using the game's various attributes and skills. Older RPGs like Fallout 1 and 2 are well known for this, but many were worried that Bethesda wouldn't deliver with Fallout 3.

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Thankfully, Bethesda delivered in every way possible. Fallout 3 was an amazing reboot of the Fallout series, taking the once isometric RPG into the first-person perspective. Just like the older Fallout titles, however, players could create unique builds to roleplay certain characters or enhance certain playstyles. From focusing on using chems for an advantage, or just punching everything to death, here are some awesome builds you need to try in Fallout 3.

Updated August 24, 2021, by Michael Caruso: Although Fallout 3 was released many years ago, it's still a strong RPG with many dialogue and combat choices. With so many options comes a plethora of unique ways to create a character, but there are some character builds that are more powerful than others. Fallout 3 has even more combat builds for you to create, so we've added a few more options for you to choose from while creating your character.

15 Samurai Warrior

fallout 3 samurai armor in mothership zeta

Samurai warriors have always been an interesting theme for video games and equipment in RPGs, and with the Mothership Zeta DLC, you can use powerful samurai equipment as well. There are many new weapons and pieces of armor in this expansion pack, including the Samurai Armor and the Samurai's Sword, a melee weapon. Both of these pieces of equipment are very powerful.

Although there's not too much opportunity to role-play as a Samurai during dialogue, the equipment will make you feel just like a Samurai while exploring the Capital Wasteland.

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14 Power Armor Paladin

fallout_3_power_armor_soldier_with_minigun

There is a lot of armor to use in Fallout 3; however, none of it is more powerful than the different variants of power armor used by The Brotherhood Of Steel.

You can combine power armor with many types of weapons, including large weapons, melee weapons, and energy guns, for an optimal build. However, what makes the power armor build so powerful is that you never take off the armor, which means that most enemies won't be capable of damaging you as much as they otherwise would. T-51 Power Armor is perfect for this character build.

13 Railway Rifle Soldier

fallout_3_railway_rifle_weapon_picture

The Railway Rifle is a special weapon in Fallout 3 that's governed by the Small Guns skill. Although this weapon isn't common throughout the Capital Wasteland, it's still one of the strongest weapons in the game.

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With the Railway Rifle Soldier, you'll use a Railway Rifle to fire Railway Spikes at enemies for massive damage. Any type of armor works well with this build; however, it's a good idea to keep a second weapon in your inventory in case you run out of Railway Spikes. The Railway Rifle weapon is affected by the Small Guns skill, so make sure to upgrade this stat regularly.

12 The Combat Shotgun Build

fallout_3_combat_shotgun_weapon_picture

Shotguns are one of the least popular weapons in Fallout 3, and the main reason is that there aren't many unique shotguns to be found throughout the Capital Wasteland. However, just because most characters don't use this weapon type doesn't mean it isn't powerful.

Shotgun builds are very strong, and you can pair the weapon with other mechanics such as VATS or explosives to create your own unique spin for your character. The Combat Shotgun is one of the best options for a shotgun in Fallout 3.

11 Pyromaniac

fallout_3_flamer_weapon_combat

The Flamer is one of the best weapons in Fallout 3, though it doesn't always get the recognition it deserves from the Fallout franchise fan base. This weapon is a flame-thrower, and it deals a lot of area-of-effect damage, which is ideal while fighting large groups of enemies.

You can pair the Flamer with powerful armor to create the unstoppable Pyromaniac build. This character requires you to level up your Big Guns skill since this stat is what determines the amount of damage you deal while using a Flamer.

10 Gun Master

Fallout 3 Minigun being fired

Firearms are the most common weapons you can find in the Capital Wasteland. From pistols to full-fledged miniguns, there is a weapon for every playstyle in Fallout 3.

One of the easiest builds you can make is a weapon-focused build. Get your Small Guns or your Big Guns stats to 100 as fast as you can to deal additional damage. Perks like Bloody Mess are perfect for this build, as it increases your base damage while causing enemies to explode into gore on death. If you want enemies to blow up into piles of gore constantly, then try out this build.

9 Critical Energy Weapons

Fallout 3 Power Armor Soldier Holding Energy Weapon

Energy weapons are some of the coolest weapons in the Fallout universe. Lasers can deal large amounts of damage quickly, while plasma deals substantial damage with a projectile weapon.

Most energy weapons have a high critical chance, meaning that critically-focused builds for these guns can make short work of any enemy. Getting ten points in Luck is recommended since Luck directly impacts your chance to critically hit targets. Perks like Finesse and Better Criticals turn the damage output on these weapons to incredible heights. When combined with an alien blaster, you become nigh unstoppable.

8 Melee Tank

Fallout 3 Shishkebab on fire

It can be fun to blast enemies with high-damaging weapons, but it's equally as satisfying to tank all of the damage they deal to you.

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What better excuse to take high amounts of punishment than getting into the enemy's face? Melee tanks can use any melee weapon like a Power Fist or Shishkebab to deal good damage while taking large amounts of damage. High Endurance combined with any form of power armor will allow you to absorb most hits with ease. Add perks like Life Giver or Toughness to get even more damage resistance.

7 V.A.T.S. Build

Fallout 3 VATS Fighting A Super Mutant

Real-time combat in Fallout 3 can be less satisfying than using the V.A.T.S. system. V.A.T.S. lets players stop the action to attack certain limbs on a target at the cost of action points.

V.A.T.S. builds need a high Perception stat to increase their accuracy in the advanced targeting mode. To make V.A.T.S. even better, allocate some of your SPECIAL stats into Agility to increase your action points and, therefore, the number of shots allowed in V.A.T.S. Allocating points into your favorite weapon type will make this all the better. If you take this build to high levels, Grim Reaper's Spirit is a must as it refunds all of your action points on kill, meaning you can fire your weapon practically forever in this state.

6 Demolition Expert

Fallout 3 Fat Man Weapon, Explosion In Distance

During a side quest in Fallout 3, you can either detonate the bomb in Megaton or defuse it to keep the town safe. Those that decided to blow up the entire town might enjoy a demolition build.

This build relies on explosive weapons like Rocket Launchers, the Fat Man, and various types of grenades. Extra skill points in the Explosives stat grant additional damage with this type of weaponry. Demolition Expert is a must-have perk, as it grants a massive 20 percent damage increase with explosives that affect all of your weapons, even including the Fat Man mini-nuke launcher.

5 Unarmed Only

fallout 3 red rocket sign in town

Who needs bullets when you can punch everything into submission. When built for, unarmed builds can become a viable way of dealing damage in Fallout 3.

Of course, you will want a 100 stat in the Unarmed skill to make your fists deal as much damage as possible. The Power Fist counts as an unarmed weapon, meaning its high base damage is modified by your high Unarmed skill. Grab Paralyzing Palm to stun targets mid-fight and the Ninja perk to allow your fists to critically strike. Combined with Better Criticals and a few points in Luck, you can quickly defeat most enemies with only a few punches.

4 Buff-Addict

Fallout 3 Character In The Pitt

Getting addicted to chems in Fallout 3 comes with negative effects tied to withdrawal. If you have a steady supply of chems and consumables, however, you can create a very powerful character.

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Any weapon works with this build, as your SPECIAL stats and skills will be enhanced thanks to the consumed items. Perks like Chemist are amazing for this build, as it doubles the duration of all the effects given. A combination of Psycho, Med-X, Mentats, and other consumables can increase your survivability and damage by a massive degree.

3 Stealth

Fallout 3 Vault Dweller Next To Dog

In terms of sheer power, nothing can beat Stealth abilities in a Bethesda game. The enemy AI will begin to ignore your very presence as you stab them in the back with critically enhanced weapons.

To make the best use of the Stealth skill, increase it to 100 and find a set of Chinese Stealth Armor. Now that your Stealth is enhanced to high levels, feel free to use either suppressed weapons or melee weapons with the Ninja perk to defeat every enemy in the shadows. Enemies can't retaliate since they can't see you.

2 Smooth Talker

Fallout 3 Dialogue Scene With A Scientist

You can resolve many of Fallout 3's quests without killing others. You can complete most side missions in the game with a high investment in speech and profession skills like Science or Repair.

Invest in your Charisma SPECIAL stat and the Speech and Barter skills. From there, you can choose to either increase your Repair, Science, or Medicine skills to make certain checks easier. Since Fallout 3 uses a percentage persuasion system instead of having a set requirement, having high Charisma is near-essential to confirm success on most persuasion checks. Another benefit of this build is the discounted goods and auto-completion on many tedious or difficult quests.

1 Perfect Character

Fallout Vault Boy Logo Picture

Almost every build in Fallout 3 has a fair share of strengths and weaknesses. Not this one. This build strives to create the perfect character. In other words, a build that has no flaws in it whatsoever.

This build requires the player to invest in their Intelligence stat as much as possible, increasing it up to nine but not to the ten cap. Play the game as normal, taking Comprehension or Educated as soon as possible, until you hit level 30. You can farm quests or enemies to reach this level if you want to rush this. Once complete, take the Almost Perfect perk to raise every stat to nine. Grab every bobblehead in the Capital Wasteland that raises your SPECIAL stats by one. This will result in a character with 100 in every skill in the game and a perfect 10 in all SPECIAL stats. You can't make a stronger character than this.

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