Perks to invest in: Armorer, Science, Blacksmith
Power armor as a mobile, upgradeable vehicle is my favorite new thing about Fallout. It’s such a natural fit; I never really felt like previous games took power armor seriously as a thing you climb into. It’s not a high-tech shirt, it’s a tank!
You start with a suit of T-45 armor from almost the beginning of the game, but power armor needs fuel to run. Nuclear batteries provide the juice, but they’re somewhat rare. Especially in the early game, avoid running and using VATS if you want your power armor battery to last.
To modify your power armor, walk it face-first into the wall behind the power armor station and exit your armor. Look at the station frame and choose “Craft.” This will turn the armor around and put it a good distance away from the frame so you can move around it.
All power armors start with a frame, and all power armor frames are identical. Frames can be bought from most weapons merchants in the game, but they’re pricey. Far better to find extras in high-level raider camps or pre-War military checkpoints.
Any armor piece can be put on any frame, and it’s OK to mix and match. The armor types are:
- Raider: Cobbled together with rebar and iron by industrious raiders
- T-45: Vintage, original power armor. For power armor hipsters.
- T-51: More advanced early power armor
- T-60: The best power armor available when the bombs fell
- X-01: Advanced power armor developed after the Great War
Each piece of each armor set can be modified and improved. Raider armor has two levels of strength, but the other sets can be upgraded in multiple layers of strength and durability. Extra mods to power armor legs can increase carry weight and sprint speed, while power armor arms can be modified to do extra melee damage. The torso and helmet sections require a lot of science to upgrade, but they can do things like increase VATS damage, scrub food and water for radiation, and electrify nearby enemies.
To design a set of armor, go up to the frame and press R to Transfer. Transfer all of the armor pieces you want that frame to wear, then select the power armor station to improve and repair those armor pieces. To enter the armor, approach it from behind and press E. Your character will jam in a battery, open it up, and climb in.
Now you’re ready to blow up the whole world. Again.