Fallout 76 is here, and as you head out of the Vault to explore the wasteland of West Virginia, you're going to want to find yourself a power armor frame as soon as you can. Power armor is a staple for kicking in the door in any Fallout game, giving you extra damage protection and letting you carry more loot.
Here's how power armor works in Fallout 76 and where to find it.
The wasteland’s most functional fashion
Like many of Fallout 76’s features, finding and equipping power armor feels mostly similar to Fallout 4. The best change to the way that power armor works is that once you’ve claimed a frame, it cannot be taken without your permission. You can step into any empty power armor frame you find, and it will become exclusively yours. When you're not wearing it, you can carry it with you in your inventory.
That means neither your friends nor griefers in Fallout 76’s online world are going to be joyriding in your newly-painted T-51 armor (the way settlers in Fallout 4 had a habit of doing) and definitely no more “Dude, where’s my power armor?”
If you reach a location and the armor isn't there, that means someone else probably grabbed it first. It will respawn, but it may take some time and you may need to leave and return later to claim it.
Here are the some locations where you can find power armor, followed by some tips on how to use it.
Morgantown Train Yard
Difficulty level: A few ghoulish guards
The Morgantown Train Yard is a short walk straight East from Vault 76, making this one of the closest locations you can grab some power armor quickly. It’s close to the low level areas of the game so other players are more likely to have gotten to it first, so you may have to wait a while for it to respawn.
The train car you’re looking for, as show in the video above, is East of the central tower of the train yard. It has USA painted on the side, sits directly next to one of the large buildings, and has a makeshift ramp leading into the train car.
Difficulty level: Watch your step
Another power armor suit can be found in a two-story warehouse in Morgantown just West of a factory called Mama Dolce’s. (If you can't see the video embedded above, it's also here on YouTube). The factory will show up on your map, but the warehouse with the armor will not. This is another easy find, so long as the armor is waiting when you arrive, and it doesn’t require a quest to get to.
Beware of the traps like proximity mines and spikes guarding the warehouse entrances, and keep in mind, those traps respawn just like the armor does, so they may be reactivated if you leave and return a short while later.
Difficulty level: Keen eyes win a prize
Aaronholdt Homestead is about equidistant from Vault 76 as the Morgantown Train Yard, North and a bit West of Vault 76 (the Ferris wheel shown on your map is a good landmark), making this another possibly easy snag. It’s also in the opposite direction of the early quests leading towards Flatwoods, meaning other players may be less likely to stumble across it before you.
South of the homestead itself is a group of three silos with a large shed. You’ll need a key to the shed where the suit of armor is waiting. You can grab the key off the corpse of one Lowell Aaronholdt lying dead in a bathtub in a small lean-to east of the shed on a small hill.
Difficulty level: A short walk (and a lot of super mutants)
Moundsville Penitentiary is just slightly Northeast of Vault 76 and straight North of the Morgantown Train Yard. In the center of the penitentiary is a yellow building with a power armor suit inside. A few users on Reddit have confirmed seeing this set but we have yet to locate any screenshots (we'll add them when we find it ourselves). There are lots of super mutants occupying the prison, so bring some friends.
Seneca Gang Camp
Difficulty level: Not a mountain, but a molehill
This scrappy little fort by the side of the road doesn't look like much, and it's only guarded by a few mole miners (though mind the one with the missile launcher). It barely even seems worth investigating, but inside the ramshackle barricades there's a frame and a few piece of armor waiting to be nabbed.
You'll find the camp just east of Route 63. It's south of the observatory, which is a good landmark to aim for on your map.
Pleasant Valley Cabins
Difficulty level: Heavy metal conflict
There's nothing pleasant about Pleasant Valley, at least not in Fallout 76. The entire area is swarming with mole miners and vertibots engaged in all-out war. If you fight your way through the massive skirmish, however, you'll find what looks like a Thunderdome-esque battle arena. At its center stands a power armor frame.
The frame I found had raider armor pieces, which were level 15, so it's not a bad spot to look for pieces you can use earlier rather than later. Just bring lots of ammo.
Difficulty level: These boots are made for walking
If you’re itching for a challenge like the players in the video above, you may find yourself in the far southeast of the map in a city called Watoga. It’s full of hostile protectrons and Mr. Handys that you’ll need to clear out. In the town square beneath the huge three-legged monument, in front of a building labeled “AMS” in neon letters, there’s a power armor suit waiting for you.
There’s an interesting quest in the city of Watoga but you shouldn’t need to engage with it at all if you really just want to grab the armor and run. This power armor location is less a matter of convenience and more just goes to show that if you’re stumbling around having an adventure as you’re meant to in Fallout, you’ll probably trip right over a set of power armor eventually.
Power armor tips
As in Fallout 4, power armor frames in Fallout 76 are independent of the armor pieces that can be equipped to the frame. Most often, you’ll come across a power armor frame with a helmet, leg pieces, or other armor already equipped. Early on, those pieces will probably be higher level than you are capable of using.
You can pull each armor piece off the stationary power suit the same way you pull other items out of containers. Once the frame is empty, you’re able to use it no matter your level. Even without armored sections, the base frame for a power armor suit will still provide benefits. It increases your radiation resistance, melee damage, and carry capacity.
Also like in Fallout 4, power armor runs on fusion cores that can be found around the world in generators or sometimes in general loot. Although fusion cores seem to last longer than in Fallout 4, you may still find yourself running empty eventually. You can continue to use power armor without a core, but you can't sprint or use VATS without a working core. To exit your armor, just step out (by holding down the E key) and then collect the frame into your inventory. It can also be stored in your camp stash if you don’t feel like toting around the extra 10 pounds of weight.