Plan your Fallout 76 character in advance with this handy website

Fallout 76 perk cards can be swapped in and out whenever you feel like it—meaning you can temporarily get rid of that boost to explosive damage in favor of a +1 to hacking the moment you need to crack a computer, then go back to being a combat machine afterward. However, there's no way to respec choices you've made (yet) regarding which stat to increase, or which perk cards to upgrade. That's why, if you're going to get serious about specializing with your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, it's a good idea to tinker around with a character build planner before diving in. It's also a good way to help kill time until Fallout 76's November 14 launch.

There are a few build planners online but the most aesthetically pleasing and easy to use is You Are S.P.E.C.I.A.L. by Nukes & Dragons. It handily calculates the effects stat increases have on your carry weight, hit points, and action points—each increase in Agility is 10 more action points and each increase in Endurance is five more hit points, while every increase in Strength means five more pounds of dog food and bullets you can carry.

It also has a searchable database of all the perk cards currently known to exist, including some found by dataminers that haven't been confirmed to be part of the final game yet like Lavish Lender, which increases the time you're allowed to share perk cards with teammates by 25%.

While perk packs hand out cards at random, at each level-up you also get to either choose one new card or have the option to upgrade an existing one, so there's definitely utility in making plans for a build in advance. Whether you want to go hard on the likes of Gladiator and Martial Artist to make a melee heavy-hitter, or E.M.T and Injector to heal your friends, or just combine all the liquor-related perks and roleplay being a drunk, there's something for everyone.

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.