The best ways to earn caps in Fallout 76

Caps make the wasteland go round, or so it’s been in Fallout games so far. Fallout 76, however, is a different creature. Caps are still cash, but the things you’ll be turning out your pockets for are quite different, as are the ways you’ll earn your stash. 

As Sam has lamented, Fallout 76 is lacking in human NPC interaction, meaning you won’t be bribing your way through failed persuasion checks like you might have in earlier Fallout games. We’ve rounded up tips on what you’ll actually be shelling out caps for and how to earn them. 

Convenience is key

There are three main buckets you’ll probably be tossing caps into: fast traveling to locations, buying consumable supplies from vending machines, and purchasing blueprints for craftable gear or base furnishings.

Paying to fast travel is a staple in online games and works in Fallout 76 the way you’d expect. You can pay caps to immediately travel to any of the dozens of map locations you’ve previously visited, the most expensive being those furthest from your own current location. (Travel is always free to Vault 76, to your camp, and to the location of a team member.)

Scattered around towns and outposts are vending machines for medical supplies for when you’re entirely out of stimpaks or other buffs. A word of warning though: the prices are astronomical unless you already have a good chunk of change saved up. Even if you’re dry on supplies, you’re likely better off continuing to explore and hoping to come across a medical supplies container on the wall of a building than throwing away a hundred or more caps.

Plans for base building items are another pricey endeavor. The basement floor of the Greenbrier Hotel is a particularly good place to window shop, if there’s a particular plan you’re dying to get your hands on and haven’t come across it by chance in the wasteland. The prices can be high, but if you absolutely must have a Vault Tec branded lampshade or the shiny and spotless variety of power generator to replace your speckled and worn wasteland versions, crafting plans are the start to your very own magazine-worthy base.

Bringing home the brahmin 

There are a couple familiar ways to save up caps in Fallout 76 that will be familiar to wasteland veterans. Killing enemies and looting their bodies is one, though I’ve only found one or two caps on most average supermutants. Selling junk is another option that will net you just about the same. 

Tins labeled “caps stash” often hidden in homes and stores and other places that once had human inhabitants are the other series staple. The better money is to be made by getting involved in multiplayer. 

Event coordinator wanted 

Group events of varying sizes are almost always running on the map. Events can be as small as an escort quest or as large as powering up an entire reactor facility. Some can easily be completed alone, like escorting Mr. Messenger safely to his destination. Others, like Powering Up Poseidon, will require a lot more hands to finish in the time limit provided. I routinely earned around 40 caps for even small events I did alone, with larger ones scoring more like 70. You can pay to fast travel directly to the location of an event from the map, but the convenience will take a huge cut of your potential reward. You’re better off keeping an eye out for events already in progress near you and maybe setting up your camp near events with large rewards so you can hop to them quickly when they begin.

Do the main quest (or party with a friend who’s doing it) 

The main questline in Fallout 76 provides a steady drip into your caps stash early on in the game. It also keeps you relatively well-stocked with supplies provided by Vault 76’s wayward Overseer, so you shouldn’t need to waste money on buying meds. Even if you just want to build a cabin in the woods (like me), party up with a friend who’s working on story quests. You’ll get a small reward for any quests completed by your party leader. It usually isn’t much, but it’s some pocket change for potentially no work at all.

Luck & Charisma Perks 

Leveling up your Luck and Charisma stats can lead to higher tier perk cards that lend bonuses to cap collection. If you’re often adventuring and finding cap stashes, improving your luck can significantly increase your winnings. The Caps Collector perk increases the amount of caps you find in a stash and Fortune Finder gives a directional audio cue when you are within range of a stash. In the Charisma track, the Hard Bargain perk gets you better prices when buying and selling from merchants.

Become the lawman 

Fallout 76’s approach to player-vs-player is largely an at-will system, whether or not both parties are willing. You do take reduced damage from aggressive players until you fight back, but the possibility still exists that you might be hunted down. If you are, justice may yet be served. Players who commit crimes against others are assigned a bounty and the longer they remain at large the greater the reward (paid from their own stash). You can find players with open bounties on the map with a red marker. You have to be a bit lucky (or unlucky) to wind up on a map with wanted players, so it may not be the most consistent way to save up. For a sneaky tip on sneaking up on your prey, Chris’s initial Fallout 76 impressions have you covered.

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor and Chief Minecraft Liker in 2021. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, multiplayer cryptids, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.