This guide for Fallout 2 goes over 20 tips and hints for new and old players equally!
Tips & Tricks Guide
01. Combat Speed Reminder (0:27)
Reminder: turn up combat speed in your preferences.
02. TAG Melee/Unarmed (0:41)
Fallout 2 has arguably the toughest tutorial in the franchise, so if you're struggling in the beginning with the temple of trials, tag the melee or unarmed skill when you create your character! If you want a more in-depth look at how to get the Temple of Trials over with so you can enjoy the rest of Fallout 2, check out the Temple of Trials walkthrough I created just for such an occasion!
03. Main Quest Timer (1:03)
Unlike retrieving the water chip in Fallout 1, there is no fail-state timer in Fallout 2! Hakunin's dreams do mark the passage of time but by the final one, the game will still continue! Fallout 2 PRETENDS to have a timer in which you must retrieve the GECK but it's simply meant to create urgency. Again, the game will not end if Hakunin reaches out for you the final time.
04. Close Containers (1:29)
Some containers in this game such as lockers and refrigerators, have an open and close animation. In order to check its contents again, you must close it, then open it once more. Choosing to close the container if it still has loot when you're done will both remind you that something is inside, and save you an extra animation when you go to open it back up!
05. Stealing/Planting (1:50)
For the tribal that likes to Steal everything from everyone, take note that the Sneak skill plays no part in whether or not the filching is successful! The Steal skill operates on its own, and as mentioned in the Character Creation Guide, is affected by the weight of the item you're taking, and Perception and facing of the unfortunate soul you're stealing from.
Charisma has extra use in Fallout 2! Previously just a conversation and skill modifier, Charisma in Fallout 2 directly affects your party capacity! Every 2 points is a companion slot, so you can have a maximum of 5 companions with you, and there's plenty of choices, 14 in fact! Temporary boosts from chems like Mentats will also work for recruiting more members to your group.
07. Push NPC's (2:58)
Companions and NPC's are notorious for getting in the way, even in modern games! This wasn't an option in Fallout 1, in the sequel however, you do actually have the ability to push them out of the way. You can do so by switching to the cursor, bringing up the mini-menu by holding left-click and selecting the push icon. You can also go on a brahmin tipping spree this way!
08. Have a Shovel (3:21)
Keep a shovel handy! There's a lot of grave digging to be had in Fallout 2, maybe a little too much. Some graves have decent loot, some you're meant to bury people in, some can lead to secret passages. Gravedigging does come at a -5 karma penalty each time you dig one up however, and you gain the gravedigger title if you decide to indulge in looting the dead.
09. Drive a Car (3:50)
Fallout 2 has a car you can cruise around the wasteland with, however, it takes a lot of prep to get the thing working. You can find it in The Den and you'll need a Fuel Cell Controller and 2000 caps to hire Smitty to get it repaired. I've created a walkthrough on the full process in how to get the Highwayman which I've linked here if you're interested!
10. Don't Kill Children (4:13)
There's no getting around the fact that children are ANNOYING in Fallout 2, they'll follow you around, ask you stupid questions, and in the case of The Den will STEAL FROM YOU when you walk by. In spite of this, DO NOT KILL CHILDREN in Fallout 2, you will be marked with the Childkiller reputation title which will drop dialogue reactions by 30% when talking to NPC's, some party members will simply leave your team, and you'll be followed by bounty hunter encounters for the rest of the game.
11. Holster Weapons (4:43)
Some guards in cities and encounters will ask you to keep your weapons holstered if you wish to interact with them, that includes your party members too! If you don't tell your crew to put their weapons away as well, the guards will most definitely open fire on you and your team.
12. Bashing Doors (5:09)
In Fallout 1 there were only a few options when it came to locked doors: use a key, pick the lock, or blow it up. In Fallout 2 there's a new option, smash it with an attack! Some doors are obviously stronger than others, but nothing is quite as satisfying as kicking your way through a door!
13. Knockdown (5:29)
If an enemy is knocked off their feet for a turn or more from say, a targeted hit to the head, not only do you and your team get a 40% accuracy bonus against them if they stay down, but sometimes you can also loot them and take their weapon making them near useless in combat!
14. Small Locations (5:46)
Unlike the large settlements on the map, there's numerous smaller locations that won't be visible until you learn about them. If an NPC is talking about a place you haven't heard of, ask them about it!
15. Using Items In Combat (6:08)
Using your inventory when in combat (without the Quick Pockets perk) costs a hefty 4 Action Points, but in turn, you can use as many healing items as you need to, and take that time to reload your weapon as well; however, if you're doing this to heal yourself or a teammate with a single stimpak, you can simply use the interact cursor, hold the left button down on the character, and go to the bag icon to use items from your inventory for 2 AP instead!
16. Wasted Action Points (6:38)
Leftover Action Points in a fight are never wasted. If you choose to pass your turn with AP available, it will go directly into your character's Armor Class until the next turn. If you're wanting to play defensively instead of running away in a fight, use one attack and pass the turn to convert your Action Points into an Armor Class boost!
17. Weapon Upgrades (7:00)
Fallout 2 has a huge variety of weapons available, and some of them can even be upgraded with expanded mags, scopes, armor penetration, and so on if you find the right people in the world. One of these skilled tinkerers resides in New Reno and will even upgrade your weapons for free!
18. Caravans (7:19)
Caravans are a great way to travel between cities before you have the Highwayman. You'll get protection, potentially some great loot to use or sell, and lots of experience! Some of these caravans are quite buggy however, so be sure you save your game before you start the trip, and use a separate slot for saving during the encounters. If anything happens to the caravan leader, that caravan can no longer be used for future trips.
19. Enemy Lockout (7:46)
Lockpick is not just for unlocking doors and containers, but can be used to block an enemy's path by locking them too! If you're about to face some powerful enemies, you may be able to lock out some in nearby rooms, or lock enemies in a room with you so they can't escape you and your heavily armed companions!
20. Nuka Cola Machines (8:11)
For some crazy-odd reason, quite a few Nuka Cola machines in the wasteland still work! Plunk your coin into them and they'll violently eject a not-so-fresh Nuka Cola! A couple of attribute roles are made to see if you dodge out of the way fast enough. This can be done between 15 and 30 times per machine, but stranger still, these machines do restock every few days! Since Nuka Cola has a higher value than what you pay, you can sell them for more!