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Top 5 IMPORTANT Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

If you’re just starting to play Wasteland 3, be sure to check out this guide to get a heads up on some really important Wasteland 3 beginner tips.

If you’re playing Wasteland 3, or you’re planning on playing Wasteland 3, you’re probably going to want to know some of the things experienced players have learned over multiple playthroughs to make your life easier in the Colorado Wasteland.

I’ve been through Wasteland 3 multiple times at this point, and I feel very well qualified to give you several Wasteland 3 beginner tips so that you have the best experience you can have and don’t make it halfway through the game and feel like you want to restart.

So, without further ado, here are the Top 5 IMPORTANT Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips.

1. Use the Premade Starting Characters – Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

wasteland 3 beginner tips premade characters

You’ll probably want to make your own characters at the beginning of the game, because you’ll certainly do a better job at crafting a great character than the premades.

However, what you really want to do is use the premade characters to get through the tutorial mission and then dump them and create your own characters when you unlock the Ranger HQ.

The reason is that each of the premade characters comes with a unique, character-specific accessory that can’t be gotten any other way, and they’re some of the best accessories in the game.

Click here for more info about the Premade Character Accessories

2. Focus On Exploration and Speech Skills First – Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

wasteland 3 beginner tips lockpicking

Weapon skills increase your chance to hit and allow you to equip higher-end weapons. Typically, the weapons available for your current point in the game don’t have excessive requirements when it comes to gear checks. You can win fights that would be easier with a rank 6 weapon if you only have rank 4 weapon skill. You can’t pass rank 6 speech checks with a rank 4 speech skill.

For that reason, it tends to be better to invest in your speech skills (Hard Ass & Kiss Ass) and exploration skills (Nerd Stuff, Sneaky Stuff, Lockpicking, Explosives, etc) before you invest heavily into your weapon skills. Just invest enough into your weapon skills to be able to use the best weapon you currently have available for that character.

Some weapon skills do provide amazing combat perks, but getting those a bit later isn’t the worst thing in the world, while being forced into a bad outcome for a quest can’t be undone.

Lockpicking in particular shows up everywhere. Make sure you have someone with high Lockpicking skill. The could be one of the Wasteland 3 beginner tips on its own.

3. Don’t Invest Points in Survival – Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

wasteland 3 beginner tips survival

Survival might seem like a really good idea at first, since it allows you to escape from random encounters on the world map. But, that’s not the way Wasteland 3 works. There are only a limited number of world encounters and while you encounter them randomly, the enemies and rewards are scripted, not random.

If you skip these outcomes, you’ll be losing out on about 5 worth of levels of experience and loot, which could be the difference between maxing out 4 skills per character or just 3. It’s really better in the long run to just deal with those encounters.

Aside from skipping random encounters, Survival has almost no value whatsoever as a skill. Its only other function is to grant additional healing from the tents you find out on the world map, if they don’t have any loot.

Click here for more info about which skills to avoid

4. Have a Skill Mule at Ranger HQ – Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

wasteland 3 beginner tips armor modding

When it comes to Wasteland 3 beginner tips, another important thing to know is that there are several skills in Wasteland 3 that are rarely used, or only used a handful of times. For the most part, you can just dedicate one of the companions you’re not using to these skills and make use of them whenever you return to Ranger HQ.

Weapon Modding and Armor Modding are great, for instance, but there’s no reason you need to be carrying around Weapon and Armor Modding as you explore Colorado. Unlike Explosives, Sneaky Stuff, Nerd Stuff or the Speech skills, these things never come up. So you really just need someone at your base to go visit whenever you want to mod your weapons and armor.

In the same vein, there’s no reason you need to have Barter with you at all times. You just need someone with Barter in your party when you go to sell things, which you can just do at Ranger HQ.

Finally, there are only a handful of toasters that are useful to open, so you don’t necessarily need Toaster Repair in your party (unless you want the +25% fire damage perk). You can just make a throwaway Toaster Repair character that you use to go collect the 5 specific toasters you need to unlock the reward for Toaster Repair.

Click here for more info about which skills to avoid

5. Remove Skill Boosting Equipment When Leveling – Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips

wasteland 3 beginner tips ranger star

You might not notice it at first, but when you wear a piece of equipment that gives bonus points to a particular skill, the game treats it like your character has that new skill level in every way, including the skill point cost it charges you when you’re leveling up your skills.

In Wasteland 3, the amount of skill points required to increase the rank of a skill increases as the skill gets to a higher rank. Going from rank 1 to rank 2 only costs 1 point, but going from rank 9 to rank 10 costs 6.

If your skill is at rank 2 and normally would cost 1 skill point to get to rank 3, but you’re wearing a piece of equipment that boosts that skill, the game’s going to treat it like the skill is rank 3 and charge you 2 skill points to get it to rank 4. If you remove the equipment, you’ll get charged 1 skill point to get it to rank 3, and then you can put the equipment back on to get it up to rank 4.

When it comes to Wasteland 3 beginner tips, it’s important to be aware of this, since you only have a limited number of skill points.

Another thing to be aware of, and this is a really weird glitch that may get patched out of the game at some point, if you use a skill book on a character with equipment that boosts that skill, they’ll gain 2 levels in the skill instead of 1. For example, if you have rank 3 in Hard Ass and equip a +1 Hard Ass accessory, making it rank 4, the book will raise Hard Ass to rank 6.

That about covers it when it comes to the Top 5 Important Wasteland 3 Beginner Tips. Be sure to check out the Main Page or the Game Guides section for more gaming content, or click here for more content related to Wasteland 3.


  • Ryan Night

    Ryan Night is an ex-game industry producer with over a decade of experience writing guides for RPGs. Previously an early contributor at gamefaqs.com, Ryan has been serving the RPG community with video game guides since 2001. As the owner of Bright Rock Media, Ryan has written over 600 guides for RPGs of all kinds, from Final Fantasy Tactics to Tales of Arise.

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