Power Armor is a very, very powerful weapon that’s a bit different than in Fallout 3. There is three core mechanics to power armor that’s critical to keep in mind:
- Power Armor has increased defense, gives automatic Strength 11, and provides radiation resistances. You are immune to fall damage while in power armor.
- Power Armor requires a Fusion Core to power. Anything consuming AP will consume the Fusion Core.
- Power Armor is heavily moddable with a variety of parts located throughout the world.
There is some other basics to power armor, for instance, you can go inside buildings with it, talk to people, and loot items while in power armor. Movement doesn’t consume energy and unless stolen, power armor will remain where you leave it.
Power Armor Basics
To make a suit of power armor you need a frame. You get not only a frame, but a few parts connected in the starting Minuteman quest in Concord, along with your first fusion core (more on that in a second). There is a frame, which is where you load the various parts into the frame. From weakest to strongest, they are Raider, T-45, T-51, T-60, and X-01. You can mix and match parts on any frame.
The parts you can find are helm, left arm and leg, right arm and leg, and torso. All parts are moddable to increase various statistics, like defense, radiation resistance, etc.
You'll get a free copy of the T-45 if you complete the first Minutement quests.
If you join the Brotherhood, you'll get a free T-60 set.
The T-45 and T-51 pieces are scattered throughout the world and are on vendors. If you find armor out in the wild, it's likely to be one of these two parts. The Raider set can be found on certain Raider spawns.
You can find the X-01 set, sans probably a few pieces, in a variety of locations. It's level dependant and some have reported not seeing it until level 40+. The Abandoned Shack, west of the Glowing Sea, can spawn a set and most have had luck with that, but if your level isn't high enough, a lower level suit will spawn.
Finding Fusion Cores
Fusion Cores are like any other ammo, they're sold by vendors (for A LOT) and are scattered throughout the world. You'll find them in generators, in enemy power armor suits, on the ground in various locations, etc. One mistake is to stress out too much about having enough. If you save your power armor for the toughest encounters or missions you know there is a lot of combat, you'll likely not run out. Early in the game, you'll get a fresh one from the Minutement quest, but you can also find another at Red Rocket gas near your starting area in a hole in the ground there.
Playing through the game and beating it, I had around 15 Fusion Cores, and that was ignoring a lot of side quests and exploring. I didn't use the Power Armor much, but it's out there.
Modifying Power Armor
To craft your power armor (modify it) fast travel to sanctuary after you obtain it, then immediately walk to the crafting garage and get out near the mod station. Move to the station and interact with it to enter the power armor crafting menu. You only have to get out NEAR the station, not specifically inside of it. There is another station pre-built over at the Red Rocket gas station, and you can build more if you so desire.
If you don’t want anyone to use your power armor, you can remove the fusion core, which is really smart before you leave it in a settlement. You'd so by transfering it into your inventory. Used fusion cores do not stack with unused ones. So you know which ones are fresh and which ones aren't.
One thing to note is that you can fast travel in your Power Armor. When done with your power armor, fast travel back to Red Rocket or Sanctuary or any other settlement and leave it there until you return. They will remain where you leave them, so you don’t really even have to walk it over to the power armor stand. Be sure to take the fusion core out. NPCs will not put one in.
You can equip new parts onto your power armor on the fly by transferring them into the power armor, then going into the power armor and equipping them through your PipBoy.
You can use most weapons while in power armor, but anything that goes on your wrists or around your gloves won’t work.
You can color your power armor in the mod section, although it requires adhesive (which you can actually craft). This has an impact with how your companions might like you and others treat you throughout the game.
Power Armor Tips
Power Armor, once found, will appear on your pipboy map to note where you left it.
Companions do not need a Fusion Core to use Power Armor, however, if sent back it's best to make them get out and take the core, otherwise they may get out on their own and then it might get stolen.
Power Armor can be stolen, you can remove the fusion core which will keep NPCs from taking it. It can be stolen by friendly and unfriendly NPCs.
Power Armor is mostly for dealing with strong waves of enemies or Deathclaws and the such. Save it for difficult encounters, since Fusion Cores are difficult to come by.
God mode (TGM in the console (~)) will not give you infinite energy Power Armor, but will make you completely immune. Console commands can be used to increase your stock of fusion cores, its ID is 00075fe4. You might have to add () around it.
When you run out of power, the armor will move very slowly. At this point it’s best to just fast travel back to a settlement and then return to your quest (or leave it and come back for it, however you wish).
There are a lot of frames in the game, duplicate copies of Power Armor are useful for having different builds. You can find ‘em, buy ‘em, etc. You realistically only need one, though, to get through the game (for dealing with Deathclaws). Actually, like everything in Fallout, they’re kinda optional. You'll get another set by joining the Brotherhood of Steel, which if you finish their quest line, you'll also get a jet pack.
Power Armor can do a jump attack by jumping off of a large height, this is useful if you’re on the roof and want to take out a few small frys.
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