Each new game in the Fallout franchise introduces new and intriguing mechanics. Fallout 3 and New Vegas introduced crafting weapons and ammunition, and Fallout 4 introduced settlement building and Fallout 76 diseases.
Fallout 76 took the consequences of radiation and spiced it up with mutations, special status effects that come with a cost and benefit from the radiation you’ve been sucking down or injecting directly into your veins. The Class Freak Perk is a must-have Fallout 76 Perk for anyone turning their DNA into spaghetti, but how can you get the most out of it?
Let’s kick off our Fallout 76 Class Freak Guide by looking at some of the key details you need to know.
Key Details Upfront:
- Class Freak Perk: A Perk Card that reduces negative mutation effects.
- Mutation Effects: Statuses that come with pros and cons.
- How to Get Mutations: Randomly by radiation or by specialized serums.
The Class Freak Perk:
Class Freak is a late-game Luck Perk Card that unlocks at level 46 with 3 Ranks. With the ranks maxed out, its effects read as such:
- The negative effects of your mutations are reduced by 75%.
This dramatic reduction of adverse effects can make the worst drawbacks of a mutation a much more enticing investment. But the question is, what are mutations and which ones should you choose?
Mutations are status effects that, in the game lore, originate from radiation altering the DNA of humans and creating strange changes that can enhance certain attributes while weakening others.
The list of mutations is as follows:
|Adrenal Reaction||You do more damage the lower your health is||Your max health is reduced by 50 points|
|Bird Bones||Increases Agility by 4 and makes the fall from heights more gradual||Reduces Strength by 4 and increases the risk of limb damage|
|Carnivore||The benefits of eating meat are doubled, and your chance of contracting diseases from meat is reduced||You get no benefit from eating vegetables, and vegetables no longer satisfy your hunger|
|Chameleon||You are invisible if unarmored and standing still||It does not work if unarmored|
|Eagle Eyes||Your Perception is increased by 4, and VATS critical damage is increased by 25%||Your Strength is reduced by 4|
|Egg Head||Your Intelligence is increased by 6||Your Strength and Endurance are reduced by 3|
|Electrically Charged||Taking melee damage may trigger a shock effect against enemies||The shock effect damages you as well|
|Empath||Your teammates take 25% less damage||You take 33% increased damage|
|Grounded||Your energy resistance increases by 100 points||Damage output from your energy weapons is reduced by 50%|
|Healing Factor||Your health will regenerate by 300% if you are not starving and not in combat||The effectiveness of stimpaks and chems is reduced by 55%|
|Herbivore||You get twice the benefit from eating vegetables, and your chance of contracting diseases from vegetables is reduced||You get no benefits from eating meat, and meat no longer satisfies hunger|
|Herd Mentality||When your teammates are nearby, all S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls increase by 2||When your teammates are not nearby, all S.P.E.C.I.A.Ls are reduced by 2|
|Marsupial||Your carry capacity is increased by 20 pounds, and jump height is increased||Your Intelligence is reduced by 4|
|Plague Walker||You have a poison aura, which grows stronger with each disease you contract||You must have one or more diseases active for the effect to work|
|Scaly Skin||Your damage and energy resistance is increased by 50 points||Your AP is reduced by 50 points|
|Speed Demon||Movement and reload speed are increased by 20%||Your hunger and thirst is drained 50% faster while moving|
|Talons||Your unarmed attacks do 25% more damage, and bleed damage is added||Your Agility is reduced by 4|
|Twisted Muscles||Your melee damage is increased by 25% with additional bleed damage||The accuracy of your guns is reduced by 50%|
|Unstable Isotope||When you take melee damage, a radiation effect may activate that damages your foes||The radiation effect damages you as well|
(The mutation Rad Walker was cut from the game, with its positive quality being a radiation aura that scales with your radiation level and the cost being your radiation healing being reduced by 50%)
Mutations are almost reminiscent of the Traits mechanic used in Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout Tactics, and Fallout: New Vegas, where the player has the option at the beginning of the game to take abilities that have a cost and benefit.
The main difference between mutations and traits is that mutations can be added and removed, whereas traits stick with the player’s character for the game’s entirety. Mutations are caused by radiation instead of affecting the player character’s personality and innate physical attributes as traits do in previous Fallout games.
With Class Freak equipped, the cons for these mutations are diminished, while the player keeps all the positive effects at their base level. For example, with Empath equipped, you will only take 11% increased damage from foes instead of the full 33%, with your team still gaining the benefits of 25% reduced damage from enemies.
Players have the lion’s share of options when it comes to mutations, with there being a mutation for every build out there, including ones that are good for all builds.
For example, a close-combat build can have Twisted Muscles and Talons for both melee and unarmed damage, along with Adrenal Reaction for those players who don’t mind living on the edge. Meanwhile, a player who always plays with friends nearby can take Empath to take the heat off teammates and Herd Mentality to give everyone an extra boost.
My personal favorites are Marsupial and Speed Demon, which drastically allows me to navigate the landscape and make the trenches of the Cranberry Bog only a minor annoyance instead of a death sentence during the Scorched Earth event.
Other mutations that I would recommend are Chameleon for the player who hunts for the Chameleon Legendary Effect (this effect allow the player’s Cameleon Mutation to be active while wearing these pieces of armor), as this mutation has no downsides other than being inactive while armored.
Plague Walker’s effects only activate when you contract diseases from eating uncooked foods, environmental hazards, and creatures attacking you. If you gain an illness from the latter two, you’ll have a little more damage to inflict during the fight until you remove the disease.
Other Perks can help you get the most out of your mutations, such as Starched Genes and Strange in Numbers. Players can also obtain weapons with the Mutant’s Legendary Effect, which increases a weapon’s damage output by 5% per mutation.
If a player piles on 18 mutations, this can increase that weapon’s damage to 90% (however, some mutations can cut back weapon damage, so keep track of how you’re twisting your DNA).
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Before mixing and matching your mutations, you first need to obtain them.
There are two primary methods of gaining mutations: randomly via radiation and serums.
When taking large doses of radiation, the player has a chance of contracting a random mutation. Players cannot gain mutations from radiation until level five and only have an approximate 5% chance per 5 radiation units (rads for short), with the number of mutations a player can have at one time maxing out at 18.
In my personal experience, areas that give off large amounts of radiation at a time instead of giving one or two units per second are a faster method of getting mutations. Areas such as the emmet Mountain Disposal Site, the West Tek Research Center, and any nuclear blast zone will get the job done in record time. Just watch your radiation level so it doesn’t kill you first.
While not the best way if you are seeking a specific mutation, this is the easiest and cheapest way to gain them at lower levels. To farm the desired mutation will take patience and a lot of Radaway. Radaway can cure mutations, so they are easy to remove if you get one you don’t like. However, this can also remove a mutation you will need to take care to avoid setting off your Geiger counter once you have the mutation you want.
The other method is serums: consumables that can directly give you a single mutation without the hassle of sitting next to barrels of radioactive waste and taking time out of your day. However, there are a few barriers to using them.
Firstly, serums can only be obtained late-game after completing the One of Us quest for the Enclave and gaining entry to the Whitespring’s Bunker. Located in the Genetics Wing of the bunker, you’ll find terminals to purchase the serums themselves and the formulas to make them. The second issue is the entry price to obtain a mutation serum.
The formulas for each serum come at a hefty 20000 caps a pop, which means to get the recipe for all 19 serums, you’ll be burning 380000 caps (Hard Bargain and Grape Mentats can lower the price but by a slight margin).
You can also buy the serums in limited supply from Modus for a base price of 4000 caps, which, while cheaper, isn’t a great long-term investment as being able to craft the serums yourself. You might get lucky C.A.M.P hopping, as some players may sell the serums for a lower price than what MODUS offers for the serums alone, but this is not a guarantee.
Safe to say, you won’t be obtaining all of them within a day, but on the plus side, once you have the recipe, you can make as many as you desire as long as you have the components to make them. But if you look at any list of components, you’ll notice an odd component on the list, one that can be dangerous to obtain; Flux.
Flux is a component that can only be found on flora within a nuclear blast zone with a limited shelf life before it needs to be stabilized, or it becomes Inert Flux and effectively useless for crafting. Walking into a nuclear blast site is historically not a great life choice. Items like Power Armor and Hazmat Suits can negate the radiation, but it’s always good to have Rad-X, Radshield, and Radaway on standby during these expeditions.
If the radiation doesn’t get you, don’t worry because you’ll also need to do some hunting in these places. To stabilize flux, you need a Hardened Mass, Glowing Mass, and High-radiation Fluids, which are randomly generated loot on enemies found only in these areas.
Once you have your components, you can go to any Chemistry Station with ten units of any raw flux (there being Cobal, Crimson, Fluorescent, Violet, and Yellowcake) you will have stabilized flux for your serum creation.
In the randomized loot pools, you can also receive stabilized flux from certain events, such as A Colossal Problem and Scorched Earth. These events also require nuclear blast zones to activate. During and after the events, you’ll have the opportunity to forage for flux and hunt for Hardenened Masses, Glowing Masses, and High-radiation Fluids in the Savage Divide and Cranberry Bog, respectively.
Question: How Many Mutations are in Fallout 76?
Answer: As of writing this article, there are 19 mutations.
Question: Why are Mutations Maxed out at 18?
Answer: The mutations Herbivore and Carnivore cannot be in effect simultaneously. It would completely negate the benefits of either mutation, and the player would not be able to eat plant or meat-based food to satiate hunger.
Question: What is the lowest price you can buy mutation formulas and serums?
Answer: With a base Charisma of 7, the Hard Bargain Perk Card equipped at Rank 3, and Grape Mentats (which reduces the prices of items sold by vendors at 10%), the cost of mutation recipes comes to 17600 caps, and serums come to 3520 caps. Note that Perks and items affecting NPC prices cannot affect the prices set by players at their C.A.M.P.
Mutations make for an exciting mechanic, giving a small reward to players for taking risks exploring dangerous radioactive zones that have a perk and drawback to obtaining, with the chance to mitigate it with the Class Freak Perk. What mutations will fit you will depend on how you play, so get out there, sit in your favorite toxic waste dump, and have fun twisting your genes!