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Wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland is a dangerous game. That does not change in Fallout 76. You will be arming yourself with whatever you can to fight off violent mutated wolves, feral ghouls, and whatever else is out there that’s thirsty for blood.
Guns and hand-to-hand are all well and good, but if you’re a one-person army up against ten mirelurks, it’s time to break out something more explosive. Grenades, mines, mini-nuke launchers, pick your poison, but you better be prepared or get caught in the blast.
Fallout 76 Demolition Expert Guide: Key Info Upfront
- What is the Demolition Perk? An Intelligence Perk Card that can be obtained at level 10.
- What the Demolition Expert Perk Does: Increase explosive damage and allows the player to craft explosives
- Explosives Affected by Demolition Expert: Grenades, Mines, and Explosive Heavy Guns
Demolition Expert is an early game Intelligence Perk Card that unlocks at level 10 with five ranks. Each Rank of Demolition Expert comes with the following effects:
- Rank 1: Your explosives do +20% damage
- Rank 2: Your explosives do +30% damage
- Rank 3: Your explosives do +40% damage
- Rank 4: Your explosives do +50% damage
- Rank 5: Your explosives do +60% damage
Along with the increased damage output, what isn’t listed in the description is that you need this Perk Card to craft most explosives within Fallout 76, with a few exceptions such as Molotov Cocktails and Flares.
As with many of these high-cost cards, it does not hurt to have a few different Rank Perk Cards in your pocket if you intend on using explosives. I usually keep a lower-ranking card (Rank 2 in Demolition Expert’s case) equipped while exploring and a Rank 5 Card I can switch to craft.
Demolition Expert is the first explosive-related Perk to unlock at level 10, but there are a few others you may want to look at combining with it to get the most out of your build.
One card to seriously consider if you are using grenades would be Fire in the Hole, which increases the throw distance and shows a visible line of the arc. If you prefer mines, Grenadier increases the blast radius, which will catch more enemies in the explosion.
I always have Ordinance Express equipped, as the number of grenades I carry makes it cumbersome to get around, as well as Lock and Load to deal with the extremely slow reload time of grenade and missile launchers.
Grenades are your primary weapon of choice under Demolition Expert. Grenades are thrown weapons that explode after a few seconds or can be shot midair before going off. The latter is a good way of bypassing the timer at the cost of not adding on more damage with a gun or lobbing more grenades during those precious seconds. Damage and other effects will vary from grenade to grenade, but there are plenty of them:
|Grenade||Base Damage||Rank 5 Demolition Expert Damage||Range|
|^Bug Grenade||25 (Explosive)
|Molotov Cocktail||58 (Fire)||88 (Fire)||94|
|Pumpkin Grenade||80 (Explosive)
|Baseball Grenade||175 (Explosive)||280 (Explosive)||94|
|Fragmentation Grenade||150 (Explosive)||240 (Explosive)||94|
|+HalliciGen Grenade||1 (Explosive)||1 (Explosive)||94|
|Dynamite||175 (Explosive)||280 (Explosive)||94|
|Nuka Grenade||250 (Explosive)
|Cryogenic Grenade||100 (Cryo)||160 (Cryo)||94|
|Dynamite Bundle||225 (Explosive)||360 (Explosive)||94|
|*Fragmentation Grenade MIRV||100 (Explosive)||160 (Explosive)||94|
|Pulse Grenade||175 (Explosive)
|Nuka Quantum Grenade||300 (Explosive)||480 (Explosive)||94|
|Plasma Grenade||200 (Energy)||320 (Energy)||94|
|Floater Flamer Grenade||174 (Fire)||248 (Fire)||94|
|Floater Freezer Grenade||99 (Cryo)||158 (Cryo)|
|Floater Gnasher Grenade||119 (Poison)||(166) Poison|
* The Fragmentation Grenade MIRV has a wider explosion radius than the standard Fragmentation Grenade at the cost of lower damage.
+HalluciGen Grenade gas causes NPCs to frenzy and attack others, including allies.
^ Bug Grenade deals +25% damage to insect-based creatures and explodes upon impact instead of on a timer.
Your other option for explosives would be mines. Mines can be placed ahead of time and will not explode until either something gets too close to it or is damaged by a gun or other explosive.
A player can only place two at a time, as throwing down a third will immediately explode the other two (with one exception), so prepare carefully before placing them down. Mines include the following:
|Mine||Base Damage||Rank 5 Demolition Expert Damage||Range|
|*+Explosive Bait||200 (Explosive)||320 (Explosive)||94|
|Fragmentation Mine||150 (Explosive)||240 (Explosive)||94|
|Cryogenic Mine||175 (Cryo)||280 (Cryo)||94|
|Pulse Mine||175 (Explosive
|Plasma Mine||200 (Energy)||320 (Energy)||94|
|Nuke Mine||250 (Explosive)
|Blast Mine||225 (Explosive)
* Obtained via Quest. The Explosive Bait plan can be obtained after Flavors of Mayhem is completed. Blast Mine plans can be obtained after Inert Bombs is complete, and the player can obtain the Inert Bomb component from this Daily Quest.
+ As of writing this article, Explosive Bait is still glitched. After placing the third, that one will go off, but more than two Explosive Bait mines can be placed. They are also the only mine that can be thrown like a grenade and will attract particular wasteland creatures such as wolves, mirelurks, yao guai, etc., to the mine.
(Note that these lists do not include grenades and mines that are used for targeting like Orbital Scan Grenades, Artillery Smoke Grenades, etc., or items that do not injure enemies but have other effects like the Turbo-Fert Fertilizer Grenade or Red Firework Mines)
Explosive Big Guns
If you want to make a mess of the battlefield, it’s time to break out the big guns, figuratively and literally. Explosive heavy guns, such as Auto Grenade Launchers and the Fat Man, benefit from the Demolition Expert Perk, which can make the damage output from these guns devastating. The guns affected by Demolition Expert are listed below:
|Gun||Ammo||Base Clip||Max Level||Max Level Area Base Damage||Demolition Expert Rank 5 Damage||Blast Radius|
|Auto Grenade Launcher||40mm Grenade Round||12||50||117 (Explosive)||187 (Explosive)||Inner: 150
|M79 Grenade Launcher||40mm Grenade Round||1||45||117 (Explosive)||187 (Explosive)||Inner: 150
|Fat Man||Mini Nuke||1||45||455 (Explosive)||728 (Explosive)||Inner: 300
|Hellstorm Missile Launcher||Missile||4||50||120 (Explosive)||192 (Explosive)||Inner: 125
|Missile Launcher||Missile||1||50||155 (Explosive)||192 (Explosive)||Inner: 150
|Broadsider||Cannonball||1||45||135 (Physical)||216 (Physical)||Inner: 75
Some Perk Cards directly designate that they are for non-explosive heavy guns, which means Perks like Heavy Gunner do not apply, so when making a loadout for these guns, pay attention to the fine print on some cards.
These tables alone show how drastically Demolition Expert has increased the damage with the Ranks maxed out, not just explosive damage.
Demolition Expert affects the explosive’s damage; for example, a Plasma Grenade does energy damage, so the effects of Demolition Expert apply to the energy damage.
But a few other weapons can be affected by Demolition Expert’s increased damage effect. Weapons with a Legendary Effect that say “Bullets explode for area damage” are also affected by Demolition Expert. You can have rifles, pistols, and some non-explosive heavy guns that gain extra damage from that Perk.
As this is one Legendary Effect in the pool, you may have to try a few times to get the specific effects you’re looking for on your weapon of choice, either as quest/event awards, found on Legendary Enemies, or bought with scrip at The Rusty Pick.
You may also try your hand at crafting a Legendary Weapon. With your weapon of choice, go to mod it. You’ll need Legendary Cores (obtained by completing public events) and Legendary Modules (which you can purchase at The Rusty Pick). The effect will still be random, but you have a better chance of getting your explosive weapon of choice rather than getting a random gun and effects.
You can always find explosives randomly by loot or explosive crates, but some will be hard, if not impossible, to find, which means it’s time to get crafting. You’ll need to equip Demolition Expert and the Science Perks. And before that, you’ll need the plans.
Most weapons in Fallout 76 require the player to learn plans, a one-time consumable that permanently teaches the player character how to craft that item. This can range from weapons, armor, C.A.M.P decorations, and grenades. You can find plans in the world, at vendors, or receive them as quest rewards.
The materials for crafting grenades can vary, but these are a few materials you may need before you start:
- Nuclear Material
Fertilizer is the primary explosive material for a lot of grenades and mines. While most materials can be found in the world by scavenging or claiming a workshop, you can generate fertilizer at your C.A.M.P via Brahmin Pens and Chicken Coops (note that only one of each can be in your C.A.M.P). You can also obtain fertilizer by letting food expire, taking it to a Chemistry Workbench, and smithing spoiled meat and vegetables into fertilizer.
You can also plant Tatos, Corn, Mutfruit, and Water Purifiers at your C.A.M.P to produce Vegetable Starch at a Cooking Station, each of which yields four units.
Some Grenades and Mines require odd components, such as Floater Grenades, which need the pus sac from the respective elemental floater (example: A Floater Flamer Grenade needs a Floater Flamer Pus Sac), which can be retrieved from the corpse of said creature.
My favorite grenades to use, Nuka Grenades, require the addition of Nuka Cola and a Fragmentation Grenade to the plan. Fragmentation Grenades can be easily crafted and found, but Nuka Cola can’t. Certain Collectrons have a setting to collect Nuka Cola, which can passively supply you with the soft drinks used in your explosives rather than scrounging out in the wasteland or wasting caps at vendors.
Question: What Perks Should Be Equipped for Handling Explosives?
Answer: At any rank, Ordinance Express, Demolition Expert, Fire in the Hole, Grenadier, and Fireproof.
Question: Does Demolition Expert Affect Flamers?
Answer: No, Flamer counts as a heavy energy weapon and does not fall under the explosive gun category.
Question: Can My Explosives Damage Other Players?
Answer: Yes, although they will not generate a bounty on you. Remember that players can also set off your mines (if they are not sneaking with the Light Footed Perk Card), so be sure you are not placing them in areas where your teammates and other players may pass through.
While they may not be the primary weapon of choice for many, grenades, mines, and heavy guns are an excellent supplement for any build when dealing damage and crowd-control for large groups of enemies.
When things get too hot to handle, I always keep a rich stock of grenades in my arsenal. Even having a few Perks at lower ranks equipped can drastically affect the damage output of your explosives and whether or not you survive the results.