Take me home, country roads … but be careful of wandering those roads in West Virginia at night. Listen to the wind in the trees. Is that the flapping of wings? What a sight, those giant red eyes. Voice so strange, you can run and run, but it descends all the same. The Mothman is coming to take its claim.
Fallout 76 dug deep into the lore of West Virginia in presenting players with a wide berth of cryptids both native to the state and some less so, from Snallygaster to the Grafton Monster, but out of all the cryptids, there’s none more famous than the Mothman.
So, how do we find a creature that doesn’t care for your Pip-Boy flashlight and seems to dodge the paranormal sleuth’s pursuit? And what should happen if you find it … or it finds you? Welcome to a Mothman Fallout 76 Guide.
Bottom Line Up Front:
The Mothman is one of the handful of cryptid creatures that can be found in Fallout 76, though very rarely outside of events. It is usually a shy creature but is also known to be hostile. While walking around in the wilderness, watch for shadowy smoke between the trees if you want to snap a photo of this elusive creature. Or get your shotgun ready if you’re out trophy hunting your resident Appalachian cryptids.
Behind the Moth … Man:
Mothman is the cryptid that defines West Virginia, with its first sightings dated back to November 15th 1966. After that point, sightings increased within the region with following reports. The Mothman is believed to have caused the collapse of The Silver Bridge in 1967 or was a harbinger of the impending disaster, after which the sightings seemed to have slowed over the decades. And while other areas such as Chicago have made their own Mothman sighting claims, the cryptid has its home.
In Fallout 76, a cult revolved around the Mothman in the days before the Great War. A man named Brother Charles, one of The Enlightened who can be met during the Mothman Equinox seasonal event was believed to receive a vision from The Mothman warning of a great disaster interpreted as a flood and led others who followed the vision.
While the vision was warning of the nuclear war rather than a typical flood, he and his followers survived by retreating deep underground. Thus, the Cult of the Mothman took its place and is an actively hostile group to the players in Fallout 76 following the Wastelanders expansion.
Strangely enough, unlike the Snallygaster, as mentioned earlier, and Grafton Monster, it’s unknown if Mothman is a creature mutated by the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV) and/or radiation. There is no explanation for it other than being it simply exists and may have existed the way we see it in the game since well before The Great War.
Unlike its statue interpretation (which has sadly been somewhat altered from its real-life appearance), it is a massive moth that is, indeed, the size of a man, and one’s encounters with this cryptid can range from a quick glimpse to strangely peaceful to downright vicious.
Fighting The Flying Beast:
The Mothman isn’t an easy foe to handle and requires you to keep on your feet. Encountering a Mothman in the game is difficult, almost only appearing at random encounter locations during the night. Depending on the variant you encounter will also define your experience with the creature:
- A normal Mothman will flee upon the player attempting to combat it, and even occasionally if the player comes too close to the shy creature. They cannot be killed and will flee either the moment they notice you or the moment you attack, and therefore will not drop any loot. However, they make for good photo opportunities, especially if you have a Challenge during one of the game Seasons to take a picture of a Mothman or any cryptid during a Season.
- A Stalking Mothman, however, follows the player from a distance; if the player attacks, it will engage in combat. Though often disappearing partway through the encounter, they can be killed before they escape.
- The Vengeful Mothman is where they become hostile on sight, as every variant after this point. They are highly aggressive and fight to the death. Their eyes can come in a variety of colors. To know which type of Mothman you’re dealing with, it’s best to get crosshairs on it to identify its variant first.
- The Wise Mothman is not an enemy and cannot be killed. It’s a purple-eyed variant exclusively found at the end of two events, Path to Enlightenment and The Mothman Equinox. It will reward players that participate and complete the events with an hour-long 5% bonus XP buff.
- The Glowing Mothman is far sturdier than the Vengeful Mothman thanks to its irradiation. Recognizable by the green glow of its eyes and vents when it spreads its wings. These are far tougher than Vengeful Mothmen and can most commonly encountered during the Mothman Equinox event.
- Scorched Mothman are victims of the Scorched plague after a Scorchbeast spreads the virus over an area. They will coordinate with other Scorched creatures to take down players nearby. They are most often found during the event Scorched Earth. They can be consistently found within the Enclave Research Facility at Transmission Station 1AT-U03, accessible during and after the quest Over and Out with the release of Steel Reign. Be sure to click the button near the elevator button once in the instance for entry.
- Mothman Hatchlings, which are similar to the other models but much smaller, can be found in Daily Ops with Cultist enemies, is a much smaller variant of the Mothman. They fight the same as all the variants, but how you approach combat with them will vary depending on the mutation on that Daily Ops.
A Mothman has an extensive perception range, so even if you spot it, there is a chance it spotted you first. When fighting a Mothman, they attack with sonic soundwaves that can disorient the player and let out a shockwave that temporarily stuns players that get too close. These attacks can make it difficult to see them; however, they remain in place during their attack, so put suppressing fire down on its general area with an automatic weapon, even if you have trouble seeing it.
It will often fly into the air, seemingly vanishing, only to appear somewhere else to flank and attack the player. If you lose track, using VATs to help reorient yourself using it as an auto-aim assistant and putting your crosshairs back on the creature will save you from being a victim of this winged beast.
Helpful Items and Loot
There are a couple of items that can assist you in taking out a Mothman:
- There are two consumable magazines called Tales From The West Virginia Hills Part 1 & 2 (two individual magazines) has a Mothman edition called, The Mothman Cometh. Both will give the player a 15% damage bonus against Mothman, and each comes with a holotape to tell the tale of each comic book. Pick up and equip the Perk, Pannapictagraphist, to make tracking down this item easier.
- Season 12, Rip Daring and the Cryptid Hunt has also introduced a unique shotgun known as The Cold Shoulder, a shotgun that deals cryo damage with quadruple ammo capacity, slows target movement for four seconds, and the biggest perk, an additional 50% damage to cryptids, Mothman included. I highly recommend picking up this shotgun ASAP, as this Season is still live as of writing this article. If you miss it, don’t fret too much. The Atomic Shop releases bundles from the previous Seasons from time to time, and there’s a strong chance weapon will be added to the rotation sometime after Season 12 ends.
Upon death, the Mothman flutters in the air and dissolves into dust before reliably leaving a few valuable junk items; Ballistic Fiber Scraps, Neurotoxic Dust (breaks down into Waste Oil), Torn Mothman Wing (which can be broken down into Acid, and Ballistic Fiber), and Waste Oil.
Ballistic Fiber is a rare component used to craft and maintain high-leveled armors, so always grab Ballistic Fiber and that Torn Mothman Wing. The stuff isn’t cheap. Waste Oil is used for many different projects, from weapon repairs and building C.A.M.P defenses, and Waste Acid is required for crafting Fuel (which also needs Oil and Steel to craft) and smelting ore such as Copper Ore at chemistry stations.
Tracking a Cryptid
Farming the Mothman is not an easy feat. Unlike Snallygasters and Grafton Monsters, there are even fewer locations they reliably spawn, as they are almost exclusively random encounters that only happen at night but have a higher chance of spawning at Cultist locations. You can reliably find a few Scorched Mothman at the Enclave Research facility, but after killing them, the instance will need some time to reset the spawn.
When approaching a Cultist location, such as Kanawah County Cemetary or the Clancy Manor, the player might notice a large platform meant to overlook an area. If you see a large bulky figure wreathed in shadows perched above, it means you have found a Mothman. They are more likely to flee than attack the player, but you may get lucky with your encounter. Keep on your guard, however, as Mothman Cultists can also be found in these areas and are always hostile.
Mothman Cultist locations are the following:
- Clancy Manor
- Ingram Manor
- Kanawah County Cemetary
- Blakes Offering
- Johnson’s Acre
- Lucky Hole Mine
- Point Pleasant
- And other smaller unmarked shrines
At many of these locations, you’ll also find scattered clusters of small tire-like structures with red indents. These are Mothman Eggs, which, when cooked, give the player a Mothman Omelet that increases Charisma. After all, the Mothman is a local cryptid and seems to be a favored flavor for a post-apocalyptic breakfast. They are also used as a component to make Brain Bombs, which give you a substantial sugary AP and Intelligence boost for your morning radioactive hike.
Cryptid Quests and Events for the Kids:
As of writing this article, there are two Mothman-related Fallout 76 quests; one that happens all year round and another that happens at specific points during the year. These two events, known as The Path to Enlightenment and The Mothman Equinox, both occur within The Forest Region and will always summon a Wise Mothman if completed successfully.
The Path to Enlightenment
The other non-hostile Mothmen, or the purple-eyed Wise Mothman, can be found during two events. The Path to Enlightenment is held at the Landview Lighthouse in the Forest region.
After clearing out a few ghouls, players will approach the lighthouse. The objective is to fuel the Landview Lighthouse light with Bioluminescent Fluid found on non-hostile fireflies and hostile Radtoads that kill the insects. Though the fireflies are much easier to kill, Radtoads have a much higher chance of dropping multiple units of Bioluminescent Fluid as opposed to a firefly’s single unit.
Once players have ascended and deposited fifty units of the fluid into the light, it will illuminate the lighthouse with a strange, almost greenish glow and summon a Wise Mothman. This is one of the more accessible events for low-leveled players and will give basic loot as a reward, so if you need to get an event done for your daily challenge, this is a quick one to get through.
The Mothman Equinox
The Mothman Equinox is a seasonal event held in Point Pleasant of The Forest region and hosted by the Enlightened founders of The Cult of the Mothman.
Players may speak with Interpreter Clarence to begin the event when the event is active. Three pyres scattered across Point Pleasant must be cleared of roots surrounding them for each Observer to assign the players one of three tasks: filling troughs with Albino Radstag Blood, killing specific Cultist Heretics, and destroying totems scattered across the town.
After all three are complete, players must defend the pyres from Cultists, Deathclaws, and even hostile Mothman. This event is brutal and chaotic at low to mid-levels, so keep close to your teams and watch how much damage each pyre is taking with each wave, as by wave three, all of the pyres will be under attack.
Once the pyres have been defended, return to the top of the building where Interpreter Clarence and Wise Charles the Forwarned can be found, and use emotes to summon the Wise Mothman once again.
There are ranks of rewards depending on how well the players defended the pyres, but they will usually include caps, a Legendary item, Legendary core(s), Treasury Notes, and a unique item from the Mothman Equinox pool.
Question: Can the Mothman be found in other Fallout games?
Answer: As of right now, no. Mothman appears exclusively in Fallout 76 as it is a legend local to West Virginia, as are many of the cryptids that appear in 76.
Question: Does the Mothman have any weaknesses?
Answer: While they have no specific weaknesses, I’ve found that a good Flamer will get the job done fast and has a layer of ironic poetry. Like with many enemies, a headshot has a higher chance of critical damage than any other location on the creature.
Cryptids are an intriguing addition to Fallout that have expanded the creatures that appear in the game series wildly, and I am a fan of this direction. While the games will never be truly accurate to the real world, adding local legends and locations brings a special something to the game that lets players connect more personally to it. And what’s more personal than gathering around a campfire with friends and telling stories before grabbing your flashlights and trekking through the woods? … Did you hear that? The flap of wings? … Hmm. Probably nothing.