Wasteland 3 Character Creation Guide

In this Wasteland 3 article, we will be looking at character creation beginner guide, we will explain where to begin and ultimately creating a decent build. We’ll explain which weapon to choose, backgrounds, attributes, skills, perks and quirks. This will start you on the right path in creating a good build, so read on to find out what everything does, and which ones are favourable.

Weapons

First thing to pick and decide is to choose the preferred weapon for the character. The thing with preferred weapons is that it is a very confusing and an important decision. In extreme difficulties having a proper weapon build will be the difference between life and death. Brian Fargo games are especially true to this, and this increases the importance of weapon preference. Fargo games as well makes it extremely hard to run melee builds so it won’t be recommended if this is your first RPG run.

Backgrounds

Bookworm – It is just a free 5% experience bonus and makes it great with any character due to them levelling up faster though it isn’t the best background to take so it isn’t at the top of recommended backgrounds to take.

Desert Cat – Desert cat is going to give you +1 Perception which will give help in spotting things. Not the greatest background but backgrounds aren’t always about stats maybe you chose this for role play considerations but if it’s just a discussion about stats the +1 perception is not that great.

Disciple of the Metal – Disciple of the Metal is the perfect background looking forward to using any fire based weaponry. The very strong 15% Fire damage bonus makes it so that it is a very convincing argument for any flamethrower/Molotov/Pyro build.

Explodomaniac – Now this background is amazing with heavy ordinance/grenade character builds that were built for destroying hordes of enemies. The extra 15% explosive bonus damage is going to really help, especially with the increasing difficulty of enemies; this percentage bonus would really help with that as time goes on. 

Goat Killer  – Besides being one of the funniest background story possible is also extremely good with any character. The +5% critical chance that will apply to any and all kinds of damage. With intelligence is one of the best ways to boost your overall damage, crit damage and crit percentage in the game. Therefore having high intelligence means more crits.

Grease Monkey – Is another one that is very good. Extra damage against robots and vehicles and you can never have enough damage in this game. But it is a very select enemy type so it won’t apply everywhere and it isn’t the most common type of enemy early on so its benefits would be felt in the mid to late game.

Lethal Weapon – This perk is a no brainer for using a melee character. The 10% melee damage bonus so if you only do melee attacks it is the perfect pick.

Mannerite – This perk gives you +1 persuasion using the Kiss Ass Route. It isn’t really that good because compared to the massive percentage increases of the other backgrounds this is simply only one skill point.

Moneybags – Same thing with this perk. Just having one skill point seems not worth it and doesn’t scale well later on.

Mopey Poet – The +5% of evasion is a significant boost it is a very defensive bonus and I am in the kind of mindset that the best defense is a good offense, so the preference on boosting damage and killing enemies quickly therefore lessening the possible damage to be taken in a fight rather on relying on evasion.

Paladin – It is an okay defensive passive stat wise with its 10% crit resistance but again consistent with my recommendation on more offensive picks more so than defensive thus I have to pass on this.

Raider Hater – This perk is one of the best all around background that can be picked with the 10% increased damage on humans which is the majority of enemies early on in the game and still going on to the rest in varied amounts so this background is definitely not a bad choice.

Sex Machine – This is a great background for someone who needs combat speed. Either as a melee character or a heavy weapon character because heavy weapons tend to lower your combat speed putting them in an unfavorable position when in combat and it’s pretty much a given that melee characters would want to close the gap to get in range as much as they can.

Stoner  – This is another defensive background that isn’t really recommended due to its 10% effect resistance is not a lot.

The Boss – Again this persuasion +1 Hard Ass skill point so it isn’t really recommended due to its low benefits.

Vicious Avenger – This background isn’t a bad choice +2 penetration is gonna  bypass some armors. This is really good for weapons with lower damage values like Automatic weapons that do 10-15 a shot vs a sniper that does  100 damage per shot. So each bullet is gonna be stopped by that armor so this is more of a recommendation if you are going to do an automatic build or something that has a lower base value like a pistol maybe.

Attributes

When you get to the attribute section. No matter what type of build, make sure to read the description of the attribute of what they do. Thoroughly. Because in Wasteland 3 there are little bits you would not expect from other traditional CRPGs type games. Some stats have kind of been combined, for instance strength gives you health per level and increases your melee damage. Typically this would have been constitution and strength separated, but they are merged in this game. So you really need to read this and decide what is best for your character.

Coordination

Coordination is first and it’s probably one of the most important attributes for any character in the game. Not only does it increase your max action points because you carry action points to the next round if you don’t use them all. It increases the total action points you have when you begin a round which is huge and it increases your status effect resistance preventing you from getting bleeding or burning a lot more often so you seriously want to consider this attribute in every character. It is going to give you one additional AP and one Max every even number leveled. So at 2,4,6,8 etc. So try and plan for that  and aim to get an even amount because you’re gonna see most of the benefits at even amounts.

Luck

Luck is going to increase your penetration by +1 at every even level except the last jump which takes it up two points so you can get a max of +6 penetration and it also gives you the chance for lucky things to happen. Like a crit or mega crit or evade. So it’s just a really good stat all around to dump points into because it helps offensively and defensively.

Awareness

Awareness increases hit chance but even at level 12 it only increases chance by 12%. It isn’t that big and accuracy would be dictated by the weapon you have far more than awareness. Taking awareness more perception spotting traps and things like that so maybe on your sneaky character so that he doesn’t get himself killed and it also increases your range damage by 35% max. 

Intelligence

Intelligence increases your critical chance and critical damage per point so at your max you’re going to have plus 25% critical chance and a multiplier of 2.1x whenever you critically hit. You start by 1 at default and then it goes up per point by percentage. What this means intelligence is probably going to boost your damage far more than awareness will. Awareness at the most can give 35% damage at max but if you crit. Say you have a 40% or 50% crit chance with the weapon you’re using and you do 2.1 times the damage that is a lot more damage than awareness can give you.

So awareness is not actually that great of a stat to take on most characters and you primarily want to take it in characters that need to spot things and those using range damage as well. This is going to be sort of like your tracker character that’s out ahead of everyone making sure you don’t step on landmines but you don’t want to try and necessarily make your sniper awareness as much as you do intelligence. That is not to say you shouldn’t have awareness on your sniper because you could but you might want to prioritize intelligence first and then make your over to awareness.

Strength

Strength is basically a combination of strength and constitution would be in other CRPGs. Not only gives you more health, it increases melee damage , thrown range and it gives extra health per level. You would want a little bit of this on every character but mostly should be leveled in frontline characters even if they are not using a melee weapon. You know people who end up using heavy guns, shotguns and SMGs because they’re going to get shot at more and you don’t want them to die.

Speed

Speed is very important for any build. It increases your combat speed. Combat speed is how far you can move with each AP and  melee characters need this to be able to close the gap and still have action points to attack otherwise they are going to be just standing there after walking halfway across the map and they’re just going to get blown away on the enemy’s turn. So combat speed is absolutely vital for a melee character and it might be the most important stat for them and strength. It is usually a combination of both for melee characters.

It additionally gives you evasion which makes you harder to hit. Which is a good stat for any build and every character can benefit from being shot less but again front lines need to get shot less because they are going to be shot more often. So make sure your frontline characters have speed andi it also adds  initiative so you have a higher chance of going first once you are spotted. So your front man/patrol/scout should have high speed so that your team gets to go first and then you all get wasted away before you can get in position. I like to have this on my heavy weapons character because I usually want to begin combat by firing a rocket into a crowd.

Charisma

Charisma increases your strike rate.This is how fast you increase gauge in order to do a precision strike which is good for just about anyone but leadership range is only applicable to the person that has leadership. So you want to make sure if you have a lot of charisma you probably take leadership on that character. Leadership works that it gives benefit to your party members if they’re in range. By charisma going up you will increase that leadership range . It also increases the experience bonus to this character so they’re going to level up faster and it’s going to give you more mission reward bonus so you want probably one character to have really high charisma and everyone else can have average charisma and they will be fine.

Skills

Combat Skills

This is where you will get your hit chance from. At max level of any combat skill you will get 30% hit chance and the increase is 3% per point into the skill. So if you need a hit chance this is where you are going to get it from. If by a chance you somehow think that you would need to switch mid game to another weapon. It’s not really the end of the world but you would be less likely to get perks because perks require a certain level to be able to get. Big Guns for example need level 7 to get a perk but if you divide your points with small guns it is much much harder to reach that level so it is more advised to focus on one weapon skill first, max it out and then branch out.

Special mention for Brawling because not only it increases damage with your brawling weapons it also increases your combat speed allowing you to move further  per every turn so  this is a very effective skill for any melee build but if you are using fist weapons then it is obviously very good for you.

General Skills

Animal Whisper, this skill allows you to tame a friendly animal to follow you and attack in combat and increases your animal companion damage at every level. I’m pretty sure you can take at least one point of this in every character and have tons of animal companions follow you around. If not maybe you can have one character in the party to max it out because having a powerful seventh companion would be helpful.

Explosives would increase your explosive resistance and your explosive damage bonus which is really good if you have a heavy ordinance character. Someone that uses rockets or throws grenades a lot. If so you would have to have tons of points for this because you want those rockets to hit like a truck and if they are upfront they would most likely get hit by enemy explosives so this is not a bad thing to have on them. Disabling landmines is also something you will do in the entire game so you want someone at least 10 points with this skill eventually.

First Aid is a skill where having at least one point for every character is a must as it allows you to use a medkit. There are tons of medkits everywhere  and this can heal at about 35 CON for 3 turns which a full heal for most characters. If you don’t have one point in them you can’t use them on yourself and have to rely on a team mate so I like to put at least one point in first aid here. Having more points increases the effectiveness of first aid items but I think it’s better to have one character that has first aid for dialogue for things you can do with the game and everyone else has one point in order to make the best use of medkits.

Sneaky Shit is a very strong skill because it gives perception allowing you to spot trap stuff this is something you want your scout to have as someone who spots enemies and traps if they go on ahead. It also increases their initiative again so if they trigger combat there is a higher likelihood of your team to go first. It also takes them longer to get detected so if you’re trying to do stealth takedowns and it also increases your sneak attack damage so if you’re the you know firing a sniper shot from not being seen it’s going to boost it by 10% for each point. This is going to make it so you could probably one shot anyone at max level from anywhere.

Weird Science is an interesting skill because it increases your fire,energy and cold damage so any weapons that use these would probably need weird science to wield in the first place. So this is for a particular character to use this. Obviously if you are using a flamethrower you are going to take this because it would boost your fire damage. But this would most likely be on particular characters that use energy weapons/flamethrower build so you will probably not take this on most characters.

Exploration Skills

You would want to have at least one person in a group at maxed exploration skill (with the exception of the survival depending on your playstyle) to be able to max getting out rewards.

Armor Modding, this allows you to modify armor and put things into it. As you go high in the skill you get to use better mods. Two characters don’t stack the skill so its more efficient to limit it to one person in a group and max it out eventually.

Lock Picking is a really useful skill and it doesn’t stack so the highest skilled person will be used in a group. This can be noticed if selecting individual characters you would only use that person’s lockpick skills. So this is really good on one character in being able to get tons of loot throughout the game.

Nerd Stuff is kinda like hacking, it allows you to do stuff with computers and override things. Kinda like lockpicking and recommended for one character to max it out.

Mechanics increases your damage against robots, vehicles and synths and it goes up to 30% so this would be great with some characters having points here. Same with other skills above it doesn’t stack and skill checks would use the highest skill level in the group. Max on one character

Survival is interesting that the higher you have it the easier to avoid dangerous things in the world map. In the old fallout games while travelling around the map you will get a random encounter and end up dead. This prevents those string of bad luck more and you won’t even notice all the dangers you would be avoiding with this skill. It’s a weird investment as not everybody would like to avoid confrontations so it’s not a must. It also gives increased damage against mutants and animals but overall this skill is not recommended as a priority to level up on most characters.

Toaster Repair is a weird skill because there are random toasters in the game that experience, loot and buff if you repair them. So again recommended to have just one character at max to get maximum effect.

Weapon Modding is very similar to armor modding that  you can get one person to max this skill and to be able to modify better. It also gives access to more scrap and better mods as you go up the skill.

Social Skills

Barter primary function is to increase the value of your junk and be able to sell things for a higher price. It goes up to 500%  sell value and 10% discount at max level. In terms of making money barter is a good skill to have.

Hard Ass and Kiss Ass is the Intimidate and persuade in dialogue. In a group the highest value would be used in the case of a skill check. Ideally one character should max both so you can get past those skill checks.

Leadership gives bonuses to those characters around you that are in range of the skill. It increases hit chance, crit chance, damage and healing. This is going to go to the character using charisma as that increases the effectiveness and range of the leadership bonus.

Quirks

These are one time perks that you cannot select after character creation. Usually they have a pro and a con. So we are going to go through them and check their usefulness.

Blunderer – This gives +15% melee damage for cost of -50% critical chance. I don’t think that is a good trade-off as most characters can benefit from high crit chance, even melee characters so this is not recommended on any build unless you want a melee character with no crit damage.

Bop Bag– This perk is an interesting one because you get a lot of armor at the cost of a lot of combat speed. If you think of making a melee character this looks enticing but that hit to combat speed is going to mean you are going to use more AP to get to your target which means it gets really detrimental to you. So I would only recommend this to characters that won’t be moving much like a sniper or a heavy weapons character that gets into a spot and doesn’t plan on moving that much.

Circus Freak – It increases your combat speed  and crit resistance at the cost of evasion and decreased detection time. So this might again be good for characters that would like to get into melee range though lack of evasion and detection time is going to hurt but doesn’t reduce initiative at all so your team still gets a higher chance of getting first turn. Also the increased combat speed is gonna remove the stealth element from the character but with the trade-off of an overall better melee up your face build.

Death Wish – A quirk not recommended for newbie players.  It gives a tremendous amount of AP in the form of +3 Max AP and +3 AP points but you cannot wear armor of any kind. This is only good for a character that stays way back and does not plan to get shot at all. The important note is that most sniper rifles take 6 AP to use so in order to get 2 shots off in every turn which is the ideal with this quirk on you need to have at least 9 AP that means you would have to put points to coordination to get 12 action points. So that means you can only fire 2 shots and not be able to move. So you might want to have something more than that.

Doomsday Prepper – The perk gives 35% status effect resistance but at the cost of not being able to read any skill book. There are skill books in wasteland 3 like in fallout where you read them and get skill points. This is a very valuable resource you will lose if you pick up this quirk so it makes for a tough decision. If you know exactly where the skill books are and what order or if it’s hard for you to reach then this would be good to take but I cannot recommend this easily because skill books in general are really valuable.

Lone Wolf – +20% initiative but cannot be affected by leadership bonuses. A great quirk for the designated scout as the increased initiative would give a higher chance of getting first turn when combat begins and generally scout characters would probably be out of Leadership range anyways so there are really no downsides to this.

Medical Marvel – +5 CON increase per level but cannot be revived during combat. The great thing about this quirk is that plans for success. If you have more health you are less likely to get taken down and are less likely to be needed for a revival. It is a great pick up in general though it isn’t recommended for newbie players or all characters in the game due to that mistakes would probably happen and you wouldn’t want to be in a situation where you can’t revive anybody. This is something you should take in easier difficulties or you are used to the game and know what you are doing.

Mime – A great pickup for stealth characters as it gives +2 seconds to detection time and great for going hard on those stealth kills. Though do note the -10 on CON and -0.5 throwing range.

Poindexter – While getting a debuff on CON and any subsequent increase of it you will get more skills, and therefore more utility from the character. Not recommended for front line and mid range characters. Maybe on long range combat characters that won’t be seeing alot of action but also have maxed out the social and exploration skills but otherwise it’s not a recommendation due to the massive removal of CON.

Prospector – A strange quirk that increases the amount of gold you are going to get at the cost of one quick slot. There are only 2 quick slots that are used for grenades or healing kits from your inventory. Not recommended for new players and should only be taken by those who know what they are doing.

Pyromaniac – A very good perk for any character with a lot of grenades, rockets and flamethrowers involved.Giving you a  damage increase but will occasionally set yourself on fire which would damage the character for a few rounds. Having good status effect resistance should counteract the possibility of burning and or getting burning resist equipment but it isn’t a must get quirk.

Sadomasochist – Receive more damage but deal a lot more damage as well. My character that I got this with died the most in the group due to being a close range damage dealer so it can be difficult to run with especially with point blank and or melee characters that need  you to be up close and personal. More recommended for long range out of the way of damage characters.

Serial Killer – One of the best quirks, at the cost of -1 AP you gain +3 AP for each kill in combat (once per turn). Very difficult for new players and hard to use early on the game due not having enough AP to play around before getting a kill. More coordination is recommended to run with this but when you get it rolling it is really strong.

Two-Pump Chump – A quirk that gives +2 AP in the first 2 turns but after that  gives -1 AP and -15% hit chance for 6 turns. If you aren’t familiar yet with the game , scenarios and situation you will be encountering it isn’t recommended

Varangian Blood – Not recommended. You don’t want to plan for teammates to go down in the first place and this has such a massive debuff after its buffs ends.

Waste Roamer – An excellent quirk for any character, gain permanent status effect resistance for losing some bonus experience. Something to be outfitted on leadership characters with high charisma which its own XP bonus is going to offset the reduced bonus with this quirk. But if not it’s just slower levelling for free resistances.

Way of the Squeezins – It gives a form of drunken master setup where there is a large damage boost while drunk but without alcohol has massive debuffs slapped on the character. Highly recommended for melee characters due to alcohol’s increased melee buffs anyways so there is also an additional buff of melee damage beyond just +50%.


Stay tuned for more Wasteland 3 Build Guides, as we explore just what sort of Builds you can make in this post apocalyptic CRPG. And be sure to check out the Official Wiki if you need more help with the game!

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Senior Editor at Fextralife. I enjoy gaming, playing and watching sports, cooking yummy food, watching a good movie and hanging out with Fex.

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