In this Wasteland 3 Guide we’re going to be taking a look at party composition, and how to make a good party that synergizes well with one another and the game itself. Combat is not the end all in Wasteland 3, and much of your success in the game is dependent upon your other Skills, which can make things much easier for you. For this reason, not every character should be purely combat focused, and it would be wise to sacrifice a bit of damage on most characters in exchange for some flexibility in the means to resolve each scenario the way you see fit.
Wasteland 3 Party Composition Guide
There are 16 Non-Combat Skills in Wasteland 3, and if you want to invest significant points into each of them, then you’ll need to select 1 Combat Skill, and 3 other Skills on 4 of your 6 party members in order to cover them all. This is very difficult to accomplish and not get your ass kicked in combat, so I suggest creating a separate party member that you just keep at Ranger HQ who only places points into Weapon and Armor Modding to make it so you only need to do this on 2 party members. There are very few Armor and Weapon Modding checks in the game, so you won’t miss out much doing this.
Party Composition is not just about the characters you make though, and you will need to figure out how to best fit Companions, as you cannot have a fully customized party. I strongly suggest not using your Companions for 2 of the characters that take 3 Non-Combat Skills, because some of them have terrible combinations of Skills, and you might have to ignore one Skill they already have points in, in order to select something else that is more suited. This means some of their Skill Points will be wasted in a lot of cases, and that makes it even harder to dump points into 4 Skills total.
Since the first two Companions you get are Lucia Wesson and Marshal Kwon, let’s begin with them and see just how we can best fit them into an ideal party. I’m not going to cover all Companions here because I haven’t gotten them all yet, but this should give you some idea how to get started and how to incorporate other Companions into your group.
Lucia Wessen & Marshal Kwon
Lucia and Kwon come with completely different Skill spreads, and they will handle very different aspects of your team. Below I’ve listed just what they have, so you can get an idea of where to start from:
Looking over these Skills the good news is that they have zero overlapping Skills, but there is some bad news as well. Lucia has Weapon Modding, which again can be dumped onto a character that is just in your HQ that you sub in when you need to Mod your gear. However, if you’d rather not do this, then there’s nothing wrong at all with her Skill spread. This is a potential of 3 Skill Points wasted.
Kwon, though, has Sneaky Shit, which frankly is not as good on a character that uses Automatic Weapons as it is on a character that uses Sniper Rifles or Rocket Launchers. This means you’ll likely waste his points into Sneaky Shit, and just like Lucia, is 3 Skill Points wasted. 3 Skill Points is not that bad though, but again is the reason I suggest not making any Companion a character that has 3 Non-Combat Skills.
If you don’t focus on Weapon Modding on Lucia at all, and add a Skill to Marshal Kwon and stop adding to Sneaky Shit, you’d get a setup that looks something like this near the middle of the game:
The reason I’ve selected Leadership on Marshal Kwon, though I feel it is better suited on Lucia, is because you’d waste even more investment on her by having to scratch either Barter or Survival from the Skills you dump points into. Additionally, Kwon has 4 Points into Charisma already, making him a slightly better candidate Attribute wise for Leadership.
You can make Lucia into a Shotgun Build that works similarly to my Shotgun Sergeant Build, minus the Mechanics and Leadership. You’d still take similar Perks and Attributes, though you should replace Charisma with more Intelligence, Coordination, Strength and Awareness.
With Kwon you’ll have to decide whether to focus on SMGs or Assault Rifles, and take the related Perks to these. Try to use ones that have Elemental Damage for best results, and even consider dropping three points into Weird Science to pick up the Overcharge Perk for added Damage.
If you take these two in your party then you already have 2 weapon types covered, as well as 4 Non-Combat Skills, leaving 10 more if you dump Modding on an alt character who stays in your HQ. Let’s take a look at what would be good to pair with these two so that you have all your bases covered.
The Reckon Rocketeer might just be the most powerful Build I’ve made, allowing you to destroy large packs of enemies in a single turn. It works well in a group because it uses Small Arms as its Combat Skill, and Explosives and Sneaky Shit as its Non-Combat Skills. Your skills for this Build will look something like this mid game:
This covers another 2 Skills from Non-Combat, leaving 8 more to go.
The Drunk-Fu Fighter works very well in a party, particularly one that can burn enemies, since Bleeding Strike is particularly deadly against them. It can one shot most enemies in the game under the right circumstances, just make sure you have a steady supply of Beer! Your Skills should look something like this mid game:
This leaves 6 more Non-Combat Skills to go. The last two Builds I suggest using our going to have their stat points spread out a bit more because they each need to take 3 Non-Combat Skills, but I think they work well on these Builds.
The Fantastic Firestarter can afford to spread its skill points around because it’s a Build that revolves nearly entirely around using Flamethrowers. Disciple of Metal, Weird Science and the Heating Element Perk in Toaster Repair all increase Fire Damage. This means this Build is particularly good at killing organics, and that’s why we add in Mechanics to shore up its weakness. Each point in Mechanics increases your damage vs. Robotics, and so does the Structural Weakness Perk. Modify one Flamethrower you carry to deal Energy Damage and you’re all set no matter what you face. The following is what your Skill distribution should look like mid game:
This leaves 3 Non-Combat Skills left to cover.
Snipers are a great place to dump extra Skill Points because they really only need Sniper Rifles to hit like a truck. This allows them to spend all additional points into things like Lockpicking or whatever you want that will help out your team. The following is what you’d need to round out your team, and it should look something like this mid game:
That covers all Non-Combat Skill Points.
This is not the only way you can make a good party that covers every Skill necessary, but it works well based off the first two Companions you gain, which are two you will likely use for a good while in the game. You can swap some of these around a bit, for example Recon Rocketeer could also take a 3rd Non-Combat Skill if you wanted, instead of your Sniper. Or you could swap out the Firestarter for a Submachine Scientist and just take Toaster Repair and Mechanics as well.
You can keep Weapon Modding on Lucia if you really want, she will just be a bit more spread out, but this will save you runs back to HQ to modify your equipment. If you go that route, I suggest adding Armor Modding to the Drunk-Fu Fighter, since I have this in that Build guide already and it works well.
The breakpoints I’ve chosen for most Skills are based around level 15 or so for each character, though some might be slightly higher. As you progress the game you will continue to increase all of these Skills in the order that makes the most sense for each character. As you play you’ll get a better idea of the Skill Checks that you need to pass, and you can dump points into the appropriate Skill to keep up with them as you go.
Lastly, since you cannot respec it will be hard to swap in new Companions without losing your perfect setup. They will have other Skills that overlap with the ones you already have, but you might be able to fit them in ok, if you create new Characters in your HQ that have Skills that revolve around them. Just make sure you un-equip their gear first though, so that it’s not stuck on them inside Ranger HQ, and you can’t equip your new Characters with them. The good news is it costs nothing to create Characters, and you can just remake the same character you had with a different Skill setup.
Stay tuned for more Wasteland 3 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!