Should you start at Level 2 or Level 20 in Fallout 76? An important decision you'll need to make mere minutes into your Fallout 76 playthrough, this choice will greatly affect how you play the opening of the game and impact your loadout. In this Fallout 76 guide, we're going to answer the question: should you start at Level 2 or Level 20?

Should You Start at Level 2 or Level 20 in Fallout 76?

Fallout 76: Should You Start at Level 2 or Level 20? Guide 1

As soon as you go to leave Vault 76 at the start of the game, you'll be stopped in your tracks by a menu asking whether you would like to begin your adventure at Level 2 as a Fresh Dweller or fast track yourself to Level 20 as a Battle Ready Dweller. This decision will have quite a large impact on your first few hours out in Appalachia, as you can either enter the open world fresh and pick up the weapons, armour, items and Perk Cards you want or have them pre-determined for you. As such, you need to apply a bit of thought here.

For first-time players, we recommend leaving Vault 76 at Level 2, as a Fresh Dweller. This way, you can learn how the game operates as it was originally intended, taking in tutorials at the appropriate level and instantly taking your former vault dweller in a custom direction. You can choose the Perk Cards you want and not have to worry about sticking to the play style you chose if had left as a Battle Ready Dweller. It only takes a few hours of play to reach Level 20, so you are not really giving yourself that much of a boost anyway.

Having chosen to be a Fresh Dweller, you can choose from five other options: Slugger, Inspirational, Action Dweller, Gunslinger, and First Aid. Here, you're basically just selecting what Perk Card you want to start the game with. Each loadout refers to the following SPECIAL attribute:

  • Slugger — Strength
  • Inspirational — Charisma
  • Action Dweller — Agility
  • Gunslinger — Agility
  • First Aid — Intelligence

Press the Triangle button on each loadout and you can see what Perk Card you get. We recommend either Gunslinger or First Aid, with the former increasing your damage with Pistols by 10% and the latter making Stimpaks 15% more effective.

While the Battle Ready Dweller option advertises itself as the "Best Choice", this is better for players starting a second character who have already spent a long time playing Fallout 76. It's essentially a quicker way for them to reach the right level for playing end-game content, which you won't need to worry about for some time.

Fallout 76: Should You Start at Level 2 or Level 20? Guide 4

Becoming a Battle Ready Dweller lets you pick from five more options: Commando, Slugger, Gunslinger, Shotgunner, and Specialist. Each loadout is designed to excel at a different weapon type, from melee weapons and pistols to shotguns and automatic rifles. If you take to the game and wish to roll a second character, this then becomes the better option for you. At the very start of your journey through Fallout 76, though, it's best not to skip anything, so opt to leave Vault 76 as a Fresh Dweller.

What loadout, either as a Fresh Dweller or a Battle Ready Dweller, did you choose? Let us know in the comments below.