In the Fallout games of old, you felt like you had bottomless pockets. You could pick up a huge amount of stuff without any consideration. You really had to take a lot of stuff to become over-encumbered in the past. With Fallout 76, managing your inventory is a constant struggle. One or two extra weapons picked up and suddenly you are walking like a slug. For anyone dealing with the struggle, this guide should help you manage your inventory better.
If you are just starting out, your inventory is going to be small. Too much junk and you will be stuck. You may be wondering whether it stays like this forever. Unfortunately, it does! You will soon get the hang of it and it won’t be something on your mind the whole time. If you are coming from Fallout 4, you will need to change your junk scavenging tactics.
This guide is split into two sections. Tips on how to manage your inventory so that it is not constantly full and tips on how to increase the amount of weight you can carry so that you can carry more at once. Both will be essential for survival.
How To Increase Inventory Size / Carry Weight
Without having any armour equipped and without any status effects applied that will alter your carry weight, your strength is going to be what determines how much you can carry. The higher your strength S.P.E.C.I.A.L, the higher your carry weight will be. Strength is a stat that benefits shotgun and melee builds too, making it a great stat to focus on early in the game. You can easily unassign the points in the future.
Spend S.P.E.C.I.A.L Points on Strength
Every time you level up from level 1-50, you will get a S.P.E.C.I.A.L point that you can apply to your character. Spending these points on strength will give you an increase to your carry capacity.
There are several temporary items like Buffout that will increase your strength for a short period of time. If you get stuck, you could use one of these items to increase your strength. This will increase your inventory size right away and allow you to fast travel when you are stuck.
Using Pocketed Leather Armor
Pocketed leather armour is very useful in the early stages of the game. It is also very useful to have a full set in your stash for use when you need to go farming junk and resources. The damage resistance of leather armour is not the best, so you should keep this and equip when you are going out to find junk and nothing more. It will offer a big boost to your carry capacity while out on those essential junk runs.
Craft a Backpack
It is possible to craft a backpack using an armour workbench once you have completed the “Order of the Tadpole” quest. Once equipped you will get an instant, permanent increase to your carry weight so long as it is equipped. A new backpack will be available to craft every 10 levels, maxing out at level 50 where it will give you an additional 60lbs to your total carry weight.
It is not possible trade backpacks with other players, this is something you will have to obtain yourself. When you drop a backpack, it is destroyed instantly. Every 10 levels, you will unlock the next tier automatically. When you reach level 10,20,30 etc. Be sure to craft a new one.
Mod a backpack to increase carry capacity
If raw carry capacity is what you want, it is possible to modify it at a workbench. Modifying a backpack to have the high capacity mod will reduce the rad resistance and energy that come with the base backpack. A small price to pay if you are constantly finding yourself over-encumbered and unable to fast travel.
Tips For Managing Your Inventory
It is perfectly possible to survive with 200lbs of carry capacity. It might not be ideal, but it is definitely doable. With the right combination of perks, mods and items, you will be able to get by just fine. With this being said, most people will not want to go down this road. If you are constantly stuck unable to fast travel due to carrying too much weight, the tips below will help you manage your inventory and keep the numbers low.
Check The Ammo You Are Carrying
From your Pip-Boy, you can navigate over to the ammo in your inventory. This section was something I overlooked and ended up finding that I was carrying around cannonballs and missiles that I never intended on using. Check for any of the items in the list below. Each of these will cost between 1-6 lbs of inventory space. Since you are unlikely to need these during your regular explorations, you should throw these away or put them in your stash for when you do need them.
The number next to each item is the amount of space each item will take up while it is in your inventory.
- Fusion Core (3)
- Plasma Core (2)
- Mini Nuke (6)
- Missile (1)
- Cannonball (1)
There are quite a few other ammo types that take up less than 1lb but when you have a stack of 500, they end up taking up a lot of inventory space. In general, if you are carrying a shotgun and a minigun, there is no need to bring a stack of 2000 ammo for a laser rifle. It might not take up a huge amount of inventory, but it is a waste and is better kept in your stash crate instead of carrying it around. That additional 5lb will allow you to pick up a random weapon to scrap for those valuable mods.
Eat Perishable Foods Instead of Using Stimpacks
Stimpacks are great to instantly heal you, but they are not the only way to heal. If you kill a radstag, mole rat or a huge range of other animals, you can collect their meat and cook it. Most cooked meat will heal you, satisfy hunger and maybe offer some status boost. The downside is that a lot of meat can take up 1 inventory space. If you cook up 20 glowing meat steaks, this is 20 lbs of inventory space that is going to be used up. When you need some healing, you should use these over stimpacks. The meat will expire before you use it all if you are only using it to satisfy hunger. Save your stimpacks and heal with meat whenever possible.
Don’t Hoard Aid Items
The wasteland is filled with dangers, the more Stimpacks and Radaway the better right? This is true, but these items cost you inventory space. A stack of 40 stimpacks might seem essential but this is going to take up 28 lbs of inventory space. This is huge! If you are carrying super stimpacks, these will take up 1.5lbs of space EACH!
Chems and other items, especially drink you brew from muttfruit and other plants will take up 1lb of inventory space in most cases too. The befits from these are not always worth it either if you don’t have a specific need for the benefit.
Carry the aid items you will need. Ditch the chems you don’t and don’t be afraid to drop any items you never need. Just because you craft something at a fire, does not mean you need to keep carrying it. You can’t afford to be sentimental with these things.
Use Inventory Based Perk Cards
There are a couple of really valuable perk cards that will greatly benefit your inventory space. Things like making armour weigh less and making food weigh less. If you want to make your life easy, some of the perk cards below may be a real help for you if you are having trouble with a particular category the card benefits.
All of the perk cards below will help you manage your inventory. The items marked bold are the ones that will benefit most players.
- Thru Hiker – At level 3 this will make all food and drink weight 90% less
- Cannibal – This will allow you to eat corpses, meaning you do not need to carry as much food in the first place.
- Traveling Pharmacy – Reduces the carry cost of stimpacks and chems
- Pack Rat – Reduces the weight of junk
- Sturdy Frame – Reduces the weight of armour
- Packin’ Light – Reduces the weight of pistols
- Scattershot – Reduces the weight of shotguns
- Bandolier – Lowers the weight of ammo
- Strong Back – Adds +10 to carry capacity
- Batteries Included – Reduces the weight of energy ammo
- Ordnance Express – Explosives weigh less
- Bear Arms – Heavy guns weigh less
Scrap Weapons and Armor You Don’t Need
You need to collect weapons if you want to get more plans for modding gear. The issue here is that weapons and armour that you have no intention on using will consume lots of inventory space that you can’t spare. Keep an eye out for a crafting bench. You can scrap weapons and armor at a chemistry bench or even a power armour stand.
It is worth going slightly out of your way to find a crafting bench to break down weapons and armour to scrap. You will get the modding plans and the scrap that comes from it will take up considerably less inventory space.
Unused and (Known) plans take up .25 Inventory space
Every workshop defence and various quests will give you plans for building things. It is easy to let these build up without noticing. 20 of them may not take up a huge amount of space, but they do take up a noticeable amount. Make sure to get rid of any plans you do not need. If you can’t find a player to sell them to, you will need to drop them as you can’t sell them to NPC vendors.
Freeing Up Space In Your Stash Box
For most people, the 800lbs of space in your stash will not become a problem until you are around half way through the game. A large problem will land on you the moment that box reaches 799/800. Perk cards do not apply to the item stored in your stash, unfortunately, so you will need to be strict with how you manage your stash box. The tips below will help you free up space in your stash box and stop it filling back up.
Fallout 1st Scrapbox
Controversial, yes, but you can’t argue the benefit the scrap box that comes with the Fallout 1st subscription. The scrap box is similar to the stash box but it only stores junk and can store an infinite amount of it. There is no limit to the amount of junk you can place in this box.
Junk takes up a lot of space in your stash. Being able to take it all out and put it into the stash box is super helpful. IF you pay for one month, you can fill up the scrap box. Once it expires, you can still access the items in the scrap box, you just can’t add more. IF you spend a month gathering junk, you could fill up this scrap box to do you for life!
Dump Ammo You Don’t Need
That stack of 50 missiles might be useful someday, but right now you do not need it. It is only going to get in the way and cause more trouble having to store it for the next month than the benefit it will bring when you finally need it. There is a reason you do not see high-level players using missile launchers and fat man nukes on a regular basis. You will get more value from your minigun. Ditch the bulky ammo from heavy weapons and feel the freedom!
Setup a Vending Machine
If you have found some good weapons, armour, aid items or plans that you don’t want to throw away, sell them! Placing your C.A.M.P at a location where lots of players visit, the south-east near the scorch beast queen event, for example, will result in lots of players visiting your C.A.M.P. Sell excess ammo for guns you do not use, sell plans, armour, aid and anything you do not need. It will allow you to earn a few caps while clearing out items from your stash, making more free space.
Scrap Old Weapons & Armor
Picked up a great chest piece when you were level 10 and decided to save it until you were level 30 but then forgot? It has happened to us all. Check the level for all of your weapons and armour. IF you are level 50, there is little value in anything that is lower than level 50 unless it is legendary. Scrap everything you do not need anymore. It is only wasting space.
Later on in the game, you are best off scrapping everything that isn’t legendary by default. Even for legendary items, you need to get rid of the junk you don’t need. Sure that legendary fatman does almost 1k damage, but what good is it to you when you have never used it and have no perks that benefit heavy weapons? You will always be able to find items in future when you need them. You can often make a lot of caps selling items on the Reddit Fallout 76 marketplace. In reverse, you will also be able to find items you need in future. No point in hoarding, sell the items now and buy them later when/if you ever need them.