Fallout 76 mutations: Best mutations, all effects and how to get them - Dexerto
Fallout 76

All Fallout 76 Mutations and how to get them: Marsupial, Speed Demon & more

Published: 27/Oct/2021 13:47 Updated: 27/Oct/2021 13:50

by Ava Thompson-Powell

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Fallout 76’s mutations feature offers players a whole variety of additional bonuses for your Vault Dweller, bestowing both positive and negative effects. 

While Fallout has given fans of the series incredible freedoms with how they craft their story, background, and build throughout the franchise, never have they before been given the opportunity to mutate their character’s DNA – until Fallout 76, that is.

If you’re looking to add some extra power to help you survive better and explore more of the vibrant, lore-rich world crafted by Bethesda, here’s how to get mutations in Fallout 76, and what each one does out in Appalachia.

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A view outside of Vault 76 in Fallout 76
YouTube: Bethesda Softworks
While you’ll leave Vault 76 with no Rads, you’ll soon have to learn how to manage them, whether you want mutations or not.

What are Fallout 76 mutations?

Mutations are effects that are randomly added to your character after being exposed to Radiation in the game. Each mutation gives your Vault Dweller an incredibly useful effect to utilize on your travels throughout Appalachia, from granting invisibility to increasing your carry weight and jump height. What’s more, it’s possible to acquire more than one at any given time.

Despite the positive effects you’ll receive upon acquiring one, this is balanced out by making sure that the mutation doesn’t make you totally overpowered. For example, the above-mentioned invisibility mutation, Chameleon, only works if you’re unarmored, stationary, and not attacking anything.

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How to get mutations in Fallout 76

Obtaining a mutation in Fallout 76 typically comes down to random chance and by being exposed to radiation (also known as Rads), but there are some methods you can take to increase your likelihood of altering your DNA enough to receive one.

Every time that you receive HP of additional radiation, you’ll have a 5% chance of being granted one of the available mutations. To do this, make sure to interact with:

  • Drinking unpurified water and eating irradiated foods
  • Standing or swimming in bodies of water
  • Being attacked by Feral Ghouls
  • Interacting with (or standing close to) petrified corpses
  • Visit locations with high amounts of toxic waste

Mutation serums

The genetics lab in The Whitespring Bunker in Fallout 76
Bethesda Softworks / fallout.fandom.com
Head to the Genetics Lab in The Whitespring Bunker to buy a serum.

While venturing out in the world to find as many radioactive sources as possible is completely viable, Mutation Serums can be used to apply certain mutations to your character. You can obtain the relevant serum recipe from the MODUS vendor at The Whitespring Bunker, the Enclave’s main base of operations.

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These also have the positive effect of removing any of the mutation’s negative effects for one hour, and also apply to any mutation you’ve already got when using the relevant serum.

Starched Gene perk

Despite giving you fantastic boosts to your SPECIAL stats and more in Fallout 76, mutations will actually go away over time as your radiation decreases. That is, however, unless you use the Starched Gene perk.

Unlocked at Level 30, while this is equipped, you’ll be unable to gain or lose mutations, ensuring you can keep your favorite bonuses as long as you want them for.

A screenshot of toxic waste in Fallout 76
Bethesda Softworks / fallout.fandom.com
Heading to areas known for high levels of toxic waste is a sure-fire way to increase Rads.

The best mutations in Fallout 76

There are currently 20 mutations you can currently pick up in Fallout 76, and with so many available, it can be hard to work out which is best. We’ve picked our top 5 favorite mutations below:

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Mutation Positive Effect Negative Effect
Adrenal Reaction Increased weapon damage when at low HP Maximum HP -50
Bird Bones Agility +4 and slower falling speed Strength -4
Healing Factor Health regeneration +300% Chem effects -55%
Speed Demon Faster movement and reload speed +20% Hunger and thirst drains +50% faster while moving
Marsupial Carry weight +20 and increased jump height Intelligence -4
  • Adrenal Reaction: Those running Bloodied builds will benefit the most from this perk, as these builds utilize perks and gear to do more damage depending upon how low their health is. As such, the negative effect is less of a worry here, making it a perfect choice.
  • Bird Bones: At the cost of -4 Strength, taking this reduces your fall damage by slowing down how fast you fall. As an added bonus, you’ll get +4 to Agility and also be able to jump that extra bit farther.
  • Healing Factor: This mutation is crucial for most players in Fallout 76, especially with how quickly your health will regenerate outside of combat. While this card may not be useful for those who like to heavily utilize chems in play, utilizing it alongside the Class Freak perk to minimize this mutation’s negative effects is a win-win situation.
  • Speed Demon: Who doesn’t want to move faster throughout the world and reload just that bit quicker? While you’ll need to make sure you’re carrying more food and drink or know locations where you can get it fast, this mutation will have you running circles around Appalachia’s enemies in no time.
  • Marsupial: At the cost of -4 to Intelligence, you’ll be able to avoid maxing out your carry weight while collecting items throughout the world. The added jump bonus will give you more verticality to access in fights to resist incoming attacks a little better, as well as giving you more opportunities to explore a little more. Pairing this with Bird Bones is a great choice to reach those harder-to-access areas and ensure you’re the ultimate master of movement.

All Fallout 76 mutations and effects

Mutation Positive Effect Negative Effect
Adrenal Reaction Increased weapon damage when at low HP Maximum HP -50
Bird Bones Agility +4 and slower falling speed Strength -4
Carnivore Eating meat provides double the hunger satisfaction, HP restoration, and consumable buffs, with no disease chance Eating plant-based food does not satisfy hunger, restore HP, or apply buffs
Chameleon Invisibility in combat if unarmored and standing still Must be unarmored, stationary, and not attacking for effect to work
Eagle Eyes Critical Damage +25%, PER +4 Strength -4
Egg Head INT +6 Strength -4 / Endurance -3
Electricity Charged Chance to shock melee attackers A mall amount of damage is also done to the player
Empath Teammates take 25% less damage The player takes 33% more damage
Grounded Energy Resistance +100 Energy Damage -50%
Healing Factor Health regeneration while not in combat is +300% Chem Effects -55%
Herbivore Eating plant-based food provides double the hunger satisfaction, HP restoration, and consumable buffs, with no rads or disease chance Eating meat does not satisfy hunger, restore HP, or apply buffs
Herd Mentality All SPECIAL stats +2 when grouped Special stats reduced by 2 when solo
Marsupial Carry weight +20 and increased jump height Intelligence -4
Plague Walker Poison aura scaling with your diseases This is only active when you’re diseased
Scaly Skin Damage and Energy Resistance +50 AP -50
Speed Demon Faster movement and reload speed +20% +50% drain on hunger and thirst while moving
Talons Punching attacks do 25% more damage + bleed damage Agility -4
Twisted Muscles Melee damage +25%, better chance to cripple limbs Gun accuracy -50%
Unstable Isotope Medium chance to release a radiation blast when struck in melee Causes minor damage to the player during the radiation blast
Rad Walker Radiation aura scaling with your radiation. Does not affect targets already taking radiation damage Radiation healing reduced by 50%

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So, there you have it – everything you need to know about mutations in Fallout 76.

For more tips and tricks covering all things Fallout, make sure to check out our guides:

Best New Vegas console commands | Is Fallout 76 cross-platform? | Fallout 76 Cryptid guide | Wise Mothman location in Fallout 76 | Nuke codes