Two Fallout 4 characters stand back to back, wielding large weapons with a broken down house in the background

Like all of Bethesda’s massive open-world games, Fallout 4 has a huge variety of approaches a player can take when wending their way through the Commonwealth. Jumping into a suit of power armor and blasting your way through hoards of foes is one. Putting on something lightweight with stealth abilities and sneaking past most of the enemies is another. Both are just as valid and there are dozens of other playstyles you try in the game.

Whichever approach you take, you’ll need the right armor for the job. The post-nuclear wasteland of Fallout 4 is an extremely deadly place, and you will need every little bit of help you can get from your gear to make it through alive. Going in ill-equipped could be a recipe for disaster, so make sure you’re prepared.

Bethesda keeps updating Fallout 4 (much to the chagrin of the games’ fans) but there haven’t been any content additions for a long time, so while there’s a chance the best armor could change, it probably won’t. We’ll try and update if it does, though.

Best Fallout 4 armor for exploration: Nuka-Girl Space Suit

Nuka-girl space suit exploration armor in Fallout 4
Image credit: Bethesda/Fandom Wiki

One of the joys of Fallout 4 is in the exploration. It’s a huge Wasteland out there and there’s so much to see. The best armor for exploration in Fallout 4 is the Nuka-Girl Space Suit. It’s not because it’s particularly defensive or good in a fight, but because it gives the Sole Survivor the ability to breathe underwater, which is a huge boon for exploration. It also has a high radiation resistance, very important for traversing the highly radioactive water in the Commonwealth. You can get it in the Nuka-World expansion area, taking it off a mannequin in the Nuka-Galaxy attraction in the Galactic Zone.

As a bonus, there’s a mod available to remove the helmet and backpack from the design of the outfit, making it look more streamlined. And for the dedicated fans, you can buy a real-life costume version.

Nuka-Girl Space Suit Stats

  • Damage Resistance: 5
  • Energy Resistance: 45
  • Radiation Resistance: 35
  • Weight: 8
  • +1 Charisma
  • Can breathe underwater

Honorable mention: Freefall Legs – this leg armor completely negates fall damage and can be acquired in the Mass Fusion building (though you’ll need a jetpack)

Best Fallout 4 Power Armor: X-01

A kind of experimental power armor from before the war, the X-01 has the best damage resistance stats in the game. While it’s slow and clunky, the benefits of power armor in Fallout 4 are undeniable – you get a massive bonus to damage resistance, your carry capacity is boosted (so it’s great for hoarders), and your strength is also increased. All of that aside, if you have power armor with a jetpack you can get to secret locations and move around the Wasteland handily.

x-01 power armour in fallout 4
Image credit: Bethesda/Fandom Wiki

You can get the X-01 in a few different places, and they will spawn at levels between MK. I and MK. VI, scaling is dependent on the player’s level. X-01 is high-level power armor so it isn’t the easiest to get, but it’s worthwhile. If you’re at least level 30, a full set may spawn as part of the questline The Big Dig, and there can be a set in containers behind the Master Locked room in the National Guard Training Yard, among other places.

X-01 Power Armor Stats

The stats for the X-01 vary depending on which piece you have and what level it has spawned in at. At the lowest level, MK. I, the arm and leg pieces boast 170 damage resistance. At the highest level, MK. IV, the arm and leg pieces have a whopping 270 damage resistance.

If you have all six pieces of X-01 armor, the damage resistances are as follows for each level:

  • MK. I total damage resistance: 1220
  • MK. II total damage resistance: 1340
  • MK. III total damage resistance: 1460
  • MK. IV total damage resistance: 1580
  • MK. V total damage resistance: 1700
  • MK VI total damage resistance: 1820

Best Fallout 4 Early Game Armor: Mantis Armor and Wastelander Armor combo

The early game is tough. You’ve got a terrible weapon, haven’t made any friends yet, you keep running out of ammo, and you’re likely wearing terrible, low-grade armor that looks like it would lose a fight with a radroach. One of the first things on the New Sole Survivor To-Do List should be to grab something a little more durable and sturdy.

wastelander armor from fallout 4
The Wastelander armor. Image credit: Bethesda/Fandom Wiki

One of the cool things about the system in Fallout 4 is that you can mix and match different pieces of armor to best suit your needs. The Mantis set consists of a left arm and a left leg, and the Wastelander set is a right leg and a chest piece. You can fill in the gaps with whatever you have that best suits your needs.

The Mantis items especially are a great introduction to figuring out the abilities that armor can give you and what you want from them.

Both Mantis items and the Wastelander leg piece can be bought from wandering merchant Lucas Miller. He passes through a few locations and is escorted between them by a set of caravan guards. Look out for him in the Northeast area of the Commonwealth, passing through Bunker Hill, Greentop Nursery, Malden, Tenpines Bluff, and Covenant. The Wastelander chest piece can be bought from Myrna or Percy in the Diamond City market.

Best early-game armor stats

  • Mantis Left Arm Guard
    • Damage resistance: 15
    • Energy resistance: 23
    • Weight: 8.7
    • Starts with Girded Leather & Brawling mods
    • 10% chance to disarm attacker on hit
  • Mantis Left Leg
    • Damage resistance: 16
    • Energy resistance: 23
    • Weight: 7.8
    • Starts with Boiled Leather & Sleek mods
    • + 1 Agility
    • + 1 Perception
  • Wastelander Chest Piece
    • Damage resistance: 13
    • Energy resistance: 22
    • Weight: 5
    • Starts with BioCommMesh mod
    • + 1 Agility
    • + 1 Perception
  • Wastelander Right Leg
    • Damage resistance: 8
    • Energy resistance: 13
    • Weight: 10.2
    • Reduces damage by Super Mutants by 15%

Best Stealth Armor in Fallout 4: it’s complicated

Sneaking has always been a core part of Bethesda RPGs. Do you feel outmatched in a fight? No problem, get into sneak mode and make your way behind the enemies to execute a critical sneak attack. Or just ignore the enemies entirely if you prefer.

mark 2 synth chest piece
Mark 2 Synth Chest Piece. Image credit: Bethesda/Fandom Wiki

Unfortunately, there isn’t really a cut-and-dry ‘best stealth armor set’ in Fallout 4. The player is kind of left to cobble something together as best as they can, so it’s more about knowing what you should look out for to build-your-own armor set for sneaking around in.

  • The lighter the better – the lighter your armor, the harder you are to detect
  • + Agility can be really useful because agility also contributes to how hard you are to detect
  • Ultra Light armor mods require Armorer 3 and make your gear even lighter – you have to find the plans for each type of armor mod though so it might take time to get what you need
  • Chameleon is a Legendary armor mod and makes the wearer invisible. Having multiple Chameleon-modded items stacks makes you even harder to detect. Chameleon is available on two Synth chest pieces, one purchased from the Synth Requisition Officer and one from The Scribe.

Featured image credit: Bethesda

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