Guide to minmaxing
How to make most out of your character
Info status: Published | Jan. 5, 2020, 3:14 p.m.
This article presents the concerns that should be addressed when trying to design a character that perfectly fits the playstyle that you want to achieve.
First and foremost, percentage effects are more powerful than base value effects.
For example, one ghoul slayer legendary effect on armor (-15% from ghouls) provides more protection from ghouls, than 5 legendary effects of vanguard or bolstering (total +170 DR). The Vanguard gives protection against all types of dangers, but only when your health is high, and the ghoul slayer only works against ghouls. Conclusion from that is that if you're after PvP protection, Assassin is the way to go, and if you're after PvE protection, mashup of the armor protecting against the opponents you specialize against (i.e. mutant slayer + zealot + troubleshooter + ghoul slayer + chameleon) will give you more protection than the DR/ER increase effects could yield.
You don't necessarily need to deal maximum possible damage all the time.
You need to REACH maximum possible damage once, see for yourself when do you actually need it, and then strip tiny bits of your performance in favour of quality of life perks, when you realise where yours "just right" is. For example, there's no difference between dealing enough damage to one-shot a ghoul and to one-shot a ghoul five times over since the end result is still one bullet one ghoul. In such case, it's quite reasonable to reduce the damage a bit, usually in favor of quality of life and weight reduction perks.
There's a certain order of things that have to be in a good build
The first variable to maximise is the stagger. You select yourself a weapons niche, and you pick appropriate stagger perk. For rifles, you take tank-killer, for shotguns, you take enforcer, for heavy weapons you take One Man Army, and for pistols you don't take anything because pistols don't have a stagger perk and are hence inferior. If you're playing melee, instead of stagger you maximise the armor penetration and swing speed.
Then you take Action Boy. If you're not relying on AID on 100% of your AP regeneration, its mandatory.
Then you take mutations stabilizers if you're not super specialized to the point where you skip these perks and easily pay the price. Starched Genes to freeze mutations, Class Freak if you're not up to consume serums before big fights to reduce the mutation downsides.
The next part are the elementary survivability perks.
People that use Power Armor can't have their limbs broken, hence they don't need Adamant Skeleton, which is mostly mandatory for everyone else. Your character becomes quite unresponsive the moment your limbs are being broken, and quite useless until you heal them, if you want to negate most consequences of enemy crowd control effects, this perk is mandatory. The greatest dangers in the game are usually explosive: these ridiculous turrets, the cars blowing up, the scorch beast screeches, the players spam. You need to negate explosive damage. For Power Armor builds, Fireproof is mandatory, for non-power-armors there's a possibility of reducing explosive damage by Dense chest armor mod that makes Fireproof helpful instead of mandatory. If you're in for PvP, you also need Dodgy, and you'll learn that it does something else than it says.
Then, you take all or most of the base damage perks for your niche. Commando, Rifleman, Heavy, Shotgunner, Guerilla, Gunslinger, Iron Fist, Gladiator, Slugger
Afterwards, if you play Commando, Rifleman, Shotgunner, Guerilla or Gunslinger, you take appropriate VATS perks. You want to increase the critical hit frequency, and this is why Commando is better than Rifleman and Guerilla is better than Gunslinger.
The final points you're free to spend just as you want - noone plays the game exactly as you, so adjust your solid build as you see fit.