List of Fallout 76 Best Non-Power Armors

Best Non Power Armor in Fallout 76
When Fusion Cores are Scarce, you just gotta make due

While Power Armor is the top name in protection in Fallout 76, it comes with the drawback that using it requires a resource that for some players may be hard to come by. Fusion Cores can sometimes be looted from generators found across the world map, but there is only one place in Appalachia to get a decent supply, and that is camping the Poseidon Energy Plant and using the Workshop there to generate Fusion Cores...This can be time and resource consuming, assuming someone else hasn’t capped the Workshop and surrounded it with a dozen turrets to make players think twice about taking their turf.

So what do you do when Power Armor just isn’t feasible? Naturally, you’ll need to rely on the armor of the non-powered variety. Today we are diving headfirst into a pile of scrap metal and polymers to fish out sixteen of some of the best armor in Fallout 76 that isn’t Power Armor.

Like always, we will be presenting the armors in their most basic forms, and in their earliest iterations, the player can obtain before perks and stats come into effect.

 

16. Legendaries (Best for Specialized Builds)

She knows what we want, but it’s gonna cost us.

It wouldn’t be an armor list for Fallout 76 without at least a nod to the highly coveted Legendary Armors, which puts it at number sixteen on our list. Legendaries come in all flavors of armor, from Wooden to Marine sets and more, and come with special perks such as bonus damage versus specific enemies, or buffs to player stats or damage output if certain key conditions are met. 

For example armor with the Junkie legendary effect only comes in handy if you are in the middle of massive withdrawal from in-game recreational drug use, and the Bloodied effect shows it’s teeth when you are a Smurf’s eyelash away from death.

Armor Stats:

  • Stats vary by armor type and player level.

  • Legendaries are ranked by stars, the more stars, the more traits or effects are applied to them.

When To Use Legendaries:

  • Legendaries are best used if you are utilizing a specialized build that is meant to take full advantage of the effects you are looking to utilize and the Mutations you are planning to acquire. It requires a decent amount of thinking ahead and planning your leveling carefully until you get ahold of the Legendaries you desire for the build you’re making.

How To Get Legendaries: 

  • Legendaries are rewarded to the player sometimes for completing certain events that spawn in the world space.

  • They can drop from enemies tagged with the Legendary label in their name when targeted. They’re often tougher hombres who will not relinquish their loot without a fight. 

  • Legendaries can sometimes be looted from end-area chests found in certain areas, often in slightly-more-than-obvious containers that they contain better than normal loot.

 

15. Metal Armor (Best for Starting Out)

One man’s rusted mess is another one’s treasure.

It’s not the Apocalypse if you’re not strapping random bits of metal to your person. Easily acquired early on in the game if you’re following the breadcrumb trail left behind by your Overseer, with stats starting at level 10, Metal Armor is a sturdy bit of equipment that will carry most players relying on crafted armors as they level. It suffers from poor energy resistance, but at the start of the game, the only Energy Weapon based enemies you’re apt to come across are rogue Protectrons and those annoying Communist Propaganda bots.

Plans are acquired easily and early, allowing you to update your armor as you go.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest Piece: Damage Resistance: 20, Energy Resistance: 3, Weight: 5.5

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 8, Energy Resistance: 1, Weight: 2.5

When To Use Metal Armor:

  • Once you hit level 10, grab the plans, and your equipment starts to matter a little more.

  • Comes in the usual variety of Legendaries

  • Best for protection until something better comes along.

How To Get Metal Armor:

  • Plans for Metal Armor can be grabbed very early in Flatwoods, sitting right next to the Armor Workbench.

  • Pieces can be purchased from Vendor Bot Bob in Flatwoods after the player reaches level 10.

  • It can be found in loot.

 

14. The Hazmat Suit (Best for high radiation areas)

Geiger Counter going off? Ain’t no one got time for that.

Radiation is an environmental annoyance. When you start to hear that ticking on your Pip-boy, you are eventually going to start taking Radiation Damage which will slowly (or quickly depending on where you are when it goes off) start to whittle your maximum health. 

When stimpacks run low, the Hazmat suit can be a lifesaver, however, it comes with the drawback that it offers zero protection from anything except radiation, making it more of a utility tool to carry around and slip into when necessity dictates.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 0

  • Energy Resistance: 0

  • Radiation Resistance: 1,000

  • Weight: 5

When To Use Armor name:

  • If the Rads inflicted on a player is higher than 2 per second, slipping into a Hazmat Suit during your stay in the area is highly suggested.

  • If you’re in a Nuke Blast Zone and just need some irradiated flora while everyone else is tickling the Scorchbeast Queen to death, and you left your Power Armor at home? Yeah, you’ll need this...unless you like dying instantly from radiation.

How To Get the Hazmat Suit:

  • A “Prototype” variant can be acquired for completing the quest “Tracking Unknowns”, however, it provides the exact same defense as the standard, just with a bright yellow color scheme.

  • Two can be found at Dyer Chemical.

  • Three can be found at Federal Disposal Field HZ-21, along with two Damaged variants (inferior protection)

 

13. Leather Armor (Best for early energy resistance)

Thanks, it’s got pockets.

Who would have thought that leather armor had any application than being the standard starter kit in an RPG? Cobbled together from what appears to be just leather padding and straps and possibly some old sports equipment, Leather Armor boasts some of the highest Energy Resistance in the game from the regular armor sets. 

The tradeoff is while it might help to deal with energy weapon-wielding enemies like the hostile robots and turrets, it won’t help too terribly much against enemies wielding ballistic weaponry or melee combat.

It comes in increasing variants found throughout your travel, from normal, then heavy, to sturdy. Presented here is an example of Leather armor you are most likely to trip over starting out.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 4, Energy Resistance: 10, Weight: 4

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 1, Energy Resistance: 2, Weight: 2/2.5

When To Use Leather Armor:

  • In my travels and adventures in the Wasteland, I’ve often found my Legendary drops to come tagged onto leather armor. If you can’t find it on something a bit sturdier, chances are you’ll find it in leather.

  • While leather armor boasts very nice energy resistance, especially at the higher levels, it is still best to use at the early chapters of the game until you gain access to the better equipment as you level.

  • If you know you’re going to heading into an area known to be crawling with robotic enemies, a good well-crafted suit of Leather Armor will help stave off their energy weapons that will surely be firing off like a space battle in Star Wars.

How To Get Leather Armor:

  • Often found in loot and off the bodies of some enemies.

  • It can be crafted by the players.

  • Vendor Bot Bob in Flatwoods will sell you plans for Heavy Leather Armor, letting you bypass the entry-level style.

  • A unique variant, Silver Lining, can be obtained by completing the quest “Tentative Plans”.

 

12. Combat Armor (Best for Mid-Game)

Pinups just aren’t the same after the war.

Obtainable at and after level 20, Combat Armor is military-style equipment believed to have been used by the U.S. Armed Forces prior to everything going to hell in a breadbasket. It comes in three grades, light, sturdy, and heavy. It offers a respectable amount of modifications when you can get them to allow you to tailor a suit to fit your playstyle. This is an armor set that likes to strike a balance between damage and energy resistances.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 16, Energy Resistance: 16, Weight: 7.0

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 8, Energy Resistance: 8, Weight: 2.75/3.0

When To Use Combat Armor:

  • Combat Armor will be the expected upgrade to your equipment from 20 onward, until about 35 (but you do you), and is easy enough to craft and common enough to loot.

  • Its balanced defenses are optimal for people who can’t be bothered to be overly concerned with whether they need more energy protective, or being able to take a physical beating.

How To Get Combat Armor: 

  • Can be crafted and traded by the player

  • Can be found as loot or as event rewards

  • Plans to craft the set are given as a reward for completing the Free States quests, staring with “Early Warnings” at Abbie’s Bunker.

 

11. Raider Armor (Best for early level and wanting more energy resistance than Metal Armor)

Raiders make questionable choices, including fashion, but they sure own it.

Raiders aren’t nice people in the Fallout universe, not typically. They take what they want and repurpose it to their needs. Their armor reflects this mindset, covering themselves head to toe in grafted metal plates and piping, and what looks like car and radiator parts to cut an imposing and intimidating form. Statistically, Raider Armor provides a more balanced approach to what Metal Armor does, with a bit more energy resistance offered. Because available at level 5, and proceeds up to level 45.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 10, Energy Resistance: 4

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 5, Energy Resistance: 2

When To Use Raider Armor:

  • Comes in three tiers, from Light, Sturdy, and then Heavy

  • If you’re living the Metal Armor life while leveling, Raider pieces can be used to replace outdated pieces as you find them if they’re optimal.

  • With the Wastelanders content coming soon, and Raiders being one of the joinable factions, then some players may just want to look the part.

How To Get Raider Armor:

  • Plans for pieces can sometimes appear as rewards in “Signal Strength”, “Uranium Fever” and “Guided Meditation” in the Savage Divide.

  • Sometimes found in Boss enemy loot and end-area chests.

 

10. Robot Armor (Best for mid-game non-legendary protection)

Domo Arigatou

To my knowledge, Robot Armor made the scene first in Fallout 4’s “Automatron” DLC in which it was utilized by a new group of enemies known as the Rust Devils. The armor appears to be made from the scrap parts of Sentry Bots, providing the chassis and back plating. Sporting all three resistances from level 10 to 50 (whereas many armors cap at 45), Robot Armor provides basic, middle of the road protection.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 8, Energy Resistance: 8, Radiation Resistance: 5, Weight: 6

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 3, Energy Resistance: 3, Radiation Resistance: 3, weight: 2.5/2.75

When To Use Robot Armor:

  • It’s earlier forms may not do anyone any favors in the early game, however, as you progress through the levels the higher-level forms will assist the player against damage dealt by the mid-level enemies and their habit of rushing right at you swinging.

  • Less effective than Combat Armor and Trapper, this armor is best used as a replacement while gathering pieces of plans for the latter.

How To Get Robot Armor: 

  • Plans can sometimes be found in a display case in Harpers Ferry

  • Camp Venture has a plan spawn point that might provide the Robot Armor pieces.

  • There is a chance a plan will spawn one of the armor benches at Top of the World and Pleasant valley’s area.

 

9. Wood Armor (Best for being a Ninja)

I was going to make a ‘got wood’ joke here but this is too classy a website...

When I sat down to write this I thought Wood Armor was not going to make it on the list, but here we are. It’s wood. It’s wood you strap to your body. It provides a bit of physical resistance and not much else. You can’t even craft it. So, why is it here in the middle of our list? Well, it has one redeeming quality. Every piece of Wood armor has access to a unique modification, Shrouded, which makes the players a ghost in the dark.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 12, Energy Resistance: 4, Weight: 3.5

When To Use Wood Armor:

  • The only part where Wood Armor shines is it’s stacked Shrouded bonuses. Wood armor with Shrouded installed becomes 75% lighter, with bonuses to stealth in dark areas (including the dead of night), and allows the player to sneak at a faster speed.

  • It’s best used by stealth-oriented players with the proper sneaking based perks for optimal usage.

  • For those who are more concerned about landing that sneak attack hit than their own self-preservation. But when you’re practically invisible to enemies, those are even odds.

How To Get Wood Armor: 

  • Wood Armor cannot be crafted and can only be found in loot or from vendors. This is probably a decision on the developer's part to mitigate the rather...impressive stealth bonus, despite being...wood. Just...Wood.

 

8. Silver Lining (Best for very early game)

Baby’s first Quest Reward

Silver Lining is a unique Leather chest piece rewarded to the player for completing a quest for the Responders at the Morgantown airport, which also acts as a sort of tutorial for some aspects of the game and exposition to the state of things in Appalachia with the Scorched crisis. Its name is a reference to the old adage “Every cloud has a silver lining”, meaning times are bad, but better times are coming.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 7

  • Energy Resistance: 17

  • Special: +1 Endurance

When To Use Silver Lining:

  • This chest piece's stats are dependent when the player completes the mission associated with it, but most players tend to stroll into Morgantown Airport in the early levels of the game. It appears to intentionally be a low-level upgrade at best.

  • The armor offers a whopping +1 to the player's endurance when worn, but a respectable starting Energy Resistance that should take the sting out of the rogue robots and commie bots that can be found in the woods around Flatwoods.

How To Get Silver Lining: 

  • Silver Lining can only be acquired by completing the quest “Tentative Plans”

 

7. Last Baston (Best for being an easy Urban Scout Armor pickup)

Ah yes, grey camo pattern in a mostly tan and green environment. Brilliant, John.

The Last Bastion is a unique variant of the Urban Scout Armor chest piece, sharing the same appearance as it’s regular kin. What sets it apart is it’s bonus to Ballistic Weapons, which is anything that fires a bullet, and that you can acquire it without cycling MODUS’s inventory. 

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 15

  • Energy Resistance: 15

  • Special: +5 to accuracy with Ballistic Weapons

  • Weight: 7

When To Use Last Bastion:

  • The bonus to ballistics can be used as a tool to min-max player damage when combined with other legendaries like Furious and Bloodied while using rifles, shotguns and other bullet-based weapons.

  • It’s a guaranteed piece of the Urban Scout set without all the hassle of trying to get it to appear in MODUS’s inventory.

How To Get Last Bastion:

  • The armor is granted to the player for the completion of the Enclave quest “Officer on Deck”, along with the Officers outfit, which players are probably going to just wear over the armor like they always do.

 

6. Gas Masks (Best for preventing airborne disease)

If you’re gonna be wearing it, it may as well look good.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Diseases in Fallout 76 can become a real annoyance, by sapping your strengths or making your thirst and hunger needs become a constant concern until the disease timer runs out. Airborne diseases are unique to Fallout 76, playing upon the concerns of the breathing conditions miners in the day, and even today, contest with. Airborne Diseases are a risk in areas like the Ash Heap and around Mines and can cause debilitating effects and blurred player vision. 

Gas Masks offer protection from airborne diseases and come in a variety of fashions and models. While they do absolutely nothing to protect you from bullets or a beat down from enemies, they help protect your health. It is worth the petty carry weight to keep one in your inventory at all times.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 0

  • Energy Resistance: 0

  • Weight: 0.5

  • Special: Prevents damage and disease from airborne hazards

When To Use a Gas Mask:

  • The Ash Heap, a mid-level area south of Flatwoods, is a smokey, ash-strewn hellscape where the air quality can become exceptionally poor.

  • Mines and shafts also feature airborne health hazards

  • The evil demon forest of pink trees can also inflict disease on the player through spores unless a gas mask is equipped.

How To Get a Gas Mask: 

  • Train Station vendorbots will sometimes have them in stock

  • One can be found in Charleston Landfill

  • A unique one can be acquired by joining the Firebreathers and passing their fitness tests.

  • Four can be found at Knife Edge.

 

5. Trapper Armor (Best for being low-key optimal before Legendaries)

Look, it’s about respecting personal space...

As I was doing my work for this article I realized that in my own playthrough, under my cosmetic outfit in Fallout 76, most of the armor pieces I was wearing were Trapper armor pieces. From 45 up to my current level of 81, my Trapper Arms have withstood the test of time and I’ve yet to find something better.

A variant of Raider Armor designed with survival in the Mire in mind in its design. Made to withstand the toxic environment of the Mire, the armor set boasts Radiation resistance in all its pieces.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 14, Energy Resistance: 7, Radiation Resistance: 14, Weight: 5

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 6, Energy Resistance: 4, Radiation Resistance: 6, Weight: 3/3.5

When To Use Trapper Armor:

  • Trapper Armor starts showing up around level 15, with its highest form showing up around level 45.

  • While it’s radiation resistance won’t be enough to wander into a nuke zone, it will help stave off radiation damage while out wandering about the world at large, namely the more...moist environments.

  • As stated before, the Trapper Armor can be a reliable piece of equipment until you can locate the chosen Legendaries you seek.

How To Get Trapper Armor:

  • Plans can sometimes be found in wrecked tents found around Appalachia.

  • Free States Vendors will occasionally have pieces for sale.

  • Pieces will spawn in the world after level 15 and onward.

 

4. Marine Armor (Best for mid-late leveling)

Is it just me or does this set look like Fallout 3 era Power Armor?

Combat Armor was the armor of choice for the U.S. armed forces, and Marine Armor would be the upper echelon of that. If I had to take a stab at what the rank and file of military armor was in the Fallout Universe, it would go Combat Armor, Marine Armor, and then Power Armor. 

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 37, Energy Resistance: 16, Radiation Resistance: 8, Weight: 8

  • Arms and Legs: Damage Resistance: 16, Energy Resistance: 11, Weight: 3.5/4

When To Use Marine Armor:

  • When you’re on that road between levels 30 and 40, the Marine Armor comes into play as the optimal armor replacement, starting at level 35, and achieving its highest form at level 45.

  • The chest piece comes with a respectable Radiation Resistance, which is not often found in combat armors.

How To Get Marine Armor: 

  • Plans can be found in Harpers Ferry and from Free State vendors

  • Plans can be found west from Watoga Station in some wrecked train cars.

  • Plans can be found at Forward Station Delta on a table on the second floor.

  • Pieces can be found in vendorbots and dropped by high-level enemies.

 

3. Stand Fast (Best for sneaking but you know you might get caught...)

I call these chest pieces “Toilet Seats with buckles”. Just a bit of trivia.

A Unique piece of equipment from our friends in the Free States, the Stand Fast is a chest piece that comes stock with the Shadowed and Pocketed Modifications. This means the piece both allows the player to be harder to detect by enemies while they are in dark areas, and have just a little bit more room in their inventory to loot.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 60

  • Energy Resistance: 60

  • Pocketed: +5 carry weight

  • Shadowed: Increased Stealth in dark areas

When To Use Stand Fast:

  • An excellent mid-late game piece of combat armor with good protective stats for those who are not running a build centered around a legendary effect.

  • While the pocketed bonus helps (every bit of carry weight is a blessing), the Shadowed bonus is where the armor shines, making the stealth-perked character possibly nigh undetectable in dark areas and location, including outside in the dead of night.

How To Get Stand Fast: 

  • Stand Fast is a quest reward for completing the Free States quest “Early Warnings” at Abbie’s Bunker. 

 

2. Scout Armor (Best for basic endgame non-legendary defense)

The mask just makes it. Has that “slasher film maniac” vibe. It’s the eyes.

Those friendly with the Enclave have a chance of acquiring what some will say is one of the better standard armors in the game. At current sources indicate it cannot be crafted and is designed as an Enclave offshoot of regular Combat Armor.

Armor Stats:

  • Chest: Damage Resistance: 15, Energy Resistance: 15, Weight: 7

  • Arms: Damage Resistance: 9, Energy Resistance: 9, Weight: 2.75

  • Legs: Damage Resistance: 8, Energy Resistance: 8, Weight: 2.5

When To Use Scout Armor:

  • Designed with a balance of Damage and Energy resistances, the armor is for those moments like trips to Watoga where robots firing their lasers tend to be more prominent. 

  • A good suit of armor to have on hand when assaulting the silos to launch a nuke.

How To Get Armor Name: 

  • MODUS will give one piece of the set after completing an Enclave event.

  • Parts can only be purchased from the Whitespring Bunker’s Production Wing.

  • The mask, which has no stats other than breathing protection, can be obtained as a random reward for events that take place in the Savage Divide.

 

1. The Garb of Mystery (Best for non-legendary stealth)

When you’re raiding the Silo at 4:30, but got a shindig at the Whitespring at 5

Muffled Legendaries help with a player trying to stay undetected. Going unnoticed is good for players trying to sneak past enemies they know they can’t handle and praying they don’t get spotted, or those seeking that sweet sweet sneak attack multiplier. Outside of Legendaries, there’s not much outside of Perks to help you stay stealthy. Then there’s this sharp little number, a unisex dress that aids in stealth and its buffs only get better when paired with the Eye of Ra, a unique accessory.

Armor Stats:

  • Damage Resistance: 15/35 (with Eye of Ra)

  • Energy Resistance: 15.35 (with Eye of Ra)

  • Weight: 1

When To Use the Garb of Mysteries:

  • This outfit is designed for stealth, with moderate mid-late game protection. 

  • Great for stealth builds, and it’s Unisex so men can get in on the fashion.

How To Get the Garb of Mysteries:

  • You must complete the Order of Mysteries questline, kicked off at Riverside Manor to obtain this piece of equipment and all the other accessories obtained. If you lose it, you lost it.

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Jimmy is like some sort of strange Cenobite, an explorer of the further reaches of experience...Except replace the blood and horror with Video Games and Dr Pepper.
Gamer Since: 1988
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