Roaming the Appalachian wasteland, Mr Fuzzy in tow, Diechan132 cuts an unusual figure. It’s not every day, for instance, that you see a person taking a 500-pound yao guai out for a walk like they’re a miniature poodle. But, in Fallout 76, normal rules don’t typically apply.
Diechan132 belongs to a small group of players within Fallout 76 who are taking advantage of a couple of underutilized perk cards to exert ownership over its assortment of irradiated creatures and critters, transforming the harsh survival experience into an unlikely pet sim. But, as expected, this isn’t as easy as it looks. These players have had to contend with a number of complications along the way, from wrestling with the obtuse taming mechanics to dealing with trigger happy players and even the occasional pet thief.
How to Train Your Deathclaw
While pacifying creatures has previously appeared in other Fallout games, Fallout 76 incorporates the added possibility of taming creatures and bringing them back to your camp.
“I’ve had a radstag, a deathclaw named Ruby, and a bear named Mr Fuzzy,” says Diechan132. “[Most of these] I allied with in the wastes, but my deathclaw was after wandering into her camp and disturbing her.”
In order to tame animals in Fallout 76, players need to level up their charisma, and unlock either the Level 3 Animal Friend or Wasteland Whisperer perk cards. They will then have to seek out a random encounter with a creature that’s alone, be roughly double the level of it, and have enough camp budget to spare. If they manage to meet these requirements, they can then use an unscoped weapon in order to tame, with potential pets including everything from wandering brahmin and chicken to deadly deathclaws and megasloths.
Finding a creature to tame is a process that’s far easier said than done, leading to some players starting their own service in order to track down potential pets for their friends.
“Finicky is a great word for it,” says CherryPixel, a player who helps track down pet candidates for others in her spare time. “To even tame one it has to have several specific factors… I have a little route I run when I’m online that covers three good spawn points. If I find a tameable creature, then I usually message people who are looking for pets and have them join my world where I hang out with the creature until the new pet owner arrives and tames the creature.” However, even with this seemingly fool-proof system in place things can sometimes go awry.
“Oddly enough I’ve totally been sloth jacked when I was camping out a sloth waiting for a pet owner to join my server!” CherryPixel claims. “I was crouching down, hanging out with [it], and a high-level player came walking up, tamed the sloth, waved, and disappeared! That was a first for sure, I was equal parts shocked and amused. We found another pet for the pet owner, so it worked out, but I learned that day sloth jacking is a thing in Appalachia.”
More Fallout Player Hijinks:
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- Fallout 76 Players Are Beating Each Other Up in a Nude Fight Club
While most people will only ever have to worry about toilet training their pets, keeping them well fed, or taking them to the vet every once in a while, the life of a pet owner in Appalachia is a little more complicated. Not only is there an uncertain period between taming a creature and getting them back to your camp, but there’s no guarantee they will settle when they arrive. And with some of the tamed creatures being exceptionally large in size, that can prove somewhat difficult.
“The big problem is that if they become scorched or are already scorched they can attack,” explains Diechan132. His second pet, a deathclaw, went on a rampage and wouldn’t stop attacking her camp, to her constant annoyance. Regardless, there are some players who embrace this additional challenge.
“My favorites are the scorched variant of creatures,” says CherryPixel. “They can be quite cantankerous and they usually find something at your camp that pisses them off and attack it constantly.” She gives the example of her pet deathclaw Deadpool, who had an irrational hatred for corn and farming, demonstrated by its persistent attacks on her crops.
Of course, there are some people who have been using the wild creatures of Appalachia for other, more controversial purposes. Roxy Revolver is an Arktos Pharma Scientist stationed in the Appalachian wasteland. There she conducts her experiments on a large number of test subjects. So far, she’s tamed a guard dog, 3 yao guai, 2 frogs, 1 radrat, 2 mirelurk hunters, and a deathclaw.
“All the animals are named ‘test subject’ and then a number,” Roxy explains. “My current camp is an offsite biome where I study the effects of Formula P on contained animal and plant life. I also sell Formula P in my vendor.
“The biggest problem about keeping pets is keeping them alive,” she adds. “They don’t last long at my camp. There is a mechanic in the game that causes your camp to be attacked by random spawns. My current base is close to a naturally occurring spawn point, so I get attacked a lot. I could put out turrets to help defend my base from the attacks, but unfortunately my turrets end up turning on my pets and killing them.” That’s not to mention the seemingly random deaths that can occur while players are offline.
A possible solution that fans have floated is to make pets higher level or even invincible to further formalize the bonds that have formed between both humans and beasts. At present, once you tame an animal, it will automatically default back to a lower level when it arrives back at your camp, leaving it incredibly vulnerable to everything the wasteland has to throw at it.
“I would be so happy if there was a little harder look into the taming function as I don’t want to lose any more critters,” says CherryPixel.
“[Maybe you could] have a pet until you tame another one to replace them,” suggests Roxy. “You could also sell a pet like the brahman. Or you could make the pet mirror the level of the player so it could properly defend your base from enemy spawns. There are many solutions that Bethesda Game Studios could implement to correct the current situation in the game. I really hope they take the time to look at this problem and find a solution that will make the community happy.”
Like the player base of Fallout 76, the pet owners of Appalachia are a stubborn lot. Despite facing many setbacks to live out their dreams of post-apocalyptic pet ownership, they’re persisting nevertheless. Hopefully, future updates to the game will make their dreams a little easier to realize.