Fallout 76 lockpicking: upgrading your lockpicking skill
Before the bombs dropped, people would like to stash stuff they didn't want others to have access to in safes, or behind locked doors. It's a sensible security measure for the time, but the sad truth for the region of Appalachia in Fallout 76 is that almost everyone in the world is either dead, an irradiated husk, stuck in a vault, or roaming the countryside and shooting everyone else. Therefore they may no longer need their stuff, and that's where lockpicking comes in. It's a little different this time, but only in how the skill is obtained, so this guide will go through how to upgrade your lockpicking skills, as well as how to pick locks.
Fallout 76 lockpicking guide
Those looking for a beginner's guide to get started with the Fallout 76 beta and indeed the full game when it comes out should have a look at our Fallout 76 guide.
Upgrading your lockpicking skill
In order to upgrade your skills in lockpicking and to break into those secure safes or doors, you'll need each of the three perception perk cards associated with improving your lockpicking abilities; which you can find out more in our Fallout 76 perk cards guide. The perk cards you will need are: Picklock, Expert Picklock, and Master Picklock. These are all cards that improve your skill by one and you can equip all three to have a maximum skill level of three. For every card you have equipped, you'll also increase the size of the sweet spot, which will make breaking in a little easier.
That said, there are a couple of things you should be aware of about using the perk cards. All three only have one rank, meaning that you'll only be able to equip them rather than upgrade their ranks like many other perk cards. This means that should you get a duplicate of the Picklock card, you can't combine them to make a "Picklock rank 2" card. You also can't equip more than one of the same type of card to improve the rank as they need to be the individually named cards. Therefore, the only way to improve your skills at picking locks is to find one of each of the three perk cards and equip them at the same time.
How to pick locks in Fallout 76
The actual process of picking locks is apparently the same as the previous Bethesda Fallout games. Upon looking at a locked door or safe that you can potentially unlock, the view will focus on the lock itself, as well as a screwdriver and the bobby pin you are currently using. Note that you will need a supply of bobby pins to be able to break through.
To access the contents inside, move the bobby pin around and turn the screw to turn the lock. If you see the bobby pin begin to shake, it means that you need to adjust your bobby pin position to find the sweet spot. If it shakes too much, that bobby pin will snap and you'll be forced to use a new one. The higher the lock difficulty, the smaller the sweet spot is and the bobby pin will be more likely to break.
Now that you have a start on how lockpicking works, you may wish to learn more about that other bit of thievery: Hacking. You can find out more about the changes that have been implemented in our Fallout 76 terminal hacking guide. I briefly mentioned Perk Cards in this guide, but there is a much more detailed explanation as to what the changes are in Fallout 76. Just head to the Fallout 76 perk cards guide to learn more.
Fallout 76: How to Increase Lockpicking Skill
How to Increase Lockpicking Skill in Fallout 76
Fallout 76 has door locks to pick, safes to prove your lockpicking skill on, and even footlockers containing some neat loot for you to pick the locks on, too. Problem is, not all locks are created equal, and some will require more expertise than others for you to be able to pick them. As such, you’ll likely be wondering how to increase your lockpicking skill in Fallout 76.
Here’s the thing, though: your lockpicking perk card doesn’t get upgraded in the same way that pretty much every other card does –by combining duplicates together to create a more powerful version. Instead, there are actually three different Picklock cards that you’ll need to acquire and then equip in order to pick the various levels of locks that you’ll find in Fallout 76.
There are four different picklock levels in Fallout 76, from level 0 through to 3. Level 0 locks can be picked without having to have any perk equipped, but these tend to be fairly uncommon, and also don’t often have loot that’s worth your time.
If you want to open level 1 locks in Fallout 76, you’ll need to increase your lockpicking skill in Fallout 76 by getting and equipping the Perception perk, Picklock. You can get this at level 5 by heading into the Perception stat once you’ve leveled up, and picking it from the selection of perk cards within this category.
Once you’ve done so, you’ll need to select it from your deck of cards at the bottom of the Perks screen (accessed by opening your Pip-Boy with Circle or B, and then pressing Triangle or Y), by pressing A or X on it. As long as you’ve got a perk point available in your Perception stat, you’ll be able to equip it and have increased your lockpicking skill in Fallout 76 to level 1.
Levels 2 and 3 of lockpicking come via the Expert Picklock and Master Picklock perk cards. These are not simply a case of upgrading your existing Picklock card with another of the same. Instead, you’ll be given the option to select these from within the Perception stat again at a higher level.
The Master Picklock perk card is unlocked at level 40 in Fallout 76, while the Expert Picklock card unlocks at level 19. Keep in mind, you’ll need to have all three Picklock perk cards equipped in order to increase your lockpicking skill to level 3 in Fallout 76.
That’s all you need to know about how to increase lockpicking skill in Fallout 76. For more tips, tricks, and information on the game, be sure to check out our ever-expanding Fallout 76 guide wiki. We’ve also included some of our most popular Fallout 76 guides down below for your convenience.
Once you reach Level 5, and the game gives you the opportunity to select a perk, go into the Perception group. From there, leaf through the available perk cards until you reach the one called Picklock. The text reads: “Gain +1 lockpicking skill, and the lockpicking ‘sweet spot’ is 10% larger.” The sweet spot, of course, being that place where the bobby pin is not shaking. This is just the base level of the perk; there are two more that you can upgrade it to, Master and Expert. By the way, no matter what perk cards you have, you’re still going to need bobby pins to pick a lock.
In case the game is giving you trouble with something else, please feel free to thumb through our other Fallout 76 guides. We’ve got Raider Power Armor Locations, Wanted – How to Get & Remove Bounty, and Disable Friendly Fire – Pacifist Mode and PvP.
Lockpicking in Fallout 76 is how you can get some of the best hidden loot. In this Fallout game it is a skill that you have to acquire before you can use it. Check out this guide to find out how to get the lockpick skill in Fallout 76.
How To Get the Lockpick Skill In Fallout 76The lockpick skill in Fallout is acquired via a Perk card. We got ours when we hit level 5 from a pack. You have to equip it in a perception slot before you can use the skill. On top of that you will need a bobby pin, which you can buy from the trade robots and sometimes find them on dead ghouls.
The skill levels up as you add more cards to your perception tree. If you want to add a second lockpick card, you will need a second card and a second point in perception before you can add the second card. The second one can’t be unlocked until level 20, so you have to wait until then for level 2 safes. You can have three lockpick cards on, and that will allow you to open up the max level safes for the best loot.
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Lockpicking fallout 76
How lockpicking works in Fallout 76
Picking locks in Fallout 76 isn’t as simple as it was in previous games, as players will be unable to even attempt to pick a lock unless they first level up the picklock skill. This hurdle can be a bit difficult to overcome early in the game, as acquiring the ability to pick locks is not clear.
As with the other skills and abilities in Fallout 76, lockpicking is learned through perk cards. To equip these Picklock perk cards, players will need to ensure their Perception attribute has been leveled up and that they have actually received the Picklock card. Check out our level up and SPECIAL perk card guide for a complete rundown of this new card-based leveling system.
How the picklock skill works
Unlike the other perk cards in Fallout 76, the Picklock perk card cannot be ranked-up to increase its effect, the difficulty of locks that can be picked, or the size of the sweet spot. What this means is that in order to pick the tougher locks, players will need to get their hands on all of the Picklock perk cards:
- Expert Picklock
- Master Picklock
Each of the above perk cards only increases the Picklock skill by one point. This means that even though the Master Picklock has a “better name” than the Picklock card, it will not let players pick a Skill 3 lock.
Locks and required skill
Every lock in the game is ranked on a 4-point scale from 0 to 3, where a Skill 0 safe requires no picklocking skills or perk cards in order to be picked. These Skill 0 safes can be unlocked by any player, so long as they have a bobby pin and know how to pick the lock.
Players will need to get better Picklock perk cards in order to pick safes that have a higher skill requirement. For example, players will only be able to pick the lock of a safe that says “Requires skill: 2” if they have the Picklock and the Expert Picklock perk cards equipped. The reason both cards must be equipped is because the Picklock perk cards do not rank up like the other perk cards in Fallout 76.
How to level up lockpicking
Because the Picklock perk card cannot be ranked up, the only way to increase the lockpicking skill is to acquire all of the Picklock perk cards. With all the cards collected, players will need to then equip all three Picklock perk cards to “level up” their lockpicking skill.
- Skill 0 locks require no Picklock cards
- Skill 1 locks require Picklock
- Skill 2 locks require Picklock and Expert Picklock
- Skill 3 locks require Picklock, Expert Picklock, and Master Picklock
Therefore, in order to pick the lock of a safe that has a Skill 3 lock, players will need to ensure their Perception is leveled up enough to allow for all three Picklock perk cards to be equipped at once.
How to pick a lock
After sorting all the Picklock perk cards out and making sure you have the correct cards equipped, you can actually begin picking a lock. Keep in mind that a Skill 0 lock doesn’t require any Picklock perk cards – but all locks require at least one bobby pin.
Once a lock has been interacted with, a min-game will appear on screen. This mini-game uses a rotating lock, a screwdriver, and the all-important bobby pin.
The goal is to place the bobby pin in the correct position and then use the screwdriver to turn the lock. To find the correct position or “sweet spot”, players will need to guess where to put the bobby pin and begin turning, if the bobby pin shakes, it is in the wrong spot. The further from the sweet spot the bobby pin is, the sooner it will shake when the screwdriver is turned. Applying too much pressure to a shaking bobby pin will cause it to break and another bobby pin will be needed to continue picking the lock.
Ease the screwdriver around and as soon as the pin shakes, reset and slightly move the bobby pin. Repeat this process until the screwdriver turns all the way around and the lock opens.
Picking locks in Fallout 76 requires players to first acquire the Picklock perk card, and then get their hands on some bobby pins. To pick the more advanced locks, players will need to find the other unique Picklock perk cards and equip them – the prerequisite to this being that the Perception attribute has been leveled. With all these requirements met, players will be able to pick any lock they come across in the Appalachian wasteland.
Check out the Shacknews Fallout 76 guide and walkthrough for more explanations on the systems at play in Bethesda’s latest release.
Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler brings a bit of the southern hemisphere flair to his work. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and entering the video game industry, he's found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There's nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler
Fallout 76 is a multiplayer RPG that allows players to approach quests and places the way want. Players can either find the keys to open a locked door or they can just skip the search for the key and just pick the lock using the Lockpicking skill. This Fallout 76 guide will help players with how to lockpick and how to level up the lockpicking skill.
Fallout 76 Lockpicking
There are four levels of lockpicking. Level 0 locks can be picked without unlocking any perk. All players need is a bobby pin, which they can acquire by exploring and buying from merchants. However, players need the Picklock perk for Level 1 locks, the Expert Picklock perk for the Level 2 locks and the Master Picklock perk for the Level 3 locks.
How To Lockpick
When players choose to picklock, they’ll see an overlay of a bobby pin and a screwdriver. Players need to set the pin in the right direction and then turn the screwdriver to open the lock.
If the pin is not in the right place or direction, players will face resistance while turning the screwdriver. The closer the players are to the right position or direction of the pin, the further they can turn the lock. Keep making adjustments to the position of the pin to find the right position to open the lock. Eventually, players will find the right position and the lock will open. However, lock picks will be destroyed in the process if they face too much resistance.
That is all for our Fallout 76 Lockpicking Guide with tips on how to pick a lock. For more on the game, also see our Power Armor Locations guide and Wastelanders Leather Farming Guide.
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Lockpicking, a staple activity in the Fallout franchise, is a little different in Fallout 76. The minigame is somewhat tougher, Bobby Pins are scarcer and the skill necessary to pull it off is part of Fallout 76’s new, different Perk system. This guide will explain how to pick a lock, how the Picklock and other Perk Cards work, and where to find Bobby Pins.
The lockpicking minigame is structurally the same as the one players remember from past Fallouts published by Bethesda Softworks. Players need a Bobby Pin to attempt a pick, and the pin can break. Run out of pins and your picking attempts are over until you find more.
Lockpicking in Fallout 76 is harder because bobby pins are less plentiful and, some feel, more prone to breaking. A very light touch on the right analog stick as you work the lock will be necessary.
Further, lockpicking and the difficulty of the minigame are no longer contingent upon one’s Perception skill. Locks are gated by a difficulty rating that players must match by having a Perk Card (or combination of them) of equivalent rank equipped. There are some Level 0 locks which anyone may attempt, but the basic Picklock perk, which lets players attempt to pick Skill 1 locks, is not unlocked until a player reaches Level 5. The Expert Picklock perk (for Skill 2 locks) is unlocked at Level 19, and then the Master Picklock perk (Skill 3) is unlocked at Level 40.
The swap-anytime nature of Perks in Fallout 76 means players can hold their Picklock perk in reserve, keeping something more useful equipped in their Perception slot until a situation where it is needed. That and a sensible approach to the minigame are all it takes to get through a lock.
How to play the minigame
When you pick a lock, you will use the left stick to position the Bobby Pin to find the “sweet spot” where it supposedly hits the tumblers in the lock. Then you will use the right stick to rotate the lock with the screwdriver. If the pin is in an improper position, the rotation will stop and the controller will vibrate. If you are forcing too hard or continue to push through a vibration, the pin will likely snap.
To begin, pick any spot in the 180 degrees available to you with the left stick, and slowly test the lock by pressing left on the right thumbstick. Steadily press left until the lock stops or you feel a buzz.
If the lock stops, note how far you were able to rotate the lock before it did. If it was almost immediate, you are very far from the “sweet spot” and will need to move the pin much further from where you started. If you nearly completed turning the lock before it stopped, you are very close and only need to go incrementally in another direction.
Move the pin a second time and try rotating the lock again very slowly. If you meet resistance, the pin must be set somewhere between your first location and the second one. Split the difference and try the lock again. Many low level locks have larger sweet spots and can be easily jimmied in two attempts, if not one.
One method to use is to start at either 45 degrees to the left or right, rotate slowly until you are blocked, and then move the bobby pin to straight up and down (90 degrees). If the pin immediately freezes, the sweet spot is toward the extreme end of where you started, left or right (less than a 45 degree angle).
Picklock, Expert Picklock and Master Picklock cannot be ranked up — that is, combining duplicate Perk cards into one card to achieve a better effect. But to pick a Level 3 lock, one will need all three cards equipped, and so therefore at least a 3 Perception in order to equip them. Again, it’s best to hold any Picklock perk cards in reserve (and Hacker cards, as well) until situations where they are needed, and devote one’s Perception (or Intelligence) to more persistently beneficial Perks in the meantime.
Players may find that Bobby Pins are scarce in the early goings of Fallout 76. There is no sure location for finding them, and they are not craftable. They seem to spawn at random like other useful items and junk objects, and are occasionally dropped by enemies (most often Feral Ghouls). Robot vendors occasionally sell them if you have the Caps. Vendors are always located at train stations (along with Stash boxes) so if you haven’t discovered one, or need to find a new vendor, explore along the railroad running the center of the map. There are also Responder robot vendors in the church in Flatwoods and in the terminal of the Morgantown Airport.