Fallout 76 is the Fallout franchise's first foray into multiplayer, and there are a ton of new things to discover in Bethesda's newest open-world. One of the most interesting mechanics added in Fallout 76 are the mutations. You have a chance to mutate anytime you interact with something that gives you radiation, and you're more likely to develop certain mutations than others.
There are nineteen mutations that have been discovered so far, and you can develop different mutations at the same time. You have a chance to cure mutations anytime you use Radaway, but you won't always want to. Almost all of these mutations drastically change how you play the game, and there are some really interesting synergies that can accentuate your desired build.
19. ADRENAL REACTION
The Adrenal Reaction mutation is for players who like to live dangerously. Everything about the Adrenal Reaction mutation revolves around your health becoming low. When it does, your weapon damage increases and you get quicker health regen. But like most mutations, there's a catch; you lose -50 HP overall while you're mutated. This will help ensure that this mutation activates more often, but it can lead to some pretty obvious pitfalls, as well.
18. BIRD BONES
Bird Bones is one of the more unique and creative mutations out there. This increases your Agility by four, making it incredibly useful to an Agility-heavy build. But the coolest part is that anytime you fall with this mutation, you'll fall much more gradually, much like you're just drifting to the ground. This helps to negate some of the fall damage, and can really help you make a quick exit that your pursuer will have a tough time following.
The downside to Bird Bones is that it decreases your Strength by four, which can hit a lot of builds pretty hard. If you can take the Strength hit, though, then this mutations is great.
This one is pretty straightforward. Prefer meat to the leafier alternative? Then this is the mutation for you. Carnivore ensures that you won't contract any diseases from meat and gives you a 2x bonus to your hunger bar for eating it. The downside is that you are entirely unable to eat any variety of fruit or vegetable while mutated, so you have to ensure that you have a steady supply of meat around.
This is another really interesting mutation that could lend itself to some unique moments. With this mutation, as long as you have no armor equipped and you're standing perfectly still, you'll be rendered invisible. This is pretty great if you're scouting out an enemy player camp and don't necessarily want them to know about you, and can also make for some pretty hilarious escapes. Duck behind a tree and stand still, and other players will run right by you assuming that you kept moving. This is one of the few mutations that appears to have no negative effect, besides the fact that you can't have any armor equipped in order to use it.
15. EAGLE EYES
The Eagle Eyes mutation increases your critical damage by 25%, which can be really useful especially when using a build that relies on heavy damage per shot; using something like a sniper rifle or a shotgun. It also increases your Perception by four, which is great if you have a VATS-heavy build. The downside, much like the Bird Bones mutation, is that Eagle Eyes decreases your Strength by four, which, as mentioned above, can be pretty rough.
14. EGG HEAD
Egg Head increases your Intelligence by a whopping six, which is invaluable when you're crafting any kind of item. The higher your Intelligence, the better the overall condition of the weapon/armor that you craft, all the way up to a 75% bonus. Having to constantly repair weapons and armor on long journeys can be pretty tedious (not to mention expensive), so this is an absolute lifesaver. The downside is that this decreases both your Strength and Endurance by three each, so you'll need a pretty specialized build in order to utilize this mutation.
13. ELECTRICALLY CHARGED
One of the many mutations that is an extreme bonus for melee builds, Electrically Charged has a chance to shock anybody who melee attacks you. This is pretty great when being ambushed by a horde of ghouls or a bunch of mole rats, regardless of whether or not you're using melee build. But if you are using a primarily melee build, this will be useful in just about every situation. There doesn't appear to be any downside to this mutation, so there's really no reason to go out of your way to cure it.
Empath is a pretty unique mutation, but it's definitely not one that is going to be useful in every situation, and it can actually get you killed pretty easily if you're not careful. Empath reduces the damage taken by teammates by 25%, which can be pretty nice if you've got friends who aren't particularly careful about where they're pointing their gun, or if they're using a lot of explosives. The downside is that any player that isn't a teammate does 33% extra damage, making PvP encounters an especially difficult experience. This mutation is one to be used with caution.
The Grounded mutation is one that is very specialized, but with the right build and when fighting the right enemies, it can make your life a million times easier. This mutation increases your energy resistance by one hundred, meaning any time you're fighting an enemy using a laser weapon, a plasma weapon, an alien blaster, or a cryolator, they'll be doing significantly less damage. The only downside is that any energy damage you do is reduced by 20%, so you'll definitely want to keep energy weapons at home with this mutation.
10. HEALING FACTOR
Healing Factor can be a very helpful mutation, provided you don't rely on any chems. This mutation increases your health regen by an incredible 300%, allowing you to get back into the fight three times quicker than you would without it. But, that same Healing Factor works against you when taking chems, reducing their effectiveness by 55%. That can be crippling for a player who uses chems often, but if you don't use them much at all, there's not much downside.
The Herbivore mutation is the polar opposite of the Carnivore mutation; this one allows you to eat vegetables and fruit to twice the benefit, without the chance of contracting a disease from them. It's relatively easy to make a farm at your CAMP, so this mutation is going to be useful for a lot of players. That being said, if you rely on meat as part of your diet, then this one isn't for you.
8. HERD MENTALITY
Herd Mentality is a blessing for some, and a curse for others. If you're a solo player, Herd Mentality is going to reduce every single SPECIAL stat by two, effectively destroying whatever build you have, at least until you level up quite a bit more. But, if you play primarily in a group, Herd Mentality is going to increase every SPECIAL stat by two, enabling you to make whatever build you're looking for a lot quicker than you otherwise would.
Marsupial is, perhaps, the most fun mutation in Fallout 76 so far. This mutation increases your carry weight by twenty and enables you to jump to incredible heights, basically allowing you to parkour anywhere you set your mind to. This lets you to get into a lot of creative and dominant positions in gunfights, not to mention can make you an astonishingly difficult target to hit while you're jumping around like a lunatic. That being said, if you value brains over brawn, then this mutation is going to hit you pretty hard because it reduces your Intelligence by four.
6. PLAGUE WALKER
One of the more difficult mutations to obtain, Plague Walker gives you a poison aura that scales with your disease, essentially making it nigh-on impossible for anybody to stand near you for an extended period of time. This is going to be an invaluable mutation for people using a melee build, but it's definitely one that you need to be careful with. There are a lot of diseases in Fallout 76 that have devastatingly debilitating effects, so finding one that you can live with is going to be paramount.
5. SCALY SKIN
Scaly Skin is another mutation that some are going to find great, and others are going to want to cure immediately. This mutation increases both your damage resistance and energy resistance by fifty, which is fantastic if you're looking for a tank-like build, but it also decreases your Action Points by fifty. A lot of people find this to be too steep of a trade-off, since it basically negates your ability to use VATS altogether, and means you aren't going to be running away from virtually anything. That being said, this mutation will allow you to go toe-to-toe with some enemies you wouldn't be able to have a chance against otherwise.
4. SPEED DEMON
Speed Demon is a pretty common mutation, and it doesn't have too much of a downside, either. This mutation increases your movement speed quite a lot, and increases your reload speed. This accentuates just about every build in the game, and when combined with the Marsupial mutation, can be a hilariously good time. But, that extra speed means your metabolism is having to work harder, which puts an extra strain on your Hunger and Thirst levels. However, as long as you have plenty of food, you needn't worry.
There's a long and storied history of Fallout builds where you simply punch everything to death, and the Talons mutation will look to keep that tradition very much alive. This mutation increases your punching damage by 25% and gives you the ability to deal bleeding damage, which is a damage over time. But it decreases your Agility by four, so the trade-off isn't going to be useful for most builds out there.
2. TWISTED MUSCLES
Twisted Muscles is, quite possibly, the mutation with the worst negative effects so far. This mutation increases your melee damage by 25%, but not only does it decrease your gun accuracy by 50%, but it also gives you a better chance to get your limbs crippled. Even in a melee-only build where the gun accuracy detriment doesn't affect you, the chances of you getting a broken leg that inhibits your mobility is a lot higher, meaning this mutation generally doesn't help nearly as much as it hurts.
1. UNSTABLE ISOTOPE
The last mutation discovered in Fallout 76 so far is Unstable Isotope. This mutation gives you the chance to irradiate melee attackers. This isn't especially useful in most situations, but against players it can provide some benefit, especially if they contract a detrimental mutation in the middle of a fight with you. This mutation doesn't appear to have any negative consequence, so there's no need to scramble to cure this one, either.