Fallout 3 Best Armour & Power Armour Locations Guide

Last Updated on July 5, 2022 by Samuel Franklin

Fallout 3 Best Armour & Power Armour Locations Guide

With the Fallout 3 best armour (or power armour) you’ll be equipped for the challenging quests and DLC content across the Capital Wasteland location. Providing both resistance to damage and various boosts to stats or other utility armour is a key piece of equipment that works alongside your choice of weapon and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. build to create a deadly Vault 101 survivor. This guide to the best Fallout 3 armour details the core armour only given you will generally pair it with the matching helmet of that armour set although players should also consider the utility offered by other helmet options for their specific circumstances.

Whether you want to equip power armour or are looking to roleplay without using this high defensive armour this guide has a 5 options for all Fallout 3 builds. With only a small number of Fallout 3 perks related to armour and the main one removing penalties of the higher defensive options while sneaking (Silent Running) your selection of armour often comes down to availability and your role playing intentions. Including the location of the armour, the specific stats and aesthetic details this best Fallout 3 armour list has all the details you need. Note that this page contains spoilers for the base Fallout 3 experience and Fallout 3 DLCs.

Best Fallout 3 Armour Factors

When considering the factors that make a great Fallout 3 armour the below have been considered. Players may also want to consider the aesthetic or role playing elements of an armour although these are specific to your own tastes so are not factor.

  • Defence: Damage resistance (or DR) is the primary role of armour in Fallout 3 and there is a vast difference between the lowest and highest armours in this stat. While power armour is on the highest end of the scale there are a number of best non power armour options that can still hold their own in defending the player.
  • Availability: An armour that is available early in the story and provides protection far above other available options at that point in time is a great addition to your arsenal. These provide the perfect progression pathway to the stronger armours that often require higher level skills, perks (such as power armour training) or quests.
  • Bonuses: Some armours in Fallout 3 also provide additional utility beyond damage resistance that can be pivotal in particular Fallout 3 builds. While these armours might sacrifice raw armour values for that utility it can sometimes be more useful than what is lost.

fallout-3-armour

T-51b Winterised Power Armour

Obtained from the DLC content Operation Anchorage this is the best Fallout 3 armour available if you have access to this DLC. By simply finishing the DLC you’ll acquire this armour at the end along with the necessary power armour training perk that lets you use it instantly. Given this is often considered the easiest of the Fallout 3 DLCs players can obtain the most powerful armour before they even reach level 10. Because of this some in the community shy away from using it given it pushes the lines of game breaking.

This game breaking power level is due in part due to the high damage resistance value of 45 which is the second best available in the game with two alternative armours sharing the best value of 50. What really tips it over the edge though is a bug that gives this power armour near infinite durability so it will never have to be repaired saving you significant bottle caps and time during your Fallout 3 adventure. Note that there is also a bug related to the You Gotta Shoot ‘Em in the Head quest that removes your ability to make a decision as that quest is centred around acquiring the similarly named T-51b power armour although there are some workarounds available by placing your winterised version in storage.

Chinese Stealth Armour

Another high tier armour in Fallout 3 that comes from the Operation Anchorage DLC and is the best stealth armour that Fallout 3 has to offer. Like the T-51b Winterised Power Armour obtaining this armour requires that players finish the DLC to acquire it.

Designed for a stealth player the most notable element of this armour is that a stealth field activates when the player is sneaking (similar to using a Stealth Boy). The armour also provides a decent boost to stealth that can be useful when acquired early on and a fairly high DR of 28 considering it is designed for a stealth playstyle. This DR provides plenty of protection for the times when your stealth attempts fail and you take some damage from enemies. This makes it one of the Fallout 3 best non power armour options in the early game even if you don’t want to adopt a stealth playstyle.

T-51b Power Armour

Similar to the winterised version in terms of statistics this is an armour option for players that don’t have DLC installed or prefer not to take advantage of the near infinite durability bug of that option. Acquisition of this armour is tied closely to the You Gotta Shoot ‘Em in the Head with the armour itself being within a sealed room of Fort Constantine that requires three keys to open.

For statistics the T-51b armour shares the highest DR of 50 with another armour and radiation resistance which is a fairly standard power armour feature. This quest is the only way to obtain this piece of armour as there are no other versions in the entire Fallout 3 so factor that into the decisions you make when completing this quest if you want to use it for yourself or a companion.

Enclave Hellfire Power Armour

Unlike other armours on this list so far the Enclave Hellfire power armour does not have an easy quest or location to obtain it. Instead you’ll have to rely on defeating an Enclave Hellfire trooper that appear during the later stages of your adventure and are not an easy battle. This armour only spawns with the Broken Steel DLC enabled although a weaker version (Enclave power armour) is included in the base game.

If you can defeat one of these groups of Enclave troopers to acquire this armour from a Hellfire trooper you’ll be rewarded with the highest damage resistance armour in the game at 50 (matched with the T-51b armour). With this item spawning multiple times and the weaker variant available players also have a source of self repairing this item without a merchant. While it does have the same DR as T-51b the benefit of this power armour variant is the additional fire resistance, lighter weight and strength although you lose a small amount of radiation resistance by selecting this Enclave armour variant.

Ranger Battle Armour

Players can obtain this armour through the related quest Reilly’s Rangers as either a reward for successfully finishing the quest or looting it from the Rangers that are part of this quest in the Statesman Hotel.

While this is the only source for this strong version of the armour it can be repaired with the various combat variants that make it an easy repair while out adventuring. The Ranger battle armour is quite possibly the Fallout 3 best non power armour option for those players not concerned with stealth for other reasons though such as the high DR and utility. With 39 damage resistance it’s the highest non power armour option available to players which is further supported with a small action point boost, luck and small guns that are ideal for an upcoming character and even late game one that doesn’t want to use power armour.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Sam enjoys the modern Fallout franchise for the large open world settings of choice which blend RPG and FPS mechanics. Preferring to play as a character with good karma he can often be found saving the Wasteland from evil while using a build that focuses on traditional weapon types.

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