What skills are -not- viable to potentially level up purely through usage? (No books)

I would like to do a play-through with as little book usage as possible but not a totally illiterate play-through.

In other words a game where I can eventually do everything you could do if you read books but instead of just sitting there for 10 days straight reading and thereby knowing the sum total of all human knowledge from 25 books; I would be leveling the skills through organic usage and grinding, is this possible?

I know there are certain skills which are virtually impossible to level realistically without books like computer skill but is it possible to level mechanics, fabrication etc… to 10 without books? I don’t mind if it takes awhile as that is the point (consider that the play-through might last real life months).

What skills aren’t realistic to level to max in this fashion without books? Has anyone ever tried this type of play-through?

I routinely raise Tailoring to 7 or 8, Fabrication to 9, Mechanics to 9, and Survival to 4 without reading books and without making anything I don’t need.

Construct charcoal kilns, clay kilns, and charcoal forges, to raise your Fabrication from 3 to 5. Then build tools or weapons that you need or want to get up to 7 to 9.

Just building and maintaining a deathmobile will raise your Mechanics skill, but some key points are Mechanics 3 to install most appliances, Mechanics 4 to repair most appliances, Mechanics 5 to repair solar panels (this may have changed), Mechanics 6 to make a pneumatic assault rifle and install military composite armor, Mechanics 7 to repair MCA, and Mechanics 8 to install multiple steering axles and a second engine.

Make drop leg pouches to train Tailoring 4, and then use those pouches at Tailoring 5 and 6 to make your survivor gear. I usually go light survivor suit, light survivor gloves, survivor harness, and possibly survivor cargo pants or a survivor duster.

Electronics is a pain to level without reading or grinding, because there aren’t as many electronics recipes and its too easy to find everything you need through normal scrounging.

It’s possible to grind Computers by hacking consoles, but it’s very risky.

1 Like

I think is: swimming, bartering, speaking, trapping?

it depends on to which level do you want it too, like marksmanship iirc i read that at some point you need to hit a target over 60 tiles away to gain any experience

IIRC for marksmanship you need guns with lower dispersion to level it past a certain point. Range doesn’t factor in.

Otherwise yeah, swimming, speaking, and trapping are the worst. I pay almost no attention to my bartering on any character so I can’t say for sure how that goes.

Thank you for the info mlangsdorf, that is exactly what I was looking for, I really appreciate it.

You are probably right Ragno, bartering/speaking is also likely a very hard skill-set to raise “naturally” as well. As for the combat skills and swimming, I am not too concerned because the books only allow you to raise those to level 3 right? So there is a real point of natural progression which takes over for those skills pretty early on anyhow. (I at least haven’t found any books for swimming/dodging and the combat skills which go beyond 3, they could be very rare and I have just not found them).

I think restricting myself to only reading computer/social and martial art books is the way to go (perhaps trapping as well, honestly I have never used traps very much). I think I can naturally train the combat skills and swimming/dodging to as high as books take them anyways and the rest of the skills apparently can, with effort to be trained through usage to a fairly high point.

Computers and swimming are the two that jump to mind. I don’t know how easy it is to raise swimming, I don’t think I’ve gotten it above 2.

Computers, I think just because the density of terminals is so spread out? I assume you gain skill just by trying even if you don’t succeed, but it would likely take hundreds or thousands of terminals to get computers up to six or seven? It just doesn’t seem viable to me. Not to mention the possibility of spawning something that would one-shot kill you.

Do you think it is reasonable to get cooking high enough w/o books to mess around with mutations? You would still need the books for the recipes, I know.

You know I’ve never really leveled cooking without books. It’s not a super necessary skill and mine generally hovers between 2-3 unless I read a bunch of books.

Though I don’t know for sure, it seems like trying to get into mutations w/o books is probably not viable either just because of the high distinction between cooking spam and eggs and messing around with protoplasmic extra-dimensional blob DNA in order to create mutagen. I imagine it would take quite alot of practice making spaghetti bolognese in order to become proficient at extra-dimensional chemistry which is what mutagen creation requires (level 10 I believe). This is probably another area in which book reading is necessary if I want to take part in this aspect of the game.

You can in theory raise computer skill, not something I’d like to try from 0 myself though tbh. But if I was going to do it I’d make a list of computers that aren’t too deadly to try hacking, take loads of focus increasing items/consumables and make a point of hitting those. I think the worse you’ll get from a the non door terminals in labs would be a shock for instance, doctors vaults I think only lock up and the computer to activate the Amigara fault doesn’t require any skill at all but raises the skill (that one’s dangerous regardless though).

In the past I’ve got computers up as high as either 10 or 11 (can’t remember which) by hacking every lab terminal for map info and lore I came across (even if I didn’t need it).

Does using an electrohack raise computers? If it does and you can get yourself to computers 1 (iirc) you could make one of those and use it on card readers for another source of xp, just take a pickaxe/jackhammer for when you inevitably fail and burn out the card reader.

I’m pretty sure if you just find a deep enough batch of water and move in and out of it you’ll raise swimming, once you get to 1 or 2 you can swim reliable while (mostly) naked so you’d just have to go for long swimming sessions I guess.

Just keep a towel on hand so you don’t freeeze :stuck_out_tongue:

You’d be surprised. Raising cooking is easy, and you already have to cookJust keep increasing the complexity of your meals as you go. The main hardship is that some of the higher level easily repeatable recipes are book learned, like bleach and ammonia.

I don’t mind using books for their recipes. I am just basically trying to find a way to pro-long the mid-game skill gaining process, so I can enjoy that aspect of the game without skipping it by sitting in a safe location reading for a month straight while eating pine nuts and smoked meat, I will try to raise cooking naturally then, as long as there is some recipe (book provided or no) that I can grind away at to increase the skill to mutagen producing levels it is good enough for me.

I believe you are probably right crazykiddeath about theoretically raising computer skill, but doing so organically sounds like a serious slog and pretty damn dangerous, especially for a potentially really long play-through, while not save scumming.

Yeah, defo not something I’d want to sign up for. It’s not too bad to go from 6 or so, I’ve done that before but I don’t usually touch dangerous computers before then.

Cooking is such an easy skill to raise to 6 that I didn’t even think to mention it.

Make tallow to raise Cooking from 2 to 3, make lard, pizzas, or meat/veggie pies to raise it from 3-4, make lasagna to raise it from 4-5, make sauerkraut or canned veggies to raise it from 5-6. 6 to 7 can be a bit annoying but antifungals and antiparasite drugs are around this level and are super useful. Around Cooking 7 you can start attempting to make mutagen, and then you just keep making mutagen variants until you hit Cooking 10.


I appreciate all the information and help, I am going to restrict myself to only computer and social skills books, also I put cities on a distance from one another of 8 (at default size though) which makes cities FAR more rare apparently as I have yet to find one after a few hours in my current playthrough (started in a lab).