Which book has the highest Intelligence requirement?

Hi everyone. Quite a new player.

Whenever I’ve been making characters I’ve always been maxing intelligence purely because I wasn’t sure if I’d find a book that needed say 13 intelligence. But doing this of course makes your character quite lopsided since you have to make up for all the points you’ve given up.

From what I’ve played so far I haven’t found a way to increase base stats besides from I’m guessing some CBMs. Is it best to leave it at 12 and not go higher or 10 and hope it can be increased?


Even if you find a book that requires higher intelligence, you can still read it, it just takes longer.

Some mutations and stimulants also increase intelligence.


Out of all the books in vanilla, SICP needs the most intelligence to read without receiving penalties (min 13 Int).

But as Valase said, you can learn from any books even if you have 4 intelligence, it will just take longer.


Thanks guys for the replies. I guess me having 14 intelligence is definitely not the way to do it then.

Maybe 12 and then extra points can go into mechanics etc. So much choice it’s tough haha.

My experience is that STR is extremely important. With 9 (as I assigned to my character) you have just enough strength to wear armor and weapon, with very little capacity to move loot. You’re also having trouble bashing things and melee damage is limited. Since pain reduces STR, it also robs my character of the ability to use the STR 9 bow that’s his main weapon.
I’d say STR is king and INT is queen, and would put all the points that can be into stats as they are relatively fixed, while skills can be trained (there are mutations and cybernetics that can increase stats to some extent. Also there are mods that can render starting stats relatively unimportant [stats through kills and skills]).

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Thanks for the reply Palu. Good point about INT and STR being Queen and King. Having STR at 10 and INT at some point above that (to avoid all except the highest level books taking ages to read) maybe 12 or 11.

Slightly late to the party, but just wanted to chime in:
Strength is the best stat by such a margin, I’d say 14 str (at the expense of everything else) is practically always warranted.
Yea, int is “second best”, but it’s a very distant second…

The thing about strength, it governs things that get you killed if you are bad at them. While every other stat governs things that are simply “nice to be good at, but not crucial”.

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Thanks for the reply Tamior. That’s a good point. I guess that say being able to read books very fast is a good thing and being able to install Bionics, dealing npcs and crafting etc.

But those are all situational and not so much related to the whole of your gameplay compared to strength which Gives you more health, increases melee damage and I’m guessing some other things which I can’t remember at the moment.

So a high int is good but Strength is better. So would you suggest something like,

STR 14
INT 12

All those stats can be altered by bionics I think can’t they. And maybe as you have all these books increasing skills from the outset maybe isn’t necessary? If I’m getting it right there’s books that will take your mechanics from 0-1 and then 0-3. And goes up to 6 and 8 etc. So not boosting those stats but putting more points into the character.

Other things include smashing furniture/terrain, the mentioned bow requirements, higher carrying weight capacity, dragging power and - if I remember right - higher vehicle speed (or at least higher weight limits) for muscle powered vehicles.
Also, unless changed or depending on other things, NPC/Animals are less likely to attack you and you can shout louder.

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You can increase stats (I think all of them) with bionics, but only by a fixed and fairly limited amount. Similarly, stats can be increased by mutations, but, again, by maximum amounts (and some may bey mutually exclusive). In 0.E2 stable there were books for all skills to a fairly decent level, and I expect the same to be true for the latest builds.

If you’re planning long term placing starting points in skills is a waste, as those can be increased with relative ease, while higher stats result in higher stats throughout. However, to gain any long term benefits you first have to survive the short term…
Also, it depends on which character generation method you use, as the standard one doesn’t allow you to swap between skills and stats.

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Let’s not forget good-old “breaking out of grabs” and “installing heavy components into vehicles without having lifting equipment at hand”.

Also, just to bring the point home: many strength-governed action have an all-or-nothing threshold. I.e. if your damage is not high enough to get through target’s armor, precision of your strikes matters not. If you were too weak to move a fridge out of the way to escape a skele jug, you may not be getting a second chance. If some pain and a couple of debuffs brought your strength low enough, you may be rendered unable to move in your current armor with running out of stamina. Etc,etc.

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First, I assume you are using multi-pool character generation. So skill points can’t be used for stats anyway.

That being said, why do you even want PER 7 and DEX 7 ?
I’m not saying it’s a waste, but just ask yourself: why? Why not DEX 10 and PER 4, for example?

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That was sort of based on my current character who is just about surviving who has

STR 12
INT 12

And there wasnt a specific reason for DEX or PER other than I get this thing for patterns haha. I have to admit I’m very much a layman at this game, I perhaps stupidly haven’t put much thought into DEX and PER.

The setting I used allowed me to add a point to Electronics, Mechanics and Computers. But maybe that’s not a good idea.

Try playing with DEX 4 and PER 4 for some time and just see if it feels meaningfully different.

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Played a little way through a new save and I didn’t notice a huge difference between having those stats at 7 so keeping them at 4 definitely seems to be a good idea. I think for my next character (since I used this one as a dummy by setting fire to buildings and moving furniture) I’ll now get rid of the addictive personality trait.

I picked Truth Teller, Fast Metabolism. Can get rid of Addictive. I would pick Lactose intolerant etc but those are really harsh. I know myself having a condition involving that (Colitis) that I don’t drink milk and think its disgusting or makes me sad. It just increases the risk of problems.

Dexterity helps evading attacks (boosts Dodge skill), reduces the chance of weapons/armor getting damaged during fights and other important things.

Perception is used in spotting traps, but even low values can spot them, just move careful and wait for a few turns in place if you expect traps nearby. However, it also determines how far you can see, be it in the dark (usually very helpful early game, but can be imporved/replaced later with gadgets, mutagen or bionics) as well as discovered tiles in the overmap.

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That would be handy in that case for DEX. Shamefully I hadn’t even paid attention to what DEX did.Quite embarasing from me really. Looking back on it I was getting hit a bit more compared to 7 DEX but not by a huge amount. But my strength helped a lot for breaking the grabs of zombies (which is one thing, I noticed we can’t grab zombies; thought that might be good for a martial arts move or to get a precise melee/weapon shot.

Technically correct. However, at least in my opinion, relying on dodge to evade attacks is a rather questionable strategy to begin with: you will always be one bad roll away from a deep bite wound, if not something worse. Not to mention dodge scales terribly into more difficult fights: start adding more enemies and accumulating some pain, and dodge efficiency drops like a rock. Neither keeping your distance nor using armor has that problem.
As for armor/weapon durability, it’s never been a major issue for me with 4 dex.

Literally never seen a trap I failed to detect on time with per 4. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Overmap sight radius is handy, but really not game-changing. Use binoculars. Or make an elevated platform with a stepladder and scout from it, that gives you enough scouting even with per of 4.

As for trying to rely on natural vision in the dark, that “works” up until the first couple of predator zombies. Or a single large boomer highlighting you.

Basically, my point is:
everything per and dex govern is either:

  • a questionable idea in the first place (night raiding, relying on dodge)
  • can be easily substituted for with basic strategy, tools and equipment
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