Why mutate/CBM?

I never was able to wrap my head around why mutating or CBMs are so desirable. At this point, with all my tools and armour, I feel bionics would be a pointless risk to my health and mutating would be a step backwards in self-protection (armour might no longer fit). But by the time I’m able to mutate in a controlled fashion or install CBMs, I have all the tools and armour. Am I missing something obvious? And please don’t jump down my throat with your answers, I am trying to understand rather than saying they suck.

Not going that way is perfectly fine. That said however, you can make at least a few fine character builds around CBM’s and mutations, so it certainly adds to replayability. Some CBMs’ and mutations’ functions cannot by represented by any “mundane” item so that’s that. And I’m not even touching going mycus sice that is a whole next story. All in all, those are just more paths to go, whether you choose to walk them or not.


Mostly for fun. Mutations also get a bad rap in that by the time you can get them you really don’t need or benefit from them. I kind of wish there was a way to lower the barrier to entry on mutations but still be lore friendly.


Prettty much for roleplay or utility purposes. Mutate into medical for acidproof, so you can wear more physically protective armor? Sure. Want to power your tools by yourself? Put UPS conversion mods on them and get yourself a internal UPS CBM. Tired of being shocked to death? Get a Dielectric Capacitance System CBM! Want to stop being thrown around by brutes and hulks? Get an Uncanny Dodge CBM! Accidentially heavily irradiated yourself, and you have no prussian blues? A Radiation Scrubber CBM will do the trick(you’ll have to use it multiple times)!

There are a few ones that are very worth getting, making everything a little easier.

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CBMs are nice because they will generally free up room/gear for other things. Most things you can do with gear in terms of abilities you can make an argument for being done easier/more efficiently with CBMs, not everything of course but it really depends on preference I guess. Plus there are things you simply can’t get without CBMs (and/or mutations/mods) permanent stat boosts come to mind.

edit: well, I guess relics but i’d argue that bionics are the lesser risk there :expressionless:

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Thanks everyone. One more question. I have been looking for either Implanted Night Vision or Cranial Flashlight CBMs. Does the Cranial Flashlight work even while wearing a helmet?

Yep, the night vision is really nice too since you aren’t lumped with the massive eye encumbrance that comes with night vision googles.

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Well, cbm’s and mutations don’t eventually wear down and break after a day of fighting, that’s pretty nice. Plus in recent updates your protection/damage values substantially go down with damage to the tool or armor

The more advanced ones are great for getting you out a pinch. Swarmed by feral predators? Armor might not do the trick and your attacks will likely be too slow. Time dilation or teleportation could save your life.
The integrated toolset cuts down on weight and clears up a bunch of carry space.
Want to get more nutrition out of your food? Get yourself some industrial grade guts!

Can be fun to go for labs early on. Big gamble but the payoff can be just as large.
They’re not all good but I think they spice things up just right.


Well once i found heavy power armor (filthy) on bionic operator randomly crashed along the road. Few CBMs later (power, charger, interface) and i yet have to find anything that can hurt this character. So there is my answer why CBMs are good to have.

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I played a lot without any CBM or mutations, I tried to stay “pure” or kinda. Much later I realized how much content I refuse and my genetics went downhill. It’s fun and it poses a challenge as it bans a lot of (good) equipment or makes me vulnerable to cold weather etc.

But “fun” is the main reason for me to ever go for CBM or mutations. They like an icing on a cake, they come when the character is already an invincible terminator, so they kinda pointless as is.

CBM’s really aren’t required to survive, but they make day to day things less tedious sometimes, ie, leukocyte breeder keeps hidden health at 100, UPS allows you to power tools that otherwise you need tons of batteries for or have to recharge all the time, internal climate control lets you stay cool/warm in places that otherwise you couldn’t, probability travel lets you go through doors/walls without having to bust or cut them. The only downside to CBM’s is installing them.

Mutations are another story all together, you can change your entire playstyle in any way you want! Want to never sleep, see perfectly at night, be immune to acid, turn into a minotaur/spider/mouse/wolf/other creature etc, etc, etc? Mutation is your game then. It has a lot of other downsides to get to a final, stable, state, and takes a long time to do without turning your character into a deformed mess if you want to do it safely, but it’s totally worth it when you don’t have to sleep anymore.

No sleep? First time I hear about that. What kind of mutations give you the ability to not sleep?

Tireless. Post-threshold Elf-A.

Tireless, post-Threshold Elf-A.



Mutations are sort of a high risk high reward kinda thing. I personally think they make the game much more interesting and im very satisfied when i manage to get a well developed char made.

CBMs are more of a way to make your character even better. They can eliminate your power needs (joint ratchet or metabolic interchange + the UPS one) Can make you way tankier over and above your armor (alloy plating) give you built in weapons (claws or molecular blade and a buncha other things) built in toolsets etc. They make your life a lot easier and overall are a lot less risky.

I had a cattle mutated character from the lab challenge start that had like 22 strength and a small suite of cbms by the time she ever left the lab. She could sucker punch hulks to death in like 2 hits. It was kinda silly. All she had to do for food was go outside and chow down on some bushes. Armor wasnt a big deal because she had like a gajillion health and modded all her mutant clothes with extra leather and kevlar.

It really just boils down to how you want to play though. I wouldnt consider any of those things absolutely necessary.

It’s funny you mentioned the power thing. Shortly after starting this thread I found a UPS CBM and a level 6 electronics book with a UPS conversion mod recipe both on the same zombie scientist. If that isn’t a sign I don’t know what is.
I now have my survivor headlamp, a tazer, an electric firestarter, and an mp3 player all running on my internal UPS. I get it now.


Not only is your power supply converted, but so are you transformed. Welcome to the future, robo-man.

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Mutations are usually too random for long-time characters, so the earlier the better.

Starting as a mutant is pretty fun as it changes how you play the game. For example, Cattle or Ursine can’t wear anything, so you pretty much can do the “Nudist challenge” where you wear nothing.

I found turning on “No monsters” blacklist mod and playing as a Plant pretty relaxing as I like sandboxing (and my phone doesn’t die from the sheer spam of “ENEMY SPOTTED, IGNORE?”)