One Handed Melee Build in Fallout 76 | Fallout 76 Builds

Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build

(QUICK NOTE: These Builds are usable but NOT updated past the Steel Reign update. Until I get a chance to update all the builds, these should be thought of as more of a build starter)

One Handed melee builds are incredibly popular in Fallout 76 due to their pretty easy to build setups, high damage numbers, and insane buffs you can abuse to make them quite strong. There are also a variety of One Handed weapons to choose from, with heaps of different mods, so they’re fun to just collect and mess around with.


Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build

Perk Cards (Solo)

Perk Cards (Team)

Legendary Perk Cards

NukesDragons has a FANTASTIC Fallout 76 Character Builder, and if you’re looking to create a build concept BEFORE you go for the real thing, definitely check out:

NukesDragons Character Build Planner & Calculator


When it comes down to finding a good One Handed melee weapon, there’s always a couple weapons that are better than others, like any kind of bladed weapon will typically have a higher damage number than, say, a rolling pin.

Whatever One handed Melee weapon you roll, these are the legendary’s you want to keep your eyes out for!

Legendary Main Effects:

  1. Bloodied : More Damage the Lower your Health it
  2. Junkie’s : More Damage the more Addictions you have
  3. Anti-Armor : Ignores 50% of your enemies Armor
  4. Instigating: Enemies at full health take double damage
  5. Furious : Damage Increases every Consecutive Shot

Legendary Major Effects:

  1. 40% Faster Swing Speed
  2. 50% Limb Damage

Legendary Minor Effects:

  1. +1 Strength
  2. 90% Reduced Weight
  3. 1 Agility


With One Handed Melee Builds, you can decide for yourself if you’d prefer regular armor or power armor. Both are beneficial in their own ways, regular armor being more mobile while power armor providing far higher resistances. Below I’ll show you what my personal favorite armor to wear is, it’s end-game stuff though so you might need to wear some of the basic stuff if you don’t have yourself the funds to purchase the expensive ones.

Under Armor

Under Armor can be one of the most essential pieces to your build, simply because it adds so much straight up damage resistance and SPECIAL bonuses. Remember, you DO NOT receive under armor bonuses while in Power Armor, you will only get the benefits from the Power Armor itself.

The best one you’ll want to try and get is the Secret Service under armor providing:

  • +15 Damage resistance
  • +15 Energy Resistance
  • +15 Radiation Resistance

With Shielded Lining:

  • +4 Strength
  • +2 Perception
  • +4 Endurance

If you can’t get this under armor yet, which new players won’t for a good while, stick with any others you can get along the way, modding them with what you can! (Collect those plans!)

Regular Armor

Regular armor is totally up to the user on which they wear, but when we’re talking about Melee builds… well, actually any build pretty much, you’re going to want to go with Secret Service armor, which is purchased with Gold Bullion after completing the Wastelander’s main campaign. It provides an insane amount of armor, better than anything else, and the ONLY problem is that you need to buy it at the extremely expensive price and then HOPE you roll some good perks on it.

By the way, quick note, if you’re wanting to use a bloodied build with Melee (which is where Nerd Rage comes in handy, and damage goes crazy) you’ll want to definitely stick to either Unyielding or Bolstering if you’re dying a lot.

If you can’t get Secret Service armor just yet, don’t worry about it, as long as you have armor like Combat Armor, Brotherhood Recon, or Marine Armor. Speaking of perks, these are the ones you’ll want to look out for:

Legendary Main Effects:

  1. Unyielding
  2. Bolstering
  3. Vanguard’s

Legendary Major Effects:

  1. Any of the +1 to SPECIAL, Especially +1 Strength
  2. Action Point Refresh Speed

Legendary Minor Effects:

  1. 50% More durability
  2. Receive 15% less Limb Damage
  3. Weapon Weight Reduced by 20%
  4. Food, Drink, and Chem Weight reduced by 20%
  5. Junk Weight Reduced by 20%

Power Armor

Just like regular Armor, Power Armor also has it’s “better” versions that are pretty much just superior to the rest. If you’re rocking Power Armor with a Melee build, you’ll want to get T-65. The T-65 Power Armor provides the absolute highest amount of damage resistances as possible, but also costs a fortune in Gold Bullion to purchase all the plans, so once again, use what you can. T-60, X-01, and Ultracite Power Armors are quite easy to come across just by completing the Enclave and Brotherhood questlines.

For Power Armor Mods (because you’ll definitely want to mod them to make them the best) you’re wanting to look for:

  • Helmet: Internal Database – +2 Intelligance
    • Targeting Hud – Highlights Living Targets
  • Torso: Emergency Protocols – Benefits from being Bloodied
    • Jet Pack is also helpful
  • Arms: None of them will really help out a lot, don’t waste bullion
  • Legs: Calibrated Shocks – Carry weight +50 per mod


This is for those of you that enjoy going out and absolutizing maximizing the damage output you can deal with your builds. Little do a lot of folks realize, taking the right foods and drastically boost the performance of your build, making it beyond worth it to gather these quick items.


  • Grilled Radstag:
    • Super Easy to make, increases Carry weight by +20
  • Pumpkin Pie:
    • Max Health +40
  • Smoked Mirelurk Filets:
    • +250 HP and +30 Carry Weight
  • Blight Soup:
    • Critical Damage +20%
  • Megasloth Mushroom Soup: 
    • Critical Damage +20%
  • Glowing Meat Steak
    • Melee Damage +10%


    • Firecracker Berry Juice: 
      • +10% Critical Damage
    • Hard Lemonade: 
      • +30 Max AP and +10 AP Regen
    • Steeped Tea Thistle/Sweet Mutfruit Tea:
      • Critical Hit +20%


      • To be honest, ANY Alcohol that raises your strength is beneficial to melee builds


      • Marsupial
        • Carry Weight +20%, +Jump Height
      • Adrenal Reaction
        • Higher Weapon Damage the lower your HP
      • Speed Demon
        • +20 Faster Movement Speed +20% Faster Reload
      • Twisted Muscles
        • +25% Melee Damage
      • Healing Factor
        • Slow Health Regeneration
      • Carnivore
        • No disease from eating meat and twice the benefits


        • Overdrive
          • +15% Damage, +15% Critical Damage
        • Pyscho
          • +25 Damage Resistance, +15% Damage
        • Pyschobuff
          • +25% Damage, Strength/Endurance +3, Max HP +65

        Magazines & Bobbleheads

        Thing about Magazines is that there are SO MANY of them that is can make it difficult to pick and choose between them all, whereas Bobbleheads are quite a bit easier as there are FAR less.

        Here are just my few suggestions:


        • Grognak the Barbarian #1 – “Blood on the Harp
          • +15% Melee Damage
        • Grognak the Barbarian #4 – “In the Bosom of the Corsair Queen”
          • +30% Critical Damage with Melee Weapons
        • Grognak the Barbarian #6 – “Enter Maula: War Maiden of Mars
          • -75% Weight of Melee Weapons
        • Grognak the Barbarian #7 – “Fatherless Cur!”
          • Melee Weapons lose condition 50% Slower
        • Live & Love #2 – “Nuke-The-Man”
          • +5% Damage when in a Team
        • Tesla Science #8 – “10 Number 1 Hits!!!”
          • +15% Critical Damage


        • Strength
          • +2 Strength
        • Melee
          • +20% Damage with Melee Weapons

        More Guides

        Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build

        Fallout has always included an insane amount of variety in One Handed Melee weapons, and Fallout 76 has proved to be no different. This build is for those players who want to get up close to their enemies, slicing and dicing through everything in their path. Of course, you need a good build to do that, and I’ve got just the one.

        S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Points

        Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build

        Perk Cards of Choice

        Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build

        Of course, you can swap these around if you deem worthy, or seem to find some aren’t fitting how you play, but for me, this gave me the best plan of attack.

        Legendary Perk Cards:

        Legendary Melee Perk Cards


        Using One Handed Melee Weapons opens up a WORLD of variety, but you need to remember that some weapons are (obviously) far greater than others. For example, if you find both a Legendary Rolling pin AND a Legendary Shiskebab Sword, you know which one you gotta get rid of. 

        With that being said, even though some weapons are clearly inferior to others, it can still be fun to modify the more unusual one handed melee weapons to insane heights, just to see what they can do!

        Here are some of the better Legendary One Handed Melee Weapons I’d recommend keeping an eye out for:

        Legendary Main Effects:

        Furious Damage: (Each hit increases damage consecutively on same target)

        Instigating: Deals DOUBLE damage to full health enemies

        Berserker’s: Deals more damage the lower your resistances

        Anti-Armor: Ignores 50% of an Enemies armor

        Junkie’s: Deals greater damage the more negative effects you have

        +50% Limb Damage

        Bloodied: (Deals greater damage when you’re health is low)

        Legendary Major Effects:

        Faster Swing Speed: Swing 40% Faster

        Legendary Minor Effects:

        +1 Strength


        When it comes to using a One Handed Melee weapons build in Fallout 76, it’s important to maintain a good amount of resistance OR health, depending on if you’re going a bloodied or Berserker’s route. You can NEVER go wrong with using Unyielding Armor, which basically boosts all of your S.P.C.I.A.L. stats (that’s right, it excludes Endurance) by +3, or use Bolstering Armor, which helps you maintain a VERY high amount of resistance when at lower health, almost mandatory for Bloodied builds. If you’re not wanting to risk a low health build (which is DOUBLE risky when using a Melee build) you can try to focus on using legendary melee weapons that don’t rely on low health, and then look more towards Vanguard’s Armor.

        Food and Buffs

        On an OP One Handed Melee Build, using certain buffs to compliment your overall damage, and your movement speed is very important.


        Remember, you have BOTH Class Freak AND Starched Genes on to fully utilize the benefits of mutations and take away their negative effects.

        Adrenal Reaction: Increased Damage Output at low health. This is GREAT for players with Bloodied Melee weapons that already boost low health damage. Without Class Freak, this comes at a cost of 50 Health.

        Marsupial: +20 Carry Weight, and you can jump much higher. The carry weight is a HUGE bonus in this game, and the fact that you literally get to hop around swinging a one handed melee weapon is too good to pass up. Without Class Freak, this comes at the cost of 4 Intelligence

        Speed Demon: +20% run and sprint speed, +30% faster reload speed. Now, the reload speed here is kind of a loss, but as a melee build, it seems like you’re never close enough to your enemy’s, so speed demon gives you that edge. Without Class Freak, this comes at a cost of 50% more hunger and thirst while moving.

        Twisted Muscles: Melee damage +25%, better chance to cripple limbs. Obviously, this is one of the more important perks to utilize with a Melee Build.

        Healing Factor: With Healing factor on, you have quite a bit less to worry about with having a lower health build for Bloodied or Berserker’s. This is just an added bonus to help you stay alive.

        Carnivore: No disease from Meat and 2x bonus to Food from eating meat products. This comes at the cost of of fruits and vegetables not satisfying your hunger whatsoever. But who cares, you’ll be eating a TON of Glowing Meat Steak to boost your melee damage.


        These are just a few options to go with that I personally recommend that won’t take you five million years to farm and craft. These are quick, easy, and incredibly effective to boost your build to the max

        Grilled Radstag: +20% Food & +20 Carry Weight

        Cotton Candy Bites: 6% Food & +60 AP

        Cranberry Relish: 20% Food & +10 Bonus XP, +200 AP

        Glowing Meat Steak: Specifically for Melee builds, combine this with the Carnivore mutation and you get a big damage boost


        Once again, really easy to find and make, these are the drinks you want to spam create in order to pop them as often as possible, plus the ingredients don’t weigh you down.

        Tarberry Juice: 15% Water & +120 AP

        Steeped Thistle Tea & Sweet Mutfruit Teat: +25% Water & +20% Crit Damage

        Melon Juice: 15% Water & +0.08% Health Regen


        Everyone’s favorite Fallout meal of the day. Here are the drugs you want to bulk up on, just to always boost your build to the most powerful it can possibly be.

        Psychobuff: +3 Strength, +3 Endurance, & +65 Max Health at the cost of -3% Food, -3%. This is just MORE power to you and your Melee weapons build, and is highly encouraged to hop up on these before MASS killing sprees. These are easier to come by, and definitely boost your build.

        Overdrive: +15% Damage, +25% Critical Chance. Of course, it doesn’t last for very long, so it’s good to use it sparingly.

        Addictol: With the heavy consumption of drugs and alcohol with this build, you’ll really want to stock up on Addictol, just to cure yourself of the nasty negative effects that being addicted can bring.


        Strange this isn’t under the drugs section, but I suppose this is a totally different system. Alcohol is very important to strength builds, as it directly buffs that attribute specifically. Here are the best drinks to look out for. These two beverages are useful for keeping up your strength (in case of carry weigh purposes) and endurance, to maintain a higher health level.

        Bourbon: +1 Endurance & +1 Strength at the cost of -1 Intelligence

        Whiskey: +2 Strength at the cost of -1 Intelligence

        The Rundown

        In Fallout 76, Melee has always been a very viable option for those who love high risk but big damage situations. One Handed Melee Builds can get players through some of the toughest content in the game, especially players who know how to be stealthy, yet break out of stealth when need be. Just remember, the faster your swing speed, the greater your damage.

        If you want to check out the build for yourself, or maybe even customize it to your own liking, I would highly recommend checking out NukesDragons “You are SPECIAL” Character Builder, it’s super quick and easy to use.

        Click the Image Below to head over to the Build Page

        Fallout 76 One Handed Melee Build