OP Critical V.A.T.S Auto Rifle Build | Fallout 76 Builds

(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)

Today, we introduce the V.A.T.S. Critical focused Automatic Rifle build in Fallout 76.

Automatic Rifles are hands down some of the most powerful weapons in Fallout 76, if not THEE most powerful weapons. Try to grab a strong Handmade or Fixer, slap together a couple of perk cards, and you can become an absolute V.A.T.S. Critical shots hitting machine, with very few breaks for your enemies to breathe.


Fallout 76 OP VATS Crit Rifle Build

Perk Cards (Solo)

Legendary Perks

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NukesDragons Character Build Planner & Calculator


In the Case of Automatic Rifles, there are ALWAYS better Legendary’s than others, as well as weapons in general. Assault rifles, Laser Rifles, anything automatic can be used well, but Automatic Handmade’s (In the current version of the game) are typically the most sought after and well rounded damage dealing Automatic Rifles. 

In that case, here are the Legendary effects you’d like to find on your Legendary Automatic Rifle.

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. Two Shot : Fires 2 projectiles per 1 shot
  5. Furious : Damage Increases every Consecutive Shot

Legendary Major Effects:

  1. 25% Increased Fire Rate
  2. 50% Limb Damage
  3. +10% Damage While Aiming

Legendary Minor Effects:

  1. 15% Faster Reload
  2. 25% Less VATS Action Point Cost
  3. 1 Agility
  4. 1 Perception

Rolling an Automatic Handmade with any of these Perks is going to serve you well, but obviously there are better perks than others. The BEST Legendary you could possibly run for this build would be either a “Bloodied – Explosive – 15% Faster Crit” Handmade, or a “Bloodied – 25% FFR – 25% V.A.T.S. AP Cost” Handmade. Rolling EITHER of those would be an absolute miracle, but just because they aren’t 100% one of those, doesn’t mean it’s bad. 

The other recommended weapons to look out for would be a Fixer with 25% Less Action Point Cost. This is probably one of the most sought after weapons in the game, and can have 4 legendary effects instead of 3.

The one other thing you’ll want to considering is modifying the gun to maximize its damage, cause you can always squeeze more outta guns once you start slapping mods on them.

As for Weapon mods, it’s fairly typical when it comes to using any Rifles. You’ll want to attach an:

  • Automatic Receiver (Preferably anything that adds Crit Damage)
  • Aligned Barrel
  • Forcedful/Aligned Stock
  • Fast Reloading Magazine
  • Red Dot Sight

These Attachments will help keep you in CONSTANT V.A.T.S. able to continuously swap from enemy to enemy.


With a V.A.T.S. critical shots hitting Auto rifle build, one of the main things to remember is that these are usually Bloodied Builds, meaning that the lower your health, the better the build gets. That also means you need the best possible armor to help your survive that insanely low health point. Here’s some armor recommendations to keep you alive and killing.

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 Automatic Rifle 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 the V.A.T.S. Auto Rifle (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
  2. Powered

Legendary Minor Effects:

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


    • High Voltage Bock:
      • +15 Energy Damage BUT Increases the Condition Cost by 15%
    • Firecracker Berry Juice: 
      • +10% Critical Damage
    • Hard Lemonade: 
      • +30 Max AP and +10 AP Regen
    • Steeped Tea Thistle/Sweet Mutfruit Tea:
      • Critical Hit +20%


      • Marsupial
        • Carry Weight +20%, +Jump Height
      • Adrenal Reaction
        • Higher Weapon Damage the lower your HP
      • Speed Demon
        • +20 Faster Movement Speed +20% Faster Reload


        • 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.

        There are also weapon dependent, so if you’re using laser or energy based weapons, make sure you use their specific buffs. Here are just my few suggestions:


        • Guns & Bullets #2 – “lasers & Hunting: Acceptable Overkill
          • +30% Critical Damage with Laser Weapons
        • Guns & Bullets #3 – “Little Guns for the Ladies”
          • +30% Critical Damage with Ballistic Guns
        • Guns & Bullets #9 – “Plasma: The Weapon of Tomorrow”
          • +30% Critical Damage with Plasma Weapons
        • Live & Love #2 – “Nuke-The-Man”
          • +5% Damage when in a Team
        • Tesla Science #7 – “U.S. Army Goes to Space”
          • +30% Energy Gun Critical Damage
        • Tesla Science #8 – “10 Number 1 Hits!!!”
          • +15% Critical Damage


        • Small Guns
          • +20% Damage with Small Weapons
        • Energy Weapons
          • +25% Damage with Energy Weapons

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