Fallout 76: How to Hack Terminals

Hacking made easy in Fallout 76.

by Matthew Kevin Mitchell
Image: Attack of the Fanboy

In Fallout 76, some terminals can be hacked, just like in previous games. However, the mechanics of hacking terminals in Fallout 76 are slightly different than in previous games, as you’ll need to have certain perk cards equipped to hack terminals. In addition to the new perk cards, you should know a few other differences to make hacking much more accessible. Here is how to hack terminals in Fallout 76 to gain access to that valuable loot!

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How to Hack Terminals in Fallout 76

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Every locked computer terminal in Fallout 76 has a specific difficulty level, starting with level 0 and going up to level 3.  Level 0 Terminals can constantly be hacked, regardless of your perk cards. However, any level terminal above zero will require that you have hacking perks. 

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There are three hacking perk cards that you can unlock in Fallout 76: Hacker, Expert Hacker, and Master Hacker. To hack a level 3 terminal, you must have all three cards to hack these computer terminals as they offer a +1 hacking ability to your character and stack on top of each other. Here is a pro tip I use when playing Fallout 76: keep all three Hacker perk cards unequipped until you come across a terminal that needs hacking, equip the cards, hack it, and then unequip the perk cards. There is no reason to keep the Hacker perk cards equipped unless needed.

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Once you access a terminal, you will find a list of jumbled numbers, letters, words, and symbols. This mini-game requires you to find the correct password for the terminal through trial and error.  However, only one of the words on the terminal screen is correct, and you must pick which one.  If you pick the correct word, the terminal will unlock, and you will gain access to the terminal.

If you don’t pick the correct password, the terminal will give you a likeness rating which will help you find the correct password. The way that the likeness rating works is that it tells you how many letters are in the correct position. For example, if you picked the word “DEFENSE” as your selection and the computer said that you had a likeness rating of 2.  You would look for other words with 2 letters in similar positions as that word.  Let’s say that there was another word on the board, “DISCUSS.”  This word would have two like letters—D in the first position and S in the second to last position.  Selecting DISCUSS would likely be your answer.

Related: What Do You Lose When You Die In Fallout 76?

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Terminals also have another thing to look out for in Fallout 76.  Keep an eye out for these symbols, {}, [], <>, or () in the terminal mini-game because selecting these can remove dud passwords to narrow down the odds of a correct choice or reset the number of attempts you have before failure.

You’ll have only four chances to hack terminals in Fallout 76 before the terminal locks you out.  If you fail four times, the terminal will eject you, and you won’t be able to access it for a few seconds (each Hacker perk card lowers the time). However, don’t use it if you are down to your last attempt! Instead, back out of the terminal and then access it. This will refill your attempts, and you can try again until you hack the terminal successfully.

Author’s Note: I wrote this guide when playing Fallout 76 on my Steam Deck.

- This article was updated on July 14th, 2023

About The Author

Matthew Kevin Mitchell has been a contributing writer for Attack of the Fanboy and PC Invasion since 2022. Matthew primarily covers Manga like One Piece, horror movies like Scream, and survival horror games like Dead by Daylight. His favorite moment came during his first press event covering Scream 6 for AotF. He hails from Denver, Colorado, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Regis University. When he isn’t scaring himself silly or writing, he loves to play ice hockey, spoil his dog, and drink an unhealthy amount of coffee.