Wasteland 2 Party Builds Guide – Party Creation and Management Tips

By   /   Sep 29, 2014

In Wasteland 2, having a single awesome character to lead the front charge and take control of interactions with the world isn’t enough.

The harshness of the post-apocalyptic land and the general code of the Desert Rangers demands working in units, and for that you need a strong party that can be used as an effective team.

For more help on Wasteland 2, read our Combat Tips, Attributes, Skills and Stats, Weapons and Armor Guide.

Wasteland 2 Party Builds, Party Management Tips

Setting up and assembling a good party is the key to success in Wasteland 2, and is one of the more challenging parts of the game.

Our guide will help you get started with your party and give you the required suggestions and tips on recruiting NPC companions to further strengthen your squad.

Wasteland 2 Party Builds

It’s important to choose or create a starting four who will complement each other’s deficiencies and weaknesses. Generally, it’s useless and redundant to have two party members with similar weapons and skills.

At the start, you can choose up to four characters. Of course, you could go with less, but that’s not something players new to Wasteland 2 would like to try out, as the game is not too forgivable.

Below are three suggestive Parties that you can create at the start of the game. These are just samples of course, but should give you an idea of how a balanced party would look like. If you have any of your own that have worked well, feel free to share in the comments section below.

Do note that only three skills per character have been chosen. This is mainly to emphasize which skills you will likely specialize in or invest most heavily in.

Also, an asterisk (*) sign accompanies some of the attributes, which indicates the ones you should be prioritizing over the rest.

To get further inside about the Skills, Attributes, and Premade Characters, check out our Character Attributes and Skills Guide.

Party Build #1 – Premade Folks

  • Fade
  • Big Bert
  • Bear
  • Cold-Eye

If you want to get into the game as quickly as possible without having to spend time creating your characters, then you can choose the readymade ones available to you when starting a new game. It’s an all-rounded, battle and interaction-focused setup for anyone looking for a quick start.

Fade will be your scout, and probably the leader with well-rounded attributes and skills; Big Bert will be your melee/brawler using blunt weapons and intimidating NPCs; Bear will be your main assaulter and her medic/outdoorsman should help you survive, and finally Cold-Eye will be your sniper.

Party Build #2 – Battle Strategists

The Leader

  • 6 Coordination*
  • 1 Luck
  • 8 Awareness
  • 4 Strength
  • 2 Speed
  • 4 Intelligence
  • 3 Charisma*
  • Starting Skills: Assault Rifles, Kiss Ass, Smart Ass

The Beater

  • 6 Coordination
  • 1 Luck
  • 6 Awareness*
  • 8 Strength*
  • 4 Speed
  • 4 Intelligence
  • 1 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Blunt Weapons, Hard Ass, Demolitions

The Brains

  • 7 Coordination
  • 1 Luck
  • 6 Awareness*
  • 3 Strength
  • 2 Speed*
  • 8 Intelligence*
  • 1 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Smart Ass, Computer Science, Perception

The Marksman

  • 5 Coordination*
  • 1 Luck
  • 10 Awareness
  • 1 Strength
  • 6 Speed*
  • 4 Intelligence
  • 1 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Sniper, Lockpicking, Safecracking

This is a battle-focused starting party. While it will give you a lot of early edge in battles, this kind of a setup is only recommended if you aren’t planning to work for NPC recruits.

A lot of recruits are highly charisma-based, and as you may have noticed the party members here lack it. The most important companion that I would be looking towards for this build is Rose, who is an excellent Support and is heavily involved in the story.

The party members of this build are battle-oriented – except for The Brains, who would be your non-combatant member that utilizes environment to give you technical advantage.

This kind of party will have great initiative and decent speed, with your melee character The Beater leading the attacks, backed by The Marksman and assisted by The Leader.

Do note that only three skills per character have been chosen. This is mainly to emphasize which characte

Party Build #3 – Practicality

The Chosen One

  • 5 Coordination
  • 1 Luck
  • 4 Awareness
  • 2 Strength
  • 6 Speed
  • 5 Intelligence*
  • 5 Charisma*
  • Starting Skills: Kiss Ass, Smart Ass, Leadership

The Scout

  • 5 Coordination*
  • 3 Luck
  • 6 Awareness*
  • 3 Strength
  • 4 Speed*
  • 5 Intelligence
  • 3 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Alarm Disarming, Lockpicking, Outdoorsman

The Tinkerer

  • 6 Coordination*
  • 1 Luck
  • 4 Awareness
  • 2 Strength*
  • 3 Speed*
  • 9 Intelligence
  • 3 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Computer Science, Mechanical Repair, Weaponsmithing

The Handy

  • 5 Coordination*
  • 1 Luck
  • 4 Awareness*
  • 3 Strength
  • 5 Speed
  • 5 Intelligence*
  • 5 Charisma
  • Starting Skills: Assault Rifle, Hard Ass, Safecracking

While battles play an important role in Wasteland 2, there is more to the game than just shooting and killing. How you go about in the world and your interaction with NPCs is a very important part of both survival and progression, which is where this ‘practical’ build comes.

You might notice how only The Handy has a weapons skill – this is again because the emphasis is more on the practical aspect of the game. Of course, this does not mean you’re dead meat when it comings to shooting a weapon.

In fact, you can equip any weapon you desire with these characters, and add in a few skill points to the respective weapon skills. This build is heavily NPC recruit dependent though, so make sure you assemble the desired players as quickly as possible.

A good suggestion would be Rose, Takayuki, Ralphy, and Angela Deth for the period of time she accompanies you.

With 16 party Charisma you shouldn’t have much trouble attracting most recruits and getting around the practical aspects, and later on you can put in points in weapon skills of your choice.

Do note that since this is an NPC recruit reliant party, you will need a lot of Leadership to keep your recruits in check.

Part Management

Okay, now you have a party and you know what way you’ll be playing the game. Cool. However, it doesn’t really end here. Managing a party isn’t black and white, and there are certain things you need to be aware of while you are leveling them up and/or recruit NPCs.

If you overlook these essential factors, you will come across some pretty unwanted situations where it will come back to hurt you. For this reason, managing your part becomes just as important as assembling it.

Managing NPC Recruits

Here’s the thing about NPC Recruits: most are utterly shit and only some are very good. You can read all about them in our NPC Companions Guide.

Once you’ve managed to decide which ones are good for you and have finally acquired them, you should always keep one thing in mind: the reason these NPC companions are always going to be known as recruits is because they simply are that.

These folks are not tied to you in the same manner your 4 main party members are – they will always show some form of independency, and will not follow you blindly.

That means that if they don’t like something you do, there is a possibility of them either leaving your party or turning against you at that instant.

Keeping your eye on your NPCs’ likes and dislikes is key for this reason, and when it comes down to choosing between your main 4 and the NPCs, you should always stick with your core party members.

The biggest problem the NPC independency brings is them acting on their own in combat. Whenever an NPC gets a turn, there is a small random chance that he/she will act independently and decide what to do themselves. This can turn battles around in the enemy’s favor.

The best way to counter such nuisance is to invest in Leadership. Don’t worry, you don’t need to give each of your 4 core members Leadership – just have one specialize in it to keep the NPCs in check during battles.

For the above reasons, you should also avoid giving NPCs a very powerful weapon, as there is always a random chance they will turn against you. The last thing you want is Rose using that powerful energy weapon you just gave her against you to fry you in your thick metal armor.

Managing Your Party’s Performance

While there is strength in numbers and you can afford up to 8 characters (4 core and 4 NPCs), it may not always be advisable to have such a large party.

The reason for this is how experience is distributed in Wasteland 2. Whenever you win a battle, the total experience will be evenly distributed between the participants of that battle. Having a very large party means each member gets less experience individually.

For this reason, try to keep quality over quantity, with a reliable mix of core members and NPC recruits that would get a decent share of experience from every fruitful encounter.

Obviously, this also means playing with a permanent set of characters instead of rotating them or dying. This way your party will be able to maintain the highest level possible.

Do note that almost all the NPCs you acquire will be below your level – don’t be let down by this, as you can easily get them to level up fast with some easy battles. Remember, characters at lower levels need less experience to level up.

Last but not least is how you distribute your Attributes. While skill specialization and flexibility in the type of weapon usage has been discussed, it is important to point out that Intelligence is probably the most universally important attribute in the game, irrespective of what type of characters you have in your team.

The reason for this is that Intelligence gives your characters bonus skill points to utilize, which is mighty useful for obvious reasons. The rest of the Attributes are subjective.

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