[Top 3] Fallout 76 Best Stealth Armor

Now you see me. Now you don’t. Look for the blur, if you can.

They say the best offense is a good defense. Sometimes, there’s a better way to go about it. You’re walking into an irradiated, disease-wracked wasteland full of furious animals, super mutants, raiders, and worse - are you sure you want to even risk having to defend yourself? Maybe the best offense is simply not being seen at all.

West Virginia offers a lot of choices for just that. Where cover isn’t available, armor is. Even better, the armor you need? You don’t need it to do much. If you aren’t being seen - you aren’t being hit. 

How does that help?

It means your focus is less on defending yourself with high damage resistance and mitigation and more on making sure nobody sees you coming. As a result, you get a few select pieces that can be a huge help.


Stealth/Sneak: perks, mods, and legendary effects.

AGI is your friend.

Stealth is handled by more than just your armor. There are a slew of different perk cards that can help you get where you need to be undetected, and paired with high-damage perks, you can ensure that the shot they never see coming is the only shot you need to fire. This isn’t the end-all-be-all perk list, but your focus is going to need to be on Agility.

Outside-the-game note: every NPC knows you exist when you enter their sphere of influence. As pieces of computer code, have to know that you exist to see if they don’t know you’re there.

When you’re noticed as part of the program, the game runs a check to see if you’re ‘detected.’ If you aren’t ‘detected,’ the bad guys pretend you aren’t there. At that point, you’re ‘sneaking.’

There’s math involved. Don’t worry about it.

Certain events, such as Daily Ops, have NPCs with ultra-high levels of Perception. This means that you are very likely to be ‘detected’ almost instantly. But almost instantly ISN’T necessarily instantly.

Agility directly affects how hard it is for NPCs to ‘detect’ you. The higher your AGI through armor stats, base S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, food mods, and whatever else, the harder it is for them to find you.

  • In terms of perk, Stealth itself is a given.
  • The Escape Artist card eliminates the noise you make when you’re running - and this is a must-have.
  • Another useful perk is Lightfoot which keeps you from setting off traps when sneaking.
  • The ‘Chameleon’ Legendary Effect for your armor is primarily a VISUAL effect. From my understanding (author note: mechanics get changed on a semi-regular rate, this may or may not be accurate as of January 26th, 2024) it doesn’t make as much of a difference as ‘noise’ related clues that affect how NPCs ‘detect you.’
  • However, Chameleon does make it a lot harder for players to see you. Make of that what you will.

Now that you have a cursory grasp on the mechanic, let’s talk armor.


3. Leather Armor


Underarmor and and apparel come in a wide variety of styles, appearances, and types. May I strongly suggest you grab some if you go the leather route?

Adhering to the basic concept of stealth means that if you can’t be seen, you can’t be hit. If you can’t be hit, your resistances don’t matter very much. If your resistances don’t matter much - why are you putting in a lot of time hunting down high-grade armor?

Enter leather. Leather is one of the absolute most basic armor types you can get and some of the plans are automatically known as you begin the game. However, to make the most out of a ‘stealth’ build, you need to keep your eyes open for “shadowed” leather armor mod plans. These can be found on Vendor Bot Greg in Grafton, and as a reward or world-spawn throughout Appalachia east of the Savage Divide.

By the way. One note that you may notice from the screenshot above:

Wear underarmor. I don’t care what. Straight leather leaves you with a Mad Max style look complete with your underwear on full display. It’s probably not going to be your best look.

Why we love it:

  • Leather armor is everywhere in 76. It’s one of the basic starting types, and it scales up to level 50. It comes in a trio of ‘base’ types with a number of additional mods that work with it.
  • You’re probably going to want ‘light’ leather armor just to save weight.
  • Shadowed leather armor grants a small stealth boost in… well… the shadows.
  • As mentioned above, there are world hazards that don’t care if you’re hidden or not. Be careful when approaching them, because a fireball to the face is more of a ‘to whom it may concern’ instead of a ‘hey there’s a guy right here’ when it comes to sneak.

Full set name:

  • Shadowed Leather Right Arm 
  • Shadowed Leather Left Arm 
  • Shadowed Leather Right Leg
  • Shadowed Leather Left Leg
  • Shadowed Leather Chest

2. Chinese Stealth Armor

This is what I’m wearing in the banner - when you sneak, you vanish in this one.

I’ve mentioned this a few times over in other articles, but the CSA is one of the best sneak/stealth types you can get, especially at early levels. You come across this in the main quest while doing events with The Crater and The Foundation. If, for any reason, you don’t get it as a reward (and the quest line branches so you may not) it eventually becomes available with ‘Ally’ level faction with The Foundation.

Or you can buy it from Minerva when she sells her bootleg plans. Honestly, it’s faster that way.

However, there’s several glaring downsides. Unlike most armors, CSA only has two parts. That means you are missing out on a lot of damage mitigation/resistance, extra pockets, extra effects, and extra legendary effects. Speaking of, it can’t be modded with legendary effects.

Does that make it bad armor? Not at all. Does it mean you can get better? Yes.

It just takes a bit.


1. Covert Scout Armor

Another case where the underarmor is important. That light gray is better than my underoos. 

This isn’t the easiest armor to get but it is easier than the other end-game alternative, Thorn. Thorn Armor may actually be better but it takes a lot of grinding and it’s so generally difficult to obtain that any bonuses it gives over Covert just don’t make any sense.

CovSA plans are a reward from Daily Ops, which means you’ll have to spend a lot of time grinding them out. You should anyway because there are a lot of good end-game rewards from DOs and they become available to run starting around level 30 (if not earlier) and you can pick up a rare plan a day if you defeat the Op in under 8 minutes.

Once you unlock them, you can craft them. Once you craft them, you can apply legendary effects and mods to them. Each piece has a base +5% to sneak, so between this and the Stealth card, you’ve got a great start to being the assassin that the wasteland deserves.

End of day, CSA gives you a strong boost to sneak, reasonable resistances for when you’re spotted, a general ‘armored’ look, a mask that can defend against air hazards, and the ability to put your choice of legendary effects (like Unyielding for additional AGI points) on it.

Why we love it:

  • The plans come your way naturally as you do Daily Ops.
  • You can also get them from Minerva, which is even faster as long as you’re focusing on doing events that reward Treasury Notes. 
  • You get pretty decent resistances for light armor.
  • Each piece has a +5% sneak bonus before any other mods are applied.

Full set name:

  • Covert Scout Chest
  • Covert Scout Left Arm
  • Covert Scout Right Arm
  • Covert Scout Left Leg
  • Covert Scout Right Leg

With the right perk cards, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, and armor, you can become the ghost of the wasteland - and you’ll leave only death in your wake, one brass casing at a time


Before you go, can I suggest some other guides for Fallout 76? Take a look at these three!

Born on the outskirts of the Eldritch Mountains of Appalachia, Josh seeks to bring the magic of the (very) old into the minds of those willing to learn fantasy, magic, and the joy of building worlds.
Gamer Since: 1989
Favorite Genre: RTS
Currently Playing: Fallout 76, Cities Skylines 2
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, Cities: Skylines - After Dark, Total War: Rome II