Nuclear Winter, Fallout 76’s battle royale mode, allows players to go into matches with customised perk loadouts that grant them various advantages in battle. Players enjoying the game’s early “pre-beta” version are finding that some of those perks are extremely overpowered, especially one called Frog Legs.
Frog Legs lets players jump 300 per cent higher than normal. That might not seem like a big deal at first, but it hasn’t taken players long to discover the interesting possibilities for death and destruction that this special ability opens up. Having Frog Legs equipped means being able to hop across rooftops, dodge incoming enemy fire, and rain down bullets on unsuspecting opponents below.
The perk can be even deadlier when combined with Demolition Expert, which boosts explosive damage by 80 per cent, and Grenadier, which doubles the blast radius of explosives. Coupled with a grenade launcher, the so-called “demo frog” meta can be incredibly powerful. For those on the receiving end, it can feel downright unfair, if not completely unstoppable.
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“I’m annoyed but also laughing because its ridiculous,” wrote Reddit user Jokenstein27 in a post on the game’s subreddit last week. “The one time I felt confident during a match, some guy killed my dreams hoping around with a grenade launcher, then he rekted my other teammates trying to play hunt duck.”
Nuclear Winter, like the rest of Fallout 76, can feel clunky. It’s full of jerky movements and little hangups that constantly remind you that you’re playing Fallout with battle royale rules, not Apex Legends in a radioactive hellscape. Because Frog Legs greatly increases a player’s mobility and control, it helps smooth over that divide. But it also, draws a stark contrast between the players who have it and those who don’t, as if a GoldenEye 007 player were forced to fight someone in Unreal Tournament.
The chorus of calls for Bethesda to nerf Frog Legs, or temporarily remove it from the mode altogether, has grown in recent days as more players have encountered it out in the wild. Unlike overpowered weapons in other battle royale games, one of the more pernicious things about Frog Legs is that not everyone has access to it.
Players start Nuclear Winter at level one with a beginning set of perk cards. From there, they earn random new perk cards every time they level up by completing matches. As a result, it’s possible that someone at a very low level might be lucky and get Frog Legs right away. It’s equally possible that someone at a much higher level might still be waiting to get it.
That’s the case for one player on the Fallout 76 subreddit who goes by AVxVoid. “I’m currently level 105 without Bloody Mess, Demolition Expert, Frog Legs, Dodgy, Armor Pen on anything, nor a myriad of other perks necessary to complete more esoteric builds,” they wrote over the weekend.
The problem is compounded by the fact that it’s possible to get duplicate perk cards, and that perk cards stop dropping every level after you reach 13. By level 20, they only drop with every four levels gained. If you don’t have many of the perk cards you want by then, the game basically incentivises you to start a new character and begin ranking up all over again—at least, if you want to try to pursue some of the mode’s more powerful and interesting character builds.
Since Nuclear Winter is still in its “pre-beta” early days, much will surely change as the months go on. Will Frog Legs? Feedback on Frog Legs is already being shared with the development team, according to Bethesda community manager Jonny Roses. Hopefully that means the perk will get dialled back a little, or at the very least, Nuclear Winter’s progression system will get tweaked so more players can play Fallout like it was Crackdown.