All robots in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas and most robots in Fallout 4, have a combat inhibitor located on their back, while turrets have a targeting chip (ceiling-mounted turret) or lens (floor turret) underneath their gun barrel. Disabling the inhibitor will send the targeted robot into a Frenzy.
The combat inhibitor is a device that controls the machine's targeting parameters and allows a robot to differentiate between friends and foes. Combat inhibitors are very small and are usually located on the back of robots. In the event that the player character chooses to cripple the combat inhibitor by targeting it with V.A.T.S. or by accurate free-firing, the robot will go into a frenzied state and attack the closest target to it and continue to fight until it dies. The player will be notified that the robot "has been frenzied" as if a limb was crippled on an enemy.
- Crippling the combat inhibitor will not affect the robot's attitude toward the player character, as shooting a robot anywhere will cause it to become hostile if it was friendly.
- The targeting parameters of a protectron robot or an automated turret can sometimes be altered or cleared using a nearby computer terminal.
- Some computers will display a "no targeting data" message.
- Combat inhibitors don't replenish, therefore if a robot companion has theirs crippled, they will become irreversibly hostile if dismissed.
- Crazed Mister Handies already have their combat inhibitors ripped out.