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Fallout 3 combat

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Fallout 3 has a significantly different combat system than its predecessors, in some ways more complex because of the fully 3D environment.

V.A.T.S.Edit

The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S., is a queuing system, inspired partly by the ability to shoot specific body parts in the turn-based combat system of Fallout and Fallout 2.

While using V.A.T.S., the otherwise real-time combat is paused. Various actions cost action points, and both the player and enemies can target specific body areas for attacks, inflicting specific injuries.

Combat damageEdit

DMG = Unmodified base damage per weapon discharge (single click of mouse)
CRITDMG = Unmodified bonus damage added for critical strike on target, per projectile
Crit% = Gun crit multiplier x 33% base crit rate (10 Luck + Finesse + Survival Guru + V.A.T.S. modifier)
TP = Number of projectiles per weapon discharge (single click of mouse)
SA = Sneak Attack modifier adds +100% total damage
BC = Better Criticals modifier adds +50% critical damage
HS = Headshot modifier adds +100% total damage
Male Target = SA + BC + HS + Bloody Mess perk + Black Widow perk + yao guai meat + Psycho + "Very Hard" difficulty
Non-Male Target = Same as male target only no Black Widow perk
Insect = Same as non-male, only HS modifier is replaced with Entomologist perk
AP = Action point cost per round
DMG/Round = Modified damage per V.A.T.S. round including Better Criticals, Xenotech Expert perk, Pyromaniac perk, and maximum hit chance of 95%
DMG/Full V.A.T.S. = Modified damage for max number of rounds given total AP (135) and AP cost of weapon with mods for Bloody Mess, yao guai meat, Psycho, and "Very Hard" difficulty
AP Next = AP needed for next shot after Full V.A.T.S.

The damage formula is calculated as follows:

(\text{DMG}+(\text{TP}\times\text{CRITDMG}\times\text{BC}))\times\text{SA}\times\text{HS}=\text{Final Damage to Target}
  • This equation does not deal with the hit probabilities, or the critical probability. It is strictly used to calculate damage dealt to target—real or possible.
  • CRITDMG is not affected by player's skill (small guns, big guns, energy weapons) or by weapon's condition.

Example 1Edit

The Terrible Shotgun is one of the most powerful weapons in the game. While in perfect condition, and with a Small Guns skill of 100, the weapon deals 80 damage, plus an extra 40 damage for a critical hit. However, this weapon fires 9 pellets. Because of this, when the weapon is fired outside of V.A.T.S. and scores a critical hit, the critical hit for each pellet is counted individually. This means that (if all pellets make contact), the weapon will deal 440 damage (80 base damage, plus 9 extra 40 critical damages). In Sneak Mode, this damage is doubled, increasing it to 880 points of damage. And if the player has the Better Criticals perk, the damage will increase to 1240. If the player further increases the damage via a Headshot, then that damage doubles again to 2480, enough to one-shot a super mutant behemoth!

NOTE: These tables do not account for perks such as Ghoul Ecology, Superior Defender, Demolition Expert, and Pyromaniac. These four perks modify the base damage (DMG).

Non-V.A.T.S. attack with sneak attackEdit

NAME DMG CRITDMG TP SA + BC SA + BC + HS Male Target Non-Male Target Insect
Pa's fishing aid804018232046403979.2063617.461808.73
The Terrible Shotgun80409124024802126.8171933.471450.1025
Paulson's revolver45359103520701775.2061251613.823751210.367813
Double-barrel shotgun8530998019601680.87151528.0651146.04875
Captain's sidearm3540679015801625.98591478.1691108.62675
Combat shotgun5527983916781439.0318251308.21075981.1580625
Metal Blaster5527983916781439.0318251308.21075981.1580625
Firelance808014008001234.9261122.66841.995
Alien blaster100100150010001029.105935.55701.6625
Sawed-off shotgun50129424848727.2342661.122495.8415
Microwave emitter601001420840720.3735654.885491.16375
Protectron's Gaze24245408816699.7914636.174477.1305
MPLX Novasurge80751385770660.342375600.31125450.2334375
Gauss rifle100501350700600.31125545.7375409.303125
Alien disintegrator65501280560576.2988523.908392.931
Tri-beam laser rifle75153285570488.824875444.38625333.2896875
Callahan's magnum65501280560480.249436.59327.4425
A3-21's plasma rifle50501250500428.79375389.8125292.359375
Lincoln's repeater50501250500428.79375389.8125292.359375
Blackhawk55451245490420.217875382.01625286.5121875
Atomic pulverizer37401194388399.29274362.9934272.24505
Alien atomizer35401190380391.0599355.509266.63175
Backwater rifle45451225450385.914375350.83125263.1234375
Plasma rifle45441222444380.76885346.1535259.615125
Lever-action rifle40401200400343.035311.85233.8875
Reservist's rifle40401200400343.035311.85233.8875
Sniper rifle40401200400343.035311.85233.8875
Victory rifle40401200400343.035311.85233.8875
Scoped .44 magnum35351175350300.155625272.86875204.6515625
Tesla cannon40301170340291.57975265.0725198.804375
Ol' Painless30301150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
Railway rifle30301150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
The Kneecapper7509150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
Destabilizer30201120240246.9852224.532168.399
Wazer Wifle28281140280240.1245218.295163.72125
Hunting rifle25251125250214.396875194.90625146.1796875
Plasma pistol25251125250214.396875194.90625146.1796875
Laser rifle23221112224192.0996174.636130.977
Smuggler's End1818190180154.36575140.3325105.249375
Colonel Autumn's laser pistol1022186172147.50505134.0955100.571625
Colonel Autumn's 10mm pistol1313165130111.486375101.3512576.0134375
Wild Bill's sidearm1015165130111.486375101.3512576.0134375
Perforator1014162124106.3408596.673572.505125
Laser pistol1212160120102.910593.55570.16625
Xuanlong assault rifle1212160120102.910593.55570.16625
Chinese assault rifle111015210489.189181.08160.81075
Dart gun6121489682.328474.84456.133
10mm pistol991459077.18287570.1662552.6246875
Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG991459077.18287570.1662552.6246875
Infiltrator7101448875.467768.60751.45525
Assault rifle881408068.60762.3746.7775
10mm SMG771357060.03112554.5737540.9303125
Silenced 10mm pistol851316253.17042548.3367536.2525625
.32 pistol661306051.4552546.777535.083125
B.B. Gun441204034.303531.18523.38875
Chinese pistol441204034.303531.18523.38875
Zhu-Rong v418 Chinese pistol441204034.303531.18523.38875
Mesmetron101243.430353.11852.338875

V.A.T.S. attack with sneak attackEdit

NAME DMG /SHOT CRITDMG SA + BC SA + BC + HS Male Target Non-Male Target Insect
Firelance80804008001234.9261122.66841.995
Alien blaster10010050010001029.105935.55701.6625
Microwave emitter60100420840720.3735654.885491.16375
MPLX Novasurge8075385770660.342375600.31125450.2334375
Gauss rifle10050350700600.31125545.7375409.303125
Alien disintegrator6550280560576.2988523.908392.931
Pa's fishing aid8040280560480.249436.59218.295
The Terrible Shotgun8040280560480.249436.59327.4425
Callahan's magnum6550280560480.249436.59327.4425
Double-barrel shotgun8530260520445.9455405.405304.05375
A3-21's plasma rifle5050250500428.79375389.8125292.359375
Lincoln's repeater5050250500428.79375389.8125292.359375
Blackhawk5545245490420.217875382.01625286.5121875
Atomic pulverizer3740194388399.29274362.9934272.24505
Captain's sidearm3540190380391.0599355.509266.63175
Alien atomizer3540190380391.0599355.509266.63175
Backwater rifle4545225450385.914375350.83125263.1234375
Plasma rifle4544222444380.76885346.1535259.615125
Lever-action rifle4040200400343.035311.85233.8875
Reservist's rifle4040200400343.035311.85233.8875
Sniper rifle4040200400343.035311.85233.8875
Victory rifle4040200400343.035311.85233.8875
Paulson's revolver4535195390334.459125304.05375228.0403125
Tri-beam laser rifle7515195390334.459125304.05375228.0403125
Combat shotgun5527191382327.598425297.81675223.3625625
Metal Blaster5527191382327.598425297.81675223.3625625
Scoped .44 magnum3535175350300.155625272.86875204.6515625
Tesla cannon4030170340291.57975265.0725198.804375
Ol' Painless3030150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
Railway rifle3030150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
The Kneecapper750150300257.27625233.8875175.415625
Destabilizer3020120240246.9852224.532168.399
Wazer Wifle2828140280240.1245218.295163.72125
Sawed-off shotgun5012136272233.2638212.058159.0435
Hunting rifle2525125250214.396875194.90625146.1796875
Plasma pistol2525125250214.396875194.90625146.1796875
Protectron's Gaze2424120240205.821187.11140.3325
Laser rifle2322112224192.0996174.636130.977
Smuggler's End181890180154.36575140.3325105.249375
Colonel Autumn's laser pistol102286172147.50505134.0955100.571625
Colonel Autumn's 10mm pistol131365130111.486375101.3512576.0134375
Wild Bill's sidearm101565130111.486375101.3512576.0134375
Perforator101462124106.3408596.673572.505125
Laser pistol121260120102.910593.55570.16625
Xuanlong assault rifle121260120102.910593.55570.16625
Chinese assault rifle11105210489.189181.08160.81075
Dart gun612489682.328474.84456.133
10mm pistol99459077.18287570.1662552.6246875
Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG99459077.18287570.1662552.6246875
Infiltrator710448875.467768.60751.45525
Assault rifle88408068.60762.3746.7775
10mm SMG77357060.03112554.5737540.9303125
Silenced 10mm pistol85316253.17042548.3367536.2525625
.32 pistol66306051.4552546.777535.083125
B.B. Gun44204034.303531.18523.38875
Chinese pistol44204034.303531.18523.38875
Zhu-Rong v418 Chinese pistol44204034.303531.18523.38875
Mesmetron10243.430353.11852.338875

V.A.T.S. attack, full roundEdit

NAME DMG Crit% CRITDMG AP DMG/Round DMG/Full V.A.T.S. Male Non-Male Insect AP next
Firelance120100.00%120203421599.79053519.53913199.5812399.685755
Alien blaster100100.00%100202851333.158752932.949252666.31751999.7381255
MPLX Novasurge8099.00%7521181.80625850.44418591870.9772091700.8883721275.66627912
Atomic pulverizer3766.00%401287.324748.87970851647.5353591497.7594171123.3195639
Drone cannon14033.00%5030187.815585.70107751288.5423711171.402155878.551616315
Drone cannon Ex-B14033.00%5030187.815585.70107751288.5423711171.402155878.551616315
Microwave emitter6066.00%10030151.05471.0494251036.308735942.09885706.574137515
Gauss rifle100100.00%5038166.25388.8379688855.4435313777.6759375583.256953117
Callahan's magnum6566.00%5025108.775424.0185469932.8408031848.0370938636.027820315
Alien disintegrator6566.00%5030130.53407.057805895.527171814.11561610.586707515
Metal Blaster5549.50%271771.295125389.0842328855.9853122778.1684656583.62634921
A3-21's plasma rifle5082.50%5025106.28125414.2975977911.4547148828.5951953621.446396515
Tesla cannon12066.00%3037142.215332.6231081731.7708379665.2462163498.934662213
Lincoln's repeater5066.00%502594.525368.4702656810.6345844736.9405313552.705398415
Backwater rifle45100.00%4530106.875333.2896875733.2373125666.579375499.934531315
Plasma rifle4566.00%442584.132327.9570525721.5055155655.914105491.935578815
Tri-beam laser rifle7549.50%152381.830625318.9860051701.7692112637.9720102478.47900763
Samurai's sword2466.00%401960.42329.7345975725.4161145659.469195494.601896317
Lever-action rifle40100.00%403095296.2575651.7665592.515444.3862515
The Terrible Shotgun8033.00%402794.81369.5812313813.0787088739.1624625554.371846927
Alien atomizer3533.00%402062.472292.228398642.9024756584.456796438.3425975
Captain's sidearm3533.00%402062.472292.228398642.9024756584.456796438.3425975
Plasma pistol2566.00%251747.2625257.9291859567.4442091515.8583719386.89377891
Railway rifle3099.00%302470.8225276.0749578607.3649072552.1499156414.11243679
Vengeance881.65%123083.88215261.5864848575.4902665523.1729696392.379727215
Shishkebab52.566.00%362883.733261.1213605574.4669931522.242721391.68204085
Wazer Wifle2849.50%281746.3505252.9520599556.4945319505.9041199379.42808991
Fertilizer shovel1599.00%302056.5725264.6320119582.1904261529.2640238396.94801785
Reservist's rifle40100.00%403295296.2575651.7665592.515444.3862525
Sniper rifle40100.00%403895222.193125488.824875444.38625333.289687517
Double-barrel shotgun8533.00%303594.8575221.8598353488.0916377443.7196706332.7897535
Blackhawk5566.00%453294.5725294.9243413648.8335508589.8486825442.386511925
Victory rifle4099.00%403894.43220.8599663485.8919258441.7199325331.289949417
Ritual knife699.00%181231.0935266.6539693586.6387325533.3079386399.9809549
Laser rifle2349.50%221737.36825203.9325533448.6516174407.8651067305.898831
Combat shotgun5533.00%272764.94675253.1705498556.9752097506.3410997379.755824827
Deathclaw gauntlet20100.00%302661.75240.7092188529.5602813481.4184375361.063828121
The Dismemberer2566.00%403061.37191.382345421.041159382.76469287.073517515
Precision Gatling laser646.60%63061.3643191.3645696421.002053382.7291391287.046854315
Protectron's Gaze2433.00%241734.086186.0200843409.2441854372.0401685279.03012641
Gatling laser641.65%63060.941075190.0447424418.0984333380.0894848285.067113615
Paulson's revolver4566.00%353275.6675235.9690988519.1320173471.9381975353.953648125
The Kneecapper750.00%03771.25166.6448438366.6186563333.2896875249.967265613
Jingwei's Shocksword3566.00%252856.7625177.0138563389.4304838354.0277125265.52078445
Stabhappy10100.00%151730.875168.4964531370.6921969336.9929063252.74467971
Shovel1299.00%202039.615185.3090663407.6799458370.6181325277.96359945
Smuggler's End1849.50%181729.79675162.6120385357.7464848325.2240771243.91805781
Heavy incinerator9033.00%7.55089.026875138.8151548305.3933407277.6303097208.222732315
Eugene560.00%03053.2165.9042364.98924331.8084248.856315
Scoped .44 magnum3566.00%353266.1675206.3433488453.9553673412.6866975309.515023125
Electro-Suppressor2533.00%41525.631179.8431154395.6548538359.6862308269.764673115
Ol' Painless3033.00%302342.6075166.0893609365.3965941332.1787219249.13404143
Occam's Razor1099.00%131727.83975151.9319557334.2503024303.8639113227.89793351
Fisto!2549.50%252541.384375161.3214668354.907227322.6429336241.982200215
Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG363.30%92034.623225161.9587907356.3093396323.9175815242.93818615
Rock-It Launcher5033.00%253259.25625184.7906156406.5393544369.5812313277.185923425
Axe2066.00%303047.215147.2399775323.9279505294.479955220.859966315
Destabilizer3014.52%202539.16584152.6733401335.8813481305.3466801229.010010115
Plunkett's Valid Points1266.00%121522.686159.1791548350.1941405318.3583095238.768732115
Combat knife799.00%131724.98975136.3784369300.0325612272.7568738204.56765541
Trench knife799.00%131724.98975136.3784369300.0325612272.7568738204.56765541
Hunting rifle2533.00%252535.50625138.4078008304.4971617276.8156016207.611701215
Vampire's Edge1599.00%202842.465132.4271025291.3396255264.854205198.64065385
Xuanlong assault rifle364.13%122334.905375136.0655149299.3441328272.1310298204.09827243
Burnmaster7216.50%15068.635125107.0193187235.442501214.0386373160.52897815
Flamer7216.50%0.55068.5175625106.8360093235.0392205213.6720187160.25401415
Rapid-torch flamer7216.50%0.55068.5175625106.8360093235.0392205213.6720187160.25401415
Shock baton2033.00%41925.0572136.7465369300.8423811273.4930737205.119805317
Butch's Toothpick1082.50%131824.783125135.2508068297.551775270.5016136202.87621029
Chinese assault rifle334.13%102331.9378125124.4975854273.8946878248.9951707186.7463783
Minigun400.00%03038118.503260.7066237.006177.754515
Sawed-off shotgun500.00%03747.5111.0965625244.4124375222.193125166.644843813
10mm SMG283.30%72026.929175125.9679484277.1294864251.9358967188.95192255
Fawkes' super sledge3233.00%323845.448106.297191233.8538202212.594382159.445786517
Laser pistol1249.50%121719.8645108.4080257238.4976565216.8160514162.61203851
Colonel Autumn's laser pistol202.74%221719.8586765108.3762447238.4277383216.7524893162.5643671
The Shocker2033.00%202528.405110.7262406243.5977294221.4524813166.089360915
Colonel Autumn's 10mm pistol1333.00%131718.46325100.760879221.6739337201.5217579151.14131851
The Tenderizer3033.00%153835.5537583.15577703182.9427095166.3115541124.733665517
Power fist2033.00%202828.40588.5809925194.8781835177.161985132.87148885
Super sledge2533.00%253835.5062583.04468047182.698297166.0893609124.567020717
Assault rifle244.13%82323.2702590.71034328199.5627552181.4206866136.06551493
The Mauler450.00%05042.7566.6579375146.6474625133.31587599.9869062515
Steel knuckles933.00%91412.7822589.68825491197.3141608179.3765098134.53238245
Dart gun682.50%122519.807577.21211094169.8666441154.4242219115.818166415
Chinese officer's sword1066.00%152823.607573.61998875161.9639753147.2399775110.42998315
Wild Bill's sidearm1033.00%152016.5537577.43430406170.3554689154.8686081116.15145615
10mm pistol933.00%91712.7822569.75753159153.4665695139.5150632104.63629741
Simulated rolling pin200.00%0241974.064375162.941625148.12875111.09656259
Perforator2010.89%142721.17255582.53326596181.5731851165.0665319123.799898927
Switchblade566.00%91813.214572.11648194158.6562603144.2329639108.17472299
Spiked knuckles933.00%91912.7822569.75753159153.4665695139.5150632104.636297417
Lead pipe933.00%182417.014566.32464781145.9142252132.649295699.486971729
Sledgehammer2033.00%103823.702555.43718469121.9618063110.874369483.1557770317
Silenced 10mm pistol866.00%52112.302557.54801938126.6056426115.096038886.3220290612
Board of Education1233.00%122717.04366.43574438146.1586376132.871488899.6536165627
Toy knife133.00%10105.652557.28879406126.0353469114.577588185.933191095
Infiltrator144.13%102313.887812554.1364291119.100144108.272858281.204643653
Slo-burn flamer2716.50%0.55025.767562540.1780718388.3917580280.3561436660.2671077415
Baseball bat933.00%92512.7822549.82680828109.618978299.6536165674.7402124215
Jack3033.00%156535.5537555.43718469121.9618063110.874369483.1557770360
Highwayman's Friend1033.00%102714.202555.36312031121.7988647110.726240683.0446804727
Brass knuckles633.00%6188.521546.50502106102.311046393.0100421369.757531599
Zhu-Rong v418 Chinese pistol466.00%4177.56241.2686697590.7910734582.537339561.903004631
Auto axe350.00%06533.2551.8450625114.0591375103.69012577.7675937560
Man Opener350.00%06533.2551.8450625114.0591375103.69012577.7675937560
.32 pistol633.00%6208.521539.8614466387.6951825879.7228932559.792169945
Ripper300.00%06528.544.43862597.76497588.8772566.657937560
Chinese pistol433.00%4175.68131.0033473868.2073642362.0066947546.505021061
The Break633.00%6278.521533.2178721973.0793188166.4357443849.8268082827
Tire iron633.00%6278.521533.2178721973.0793188166.4357443849.8268082827
Ant's Sting433.00%4205.68126.5742977558.4634550553.148595539.861446635
Knife433.00%4205.68126.5742977558.4634550553.148595539.861446635
Nail board80.00%0277.629.6257565.1766559.251544.43862527
Police baton433.00%4255.68122.1452481348.7195458844.2904962533.2178721915
Steel saw160.00%06515.223.700652.1413247.401235.550960
B.B. Gun433.00%4285.68117.716198538.975636735.43239726.574297755
Rolling pin30.00%0242.8511.1096562524.4412437522.219312516.664484389
Pool cue30.00%0272.8511.1096562524.4412437522.219312516.6644843827
Repellent Stick10.00%0400.952.221931254.888248754.44386253.33289687525
Mesmetron133.00%0650.951.48128753.25883252.9625752.2219312560

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