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For an overview of this weapon in the Fallout series of games, see Fat Man.

The Fat Man is a tactical nuclear catapult in Fallout 3.


The Fat Man is a pre-War heavy weapon that launches mini nukes. The mini nuke projectile is very heavy, and if simply fired straight ahead, it will travel only a short distance before falling to the ground and detonating (causing one to be caught well within the very damaging mini-nuclear blast). For optimal range, the Fat Man should be fired in V.A.T.S. mode at high skill levels (which automatically compensates for the projectile's downward trajectory), or at an upward angle to catapult the mini nuke further, so that it impacts at a safer distance.

The Fat Man has an estimated range of 150+ yards. The blast zone will be irradiated for a short time after detonation, giving out up to 8 rads per second.


The Fat Man's condition can wear down surprisingly quickly with frequent use (though its firepower is still devastating at any state of repair). It can fire a total of about 167 mini nukes from full condition before breaking.


  • Experimental MIRV - An incredibly destructive weapon, the MIRV fires 8 mini nukes in a single shot.
  • Sim version Gametitle-FO3 OA - A sim-only version of the weapon, which has the same health.


Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Icon gunDamage per attack (damage per projectile)Icon damageDamage per secondIcon dpsArea of effect damageIcon explosionBonus effectsIcon bonus effectAttacks per secondIcon attackCritical Chance % multiplierIcon chanceCritical damageIcon critical damageAction Point costIcon actionDamage per action pointIcon dapWeapon spreadIcon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Assault carbine extended magazinesDurability (number of attacks before breaking)Icon repairWeightIcon weightValue in capsIcon merchantValue to weight ratioIcon ratio
Fat Man 10
25421600+10 Icon radiation/12s1.58x006524.82.0116730100033.3
Experimental MIRV 80
20336.212800+80 Icon radiation/12s1.58x0065198.213.08(1)6330249883.3



  • Sometimes the Fat Man (or experimental MIRV), is set up such that using it in V.A.T.S. will cause the Lone Wanderer to aim directly at the enemy, without aiming upwards to compensate for the distance. This means that using the Fat Man in V.A.T.S. could cause his/her death.
  • Giving the Fat Man to followers is not recommended, as they may equip it during close quarter fights if facing high level opponents such as feral ghoul reavers or deathclaws. While they won't fire it, it will often get them killed before they can equip a more appropriate close quarter weapon.
  • The Fat Man does have a jamming sound but even with low condition the weapon doesn't show a jam animation.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Fat Man was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945.
  • Because of its relation to the real historic event, the weapon was renamed to the Nuka Launcher in the Japanese version of Fallout 3. It is, however, still referred to as the Fat Man in dialogue.
  • The bell heard after reloading is actually the lunch bell at Bethesda.[1]





Fallout 3 - Jimmy and the Fat Man

Fallout 3 - Jimmy and the Fat Man


  1. GameInformer magazine article on Fallout 3 trivia.