Frag mine (Fallout 3)

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For an overview of all mines, see Land mines.
For an overview of all anti-personnel mines, see Anti-personnel mines.

Landmines are one of the few dangers out there that you can profit from. Disarm one before it blows, and you can sell it for plenty of caps.

Moira Brown

The frag mine is a placed weapon in Fallout 3.


The frag mine looks like a tan shaped disk with a black gear and red button on top. The tan paint is most likely used to camouflage the mine out in the desert covered Capital Wasteland. The frag mine will begin beeping when a target comes within a short distance to it until it is disarmed or it detonates. The time until detonation depends on the Explosives skill of the person setting it off.

Frag mines can be disarmed with an Explosives skill of 1, meaning anyone, regardless of their statistics, will be capable of doing so. If the Lone Wanderer has the Light Step perk, the mine will not be triggered at all.

To use a frag mine, it must first be equipped like any other weapon. Firing with it arms and drops the mine a short distance ahead of the miner. The mine will be triggered when any non-follower non-player character comes within a certain distance. Neither the miner nor their companions will trigger it.

To collect a hostile land mine, or one of one's own, they have to approach it then "activate" it to disarm it. Once disarmed, it can then be collected. In the case of hostile mines, the mine's proximity fuse will trigger as a target approaches, and the Explosives skill will determine the length of the fuse. A low Explosives skill will make this difficult. There appears to be a quirk in the programming so that the mine will detonate based on how close the target is to its center regardless of the Z axis (i.e. up and down) while the distance they have to be to interact with it does take the Z axis into account. This means that going downhill or down a set of stairs the landmine will often explode before being able to go close enough and disarm it. The best bet is to crouch and, if possible, approach from the downhill side so as to end up closer to the mine's level on the Z axis. Aiming at the mine, gliding towards it and activating it as quickly as can be done. By walking instead of running also decreases likelihood to overshoot the mine and fail in disarming it.

Like a frag grenade, frag mines have a relatively small blast radius and will do damage (from a maximum at point blank range of about 65 at skill level 25 up to 100 at a skill of 100) to any friendly or enemy target (including the miner themselves) within that radius. The further away from the center of the blast, the less damage that is done. Mines can also detonate each other if they are set close enough together. This can work in favor when someone tries to take down a particularly tough opponent by hitting it with several blasts at once. However, carelessness in deploying the mines may set the first ones off before the intended victim is within range of them all (i.e. if getting lazy or rushed and just drop a straight string of them while backing away from an oncoming opponent). Disarmed mines will still be detonated by nearby explosions. Laying a mine, disarm it, and laying another, an entire hallway can be detonated once with enough mines and time. This is a great way to take out a group of enemies at once, as they often travel in a line.

It is important to consider that some creatures who fly/hover like the Mister Handy and Mister Gutsy robots will not detonate land mines themselves, (technically, they are not stepping on them) but will be damaged by the blast from one. If possible, they should be lured over the landmines before shooting them to detonate them (this can be a little tricky at first) or simply use a grenade in V.A.T.S. to attack the victim and detonate the landmines at the same time.

Like hand grenades, mines can be "reverse pickpocketed" onto a victim, causing them to arm and detonate on their own (this is handy since enemies are more likely to carry grenades than mines—and the trick cannot be performed with an explosive they already possess). One has to be able to sneak close enough behind the victim to "activate" them, then simply move a bomb from one's own inventory to theirs. Unless the opponent is particularly tough this is usually a guaranteed kill. Note that "vital" non-player characters cannot be killed in this manner. The explosive will simply not activate when placed in their inventory.


  • Sim version Operation: Anchorage (add-on)Gametitle-FO3 OA - A version used exclusively in the Anchorage Reclamation simulation, it differs from the standard Fallout 3 variant only in that it cannot be dropped, although it still can be transferred between containers or given to your companions.


Boxes with frag minesEdit

One frag mine garanteed, 75% chance of 2 to 6 mines.

Locked boxes with frag minesEdit

Two frag mines garanteed, 75% chance of 3 to 12 mines.


  • Frag mines are easy to see in darkness, due to their glowing red "armed" light.
  • Though rare, some characters (like Eulogy Jones) have a high Explosives skill; a non-player character's Explosives skill works the same, and this will affect mines laid for them: the delay between detection and detonation will be significantly lengthened.
  • Frag mines, like all explosion types, will cause grenades within the blast radius to also explode.
  • Mines can be thrown at enemies and friendlies at point blank and injure them just by the mine hitting them, however, it will not explode upon impact. For some reason this cannot be done in V.A.T.S., as it will always mention, regardless of distance, a zero percent chance to hit.
  • In the game files, there is another frag mine that weighs 1 pound, is worth over 3000 caps, and does significantly more damage than the original. Its base ID is 00028172.


  • ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 If you equip frag mines, drop about 10 of them, and pick them back up, your inventory will show two sets of frag mines, both equipped. If you then take out a melee weapon, it will show up as a frag mine, and you can hit enemies with it. This is a very humorous glitch, as using a Shishkebab will look as if you are lighting them on fire with a frag mine. [verified]
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 Sometimes, the frag mines on The Pitt Bridge don't work. They simply don't go off when you walk near them. This is good for XP as you can gain XP by disarming mines without worry of setting them off. [verified]
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 If you equip frag mines, then drop about ten without leaving the Pip-Boy, when you exit you will not be holding anything, just an invisible frag mine. [verified]


Mine icon

Arming the mine
Mine icon

Disarming the mine
Mine icon

Ticking mine

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