Heavy Handed

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You swing harder, not better. Your attacks are very brutal, but lack finesse. You rarely cause a good critical hit, but you always do more melee damage.

— In-game description

Heavy Handed (called Brutal in TORN) is a Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout Tactics, Lionheart, and TORN trait.

Fallout, Fallout 2, TORN

You get +4 points of melee damage, but your critical hits have a -30% modifier to the critical hit tables.

Fallout: New Vegas

Your melee and unarmed attacks do more damage, but less critical hit damage.

More specifically, your Melee and Unarmed damage is increased by 20%, but your Critical Hit damage is reduced by 60%, but only for those two weapon types. Since you inflict more damage consistently with Heavy Handed though, Critical Hits are less of an issue, unless the player relies on Sneak attack criticals as a major source of damage or if the character criticals often due to perks, Luck, and high weapon modifier (certain perk/weapon combinations give you a guaranteed chance to critically hit).

Assuming a Critical Hit chance of 7.5% (Base 5%, multiplied by a Machete's x1.5 Critical Hit Chance), a player will Critical Hit once out of 13 to 14 swings, on average. So, a machete's damage with and without Heavy Handed should work out to this:

  • Without Heavy Handed: 13 swings * 11 damage + 1 crit (+11 damage) = 154 damage
  • With Heavy Handed: 13 swings * 13.2 damage + 1 crit (+4.5 damage) = 175 damage
Weapons most useful with Heavy Handed

Heavy Handed with Better Criticals

\text{Base crit} \times (1 - \text{Heavy handed} ) \times (1 + \text{Better crits} ) = \text{Crit damage}

Example: Using a cattle prod.

5 \times 40\% \times 150\%=3
See Also


  • Synergizes well with the Loose Cannon trait and/or Heave Ho! perk due to the usefulness of throwing spears with this trait. It can be somewhat useful with Better Criticals due to weapons such as the throwing spear and cattle prod, which inflict greater damage on a critical hit or sneak attack critical with both Heavy Handed and Better Criticals.
  • Example: a Crit DMG of 10 would be reduced to 10 * (1.0 - 0.6) = 4. With Better Criticals it becomes 4 * 1.5 = 6. Elijah's Ramblings then increases the damage to 6 * 1.5 = 9. With Just Lucky I'm Alive, it's from 9 to 9 * 1.5=13.5 critical damage.

Fallout Tactics

You get +4 points of melee damage, but your critical hits have a -20% modifier to the critical hit tables.


You do +2 points of damage in melee combat (hand-to-hand or non-ranged weapons). Your critical hits have a -30 modifier to critical chance. This trait cannot be selected with Finesse.

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