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The ability to see, hear, taste and notice unusual things. A high Perception is important for a sharpshooter.

Fallout in-game description

Perception is one of the seven primary statistics in the SPECIAL system.

Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout TacticsEdit

Modifies: Sequence, ranged combat distance modifiers and the First Aid, Doctor, Lockpick, Traps and Pilot skills. A player character with higher Perception may notice things that allow them to open up new dialogue options on occasion. It also determines how far away they start from hostilities in random encounters.

Perception is required for many perks, notably PE 8 for Sniper in Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics.

Ways to increase PerceptionEdit

  • In Fallout, Lorri in the Brotherhood of Steel's Lost Hills bunker can perform an operation to permanently increase Perception by 1, assuming it can be afforded.
  • In Fallout 2, Perception can be permanently raised by 1 with the Green memory module using ACE, or by taking the Gain Perception perk.
    • Also in Fallout 2, Perception can be temporarily raised by 1 with Jet.
  • In both Fallout and Fallout 2, Mentats can be used to temporarily raise Perception by 2.

Fallout 3Edit

Modifies: Explosives, Lockpick and Energy Weapons skills

Perception determines how far away enemies can be detected on the compass (enemies show as red bars). When playing with a high Perception, it is possible to "sense" the enemies even before they come into view.

Having a high Perception can yield dialog options with some NPCs, such as Moira Brown, Mel and Machete.

Value Skill Modifiers
1 Energy Weapons +2, Explosives +2, Lockpick +2
2 Energy Weapons +4, Explosives +4, Lockpick +4
3 Energy Weapons +6, Explosives +6, Lockpick +6
4 Energy Weapons +8, Explosives +8, Lockpick +8
5 Energy Weapons +10, Explosives +10, Lockpick +10
6 Energy Weapons +12, Explosives +12, Lockpick +12
7 Energy Weapons +14, Explosives +14, Lockpick +14
8 Energy Weapons +16, Explosives +16, Lockpick +16
9 Energy Weapons +18, Explosives +18, Lockpick +18
10 Energy Weapons +20, Explosives +20, Lockpick +20

Perception-based perksEdit

Perk Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Thief 4 2 Agility 4
Sniper 6 12 Agility 6
Light Step 6 14 Agility 6
Better Criticals 6 16 Luck 6
Infiltrator 7 18 Lockpick 70

The benefit of the Survival Expert perk is affected by what is said to Moira Brown after each portion of the Wasteland Survival Guide quest. Having a Perception of 7 yields relevant "smart" dialog options at the end of the Contract Radiation Sickness and Traversing a Mine Field objectives.

Ways to increase PerceptionEdit

Bobblehead Perception

Bobblehead Perception


Fallout: New VegasEdit

Modifies: Explosives, Lockpick and Energy Weapons skills

Again, Perception affects the distance at which the Courier is able to detect other creatures. It also factors into some conversations with some NPCs.

Perception-based perksEdit

Perk Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Friend of the Night 6 2 Sneak 30
Alertness Lonesome Road (add-on)Gametitle-FNV LR 6 - 9 12
Sniper 6 12 Agility 6
Hobbler fnvdmGametitle-FNV DM 7 12
Light Step 6 14 Agility 6
Better Criticals 6 16 Luck 6
Infiltrator 7 18 Lockpick 70

Ways to increase PerceptionEdit


Level names and statisticsEdit

Value Name Skill Modifiers
1 Deaf Bat Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +2
2 Senile Mole Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +4
3 Squinting Newt Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +6
4 Unsuspecting Trout Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +8
5 Wary Trout Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +10
6 Alert Coyote Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +12
7 Big-eyed Tiger Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +14
8 Monocled Falcon Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +16
9 Sniper Hawk Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +18
10 Eagle with Telescope Energy Weapons/Lockpick/Explosives +20


  • Contrary to what the name would make one believe, Perception does not actually increase V.A.T.S or regular accuracy at all.
  • If Perception is at the most extreme (highest or lowest), Doc Mitchell will either respond that nothing gets by the Courier, thinking he could use them when he lost his keys last month [of awakening the Courier] (for highest) or that he is no optometrist, but suggests the Courier should be fitted some glasses while they're at the Doc's place (For lowest).
  • Dialog with Christine has numerous Perception checks between 6 and 7. Intelligence checks of similar levels can substitute for some, but not all of them.
  • Old World Blues has the highest Perception check in Fallout: New Vegas (and by extension all of the New Vegas add-ons), at 8, though it can be bypassed.
  • It is possible to artificially get a Perception of 10 with only 6 natural points, by combining the Four Eyes trait, Lucky shades, a hat and the Perception Implant (6 - 1 + 3 + 1 + 1 = 10).
    • Similarly, it is possible to achieve a temporary boost to 10 from a mere score of 2 using both kinds of Mentats, Absinthe, Coyote Tobacco Chew, and a hat (2 + 4 + 3 + 1 = 10).
    • By having access to DLC items, it is possible to get up to PE 10 without the Four Eyes trait, even if starting at only 1. The Elite riot gear helmet (+2) can be worn together with the 1st Recon beret (+1) and a Stealth suit Mk II (+1). After installing the Perception implant, Perception is at 6. From there, any combination of Perception-enhancing chems can reach 10.

Fallout 4Edit

Perception is your environmental awareness and "sixth sense," and affects weapon accuracy in V.A.T.S.

With the removal of skills in Fallout 4, Perception now directly affects accuracy in V.A.T.S., lockpicking, and stealing attempts.

The main difference from Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas is that perception no longer affects the distance at which enemies appear on the player's compass. Enemies do not appear on the compass in Fallout 4 unless they are looking for the player (Caution in sneak mode) or are fighting the player (Danger in sneak mode). Friendly NPCs do not appear on the compass at all. However, Perception increases accuracy in vats by 10% per stat invested into it, but accuracy can not go above 95%.

Perception-based perksEdit

Perk Rank Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Pickpocket 1
2 1 6 Pickpocket
3 1 17 Pickpocket 2
4 1 30 Pickpocket 3
Rifleman 2
2 2 9 Rifleman
3 2 18 Rifleman 2
4 2 31 Rifleman 3
5 2 46 Rifleman 4
Awareness 3
2 3 14 Awareness, fo4nwGametitle-FO4 NW
Locksmith 4
2 4 7 Locksmith
3 4 18 Locksmith 2
4 4 41 Locksmith 3
Demolition Expert 5
2 5 10 Demolition Expert
3 5 22 Demolition Expert 2
4 5 34 Demolition Expert 3
Night Person 6
2 6 25 Night Person
3 6 37 Night Person 2, fo4fhGametitle-FO4 FH
Refractor 7
2 7 11 Refractor
3 7 21 Refractor 2
4 7 35 Refractor 3
5 7 42 Refractor 4
Sniper 8
2 8 13 Sniper
3 8 26 Sniper 2
Penetrator 9
2 9 28 Penetrator
Concentrated Fire 10
2 10 26 Concentrated Fire
3 10 50 Concentrated Fire 2

Ways to increase PerceptionEdit




  • It is possible that your perception will be reduced to a very low value (commonly 1), with a "(-)" shown to indicate a temporary effect, even if there are no visible temporary effects. Console commands can only mask the issue, not solve it. For players on Survival mode, the lack of a console means that they are stuck with a low perception.[verification overdue]
    • Because the (-) indicates a temporary effect, perks can still be chosen as normal based on your "true" perception.
    • A commonly reported culprit is being crippled in the head; having your head cured may not remove the debuff. Having your head re-crippled and cured may resolve the issue, but is inconsistent.


Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L02:36

Fallout 4 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Video Series - Perception

Fallout 4 Perception promotional video

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