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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 Tactics

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 your character starts from hostile critters in random encounters.

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

Ways to increase Perception

  • In Fallout, the Brotherhood of Steel in Lost Hills can perform an operation to permanently increase Perception by 1, assuming the player can afford it.
  • In Fallout 2, Perception can be permanently raised by 1 with the Green memory module using ACE.
  • In both Fallout and Fallout 2, Mentats can be used to temporarily raise Perception by 2.

Fallout 3

Modifies: Explosives, Lockpick and Energy Weapons skills

Perception determines how far away you can detect enemies on your compass (enemies show as red bars). When playing with a high Perception, you will be able to "sense" your enemies even before they come into view.

Having enough 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 Perks

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 you say 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 Perception

Bobblehead Perception

Bobblehead Perception


Fallout: New Vegas

Perception affects the distance at which your character is able to detect other creatures. It also factors into a few Speech checks.

Perception-based perks

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 Perception


Level names and statistics

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 the player's Perception stat is the most extreme (highest or lowest), Doc Mitchell will either say "Nothing gets by you, huh? Coulda used you when I lost my keys last month." (for highest) or "Now I ain't no optometrist, but maybe we should fit you for some glasses while you're here." (For lowest)
  • Dialog with Christine Royce 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 the whole series, at 8, though it can be bypassed.
  • You can artificially get Perception to 10 with only 6 points at the start of New Vegas by combining the Four Eyes trait, Lucky Shades, a hat and an 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).

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