| || For a list of power armor pieces, see Fallout 4 armor and clothing#Power armor parts.|
For an overview of various models of power armor in the Fallout series of games, see power armor.
Power armor is only wearable installed on a power armor frame. For power armor to function it requires a fusion core as a source of power, which drains over time; actions that consume AP will increase the rate of depletion. Once depleted, the unit will still be operable, but movement is heavily restricted as it is a dead weight.
Comparison to previous portrayalsEdit
Firstly, the separate armor segments are mounted on a frame, as opposed to previous suits which existed as holistic entities that were worn whole aside from the helmet. The individual parts can be reclaimed from deceased NPC, however the frame cannot be recovered as the corpse cannot be ejected from the frame.
Secondly, characters interact with the frame in the world to use the power armor, instead of equipping the power armor via the inventory. The use of fusion cores as 'fuel' for power armor is at odds with previous lore descriptions of late-generation power armor, even within the games published by Bethesda. The only power armor historically to utilize a short term power source were the earliest variants of the T-45 (which were mentioned as using disposable power cells, consuming them at an alarming rate), while suits like the T-51b are noted for having personal fuel systems capable of lasting centuries. By contrast, fusion cores, even in mass numbers, can only grant a few hours of usage.
Once the fusion core is drained (or if there is no core installed in the armor at all), the user will still be able to slowly walk in the armor, but will be over-encumbered and unable to use V.A.T.S. Power armor negates falling damage, but will itself be damaged if falling from a sufficient height, as well as damaging others near the point of impact.
Third, however, is the most 'accurate' rendition to date with regards to the size of the armor, its general movement and abilities. Unlike the descriptions regarding power armor from previous Fallout games, the power armor frame does not appear to make use of any recognizable form of unified hydraulics system for strength enhancing purposes, although they could somehow be contained within the armor segments or the base frame itself). It instead appears to solely derive its strength boosting abilities entirely from servo motors strategically placed within key points of the frame.
Finally, instead of gloves and boots, the power armor frame has a set of fully articulated mechanical hands and feet, which mimic the wearer's hand and foot movements via controls in the shins and forearms. This increases the wearer's arm length and overall height by approximately one foot.
Power armor is capable of boosting the Sole Survivor's strength beyond the normal S.P.E.C.I.A.L. limit of 10, potentially going as high as 14 with the appropriate modifications. Wearing power armor negates any bonuses given by standard armor.
Power armor helmets have fully functional headlamps that are used in place of the Pip-Boy lights, which is disabled whilst wearing the armor.
Unlike previous renditions of power armor, each power armor piece has its own hit point counter which depletes as damage is taken, as opposed to being spread across the full suit. Broken power armor pieces cannot be mounted on a power armor frame, but can be dropped and displayed. They can also be sold for the same price as a piece in perfect condition.
In Fallout 4 power armor has had several alterations in regards to its physics (as the frames with their plates affixed are heavy enough to crush bear traps by stepping on them). This weight adjustment renders the wearer incapable of swimming, with the user instead walking across the bed of any given body of water. This makes wearing power armor at places like Libertalia risky as falling off the walkways will cause the wearer to sink to the bottom and have to walk to shore. Wrist mounted weapons such as knuckles, cannot be equipped due to the significant difference in wrist size.
Power armor also completely negates all fall damage, with or without any pieces of armor attached, enabling the wearer to hop down from even the tallest of skyscrapers without any harm to either health or the armor itself. This however, causes a very loud thud, and will alert any nearby enemies of the player character's position. Landing on or in close proximity to an enemy or even friendly NPC deals a great deal of damage to them from the fall as well, therefore care should be taken for example jumping from the top floor inside Atom Cats garage as it can cause them to become aggravated.
The elevation indicator on the compass disappears while wearing power armor, making all foes appear as if they are on the same floor on the compass. All distance values disappear as well, which can potentially result in some unpleasant surprises when marked threats are actually much closer already than one thought.
Companions can be instructed to enter power armor via the companion command system. This is done by selecting Talk when facing a companion, the instructing them to Enter power armor when the player characters cross hair is over the power armor suit they wish for them to occupy. Certain companions (e.g. Nick and Hancock,) will remove the helmet by default. One can force them to wear the helmet by equipping it from the companions inventory, as with standard armor pieces. To have a companion exit power armor, select the Talk dialogue option and Relationship will have been replaced by Exit Power Armor. Some companions however are unable, or will refuse to use power armor.
Danse will refuse to exit his power armor and cannot be assigned to another suit. His power armor also does not degrade from combat or fall damage.
Companion worn power armor does not drain the fusion core if it has one installed and can use core-less frames without penalty.
Maintenance and modificationEdit
The parts may be repaired and modified at power armor stations located around the Commonwealth, where a power armor frame is installed at, or within close proximity of the station. The armor and can neither be renamed nor scrapped for component materials. Power armor stations can be built at settlement locations under the crafting tab in workshop mode, if the player character has the necessary perks.
The amounts of materials required for upgrading power armor pieces are fixed for each specific item, which means improving an armor piece from tier E to F has the same material cost as upgrading it from tier A to F. Depending on the player character's current situation, it might sometimes be wiser to postpone the next upgrade until higher (or the maximum) ranks of Armorer and Science! have been unlocked in order to save resources. This is especially true for the more advanced power armor models as they require much larger quantities of increasingly rare and specialized materials for their upgrades than for example T-45 or raider power armor.
Each model of power armor (except the raider power armor), can be modified with a unique paint scheme, most of which are acquired by progressing through the questlines of the four main factions. Some paints (Minutemen, Railroad) unlock after only a handful of quests while others like the Institute Paint require the completion of the entire corresponding questline. All of them grant the wearer a bonus to a specific SPECIAL stat if all six armor pieces are painted the same:
- The Minutemen paint increases Charisma and is exclusive to T-45 power armor.
- The Railroad paint increases Perception and can only be applied to T-51 power armor.
- The Brotherhood of Steel provides up to four paint jobs for knights, paladins and sentinels and the elder respectively. All four increase Strength and are exclusive to T-60 power armor. If preferring to use other power armor pieces, but also wanting to have the Brotherhood emblem on the torso, any piece painted with military paint also grants the SPECIAL bonus.
- The Institute paint increases Intelligence and can only be applied to X-01 power armor.
- The Vault-Tec paint increases Charisma and can be applied to all types of power armor.
- The Atom Cats custom paint job is the only one that must be bought in order to be freely available, although painted T-60 parts can be purchased directly from Rowdy at the Atom Cats garage. It is also the only paint job that grants two bonuses at once by increasing Charisma and reducing the Action Points cost for sprinting. It can only be applied to T-60 power armor
- The three Hot Rodder paint jobs that can be unlocked by finding the respective magazine. Hot Rodder schemes can be applied to all types of power armor and increase Agility. The three paintjobs are Hot Rod Flames paint, Hot Rod Hot Pink paint and Hot Rod Shark paint.
- The Vim! Refresh paint job provides an increase in Agility. While the Vim! paint job provides an increase in Strength when all pieces have been painted. Both can only be applied to T-51 power armor.
- The Sugar Bombs paint job provides a Strength increase with all pieces painted and can only be applied to a T-51 power armor.
- The Abraxo paint job provides an Agility increase with all pieces painted and can only be applied to a T-51 power armor.
The helmets lamp can even be customized with different colored light filters or a more intense white light in place of the default one.
Empty power armor frames are rare to find in the Commonwealth, but can be purchased from several merchants. These are the base units from which all power armor types are mounted on. They also have the secondary function of acting as a stand within power armor stations for the Sole Survivor to repair and upgrade power armor pieces.
Raider power armorEdit
Raider power armor is a make shift suit made from scrap metal and other salvageable components. Due to the nature of its design, raider power armor is weak compared to its counterparts and has limited scope for modification.
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T-45 power armorEdit
T-45 power armor was the first set of armor manufactured for military and to a lesser degree domestic and commercial use. It is often the first suit to be encountered in the Commonwealth during the quest When Freedom Calls.
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T-51 power armorEdit
T-51 was the most advanced power armor in wide commercial use before the outbreak of the Great War. In the Commonwealth, the T-51 is suit of choice for the Railroad.
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T-60 power armorEdit
Developed in early 2077 after the Anchorage Reclamation, the T-60 series of power armor was designed to eventually replace the T-51 power armor as the pinnacle of powered armor technology in the U.S. military arsenal. The Brotherhood of Steel use them extensively across the US.
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X-01 power armorEdit
The X-01 power armor is a set of power armor created shortly before the bombs fell. It was later engineered by remnants of the U.S. military after the Great War.
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Leveled power armorEdit
Most power armor located around the Commonwealth is level scaled. For example, at lower levels one will find T-45 power armor though at higher levels it can range from T-51 power armor up to X-01 power armor. Leveled frames spawn with T-45 pieces at levels 1-13, T-51 pieces at levels 14-20, T-60 pieces at levels 21-27, and X-01 pieces at level 28 and above. The upgrade level of armor pieces also increases within these ranges, e.g. T-45b armor will spawn starting at level 11. The armor pieces generated do NOT include previous levels, e.g. a Leveled frame encountered at level 26 will only have T-60 pieces.
Partial frames spawn with incomplete sets of armor.
Randomized frames can spawn with raider pieces at any level, T-45 pieces starting at level 15, T-51 pieces starting at level 25, T-60 pieces starting at level 35, and X-01 pieces starting at level 45. The armor pieces generated include all previous levels, e.g. a Randomized frame encountered at level 26 can spawn with any combination of T-51, T-45, and Raider armor pieces.
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The parts of armor (ex. body, head etc) are in fixed number and type for each spawn point. Some frames appear to spawn different parts by loading a save from before ever entering that area, but type of armor (e.g. T-45, T-51, X-01 etc.) depends on the player character's level when entering the area for the first time.
If worn, frames can be stolen by destroying or pick pocketing the fusion core. Note that whenever a player enters a stolen frame, if there are power armor pieces equipped on the frame while doing so, companions that the player currently has in tow, or within the area, will consider the act as "stealing" and will lower your affinity with them.
- There is no drain on a power armor's fusion core during fast travel.
- Fast travel is possible even without a fusion core.
In very rare cases these frames may spawn with no armor attached at all. Also, on rare occasions nothing at all will be found at the expected site, e.g. even the power frame will be missing.
- Because power armor uses fusion cores as fuel, shooting off an enemy's fusion core will often cause the core to become unstable and eject, therefore leaving the armor with no fuel. The enemy will be forced to exit the power armor and won't be able to re-enter unless they have a fusion core in their inventory. This will allow the Sole Survivor to have an unlimited number of power armor suits, although all of them obtained through this method will be considered stolen.
- Having the Penetrator perk or the Yellow Belly syringe for the Syringer makes it easier to target.
- Danse and Ingram have special "locked cores" which are hidden and cannot be stolen or shot out.
- When destroyed, the fusion core will drop to the ground, tick for a moment, then explode with a magnitude similar to a nuke mine.
- Looting armor pieces from dead NPCs will not prevent the armor from respawning later if the location resets. However, removing the power armor frame itself from the location can prevent it from respawning later. This is more likely if the frame is free-standing (i.e. placed in world, not on an NPC), but can occur if the frame is stolen from an NPC using one of the above methods.
- Certain bodies of water feature very steep banks and can't be walked out of, like the flooded shaft at the bottom of Dunwich Borers where Kremvh's Tooth is found. Escaping such a location is possible only by exiting the power armor underwater. While the armor pieces and the fusion core can be salvaged from the power armor frame, the frame itself will become unrecoverable. It is therefore advised to make a savegame before entering an unknown body of water while clad in power armor.
- Power armor makes the player character invulnerable to all forms of instant-kill attacks, including the brutal pick-up kills used by deathclaws, making power armor ideal for fighting oversized and very powerful foes.
- Some NPCs will comment on the player character wearing power armor, including several companions, the guards at Diamond City, and children. Comments range from confusion and suspicion to amazement and comments of impression or even more rarely, mild disdain. Zeke of the Atom Cats is immediately impressed when the player character arrives in power armor.
- Using the console to spawn a power armor frame via player.placeatme will spawn it at an angle. Attempting to enter the armor in this state can crash the game. After spawning it, click on it in the console and enter the two following commands:
setangle X 0and
setangle Y 0(spawning with code 00225a5f requires no additional adjustments.)
- Power armor pieces spawned through the console will have a random model number tied to it.
- A mining helmet may be worn and used in place of the power armor helmet and Pip-Boy.
- Equipping a companion with a power armor helmet with the Targeting Hud mod will highlight all living targets for the player character as if they were wearing it. This may stop after loading a save, but can be brought back by un-equipping and re-equipping the helmet on the companion.
- After finishing the Brotherhood of Steel, Commonwealth Minutemen or Railroad ending, the respective faction will guard some of the power armor locations on the map.
- Friendly characters can and will take power armor frames from settlements with fusion cores in them. This can be prevented by keeping power armor stored in enclosed spaces that they cannot reach or by removing the fusion core upon exiting the armor. Idle characters also won't use power armor frames that are stored at a power armor station. However if they are stored with active fusion cores this won't prevent them from being used in a raider attack or being stolen.
- Inhabitants of a player character's settlements will automatically get in nearby power armor frames if the settlement is under attack. They will get out of the frames if talked to by the player character. (CAUTION) Merchants such as clothing vendors and doctors will not get out of the power armor when talked to. They will instead do their normal dialog options. Though the power armor pieces can be traded from them after their store is closed for the day.
- Settlers and companions may abandon their power armor when they decide to use a bed or man a guardpost.
- Unequipped suits should not be left in a settlement with settlers that are equipped with Gatling lasers. The settler's AI prioritizes the armor over the Gatling laser, which means in case of an attack they will immediately use the weapon's fusion core to appropriate the armor instead of shooting the attackers. They will then proceed to fight with their Gatling laser if there is more than one fusion core in their inventory, but it still puts the armor at risk of sustaining heavy damage or even getting lost somewhere in or around the settlement.
- While in combat or in the Glowing Sea, exiting and entering power armor will take a noticeably shorter amount of time, as well as having different animations, showing the player character leaping in or out of the power armor. When entering, the player character will only use one arm, and may look around nervously, before leaping into the suit. The suit also takes a shorter amount of time to close around the player character.
- pc In the USS Constitution hold, if wearing power armor and deciding to exit the power armor it will turn invisible, while still being able to enter it.[verified]
- pc ps4 xboxone If a Companion gets into a suit of power armor that has no fusion core, they will not be hindered by it and will even be able to use the light as if it did have a core.[verified]
- pc ps4 While in first person, the smoke from the power armor's jet-pack won't go away until re-entering the suit or removing and equiping the chest piece.[verified]
- xboxone When using V.A.T.S., upon exiting V.A.T.S. one may suddenly exit the power armor.[verification overdue]
- xboxone While wearing power armor, it may be impossible to exit it. No known fix exists.[verification overdue]
- pc Entering or exiting power armor may sometimes override the Quick Hands perk slowing down reload times, switching weapons fixes this.[verification overdue]
- pc xboxone If all armor is stripped from a frame and the frame is then left alone for a long time, it's possible that the frame will visually show random pieces still on it, despite them having no effect. This can be fixed by interacting with the armor such as inserting a fusion core. [verified]
- xboxone If the player character exits their power armor to talk to Shaun in the Institute and enters it before talking to the Institute director, the power armor will deform every time the player charater enters dialogue.[verification overdue]
- pc Mass Pike Interchange has bug such that multiple sets of frame plus T-45 armor are respawned. Have seen as much as 17 sets standing around (2 lower level, 14 upper level and one on ground). Getting crowded up there. Taking one or more of these suits results in bad news: location stopped all respawning, including Gunners and all items. However, restoring to previous save will set things back to normal - multiple suits with new one appearing as a result of respawn. [verification overdue]
- pc Wayward Pines Motel has similar bug, has created 3 sets of Raider Power Armor at location. Raider used one, leaving two behind at last count.[verification overdue]
- xboxone Sometimes, a power armor frame will appear to be a full set of any of the 5 power armors, depending on what was last equipped on the power armor. Interestingly, the only one of these that doesn't look like the base power armor paint scheme, is the T-60, which has the Brotherhood Of Steel paint.