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Even without any pieces, a Power Armor frame provides a variety of advantages, like increased carry weight, greater melee damage, and the elimination of fall damage.”— VDSG Catalogue No.9717
The power armor frame is the basis for all power armor in Fallout 4.
Any combination of power armor parts can be equipped on a power armor frame, which is a furniture object that does not exist in the inventory. A power armor station can be used to modify power armor components on a frame.
The base frame provides 60 Damage Resistance, and Energy Resistance, but negates effects of other apparel and armor worn underneath. It also sets the base Strength to 11, which can result in negative effects to carrying capacity. Although the weight of worn apparel and armor is not ignored, any power armor plate segments attached to the frame do not affect carrying capacity.
Power armor requires a fusion core to function, which drains over time; actions that consume AP deplete additional power. 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.
Comparison to previous portrayalsEdit
Power armor in Fallout 4 requires no training to use as it did in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and is unique in other aspects as well. First is the frame upon which separate armor segments are mounted, as compared to previous suits which existed as holistic entities which were worn whole aside from the helmet. Second, 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. Apart from the earliest variants of the T-45 (which were mentioned as using disposable power cells at an alarming rate), 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. 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 (unless they are somehow hidden inside 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, increasing the wearer's arm length and overall height by about a foot.
The frame 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 proper mods. Last but not least, power armor helmets have fully functional headlamps that are used in place of the Pip-Boy lights, and the lamp can even be customized to feature different colored light filters or use a particularly bright light in place of the default one.
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), mainly the prohibition of swimming, with the user instead walking across the bottom. This makes wearing power armor at places like Libertalia risky as if falling off the walkways one will sink to the bottom and have to walk to shore.
Power armor frames can be found at numerous locations throughout the Commonwealth, both on NPCs and placed in-world. Almost all frames spawn with armor pieces attached. The type of armor found on most frames is determined when the player character comes within range for the first time, regardless if the player character sees or interacts with the armor at all. Depending on the frame, the selection of armor may be fixed, based directly on the player character's level, or randomized, and may also be affected by the level range limits of the location (see notes for more detail).
If worn, frames can be stolen by destroying or pick pocketing the fusion core.
- Atom Cats Garage from Rowdy. Also sells Atom Cats T-60 pieces, sometimes T-51 pieces, and rarely X-01 pieces.
- Commonwealth Weaponry in Diamond City.
- KL-E-0 in Goodneighbor.
- One can be ordered from Proctor Teagan on The Prydwen.
- It is possible to purchase more than one from vendors. Just come back in 48 hours.
- Power armor frames will spawn with varying pieces depending on the default armor set specified for that frame, as well as the level limits of the area they are placed in:
- 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.
- Fixed frames will always spawn with pre-specified level pieces, regardless of character level. These occur mostly near the Sanctuary Hills starting point. This includes:
- Museum of Freedom – complete set of T-45
- Drumlin Diner – set of T-45
- Sanctuary Hills – set of T-45
- Old North Church – set of T-51
- Mass Bay Medical Center - set of T-45
- Mass Fusion – set of T-45
- Quincy Ruins – set of T-45
- 35 Court – set of X-01
- 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, and will be missing at least one piece. 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.
- Some frames are empty frames, particularly those purchased from vendors, and spawn with no armor pieces at all. These frames are also immune to the "Cell Reset" bug which can cause the loss of mounted power armor pieces on unattended power armor.
- Certain power armor frames will always spawn with a specific set of armor, e.g. BoS II T-60 Power Armor, regardless of level.
- When purchased from a vendor, the frame will spawn in the power armor station in the shop (when purchased from Atom Cats, appears outside garage).
- Humanoid companions can be directed to enter any unused power armor frame by talking to them, then targeting and selecting the power armor frame.
- Companions can be told to exit the armor by talking to them, selecting the bottom "Talk" option, then choosing the bottom "Exit Power Armor" option.
- Neither the companion nor the power armor frame need to have a fusion core. Companions can use power armor without a fusion core indefinitely, with no negative consequences.
- The power armor frame will only negate the weight of armor pieces which were equipped when the companion entered the armor. If different armor pieces are equipped their weight will be counted against the companion's carry weight until they are directed to exit and re-enter the armor.
- When dismissed from active service, a companion may exit the power armor sometime later unless they have a fusion core in their inventory.
- Danse's power armor is equipped with a special "locked core" which prevents this.
- Although power armor pieces can be taken from dead NPCs, the frame cannot be recovered.
- Power armor frames cannot be directly stolen from living NPCs while they are wearing them. However, non-Companion NPCs will exit their power armor if the fusion core is somehow removed from their inventory, which will allow the frame to be stolen. This can be accomplished by either pickpocketing the fusion core, or destroying it by shooting it.
- Ingram and Danse have special "locked cores" which are hidden and cannot be stolen or shot out.
- If the NPC has a second fusion core in their inventory, they will simply install the new fusion core and re-enter the armor.
- When destroyed, the fusion core will drop to the ground, tick for a moment, then explode with a magnitude similar to a nuke mine.
- The Penetrator perk, or the Yellow Belly syringe for the Syringer will make targeting the core significantly easier.
- Use of Syringer with Pax syringe will allow pickpocketing of core.
- Power armor frames that are worn by other characters are treated as property, and as such certain companions will react negatively if the player character steals them or their contents.
- Companions can be directed to use a stolen power armor frame without negative companion reaction. However, this will anger the faction or NPC who owns the frame if they witness the act.
- 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.
- 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.
- When NPCs use power armor, they will not deplete the fusion core's battery charge. However, the armor parts will still take damage and can eventually break, after which they will need to be repaired.
- While wearing a frame, it is impossible to swim in water; rather, one walks underneath the surface of the water, unable to sprint.
- Wearing a power armor helmet prolongs the amount of time one can remain underwater before sustaining damage.
- Unarmed weapons (ie. knuckles, gloves, or wrist mounted weapons) can not be equipped while 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 225a5f requires no additional adjustments)
- Each armor set has a unique paint scheme, except T-60 armor which has 2, that that can only be applied to that type of armor which is:
- T-45: Minuteman paint scheme which grants +1 Charisma when all pieces are painted.
- T-51: Railroad paint scheme which grants +1 Perception when all pieces are painted.
- X-01: Institute paint scheme which grants +1 Intelligence when all pieces are painted.
- 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.