Radscorpions are mutated, via radiation and exposure to the FEV virus, from the North American Emperor scorpion, which were prolific in many pet stores at the time of the Great War.
Contrary to many expectations, their venom grew more potent when they mutated rather than becoming diluted. Though considered nocturnal and sensitive to light, radscorpions can be found active during the daytime in the areas they inhabit. Samples of their venom can be used to make antivenom. Apart from their size, they appear visually identical to normal scorpions, with mottled, dark, blueish-gray carapaces.
As radscorpions almost always move in groups between two and five individuals, they can be very dangerous to low level players. Also the addition of Damage Threshold makes them harder to kill for an unprepared courier. They attack head on, with no discernible tactics.
Radscorpions take normal damage when shot in the torso, stinger, or claws, and reduced damage when shot in the legs. Unlike other creatures, radscorpions lack a "weak point" that can be targeted for extra damage (they have no "head" to headshot), which makes V.A.T.S. combat and firearms somewhat less effective against them. Additionally, all radscorpions are armored to some extent which makes them even more difficult to kill.
One suggested tactic is to target their claws, which are strangely less-armored than the rest of the carapace. Successfully crippling a claw will stun it long enough to either finish it off, cripple the other claw to stun it again, or cripple their legs if the player wishes to continue attacking at range. If using Guns, armor-piercing rounds are highly suggested and slug rounds are an excellent alternative to armor piercing rounds (especially if combined with the Shotgun Surgeon perk). If attacking with melee weapons, crippling the tail is highly recommended to prevent poisonous attacks. Players at the beginning of the game will also have extreme difficulty, as pistols and shotguns do little against them, so it's recommended to simply cripple one of their legs and run away till they lose interest.
These are the most common variety of radscorpion. These poisonous predators seem to possess different speeds, some taking their time and others bolting at top speed. Their size ranges from that of a large dog to that of small livestock.
The smaller and less common variant of radscorpion, these creatures are likely juveniles or a smaller strain of radscorpion, as they are encountered both in the company of larger varieties as well as by themselves.
A larger and much more dangerous variant of radscorpion that is faster, as well as rarer than the usual radscorpion. It does a lot more damage and has a higher Damage Threshold (on par with that of a sentry bot), making them particularly difficult to kill for low level or otherwise poorly equipped players.
Giant radscorpions can be found anywhere that radscorpions will gather or can be found solitary. Be advised, player can encounter them very, very early on, since some of them are just outside Goodsprings and Goodsprings Cemetery. Stick to the Goodsprings Source and stay on the road to avoid them.
pc When viewed from a distance, the radscorpion(s) frequently slide vertically across uneven terrain, and can possibly sink into the ground making it near impossible to kill them. If the Courier is unable to kill the sunken radscorpion, it remains as a red tick indicating an enemy on the radar, making it also impossible to leave the area by fast travel. [verified]
pc In the case that a radscorpion has fallen underneath the ground and the Courier's companions have weapons, the follower will attempt to attack the enemy until they either run out of ammunition or the radscorpion is killed by a general area of effect weapon, such as a grenade. [verified]
↑Razlo dialogue file - "They seem to be extremely large versions of the northIn-game spelling, punctuation and/or grammar American Emperor scorpion."
↑Chris Avellone, Fallout Bible 1 - "The radscorpions are a result of a combination of radiation and the FEV virus, and Razlo in Shady Sands is correct - they were originally Emperor Scorpions that have grown... big."