The Usual Legal Stuff
Fallout, Fallout Tactics, Interplay, and this entire game and all its elements
are all registered trademarks and copyrights of Interplay. I don't own them
and they have not endorsed this guide in any way.
This guide is my own creation based on my experiences with the game, except
where explicitly stated. I don't include any information that I haven't
discovered or tested myself. That said, the nature of the beast is that this
document will overlap with others on the same topics. I chose to write this
doc because (a) my opinions differed from the wisdom of other FAQ/walkthrough
authors and (b) I wanted to include the latest information, which most of the
FAQs failed to address. I like to think this helps any gamers out there still
playing this game four years after it was released - I know I am. This
document is my property and is free for all to distribute unmodified or to
modify for their own use so long as they don't pass it off as their own or
charge anyone to access it. It is currently posted only on gamefaqs.com and
I. Character Creation and Maintenance
III. General Gameplay
V. Other Stuff
I highly recommend that you play with the 1.27 patch on the game. This fixes
a whole lot of problems and bugs and makes the game more interesting by
changing the single-player recruits pool, increasing the experience payoff for
Tough Guy, and allowing you to design your own missions. However, since
Interplay has gone down the tubes the patch has become much more difficult to
find, and many sites that do offer it demand that you pay to join their
download service first. The exception to this rule that I found was GameSpot.
You still have to give them registration information on yourself (unless you
already have an account with GameFAQs), but they don't charge you for the
download. I'm not advocating GameSpot for any other service in any other way,
I'm just saying that it's a place you can get the 1.27 patch for free even in
2005. Saves from the disc version of the game are completely compatible with
the patch version, but some of the patch's alterations won't show up unless
you start a new game after it is applied.
*Character Creation and Maintenance*
Generally, I divide the characters I use in Tactics into three categories for
combat potential: sneaker, sniper, and gunner.
-Sneakers start as extremely useful and become useless by the end of the game.
The idea here is a combination of Sneak skill and either Unarmed or Melee
weapons. Sneak to get close to or behind the enemy, then start whacking them.
The most important attribute for a sneaker is Agility, which determines the
Sneak skill, Action Points, AP regeneration, and dodging ability. Sneakers
need AP to regenerate faster than their opponents so they can interrupt
attacks. Strength increases damage in melee combat and Endurance offers some
assurance that you won't go down as soon as you try to take two enemies at
once. You'll stop using them when mutants and robots start breaking your arm
on the first hit.
-Snipers use rifles, the longer the range the better. They outshoot the
enemy with superior weapon skill and Perception by firing at such range that
the enemy can rarely hit them. Naturally, snipers require lots of Perception,
though Endurance can be dropped to compensate. Don't drop Strength below 5 or
you won't be able to use many weapons. Luck is also nice to increase critical
hits. Snipers can hold a close weapon in the second slot like a shotgun or
SMG and can switch to energy weapons late in the game. Important note: it is
possible to set every shot a character makes to aimed by right-clicking the
aim button on the bottom right of the weapon slot at the bottom of the screen.
Choose a target and every shot that character takes (at a higher AP cost) will
be aimed at that target until you reset it or turn off aiming. This is pretty
much the only practical way to use aimed attacks during CTB.
-Gunners depend on Big Guns to hole their enemies with hundreds of rounds.
They won't be much use until St. Louis, when you'll capture your first
practical big guns, but they're indispensable against the Mutants and vital in
the first few fights with robots. Gunners need lots of Strength just to carry
their weapon and ammunition - the Browning M2, the most useful large gun in
the game, requires 9 Strength - and Endurance because these weapons don't have
the range the snipers' rifles do, so they'll have to get closer. Perception
is good but not nearly as necessary as with snipers and Agility is another
secondary concern. Luck matters little - you're blasting your enemies into
shreds, not aiming at their eyes.
Every character in your squad should have a _useful_ weapons skill at all
times. By _useful_ I mean that they must be equipped with a weapon they can
use and circumstances that will make them necessary. You shouldn't send a
squad full of melee fighters to kill an army of Mutants. In addition to their
weapons skills, each character should provide a special skill to the squad.
By the time you hit Macomb, you should have someone in your party over 100%
with each of the following skills: First Aid, Doctor, Lockpick, Traps, Repair,
Piloting, and Outdoorsman. Bartering, Stealing, and Gambling are optional.
Attributes can only be modified during character creation, after which point
they are set in stone with extremely rare exceptions. Expect whatever
attributes you create to carry you through the entire game. These are the
framework that establish the type of character you are creating, and they are
used to determine all of your other statistics.
It's important to note that each race's attributes have both a creation
maximum and a true maximum. Creation max for humans is 10 for all stats, with
a minimum of 1 (2 with Gifted). It cannot be set any higher during character
creation. Other races have different minimums and maximums. However, an
attribute cannot under any circumstances be higher than +2 over the creation
maximum (such as using drugs to pump it up). Even though Deathclaws can have
Strength 14, humans can never go above 12.
Strength modifies melee damage and carrying weight, as well as determining
whether you can use a given weapon (all firearms have a minimum ST to use
them). It is very important to close-quarters combat fighters like sneakers
who will benefit from the extra melee damage. Also, anyone planning on using
Big Guns will need ST of 9 to use the Browning M2 (or 7 with Buffout).
Carrying weight isn't much of a problem because you can always divide the load
amongst squad members and you can dump things on the ground and come back for
them later in the mission, though they disappear if you leave.
Perception primarily governs your range modifiers, and to some extent affects
sequence order in CTB. If two characters see each other at the same moment,
the one with the higher PE will react first. This can be important, but less
often than you might think. More importantly, a high PE is vital to any
character using long-range firearms, which should be at least half your squad
at any given time. Melee fighters don't need more than average PE.
Endurance determines how much HP you have, how much you gain, and your
resistances to radiation, poison, and general damage. While these are all
good things to have, EN is only critical for characters that plan to get hit a
lot like melee fighters. Long-range snipers can lower this to the floor
without suffering too much as long as their PE and guns skills are very high.
Unlike previous Fallout games, Charisma is relegated to a very low priority
this time around. Since there is no Speech skill (replaced with Pilot), it
only modifies Barter, and you'll be salvaging enough goods that Bartering
won't be a problem even if your skill is minimal. However, CH does affect how
quickly you get promoted in the Brotherhood, which allows you access to better
recruits and equipment sooner. There are two perks, Leader and Divine Favor,
that are very useful and depend on relatively high levels of CH (6 and 8).
Note that only your main character's rank is taken into account when you buy
gear or recruit.
Intelligence is the basis for a few skills, but most importantly determines
how many skill points you get per level. Highly Intelligent characters can
develop more abilities faster, which is always an advantage.
Agility is the basis of all combat in Fallout Tactics because it sets the
number of Action Points you have. Action Points let you do stuff, and more AP
let you do more stuff faster. If you're playing TB the benefits of firing
twice versus firing once and moving 3 spaces are obvious, but in CTB the
advantage of high AG is that characters with more AP regenerate their AP
faster. Watch a Deathclaw with 11 AP take down a Super Mutant 6 damage at a
time and you'll get it.
According to the manual, Luck affects everything you do in a small way. In
the actual game, this means that you never even notice Luck affecting you
unless it's less than 4, at which point your guns start exploding and badness
ensues. The exception to this rule is that your starting critical chance
(chance for a critical hit) is equal to the LK attribute, but it's more
efficient to take the More Criticals Perk than to waste attribute points here.
You get to tag 3 skills during creation, immediately boosting them by 20% each
and allowing all skill points devoted to them in the future to count double.
Tag skills also determine your starting equipment, because each skill you tag
adds certain items to your beginning inventory. Note that skill points and
skill percentage are two different things. Skill points are awarded to your
character every time he goes up a level (2xIN+5). Skill percentage is how
these points are applied to your skills. One skill point = one skill percent
until you hit 100%, then it takes more skill points to raise your percent each
increment up to 5 skill points by 200%.
-Small Guns (9mm x24, Booze)
If you've played Fallout before, you know that Small Guns is a misnomer. Many
of the most useful guns in the game are "small", including pistols, revolvers,
rifles, shotguns, and submachine guns. The ubiquity of small guns makes this
skill absolutely vital during the first half of the game. It is possible to
play with a main character without this skill tagged, but it makes the early
part of the game much more difficult. Don't bother raising Small Guns over
130% because you will switch to Energy Weapons around mission 13-14 and won't
need small arms anymore. Small guns usually cost 4 AP to fire, with 5 for SMG
bursts and 3 for revolvers.
-Big Guns (Booze x2, Happy Pie)
Big guns include machine guns, flamethrowers, rocket launchers, and other fun
stuff. They deal out much more damage than small arms, but are heavier, less
accurate, and chew through ammunition much faster. Fallout veterans will
recall that Big Guns was never really necessary because you could compensate
with aimed shots from rifles or energy weapons. Tactics introduces Super
Mutants long before you can start getting energy weapons, and aimed shots are
difficult to pull off in the heat of CTB. Therefore, big guns will be a much
larger part of your wasteland adventure. Don't tag it at creation because you
won't have access to them until mission 8. Big guns cost 5 AP to fire.
-Energy Weapons (Booze, Donuts x3)
Energy weapons are the bastard children of small and big guns. You've got the
low weight and accuracy of small arms matched with the damage and ammo costs
of big guns. Energy weapons aren't strictly necessary to the fight, but they
are extremely useful as replacements for relatively obsolete small arms by the
end of the game. Don't tag it because energy weapons don't become available
until mission 12. Energy weapons cost 5 AP to fire, 6 for burst, and 3 for
-Unarmed (Brass Knuckles, Buffout, Rot Gut x3)
Unarmed encompasses both truly weaponless combat and weapons that improve your
ability to punch things, like punch knives and Powerfists. This skill is
exclusively for close-range combat for obvious reasons, which means that it
becomes much less useful after you realize you don't want to be close to your
enemies because they're burst-firing .50 cal at you. It works very well for
sneaker characters if they can get within range and then kill the enemy before
he fires. Also, unarmed is a 'silent' method of killing things, meaning that
it won't wake people up unless you're right next to them and won't bring the
guards running. This makes it useful for stealth missions like Freeport and
Quincy. Punches and punch-enhancing devices cost 3AP, kicks cost 4, and the
Deathclaw Gore costs 5.
-Melee Weapons (Knife, Broken Bottle)
Melee weapons are cousins to unarmed weapons in that you have to be really
close to make them count. Melee weapons are also 'silent' and thus good for
sneakers to use. These generally deal more damage than unarmed weapons and
sometimes have 'range' of 2 so you can hit things slightly farther away. The
downside is that you start with a lower Melee skill than Unarmed, all things
being equal. Melee weapons eventually become obsolete when you stop wanting
to get close to the enemy. AP costs range from 3 for knives, 4 for most other
weapons, and 5 for really heavy weapons.
-Throwing (Spear x3, Grenade (Frag), Rock x10)
Throwing deals with two types of projectiles: grenades that deal area damage
and cost 6 AP versus things that wish they were grenades and cost less.
Grenade technology advances considerably through the game, from frags to
acid to plasma to pulse, but the other stuff doesn't appreciably increase in
damage potential. Darts, shurikens, throwing knives, powder bags, razor
rings, fantasy balls, etc. all sound interesting but aren't as weight-
efficient as carrying ammo for a gun. Plus you've got to hunt them all down
after the fight, and that gets tedious. The downside of grenades is that they
are best used on groups of enemies that are far from your friends, but a
grenadier in CTB throws whenever he's got enough AP and at the nearest target,
who might be right next to him. Using this skill effectively forces your
constant attention to that one character, leaving you less able to maneuver or
heal your other squad members in the heat of battle. In TB, though, it works
great, because you can switch back and forth between grenades and a firearm.
-First Aid (First Aid Kit, Poison Antidote, Poison x2)
First Aid is the basic skill for healing damage and requires either a First
Aid Kit or Field Medic Kit to work (Field Medic Kit is better). It's a very
good idea to always have a medic with this skill to conserve valuable Stimpaks
and their more powerful cousins. The downside is that First Aid only works
three times in a row on one person, at which point the character becomes
Bandaged and you have to use Doctor to remove this condition. The Poison item
is extremely rare in the game and available only one other place (Scott City),
mostly because it's kind of pointless.
-Doctor (Doctor's Bag, Scalpel, Fruit x3)
Doctor is the skill you never want to use. It will heal major wounds like
broken bones, concussions, and unconsciousness as well as remove the Bandaged
condition. Most of the time these status ailments are rare, but very bad
things can still happen to good squads. If you're playing Tough Guy, you may
want to have two different medics with Doctor skill just in case one goes down
or needs to be healed himself. Doctor skill requires a Doctor's Bag or
Paramedic Bag to work. Tagging Doctor is a good idea because it gives you a
free Doctor's Bag, which is actually very expensive.
-Sneak (Axe Handle)
Sneak lets you move silently so the enemy doesn't notice you. This lets you
set up attacks so that everyone can switch to aggressive at once and shred the
enemy, or just get behind someone and beat the bejeezus out of them with a
lead pipe. There are a few missions near the beginning of the game where I
highly recommend a few sneakers, but there's never any reason to have your
entire squad spend points here. Sneak makes Melee and Unarmed more useful
because you can get close enough to hit, but by the end of the game just
getting your people close won't be enough to stop him from burst-firing and
killing you. You can choose to have your entire squad be sneaky no matter
their weapon, but it requires a constant investiture of skill points
throughout the game to be effective. I strongly discourage you from Tagging
Sneak for your main character; it's very common among recruits and it doesn't
give you much for starting equipment.
-Lockpick (Ring Pulls x25, Stinky Meat Platter)
Lockpick is kind of a fun skill to have. It's never vital for completing a
mission, but it makes a few missions easier and definitely gives you access to
loot that you'd otherwise have to pass up. Carry lockpicks with you to
increase the skill. Actually, tagging it is unnecessary because putting
lockpicks in both hands is usually enough to pop most locks. Using Electronic
Lockpicks doesn't increase your skill any more but seems to work more often -
there aren't any electronic locks to pick as in previous Fallouts.
-Steal (BoS Scrip x30, Ring Pulls x100)
Steal is another fun yet totally unnecessary skill like Lockpick, only more
so. It lets you take stuff from other people, or give them stuff without them
knowing (like armed bombs). There are only a few missions with lots of
noncombative civilians for you to rob, so you'll probably end up just stalking
fellow Brothers in the bunkers. It doesn't give you experience like in
previous Fallouts. Stealing is easier if you're behind the target and are
sneaking. If you are ever caught stealing in a Brotherhood bunker, everyone
in the bunker will immediately turn hostile and you will either be killed by
the Big Gun-toting Power Armored warriors or you'll kill your superior
officer, effectively losing the game.
-Traps (T13 Mine x3, Explosive Trap)
Traps is an extremely difficult skill to use offensively. You'd have to
either plant a mine on a spot where you know the enemy will walk (difficult to
plan) or arm a bomb and plant it directly on an unsuspecting enemy, which
takes not only high Traps but also high Sneak and Steal skills, all of which
makes for very low skill point efficiency when you could just shoot them.
Traps is better used to salvage enemy traps and sell them, and there are some
situations where good loot is guarded by a trap. Sure, you could just set it
off and deal with the consequence, but where's the art? Note that even if
your character is "boggled by the mine's complexity" you can still disarm it,
but at a fairly low success rate so be prepared with First Aid. Also, even
mines that are fairly simple may explode on you. If you're using Tough Guy,
consider getting the Crazy Bomber Perk before you start disarming things.
-Science (Mentats, Clipboard, Classic Nuka-Cola x4)
Don't tag Science. Don't spend skill points on Science. Don't take party
members with Science tagged without good reason. By the time Science becomes
a factor in the game, you will have found enough science books to give your
main character over 100% if he reads all of them. Just read the books and
don't worry about it until you hit robot territory. If you're playing with
the patch, Science skill will add to your critical hit chance when you fight
-Repair (Tool Kit, Crowbar, Booze)
Repair is specifically a First Aid skill for vehicles and robots. Since there
are only 5 vehicles in the entire game (one hidden in the bonus level) and
only one robot that can join your party, uses for Repair are somewhat limited.
However, in the single-player missions where vehicles do appear, Repairing
them is a high priority. Consider bringing an expert for those missions
and/or devoting skill points from a sniper with over 150% weapons skills.
Books also help, but there aren't nearly enough of them.
-Piloting (Cat's Paw, Beer x6, XXXXX Beer x2, Booze)
The new skill, Piloting, covers how well you drive. Actually, there doesn't
seem to be a huge difference between a 30% driver and a 150% driver, but in
theory higher skills make tighter turns and have access to Perks like Lead
Foot and Road Warrior. If you're into that kind of thing. The vast majority
of your driving will be over empty wasteland anyway, since you can't take a
vehicle into a mission and only 5 missions have vehicles in them already.
-Barter (Cat's Paw, Ring Pulls x50, Booze)
Some people like Barter because it's hard to salvage useful gear. Every
trader in the game uses a supply-and-demand system, so the more of a given
item you dump on that trader, the less valuable it is. Watch the value of
AK-47s drop after Macomb and you'll see what I mean. However, if you follow
my advice and salvage literally EVERYTHING from every mission, money will not
be a problem, ever, even with extremely low Barter skill. Good reputation and
high Charisma also help your barter prices.
-Gambling (BoS Scrip x500)
Some people are gamblers willing to bet a valuable thing they have against a
similarly valuable thing you have on a roll of the dice. The more valuable
your thing is compared to theirs, the better your odds of winning. There's
no reason to tag this since you'll get a recruit named Stumpy with all the
Gambling skill you'll ever need (119%), so just pop him out whenever you feel
like risking it. Unfortunately, if you're using the 1.27 patch, Stumpy
doesn't have Gambling anymore and you'll have to make do by dedicating someone
else's skill points. Quartermasters in Gamma and Delta Bunkers are gamblers,
which can be handy if you run short of cash.
-Outdoorsman (Healing Powder, Rad-X)
In previous Fallouts, Outdoorsman was useful because it helped you get from
one place to another on the world map with fewer annoying random attacks. In
Tactics, it's indispensable, especially toward the end of the game when you
ammo is really expensive and/or rare. You don't want to waste Micro Fusion
Cells on dogs and ghouls. Also, the rate of random encounters this time
around is MUCH higher unless you've got the patch, you'll sometimes get
attacked ten or more times in a single square. I understand that this is
because the rate of random encounters was tied to how fast your machine was.
The patch helps fix this problem. Raise this skill until you hit 120%.
You can choose up to 2 traits per character, but you don't have to take any.
Traits are tradeoffs that give your character an advantage in one area and a
disadvantage in another that roughly compensate each other. Effects of traits
are listed in the manual.
-Fast Metabolism No benefit or loss
Radiation resistance should never be a problem, because you should just take
Rad-X before you get irradiated. Poison can be annoying, but only early in
the game and it's so gradual that it's never a threat. On the other hand, a
fast healing rate doesn't do much since you can always just run around the
World Map for a few extra days to heal up. In theory, healing rate affects
healing from First Aid and Doctor, but I never noticed much difference.
More Strength is good for melee fighters, but more AP and the ability to
interrupt your opponent's attacks because he recharges slower than you are
-Small Frame Benefit
Because you have a squad of 6 people that can share the load, carrying weight
will rarely be a problem in this game. Not recommended for characters using
-One Hander Loss
The best weapons in the game are all 2-handed, making this trait a very
powerful handicap. An excellent challenge, if you're up to it.
Very good for snipers, but much less so for gunners.
-Kamikaze No benefit or loss
The drop in Armor Class is only significant during the early stages of the
game when the armor generally sucks. Metal armor and above usually dwarf your
natural advantage, making the downside less down as time goes on. The +25
damage upside is nice at the beginning, but eventually it, too, won't matter
all that much.
-Heavy Handed Benefit
Melee combat carries an automatic increased chance of critical hits, so this
trait just balances that chance out a bit. Strongly discouraged for snipers.
-Fast Shot Benefit
Gunners will definitely like this trait since they can't do aimed shots with
burst mode anyway. Snipers can take or leave it because while aimed shots
maximize their potential damage, it's also annoying to set up aimed targets
and then turn them off every time you change ranges because the chance-to-hit
-Bloody Mess No benefit or loss
No gameplay effects, but it does stop you from choosing a more useful trait.
I hate this trait. Even if it also screws your enemies over, the fact that it
jacks up my guns so often really annoys me. It's sometimes good for a laugh.
-Good Natured Loss
Tactics is, as the box says, a 'tactical _combat_ game'. Why choose a trait
that specifically lowers your combat abilities? I dislike the idea of using
your main character as a brain with First Aid, Doctor, Lockpick, Traps,
Repair, Pilot, etc. because I prefer having 6 guns to having 5 and some
-Chemical Reliant No benefit or loss
Why are you using drugs so often that addiction is a risk? The only time to
use drugs is for specific, extremely important situations like carrying the
Browning, and even then it's a temporary fix until I can get a recruit with
the natural strength to pull it off.
-Chemical Resistant No benefit or loss
See above, only more so.
-Night Person Loss
I like this trait, but I can never find a way to really make it work for my
squad. The majority of missions I take by day, so it would almost always be a
handicap. Moreover, if I start taking missions by night, then my squadmates
are screwed because they can't see. Now if everyone had Night Person it
would be very different because the benefits of daytime would be negated, but
you don't have that kind of control in the single-player game.
Going up one more level to get the skill points Skilled would give you and
then some is easier than the annoyance of going up several more levels to get
the Perks you want.
I love and swear by Gifted, like many people. Extra attribute points are pure
gold, and it's always simple enough to go up another level to get the extra
skill points. Pop your Intelligence up to at least 8 if you take this.
-Glowing One (Ghoul) Loss
Like Night Person, only you're also making it easy for your enemies to hit
you. Plus, you're irradiating your entire squad. It's only a matter of time
before they frag you, and then what good is your radiation resistance?
-Tech Wizard (Ghoul) Loss
Because of their low Endurance and Strength, the only place I trust ghouls in
my party is as snipers. Perception is vital to this niche, so the tradeoff
isn't worth it.
-Fear the Reaper (Ghoul)Loss
'Death's short list' apparently means 'randomly lose life, especially when
leveling up'. It's quite annoying just to get a ghoul that Perks like a
human. Why not just take a human?
-Vat Skin (Mutant) Loss
Knocks the Perception of everyone nearby down by 2. Since my gunners work as
a trio, this is always applied to my own troops and only rarely do I let an
enemy get close enough for the effect to kick in for them. On the other hand,
this can help compensate for the fact that mutants can't wear armor.
-Ham Fisted (Mutant) No benefit or loss
By the time you get Mutants in your party, you don't want them going into
melee fights with the enemy anyway. If they're close enough to punch, they're
close enough to eat your Browning. On the other hand, Mutants shouldn't be
doing tech skills because of their low Intelligence.
The only weapon Deathclaws have is their melee damage. Why would you reduce
that for an extra 2 skill points per level? They only have two skills that
matter: Unarmed and maybe Sneak.
-Rabid (Deathclaw) Benefit
My Deathclaws, like the rest of my party, rarely use stimpaks or drugs of any
kind. Most of my healing is done by First Aid and Doctor skills, which
handily impart experience and remove status effects. Late in the game,
however, inability to use Ultra Stimpaks could prove to be a liability. It's
also really fun to slice your way through an entire group of animals on a
-Tight Nuts (Robot) Loss
If robots had a healing rate, this wouldn't be as much of a problem. As it
is, the only way to restore robot HP is with Repair skill, and nothing you do
should impede that ability in any way.
-Targeting Comp (Robot) Benefit
I recommend taking this on a robot with Fast Shot to balance it out, or else
an extremely high Agility. The bonus of 15% is very hard to pass up when it's
applied on top of phenomenal weapons skill to vastly improve your range or go
for aimed shots.
-EMP Shielding (Robot) Loss
How many enemies use EMP against you in the single-player campaign?
-Beta Software (Robot) Loss
In combat, the one thing you absolutely must depend on is your soldiers'
ability to carry their weight. Though this trait is excellent if you're using
the robot to fill some skill niches, the relatively frequent critical failures
cancel this out and then some.
You can choose a Perk every three levels if you meet the requirements (stated
in the manual) and are human; other races gain perks slower. The vast
majority of perks are useless, for reasons I'll outline here. All of the
Perks' effects are outlined in the manual, so I'll only give commentary.
-Action Boy ****
Good for any character at any time, given how important AP are in this game.
-Adrenaline Rush *
It's not worth the risk of fighting at 1/2 HP.
Useful, but you only need one character with it to work in CTB. Just select
that character and mouse over the enemy and the info will appear even if he
can't see the enemy in question.
-Bend the Rules *
It's poor efficiency to pick two Perks to get a useful one instead of just
one. Plan better when you create your character.
-Better Criticals (no Mutant) ***
Very good, especially if you've already got a couple levels of More Criticals.
-Bluff Master *
Save and reload so you don't get caught stealing.
-Bone Head *
Reduces chance of unconsciousness by 50% for the first rank, then another 25%
for the second rank. Unconsciousness is so rare that this isn't necessary.
-Bonsai (Ghoul) *
Your character spontaneously generates Fruit. Fruit becomes much less useful
as the game goes on, even if you also take Way of the Fruit.
-Bonus HtH Attacks ***
If you've still got a melee fighter at level 15, it's very good.
-Bonus HtH Damage ***
Excellent if the character is planning on remaining a melee fighter throughout
the game, otherwise it's a wasted Perk.
-Bonus Move *
Has no effect in CTB.
-Bonus Ranged Damage ***
Worthwhile, but there are other Perks that often take priority.
-Bonus Rate of Fire ****
Just like the Fast Shot trait without the drawback. Vital for gunners and
anyone using Energy Weapons.
Wait for Weapon Handling instead, or a squad member with more Strength.
-Break the Rules *
The nonhuman races don't have many unique Perks, and again you're wasting two
Perks to get one.
-Brown Noser **
More promotions are nice, but there are lots of better Perks.
-Brutish Hulk (Deathclaw) ****
Deathclaws are exclusively melee fighters, so more HP is vital when they are
-Cancerous Growth (Ghoul) *
Heal with First Aid or Doctor for experience, not with healing rate.
Books aren't so plentiful that this becomes useful unless you're copying them
with the doubling cheat, in which case they're infinite.
-Crazy Bomber (no Deathclaw) **
Loading and reloading constantly will give you the same effect, but Tough Guys
may want to invest in this.
-Death Sense (Deathclaw) **
Interesting, but there are relatively few sneaking enemies in the game.
-Demolition Expert *
Allows you to use Traps offensively better, but as explained above that's very
difficult to pull off in the first place.
-Die Hard *
Don't let your HP drop to 20% and keep fighting. Heal yourself.
-Divine Favor ***
Gives +1 to whatever your highest stat is and reduces your Perk rate by one
level, so you get them faster. Very nice, but it requires 8 Charisma to get
it, which is a waste of points.
Boring but still useful.
-Drunken Master *
Alcohol is for selling, not for drinking - effects last only one minute.
Can be used to balance out the disadvantage of Gifted, but it takes several
ranks and only becomes available at level 6.
Run around longer on the World Map to find special encounters.
-Faster Healing *
Healing rate is pretty useless, since you can just drive around the World Map.
You usually don't need to change positions often during combat.
-Flower Child *
It's the upsides from both Chem Resistant and Chem Reliant without either of
the downsides. Take it if you really, really like drugs.
Gambling is pointless. If you want a gambler, use Stumpy.
-Gain Agility **
Always useful, but it blocks you from picking up a better Perk.
-Gain Charisma **
-Gain Endurance **
-Gain Intelligence **
-Gain Luck **
-Gain Perception **
-Gain Strength **
Interesting, but hurting your entire party's Perception with nightfall just to
boost Sneak isn't nearly worth it.
You don't use vehicles in missions often enough to make this useful.
-Harmless (no Deathclaw) *
Stealing is rarely useful unless it's your way of life.
Useful at first, but 4-10 HP isn't much by the second half of the game.
-Heave Ho! *
Throwing is, as stated above, very difficult to use properly.
-Here and Now *
You're wasting a Perk just to pick up more skill points?
-Hide of Scars (Deathclaw) ***
Resistances are good.
-Hit the Deck **
Not enough enemies use splash or area attacks to make this worthwhile.
-HtH Evade *
Use your AP to attack or move away, not to try to dodge.
-Lead Foot *
Essentially a convenience, not really useful.
-Leader (no Deathclaw) ***
+1 Agility for everyone can often give out extra AP. Unfortunately, it won't
add to your Leader's Agility.
More HP is always good.
-Light Step *
Don't step on mines.
-Living Anatomy **
The damage isn't much, but the +10% can be useful if you're already over 100%.
Your characters are around each other much more often than they are alone.
-Master Thief *
-Master Trader (no Deathclaw) *
Bartering is pointless if you're salvaging everything from every mission.
Decent if you only have one medic with both skills over 100%.
-More Criticals ****
Criticals are good. More criticals are better.
-Mr. Fixit (no Deathclaw) *
The Repair bonus is negligible, and the Science bonus is pointless.
Excellent for molding your squad's traits into useful things. If they don't
have any traits already, the Perk gives it to them for free.
See Master Trader.
-Night Vision **
I like this, but you don't fight in darkness very often unless you choose to.
-Pack Rat **
Easier to just take multiple ranks of Strong Back.
Taking a long time on the World Map is good because you heal more.
-Psychotic (Mutant) **
Fun, but you have to provide your own Psycho to make it worthwhile.
There are only 3 fire-based weapons in the whole game: Flamer, Flamer Pistol,
-Quick Pockets *
Don't be rooting in your inventory during a fight.
-Quick Recovery *
Like Bone Head, getting knocked down isn't so common that you need to guard
against it. Even then, just take Stonewall.
-Rad Child (Ghoul) *
Radiation is rare and you'll still have to remove it from your system anyway.
-Rad Resistance *
Better to take Survivalist.
-Road Warrior (no Deathclaw) *
-Salesman (no Deathclaw) *
See Master Trader.
You don't need to see farther since you always know where you're going.
Even if you've got 10 Perception, the benefit is useful.
-Silent Death ***
Extremely important for sneakers that plan on lasting throughout the game.
-Silent Running ***
Sneaking faster never hurt anyone.
Critical to any melee fighter late in the game.
Poison resistance is pointless.
Excellent in theory, but doesn't seem to work properly in this game.
Use Stimpaks in combat and healing skills when you have time.
-Steady Arm (Mutant) ****
Almost all Big Guns use burst, so this is virtually the same as Bonus Rate of
Fire. Your mutants should be using either Big Guns or the Gatling Laser.
Knockdowns are pretty rare unless you're going into melee combat with
Deathclaws and mutants, which is stupid.
-Strong Back **
Carrying capacity isn't much of a problem, but it's here if you want it.
-Stunt Man (no Deathclaw) *
This Perk will have only rare opportunities to trigger.
If you want to take an Outdoorsman perk, take this one.
-Swift Learner *
Sounds good in theory, but think this way: at 100,000 experience, this
character will have 105,000 total experience. Not a huge difference.
Good for adapting to squad and equipment changes late in the game, like
picking up a new special skill or Energy Weapons.
-Talon of Fear (Deathclaw) *
Fights shouldn't take so long that your enemies are noticeably hurt by poison.
Robots take no damage from this.
-Team Player ***
Good but somewhat generic. Less interesting than a lot of other Perks.
Useful at the beginning of the game.
-Tough Hide (Mutant) ***
See Hide of Scars.
Damage resistance is good, but as a Perk it's kind of boring.
-Tunnel Rat *
Crawling is so rare that speed shouldn't be much of an issue.
-Way of the Fruit **
Fruit will permanently raise your ST by 1 with no drawbacks. While this is
very nice, you have to provide your own fruit (not too difficult unless you
didn't have the foresight to set some aside early) and you can only increase
ST to +2 over racial max. It's difficult to make this Perk worthwhile.
-Weapon Handling ***
With this, a character with 4 Strength can handle any weapon in the game
except the Browning and Vindicator.
During the game your squad will both inflict and suffer various status
ailments, usually with critical hits. Each ailment affects the character
You get this effect if a character receives First Aid healing three times.
Essentially, he's so covered in bandages that First Aid can no longer be
applied. It can be removed by using Doctor skill to replace some of the
bandages with sutures (at least that's how I think of it). Each time you use
Doctor sets the character's First Aid counter back by one, so if you use
Doctor three times on the character they can use First Aid three more times
before he becomes Bandaged again. If you only use Doctor once then the next
time you use First Aid the Bandaged status will remanifest. You cannot use
First Aid if the character is undamaged, but you can use Doctor to remove
status ailments even if the character's at full HP.
Some enemies like Radscorpions and some weapons like Festering Spears include
a deadly poison. The poison accumulates with each successful hit and deals
damage every minute over time, with the poison level dropping every time it
deals damage. Eventually it works its way out of your system and is gone.
You can speed up the process with a Poison Antidote, but it's rarely worth it.
The amount of Poison infection is modified by poison resistance.
Standing in a glowing green pool or in pulsing green light can cause your
character to become Radiated. Running across a small puddle usually isn't a
problem, but you will be radiated if you run over a large pool. As long as he
stays there, the character will take damage over time as radiation builds up
in his system. This results in progressively reduced Strength and HP and
eventually death. It can be reversed with RadAway. Radiation absorbed is
modified by the character's radiation resistance, and any resistance over 100%
indicates that the character is totally immune. Unlike previous Fallouts,
there's no Geiger counter to tell you how radiated you are.
If you try to carry more than your carrying capacity, the character becomes
Encumbered and cannot run, only walk. If the character is carrying 125% or
more of his carrying capacity, he becomes Immobile and totally unable to move.
For one reason or another, the character cannot walk. Maybe he's carrying too
much weight. Maybe he just got knocked down and has to get back up. Maybe
both his legs are broken. Whatever it is, fix it to get him to move.
Sometimes caused by critical hits to the eyes. Immediately deducts 5 from
Perception. Can be cured by Doctor skill.
Sometimes caused by critical hits to the head. Lowers Perception by 2,
Agility by 2, and Intelligence by 4, with small drops in many skills. Can be
cured by Doctor skill.
Effects for this one vary somewhat. If an arm is broken, that respective
inventory slot at the bottom of the screen turns red and can't be used (left
arm = left slot). If both arms are broken, the character cannot use any items
whatsoever. If a leg is broken, the character loses the ability to run, and
if both legs are broken the character cannot move at all. Obviously, it's
caused by critical hits to the affected limbs. Can be cured by Doctor skill.
Sometimes caused by critical hits to the torso or groin. The character
cannot run, only walk. Can be cured by Doctor skill (are you sensing a theme
Sometimes caused by critical hits to the head. The character falls to the
ground for a period of time and is completely helpless until he wakes up.
This may take a up to a minute. Using Doctor wakes him up immediately.
Caused by certain enemy weapons like the Beastlords' powder bags, flash
grenades, and the pacification bot's weapon. Reduces Perception by 5 and
Agility by 1, but it wears off in a minute.
There are a relative handful of weapons that are actually useful in the
single-player game. This is a rundown of the ones you'll want to hold on to
and use yourself instead of just selling them, roughly in the order you
acquire them. Ammo type is in parentheses.
-H&K MP5 (9mm)
Your main character always starts with this. It's a versatile SMG with single
and burst mode and uses the plentiful 9mm ammo, so it's cheap. It's also more
powerful than the handguns and SMGs you'll be seeing at this point in the game
like Uzis and Scorpios.
-Hunting Rifle (7.62mm)
Farsight starts the game with this. With a range of 40, it's the best rifle
you'll find until the Sniper Rifle in St. Louis. The Hunting Rifle also has
an 'island of accuracy', meaning that it is more accurate at a longer range
than at close range. This allows you to outshoot most of your enemies while
they continue to miss you. Ammunition is fairly plentiful but very much in
demand between this rifle, the AK, and the SAW. Equip all your snipers with
one of these as a primary weapon until you can get them Sniper Rifles.
-Pump Action Shotgun (12 ga. Shells)
Stitch starts the game with the first shotgun. Shotguns are a perfect backup
weapon for snipers when the enemy gets too close for the Hunting Rifle, but it
has the unpleasant effect of hitting your allies when they're nearby. Be
careful to always point it away from you and yours.
-9mm Mauser (9mm)
It's not great, or even good, but it's got excellent range for a pistol. If
you're going to use a 9mm pistol, save this one from Brahmin Wood.
You'll capture one of these in Brahmin Wood and can immediately put it to use
in Freeport. Light, dangerous, and silent: an excellent combination for a
sneaker early in the game.
You can buy this after either Brahmin Wood or Freeport depending on your
Charisma. Since it only costs 3 AP, it's the weapon of choice for the early
This is THE gun for the early game. It's got a range of 35 on single-shot, a
burst mode, plenty of ammo and everyone can use it. You'll capture several at
Freeport and can continue using them until St. Louis.
In Preoria are two M-16s using the harder-to-find 5.56 ammo. These have
slightly longer ranges than the Hunting Rifle, but lack the island of accuracy
that makes the Hunting Rifle a favorite ranged weapon. The burst mode ensures
that the gun remains useful.
-Powerfist (Small Energy Cell)
You should buy a Powerfist from the Quartermaster before you enter Quincy if
you're using an Unarmed sneaker. It's the best Unarmed weapon at this point
in the game.
-Ripper (Small Energy Cell)
Like the Powerfist, the Ripper is available for purchase immediately before
Quincy and is ideal for the Melee sneaker on your shopping list. Though it
makes a chainsaw noise, it still counts as a 'silent' weapon.
-Neostead Combat Shotgun (12 ga. Shells)
The Neostead is a giant step up from the Pump Action Shotgun you've been
using because it has a burst mode. It also requires 6 Strength. Snag it from
a jail cell at Quincy.
-M-1 Garand (30.06 caliber)
Another find in Quincy is the Garand, an excellent rifle that surpasses even
the Hunting Rifle. However, you receive almost no ammo to start with and
can't even buy any yet, so it's very difficult to use effectively.
-H&K CAWS (12 ga. Shells)
The CAWS is the major find of Mardin. It instantly replaces the Neostead as
the combat shotgun of choice, but the minimum Strength of 6 may be beyond the
average sniper. The CAWS is an unprecedented close range weapon until the
next mission, when you discover the SAW.
-Ruger AC556F (5.56mm)
You'll capture a Ruger at Mardin. It works as a close-range weapon if you
keep it on burst mode and is a nice complement for anyone using the M-16,
since they both use the same ammunition.
-M249 SAW (7.62mm)
When you hit St. Louis you'll realize that relying on snipers throughout the
game isn't going to work; you need a way to deal huge amounts of damage
rapidly to large, slow-moving targets. Big Guns is the skill to use and the
M249 SAW is the best Big Gun for a while. The SAW is still using the 7.62mm
ammo you're used to unlike the Rocket Launcher, it's lighter than the M60 or
any minigun and it deals more damage than the M60 or Avenger, the next Big Gun
you'll find in Kansas City. Carry at least two and preferably three with you
and minimum 500 rounds each.
-Sniper Rifle (7.62mm)
St. Louis also gives you the first Sniper Rifle if you know where to look.
This gun, with longer range and even more accuracy than the Hunting Rifle,
will become your long-range weapon of choice until you switch to Energy
-Enfield XL-70E (5.56mm)
The Enfield is an exact replacement for the Ruger: it has the same ammo, more
damage, and longer range. If you have two snipers looking for close weapons
the Ruger and Enfield can be employed at the same time; otherwise switch out
the Ruger for its superior cousin when you find it in St. Louis.
-Browning M2 (.50 Caliber)
You can first pick up a Browning in St. Louis, but it comes with little or no
ammo. You'll continue to fight and kill mutants with Brownings through
Osceolla, but ammo for the thing remains rare. Save every bit you find for
Great Bend, when you can bust out a Browning or two for your gunners with
enough ammo to actually be useful. Using the Browning on anything but robots
is a huge waste. It weighs 45 lbs. and requires 9 Strength to operate.
-M79 Grenade Launcher (40mm Grenade)
If you've still got someone using Small Guns without enough Energy Weapons
skill to switch over by the time you hit Great Bend, haul one of these off the
Reavers in Junction City. Don't shoot at close range ('close' is defined
fairly liberally by the game) because you'll hurt yourself. The range and
area effect make up for the shortcomings.
-Laser Rifle (Micro Fusion Cell)
You'll capture a few of these in Junction City from the Reavers. They
effectively replace the Sniper Rifle, as they do double the damage at almost
the same range. Laser Rifles will convince you to develop Energy Weapons for
all your snipers.
-Plasma Rifle (Micro Fusion Cell)
Junction City Reavers also offer this weapon. It's much stronger than the
Laser Rifle but also has a shorter range, more like an SMG. The good news is
that it's fairly accurate within that range. Think of it like the energy
version of an AK-47.
-Plasma Pistol (Small Energy Cell)
The Plasma Pistol is essentially a powered-down version of the Plasma Rifle
that you can get in the same mission. The difference is that the pistol only
costs 3 AP to fire, 2 with Fast Shot or Bonus Rate of Fire. For that reason,
it's an excellent close-range weapon for energy snipers.
-Pulse Rifle Prototype (Micro Fusion Cell)
The Pulse Rifle Prototype is the Reaver payment for your squad's assistance in
Newton rescuing their leaders. It's the most powerful weapon to use against
robots to this point in the game and the basis for pulse weapons of all kinds,
including the pulse pistol, electrical rockets, and EMP shotgun shells. The
relatively short range is a bit of a handicap for a sniper character.
-Vindicator Minigun (7.62mm)
You'll find the first Vindicator in Junction City when you pry it out of a
Reaver's cold, dead hands, but I don't recommend using it as it's obviously
weaker than the Browning. However, it's easy to run short of .50 cal during
robot missions and only the Behemoth can provide it as salvage, so the
Vindicator makes an attractive backup weapon. Don't bother packing one along
with you, just grab one while looting - many humanoids carry this weapon. The
upshot is that even if the damage is much lower than the Browning, it uses
much cheaper ammunition, is about 2/3 the weight, and has the same range.
-Gatling Laser (Micro Fusion Cell)
Take this off a humanoid bot corpse in Canyon City. Though it's a step down
from the Browning M2, both the Gatling Laser itself and its ammo are half the
weight of the Browning M2 and .50 cal. It's an excellent punch for a strong
Energy Weapons specialist.
-YK42B Pulse Rifle (Micro Fusion Cell)
The Brotherhood builds this weapon based on the Pulse Rifle Prototype from
Newton. Damage is significantly improved, but it has the same poor range.
You can buy it after Buena Vista.
-MEC Gauss MiniGun (2mm EC)
The backstory of Fallout is that the US and China went to war over the last
remaining reservoir of fossil fuels in the world. The US Army was able to
make substantial advances by moving through Canada and Alaska and crossing to
Asia over the Bering Strait, thanks in large part to the development of Power
Armor that made the infantry practically invincible. To counter this, the
Chinese developed the MEC Gauss MiniGun, the best Big Gun in the game and
capable of blowing through even the toughest foes. You'll capture the Gauss
Minigun in Scott City and will be lacking for ammo for it for the rest of the
game, so only bring it out for extremely special occasions.
All guns and some melee and unarmed weapons use ammunition of some kind. When
you loot ammunition from the battlefield, it's an excellent idea to set aside
some in a locker or safe place so you'll have access to it later if you know a
good weapon will come along soon. This is much cheaper than selling it to the
Quartermaster and then buying it back when you need it. Unless otherwise
noted, damage and penetration are average. The fraction is the number of
rounds over pounds of carrying weight.
-2mm EC (Damage avg, Penetration +15%)
Weapons using this ammo appear late in the game, but that doesn't make it
worthless. In fact, the best weapon in the game, the Gauss Minigun, uses this
incredibly rare stuff. Save everything you can find for the Gauss Minigun and
only use it in emergencies.
This ammo is suited mostly for SMGs and assault rifles, with a few big guns in
the mix. Because it's rarer than 7.62mm, you'll have more difficulty keeping
your squad supplied with it if you're using several weapons of this type.
It's usually worth keeping an M-16 or Enfield if you need it, but don't depend
on being able to scavenge enough to keep shooting.
This ammunition is the most common type in the first half of the game,
rivalled by 9mm for the first half and Micro Fusion Cells for the second.
It's also the one you'll be using the most, because it supplies Hunting
Rifles, AK-47s, and M249 SAWs. You'll capture plenty in the field to keep
your squad stocked with extra to sell, especially after you start killing
mutants with big guns.
-9mm Ball (Damage -11%, Penetration -20%)
9mm JHP (Damage +60%, Penetration -20%)
9mm AP (Damage -25%, Penetration +50%)
The most basic and cheapest ammo in the game. Used in many small arms,
especially pistols and SMGs. Excellent for killing animals, but not worth
stowing unless you enjoy safaris in your Humvee.
-40mm Grenade (Damage +60%, Penetration +11%) 1/1
The exclusive ammunition for the Grenade Launcher, you'll find a very limited
number of these and will probably rip through them fairly quickly. That's a
good thing, because it's some of the heaviest ammunition in the game. Don't
sell it, but don't let it sit in your inventory either.
Guns using this ammo are few and far between, and the ones that do aren't
worth it. Dump it on the Quartermaster.
-.44 Cal Magnum Ball (Damage -11%, Penetration -20%)
.44 Cal Magnum JHP (Damage +60%, Penetration -20%)
.44 Cal Magnum AP (Damage -25%, Penetration +50%)
Much like 9mm and .45 cal, .44 is used for certain handguns, the most useful
of which is the 3 AP S&W M29 Revolver. Ball, JHP, and AP function just like
the 9mm variants. Unless you're using revolvers against animals with
frequency, sell it all.
-.45 Caliber 10/1
Handguns use .45 cal. The only reasons to keep this stuff are the Casull
Revolver and the Tommy Gun, the Casull because of its 3 AP cost and the Tommy
Gun because it's the second-best SMG in the game. By the time you get the
Tommy Gun, though, small guns are on their way out. Sell it.
-.50 Cal 5/1
.50 Cal DU (Damage avg, Penetration +80%) 5/4
Ammunition that only works with one gun is meant for bartering, except this.
The Browning M2 is one of the most powerful big guns in the game, but it chews
ammunition at horrific rates. Save every single round you find and don't
bring it out until Coldwater at the earliest.
-12 ga. Shells 20/1
12 ga. Flechette Shells (Damage +60%, Penetration -20%)
12 ga. Slug Shells (Damage -11%, Penetration +31%)
12 ga. EMP Shells
Feel free to use normal shells and Flechette ammo (equivalent of JHP) as you
find them. Your Small Guns specialists will have plenty of use for them.
Save the slug ammo for robots or possibly mutants because of the high
penetration, and buy up the EMP ammo as soon as it appears. EMP ammo is
wasted on anything but robots.
There are a number of useful weapons that require 30.06: the M1 Garand and
Browning Auto Rifle leap to mind. Their downfall is that they require 30.06,
which is nearly impossible to find in reasonable amounts. Don't bother with
it, just sell it off.
-Speargun Bolt 1/1
The Spear Gun appears exactly once in the entire game with precisely one round
in the chamber and four in reserve. Don't bother with it or the ammo.
-Explosive Rocket (Damage +60%, Penetration +11%) 1/3
Rocket Sabot (Damage -11%, Penetration +31%)
Rocket AP (Damage -25%, Penetration +50%)
Rocket Electrical 1/4
The Rocket Launcher is the first Big Gun you capture, but ammunition for it is
few and far between. It also has a nasty tendency to misfire if you're behind
cover, leading to parts of you being raining down for several seconds. If you
have an extremely skilled Big Guns specialist, it's worth saving the Sabots
for robot territory and using APs on mutants, but that's it. Electrical
rockets are extremely expensive - only use them against Behemoths, if at all.
-Small Energy Cell 15/1
These power small energy weapons as well as a handful of melee and unarmed
weapons. It's worth setting a few hundred aside for when you acquire Plasma
Pistols, but sell the rest.
-Micro Fusion Cell 10/1
Save every single one of these precious, precious nuggets. The end of the
game will have you using Pulse Rifles, Laser Rifles, and the Gatling Laser all
the time, so Micro Fusion Cells will always be in demand. Never sell any
back, no matter how many extra you have or how much the Quartermaster will
give you for them.
There is no good reason to use the Needler, but Needles are one of the many
reasons not to. They're extremely rare, so you're never going to have enough
to keep you supplied even if you buy up the Quartermaster's entire stock. On
the other hand, the rarity increases its barter value. Needles cause poison
on the target.
-Flamer Fuel (Damage avg, Penetration +20%) 1/2
Fuel can be hard to find, but if you're willing to lug around all that weight
it's worth watching your enemies do the Burning Man. Scavenge what you can
and sell it all when you start fighting robots. Don't bother with the
Quartermaster's supply - this is a special-occasion weapon.
-Tank Shell (Damage +179%, Penetration +20%)
The Tank Shell will only fit the cannon of the tank that you salvage in
Newton. As such, opportunities to use it are limited because you can only
fight one enemy in Newton that really deserves the damage (the Tank Bot) and
the rest of your kills will be against random encounters. Fun, but a very
-Canister of Acid (Damage -11%, Penetration +31%) 25/1
The only way to get the Water Gun is in the Canadian Invasion special
encounter. If you find it, good for you. If you don't, sell the ammo you do
find in Great Bend and know that you're not really missing out. The Water Gun
is decent against robots, but the Grenade Launcher is just as good and Energy
Weapons are much better.
As you'll discover, many people in the wasteland want you dead. You want you
alive, and armor helps you do that by affecting three statistics: Armor Class,
Damage Threshold, and Damage Resistance. High Armor Class lowers the enemies'
chance-to-hit. Damage Resistance lowers the damage from hits you do take by a
percentage. Damage Threshold directly subtracts a number from any damage
remaining after Damage Resistance kicks in. A set of armor's DR and DT are
different depending on the type of damage incoming: Normal (bullets and melee
attacks), Fire (Molotovs and Flamers), Gas (certain types of grenades),
Explode (grenades again, plus rockets and exploding scenery), Energy (lasers
and plasma) and Electric (live wires, some robot attacks).
Every recruit starts with Leather Armor. It's better than nothing. Sometimes
recruits won't register the benefits of this armor until you take it off them
and reequip it if you don't have the patch.
-Leather Armor Mk II
First becomes available after Rock Falls. Just like Leather Armor, only a
little better and a little heavier.
You can buy Metal Armor after Preoria. It has a lower AC than Leather Armor,
but the other protections are worth it. Metal Armor is a lot heavier and cuts
your Sneak skill by 25%. It also looks kind of weird on female characters.
-Metal Armor Mk II
Capture a set in the church in Quincy. It's predictably better than Metal
Armor for protection, but heavier. Sneak skill is still cut by 25%.
The whole bit where armor reduces your Sneak is pretty annoying, right? So
when you get Environmental Armor you hope it's gone, right? Nope, the cut is
up to 50% and it hits several other technical skills for small penalties.
Still, the armor itself is pretty good and it boosts your radiation
resistance, plus it's lighter so you can reclaim some of your carrying
capacity. You'll find it in Jefferson. Incidentally, Environmental Armor
is the first armor a ghoul can wear.
-Environmental Armor Mk II
You can purchase this from the Quartermaster immediately after you find your
first set of Environmental Armor. All the protections are improved, but at an
even higher price: Sneak is still cut by 50%, but the technical skill cuts are
bigger and your Perception also drops by 1. It's almost painful to wear it...
You can buy Power Armor after Coldwater, and boy is it better than that
Environmental junk. No more cuts to your Perception and technical skills, but
I really hope you weren't planning on Sneaking anywhere at a 75% cut. Basic
Power Armor also increases your Strength by 3 because of all the motors
embedded in the joints that are necessary for you to even move in the stuff.
-Power Armor Mk II
What could be better than Power Armor? Power Armor Mk II, of course. Better
protection all around, slightly heavier, but it gives you +4 free Strength
instead of a mere +3. Find it in Newton and buy it after Canyon City.
"Well", you say, "good things keep happening. The armor I get is always better
than the armor I had, so if there's something after Power Armor it must be
really wonderful, right?" Wrong. Tesla Armor is basically tinfoil. The
upside is that tinfoil tends to be very good at reflecting energy damage. The
downside is that it doesn't reflect, stop, or even slow down other types of
damage anywhere near as much as Power Armor does. Keep it in your locker for
formal events when you want to look shiny.
There are several different kinds of pharmaceuticals you can use to improve
your soldiers. Drugs tend to be fairly expensive and are always weightless,
making them excellent bartering commodities for you to get from people who
aren't the Quartermaster.
How Drugs Work
All drugs have three types of effects: use, withdrawal, and addicted. Use
effects trigger immediately when the drug is used and last for a set period of
time, then disappear. Immediately after the use effects disappear, withdrawal
effects appear and subtract from the character's natural qualities, _not_ the
drug-fortified qualities, and last for a set period of time. If the character
has the misfortune to become addicted to a given drug, the addicted effects
trigger after the withdrawal effects wear off. Addicted effects last longer
than withdrawal and use effects, but I haven't done any experiments to
determine exactly how long.
-After Burner Gum
Use: ST +1, PE +1, AP +2 for 2 days
Withdrawal: ST -2, PE -2 for 2 day