11 Tips For Surviving Fallout 3
- October 27, 2008 00:00 AM PST
Ready to get down to the nitty-gritty of life after nuclear war? Learn more about what awaits you in the Capital Wasteland.
Combat: The VATS System
Any time there's any enemy nearby that you'd have a chance to hit, you can hit a button to bring up the Vault-tec Assisted Targeting System. Here you'll spend Action Points (see the AP meter on the lower right of the screen) to queue up attacks on different parts of the enemy's body. The percentages show the chances of hitting and doing damage, while the meter above that number indicates how close you are to crippling that body part.
Most of the time you'll get to choose between left and right arm, left and right leg, torso, and head. Some enemies, like ants and eyebots, have other parts. You'll want to experiment with crippling parts of enemies to discover unexpected effects. Take out an ant's antennae, for instance, and it'll turn on any of its friends that happen to be nearby.
Keep in mind that the crippling system cuts both ways: if an enemy missile cripples both your legs, you'll have a hell of a time making a run for it. Keep plenty of stimpaks and other healing goodies handy so you can clean up your wounds in a hurry.
Also, though VATS is the cornerstone of effective combat, remember that you can continue to fire in real-time while you wait for your Action Points to recharge. If you're stuck facing a particularly nasty opponent, and are near a door that triggers a load screen, you can always take the cheesy way out and hop on through while you recharge, since enemies won't follow you through those doors. When you're ready, charge back in and finish the wet-work.
Day and Night
Though your Sneak skill affects the general level of stealth of which you are capable, ambient light levels also drastically affect how likely you are to be detected by any nearby hostiles. It's tempting to leave your Pip-Boy 3000 light on at all times when it gets dark, but nothing screams "shoot me" like the glow from an aging wristwatch gadget.
Damn near every water source in the game is irradiated, which means you'll soak up harmful particles any time you go for a swim or take a drink. A higher endurance or hazard suit will improve your resistance, but as the rad count grows, you'll start to feel worse and worse. Your strength, endurance, and agility will all take a dive.
You'll want to keep plenty of radiation treatments on you for when your exposure reaches critical levels, but don't be too quick to pop the pills. You could miss out on beneficial mutations you can't earn any other way, like the Rad Regeneration perk that offsets the effects of advanced poisoning with self-healing limbs.
Each time you gain a level, you'll get to choose a Perk with which to improve your character. Choose wisely, and plan ahead. Some are most effective when acquired early in your development. Others, like a 10% boost to your experience or an instant additional level, might seem like a great idea at first, but are actually less useful over the long haul. Of course, it's your character: do whatever appeals to you.
The Brotherhood of Steel can come across like a bunch of self-righteous thugs, but they've got some pretty sweet power armor that you can't use without training. Sometimes it pays to bite the bullet and partner up with people you might not otherwise like, at least long enough to reap some benefits.
On the other hand, be careful how far down a particular road you go with an allegiance. Some actions -- nuking an entire town off the face of the Earth, for instance -- can't be undone, and have a huge impact on your karma rating, which directly affects how different groups and individuals treat you.