After completing Mission: Countdown in any of the three nuclear silos, sites Alpha, Bravo, or Charlie, Vault Dwellers can insert a nuclear keycard and enter the launch codes which grants access to the targeting computer. They can then target a location on a military-style version of the map to fire the missile and trigger Death from Above.
Before the nuclear missile is launched, a broadcast warning alerts the entire server that a nuclear strike is imminent and an air raid siren sounds. It will take three minutes for the bomb to drop and the created blast zone will last for two hours. Upon nuke impact, player characters and most workshop objects inside the blast radius will be destroyed instantly. Anyone inside of an interior cell within the blast radius will be safe from the effects.
Player characters outside the edge of the blast zone will not be killed. Once a player character has entered the zone, they will take severe radiation damage unless wearing power armor, a hazmat suit or Chinese stealth armor. NPCs inside of a blast zone will don hazmat suits as well.
While where a nuke is launched is dependent on the choice of the player character, certain portions of Appalachia are in a "protected zone" and cannot be targeted. The protected zone includes many areas of Appalachia where low-level player characters are likely to have early quests. If any part of the blast radius would be within the protected zone, the nuke cannot be launched.
If a nuke is launched at specific locations on the map, a public event with a high-level boss enemy will begin. The listed location only needs to be contained somewhere within in the entire blast zone radius and does not have to be explicitly targeted as the center of the blast zone. The event can then be accessed by fast traveling to the closest location outside of the impact zone.
|Public event||Location within radius||Description|
|Scorched Earth||Fissure site Prime||The scorchbeast queen emerges from the fissure and summons her army of scorched minions. A large team of 8 players is recommended.|
|A Colossal Problem||Monongah Mine||With the rubble blasted away and the entrance exposed, delve deep into the mine and face Earle Williams, a Wendigo colossus. 8 players maximum per instance.|
In Nuclear Winter, player characters must obtain four launch codes and a nuke briefcase before gaining the ability to drop a nuke. By activating the briefcase, a targeting computer allows the player to drop a nuke anywhere they choose.
Similar to Adventure mode, the blast radius will instantly kill any players inside at the time of impact and will leave a red radioactive circle for a duration. Unlike Adventure mode, the countdown timer is reduced to 20 seconds and the blast zone is comparatively smaller.
Flux is harvested from mutated flora that briefly emerge in a blast zone. Before the Great War, flux was researched and subsequently named by the Enclave in Appalachia, who discovered that missile detonations fundamentally change the nature of a plant's tissue.
|Region||Raw crimson flux||Raw cobalt flux||Raw fluorescent flux||Raw violet flux||Raw yellowcake flux|
Creatures killed within a blast zone will drop special loot. The following items may be added to their drop tables:
The following NPCs may drop glowing loot:
- If Monongah Mine is within the radius of an active blast zone when another nuke is launched anywhere else on the map, it can trigger another A Colossal Problem event.
- After playing a round in Nuclear Winter where a nuke was launched, the blast radius may appear many times larger than normal on the map. This is visual only and does not affect the blast zone effects in the world.
- Scorched Earth will not drop "glowing loot".[verified] Most NPCs do not drop "glowing loot" upon death in a nuke zone. Creatures spawned during