Centaurs encountered in New California and Mojave Wasteland were created by the Master. The creation process involved tossing a varied mix of seven different animals, including humans, dogs, and cats, into a Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV) vat to be infected by the virus, and then seeing what mutant chimera emerged as the virus produced rapid and unpredictable mutations. The resulting centaurs can differ quite radically in physical appearance from one another. However, all known centaurs are somewhat humanoid in appearance. Despite this consuming them is not an uncommon practice; such as with Mom's Diner of The Den.
Unlike its two-headed cousins in New California, in this type of centaur only the human-like head and torso remain, and the spines on the back are replaced by 3 long, tentacle-like tongues. This variant of centaur also has a ranged attack: a high-arcing, slow-moving saliva projectile that carries lethal doses of radiation. It is also capable of igniting lingering gas vapors as well.
In close quarters, it utilizes its tongue to whip at any intruders. Though it doesn't cause much physical damage, it inflicts a notable amount of radiation damage.
Individual centaurs only pose a minor threat, but as a rule of thumb, centaurs rarely travel alone and are usually found with other centaur variants or super mutants. All centaurs are hostile to the wasteland's travelers, and when encountered will "spit" slow-moving projectiles at them in high arcs. They are not as powerful but give the victim dramatically high doses of radiation. Nevertheless, the low speed of these projectiles makes them fairly easy to evade.
In close combat, centaurs do low to moderate damage depending on the variant but strike very slowly using their tongues in close combat. They can easily be avoided though, as they are very unagile. They are not encountered as often as in Fallout 3.
The most common variant found in the wastelands, the centaur on its own can prove very little threat due to its slow speed. However, being the more commonly found variant, it is not often encountered on its own. Some can be found south of Black Mountain, at Jack Rabbit Springs and a large group of them reside in The Devil's Throat, east of Bitter Springs.
As the name suggests, they are a bigger and stronger variant of a centaur. Having been exposed to a higher degree of radiation than regular centaurs, they have significantly more muscle mass, as well as thick clusters of tumors growing from their backs.
Though they are slow, they are much tougher and inflict more damage with their toxic spit and whipping tongues than regular centaurs, and are often accompanied by several other centaurs or super mutants. Many evolved centaurs can be found east of Bitter Springs in The Devil's Throat.
An even bigger and significantly rarer variety of the evolved centaur, the giant evolved centaur is the largest and most dangerous variation of a centaur. The giant evolved centaur is often surrounded by several evolved centaurs. Only one giant evolved centaur can be found, and it is located in The Devil's Throat. This creature normally re-spawns 3 days after being killed, as do the other centaurs found there.
There is a named centaur called Moe who is believed to be Tabitha's pet, who respawns if killed. He appears at Black Mountain and is mentioned on Black Mountain Radio in which Tabitha asks her robot Rhonda what her "favorite" centaur Moe is doing. Tabitha also references that she finds them rather cute. Moe can be found guarding two dead Brotherhood of Steel paladins at the bottom of a highly irradiated crater.
In Fallout 3 they are allied with the super mutants, and it is also possible that they may be allied with them in Fallout: New Vegas since there is a large group of them in between the Hidden Valley bunker and Black Mountain. In fact, during Still in the Dark they can be found guarding dead paladins, which have a holotape on them. Sometimes a super mutant will be in the Devil's Throat, near the truck. On Black Mountain Radio, Tabitha talks about super mutants keeping centaurs as pets, and their perception of humans as prey.
Playstation 3Xbox 360 If any centaur follows the player into any deep body of water, they will walk on the surface of the water and not go under. [verified]
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 If you take out an evolved centaur's head, either by shooting, or bashing it till it's gone, sometimes their face will disappear and the body will just be left with a hole in its face. [verified]
↑J.E. Sawyer's Fallout Role-Playing Game: The mix of a dog and about six other creatures, centaurs are horrible beasts that look like they came out of an Erol Otus sketchbook. They typically attack with their "mouths" and are extraordinarily strong and hardy.