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Damage is a measurement of how harmful an attack is to a character. When a character takes Damage, it is subtracted from their Hit Points. Damage will cause death when a character's hit points reach 0.


Weapons all have base damage values. The final damage delivered to the target, can be possibly modified by various factors, depending on the game:

Mechanic Fallout/2/Tactics Fallout 3 Fallout: New Vegas Fallout 4 Fallout 76
Critical Hit Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Condition No Yes Yes No No e
Damage cap No No No No Yes i
Damage evasion No No No No Yes f
Damage Modifier Yes No Yes Yes Yes
Damage Resistance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Armor penetration Yes No Yes a Yes h Yes h
Damage reduction No No No Yes g Yes g
Damage Threshold Yes No Yes No No
V.A.T.S. multiplier No Yes^ b Yes^ c Yes^ d No

^ a Fallout: New Vegas features a few weapons that completely ignore DR, even if few enemies actually have DR.
^ b Damage done to the player in V.A.T.S. is reduced by 90%.
^ c Damage done to the player in V.A.T.S. is reduced by 25%. Melee/unarmed damage done by the player is doubled.
^ d Damage done to the player in V.A.T.S. is reduced.
^ e Weapons cannot be equipped when their durability reaches 0.
^ f Chance to avoid 100% of incoming damage. Used only by the Serendipity perk.
^ g Incoming damage is reduced by a percentage. Occurs after damage resistance calculation.
^ h Reduces the target's damage resistance value, and calculates damage based off of that lowered value.
^ i Only used in Fallout 76 PVP. An end-of-calculation limit on how much maximum damage can be dealt per hit marker to another player. This value is 110.


There are different types of damage, depending on the weapon of attack:

Icon Type Description Fallout/2/Tactics Fallout 3 Fallout: New Vegas Fallout 4 Fallout 76
Attack Normal e The vast majority of damage from all weapons. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Energy Energy Damage dealt by lasers, fire, electricity, cold, and a variety of other sources, including weapons which inflict more than one damage type, such as plasma. No No No Yes Yes
Radiation Radiation Damage dealt through radioactive sources such as certain weapons or environments. c No No No Yes Yes
Fire Fire Damage from flame-based weapons and explosives, occasionally residual. Yes Yes Yes No d Yes
Cryo Cryo Damage dealt by cryogenic weapons. No No No No d Yes
Acid Poison Damage dealt primarily by toxins, typically from a bug, but also including some exotic weaponry. No No No Yes Yes
Laser Laser Damage specific to laser weapons. Yes No No No No
Plasma Plasma Damage specific to plasma-based weapons. Yes No No No No
Energy EMP/Pulse Damage from electromagnetic weapons, generally good against robots. Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Energy Electrical Hidden and used by very few weapons.a Yes No / Yes b No / Yes b No d Yes f
Explosion Explosive Damage from otherwise unspecial explosives. Yes Yes Yes No g No g
Bleed Bleed Damage-over-time from certain weapon mods. No No No No h No h
Damage Pure A new damage type implemented in Fallout 76, used exclusively for the wendigo colossus No No No No Yes

^ a Not shown in the games that use it, Electrical damage is only caused by alien blaster, YK32 pulse pistol, and YK42B pulse rifle.
^ b Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas use "energy" damage to label the residual effect off the Tesla cannon, though it has the appearance of electricity sparking.
^ c All Fallout games contain environmental radiation damage of some variant. The table is representative of radioactive damage dealt by weapons like the gamma gun.
^ d Exists in the game files, but is not used anywhere.
^ e Also known as physical damage in Fallout 76.
^ f In Fallout 76, it is used only by the Electrically Charged mutation, but calculates using energy resistance. This effectively makes it energy damage, but grants special immunity to certain effect interactions.
^ g In Fallout 4 and 76, explosive is not its own damage type, rather it is a damage sub-type. Explosives are a way to deal proper damage types. For example, a missile launcher will create an explosion that deals physical damage, while a plasma grenade will create an explosive that deals both physical and energy damage.
^ h In Fallout 4 and 76, bleed damage is not its own damage type, rather it is a damage sub-type. Bleed damage will deal physical damage, but is exempt from being reduced by damage resistance.

Special exceptions

  • Fallout Tactics adds Gas Damage. It also re-categorizes "Laser" as "Energy" damage.
  • Van Buren adds Ballistic, Bio, and Heat damage.

See also

The computation formula of the final damage for each game is described in more detail in this article.