Icon disambig.svg
For an overview page of deathclaw variants, see deathclaw.

 
Gametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-FO4 NW.png
Gametitle-FO4.pngGametitle-FO4 NW.png
No creature represents the danger of the Wasteland as much as the Deathclaw, which uses razor-sharp claws to rip apart its prey... in seconds.Fallout 4 loading screen

Deathclaws are highly dangerous creatures found in the Commonwealth, on the Island and in Nuka-World.

Background[edit | edit source]

This section is transcluded from deathclaw. To change it, please edit the transcluded page.

Originally engineered before the Great War by the U.S. government as a cheap replacement for human troops during combat operations, deathclaws were derived from a mixed animal stock, primarily the popular Jackson's Chameleon. Although the project was successful in creating a ferocious predator capable of surviving on its own in the wild, no references exist of them ever being deployed on the battlefield. After the Great War, deathclaws escaped into the wild and quickly spread across the continent. The Enclave had no hand in the creation of the deathclaws, so far as the Appalachian Enclave branch knows, but suspected their original military origins.[1] Eventually, they were refined by the Master through genetic manipulation and the Forced Evolutionary Virus.[2] Because initial reports were limited to a series of isolated nests, deathclaws were viewed as a legendary creature, a hoax akin to most cryptids, by the various inhabitants of southern California.[3] However, the population in the Boneyard was keenly aware of their existence, as a single den mother and her offspring claimed the area between Downey and Norwalk around 2161, keeping the Gun Runners in a checkmate while terrorizing other communities in the region.[4] Also, a single deathclaw was found living near the outskirts of the Hub.[5]

Their gradual spread throughout the wasteland raised awareness of their existence, until they entered common consciousness as a lethal predator. As stated above, the Enclave eventually continued the research project started before the war, developing intelligent deathclaws for use in hostile environments around 2235.[6] On May 17, 2242, the first successful pack was dropped into Vault 13 to cloak the presence of the Enclave and their abduction of the dwellers within. Following their first combat test, the deathclaws broke free of their Enclave masters, becoming far more intelligent than anyone could foresee.[7] They began developing a unique culture, as the first known non-humanoid sentient beings in history.[8] However, their intelligence was discovered by Dr. Schreber of Navarro, whose report led to the extermination of intelligent deathclaws with extreme prejudice.[9] Subsequent experimentation involved the aforementioned domestication units, although by the end of the 23rd century.[10]

Characteristics[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws are tough and formidable melee combatants. Their appearance is also more detailed compared to their Fallout 3 and New Vegas predecessors. They have darker, scaled skin, longer horns (which seem to curve more downward rather than upward), shorter claws and a more draconic, reptilian head and face. Close inspection of their feet will reveal what appears to be a single enlarged toe claw on each foot, similar to prehistoric raptors.

The New England Commonwealth deathclaws are more physically dynamic, showing abilities such as running on all fours when in combat or climbing obstacles, behaviors never seen in the deathclaws of previous titles. Deathclaws can be found anywhere in the Commonwealth, but appear more frequently in the Glowing Sea. When observed from a distance, deathclaws can be seen throwing dirt over what could be egg clutches. They are also known to perch atop hills, rock outcroppings and boulders surveying the landscape.

Biology[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws are the results of a pre-War experiment that involved creating a mutation of the Jackson's chameleon, along with several other species, to use as weapons on the battlefield. They are strong, agile predators that will attack enemies on sight. Their long, sharp claws are capable of inflicting great, oftentimes deadly, amounts of damage, hence their name.

Gameplay attributes[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws have a very high amount of health for creatures of their level and are incredibly resistant to most damage types, particularly energy damage. Their hides have been known to reflect lasers when fired directly at them. Their versatile combat style makes them a formidable opponent even at lower levels. When aggravated, they will initiate combat by roaring and stomping the ground, causing a shockwave.

While they predominantly use their namesake claws for dealing damage, they may also headbutt their foes to stagger them. Their power attack comes in the form of a wide-swinging claw slash that deals significant damage. Deathclaws are known to use both hands to throw nearby cars at opponents that are out of melee distance.

Deathclaws have the ability to instantly kill the Sole Survivor or other humanoids, either by grabbing and smashing them into the ground, stabbing them, or decapitating its foe with its claws. This maneuver only occurs when the Sole Survivor has low enough health, although this is relative as higher percentages of health at a low level can still result in the instant-kill attack. At higher levels, it may not occur until the player character has very low health. At other times, the deathclaw may pick up the player character and slam them into the ground forcibly, causing moderate damage. The instant kill can also be nullified by wearing any type of power armor. Instead, the deathclaw will grab the Sole Survivor and stagger them, draining their AP completely. A deathclaw will also toss sand into the air to provide a brief distraction.

The deathclaws have a substantial level of natural armor and are resistant to damage on their dark, scaled parts, leaving the belly as a weak spot that takes increased damage. However, due to their hunched posture, this area is difficult to hit. The Penetrator perk allows the Sole Survivor to hit the deathclaw anywhere while using V.A.T.S., even if the belly is obscured by other body parts or even walls. They can dodge gunshots and zigzag while charging the shooter, making them even harder to hit. If one of their legs becomes crippled, a broken bone can be seen stabbing out of the skin, and they will move slowly. With both legs crippled they are unable to move at all. It is also possible to shoot off the end of their tail.

Their model size makes them ungainly on uneven ground, which can be used against them. Their inability to climb or jump (aside from scripted events such as in Concord) renders their close-combat style useless if attacked from high enough ground. If they cannot find a path to their opponent, they will flee and hide behind cover until their target is reachable again. Many of their attacks can also be avoided by keeping a constant pace, which allows the player character to simply outrun their claw strikes.

Variants[edit | edit source]

The variants that can be encountered are based on the player character's level. Different variations become increasingly more common with higher levels. For example, where one might expect to encounter a normal deathclaw at lower levels, they might encounter an alpha deathclaw once they pass a certain level. The higher the player character's level, the more chance of the next difficulty of deathclaw to spawn in its place. Scripted encounters, such as on top of Haymarket Mall and at Lynn Woods, have a higher chance of spawning a next-stage deathclaw than randomly-encountered wasteland ones.

Deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Deathclaw Default.jpg

Normal deathclaws, defaulted to level 22, are highly dangerous for those poorly leveled and still present a challenge at higher levels. Deathclaws will charge the target while defending their weak belly with their head, making it difficult to land a shot to the weak spot even in V.A.T.S.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw
0001DB4C
Level
22
Perception
10
Hit Points
510+
Damage Resistance
100
Energy Resistance
250
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
35
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (60 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (120 Damage)

Alpha deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Alpha Deathclaw.jpg

An alpha deathclaw can be encountered by flipping the breaker at the top of the tower in Lynn Woods, on the roof of Haymarket Mall (two may spawn on the roof) and another near Cabot House. They may also be encountered in the Glowing Sea and west of Natick Banks. Alpha deathclaws have horns that spread forward and up, while a regular deathclaw is forward and down. Alpha deathclaws also have rust-colored skin.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Alpha deathclaw
001423A7
Level
31
Perception
10
Hit Points
800+
Damage Resistance
150
Energy Resistance
300
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
48
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (75 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (150 Damage)

Glowing deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Glowing Deathclaw Roar.jpg

The glowing deathclaw is a highly irradiated version of the standard deathclaw. A green light emits from the skin between their scales, and they inflict radiation damage on top of their massive ballistic damage. They can start spawning in as low as level 25, replacing several of the randomly encountered varieties including those above Haymarket Mall and Robotics Pioneer Park.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Glowing deathclaw
001423A8
Level
41
Perception
10
Hit Points
1000+
Damage Resistance
200
Energy Resistance
350
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
64
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (90 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (180 Damage)
Attack
Rad field (5 rad/sec)

Quantum deathclaw[edit | edit source]

Icon cut content.pngThe following is based on Fallout 4 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Fo4NW Quantum deathclaw.jpg

Quantum deathclaws were cut from Nuka-World. These deathclaws were mutated in the same way the Nukalurks were. They resemble glowing deathclaws, but with a teal glow instead of green.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Quantum deathclaw Cut contentNuka-World (add-on)
xx00d325
Level
41
Perception
10
Hit Points
1000
Damage Resistance
200
Energy Resistance
350
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
64
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (175 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (350 Damage)
Icon cut content.pngEnd of information based on Fallout 4 cut content.

Deathclaw matriarch[edit | edit source]

FO4 Deathclaw Matriarch.jpg

Matriarchs, as the name implies, are the female leaders of the species. They have less health than an alpha, but more than a normal deathclaw. Their horns curve out and down, compared to the alpha's forward and up. They start to appear when the player character is around level 35, and will replace some randomly encountered deathclaws in the wasteland.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Deathclaw matriarch
001423A9
Level
51
Perception
10
Hit Points
760+
Damage Resistance
225
Energy Resistance
375
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
80
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (105 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (210 Damage)

Savage deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Savage Deathclaw.jpg

A scripted savage deathclaw may potentially be found in the Museum of Witchcraft. This event is leveled and part of a side mission. The Sole Survivor can choose to fight but can also run away or sneak through it. If the player character has a high enough level, they may encounter savage deathclaws in random encounters, such as within the Glowing Sea or near Natick Banks.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Savage deathclaw
001423AA
Level
61
Perception
10
Hit Points
910+
Damage Resistance
250
Energy Resistance
400
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
96
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (120 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (240 Damage)

Albino deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Albino Deathclaw Walk.jpg

The albino deathclaw is a pale version of the deathclaw, with more health, that can be encountered after reaching level 71. This deathclaw type's high health can make it a worthy adversary and it will only lose 1/4 of its health from a shot from the Mysterious Stranger.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Albino deathclaw
001423AB
Level
71
Perception
10
Hit Points
1060+
Damage Resistance
275
Energy Resistance
400
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
112
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (135 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (270 Damage)

Chameleon deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Chameleon Deathclaw Line-up.jpg

The chameleon deathclaw will begin to spawn at Level 81. Its default color is a slightly more sandy tone of a regular deathclaw, but when aggravated, it will display vibrant colors depending on its movements in battle. It flickers between stone gray, acid green, red, orange and teal. When killed, its body retains the last color it was displaying.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Chameleon deathclaw
001423AC
Level
81
Perception
10
Hit Points
1210+
Damage Resistance
300
Energy Resistance
400
Radiation Resistance
Immune
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
129
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (150 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (300 Damage)

Mythic deathclaw[edit | edit source]

FO4 Mythic Deathclaw.jpg

Mythic deathclaws are the highest non-legendary tier of all deathclaw variants and can be encountered starting from level 91. On rare occasions, they can be encountered from level 75, though bugs have caused them to spawn as early as level 24 outside of the Starlight Drive In. These level with the player character, so they are immune to the Wasteland Whisperer perk.

Name (Form ID)StatisticsBehaviorAbilitiesItems
Mythic deathclaw
001423AD
Level
91+
Perception
10
Hit Points
1360+
Damage Resistance
300
Energy Resistance
400
Radiation Resistance
250
Poison Resistance
250
Experience Points
145
Gamebryo AI attributes
Very aggressiveIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon optional.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
FoolhardyIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.pngIcon required.png
Gamebryo AI attributes
Helps nobodyIcon optional.pngIcon optional.png
Attack
Melee (175 Damage)
Attack
Heavy Melee (350Damage)

Locations[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws can be encountered anywhere in the Commonwealth, but some locations are more frequent deathclaw hunting grounds than others. Below is a list of possible deathclaw locations:

  • A scripted deathclaw encounter in Concord during the When Freedom Calls quest, after defeating Gristle. It is probably the first deathclaw player characters will meet in the game. Sometimes a bug will occur, causing this deathclaw to be stuck in the ground.
  • All over the Commonwealth as random encounters, including possible attacks on any owned settlement.
  • A leveled deathclaw is scripted to appear at Garden terrace on the roof of Haymarket Mall. Sometimes a bug will occur, preventing the deathclaw from jumping onto the terrace, so it will remain hanging onto the side of the mall, or permanently passive until the player character attacks it. At higher levels, two deathclaws may appear.
  • Two random encounters can be triggered by throwing the switch on top of the tower in Lynn Woods. This can be repeated every few days once the area has respawned.
  • One can be found guarding the entrance to Old Gullet sinkhole. It is passive until it detects the player character when they first encounter it. Once killed, respawns will often be permanently passive until attacked.
  • A scripted deathclaw can be encountered in the Museum of Witchcraft during the quest The Devil's Due.
  • A scripted deathclaw can be found in a tunnel off the gym area in the Boston mayoral shelter.
  • A scripted deathclaw can be encountered at the bottom level of the Kendall Hospital.
  • Two deathclaws can be found west of Natick Banks, by a few satellite dishes, fighting a behemoth. A leveled deathclaw can be found lurking around an abandoned garage with a tanker on the side of the building, a normal deathclaw can be found on the farm just up the road from the matriarch, and one or two leveled deathclaws may be found around the church, fighting a group of leveled super mutants (depending on if the mutants were killed, prior to the player character's arrival).
  • One can be found in the Robotics Pioneer Park, inside the first house from the fast travel point. Like the Gullet Sinkhole deathclaw, there is a chance that consequent respawns will be passive towards the player character until attacked.
  • On occasion a leveled deathclaw may spawn on the rocks prior to entering the Edge of the Glowing Sea.
  • One can be found east of The Slog near a bus on the overhead road. You can see it from the snack bar if you look towards the road to the east on the bus. It will come down and through the water towards the player character if they shoot at it.
  • One can be found in a rock formation close to Coastal cottage, wandering around a couple of yao guai corpses.
  • It is possible that one or more deathclaws may spawn on the beach next to Kingsport Lighthouse.
  • A lone deathclaw can be encountered on the Island, east of the ruined church. A rocky outcropping nearby has two deathclaw nests, often with deathclaw eggs. May sometimes be passive instead of hostile.
  • Vault-Tec Workshop One can be found behind a limestone wall in the dig site of Vault 88.
  • Nuka-World (add-on) Two deathclaws may be found in the bus stop, west-southwest of the Galactic Zone in Nuka-World. One will be patrolling the area, while the second will spawn when the Sole Survivor enters the middle of the area. The second deathclaw will be a higher level spawn.
Glowing Sea

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • There is a permanent deathclaw nest on the southwest side of the tarn due south of the federal ration stockpile and it usually has a non-pristine egg. The nest contents respawn at least once for certain and may continue to do so if looted. The nest owner may or may not be around. Other nests can spawn occasionally but are random. One such location is southwest of Forest Grove marsh. These are independent of "the Devil's Due" nest which requires the pristine egg.
  • Shooting a deathclaw's limbs will cause the bone to become visible by the elbow.
  • In the quest The Devil's Due when returning the egg, the deathclaw guarding the nest is scripted to be permanently friendly to the player character and their followers as long as the nest is not interacted with after the egg is returned.
  • Deathclaws are smart enough to dodge grenades thrown at them.
  • It is possible to shoot the tail off of a living deathclaw. Likewise, it is possible for an alpha deathclaw with no tail to spawn by the Lynn Woods siren.
  • It is possible to encounter and possibly tame a mythic deathclaw as early as level 16, through the deathclaw cage in the Wasteland Workshop add-on.
  • The sound effect used for a deathclaw's claw strikes is identical to that of werewolves from The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Bethesda Game Studio's fifth entry in their Elder Scrolls series and the last game they developed prior to Fallout 4.
  • If the Far Harbor and Wasteland Workshop add-ons are both installed, it is possible to build the associated cages to import deathclaws onto the Island.
  • If a deathclaw takes sufficient damage from an engagement, it will run off and usually come back later. However, this is a new engagement and the deathclaw will run off quickly.
  • Wasteland Workshop If one is caught with a deathclaw cage and tamed with a beta wave emitter, it will add 10 defense points to the settlement when released.
  • If the hand is taken from a dead deathclaw, the corpse will not change its appearance.

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Deathclaws appear in Fallout 4 and its add-ons Far Harbor and Nuka-World.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

The deathclaw model was made by Jonah Lobe.[11] Lobe was planning to leave Bethesda Softworks before Fallout 4 was shipped, and had already created models for bloodbugs, mole rats and super mutants. The design team was not entirely sure if deathclaws would even be in Fallout 4 during a certain stage of development. Because there were no plans for who would be making deathclaws, Lobe decided to make the most of his remaining time at Bethesda, because he believed he would not be able to forgive himself if he had left and someone else created the model, passing up the opportunity to design such a terrifying creature for the new game.

Lobe started working on a model in ZBrush from home, referencing his deathclaw models from Fallout 3, while also taking inspiration from lions for their eyes. Lobe showed the model to Todd Howard when it was about 70% done, and Howard gave him the go-ahead to finish it. Two days later, Howard returned to Lobe's office cube and informed him that they were restructuring the demo to include a final power armor versus deathclaw battle, which became part of When Freedom Calls in the final game.[12]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Enclave research facility terminal entires; Cell block C console, Subject C-01
  2. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p. 27: "Deathclaws were originally created to replace humans during close-combat search-and-destroy missions. They were derived from mixed animal stock and then refined by the Master, using genetic manipulation. The resulting creature is almost unbelievably fast and powerful. Deathclaws are well named—they are the toughest animals that you will encounter in the Wastes."
    "Unless you have Combat Armor, extremely heavy weaponry, and a lot of StimpacksIn-game spelling, running for the exit hexes at the first sign of a Deathclaw is your best chance of survival. If you're well equipped and want to stick it out, though, get in at least one shot at long range, because Deathclaws move so fast that you're unlikely to get another long-range attack as they charge you. They'll always close rapidly so they can use their powerful claws to tear and rend you. For maximum damage, use a Called Shot to the eyes when you shoot them. However, even with Called Shots, you'll need several good hits to put a Deathclaw down—use extreme caution (and save often) when fighting them."
    Deathclaws being genetically engineered before the Great War and later refined by the Master is mentioned in the Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets strategy guide, written by Fallout 2 lead designer, Matt Norton, as well as in Fallout Tactics.
  3. The Vault Dweller:"{347}{}{Do you know anything about the Deathclaw?}"
    John Maxson:"{262}{Gen_78}{Oh. Just another stupid rumor. Some people say it's a huge fanged monster and others say it's a vampire.}"
    (John Maxson's dialogue)
  4. Gabriel
  5. Find the missing caravans
  6. Fallout Bible 0: "2235 The Enclave experiments on deathclaws, attempting to create special fighting units for waging war in hostile environments."
  7. Fallout Bible 0: "2242 May 17 Enclave animal handlers drop a Deathclaw unit into Vault 13 from a safe distance to kill anyone investigating the Vault and cloak the Enclave's presence. Other Deathclaws are sent into the desert surrounding Vault 13 to check for any escapees or witnesses."
  8. The Chosen One: "{123}{}{What are you doing here?}"
    Goris: {135}{}{I'm a student of sorts. I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the world and the different cultures that have developed. Right now I'm studying the culture the deathclaws are forming and comparing it to human development along similar lines. I've acquired just about all the information I need here. It would help my research a great deal if I could do some traveling. However, I don't want to go it alone, if you know what I mean.}"
    (Goris' dialogue)
  9. The deathclaw massacre within Fallout 2.
  10. Raven Rock terminal entries; delivery terminal, Note Regarding Recent Delivery
  11. Jonah Lobe on Twitter: "Aww, my baby got a close-up! (also I made the Super-mutants, Molerats, Blood-Bugs & Mirelurks!) #Fallout4 #BE3"
  12. JonahLobe on Reddit
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