Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki


As in the previous games, three Tag skills out of thirteen can be chosen as the player character's specialties. Unlike previous games, tagging a skill only grants the character a 15-point bonus to that skill. Five skills are removed from the game in comparison to Fallout and Fallout 2.


The initial value of each skill is based on a character's value in the relevant attribute plus a bonus determined by their Luck attribute, rounded up.

Example: A starting Endurance of 5 and a starting Luck of 5 will give an initial Unarmed skill of 15.

Initial values also function as base value, meaning any later change to the SPECIAL stat would also have a similar change to the respective skill.

At level up, the character will distribute 10 (13 with the perk Educated) skill points plus a number equal to their Intelligence. With a stat of 10, up to 23 skill points can be distributed when leveling up.

List of skills

Skill Description Associated stat Associated skill book Initial value
Barter Proficiency at trading and haggling Charisma Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (CH * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Big Guns Proficiency at using "unorthodox weaponry" Endurance U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes (EN * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Energy Weapons Proficiency at using energy-based weapons Perception Nikola Tesla and You (PE * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Explosives Proficiency at using explosive weaponry Perception Duck and Cover! (PE * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Lockpick Proficiency at picking locks Perception Tumblers Today (PE * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Medicine Proficiency at using medical tools and drugs Intelligence D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine (IN * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Melee Weapons Proficiency at using melee weapons Strength Grognak the Barbarian (ST * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Repair Proficiency at repairing items Intelligence Dean's Electronics (IN * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Science Proficiency at hacking terminals Intelligence Big Book of Science (IN * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Small Guns Proficiency at using conventional firearms Agility Guns and Bullets (AG * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Sneak Proficiency at remaining undetected and stealing Agility Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual (AG * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Speech Proficiency at persuading others Charisma Lying, Congressional Style, Paradise Lost (CH * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)
Unarmed Proficiency at unarmed fighting Endurance Pugilism Illustrated (EN * 2) + 2 + (LK / 2)

Improving and maximizing skills

Improving skills

Temporarily improving skills

  • By wearing certain armor and clothing that offer skill modifiers.
  • By using chems that alter their base stats, thus increasing the related skills.
  • Carrying the Lucky 8-ball from Timebomb. The Luck increase raises all skills slightly but is lost if the item is removed from inventory.

Permanently improving skills

Maximizing skills

  • In order to reach the maximum number of points available in all skills, one only needs to train all skills to 40. This is because most skills have 25 skill books, which will give 50 points in all with the Comprehension perk, and then ten more points can be acquired through a bobblehead. Additionally, a bug with two skill books gives an opportunity to max the two related skills without ever putting points into it; see Glitches/Exploitable Bugs for details. One other caveat—since the Yew's bear charm acts like a second Speech bobblehead, one only needs to increase Speech to 30.
  • It isn't possible to raise a skill above one hundred points, but the game keeps track of increases past 100 just in case a skill is lowered (By something such as radiation poisoning or power armor), so one may want to raise some skills to (theoretically) 102 or 104.
  • Leaving Vault 101 one can have a maximum of 308 skill points (including Medicine bobblehead), with a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. of 1, 10, 1, 1, 10, 1, 9, with another 7 splits between Agility and Endurance. It's not a practical loadout however, as one is forced to choose between action points and hit points, and one will have a small weight capacity. (One may want to keep a maximum of each stat at 9, so that the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. bobbleheads are not wasted)


It is possible to never have to put points into certain skills to max them out. In particular, certain skill books are on respawning non-player characters - merely waiting 73 hours after killing will result in a new copy being created.