Icon disambig
For an overview of this weapon in the Fallout series of games, see Fat Man.

The Fat Man is a tactical nuclear catapult in Fallout 3.


The Fat Man is a pre-War heavy weapon that launches mini nukes. The mini nuke projectile is very heavy, and if simply fired straight ahead, it will travel only a short distance before falling to the ground and detonating (causing one to be caught well within the very damaging mini-nuclear blast). For optimal range, the Fat Man should be fired in V.A.T.S. mode at high skill levels (which automatically compensates for the projectile's downward trajectory), or at an upward angle to catapult the mini nuke further, so that it impacts at a safer distance.

The Fat Man has an estimated range of 150+ yards. The blast zone will be irradiated for a short time after detonation, giving out up to 8 rads per second.


The Fat Man's condition can wear down surprisingly quickly with frequent use (though its firepower is still devastating at any state of repair). It can fire a total of about 167 mini nukes from full condition before breaking.


  • Experimental MIRV - An incredibly destructive weapon, the MIRV fires eight mini nukes in a single shot.
  • Gametitle-FO3 OA Sim version - A sim-only version of the weapon, which has the same health.


Icon melee- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Icon sequence- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Icon gun- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Icon action- Action point cost
Icon damage- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Icon dap- Damage per action point
Icon dps- Damage per secondIcon spread- Weapon spread
Icon explosion- Area of effect damageAssault carbine extended magazines- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Icon effect- Effect damage & durationIcon repair- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Icon bonus effect- Bonus effectsIcon weight- Weight
Icon attack- Attacks per secondIcon merchant- Value in caps
Icon chance- Critical chance % multiplierIcon ratio- Value to weight ratio
Icon critical damage- Critical damageIcon ability- Skill required
Icon crit effect- Critical effect damage & durationIcon fist- Strength required
Icon plus- With all mods attached
Icon gunIcon damageIcon dpsIcon explosionIcon bonus effectIcon attackIcon chanceIcon critical damageIcon actionIcon dapIcon spreadAssault carbine extended magazinesIcon repairIcon weightIcon merchantIcon ratio
Fat Man 10
25421600+10 Icon radiation/12s1.58x006524.82.0116730100033.3
Experimental MIRV 80
20336.212800+80 Icon radiation/12s1.58x0065198.213.08(1)6330249883.3



  • Sometimes the Fat Man (or experimental MIRV), is set up such that using it in V.A.T.S. will cause the Lone Wanderer to aim directly at the enemy, without aiming upwards to compensate for the distance. This means that using the Fat Man in V.A.T.S. could result in their death.
  • Giving the Fat Man to followers is not recommended, as they may equip it during close-quarter fights if facing high-level opponents such as feral ghoul reavers or deathclaws. While they won't fire it, it will often get them killed before they can equip a more appropriate close-quarter weapon.
  • The Fat Man does have a jamming sound but even with a low condition, the weapon doesn't show a jam animation.
  • When fired, the Fat Man's mini nukes will make a whistling sound when flying through the air and then detonate when they hit the ground.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Fat Man was the codename for the atomic bomb that was detonated over Nagasaki, Japan by the United States on August 9, 1945.
  • Because of its relation to the real historic event, the weapon was renamed to the Nuka Launcher in the Japanese version of Fallout 3. It is, however, still referred to as the Fat Man in dialogue.
  • The Fat Man itself is modeled after an actual nuke launcher called the M-388 Davy Crockett Tactical Nuclear Recoilless Rifle, which was developed in the 1950s.[1]
  • The bell heard after reloading is actually the lunch bell from Bethesda Softworks’ cafeteria.[1]





Fallout 3 - Jimmy and the Fat Man

Fallout 3 - Jimmy and the Fat Man


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