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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.
  • Operation: Anchorage (add-on) Sim version - A sim-only version of the weapon, which has the same health.


Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (melee or unarmed)Attacks in V.A.T.S.- Attacks in V.A.T.S.
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)- Weapon name (gun, energy or explosive)Action point cost- Action point cost
Damage per attack (damage per projectile)- Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per action point- Damage per action point
Damage per second- Damage per secondWeapon spread- Weapon spread
Area of effect damage- Area of effect damageMagazine capacity (shots per reload)- Magazine capacity (shots per reload)
Effect damage & duration- Effect damage & durationDurability (number of attacks before breaking)- Durability (number of attacks before breaking)
Bonus effects- Bonus effectsWeight- Weight
Attacks per second- Attacks per secondValue in caps- Value in caps
Critical chance % multiplier- Critical chance % multiplierValue to weight ratio- Value to weight ratio
Critical damage- Critical damageSkill required- Skill required
Critical effect damage & duration- Critical effect damage & durationStrength required- Strength required
With all mods attached- With all mods attached
Weapon name (current weapon is highlighted)Damage per attack (damage per projectile)Damage per secondArea of effect damageBonus effectsAttacks per secondCritical Chance % multiplierCritical damageAction Point costDamage per action pointWeapon spreadMagazine capacity (shots per reload)Durability (number of attacks before breaking)WeightValue in capsValue to weight ratio
Fat Man 10
25421600+10 Radiation/12s1.58x006524.82.0116730100033.3
Experimental MIRV 80
20336.212800+80 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 may lead them to 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 scenes[]

  • 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]


SingleShotVB ReloadVB