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This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.
Gameplay articles
Fallout/Fallout 2Floater
Bloody floater
Nasty floater
Fallout 3Lamprey floater Icon cut
Manowar tendril floater Icon cut
Needle tooth floater Icon cut
Fallout: New VegasFloater Icon cut
WastelandersFloater flamer
Floater freezer
Floater gnasher
Fierce floater
Savage floater
Ravenous floater
Vile floater
Hideous floater
Vicious floater
Bloodthirsty floater
Menacing floater
Abominable floater
Deadly floater
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Gametitle-FO1Gametitle-FO2Gametitle-FNVGametitle-FO76 WLGametitle-JES

Floaters are a unique mutant of unknown origins and known terrifying appearance.


An offshoot of West Tek experiments on flatworms from 2075,[1] floaters are unique creatures that were widely deployed alongside Unity forces, together with centaurs. Following the death of the Master, floaters became ubiquitous in the Central Valley in New California, preying on unwary travelers entering the regions.[2] Fortunately, they are quite scarce elsewhere in the wasteland, apart from Appalachia.


West CoastEdit

FO2 Floater bio diagram

The floater is a large, soft-bodied invertebrate, named after the flotation sacs that allow it to hover in the air. Noxious, flammable gases are generated by the creature and stored in the flotation bladders, giving the creature its distinctive appearance and ability to hover. The sacs are of various sizes and dangle along the underside of the mouth. As the flotation gases are highly flammable, energy and flame weapons are notably effective and may cause the creatures to suddenly combust.[3]

The primary mouth comprises a majority of the top of the creature's disk-like "head." Surrounded by sharp teeth, the funnel-shaped aperture can be radially opened or closed. A long tentacle is able to rapidly protrude from the mouth, ending in a prehensile cross-shaped maw. When a floater attacks prey, the head lowers with the mouth pointing directly toward the target. Its tongue-like tentacle maw is abruptly launched forwards, spiraling through the air while grasping at the target. A smaller mouth, denoted the fore mouth, appears as a slit running from the bottom brim of the head into the gaping primary mouth.

Despite its awkward and uncoordinated appearance, floaters are remarkably fast. Aided by flotation sacs, the creature uses its flexible body and tail to slither and propel itself along the ground. At the base of the head, floaters have an ovipositor used to lay eggs, although only asexual reproduction was observed in the original FEV samples.[1]

In place of a brain, floaters have a rudimentary ganglion inside the bow of the head, similar to non-mutated flatworms. The pathways are sufficient for the creatures to recognize prey and members of its pack, but leave them unable to work in cohesion. Floaters often haphazardly swarm any target in sight, making them tenacious adversaries despite their relative simplicity.[4][5][3]


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FoModel Floater
Gameplay articles: Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout: New Vegas

Only one variant of the floater exists across New California, and is frequently encountered in packs. The Unity harnessed floaters for use as war animals, accompanying patrols across the wasteland and protecting key locations in their domain. After the fall of the Master, packs of floaters and centaurs began to appear across the Central Valley, with another used by the Enclave to deny access to the navigational computer onboard the PMV Valdez.

Elemental floaterEdit

Gameplay article: Wastelanders
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Floaters appear in Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout 76. The Art of Fallout 3 includes concept art for a lamprey floater, manowar tendril floater, and needle tooth floater. Creatures named floater budding and floater evolved also appear in the files of Fallout: New Vegas, though they use the centaur model, a legacy of development.

Behind the scenesEdit

I think Floaters are cool critters in the Fallout universe, but, like Centaurs, they have really weird bodies that require unique animation rigs. From an animation perspective, limbless flying things tend to be really cheap (usually), human-like bipeds are cheap, quadrupeds aren’t too bad. Once you start getting into creatures with multiple heads, snake bodies, tentacles, etc., they get really expensive. IIRC, we talked about having Floaters but we just didn’t have the animation time for them.Joshua Sawyer on the Frog Helms Fan Club

Floaters are the creation of Jason D. Anderson. Notably, the creature was known as the "Sphincter Monster" during development after Anderson had used a pornographic image for its mouth.[6]



  1. 1.0 1.1 FEV experiment disk
  2. World map encounters in Fallout 2.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.26-27: "Floaters hover by, manufacturing and storing noxious gases in their flotation bladders. They're stupid, but move fast and are very difficult to kill. Floaters will try to surround you, so keep your distance. The gases that allow them to float turn them into a wonderful "flambé" when you crisp them with fire or energy weapons."
  4. Floater appearance and behavior in Fallout and Fallout 2.
  5. Fallout 2 combat description:
    # Floater
    {1230}{}{the head}
    {1231}{}{the mouth}
    {1232}{}{the fore mouth}
    {1233}{}{the body}
    {1234}{}{the float sac}
    {1235}{}{the tail}
    {1236}{}{the ganglion}
    {1237}{}{the ovipositor}
    (COMBAT.MSG (Fallout 2))
  6. Information acquired by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski from Jason D. Anderson: "We called it the "Sphincter Monster" after I used a porn image for its mouth"
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