Fusion cores are used to power and activate suits of power armor. Each core provides roughly twenty minutes real time (or approximately 10 hours game time) of power armor use when jogging (default pace). Actions based on Action Points (AP) usage, such as holding breath when using scoped weapons, sprinting, utilizing V.A.T.S., or jet pack modules causes the power to drain much faster, whereas walking consumes less power and remaining stationary drains none. While the Sole Survivor can utilize power armor without a fusion core, they will be unable to move at a pace greater than a slow walk (similar to being overencumbered) and actions requiring AP will be restricted.
Fusion core lifespan is represented as a percentage. Fusion core lifespan can be extended by 10% by collecting the Repair bobblehead, and by up to 100% by investing points in the Nuclear Physicist perk. Instead of increasing the maximum charge percentage, these will slow the rate at which the charge level drains.
The Gatling laser utilizes fusion cores as its ammunition, each core providing 500 shots. Nuclear Physicist can increase the number of shots per core up to 1000, but the magazine capacity will remain at 500. Also combining with Repair bobblehead, the total amount of shots can be raised to 1100.
Fusion cores can also be ejected from power armor suits if one has the highest level Nuclear Physicist perk and no other explosive devices are currently equipped. Ejected cores land a short distance behind the user where they act as a sort of timed mine with a destructive force similar to that of a Fat Man's projectile. Note that contrary to the perk description, the cores cannot be actually thrown like regular grenades.
Fusion cores glow when they suffer critical damage and eventually erupt in a small but powerful nuclear detonation.
The core of a worn suit of power armor may be targeted using V.A.T.S. A successful hit will cause the core to suffer critical damage, causing a small nuclear explosion behind them, forcing the character wearing to armor to exit it.
In addition to fixed locations below, fusion cores may also spawn in groups of four in certain ammo boxes across the Commonwealth. Cores can also be spawned in other container types by means of an eyebot pod, but only one at a time.
|Acadia||2||On the bottom level of the interior of the observatory in a locked storage room. The storage room can be accessed by picking a Master-locked door or by hacking a Master-locked terminal.|
|Angry Anaconda||1||In the fusion generator located beside the expert locked portable cabin.|
|ArcJet Systems||1||In the room where the Sole Survivor can restore power to the elevators.|
|Atlantic Offices in the Glowing Sea||1||Atop the roof|
|Back Alley Bowling||1||On the second floor underneath a metal shelf in the hallway behind the bar.|
|Boston Airport||1||Spawns in the cargo area after Reunions.|
|Boston mayoral shelter||1||In a room off the basketball court with a sign above it that reads "Restricted Area."|
|Cambridge Polymer Labs||1||One can be found in the office, either by picking the master lock or successfully finishing the laboratory's research.|
|The Castle's armory||5||Including from Sarge sentry|
|Cola-cars arena||1||In a room adjacent to the preparing room. The room can be accessed by going through a destroyed wall.|
|Concord Civic Access||1||In a dark corner opposite the small drug cache that the mirelurk guards.|
|Crashed boat||1||Southwest of the Harbor Grand Hotel on the shoreline there will be a crashed ship with containers arranged to the side of the boat with flames trailing behind it. On the bottom floor, there will be a Fusion generator with the fusion core.|
|Erin Combes||1||Might give one for finding Ashes in the quest Here Kitty, Kitty.|
|Factory||1||On a generator located in the west corner of the building.|
|Fizztop Grille||1||On the outside patio, on the nightstand at the right hand side of the bed.|
|Fort Hagen Command Center||1||In a generator room to the west.|
|Four Leaf fishpacking plant||3||Two inside (one of them behind a mag-lock door) and one on the roof of the building.|
|Glowing Grove||1||On one of the tables.|
|Goodneighbor||2||On a shelf inside the train cart strongroom in during the quest The Big Dig.|
|Greenetech Genetics||3||On the top floor, two behind a security door locked at master level, and one behind a door further on locked at advanced level.|
|Gunners plaza||3||2-3 behind a novice locked door in a room on the opposite side of the elevator on the roof. One other one can be found on the center of the roof behind a door with a generator, running the fusion core.|
|Near Jamaica Plain||1||On the floor in a house on the outskirts of Jamaica Plain, on the floor next to a dead feral ghoul.|
|Kendall Hospital||1||In the basement|
|Longneck Lukowski's Cannery||1||In the basement area after the sewer section; be careful of mines.|
|Malden Center||3||All near the generator after descending in the elevator. One is one the ground in front of the generator. The other is in the cardboard box on the table to the left.|
|Malden drainage||1||At the end of the canal just north of the Taffington boathouse.|
|Milton parking garage||4||A part of one possible reward for completing the trap-ridden maze inside the parking garage.|
|Mass Fusion containment shed||1||Behind a mag-locked door (unlocked via terminal right above it). The area is heavily irradiated.|
|Medford Memorial Hospital||1||West on the second floor in a generator room.|
|Merchants||1||Any merchant who stocks ammo will most likely carry up to 5 at 100% charge and may carry one or two others at a lesser charge (usually 40%-90%).|
|Mole rat den||1||In a room to the right of the center room in the den.|
|Museum of Freedom||1||Lowest floor behind a security door (Novice terminal). Sturges asks the player character to retrieve it during When Freedom Calls. Unlike most other fusion cores, this one is obtained at a charge level of 50% instead of the usual 100%.|
|Mystic Pines||1||In the basement. The door to the basement is locked (Advanced) and requires 1 point in the Locksmith perk to pick.|
|The Nucleus||2||On the metal shelves in the first wooden shack after the decontamination arches.|
|Nuka-Cade||1||In the southern-most room, on the fusion generator|
|Nuka-Cola bottling plant||1||On the eastern part of the roof, inside a small cabin adjacent to the crane that accesses the faction flagpole. It's in a short cabinet between a tool case and a radio.|
|Nuka-Town market||2||Aaron Corbett's counter|
|Nuka-World access tunnels||1||Just after passing the wooden bridge, inside The Gauntlet maze.|
|Nuka-World junkyard||5||Various locations|
|Nuka-World transit center||1||On top of the yellow garage instrument table at the end of the tracks near a pile of radioactive barrels|
|Poseidon Reservoir||1||On the main road at a military checkpoint north of the reservoir, in a power armor.|
|The Prydwen's maintenance bay||2||Can be stolen off suits on the Prydwen by sneaking behind them. (Paladin Danse will disapprove.)|
|Quincy church||1||In a crate, near the terminal inside the church.|
|Railroad HQ escape tunnel||1||Near the exit behind a security gate that can be opened from the Expert terminal to the left of the door.|
|Recon bunker Theta||1||Can be found during The Lost Patrol.|
|Revere Beach station||1||Obtained for returning an overdue book at the arcade building near the station for fifty tokens.|
|Roadside Pines motel||1||Behind the motel on the west side of the building.|
|Robert Joseph MacCready||1||As an active companion, he will frequently provide fusion cores in lieu of ammunition if he is equipped with a set of power armor.|
|Robotics disposal ground||3||In chest near the robot in the center of the room. Two more can be retrieved from the robot by enabling it and then self-destructing it.|
|South Boston military checkpoint||1||In a power relay under the elevated freeway just east of the checkpoint.|
|Safari Adventure||1||Next to the door of the AFAD base at the Angry Anaconda.|
|Starlight Drive In||1||In the building behind the screen, behind a locked (Novice) door.|
|Suffolk County charter school||1||In a generator in the basement.|
|Super Duper Mart||1||In the generator room in the back.|
|The Switchboard||1||The fusion core is best accessible from the escape tunnel.|
|USAF Satellite Station Olivia||1||In the main center room in with the generator and the catwalk. Generator emits a buzzing sound.|
|Vault-Tec: Among the Stars||1||Second monitoring room accessible from the residential room, south section, next the to Project Lead terminal.|
|Vitale pumphouse||1||In the second room, requires combination "10-4-5-1" to access.|
|Walden Pond gift shop||2||In a suitcase during the mission where one fights a group of raiders to liberate a village.|
|Waystation||1||When following Dogmeat during the Reunions quest.|
|Weston water treatment plant||1||In the eastern hut.|
|Wilson Atomatoys factory||1||Southern side|
|Wreck of the FMS Northern Star||1||Inside a generator on the ground level, near the bow of the ship.|
|Yangtze||1||Inside an open footlocker in the crew quarters.|
|Welcome Center||1||In a small room to the left of the albino gatorclaw.|
- Sentry bots carry two or more fully charged fusion cores that can be recovered after the robot has been destroyed.
- It is possible to pickpocket fusion cores from characters equipped with power armor such as Brotherhood of Steel members and Atom Cats. Successfully pickpocketing it will force its user to exit the power armor.
- The item's value is independent of its charge level. The player character can drain a fusion core almost completely (even if the charge reads 0/100, which really just means a charge of less than 1%) and still potentially sell it for the same value as a completely charged core. A completely drained core, however, is removed from the player character's inventory and is unable to be sold.
- Contrary to how it was advertised prior to game launch, fusion cores are not exactly rare, as most shopkeepers and trade caravan owners will have at least one or two cores for sale, and they can also be found along with other types of ammo as loot in containers.
- While in power armor the number of remaining fusion cores is displayed underneath the current fusion core's charge level. If 100 or more fusion cores are available, the counter will top out at 99 as it only has two digits.
- A suit of power armor doesn't need a fusion core in it for a companion to enter it. If a fusion core happens to be in a companion's power armor, it does not drain from use.
- Fast traveling does not drain energy from fusion cores while wearing power armor.
- Using the jet pack drains the core's power much faster than any other type of armor operation.
- Leaving a fusion core in a power armor parked in a settlement may result in settlers, companions and even invaders wearing the power armor. While the core will not drain, the power armor may be left in unexpected places. The power armor can be retrieved from settlers and companions by asking them to exit the power armor; it can also be retrieved from settlers by waiting for them to go to bed.
- Fusion cores at different charge levels do not stack together.
- If an NPC is wearing power armor, the fusion core can be targeted in V.A.T.S. Unless the player character has the Penetrator perk, the fusion core has a hit chance of 0% when the player character is not behind the NPC, otherwise the hit chance is the same as that of the NPC's torso.
Behind the scenesEdit
In previous installments of the Fallout franchise, power armor was said to be powered by a TX-28 microfusion pack that can power the suit for over a century. It is never explained why a brand-new pack can be exhausted within 24 hours.
- PC Xbox One Sometimes, putting a fusion core into the armor may send both the fusion core or armor straight down, through the floor. Reloading a previous save is the only known fix.[verified]
- Playstation 4 Xbox One Completely draining a fusion core while in power armor and having a weapon not be fully loaded at the time may cause the game to show that the player character has no ammo for the said weapon. Solution: Unequip and re-equip the weapon.[verified]
- PC Playstation 4 Xbox One Having multiple fusion cores at the same level the power armor had when the Sole Survivor stepped into it may result in them all draining with the one in the power armor.[verified]