|For an overview of the game mechanic across titles, see karma.|
Karma is the reflection of all good and evil choices made during the game and how they are perceived by the inhabitants of the wasteland.
The Lone Wanderer begins the game with a value of zero, which increases or decreases based on the their actions. There are 5 levels of Karma:
- Very Good: +750 to +1000.
- Good: +250 to +749.
- Neutral: -249 to +249.
- Evil: -250 to -749.
- Very Evil: -750 to -1000.
The Karma status is defined by a "Karma title," depending on one's Karma points and level. Karma titles above level 20 can only be reached with add-ons.
|Level||Good Karma||Neutral Karma||Bad Karma||Achievement/Trophy|
|1||Vault Guardian||Vault Dweller||Vault Delinquent||-|
|2||Vault Martyr||Vault Renegade||Vault Outlaw||-|
|7||Ranger of the Wastes||Vagabond of the Wastes||Pirate of the Wastes||-|
|9||Urban Avenger||Urban Ranger||Urban Invader||-|
|11||Capital Crusader||Capital Councilor||Capital Crimelord||-|
|13||Vault Legend||Vault Descendant||Vault Boogeyman||-|
|14||Ambassador of Peace||Pinnacle of Survival||Harbinger of War||20/ Bronze|
|15||Urban Legend||Urban Myth||Urban Superstition||-|
|16||Hero of the Wastes||Strider of the Wastes||Villain of the Wastes||-|
|18||Wasteland Savior||Wasteland Watcher||Wasteland Destroyer||-|
|20||Last, Best Hope of Humanity||Paradigm of Humanity||Scourge of Humanity||30/ Silver|
|21||Restorer of Faith||Soldier of Fortune||Architect of Doom||-|
|22||Model of Selflessness||Profiteer||Bringer of Sorrow||-|
|24||Friend of the People||Loner||Consort of Discord||-|
|25||Champion of Justice||Hero for Hire||Stuff of Nightmares||-|
|26||Symbol of Order||Model of Apathy||Agent of Chaos||-|
|27||Herald of Tranquility||Person of Refinement||Instrument of Ruin||-|
|29||Earthly Angel||Gray Stranger||Demon's Spawn||-|
|30||Messiah||True Mortal||Devil||20/ Bronze|
Obtaining Karma points
- Donating caps to a church (In increments of 10, 50, or 100): +1 Karma per cap.
- Selling fingers taken from the corpses of evil characters (you killed) to Sonora Cruz via the Lawbringer perk: +10 Karma per finger.
- Giving scrap metal to Walter in Megaton's water processing plant for free: +10 Karma per scrap.
- Giving away purified water, or Aqua Pura with Broken Steel installed, to beggar characters like Carlos outside of Rivet City: +50 Karma per item.
- Performing a good action in a quest: At least +50 Karma (ex: Bring Cherry to Rivet City.)
- Giving 25 caps to Mei Wong to buy a gun: +100 Karma
- Saving a wasteland captive: +50 Karma
- Saving a wasteland captive without the Reward: +75 Karma
- Killing a Very Evil character or creature (Allistair Tenpenny, Mister Burke, Eulogy Jones, Carolina Red, Ahzrukhal, Jaime Palabras, Jotun, Ymir, Cutter or a cannibal Hunter): +100 Karma
- Disarming the Megaton bomb in The Power of the Atom quest without requesting payment: +200 Karma
- Activating the Failsafe in the Tranquility Lane Simulation: +300 Karma
- Activating Project Purity by yourself in the quest Take it Back!: +600 Karma
- Blowing up the Enclave Mobile Command crawler in Who Dares Wins in the Broken Steel add-on +500 Karma
- Taking the Escalator to Heaven perk in the Broken Steel add-on: +2000 Karma (essentially, it resets Karma to the maximum 1000).
- Destroying the Krivbeknih in the Point Lookout add-on: +500 Karma
- Siding with the abolitionists during Head of State.
- Making a truce between The Family and Arefu.
- Devour a corpse (Cannibal perk required): -1 Karma per corpse.
- Stealing from a non-evil character or faction: -5 Karma per instance (note that when stealing from owned (red text) containers, such as cabinets or lockers, the Karma change applies once per activation of that container. Meaning, if a container is opened once and two items are stolen, 5 Karma will be lost, but if the same container is opened twice, stealing one item each time, 5 Karma will be lost each time, which means 10 Karma lost in total). Items can be replaced in owned containers after being stolen, and then stolen again and again with the same Karma loss each time, making for a useful method by which console gamers can decrease their Karma, although repeatedly hacking an owned terminal is a faster way of doing this.
- Repeatedly hacking an owned (red text) terminal (Classified as stealing, but can be done over and over again) -5 Karma per hack attempt, NOTE, even accessing the terminal will result in negative Karma.
- Selling ears taken from the corpses of good characters (one has killed) to Daniel Littlehorn via the Contract Killer perk: -10 Karma per ear.
- Killing a good creature: -25 Karma
- Giving away Aqua Pura with the modified FEV with Broken Steel installed, to beggar characters like Carlos outside of Rivet City: -50 Karma per item.
- Performing an evil act in a quest: At least -50 Karma
- Killing a non-evil character: -100 Karma (although, this can be gotten around by shooting them once, making them hostile, then letting a follower kill them.)(note)
- Giving Psycho to Paulie Cantelli in Rivet City: -100 Karma each time so long as he is alive.
- Enslaving any character with the Mesmetron: -100 Karma
- Causing Mister Lopez to commit suicide (either by pushing him or insulting him): -500 Karma
- Letting the feral ghouls into Tenpenny Tower in the Tenpenny Tower quest: -600 Karma
- Blowing up Megaton in The Power of the Atom quest: -1000 Karma
- Infecting Project Purity with the modified FEV in the Quest Take it Back!: -1000 Karma
- Blowing up the Citadel in Who Dares Wins in the Broken Steel add-on: -1000 Karma
- Taking the Devil's Highway perk in the Broken Steel add-on: -2000 Karma (essentially, it resets Karma to the minimum -1000).
- Bringing Bryan Wilks to Paradise Falls during Those!.
- Lying to Weston Lesko that the Nest Guardians are dead during Those!.
- Siding with the slavers during Head of State.
- Taking the Karmic Rebalance perk in the Broken Steel add-on: Karma reset to 0.
Effects of Karma levels
- Access to Star Paladin Cross and Fawkes.
- Talon Company mercs will come after the player character.
- A citizen in Megaton will reward the player character for their good-doings with ammo and other random gifts.
- The use of the Impartial Mediation perk, the single biggest skill boost in the game.
- Access to Sergeant RL-3, a good early to mid-game follower, and Butch.
- Neither Talon Company nor the Regulators will come after the player character.
- The Regulators will be after the player character.
- Access to Clover and Jericho, good early to mid-game followers.
- A slaver in Paradise Falls will reward the player character for their wrong-doings with ammo and other random gifts.
Companions and Karma
Some companions have a Karma level requirement that must be met if the player character wishes to enlist them:
- Clover and Jericho need bad Karma to be recruited. After being hired, they will follow the player character regardless of changes in Karma level, although they will often mention how boring the player character is, should the Lone Wanderer become good. If fired, Jericho will not join the player character again if they stop being evil, but Clover will rejoin the player character after being fired, even if their Karma is no longer evil.
- Butch DeLoria and Sergeant RL-3, both recruited with neutral Karma, are similar to Clover and Jericho. They will not leave if one's Karma becomes good or evil, but unlike Clover, one cannot get them back with a high or low Karma level when the main story separates the player character.
- With high Karma it is possible to enlist Fawkes or Star Paladin Cross. They are not slaves or servants like Clover and Charon - they will follow the player character of their own free will, without any cost, if asked one has good Karma. Be aware, however, that being good characters, they will leave if one becomes evil after recruiting them, and will refuse to follow until one's Karma is high enough.
- Dogmeat and Charon will follow the player character regardless of what their Karma level is.
- To check one's exact Karma value, PC players can use following console command: player.getav karma
- Some of Three Dog's news will be based on the player character's Karma, which can be odd if they are evil and have done something good or vice versa. Such as he will call the Lone Wanderer a jackass for sending Bryan Wilks to Paradise Falls, and then compliment them for saving Megaton.
- When the player character's Karma is in either the good or evil end of the spectrum, Talon Company (with good Karma) or Regulator (with evil Karma) hit squads can appear and ambush the player. These hit squads appear as random encounters and as ambushes at specific locations where the player character exits structures that utilize loading screens to return them to the Capital Wasteland.
- When the player character has neutral Karma, Talon Company/Regulator hit squads do not spawn. However, Talon Company and/or Regulators that spawned previously will not disappear or become friendly to the player character. They will always be hostile upon contact regardless of the one's current Karma.
- A player character that has been both good and evil may sometimes find themselves attacked by Talon Company mercs and Regulators at the same time where their ambushes occur. The two groups will often attack each other if they notice the other group before noticing the player character.
- The player character will only lose Karma for killing a non-Evil creature or NPC if they are assigned to a faction that is programmed to give the player character a Karma penalty for killing its members; by default, no Karma is lost for killing Good/Very Good characters.
|Getting positive Karma points in FO3 and FNV||Getting negative Karma points in FO3 and FNV|