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The Melee Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with melee weapons, from the simple lead pipe all the way up to the high-tech super sledge.— In-game description

Melee Weapons is a skill in Fallout 3. This skill determines combat effectiveness with any melee weapon.


"It's important to do business up close and personal."

Example: A starting Strength of 5 and Luck of 5.

As this skill increases, so does the damage inflicted with all of these weapons, both in and out of V.A.T.S. mode. The Melee Weapons skill also allows using a melee weapon to block an attack; the higher the skill, the more damage is absorbed.

Note that a fast weapon like a combat knife or Ripper can make more attacks in a given length of time than a heavy sledgehammer, potentially generating more damage in a shorter amount of time. More attacks also mean more chances to stagger an opponent when their torso is crippled. However, as one begins to fight enemies with strong armor, weapons that deal more damage per hit tend to be more effective. The Shishkebab is generally considered the best melee weapon available, as it is swung as fast as knives and lead pipes, and it deals only just slightly less damage than a super sledge per hit. Along with both these fast and powerful traits, its damage can further be increased with the Pyromaniac perk. The unique ripper Jack can, depending on critical rate, Luck, and selection of perks, allow to deal an astounding amount of damage far superior to that of the Shishkebab in a damage-per-second sense. Jack is especially effective when performing a Sneak Attack Critical hit.

Ways to increase Melee Weapons

Note: Only items adding +5 or more are included.

Affected weapons

Perks that require Melee Weapons skill

Perk Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Ninja 80 20 Sneak 80

Notable Melee Weapons skilled characters