This perk allows one to target their opponent's body parts even if they are behind cover, allowing them to shoot through solid objects and hitting the body part that they were aiming for. This is very useful against enemies like robots and people in power armor, because they generally have their fusion cores or combat inhibitors on their backs. With this perk it actually allows one to target their weak spots, through their body, meaning that even if they are facing towards the player character, it is still possible to hit exactly where wanted, such as fusion core. At least some portion of the enemy must be visible to be able to target them in V.A.T.S., if they are completely behind cover and hidden, one will be unable to target them.
|1||PER 9||There's no place to hide! In V.A.T.S. you can target an enemy's body parts that are blocked by cover, with a decrease in accuracy.||00024AFF|
|2||PER 9, LVL 28||In V.A.T.S. when you target an enemy's body parts that are blocked by cover, there is no decrease in accuracy.||001D2477|
- Critical shots in V.A.T.S. with this perk will pierce anything, including multiple layers of walls and even the ground - useful for burrowing radscorpions and mole rats. Whether or not intended by Bethesda, plasma weapons won't penetrate any layer without the use of critical hits. The Gauss rifle will. Due to the unique nature of the Tesla rifle, shots won't penetrate without a critical for this gun either. The chances to hit in V.A.T.S. now properly reflect that fact by displaying "0" for body parts that are completely under cover - for the Tesla rifle as well as for the plasma weapons.
- There are certain things that cannot be shot through, even with this perk, such as certain pieces of glass or the ground.
- Even though this perk will allow for targeting enemies that are behind cover, explosive weapons will not transfer any of the damage through the cover, whereas ballistic or energy weapons will still be able to do damage.
- Non-hitscan weapons and any weapon with the Explosive modifier cannot use Penetrator. It may show a chance to hit for these weapons, but they will never hit.
- Instigating weapons can penetrate, but lose their effect while doing so.
- If a Protectron is destroyed while it is still in its charging station with the doors closed, it will not open the door if one attempts to activate the Protectron, meaning it cannot be looted.
- Even though the icon depicts shooting through walls, it appears that the perk has no effect on whether or not bullets are able to penetrate objects outside of VATS.
- Sentry bots are made severely less threatening as a result of the perk, as the Sole Survivor is allowed to penetrate through the Sentry Bot's armor to hit the fusion cores and deal very large amounts of damage (if not one-hit kill it) without needing to wait for a cooldown cycle. Similarly, enemies in power armor or armor that covers their weak points (like mirelurks) can be taken down much more easily with this perk.
- There is a slight decrease in damage done when a shot penetrates through the terrain. A shot that could kill outright in the open may not do so through a penetrated shot. However, VATS only calculates the standard damage so it will still say that it's going to be a killing shot.
- There is often a dramatic loss of damage from the penetrating shot vs. regular one. This does not seem to be mentioned anywhere. The pattern follows logic - thick concrete columns, and rolled steel I-beams absorb a lot more that a 1/2 inch thick wooden board. However sometimes shots go through things that one would not expect, like a corner of a city house, two layers of bricks and everything in-between.
- Selecting a target behind another NPC will result in damage being inflicted on both characters.