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The Pulse Grenade is the most effective weapon against robotics. Upon detonation, an intense electromagnetic pulse is emitted, severely crippling any robotics within the explosion radius. They are extremely handy against the many robots and turrets found throughout the Capital Wasteland.Research Note - Pulse Grenade

The pulse grenade is a thrown explosive in Fallout 3.


The pulse grenade is a weapon that creates a large crackling electromagnetic pulse, dealing only minor damage to biological creatures, but far more damage to mechanical targets such as robots and automated turrets. In addition, most robots are disabled for a few seconds by the burst, leaving them open to attack.

Thrown grenades are affected by physics; they may bounce or roll unexpectedly if not thrown carefully. However, in-game physics can also be used to one's advantage by throwing grenades through doorways or bouncing them around corners to attack enemies, while remaining undetected.

Grenades can be targeted in V.A.T.S. and can thus be shot out of the air. Grenades can also be shot and detonated while they are held by an enemy. Grenades can be thrown at point-blank range in V.A.T.S due to the sharp reduction in damage taken by the player in V.A.T.S.

A grenade that has been thrown toward the player character will show up on the HUD as a red arrow denoting its direction relative to the player character. Moving in the opposite direction as quickly as possible will allow one to escape the blast radius.

Holding the fire button down for a longer period of time will increase the strength of the throw. Grenades can be thrown for longer distances than normal through successful V.A.T.S. hits. Grenades cannot be cooked to detonate earlier.

It is also possible to plant a live grenade on a non-player character by passing one from the Lone Wanderer's inventory to the non-player character's inventory via pickpocketing. This will kill the non-player character, regardless of how much health or damage resistance they have (making the pulse grenade far more deadly against a single biological target), while other targets caught in the blast radius, will only be dealt minor damage, in contrast to other grenades.

Considering its very low base damage, it is fairly safe to throw a pulse grenade at a robot at point-blank range, as it will barely have an effect on the Wanderer.


  • Talon Company mercenaries and Regulators sometimes carry pulse grenades with them.
  • Grenade boxes have a chance to contain two or three pulse grenades.
  • Mothership Zeta (add-on) Many pulse grenades can be found in the engineering core after destroying some engine cores.
  • Six pulse grenades can be found in the robot repair center in Frank's Box in the offices to the left, on the first floor.
  • Four pulse grenades can be found south of Wheaton armory, in an unlocked grenade box in the L-shaped raised hut near the Armory gate.
    • At lower player levels, there may only be 2 grenades in the box.
  • Four can be found in the Evergreen Mills bazaar. There is a bar to the immediate right of the entrance with two side-by-side refrigerators. Jump up on the shelves to look behind the refrigerators, they're in a small crate.
  • Three grenades are in the Vault 92 Living Quarters section, in the room next to Data Storage.
  • Three pulse grenades can be found in the Nuka-Cola plant. They are on a shelf in the Storage and Mixing vats section, just behind the occupied Protectron robot pod.
  • Three can be found in the equipment rooms of Vault 112, adjacent to the Tranquility loungers, but are locked by a computer that takes a Science skill of 75 to unlock.
  • At least three pulse grenades and seven pulse mines in the National Archives (some of the pulse mines are armed).
  • Two pulse grenades are found in the Museum of Technology in the locked gun locker near the planetarium. It can be obtained through the Jiggs' Loot unmarked quest.
  • One pulse grenade can be stolen from the Capitol Preservation Society. It is sitting next to the doghouse with a frag grenade.
  • One can be found on L.O.B. Enterprises second floor, next to a skeleton near a first aid box in a cubicle in a room with a partially collapsed floor.
  • Operation: Anchorage (add-on) One grenade can be found in the Armory after Operation: Anchorage! is completed.
  • One can be found in the Preservation shelter outside the flooded metro.
  • Can sometimes be bought from weapons merchants, such as Harith and Flak 'N Shrapnel's.

Boxes with pulse grenades

One guaranteed grenade, 75% chance to spawn 2 to 6:


See also