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Gameplay articles
FalloutFallout skills
Fallout 2Fallout 2 skills
Fallout 3Fallout 3 skills
Fallout: New VegasFallout: New Vegas skills
Fallout TacticsFallout Tactics skills
Fallout: BoSFallout: Brotherhood of Steel skills
Fallout: BoS 2Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 skills
Van BurenVan Buren skills
Fallout: The Roleplaying GameFallout: The Roleplaying Game skills

Skills are learned abilities of a character. The skill level shows how good the character is at that skill. Skill levels can be increased by allocating skill points earned from gaining levels. Skills can also be improved by reading specific books or completing quests within the games.

List of skills

Combat skills

Skill Fallout Fallout 2 Tactics Fallout 3 New Vegas Fallout: The Roleplaying Game
Big Guns Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Small Guns Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Guns No No No No Yes No
Energy Weapons Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Heavy Weapons No No No No No No
Throwing Yes Yes Yes No No Yes
Traps Yes Yes Yes No No No
Explosives No No No Yes Yes Yes
Melee No No No No No No
Melee Weapons Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Unarmed Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

Active skills

Skill Fallout Fallout 2 Tactics Fallout 3 New Vegas Fallout: The Roleplaying Game
Athletics No No No No No Yes
Chemistry No No No No No No
Doctor Yes Yes Yes No No No
Engineering No No No No No No
First Aid Yes Yes Yes No No No
Gunsmith No No No No No No
Hacking No No No No No No
Medicine No No No Yes Yes Yes
Lockpick Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Pickpocket No No No No No No
Repair Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Science Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Sneak Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Steal Yes Yes Yes No No No
Survival No No No No Yes Yes
Traps Yes Yes Yes No No No

Passive skills

Skill Fallout Fallout 2 Tactics Fallout 3 New Vegas Fallout: The Roleplaying Game
Barter Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Gambling Yes Yes Yes No No No
Outdoorsman Yes Yes Yes No No No
Pilot No No Yes No No Yes
Speech Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes

Weapons use

Each weapon class has a different skill that governs its use.

Name Details
Heavy Weapons /
Big Guns
Very large and/or heavy weapons (miniguns)
Energy Weapons Directed-energy weapons (laser rifles)
Explosives Thrown or placed explosives (land mines)
Firearms /
Guns
All gunpowder firearm class weapons
Melee /
Melee Weapons
Stand-off hand held striking weapons (clubs)
Pistols /
Small Guns
Small firearms (plasma pistols)
Rifles /
Small Guns
Small firearms (assault rifles)
Throwing All thrown weapons (spears)
Traps Placed explosives (plastic explosives)
Melee /
Unarmed
Striking weapons on the hand or arm (gauntlets)

Mechanics

For most skills, the success of an action governed by one is determined by either directly checking skill level against a threshold or with a skill roll. Rolls are used for most intrinsically random actions like hits in combat and random encounters.

With Speech, direct checks are used as well as rolls in Fallout and Fallout 2, with direct checks completely taking over in later installments. Skills governing the success of game play actions with low degree of random chance (like lockpicking) used rolls in classic games but were likewise replaced.

Skill roll

A skill roll (also called "skill challenge" or "skill check") emulates the way skill checks are done in traditional pen-and-paper RPGs. A random number from 1 to 100 is generated. If it is lower or equal to the skill level, the action is a success. So, for an unmodified check, skill level is effectively a chance of success for a relevant action.

A check can have a modifier that the skill level is adjusted by for the purpose of the check. So a positive modifier makes the action easier while a negative one makes it harder. Combat skills use automatically calculated modifiers from e.g. the ambient darkness level. Modifiers for checks associated with specific object or logic (like a dialogue option) are set explicitly. Since skills can grow up to 300%, the hardest challenges can have modifiers of as much as -100.

Some skills also limit the success rate by 95% no matter what. A few skills can also generate critical successes and critical failures. For combat skills, the effect is determined by Critical Hit and Failure tables.

Notes

Skills
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