Super mutants were first created on the West Coast by Richard Grey, also known as "The Master". He decided that he would have to force humanity to evolve beyond its innately destructive tendencies by turning them into super mutants. In 2162, a person known to history only as the Vault Dweller destroyed the Master's mutant army by causing an explosion in the FEV vats at Mariposa, which collapsed the entire base, after which he proceeded to The Cathedral in the ruins of Los Angeles and killed the Master.
In 2236, the Enclave discovered the remnants of the Mariposa Base. Soon, Enclave assault squads combed the desert for slaves they could use to excavate the military base and get to the FEV vats. In 2237 the Enclave abandoned the site after mutations occurred among Enclave personnel and slaves exposed to the FEV remnants in the facility, causing a second generation of Mariposa super mutants to arise.
By 2281, some super mutants from both generations have established a community called the State of Utobitha in Black Mountain near New Vegas under the leadership of Tabitha. The smarter and more organized Master's Army remnants are in charge of the dumber second generation mutants. Some other, more peaceful mutants reside in Jacobstown, led by Marcus.
Super mutants are mutated humans, products of infection by the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV). The super mutants found in the Mojave Wasteland are of the variety that originated from the Mariposa Military Base in California. They are much taller, bulkier and muscular than pure strain humans, have (mostly) green, gray, or yellowish skin, are immune to disease and radiation, and are gifted with superhuman strength and endurance. Although they are completely sterile, the rapid regeneration of their cells caused by FEV makes them biologically immortal (but not immune to death from injury).
Average super mutants stand approximately 10.4 feet (3.1m) tall (although they typically stand with hunched backs that reduce them to about 7.8 feet (2.3m)) and weigh around 800 pounds, possibly even more. Their skin is extremely tough, and their muscle and bone structure are enhanced well beyond the normal human genetics.
Super mutant intelligence varies greatly throughout super mutants. Though generally "lacking" in the mental aspect of life some super mutants retained some (if not all) of their intelligence from before they were changed into super mutants.
Super mutants often use heavy guns and melee weapons such as heavy incinerators and super sledges. The melee variants rush the player after throwing their frag grenades and the ranged mutants will shoot at the player from a distance while they slowly advance, relying on their armor for protection. Some super mutants will have centaurs to aid them.
The weakest of the three basic types of super mutant. These mutants attack by rushing the player if utilizing a melee weapon or standing in place shooting the player with a hunting rifle, relying on their superior health and armor for protection from attacks. Standard super mutants appear at lower levels, and will be replaced with brutes and masters at higher levels.
Brutes are the mainstay powerhouses of the super mutant forces. They are typically armed with assault carbines or incinerators for ranged combat, or sledgehammers and frag grenades for melee combat. They can be distinguished by their Trojan-like helmets and crude metal armor. A dead one can be found in the Ruby Hill Mine carrying various loot such as a multiplas rifle. Brutes appear at medium level, and will be replaced by Masters at high player levels.
The strongest mutant players will encounter. They use light machine guns or miniguns for long range combat and super sledges for close range. They are distinguished from the other two types because of their high amount of health. Similar to the normal super mutant and brute, the main hostile variants encountered in the wasteland wear the same armor as their Fallout 3 counterparts. However, the masters located in Jacobstown wear a black suit of full body armor and some sort of optical augmentation on their left eye. Masters appear at high levels wherever super mutants normally appear. Masters in Jacobstown speak clearly and show more intelligence than the standard super mutants around them.
Blue mutants made from the most untainted humans, these dangerous creatures utilize Stealth Boys to sneak up on their victims. They often prefer melee weapons such as the super sledge, rebar clubs or the bumper sword though some can be seen using firearms. Their skin tone is deep purplish blue in color.
Stronger than a regular nightkin, these mutants have more health and utilize better equipment. Nightkin masters appear at medium and high level - unlike common Super Mutants, they do not have a brute variant. These masters usually carry around heavy weapons like light machine guns and miniguns.
A unique nightkin found patrolling a radio tower outside Tabitha's station carrying a hunting rifle. Upon death it will drop the unique missile launcher Annabelle. This nightkin may also use Annabelle against the player character which can be quite a challenge and almost fatal to players at a low level.
Super mutants and nightkin are fairly rare in the Mojave Wasteland; they will never be found wandering the wasteland at random, and will only be encountered in a few specific locations.
The main super mutant stronghold in the Mojave Wasteland is Black Mountain, where several super mutants and nightkin can be encountered along with Tabitha, the self-proclaimed "supreme commander" of all super mutants everywhere. The Courier will also encounter Neil, a friendly super mutant, at the base of the mountain.
Jacobstown is an isolated settlement of peaceful super mutants as well as a squad of nightkin, led by Marcus.
PCPlaystation 3Xbox 360 Super mutants might not respawn after the quest Crazy, Crazy, Crazy. To avoid this, save in Black Mountain, restart your game then wait 1–12 hours. This might be because of the map cells needing refreshing. [verified]
PC There may be only nightkin around Black Mountain while trying to complete Crazy, Crazy, Crazy. [verified]