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Initial levelEdit

Initial Level: Starting Unarmed skill is equal to 40% + (1% x (Agility + Strength) / 2)

What is with you people and making things hard? This is the same as 40 + .5AG + .5ST. Work with me here.

I agree. Even though other pages are probably like this, I've gone ahead and made the change to make the formula infinitely more comprehensible. ( 17:36, January 5, 2012 (UTC))

Is it possible to finish the game only using unarmed combat ?? what do you gain for poting points in the skill unarmed combat ?? (~~soul~~)

Relying on unarmed takes a different strategy, but it's been as effective as a run-through with smallguns/repair. It's very difficult to get stealth kills, but sneaking can get you close to your target to start VATS. Without sneaking, circling and flanking can get you in with less damage than you'd take strafing or sniping at a distance. Before max skill you need the unarmed weapons and a stock of chems, but at high skill, you don't even need a weapon.
At max skill and no unarmed weapon equipped, you can one-shot kill super mutants without sneaking, you can one-shot kill super brutes with a sneak-attack, and take down super masters in three hits (I haven't yet fought a behemoth with unarmed.) The Deathclaw gauntlet is more deadly than a combat shotgun, but purely with bare hands you can knock down even the biggest targets even before the Paralyzing Palm perk. Dealing with snipers and rocketters are the worst; I think the biggest challenge I've had was a mutant with a laser gatling shooting all the way along Seward St.
Todd Howard had said, "We didn't intend for people to be able to finish the game with unarmed," but I can confirm it's doable. All in all, the skill is definitely worth it and a lot of fun when you get the hang of it.-- 11:48, 15 November 2008 (UTC)
I have finished the game with an Unarmed character on Very Hard while avoiding using guns whenever possible, and never using Stealth Boys (I think I have become condescending on players that don't play on Very Hard because of this playstyle, trying to fix this attitude >_<). I'll admit that the first few levels were challenging, however the game became rather easy once I learned the hang of things. Here are a few damage references from Level 20, maxed Unarmed skill, with Better Criticals and Ninja, with a Deathclaw Gauntlet:
  • Feral Ghouls: One or two swipes. One if critical
  • Feral Ghoul Roamers: About three, two if one goes critical.
  • Glowing Ones: About 6.
  • Super Mutant: Three whacks.
  • Super Mutant Brute: About 7 whacks. A Sneak Attack Critical will leave them with one bar of HP.
  • Super Mutant Master: About 10 whacks. Sneak Attack Criticals will drain about 3/5 of their HP.
  • Raider: Maximum 4, depends on the toughness of the Raider. Some drop in one hit.
  • Protectron: Two hits.
  • Sentry Bot: A whole lot. About 12 I'd estimate.
  • Mister Gutsy: About 6 hits.
To players wanting to try Unarmed, I'd say give it a try. I was almost convinced it would make the game unplayable, but it brings it to a whole new experience. Close-quarters combat calls for more strategy and quick thinking than firing a gun from far away. And whoever said that Bloody Mess is good with Unarmed has never been forced to watch the same kill one million times. Hope I helped. --Dthvirus 21:43, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Aren't all your hits critical? [ 6 ( Better Criticals requirement ) +15 ( Ninja ) ] * 5( crit mult of DCG ) = 105% crit chance Or does ninja not work that way? Please tell me what I am missing here, maybe ninja goes outside of the critical multiplier? 13:38, September 19, 2009 (UTC)

I've been playing unarmed pretty much the same way I've played Oblivion as a melee, of course with the exception of sneak attacks. Basically, if my sneak attack fails or doesn't kill them, I turn to brute force. Block their attacks (mouse button 2), and charge up attack (hold mouse button 1) which does significant damage. Doesn't work too well if theres too many enemies around, such as if you were to face more than 4 Super Mutants with guns. But it works great since you can easily knock down their weapons if you aim and charge up properly. This usually cripples their arm as well in one hit with the Deathclaw Gauntlet. When fighting other melee opponents it is even easier as you just kite them and step in when you do a charged strike. The hardest challenge in playing unarmed only is fighting a Deathclaw. Since, their attacks piece your armor as well and they have a deadly reach, its almost impossible to strike without getting slapped back. --Lord0din69 05:10, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

The strategy guide says that the skill affects unarmed damage and the damage absorbed from blocking. So, does anybody know what amount of damage is absorbed from blocking with a 100 skill in unarmed? Also what is the chance of getting a head strike at 100? and does this chance affect any attacks outside of V.A.T.S.? --Thq95 09:27, 15 January 2009 (UTC)

Unarmed AP costs? Edit

(Xbox 360) I was surprised to find that my unarmed blows when I was not using any weapons at all, only bare fists, cost me more AP than when I was attacking with Brass or Spiked Knuckles! With the Spiked Knuckles, I was able to queue up 4 strikes, but bare fisted I could only queue up 3.-- 14:45, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Does anybody have the AP cost per barehanded attack? I'm pretty sure it has to be less than the 26 for the DG, as I believe I've queued more up barefisted. It'd help to know in order to get the ideal AGI stat. For most weapons, an AGI over 7 is useless.

When I had 132 action points, unarmed divided in evenly for 6 iterations of unarmed. Therefore we can take a pretty good guess that it's approximately 22 AP.

I have verified the above statement by using, Tribal power armor + Ledoux's hockey mask + Action Boy + Jet(1) + nuka cola qauntum = 198 AP. You end up with exactly 9 unarmed attacks.

110 AP (10 Agility and Action Boy) = 5 hits (22 AP) 04:21, November 13, 2009 (UTC)

Unarmed weaponEdit

Can someone put "Bare hands" or "bare fists" or whatever into the weapons catogory. I would but I don't know the damage or ap or anything concerning the stats.Tehuberleetmaster 04:30, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Someone with a PC should do the following:

1)Mezz/enslave a raider

2)Disarm his collar (He will now respawn friendly)

3)Check his health ( "getav health" ?)

4)Punch that mutha****a in the face

5)Check his health again

6)Calculate total dmg dealt

7)Repeat w/ different unarmed skill lvls


9)Share results

Would be very useful, because I've been told unarmed dmg = unarmed skill / 4, but this would confirm that statement. As for AP cost, just use 1 VATS attack and quickly check your AP after. 00:03, September 9, 2009 (UTC)ASDF

Damage Bonus Edit

This page says that unarmed receives a damage bonus from strength, whereas the strength page states that unarmed is completely unaffected by strength. This can be very confusing to new players and should be revised at once. 03:22, 7 March 2009 (UTC) Fixed. That was most likely left over from before it was confirmed whether Strength affected unarmed damage in Fallout 3.Fiddlesoup 03:57, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

Infinite Unarmed Edit

I don't see it here, so I may as well be the first. There is no cap to the Unarmed skill. If you can bring it over 100, damage will continue to scale, unlike other weapon categories. The skill screen won't reflect this boost. Using a variety of methods, you can get up to a legit 197 Unarmed, or using the stealth suit bug up to, well, infinite. Anyone on the PC can test this easy enough, just do a 'player.forceav unarmed 99999999' or something. Get an unarmed weapon so you can see the damage, then be amazed! PositronicSpleen 21:11, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

Also go to PositronicSpleen's page and check out the Mega Unarmed Power! section at the bottom for more details on how to boost unarmed over 100.

EDIT: Unarmed can be raised to 203 (208 w/ the pitt) legitimately, If you're willing to put 8 perks into intense training or you have almost perfect

A quick question: do unarmed attacks have a knockback effect? I've completed almost all of the quests, and decided that, for fun, i would use the stealth armor glitch to get an obscene amount of unarmed damage (enough to kill a hellfire trooper in 1-hit). I also seem to have gained a knockback, and a knockdown on criticals. is this caused by having 100 in unarmed? By paralyzing palm? Or is it just the huge amount of damage?

Unarmed damage. Edit

I just wanted to check if this is true, my Fallout 3 strategy guide says that base unarmed damage in Fallout 3 is equal to 1/4 of your unarmed skill and any hand to hand weapon adds to this. This seems to make sense when people talk about damage still increasing after their unarmed skill reaches 100 as the game tracks skill 100+. However this article says nothing about how unarmed damage is calculated, so is this true? DTWATKINS 17:39, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

Is this confirmable for ALL skills, or only for unarmed?

I found out through using two Hockey Masks and the Chinese Stealth Armor that for every 20 skill points, my unarmed damage increased by one. So one skill point increases damage by 5% of one point. I have no idea how your base unarmed damage is calculated however, because if it started at zero, then an unarmed skill of 100 would only do 5 damage per punch, which is certainly untrue. Is this anywhere in the G.E.C.K. by any chance? 09:24, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

208 unarmed (203 w/o The Pitt) Edit

OK. Here's the math:

END=1 Unarmed =

100 (base) +

050 (Skill books w/ comprehension) +

010 (bobblehead) +

015 (Tag! perk) +

018 (raising END 9 pts, Almost perfect helps) + <requires 8 perks, sorry; feel free to use less though>

005 (Hockey mask) +

010 (Metal master armor) OR + 5 (Vault 77 Jumpsuit) =


208 OR


Unarmed Dmg = Unarmed Skill / 4 + 15 (Iron Fist) = 67 OR 65.75!!!!


Then there's the DCG on top of that!

Sadly, requires 13 Perk slots total without Broken Steel (Damn you PS3, I want the GOTY Edition now!!!) =(

If you don't want to waste 8 perks on Intense Training, Unarmed can still be raised to 187 = 61.75 dmg (Buffout raises END by 3)

Taking the armor and Intense Trainings out of the equation yields 177 Unarmed, or 59.25 dmg

So, realistically Unarmed can be raised to 177, allowing one to pwn teh n00bz0rz!!!111eleven!!!

Argyle would be so proud... 08:55, September 13, 2009 (UTC)

Strategies (Moved from Article)Edit

Feel free to edit this as you would the Article to keep this list clean and helpful to other readers.--Ehplee 16:34, October 25, 2009 (UTC)

  • Unarmed builds should probably focus primarily on raising their Endurance, Agility and Luck stats early. NOTE: Neither Strength nor Endurance give a raw damage boost, Endurance just gives Unarmed skill points, while Strength has no impact at all. A Strength of 4 is also required for the Iron Fist perk. Invest in light, but effective armor to maximize running speed and maneuverability. The Toughness, Iron Fist, Paralyzing Palm and Ninja perks are extremely useful for unarmed fighting. The Sneak skill and its associated perks are also a very handy way to minimize received damage by simply avoiding it!
  • You may want to consider not completely neglecting ranged skills, such as Small Guns, Energy Weapons, Big Guns, or Explosives. Considering you need 25 in Explosives to do the nuke in Megaton anyway, a well placed grenade will more than needed to do the trick anyway. if you forgo all of these; it would be wise to look into supplementing your unarmed skill with either sneak or a good supply of chems. A completely Unarmed character is possible to play, although will generally require more skill and pre-battle planning
  • Unarmed fighting requires much more finesse and strategy than does ranged fighting. Being hasty and running in fists blazing is not usually suggested. Instead, consider luring foes to you by rounding corners or entering alcoves, etc. If [Danger] turns back to [Caution] or [Hidden], simply pop back into the line of sight to "re-interest" your prey.
  • Take advantage of the "teleporting" effect of unarmed attacks in V.A.T.S. mode. You only need to be around 7-10 feet from your target to initiate an attack. This comes in rather handy, especially when sneaking. An unarmed attack using V.A.T.S. can even teleport you through a fence without opening the gate.
  • Dogmeat, and any followers for that matter, can be extremely useful for tanking enemies as you flank them (optimally, while remaining hidden). Dogmeat's extremely high Perception will also allow you to raise your other SPECIAL's at your own Perception's expense. If you manage to get your Sneak skill up to a respectable level you may find wandering solo to allow to pick & choose your fights, and engage your enemies in a more strategic fashion when you opt for violence.
  • Close-quarters combat tends to be more demanding on a machine's graphics card than ranged combat, since the machine must render several objects moving at relatively high speeds. This lag should be factored into a decision of whether or not to take the Unarmed or Melee Weapons route.
  • Many players forget that Unarmed and Melee Weapons can block. This is usually futile against an enemy with a gun, but can make duels with other melee attackers easier. Unarmed weapons will assume a defensive position in front of the Lone Wanderer's face, that will reduce damage taken. Holding down the block button will slow all movement to a walking speed, so a player should try to decide if he or she wants to block or outright dodge something, or be struck trying to dodge and block at the same time.
  • Some blocking positions can be extremely view-obscuring, especially with large weapons such as the Deathclaw gauntlet so a player should be aware of his or her situation before going on the defensive, or offensive for that matter.
  • Since blocking slows movement to a walking speed, and attacking has no such restraints, an effective strategy can be worked out against melee attackers. First, turn on auto-run. While attacking an enemy, hold block and hover just outside their range. When see an opening is spotted, the player should rush forward and press the attack button. Since the attack animation is lengthy and has no speed constraints, the player should be able to reach the enemy, strike, return immediately to a blocking stance and back away. Weapons with long attack animations are best for this, such as the Deathclaw Gauntlet or Fisto!, as the Lone Wanderer has time to reach the enemy as the first hitboxes open up.
  • Just like in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Unarmed and Melee Weapons can do power attacks that do twice the damage by holding down the attack command for about one second. The resulting attack is slower and stronger than a regular strike, and may also be accompanied by a grunt or battle cry. The player should judge his or her situation and learn when to use a power attack. Probably the most useful power attack is performed by running forward and holding the attack command. The character will sprint briefly, then put all his or her speed into a single punch, and stop. Players of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion may recall this as a Forward Power Attack; Fallout 3 has no name for the attack.
  • It is possible to survive a jump off of Tenpenny Tower by using unarmed VATS while in range of a guard shooting at the targets (Note: Only possible pre-update).
  • Circle-strafing tends to work much more effectively against melee enemies than blocking and trading blows as long as there is enough space. When there is a short distance between you and the enemy, the enemy has a tendency to perform a dash attack that can be avoided by moving diagonally forward so he runs past you. While the enemy is dashing, he cannot block and he is vulnerable to attacks during the dash and when he recovers from the dash. As long as you keep a small distance by the time he is ready to attack, he will likely attempt another dash and you can repeat this tactic. This is easiest to perform on Super Mutants and hardest on Deathclaws because of their reach.

Unarmed damage bonus from strength in New Vegas? Edit

"In Fallout: New Vegas, the unarmed skill is tied to the Endurance SPECIAL stat, whereas unarmed damage is tied to Strength." i did some testing and it seems like strength doesnt affect the unarmed damage.

Evasion moves from oblivion Edit

In oblivion, when reaching skill lv 50 with acrobatics, you could perform some evasive maneuvers (rolling forward/left/right. This could be done by pressing jumping, while blocking). Are these also available in Fallout 3/ New Vegas? I'm asking here, because there is no acrobatics skill in Fallout, but unarmed seems closest to that. Zarathustra01 14:57, January 10, 2011 (UTC)

No they are not available in Fallout 3 or New Vegas. P.png Jax-Kenobi P.png 22:46, June 13, 2011 (UTC)

Wrong information Edit

The equation for unarmed skill in Fallout and Fallout 2 is wrong. In Fallout 2 it's 30+2(ST+AG). I haven't double checked Fallout and Tactics yet. Librarymouse (talk) 21:20, July 24, 2012 (UTC)

Worked out blocking damage formula Edit

I've done some testing with the console on the PC version of New Vegas and I've managed to work out how much damage is blocked by Melee and Unarmed weapons.

You block damage based solely on your Unarmed skill, your Melee skill has no effect on damage blocked strangely enough. What blocking does is add more DT to your character, but only for Melee/Unarmed attacks obviously. The formula seems to be this:

5 Base + (Unarmed x 0.3) = Blocking DT

So a character with 0 Unarmed skill gets 5 more DT when blocking.

A character with 50 Unarmed skill gets 20 more DT.

A character with 100 Unarmed skill gets 35 more DT.

And a character with 150 Unarmed skill would get 50 more DT.

And yes the game does use skill values over 100.

Combine that with the small amount of extra unarmed damage you get when you go over 100 skill there's good incentive for Unarmed players to hold off from reading skill books until after they reach 100 skill. And possibly also getting the Tag! perk after reaching 100 skill. 07:57, April 10, 2013 (UTC)

OK I've tested this some more and found that this is only true when fighting creatures such as deathclaws or giant mantises. If you block an attack from a super-mutant or human wielding a Melee or Unarmed weapon than your blocking DT is controlled by either your Melee or Unarmed skill depending on the type of weapon you are holding.

In short:

Level your Unarmed skill to block everything when using Unarmed weapons.

When using a Melee weapons you want Melee skill to block attacks from humanoids and the Unarmed skill to block attacks from creatures. 14:39, April 14, 2013 (UTC)

Good work. Have you looked at the game settings to see which ones may effect this? That type of stat seems to me to be the type with a global setting that may be changed. The Gunny  380px-USMC-E7 svg 14:54, April 14, 2013 (UTC)

Purpose of unarmed skillEdit

Is the only advantage to raising your unarmed skill in FO3/NV to unlock perks/special moves/dialogue checks, since it appears to have no effect on the unarmed damage dealt by the player?

If it does affect the damage, why isn't that explained in the article?

dbbolton (talk) 20:04, July 26, 2014 (UTC)


Fallout 1 Unarmed attacks?

Is the chart for "special" unarmed attacks (jab, strong punch, kicks, etc) for FO2 only, or for FO1 as well?

It's very unclear, the way the page is currently set up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:56A:73BC:1400:95E0:E40:F297:F6E4 (talkcontribs) 22:32, 13 August 2017 (UTC). Please sign your posts with ~~~~!

I'm not completely sure but I think only FO2 has special unarmed attacks.123123abcabc (talk) 19:10, August 14, 2017 (UTC)

New Vegas also has special unarmed attacks too. Sakaratte - Talk to the catmin 19:13, August 14, 2017 (UTC)
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