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A combination of martial arts, boxing and other hand-to-hand martial arts. Combat with your hands and feet.— In-game description

Unarmed is a skill in Fallout: New Vegas. It determines the effectiveness by Unarmed attacks.

Initial level

Example: A starting Endurance of 5 and Luck of 5.


As in Fallout 3, the Unarmed skill is tied to the Endurance SPECIAL stat. The player character will receive a boost of +2 points in Unarmed per level of Endurance, for a maximum boost of +20 points at 10 Endurance. Luck further raises Unarmed effectiveness by +1 points per every 2 levels (+5 Unarmed at 9 Luck). Just as in Fallout 3, Unarmed Damage is derived from the Unarmed skill and unaffected by Strength; the only change is that unarmed weapons now have a Strength requirement in order to use them at maximum efficiency. However, aside from the ballistic fist, the Strength requirements are generally very low.

The AP cost (Action Points, used in V.A.T.S.) when completely unarmed is 22.

Fallout: New Vegas possesses a multitude of new, more powerful unarmed and melee-specific perks, game mechanic bonuses (i.e. special attacks in V.A.T.S. at higher levels of skills; specifically, an Uppercut at 50 and a cross attack at 75).

There are four different special moves that can be learned from different non-player characters in the game. One can learn the Ranger Takedown attack from Ranger Andy in Novac, the Legion Assault from Lucius at Fortification Hill, the Scribe Counter from Veronica and the Khan Trick from Diane. Each requires completing a task to be taught the move, and may require the player character having certain ratings (such as high or moderate fame) in factions to be learned.

V.A.T.S. Special Attacks

As your Unarmed skill increases, you will unlock the ability to do uppercuts (50 Unarmed) and crosses (75 Unarmed) - both inside V.A.T.S. and out.Fallout: New Vegas loading screens

Unarmed weapons in Fallout: New Vegas can utilize up to three special attacks in V.A.T.S., each at the cost of 20 Action Points, depending on the character's Unarmed skill. At an unarmed skill of at least 50 Stomp and Uppercut special attacks become available. Stomp is an attack that deals double damage, where the target receives a swift downward kick, but can only be used on enemies after they have been knocked down. Uppercut is an upward punch that deals an additional 15% damage. At an unarmed skill of at least 75, Cross is a punch thrown across the body that deals 10% greater damage, with an additional 250% damage to limbs.

Unlike other special unarmed moves that must be learned before use, these special attacks require only an investment in skill points to unlock. Since the special attacks require the same AP regardless of the weapon used, higher damage but slower weapons benefit more from V.A.T.S. than faster weapons. Note that using an unarmed attack while crouching changes the attack to uppercut while still retaining the AP cost of a normal attack.

Name Requirement AP Damage Bonus Notes
Uppercut Unarmed 50 20 15%
Cross Unarmed 75 20 10% 2.5x Increased Limb Damage
Stomp None 20 100% Only on knocked down opponents

In addition, all unarmed attacks in V.A.T.S. do twice as much base damage (just like power attacks in real-time).

Ways to increase Unarmed

Note: Only items adding +3 or more are included.

Affected weapons

Perks that require Unarmed skill

Perk Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Piercing Strike 70 12
Paralyzing Palm 70 18
Slayer 90 24 Agility 7

Notable Unarmed skilled non-player characters

Talented Unarmed combatants in the Mojave Wasteland can teach specialized fighting styles to improve your abilities.Fallout: New Vegas loading screen