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Fallout 4

VATS and You

Nathan Garvin

Did you know that VATS is actually an acronym that stands for “Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System”? Vault-Tec is good for something, it seems! VATS returns from Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas to appear again in Fallout 4, but with some significant changes. The biggest change is that VATS no longer pauses the game fully once you use it. Seriously, in Fallout 3 you could enter VATS and go make a sandwich or take a bathroom break but no more! Instead, VATS in Fallout 4 slows down time significantly but keeps the action going.

Still, VATS is an essential combat tool in Fallout 4 and while its use is completely option you can use it to great effect. To help you do that, lets go over some basics, hints and tips!

  • There are key abilities you will want to get if you are a fan of VATS. The biggest one (by far - and totally worth its own bullet point) is Action Boy/Girl, as it refreshes your AP much quicker than normal. Incredibly helpful.
  • VATS allows you to target specific body parts of most enemies. Legs, arms, head… claws, tentacles, tails, you name it. Your chance to hit in VATS however is tied to your "Perception" iconPerception rating, so don’t skip on the Perception if you plan to use VATS. Your accuracy is also of course strongly related to the enemies position and your line-of-sight so don’t blame every miss on your Perception (Hint: Look into the “Penetrator” if you want to overcome that bothersome “moving into cover” thing that enemies sometimes do). Also note that the best you can do, accuracy-wise, is 95%.
  • VATS can be cheap, but it can also save your life. Facing a tough enemy that you can’t take on one-on-one? Have some good cover nearby? Use VATS to attack the enemy then get in cover to allow your AP to replenish. Once it has, pop back out of cover and attack again. Rinse and repeat. Whatever it takes to come out on top, right?
  • Your AP bar is affected by things other than VATS. Actions such as sprinting will drain your AP, so be careful when you are sprinting through the wasteland as you may find yourself suddenly needing AP you don’t have!
    With all of these basic facts, hints and tips about VATS you are now well equipped to use it to its fullest. It may be optional, but it is still a fantastic tool that will help you throughout the entire game.
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Guide Information
  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms,
    PC, PS4, XB One
  • Genre
  • Guide Release
    16 December 2015
  • Last Updated
    11 May 2024
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Nathan Garvin, Greg Wright

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It’s just another day. Having just been accepted into Vault 111, you spend the morning with your family going about your daily routine. That is until alarms blare out, signalling a nuclear attack. You and your family sprint towards the Vault along with everyone else in the neighborhood just as a bomb explodes nearby. After surviving the blast, you are lowered into the Vault and enter cryosleep. Two hundred years pass and you awake to a world ravaged by nuclear war. You are the Sole Survivor and what awaits you is a mystery as you set out to conquer the Wasteland.

Our guide will be a complete companion while you journey through the wilds of Fallout 4. You can find a plethora of information including the following:

  • A start to finish walkthrough with every area in between covered.
  • Combat details, SPECIAL explanation and general gameplay information.
  • VATS And You!: Getting to know your PIPBOY.
  • All faction quests explained including the consequences of favoring one over the others.
  • Information on Settlements and items for construction.
  • Bobblehead locations, collectibles and full Trophy/Achievement guide.
  • Settlement Guide complete with how to set up and manage settlements, what perks are beneficial etc.
  • Companion chapter detailing each companion character, where to acquire them and the pros/cons of each.
  • A detailed Character Creation guide fully examining the best builds and what each perk does.
  • Automatron and Wasteland Workshop DLC information provided, including a full walkthrough for Automatron.
  • A complete walkthrough of the “Far Harbor” DLC complete with information on every side quest.

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