Fallout Tactics Character and Combat Game Guide
May 24, 2001
This document is Copyright 2001 by Sarin
Fallout Tactics is Copyright 2001 by Interplay/Micro Forte/14 Degrees East
This guide is not a walkthrough, as the title states. I wrote this program to
tell you about character creation and combat. These things are vital to your
victory in Fallout Tactics, so if you're interested, read on. If you have any
comments, suggestions or anything at all that you want to add, please e-mail
This is my first guide, so it'll probably show somewhere. If I make a mistake
somewhere, or if you feel that what I'm saying is inadequate, please e-mail
me so I can make the necessary corrections.
All e-mails that will be posted here are, of course, going to be acknowledged
I am not associated with Interplay or any of its divisions. They are not
endorsing this guide so don't ask them questions about it. You can alter this
file as long as you use it for personal use and that you don't claim the
entire work as your own. You can post this file as long as you don't change
it. If you changed or edited it in any way and you wish to post it, please do
so only with my permission. I may want you to show me the finished file if
you want to do this. This file is for free and you may not charge, or in any
way profit from, this document.
Special thanks goes to Jturner849 for his Gambling tip and to Marc for his
correction on the purposes of Charisma.
**New on this version**
1.2 Added Marc's correction on Charisma
1.1 Added Jturner849's Gambling tip
I can't give you accurate tables, but I will provide you with information
based on my experience in playing all Fallout games (Fallout, Fallout 2 and
Remember that since you're playing a squad-based tactics game, you need to
develop specialist characters instead of generalists. You can have a maximum
of six characters in your squad. Let one character focus on one skill while
the others focus on other skills. The squad that I played with had 3 snipers
(small guns 130%, perception 9-10 because of the sharpshooter Perk), 1 energy
weapons expert (130% energy weapons, perception 9), a grenadier (101%
throwing, ST 9), a jack-of-all-trades (intelligence 9, I'll explain this one
later) and a sadist (130% unarmed, 100% sneak, ST 12, agility 12. This one
was a Deathclaw). This doesn't mean that I had a total of seven members, it's
just that my energy weapons guy and one of my snipers are the same person.
While other squad members may focus on science, repair or barter, make sure
that they're not totally useless on the battlefield. This game is about
combat, and though it may require you to use your more technical skills every
now and then, they're not as important as having good fighters.
In the Character Creation Screen, you're given your primary stats. All of
these stats start at 5 and you're given 5 freebies to distribute. I'll
describe each of the stats below and you decide on what you should focus on.
ST - Strength - This is the physical strength of your character. Adjusting
this will affect his unarmed and melee damage, his carry weight and what
weapons he can use. The higher the number, the more powerful your close
quarter combat (CQC) damage. Remember that all weapons require a strength
check (which means that Fallout will check your ST to see if you meet the
strength requirement set for the weapon) and your ST has to match or exceed
the strength requirement. For example, the Pancor Jackhammer, a shotgun-type
weapon, requires ST 5, so your current ST will allow you to use this weapon.
However, the Vindicator Minigun requires ST 8, so you need to have ST 8 or
above to use it.
Strength accounts for a lot of things in Fallout Tactics, but if you want to
use big guns or inflict really good damage using a sledgehammer or power
fist, then you should allot more points on ST.
NOTE: There is a Perk called Weapon Handling that will give you +3 to ST when
the game does the strength check. The Power Armor will give you a +3 bonus to
PE - Perception - Perception is the ability of your character to see and
hear. Higher perception allows your character to shoot farther, so this is
essential for snipers. Perception is highly important in Fallout Tactics
because most of your enemies are armed with weapons set on burst mode, so it
becomes risky to get close to them. The strategy here is to fight them from
afar. "He who has the longer gun is king." So, outshooting your enemies is a
great strategy that you can use over and over again.
NOTE: There are several Perks that affect your character's perception and the
damage he does per shot. The Sharpshooter Perk will give you +2 to PE.
EN - Endurance - This deals with your hit points and resistances. The higher
this stat goes, the more HP you have and the more resistant you are. HP are
important, but the game gives you a lot of choices that you can choose from
to recover them, from chems like stimpacks to skills like First aid and
Doctor. Decide on what type of character you want. A shooter/sniper doesn't
need a lot of HP, so having EN at 5 or 4 isn't so bad. But a brawler-type
character needs a lot since he'll be in the line of fire most of the time.
Resistances are important, particularly from radiation. But remember that
both poison and radiation can be removed from your body by using antidotes
and RadAway. You can also use the chem Rad-X to raise your resistance against
NOTE: The Perk Lifegiver will give you +4 HP per level up in addition to the
usual HP increase. The Perk Living Anatomy will improve your Doctor skill and
give you a +5 damage bonus when you hit a living creature. Check your Perks
CH - Charisma - In previous Fallout games this stat was important. It used to
be important. There was a time when I really appreciated it. Fortunately in
Fallout Tactics, this stat no longer has any discernible purpose. Charisma
primarily affects Barter and Speech, but since the game is more combat-
oriented, I don't really recommend that you spend valuable stat points on
Charisma. My advice is that you transfer them. By the way, the Speech skill
has been replaced by the Pilot skill, so that leaves you with Barter. I
recommend that you leave Barter to another squad member, not your main
character. But check out Marc's tip just a few lines below before you do
anything with your character's Charisma. Just remember that in the end, this
is simply a guide. You make the choices, you make the call. I'll just tell
you some of the consequences of some of those choices.
Why did I say 'fortunately'? Because you can re-assign some of the stat
points used in Charisma to another stat, like Intelligence or Luck.
Marc says that Charisma is one of the greatest factors that can affect how
quickly you get promoted in the Brotherhood. Higher Charisma gives you better
access to new recruits and weapons. I appreciate the fact that Marc sent me
this tip because I couldn't find a significant use for Charisma. Now, I do.
AG - Agility - This is the backbone of Fallout's combat system. It ultimately
decides how much you can do within a given turn, both in turn-based and
continuous turn-based. Agility primarily affects your Armor Class and your
Action Points, the higher the stat, the better. No matter what kind of
character you're making, agility should always be a priority.
In combat, melee attacks usually cost 3 AP and aiming these attacks will cost
4 AP. The amount of AP you use when shooting from a gun depends on what mode
you're using: single shots cost 4 AP, aimed shots cost 5 AP and burst fire
cost 5 AP. Energy rifles (laser and plasma) cost 5 AP to shoot and 6 AP for
aimed shots. Players from previous Fallout games should take note of this.
Other actions such as driving, checking inventory, applying your First Aid,
Doctor and other skills will also cost AP. Each action has its own AP cost.
For example, sneaking will cost 2 AP while Doctor can cost around 12 to 15 AP
(I played the entire game in CTB, so I don't know if AP costs change in turn-
NOTE: There are a lot of Perks that can adjust your Agility. Bonus Move will
give you additional AP that you can use for moving. Bonus Rate of Fire and
Bonus H2H attacks decrease AP costs of ranged and hand-to-hand attacks
respectively. Again, check your Perks list. I won't be listing every Perk
there is, just the ones I used and highly recommend.
IN - Intelligence - I mentioned earlier that intelligence is important. This
is because of the fact that your Intelligence will decide how much skill
points per level up you can get. As your Intelligence goes higher, the number
of skill points you get will also increase. Reading books will also give more
benefits to the person with high Intelligence. For example, there are two
characters, one with IN 8 and another with IN 6. Let's say that both have the
same percentages on the Outdoorsman skill. If both read a Scout's Handbook,
Mr. IN 8 will have a higher Outdoorsman skill than Mr. IN 6 because of Mr. IN
NOTE: The Comprehension Perk will improve the number of skill points received
from reading books.
LK - Luck - This stat adjusts your critical hit chance to make more critical
hits. I don't know if it affects anything else. I keep this at 5 just to be
on the safe side.
NOTE: The Better Criticals Perk will give you more effective critical hits
(more damage, more disabling hits) but will not affect the chance to make
one. It means that it won't make more critical hits, but when you do make
one, it's gonna be pretty devastating. The Sniper Perk will upgrade all your
ranged attacks to critical hits if you also make the Luck roll. This means
that when you shoot at someone, your character only has to make the Luck roll
for him to make a critical hit. For example, your character (who has the
Sniper Perk, Luck 5) hits a target. The computer will then make a Luck roll
(similar to the ST check mentioned above). If it makes a roll of 5 or below,
then the hit is upgraded to a critical hit.
HP - Hit Points - This is the amount of damage your character can take before
he dies. How much Hit Points your character has at the beginning of the game
depends mainly on his Endurance, although ST can also be a factor. As your
character levels up, his Hit Points will also increase.
AC - Armor Class - The higher your AC, the better. This lessens the chances
of hitting you. This is primarily based on your Agility and changes when you
wear (or not wear) armor.
Melee Damage - This is how much melee damage your character can do in melee
or unarmed combat. This is based on ST.
Bonus Damage - The percent added to damage dealt. Perks will adjust this.
Damage, Poison and Rad Resistance - These resistances are better when they're
higher. The higher your resistance, the less damage you take, the more likely
you're to resist poison and radiation. These three are primarily affected by
your Endurance. Rad Resistance can be adjusted by using a chem called Rad-X.
Action Points - This determines how many actions you can do in one turn, or,
in CTB, this determines how much your character can do in quick succession
before pausing to replenish Action Points. This is based on your Agility.
Carry Wt. - This number tells you how much your character can carry. This is
based on ST.
Heal Rate - This tells how fast your character heals over time. This is based
Critical Chance - This is the chance of getting a critical hit, and therefore
doing more damage. This based solely on Luck.
Skill Rate - This number tells you how many skill points you get per level
up. You can increase this by having higher Intelligence.
Perk Rate - This is how often you get Perks per level up. Humans get Perks
every 3 levels while Ghouls normally get every 4 levels. The game will allow
you to create Ghouls, along with Deathclaws, Mutants, Humanoid-Robots and
Dogs, on multiplayer mode only.
Traits are optional characteristics. You can use them to create a definitive
character and add a personal touch to them. You can select a maximum of two
traits. Traits both have positive and negative effects on your character.
Traits are self-explanatory. If you click on the name itself, it will give
you a brief description of what it does. Clicking on the button beside the
trait selects it. When you click on them, you'll notice its effects on your
primary and/or derived stats and skills.
I won't bother to enumerate every trait, just the ones that I prefer and that
you should consider. No matter what character you want to create, you should
always seriously consider taking the Gifted trait. Having higher primary
stats will give you better skills, and the number of skill points you get per
level up can be increased by adding points to your Intelligence.
I'll give you a list of recommended characters and I'll give you some traits
that may prove useful.
I'll give you three character types to choose from:
Shooters are the types who deal ranged damage, possessing high Perception and
Agility scores. I don't want to call them snipers because the game has a Perk
called Sniper and I don't want any confusion with that.
ST - 5
PE - 8
EN - 2
CH - 1
AG - 9
IN - 5
LK - 5
Shooters must have PE 8 or higher because this stat tells who outshoots who.
If you have two guys shooting at each other with Sniper Rifles and both of
them have the same percentage in Small Guns, the one with the higher
Perception will outshoot the other. Endurance is not terribly important
because you're going to outshoot them anyway, but if you think that it's a
little too extreme, then by all means increase it. Try to keep Intelligence
at 5 because this determines how much skill points you get per level up.
The Small Frame trait can give you more APs at the cost of your Carry Wt. You
don't need to worry about your Carry Wt. too much because your squad members
can carry some of the load for you.
Finesse is a risky trait to take, but if you want those much-needed critical
hits, then take it.
Fast Shot is another trait that you should seriously consider. Remember, in
the game you will have other characters who can do aimed shots but only a few
of them have the Fast Shot trait, so this trait may prove useful when things
become too hairy.
2. Close-Quarter Combat Fighter
In-your-face and up-your-ass. This is what these guys are. They like to rush
in the middle of things and beat the hell out of everyone who stands in their
way. Playing these guys are tougher than playing shooters, but they're very
exciting to play.
ST - 8
PE - 4
EN - 5
CH - 1
AG - 7
IN - 5
LK - 5
You can afford to decrease your PE because you won't need it too much. Just
remember that you must have at least EN 5 because you're going to take a lot
of hits. Make sure that you have support fire from your squad members when
you play as a brawler.
The Bruiser trait offers a pretty risky trade-off. You're better off with
This guy knows anything and everything. The key to playing this guy is
increasing your IN to high levels like 9 or 10 so that you'll get higher
skill points per level up. This guy's pretty useful when you want to have a
character who knows what to do in any given situation: he can drive, shoot,
repair, heal, etc. This gives you the ease of concentrating on other recruits
who can specialize on other things. The non-combat skills you'll use most
will be First Aid, Doctor, Pilot, Outdoorsman and Barter.
ST - 5
PE - 5
EN - 4
CH - 1
AG - 6
IN - 9
LK - 5
You may want to take the Good Natured trait to increase your non-combat
skills. If your Intelligence is high enough, you don't have to worry too much
about losing your combat skills because you'll receive a high amount of skill
points per level up, but your character will have to take a backseat ride at
the beginning of the game because you may want to level up first before
rushing into battle.
Certain skills, like Doctor, First Aid and Barter, are obviously important
and that you should have squad members who are proficient in them. Let me
explain the benefits of having higher proficiencies in other skills.
Outdoorsman - 120% - You'll be able to choose encounters. Traveling across
the wasteland while getting constantly disturbed by random encounters can be
tiring, not to mention irritating. You can choose which encounters will be
profitable both in experience and loot if you have one squad member with this
Pilot - 100% - Having a good driver will help you in random encounters across
the wasteland. He can handle sharp turns quicker and faster.
Throwing - 100% - Just in case you missed it, throwing is very useful,
especially when you consider that Mutant grenadiers carry more than 15
grenades each. Looting them will give you more grenades than you can handle.
Sneak - 130% - Sneak behind them, then blast them to pieces.
Repair - 120% - This becomes useful when you have vehicles. Nothing can
repair the damage done to a vehicle without the help of a good squad member
with the ample repair skills and a tool kit. He will also gain experience
equal to the damage he repairs.
Jturner849 has this to say about Gambling:
in your fallout tactics guide, you said that you had yet to appreciate the
skill of gambling, and if we had any suggestions as to why it might be
i have a man with good gambling; he's my "jack of all trades" as you put it
(he serves as medic and fire support too)
in bos bunker gamma in 1 player mode, the quartermaster will gamble. this is
a great way to get free (and good) stuff. also, you can sell it back to him
for $, then gamble it away again (and sell it again and...etc). this gives
you unlimited money as long as your gambler is good enough so that you win
more than lose.
if you dont want space taken up by a gambler, just hone his skill and leave
him with the recruits. when your short on cash, you can just stop by gamma,
pick him up temporarily, gamble and sell, then put him back.
i hope this was useful to you.
NOTE: I played the entire game on Continuous Turn-Based (CTB), even when
facing deathclaws, so be warned. I may try to play it on turn-based later on.
1. The first thing to remember before you even begin to fight is that you
must know where your target/s is/are. You have a map at the bottom left
corner of your screen. Zoom out (default key "-" on your number pad) to
maximize your view of the area. This will give you the advantage of seeing
where your enemies are even before you begin combat. Enemies are marked as
red dots while friendlies are green.
2. Check behind walls and other places where enemies may hide. Like you, they
can also crouch and lie down, making them invisible to you and your map.
Remember that the map only reveals enemies you can see directly. So before
you plan your approach, make sure that there are no surprises awaiting you.
How do you find out where the enemy is hidden when you can't see them? When
you get close enough to walls, you can see if there's anyone behind it. These
creatures will be in green, (when you sneak you're in gray, get it?). You
know they're there, but you won't be able to attack them. That's how you find
out if there's anything behind something.
3. Now that you know where your enemies are, prepare your combat plan. As I
mentioned before, range matters. If you have a full squad of six, at least
two of them should have long-range weapons and a Perception score of 8.
Hunting Rifles are a good start (range 40) then move on to Sniper Rifles
(range 50) when they become available. When you get to Junction City to face
the Reavers, Laser and Plasma Rifles finally become available. Laser Rifles
have the edge when it comes to range (range 40) but Plasma Rifles pack a
little more punch to them. It's also a good idea to have weapons on burst-
fire ready just in case the enemy comes rushing at you. Shotguns, even on
single-fire mode, are lethal at close range. If you have a character that is
strictly a shooter, equip both hands with weapons, preferably a long-range
weapon on one hand and a short-range one on the other. Since you don't have
access to a lot of weapons at the beginning, a Hunting Rifle and any type of
shotgun is a decent combination. Use the Hunting Rifle to snipe at the
enemies and then switch to the shotgun when they get too close. You can use
this strategy over and over again, even when you're facing deathclaws and
mutants. My favorite combination is the Sniper Rifle and Pancor Jackhammer.
4. Combat begins in two ways: it's either you get the enemy's attention first
or he gets yours. It's generally a good idea to initiate combat yourself
because you have time to prepare that way. Position your shooters, preferably
lying down on the ground to get maximum range and hit probability. Set them
to aggressive mode when you're ready and they'll begin shooting. The enemy
will, of course, shoot back. If you took my suggestion about the requirements
of a sniper you shouldn't be having a problem at all. Your enemies will have
both shooters and melee combatants. When the fight begins, the melee fighters
will come rushing at you and your shooters will automatically shoot them. Try
to remember that on CTB, your squad will always try to hit the target they're
most likely to hit. That means if they have two targets, one who has a 47%
chance to hit and another with 50%, they'll go for the one with 50%. This may
sound like basic stuff, but you may want to eliminate the shooting targets
first than the melee ones, and if that's the case, you will have to aim
manually (default controls: right-click on the target. If you want to attract
their attention even when ctrl-right-click to force fire). Have your short-
sighted squad members (those with low Perception scores) armed so they can
provide back-up when the melee fighters arrive. You should have all your
squad members proficient in at least one combat skill, preferably Small Guns,
so that they're not completely helpless when the need to defend themselves,
or provide back-up, arises.
5. When you notice an enemy crouched behind a wall or some other obstacle
(meaning he's "in green"), use your Sneak skill. Sneak behind an enemy unit
and fire at him using a shotgun on burst mode. This strategy has the
potential to kill an enemy in a single move. An alternative strategy is to
use grenades. Frag grenades are in abundance in Fallout Tactics, so use them.
If you don't want a face-to-face encounter, force-fire your grenades near his
position. The spread effect will deal sufficient damage.
6. When dealing with Raiders, Beast Lords, Ghouls, Reavers and other human
enemies: These guys are usually armed with handguns and rifles. They usually
shoot on burst fire by default, so I would suggest taking them out from afar.
When they attack in teams of three or more, try shooting at them with a
weapon on burst fire. Reavers are easy to kill, but they carry very dangerous
weaponry, so be careful when you fight them.
When dealing with Baby and adult Deathclaws: Try to get some elevation when
dealing with these guys. Deathclaws are tough, so it's nice when you can get
a decent advantage over them. Shooting at them from above will leave them
helpless, so try to think about that strategy. You can lure them to attack
you, then run to a position where your squad members are waiting to ambush
him. If you have to deal with Deathclaws on land, then a shotgun, anything
from the Neostead to the Jackhammer will give you the best results.
When dealing with Mutants: You can apply the same strategy you used when you
dealt with human enemies. The only major difference is that Mutants carry a
lot more firepower, so you have to be extremely careful. There is one thing
that I noticed when I fought enemies who carried weapons set on burst fire: I
found out that it is less likely to be hit by these type of weapons when
you're alone than when you fight them along with some of your squad members.
If you follow my instructions about outshooting, then you'll be creating a
lone gunman in no time.
When dealing with Robots: Hitting these guys with any weapon with the word
"Pulse" in it will deal the best damage. Other energy weapons will deal a
significant amount of damage. Anything else will be next to useless until you
hit them with a critical hit. Try aiming for their sensors or weapon hands
(left or right arm) to disable them.
The most effective way to raise experience is to complete all the orders
given to you in each mission. This piece of advice may seem pretty basic and
may sound stupid, but allow me to explain. In Junction City, you'll be given
three mission obejctives. One, to confront the Reavers in their camp. Two, to
find all the missing robot pieces and finally, to recruit the local mechanic.
If you finish the first two objectives, the exit grid will appear and you can
end the mission without recruiting the mechanic. So be careful and precise.
Read your orders and obey them to the letter.
My second suggestion is to look for sub-quests. In the mission where you must
rescue the mayor and her daughter (I forgot the name of the town, sorry),
ther is a ghoul encampment near your insertion point. A combat sequence will
start there once you talk to some of the ghouls and stay in the area for a
while. A group of Beast Lords and Deathclaws will arrive and start attacking
the camp. Help the ghouls out and you'll receive experience points. This will
also allow you to recruit ghouls.
My final suggestion has two prerequisites: you must have at least one squad
member with at least 100% Outdoorsman and a vehicle, preferably the Hummer.
Roam around the world map for random encounters. Choose only the encounters
that you know you can handle. Then you can fight, kill, loot and leave.
Fighting Mutants and Reavers will prove to be very profitable. Maximize your
vehicle by having your shooters fire from inside then move away if your
enemies get too close.
Thanks to Interplay for making such a great game. The Fallout series is one
of the best games I've played ever.
Thanks to Jturner849 and Marc.
Thanks to God for giving me the patience to write this thing until the end.