Loot drop chances roundup (April 3rd)

fallout 6 - Loot drop chances roundup (April 3rd)

I've been tracking all my loot drops for a month now on a fresh character and I'm getting quite interesting results. The aim is to keep certain items and legendary effects in my inventory and stash to see if those legendary effects and/or items pop up more frequently. This evaluation is based on 642 drops.

Yes, the game uses RNG but the trick is, how is that number mapped onto items and legendary effects. It is certainly not uniform, i.e., one doesn't have an equal chance of getting a Handmade and an Assault Rifle.


The game doesn't drop items and legendary effects in an uniform manner and there seems to be a feedback loop based on what the player has in its inventory and stash. The enemy type and location doesn't seem to matter. Every legendary other than the queen can drop any item with any effect.

These are the patterns I've observed and may help getting the wanted items or effects:

  • Stash/hold items with the desired type or legendary effect.
    • Example: want Assault Rifles: stash excess rifles
    • Example: want Bloodied weapons: stash bloodied weapons
  • Nocturnal has a higher chance to drop when killing at night.
    • Example: Whitesprings run at night
  • Try not to hold onto items you don't want, or better yet, don't pick them up (contrast to the first point).

Enemy stars vs Loot stars

Since early December, 2* and 3* enemies are not guaranteed to drop 2* and 3* loot unfortunately.

  • 1* Enemy (76.64%) – 1* is 100%
  • 2* Enemy (4.83%) – 1* is 45.16%, 2* is 54.84%
  • 3* Enemy (18.54%) – 1* is 27.73%, 2* is 31.93% and 3* is 40.34%

Overall drop star chances:

  • 1* Loot83.96%
  • 2* Loot8.57%
  • 3* Loot7.48%

Compared to my other, luck 5 build, I'm encountering way more 3* enemies, but about the same percentage of 2*.

Farming location drop chances

In general, the enemy density is pretty low in the world, but there are locations and events that have higher chances of legendary enemies showing up.

Whitesprings (289 drops, 45.04% of data): 1* – 92.04%, 2* – 4.50%, 3* – 3.46%

Watoga City (139 drops, 21.65% of data): 1* – 84.89%, 2* – 7.91%, 3* – 7.19%

Harper's Ferry (89 drops, 13.86% of data): 1* – 76.40%, 2* – 13.48, 3* – 10.11%

RobCo Research Center (14 drops, 2.18% of data): 1* – 50%, 2* – 21.43, 3* – 28.57%

Watoga Clinic (13 drops, 2.02% of data): 1* – 84.62%, 2* – 7.69%, 3* – 7.69%

West Tek (12 drops, 1.87% of data): 1* – 50%, 2* – 8.33%, 3* – 41.67%

Blackwater Mine (9 drops, 1.4% of data): 1* – 44.44%, 2* – 33.33%, 3* – 22.22%

Interestingly, even though Whitesprings is riddled with legendary enemies, the 3* chances are pretty low compared to Watoga or Harper's Ferry. RobCo is nice as well, but the AWOL armaments event is pretty rare. Many favor West Tek and indeed, 3* chances are high, but most of the time, there are no legendaries at that place for me.

Item type distribution

There are 100 armor types, 42 melee and 48 ranged weapon types that can drop as legendary. I'd say the item type is chosen from a combined loot pool as the drop distribution largely reflects the counts in each type:

Armor: 339 drops, 52.80%

Melee: 161 drops, 25.08%

Ranged: 142 drops, 22.12%

Interestingly, I got fewer ranged than melee. I don't carry melee weapons but I stashed melee weapons for their legendary effects, hoping them to show up on items more frequently (see later).

Having more than half of the pool as Armor is unfortunate for a Power Armor user.

Armor prefix chances

More than half of the loot pool is armor and there are some shared legendary effects between item types (e.g., Exterminator's, Zealot's, etc.). Since I'm in PA all the time, the aim for me was to have the lightest armor possible: Weightless.

Exterminator's: 27 drops, 7.96%

Unyielding: 24 drops, 7.08%

Hunter's: 24 drops, 7.08%

Vanguard's: 23 drops, 6.78%

Nocturnal: 23 drops, 6.78%


Zealot's: 18 drops, 5.31%


Weightless: 16 drops, 4.72%


Assassin's: 14 drops, 4.13%

Chameleon: 13 drops, 3.83%

There are 18 effects for armor, so an uniform chance would be 5.55%. Interestingly, even though I had Weightless in my inventory and in my stash, it was a rarer drop.

In contrast, I get disproportionately many Exterminator's armor. I don't stash such items but one of my guns is an Exterminator's Handmade. My guess is that by having items in the stash with legendary effects available to different item types, the chances of that legendary effect increases across the board, not just for the item type.

I never keep or stash Unyielding and Vanguard's, yet I get many of these too. The possible explanation is that many times, I don't sell legendaries immediately and the game may keep dropping the same legendary effects during a Whitesprings run for example. (I have plans to see if this effect can be avoided.)

For Nocturnal, it seems killing legendaries at night increases the drop chance.

(PvP note: I did not get a single Assassin's Sentinel piece.)

Melee prefix chances

I don't use any melee weapons and try not to stash them unless their effect is possible on ranged weapons as well.

Junkie's: 12 drops, 7.45%

Nocturnal: 11 drops, 6.83%

Mutant's: 11 drops, 6.83%

Furious: 11 drops, 6.83%

Troubleshooter's: 10 drops, 6.21%

Suppressor's: 10 drops, 6.21%

Mutant slayer's: 9 drops, 5.59%

Vampire's: 9 drops, 5.59%

Instigating: 9 drops, 5.59%

Assassin's: 9 drops, 5.59%


Anti-armor: 6 drops, 3.73%

Bloodied: 4 drops, 2.48%

Exterminator's: 2 drops, 1.24%

There are 19 melee effects and an uniform chance would be 5.26%. I have various weapons stashed and equipped that would explain some the 9+ drops. Interestingly, I don't have or keep Junkie's yet it is pretty common, followed by Nocturnal (night kills). Oddly, my Exterminator's Handmade has no effect on melee drops.

Ranged prefix chances

Being a rifle build, I'm mostly interested in ranged drops.


Stalker's: 12 drops, 8.45%

Medic's: 11 drops, 7.75%

Assassin's: 10 drops, 7.04%

Zealot's: 9 drops, 6.34%

Exterminator's: 9 drops, 6.34%

Vampire's: 8 drops, 5.63%

Two shot: 8 drop, 5.63%

Mutant slayer's: 8 drops, 5.63%

Berserker's: 8 drops, 5.63%

Junkie's: 7 drops, 4.93%

Suppressor's: 6 drops, 4.23%

Furious: 6 drops, 4.23%

Bloodied: 6 drops, 4.23%

Anti-armor: 5 drops, 3.52%

Troubleshooter's: 4 drops, 2.82%

Quad: 4 drops, 2.82%

Nocturnal: 4 drops, 2.82%


Instigating: 2 drops, 1.41%

There are 23 possible ranged prefixes that would yield 4.35% uniform chance. I have multiple items in inventory and my stash with each of Stalker's, Assassin's, Zealot's, Exterminator's, Vampire's, Two shot, Mutant slayer's effect and they show up pretty fequently. There are odd counter examples: Medic's, Berserker's, Junkie's and Nocturnal's I don't use or keep at all, yet I have one or two of the rest. Perhaps the sheer number of prefix variants overshadows certain wanted effects.

Note that I haven't seen any Double prefix but have 4 Quads. I believe these are deliberately way rarer by design and once I bought a Quad pistol from the Watoga vendor, I got the 4 drops. I believe the Double and Quad prefixes bug/imbalance the RNG because some ranged weapons can't receive this prefix and the server just rerolls the drop, yielding a completely different effect.

(I'm reluctant to prune my stash as some weapons are Explosive (Stalker's, Furious, Bloodied). 11.11% of the Major ranged effect is Explosive by the way, 3 out of 642 drops or 1:214).

Armor type chances

The game drops a lot of armor and there are 25 kinds of armor in 8 categories. Some categories have normal, sturdy and heavy modifiers. Unfortunately, it is sometimes unclear which of these the game drops so I only track the categories.

Leather: 81 drops, 23.89%

Combat: 49 drops, 14.45%

Raider: 40 drops, 11.80%

Metal: 40 drops, 11.80%

Wood: 37 drops, 10.91%

Robot: 32 drops, 9.44%

Marine: 31 drops, 9.14%

Trapper: 29 drops, 8.55%

They most commonly drop at Whitesprings. I'm only interested in Weightless Light Leather armor.

The distribution per body part should be uniformly 20%, yet I get a bit more Chest Pieces and less Left Arms:

Chest Piece: 77 drops, 22.71%

Left Arm: 57 drops, 16.81%

Left Leg: 65 drops, 19.17%

Right Arm: 72 drops, 21.24%

Right Leg: 68 drops, 20.06%

Interestingly, I'm missing, and thus don't have a Left Arm which I want in Weightless Light Leather form to complete my set.

Top 10 item occurrences

Leather Right Arm: 23 drops, 3.58%

Leather Left Leg: 23 drops, 3.58%

Leather Right Leg: 18 drops, 2.80%

Marine Right Leg: 12 drops, 1.87%

Marine Chest Piece: 12 drops, 1.87%

Leather Chest Piece: 12 drops, 1.87%

Combat Left Arm: 12 drops, 1.87%

Wood Chest Piece: 11 drops, 1.71%

Raider Left Leg: 11 drops, 1.71%

Knuckles: 11 drops, 1.71%

The top items are dominated by armor parts and an odd exception: Knuckles. If drops were uniform, a specific item would drop 0.53% on average.

Top 10 ranged occurrences

The previous list, the top ranged weapon would be at place 31, so here is a list just with the ranged weapons and their relative chances (of 142 drops total):

Assault Rifle: 7 drops, 4.93%

Gatling Gun: 6 drops, 4.23%

Submachine Gun: 5 drops, 3.52%

Railway Rifle: 5 drops, 3.52%

Handmade: 5 drops, 3.52%

Cryolator: 5 drops, 3.52%

Combat Shotgun: 5 drops, 3.52%

Broadsider: 5 drops, 3.52%

Black Powder Rifle: 5 drops, 3.52%

Salvaged Assaultron Head: 4 drops, 2.82%

The uniform chance would be 2.08%. Interestingly, I have a Vampire's Huntig Rifle equipped, but I only got one legendary Hunting Rifle altogether. I use Handmades and have many variants of the top 3 ranged weapons from the list.

Top 10 melee occurrences

I'd say the game is biased towards melee weapons for some reason.

(If you exit Vault 76 and follow the road towards the quest, your first weapon will be a Machete, which is telling in my opinion. Yes, if you go north-west, a pistol can be found there.)

There could be 42 melee weapons total so let's see the drops:

Knuckles: 11 drops, 6.83%

Boxing Glove: 8 drops, 4.97%

Revolutionary Sword: 7 drops, 4.35%

Rolling Pin: 6 drops, 3.73%

Multi-purpose Axe: 6 drops, 3.73%

Cultist Dagger: 6 drops, 3.73%

Tire Iron: 5 drops, 3.11%

Sickle: 5 drops, 3.11%

Pickaxe: 5 drops, 3.11%

Mr. Handy Buzz Blade: 5 drops, 3.11%

The uniform chance would be 2.38%. I have a few Knuckles in my stash that would explain the dominance as well as some of the other types as well.


The game doesn't drop items and legendary effects in an uniform manner and there seems to be a feedback loop based on what the player has in its inventory and stash. The enemy type and location doesn't seem to matter. Every legendary other than the queen can drop any item with any effect.

This is not just a perceived RNG bias because all loot drops are tracked, not just the good ones or bad ones people usually tend to remember.

Unfortunately, I can't really test this in a good isolation; playing the game requires the right equipment, selling stuff and grinding, which would still affect the chances in some manner.

In the next 200 drops or so, I'll try to not even pick up drops, only log them in order to remove any potential short-term inventory effects.

Source: Original link

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