Loot drop chances roundup (June 26)

fallout 4 - Loot drop chances roundup (June 26)

I'm tracking all my legendary loot drops for months now and I have collected over 4000 legendary drops in the past ~1200 gameplay hours with two different characters. Last time, there were promising indicators for a preferential drop system the game uses behind the scenes.

Somewhat expectedly, Patch 8 introduced changes to the loot drop chances behind the scenes, thus I had to archive and drop any data before April 10. This post will detail some of the chances and evaluations of the 1825 drops since Patch 8.
edit#gid=0 - Loot drop chances roundup (June 26)

The drop log can be found here.

I'm playing as a level 200+ Riflewoman with Luck 10, Charisma 3, having 10 kinds of Handmade rifles (1-3) in the character inventory and about 50 legendary items (2-3*) in stash for their various legendary effects I prefer (swing speed, reduced weight, explosive, etc.).*


I'm almost certain there is a preferential drop logic implemented for legendary enemies, the purveyor and for Nuclear Winter perk cards; which is most observable with the latter two as they work from a smaller pool of items. This can be good if one doesn't mix and too many item types and legendary effects by picking up and holding/stashing such items.


Whenever the drop chances come up in a discussion, some will parot the "RNG is just RNG" phrase. Generating a random number on its own has no meaning, what gives it meaning is to turn that number into an item, a legendary effect or star count, which is where concept of distribution comes in. My loot tracking efforts are there to discover this distribution and try to show if there is a logic that skews this distribution towards certain outcomes based on player properties or behavior.

Legendary presence

With Patch 8, admittedly Watoga robots can no longer spawn as legendary enemies. At first, this appeared as a bug but was later clarified by Beth as an intended change. It looks like a couple of other places have been nerfed:

LocationNo legendaryHas LegendaryRemark
Watoga EMS68.75%31.25%32 visitations, used to be 50-50
Harper's Ferry26.67%73.33%30 visitations, often only 1 legendary
West Tek28.57%71.43%21 visitations, used to be 90% between P7 & P8
Whitesprings4%96%75 visitations, feels the same, although less legedaries
The Burrows22%78%9 visitations, often only 1 legendary
Steakhouse100%0%Several unrecorded visitation. Used to be 75% to have a legendary there.
Project Paradise50%50%3 visitation + some unrecorded.

Watoga EMS, Harper's Ferry have been nerfed and the Steakhouse appears to be no longer spawning legendaries for me.


The legendary vendor went live after Patch 9 and I tracked it separately from my regular drops. The good thing is that one can pick the star count and category of the item to be dropped, which reduces the pool for potential items considerably. Looks like the purveyor is a prime candidate for the preferential drop theory, as she loves duplicating items and legendary effects within the same session. I acquired 40 1* ranged weapon and 34 3* ranged weapon.

Prefix effect distribution

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Ghoul slayer's9.72% (7 drops)I don't have such weapons
Zealot's8.33% (6 drops)I have a Handmade with this
Mutant's8.33% (6 drops)Some stashed weapons have this
Two shot6.94% (5 drops)Some stashed, early streak
Anti-armor6.94% (5 drops)Some stashed weapons like this
Troubleshooter's5.56% (4 drops)Some stashed weapons like this
Hunter's5.56% (4 drops)I have a Handmade with this
Executioner's5.56% (4 drops)I have a Handmade with this
Bloodied5.56% (4 drops)Some stashed weapons like this
Berserker's5.56% (4 drops)I don't have such weapons

The rest of the effects have 3 or less drops. Interestingly, I have Assassin's, Vampire's, Quad, Furious, Exterminator's Handmades yet these effects barely came up. The drops had some streak effect (like several Two Shots in a quick succession)

Major effect distribution

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Bashing damage +40%12.5% (9 drops)Purveyor loves this, also I have some stashed with this
+50% limb damage8.33% (6 drops)Purveyor loves this too, also have a Handmade and stashed like this
+10% damage while aiming6.94% (5 drops)I have a Handmade with this
Explosive5.56% (4 drops)I have a Handmade with this and stashed 10+ weapons like this
25% faster fire rate4.17% (3 drops)I have a Handmade with this
+33% VATS hit chance4.17% (3 drops)I don't have such weapons
+50% VATS critical damage2.78% (2 drops)Some stashed weapons like this

Since there are only a handful of Major effects in play, these should be relatively balanced, yet Bashing Damage +40% is predominant. I also have a dozen Explosive weapons yet it doesn't come up more often with the purveyor, which could imply some effects have reduced base chances.

Minor effect distribution

EffectChance + drop countRemark
+250 DR while reloading8.33% (6 drops)Purveyor loves this, also have a couple of weapons stashed with this
+1 Perception6.94% (5 drops)Some stashed weapons like this
25% less VATS AP cost5.56% (4 drops)I don't have such weapons
15% faster reload5.56% (4 drops)I don't have such weapons
VATS critical meter fills 15% faster4.17% (3 drops)I have a Handmade with this
Faster movement while aiming4.17% (3 drops)I don't have such weapons
+1 Agility4.17% (3 drops)Some stashed weapons like this
90% reduced weight2.78% (2 drops)I have 10+ weapons stashed
+50 DR while aiming2.78% (2 drops)Some stashed weapons like this

Again, the purveyor loves +250% DR while reloading but doesn't like 90% reduced weight despite I have these (60% on melee weapons, 40% on ranged weapons).

Enemy stars vs drops

There could be 1-3* enemies and they are not guaranteed to drop same-starred items since early December 2018 as far as I remember. Also there are indicators that Luck and/or Charisma may affect how many legendaries with how many stars one can encounter. I can't confirm this but for Luck, there is an interesting distribution. Note also that it is hard to test this in isolation because of the "previous player was here" effect; i.e., someone else before was the basis for triggering a respawn.

I did the tallying for each patch release, so P8-P10.5, P8.5-P10.5, etc., to see if a patch changed the distribution or not. Looks like they did:

StarsP8 onwardsP8.5 onwardsP9 onwardsP9.5 onwardsP10 onwards
1* enemy76.21%78.14%75.61%76.98%72.67%
2* enemy4.44%4.50%5.11%5.34%9.30%
+ dropping 2*44.44%45.31%44.00%40.00%43.75%
3* enemy19.35%17.36%18.28%17.68%18.02%
+ dropping 2*37.96%36.84%39.11%36.21%38.71%
+ dropping 3*37.11%25.91%23.46%21.55%22.58%
Overall 1* drop86.02%87.07%86.31%87.65%84.88%
Overall 2* drop9.16%8.43%9.40%8.54%11.05%
Overall 3* drop4.82%4.50%4.29%3.81%4.07%

Up until Patch 10, there was a worrying trend of fewer and fewer enemies dropping max star items. Post Patch 10, the level stabilized but still, 3* dropping 3* 23% of the time is a really bad outcome, considering it was much higher before.

(Note on 2 drops: there is a small increase in numbers because the Scorched Earth event gives a guaranteed 2* armor upon successful completion.)*

Drop stars per location

Perhaps the most frequent question asked is: where do I find good 3* drops? Surprisingly, not that likely in Whitesprings. (The following table is ordered by 3* drop count decreasing)

Location1* drop2* drop3* dropTotal drop count
Whitesprings1040 (93.86%)38 (3.43%)30 (2.71%)1108 (60.75%)
Prime27 (30.68%)49 (55.68%)12 (13.64%)88 (4.82%)
Harper's Ferry88 (83.81%)9 (8.57%)8 (7.62%)105 (5.76%)
West Tek97 (85.09%)10 (8.77%)7 (6.14%)114 (6.25%)
The Burrows42 (79.25%)7 (13.21%)4 (7.55%)53 (2.91%)
Pylon Ambush Site4 (40.00%)2 (20.00%)4 (40.00%)10 (0.55%)
Blackwater Mine7 (43.75%)6 (37.50%)3 (18.75%)16 (0.88%)
Watoga EMS21 (80.77%)3 (11.54%)2 (7.69%)26 (1.43%)
Mountainside Bed & Breakfast2 (28.57%)3 (42.86%)2 (28.57%)7 (0.38%)
Project Paradise5 (71.43%2 (28.57%)7 (0.38%)
Silo Alpha11 (68.75%)3 (18.75%)2 (12.50%)16 (0.88%)
Appalaccian Antiques19 (86.36%)2 (9.09%)1 (4.55%)22 (1.21%)

So Prime, Harper's Ferry and West Tek are better percentage-wise, but the latter two are not guaranteed to have a legendary whereas Prime has the Queen + event.

Prefix chances

The following table summarizes the legendary effect I get for various item types. These are almost certainly due to the preferential drops towards my character, even though I don't collect a few of those prefixes at all.

Armor (52.96% of all drops)

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Nocturnal63 (6.52%)Night drops?
Bolstering61 (6.31%)Not keeping these at all.
Troubleshooter's60 (6.21%)Many troubleshooter's weapon stashed.
Vanguard's59 (6.11%)Not keeping these at all.
Mutant slayer's58 (6.00%)Have a Handmade with this.
Chameleon58 (6.00%)Not keeping these at all.
Zealot's56 (5.80%)Have a Handmade with this.
Regenerating56 (5.80%)Not keeping these at all.
Ghoul slayer's56 (5.80%)I don't have such weapons nor keeping these.
Weightless55 (5.69%)I wear a full set of these.
Exterminator's55 (5.69%)Have a Handmade with this.
Cloaking52 (5.38%)Not keeping these at all.
Life saving51 (5.28%)Not keeping these at all.
Mutant's50 (5.18%)Stashing some weapons with this.
Assassin's50 (5.18%)Have a Handmade with this since not long ago.
Auto-stim45 (4.76%)Not keeping these at all.
Unyielding45 (4.66%)Not keeping these at all.
Hunter's35 (3.62%)Have a Handmade with this.


There are 18 prefixes and the uniform chances would be 5.55%. I wear Weightless armor pieces and stash a single 3* Nocturnal Sentinel armor piece. I'd say my weapon preference barely affects the chances. I attribute the relatively abundance of Nocturnal to night-time when the loot drops. I can't remember finding a Nocturnal clearly during the day.

Melee (23.19% of all drops)

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Troubleshooter's31 (7.33%)Many weapons stashed with this.
Suppressor's28 (6.62%)Some ranged weapons stashed with this
Zealot's26 (6.15%)Have a Handmade with this.
Furious26 (6.15%)Have a Handmade with this.
Ghoul slayer's24 (5.67%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Instigating23 (5.44%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Assassin's23 (5.44%)Have a Handmade with this.
Nocturnal22 (5.20%)Have an armor piece with this.
Anti-armor22 (5.20%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Executioner's21 (4.96%)Have a Handmade with this.
Vampire's20 (4.73%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Mutant slayer's20 (4.73%)Have a Handmade with this.
Junkie's20 (4.73%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Bloodied19 (4.49%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Stalker's18 (4.26%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Hunter's18 (4.26%)Have a Handmade with this.
Exterminator's18 (4.26%)Have a Handmade with this.
Berserker's15 (3.55%)I don't have any such items.
Drill7 (1.65%)Why Beth???

There are 19 prefixes and the uniform chances would be 5.26%. Interestingly, Nocturnal is not so predominant with melee weapons. It's not as clear if there is a positive effect as I owned some weapons with prefixes for a long time (Exterminator's) yet they are somewhat rare. In the past month, I've been doing the Robot challenges with Troubleshooter's melee weapons, which could explain the slight dominance of it. In addition, I picked up (better versions of) some weapons recently (Zealot's, Furious, Assassin's) that might have boosted the chances for the drops (note that the table is the whole P8-P10.5 timespan).

Ranged (23.85% of all drops)

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Mutant slayer's34 (7.82%)Have a Handmade with this.
Exterminator's25 (5.75%)Have a Handmade with this.
Berserker's25 (5.75%)I don't have any such items.
Vampire's24 (5.52%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Junkie's24 (5.52%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Furious24 (5.52%)Have a Handmade with this.
Bloodied24 (5.52%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Zealot's23 (5.29%)Have a Handmade with this.
Hunter's22 (5.06%)Have a Handmade with this.
Suppressor's20 (4.60%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Medic's20 (4.60%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Executioner's19 (4.37%)Have a Handmade with this.
Two shot17 (3.91%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Troubleshooter's17 (3.91%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Mutant's17 (3.91%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Instigating16 (3.68%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Anti-armor15 (3.45%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Stalker's14 (3.22%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Assassin's14 (3.22%)Have a Handmade with this.
Nocturnal13 (2.99%)Only an armor piece .
Quad12 (2.76%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Ghoul slayer's12 (2.76%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Syringer4 (0.92%)Why Beth???

There are 23 prefixes and the uniform chances would be 4.34%. I haven't seen Double ever with this character (dropped or @ vendors) and started getting Quads only after I bought a Quad weapon from a station vendor pre-patch 8. So either Double is bugged for me (there are reports people getting these though) or it requires an initial preferential jolt via obtaining one from someone else. For the effects, it seems to correlate with what weapons I hold in my inventory. Perhaps the surprising outlier is the Mutant slayer's effect I get predominantly, even though I mostly kill Ghouls with Furious and I only have a Mutant slayer's Handmade, nothing else stashed with this effect.

Since I run with ranged weapons (Handmades), the Major effect could be of some interest:

EffectChance + drop countRemark
+50% limb damage11 (21.56%)Have a Handmade with this.
25% faster fire rate9 (17.65%)Have a Handmade with this.
+33% VATS hit chance8 (15.69%)Some weapons stashed with this.
+10% damage while aiming8 (15.69%)Have a Handmade with this.
+50% damage with VATS criticals7 (13.73%)I don't have any weapons with this
+40% bashing damage4 (7.84%)Some weapons stashed with this.
Explosive3 (5.88%)Have a Handmade with this.

There are 7 major effects and the uniform chances would be 14.28%. Interestingly, I have 10+ weapons with Explosive effect yet it barely drops whereas the other effects on my Handmades result in better than uniform drop rate.

I prefer 90% reduced weight weapons so the Minor effect table could be interesting too:

EffectChance + drop count
+50 DR while aiming5 (26.31%)
+1 Agility4 (21.05%)
+1 Perception3 (15.79%)
VATS critical meter fills 15% faster2 (10.52%)
Faster movement while aiming1 (5.26%)
90% reduced weight1 (5.26%)
25% less VATS AP cost1 (5.26%)
15% faster reload1 (5.26%)
+250 DR while reloading1 (5.26%)

There are 9 minor effects and the uniform chances would be 11.11%. I'd be glad if I got 90% reduced weight ranged weapons, but I have only one stashed and so far and one or more of the other cases as well. Interestingy, I have many more melee weapons with 90% reduced weight and there, I have 4 out of 29 drops with it, giving a 13.79% chance (uniform would be 16.67% for melee minor). +1 Strength dominates with 24.13%.

Item drops

Lastly, there are over 200 possible items, so I listed the top few per category and some additional ones I'm interested in.

EffectChance + drop countRemark
Leather Right Leg53 (2.91%)Have it under PA
Leather Left Leg52 (2.85%)Have it under PA
Leather Left Arm44 (2.41%)Have it under PA
Combat Chest Piece42 (2.30%)Have it under PA
Leather Right Arm35 (1.92%)Have it under PA
Leather Chest Piece34 (1.86%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Combat Chest Piece?
Trapper Chest Piece28 (1.54%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Combat Chest Piece?
Raider Chest Piece28 (1.54%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Combat Chest Piece?
Combat Right Leg28 (1.54%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Leather Legs?
Combat Left Leg28 (1.54%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Leather Legs?
Wood Chest Piece27 (1.48%)Game tries to give an alternative to the Combat Chest Piece?
Gatling Gun22 (1.21%)Stashed a few of this.
Rolling Pin20 (1.10%)I don't keep these.
Machete18 (0.99%)I don't keep these.
Hatchet16 (0.99%)I don't keep these.
Ultracite Laser Pistol15 (0.82%)Stashed one of this.
Pool Cue15 (0.82%)Stashed one of this.
.44 Pistol15 (0.82%)Stashed a few of this.
Walking Cane14 (0.77%)I don't keep these.
Grognak's Axe14 (0.77%)Stashed a few of this.
Boxing Glove14 (0.77%)I don't keep these.
Western Revolver13 (0.71%)Stashed one of this.
Cultist Blade13 (0.71%)I don't keep these.
Cryolator13 (0.71%)I don't keep these.
Lever Action Rifle12 (0.66%)Stashed a few of this.
Handmade12 (0.66%)Using a lot, stashed many.
Assault Rifle12 (0.66%)Stashed a few of this.
Drill7 (0.38%)Why Beth???
Syringer4 (0.22%)Why Beth???

There are over 200 item types and at most 0.5% uniform chance. I glance in power armor but the on-foot armor is Weightless Leather Arms/Legs + Weightless Combat Chest. I stash some weapons for their legendary effect, such as 90% reduced weight (mostly melees so far) or Explosive. The drop table is dominated with armor, then melee and finally ranged a bit intertwined. Interestingly, even though I have 10+ Handmades, their drop chance isn't that better than uniform, and is on par with Levers and Assault Rifles.


What's visible from the tables is that drop chances are not uniform and certain things have way more or way less chances of dropping. Given the data, I'm almost certain a preferential system is in place, most notably in the Purveyor drops but also noticeable in the regular drop data as well.

Source: Original link

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