Enemies in Fallout 76 come in all shapes and levels of ferocity. Between a variety of animals, insects, robots, humanoids and more, survival can be difficult. With varied enemies comes varied strengths and weaknesses. One form of those strengths and weakness are that of limb multipliers. Depending on where you attack these enemies, your damage may increase or decrease. Head, Torso, Arms, Legs and more are open to your choosing. But which limb should we be shooting? Typically, we expect the head to be the best place to shoot. While this is true in many cases, in Fallout 76, the opposite can be true. Some enemies will actually decrease your damage if you shoot them in the head.
This article aims to illustrate the best and worst places to shoot your enemy. It is not a complete list. I've chosen 24 of the fiercest enemies Fallout 76 has to offer.
Let's get the academic stuff out of the way to ensure I made the fewest amount of mistakes during this process. All tests were done with a maximum level crafted Fixer. The Fixer had all crafted modifications removed and instead downgraded to 'standard' modifications. Base damage is 48. All perk cards that would increase damage were removed (weapon-specific, adrenaline, bloody mess, etc etc).
Concentrated Fire adds a small amount of damage, but it is not reflected in on-screen damage indicators. The character doing the testing had no mutations that could spoil or influence results (Adrenal Reaction). All shots were done at fairly close distances (melee range or just outside) to avoid any falloff from range penalties.
I used a pen and paper to record results. Those results were then transferred to a spreadsheet. I proceeded to shoot every limb in Vats and record the numbers that popped up. Multiple limbs of the same type are all combined into one category. Left leg and Right leg are just "leg".
All percentages below are relative to the target's torso. A 100% means the limb takes the same amount of damage as the torso. A 200% means the limb takes twice that of the torso while a 50% means the limb takes half of the damage of the torso. Why the torso? The torso is what you are most likely to hit if you aim center mass and shoot. Furthermore, when using Vats without Concentrated Fire equipped, all shots seem to target the torso. Most everything has a torso. The exception to this would be Liberators, but they were not tested.
Due to the low damage recorded, some of these limb modifiers will not be clean. I decided not to round percentages and let them stay as is. These numbers are not completely accurate, but they still inform us where the weak/strong points are, and that is the focus of this article. For the sake of simplicity, I am leaving out the actual damage numbers recorded and only showing the limb modifiers. If you would like to check the math, I will make the recorded numbers available
I have bolded the best limbs to shoot for damage. An "x" indicates the target does not have the associated limb.
Ghoul, Super Mutant, Scorched Human, Mole Miner
Pretty standard stuff here. Shoot humanoids in the head. For whatever reason, Ghouls and Mole Miners don't quite take 100% more damage for a head shot. Perhaps this is due to them not entirely relying on their intelligence to get by.
Protectron, Assaultron, Colonel Gutsy, Sentry Bot
|Limb Modifier||Torso||Arm||Leg||Head||Combat Inhibitor||Eye||Thruster||Fusion Core|
That 1914.18% number is not a typo. Sentry Bots take an incredible amount of damage to their Fusion Cores. A low level player looking for some serious EXP would likely equip Concentrated Fire and a shotgun for some instant-kill critical hits. They also make excellent targets for anyone wanting to show off some e-peen damage. My record is 14,000 damage. I challenge you to beat that.
Protectrons and Assaultrons have no relative weak point. Concentrated Fire has little use here. Just shoot them in the torso. You could also destroy their legs and massively cripple their movement though.
Gutsy's have multiple places you can shoot for bonus damage. Eyes are ok, but the thruster and combat inhibitor are the places to shoot.
There is some contention with the numbers I am giving for the Queen. Some argue the Queen actually has no weak point, that the torso and arms are technically a strong point. I do not have the means to look at game code, but based on the fact the standard Mirelurk and Hunter both take reduced damage to their arms, I am inclined to believe the same for the Queen. However, my percentages are relative to the torso. They are not meant to be exact limb multipliers. They are meant to illustrate the best places to shoot an enemy. For the Queen, those would be her head, spouts and legs.
Unlike the rest of the mirelurk family, the Mirelurk Hunter shell does not seem to reduce damage. The strangeness of it makes me think I made an error in recording it.
Mirelurk Kings seem to follow the same rules as the rest of the humanoids. Shoot them in the head.
These two conveniently have the same exact limbs. A Deathclaw takes double the damage to the belly. The tail significantly reduces damage, but I doubt anyone has ever thought to shoot one there. Gulper belly does not take increased damage. Their weak point is the head.
Cave Cricket, Honeybeast
The Honeybeast is not too surprising. Shoot them in the head. I noticed some strangeness with them while testing. Vats will save the last limb type you've targeted. If you target the head on one use, it will target it again upon the second activation. For Honeybeasts, Vats seems to target their tails when you have previously targeted the head. Undoubtedly, this is one bug that will never be fixed (pun intended).
Cave Crickets take the same damage no matter where you shoot them. They have no weakness, they feel no remorse, they are an unstoppable killing machine. I recommend you simply aim for the torso to maintain high Vats accuracy.
These next two groupings have no theme to them. I just wanted to reduce the amount of table columns needed.
Yao Guai, Hermit Crab, Angler, Megasloth
Lots to talk about here. Yao Guais are very tanky. Aiming for their heads only gives you a slight increase in your damage. Perhaps this explains why some people have more trouble with them than they do Deathclaws. If you aim center mass on a Deathclaw, you are likely to hit their weak belly for double your damage. Yao Guais are much tankier and don't provide much of a bonus for their weak point.
The Hermit Crab follows the rules many of the mirelurks do. Their arms take reduced damage and shell takes significantly reduced damage. Concentrated Fire is great on these guys as you can target and shoot their heads before they emerge from their shell.
Angler limbs act similarly to that of the Yao Guai. Shooting their faces gives you a slight damage bonus relative to their torso.
The Megasloth seems to take marginally increased damage relative to the rest of their limbs on a head shot.
Scorchbeast, Grafton Monster, Snellygaster, Behemoth
I was about to pass on trying to test the limbs of a Scorchbeast while being smacked around by spawned scorched humans until I remembered one of them spawns alone at the end of a dungeon in the Cranberry Bog. Shoot them in the head for a decent increase of 50% damage relative to their torso.
The Grafton Monster has no head, but instead blowholes which basically serves the same exact purpose as a head. The only interesting thing about their situation is these blowholes can be impossible to manually shoot from the front as they are located on his back. Just like with the Sentry Bot and Hermit Crab, Concentrated Fire allows you to shoot limbs you cannot actually see.
The Snellygaster is a horribly unpleasant creature with no abnormal limb modifiers. Shoot them in the face.
The Super Mutant Behemoth is just a really big Super Mutant. Shoot them in the head.
So there you have it. Relative to their torsos, there are a variety of limbs you can shoot to increase or decrease the damage you deal. A large portion of the enemies have their heads as their weak points. Some of them, like robots have their heads as their strong points. The amount of damage these weak points take can vary from 20% more to 100% more damage. In the special case of the Sentry Bot, they take damn near 20 times more damage for shooting their Fusion Core. The Cave Cricket, another special case, has no weak or strong point whatsoever.
I do wish I could have found myself a sheepsquatch and other rare cryptids like the mothman or Flatwoods monster. Anecdotally speaking, I recall the head and legs of the sheepsquatch as the places that seem to take the most damage. I also could have gotten much cleaner percentages if I used a stronger weapon. This article is actually the result of two other abandoned ones that just did not work out. Initially, I used the Fixer for it's critical hit modifier to try and determine the exact limb value for every enemy. I was unable to replicate my numbers with stronger weapons suggesting ballistic and energy resistance reduce critical hit damage. This was contrary to how I thought the critical portion of the formula worked. I guess the good news about that revelation is that these limb modifiers can actually increase the damage you deal with a critical hit. Target wisely. About six of these enemies tested were salvaged from that failed effort.
Much much more can be done expanding on limb modifiers/multipliers. This article was meant to illustrated weak points relative to their torso. Some enemies are likely reducing your damage for attacking their torsos, and attacking their weak point is actually just reducing that limb penalty or normalizing it instead. Data mining seems like the logical progression from here forward. Someone could likely go into the game files and compile the actual limb attribute value for every enemy in the game. I am not that person. Perhaps, that person will be you.
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