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The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) is a modernization of the turn-based combat mechanic seen in older Fallout games. V.A.T.S. gives the player a strategic advantage, pausing real-time combat in order to target specific body parts.

The V.A.T.S. system was introduced by Fallout 3 in 2008. Similar limb-targeting systems include SD Snatcher (1990), the Risk system of Vagrant Story (2000), and Last Rebellion (2010).

How to Use V.A.T.S.

V.A.T.S. is very simple to use. When you have some Action Points, simply press the V.A.T.S. button, and choose your favorite target. Then hit accept and watch the bloody mayhem! Depending on your percentage, your shot may hit... or it may miss, in which case, you'd better start running!

Types of Targets

There are a few different types of targets for you to lock on to in V.A.T.S., I'll go through them for you right now:

  • Head - Usually the most deadly of targets, very fatal.
  • Body - If you want to take less of a risk, shoot them in the body.
  • Left Arm - Ah, the left arm, it also has a hand, and a shoulder, and an elbow! Good for holding things.
  • Right Arm - A lot like the left arm, but not quite as left. This arm is a lot more to the right. It's also good for holding things!
  • Left Leg - Hey! He's walking with this leg! Shoot it to make him fall down!
  • Right Leg - Hey! He's walking with this leg too!! Dammit, shoot both of his legs!
  • Weapon - If it's pointed at you, that means bad things, shoot it out of their hands before those bad things happen.

V.A.T.S. Percentages and the Skills You Should Know About

The percentages that are shown by V.A.T.S. depend on a few things. First, it depends on how close you are to your enemy, the closer the better. Second, it depends on how high your Luck skill is. Finally, it also depends on how high your Strength level is.

Perks That Make V.A.T.S. Even Better

Here is a list of perks that help you out when using V.A.T.S. If you want to be successful with V.A.T.S., you should use these perks:

  • Intense Training - You can use this perk to put a single skill point in any of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. abilities... For improved V.A.T.S. it'd be good to put it in Strength, Agility or Luck. First gained at level 2.
  • Lady Killer/ Black Widow - Depending on if you're Male or Female the name of this perk will change. It will give you a 10% damage boost to the opposite gender. More damage is always good for V.A.T.S.! First gained at level 2.
  • Bloody Mess - This perk will send the body parts flying! and it also give you 5% more damage! How can you lose?! First gained at level 6.
  • Gunslinger - This perk will give you a 25% better chance to hit an enemy in V.A.T.S. with a one-handed ranged weapon. First gained at level 6.
  • Commando - Gives you 25% better chance to hit and enemy in V.A.T.S. with any rifle. First gained at level 8.
  • Finesse - Gives you a 5% better chance to do a critical hit in combat. First gained at level 10.
  • Mysterious Stranger - After you get this perk, during V.A.T.S., the mysterious stranger may appear and kill your enemy for you. If an enemy is below 150HP, there is a 10% chance of the mysterious stranger showing up and finishing him off. First gained at level 10.
  • Sniper - Increases you chance of a headshot in V.A.T.S. by 25%. First gained at level 12.
  • Action Boy/ Action Girl - Depending on your gender, the name of this perk will change, but the effects are still the same. You gain an additional 25 action points to use in V.A.T.S. First gained at level 16.
  • Concentrated Fire - Gives you an additional 5% chance each time you fire at a body part in V.A.T.S. First gained at level 18.
  • Paralyzing Palm - Gives you a paralyze attack to preform in V.A.T.S. when you're completely unarmed. Brass Knuckles or a Deathclaw are still acceptable, and the perk will still work with them equipped. First gained at level 18.
  • Grim Reapers Sprint - If you kill an enemy using V.A.T.S. all of your Action Points are restored. First gained at level 20.
  • Wired Reflexes - Give you a 10% higher chance to hit in V.A.T.S. Gained by siding with Dr. Zimmer in the quest "The Replicated Man".

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