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 Fallout 3 (PC) Guide

 
   
 
 
Fallout 3 (PC) Guide

Feral's Guide to Very Hard difficulty for Fallout 3 (PC) 

Search Shortcuts: 
-Introduction                   				[FG01] 
-Character Creation             				[FG02] 
-Leveling Up                    				[FG03] 
-Notes on Equipment             				[FG04] 
-Beginning of the Game          				[FG05] 
-Capital Wasteland Metropolis   				[FG06] 
-General Tips                   				[FG07] 
-Making the Game Harder         				[FG08] 
-The Small Print                				[FG09] 

=======================================================================
                       INTRODUCTION [FG01] 
=======================================================================

To all those hardcore videogame fanatics who are constantly searching 
for a challenge: Welcome. We play the games, we beat the games, we smash 
the games, then we twist their insides until they're out. What are we 
looking for that could possibly be located anywhere near the videogame's 
insides? Well, a challenge, of course. Sure, run-and-gunning and 
hack-and-slashing are good and fun, but sometimes we just want to get 
our faces smashed into the dirt and rubbed around a bit. Maybe then 
we'll remember how fun games used to be when we started playing them... 
all those years ago. 

Some years we can search and search to no end for a challenging 
videogame release and wallow in our disappointment when it fails to be 
made. All those games that casual gamers call "hard" will never cease to 
disappoint us, and we'll nonetheless continue our search for that game 
which makes us feel like rookies again. By this time (if you're like me) 
you will be wondering: What happened to the hard games? Well, I don't 
really have an answer for you. They got left behind, I guess. Our next 
best bet is to grab a game and crank the difficulty as high as it can go 
and let the blood fly (rarely the tears too). 

With that said, let's take a look at the difficulty of Fallout 3. 
There's no doubt for us multi-platforming gamers that having a mouse and 
keyboard cuts both the difficulty and frustration of first person 
shooters in half. But we ask ourselves: Is Fallout 3 for the PC going to 
be that diamond in the rough when set on Very Hard mode? Sadly, my 
answer to you is No. No it is not that challenge we hoped it would be. 
It does, however, provide us with a lot more fun than easier difficulty 
settings. 

Needless to say, Very Hard mode is not for everyone. If you're not the 
most experienced with first person shooters or role playing games 
(specifically the concept of character improvement through levelling) 
then I recommend that you don't play this game on Very Hard mode. On the 
flip-side, if you can throw a knife 25 yards out with a four foot arc 
and bury it in someone's head while sprinting to the side and hurdling 
those various obstacles of the world, or create a character whose 
statistical data rivals the greatness of the ziggurats of Babylon, then 
go for it. 

This guide is designed for people who want to step their gaming 
experience up a notch, but are questioning whether they are ready for it 
or not, or who have tried and failed but are determined to persist (and 
I hope they do, somehow triggering a chain effect that causes 
programmers to start making harder games or at least the option to play 
on harder [actually harder, not just called harder] difficulty 
settings). 

=======================================================================
                    CHARACTER CREATION [FG02] 
=======================================================================

Any long-term RPG fanatic knows that character creation is the 
foundation to greatness. In RPGs, the hardest parts are usually near the 
beginning, when you have not yet molded your characters into the 
magnificent deliverers of death and destruction that they will one day 
become. The main idea here is to think of what you consider the most fun 
or beneficial to your long-term playing experience. That is, to say, 
that if you like to use small arms, futuristic laser weapons, sharp 
blades and blunt bludgeoning objects, or maybe some huge and heavy 
shell-spitters like a minigun, then you will want to account for that 
when creating your character. 

In Fallout 3 you can collect books that will permanently increase your 
skill levels, you can collect bobbleheads that will also increase either 
your skills or your SPECIAL stats. In addition, there are perks you can 
gain through quests that will permanently enhance your character, and 
pieces of equipment that act similarly. To summarize, it has many 
elements that allow you to enhance your character's efficiency aside 
from just levelling up. Try to keep this in mind. Also, if you know how 
to obtain these things ahead of time you should probably create your 
character in a fashion where you'll get the most benefit from these 
items. For example, the Intelligence Bobblehead is easy to get and 
requires no battling to do so. As such you can get it immediately after 
you leave the vault. So when I create a character I start with 9 INT, 
and grab the Intelligence Bobblehead immediately so my INT is maxed out 
at level 2. 

Keep in mind that I'm not telling you how to make a character (since 
that's half the fun of the game), I'm just giving you my opinions and 
tips on how to create one with deadly efficiency. Anyhow, time for the 
meat and potatoes. 

=S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats= In terms of combat (which is the focus of my 
entertainment) some SPECIAL stats are totally worthless. Others are 
decent, and then there are those which are beyond valuable. You can get 
a run-down of what each stat does specifically in someone else's FAQ, 
but here's what I have to say. 

STRENGTH: If you like melee (which is very valuable in Very Hard mode, 
since ammo is scarce in the beginning of the game, and in the end if you 
like weapons that use rare ammo) then Strength should be very important 
to you. Aside from melee, it improves your carry weight which I consider 
to be of priceless greatness. More weight means carrying more tools for 
killing, or more booty for making money. Strength is great, in my 
opinion. Keep in mind, you can get a bobblehead to increase STR by 1, a 
perk (Ant Might) to increase it again by 1, you can use the Intense 
Training perk while levelling to increase it even further, and some 
pieces of equipment will boost your strength (though I think those 
pieces of equipment are useless). Whether you care about high strength 
in the beginning or the end of the game is your call, but I recommend 
having high strength regardless of what type of character you create. 

PERCEPTION: This stat sounded pretty worthless to me, but after playing 
the game a couple times I find it to be extremely useful (mainly for the 
enemy markers that appear on your compass). Anyone who has studied 
warfare should know the value of reconnaisance. That is exactly what 
perception allows you to do. Knowing how many enemies you are facing and 
their locations can cut the difficulty of any engagement by around 75%, 
in my opinion. Remember again that you can increase PER in several ways 
throughout the course of the game (bobblehead, several pieces of 
headgear, the Ant Sight perk, Intense Training perk, and some pieces of 
armor). 

ENDURANCE: If you get hit a lot, or don't care to worry about taking 
flak from a partial missile impact then you'll no doubt enjoy having 
high endurance. Having more hitpoints means less chance of dying 
immediately (while deathclaws are a trivial threat in easier modes of 
difficulty, they can tear you in half without much effort in Very Hard 
mode), which tends to be a problem when your ego takes you into 
excessively dangerous places to engage. With low endurance it's hard to 
live through a lot of attacks at lower levels, and it goes without 
saying that if you don't live through an attack you can't stick yourself 
with a stimpak and keep on trucking. END can be raised in a few ways 
after character creation (bobblehead, Intense Training perk, and very 
few pieces of armor). 

CHARISMA: In my opinion this is the most worthless stat in Fallout 3. 
Not just worthless, completely useless. It only affects the skill level 
of barter and speech, which are both pretty useless skills in 
themselves. I don't really have much to say about it. Don't invest in 
it, that's my recommendation. I lower mine to 1 so I have more points to 
spend on things that are actually useful. CHA is a prerequisite for some 
perks in the game, but none of them are really too great. Check out 
someone else's FAQ if you don't agree with me, you might find CHA to be 
useful in some way that I've overlooked. After beating the game on Very 
Hard without much of a challenge though, I have to say that I find CHA 
to be hands-down the most useless thing in the entire game. CHA can be 
increased in several ways (bobblehead, Intense Training perk, and a few 
pieces of armor) as well as decreased by using some pieces of equipment. 

INTELLIGENCE: If you want a versatile character with a lot of different 
skills then INT is your best friend. Since the amount of skill points 
you can distribute when levelling is derived from your INT stat it is 
invaluable. I have 10 INT at level 2, meaning I gain 20 skill points per 
level for the following 18 levels. Do the math and you get 360 skill 
points to distribute among skills, which translates to 3-5 skills maxed 
out at 100 without any real effort. You can't go wrong with high INT, in 
my opinion. This can also be increased in several ways (bobblehead, 
Intense Training perk, and several pieces of equipment), though having 
it higher at low levels means you get the most use out of it. Do note 
that if you aren't a thorough looter I highly recommend high INT, since 
you probably won't find too many skill books. 

AGILITY: The value of agility is debatable. From what I read it seems 
like a lot of people like using V.A.T.S. mode. I use it very very 
rarely, and find that it defeats a lot of the fun you get from playing 
the game. If you like VATS mode a lot (it's sort of like bullet-time) 
then you'll want high AGI. If you're like me and think it takes the fun 
out of the game, then I recommend not worrying about your AGI too much. 
Like CHA, AGI can be either raised or lowered in several ways 
(bobblehead, Intense Training perk, and equipment [boosts or lowers]). 

LUCK: I underestimated the value of Luck my first play-through (not a 
good idea, since my family is cursed with bad luck naturally). Critical 
attacks in Fallout 3 are devestating and I consider them essential when 
playing on Very Hard. You can also invest in perks to make your 
criticals even more powerful which makes criticals even better when 
dealing with feisty enemies who take a damn good beating. If you pass up 
luck then you're passing up a good investment (since it increases all 
skills it's also a good investment for those of you who want to play 
versatile characters). You can increase LCK several different ways 
(bobblehead, Intense Training perk, and a few pieces of equipment, as 
well as having the Lucky 8 Ball). 

=Skills= I won't spend as much time (comparatively) on skills as I did 
on stats, even though there are more of them. Basically, your skills 
determine your efficiency when carrying out several different tasks 
(from cutting to shooting to healing to hacking). Skills affect your 
character greatly, and are very important. It's my opinion that it's 
best to focus on skills you find necessary or fun to use, while not 
wasting any points on things you'll never use (I'm not into lasers, so 
I'll never invest in energy weapons... ever). It should also be said 
that I think it's best to have some efficient form of melee attacking 
for Very Hard, and either 1 or 2 good forms of assailing enemies from 
short, mid, or long range (1 is acceptable, 2 is just for convenience 
when considering ammo use and dealing with bigger, tougher enemies like 
behemoths or deathclaws). Don't forget that any skill values can be 
increased by 10 points simply by obtaining the corresponding bobblehead, 
and all skills can be boosted by certain pieces of equipment or many 
different perks, as well as permanent increases from reading skill 
books. 

MELEE/UNARMED: I recommend one or the other. Whether you want to 
conserve ammo when fighting ghouls/weak animals/melee bipeds or whether 
you want to really plow through enemies and bath in some blood is your 
call. If you just want to conserve ammo I wouldn't bother investing in 
perks to boost your capabilities with either of these skills; however, 
if you really want to tear your enemies up then you should consider 
investing in some perks to boost your melee/unarmed fighting style. It 
should be noted that paralyzing palm (which can only be used when 
unarmed) can be a useful utility tool for dealing with certain enemy 
types; conversely, by the time you can invest in it you probably won't 
need it. It's your call (of course). 

SMALL GUNS/ENERGY WEAPONS/BIG GUNS: You'll no doubt want one or two of 
these. Though I haven't used energy weapons, it looks like they're about 
the equivalent to small guns and whether you use one or the other is 
solely based on your preference of shooting bullets or lasers. Big Guns 
(miniguns, missile launchers, a flamethrower, etc.) pack a good punch, 
but weigh a considerable amount more. Ammo is the main concern when 
choosing between these skills. You'll generally find the most ammo for 
small guns, and it's usually the cheapest to buy. Ammo for energy 
weapons can be troublesome (expensive) to buy if you have low charisma 
and a poor barter skill, and ultimately I can't say much about them 
since I haven't used them. In some places you'll find a lot of ammo for 
energy weapons though, sometimes in absolutely excessive amounts. Big 
guns are hardest to summarize, since the category includes weapons that 
are so dissimilar. Minigun ammo (5mm) can be found easy enough, 
especially if you just whip it out for those big baddies, and is fairly 
cheap. Missiles and such cost a lot but you're likely to use less of 
them, and you'll occasionally find some nice caches of heavy weaponry 
scattered about the capital wasteland. 

EXPLOSIVES: This covers mines and grenades. I find both to be pretty 
useless personally, despite the massive amounts of damage they can 
inflict. I think it takes too long to switch to and from grenades, too 
long to throw them, and too long for them to detonate. Nuka-grenades 
have their uses (few and far between), but they're rare (unless you're 
anal retentive about looting). Frag grenades will be plentiful. Whether 
you deem them worth it or not is your call, but I think they're pretty 
terrible. Mines are quite a bit different. You can toss them on the 
ground when you're fleeing (if that ever happens it'll probably be when 
you're low level) to buy some time or eliminate/cripple some pursuers. 
They can be helpful when taking out enemies who deal massive amounts of 
damage (missile launchers) by dropping near a corner and waiting for 
them to step on it when they chase you (assuming they do). I don't know 
how high this needs to be to disarm landmines, but I recommend getting 
it high enough to at least do that. Overall I don't think explosives are 
very fun or useful, but if you're into demolition you can have a good 
time and cause a lot of damage with them. 

SNEAK: I've played countless RPGs and several stealth espionage games, 
but I really think sneaking in Fallout 3 is the most useful sneaking 
I've ever seen (aside from Splinter Cell). You can plant explosives on a 
person while in sneak mode (very devestating and amusing), or get an 
automatic critical by attacking in sneak mode. The sneak criticals are 
very useful when engaging several enemies, since a sneak critical 
headshot can eliminate one of the many combatants before the battle even 
starts. Any snipers will probably like this option (if that's your cup 
of tea), and probably melee fighters will like it as well. Chop a guy 
with your shiskebab while sneaking and it's usually one less enemy to 
hack into pieces during a confrontational battle. Aside from battle, 
sneak also allows you to steal things without being detected which can 
be useful early on when you're poor. Very nice skill. 

LOCKPICK/SCIENCE: These are pretty similar skills. Lockpick obviously 
lets you pick locks to enter certain areas or loot certain containers, 
while science lets you hack computer terminals which Bethesda actually 
made useful (you can unlock things from terminals, shut off security 
turrets, activate robot sentries to assist you, and many other things). 
I find both of these skills to be very practical, and recommend 
investing in both (if you want to gain levels faster you then hack a 
computer terminal for XP, close out of it and pick the lock that the 
terminal was supposed to unlock for more XP). Do note that rarely will 
you need a lockpick skill higher than 75, and even more rarely will you 
need a science skill higher than 50. Of course, it never hurts to have 
either of these skills maxed out... so long as you can still efficiently 
kill enemies in combat. 

MEDICINCE/REPAIR: I group these since they're the same concept. Medicine 
helps to fix you up, repair helps to fix your gear up. It seems logical 
that both skills are very useful, but repair has a significant catch to 
it. In order to repair a piece of equipment you must have the same (or 
similar, i.e. Xuanlong Assault Rifle requires Chinese Assault Rifle) 
piece of equipment available to use it's parts. This can make repair 
pretty worthless depending on what equipment you use. In addition, 
travelling merchants can repair your equipment really good after you 
invest in them (by talking to Uncle Roe in Canterbury Commons), which is 
good enough if you're not buried in the depths of some deep, dark 
building/dungeon. Repair is also used for disarming some traps, which 
can save you health and get you money. I personally find them both to be 
very useful, and enjoy having both of them pretty high once I can put 
enemies down easy enough. 

BARTER/SPEECH: Some people prefer having one or both of these skills at 
a moderate level. Barter gets you more money when selling and causes 
merchants to sell goods to you for less money. Speech allows you to use 
the SPEECH option in dialogue, which can usually get you a favorable 
outcome or higher rewards when questing. Barter is iffy, and I consider 
it a waste to invest in it. By mid-game you'll probably have more than 
enough money, and by end-game you'll probably have excessive amounts of 
money (like 20k that's sitting around rotting). If you're not a thorough 
looter, or not nearly frugal enough then you might like barter. It 
certainly has it's pros and cons. Speech is questionable, at best. 
Getting better rewards is nice, but by no means necessary. Some quests 
require you to do speech checks for a certain outcome, but since almost 
any quest can be solved through violence or multiple means I'm not a big 
fan of speech. It should be noted that you can save it before doing a 
speech check and load it repeatedly until you get a successful check if 
you so desire... but I'd rather just bypass the entire hassle and not 
worry about it. If someone gives you a crappy reward you can always vent 
your frustration by chopping them into pieces. 

=======================================================================
                       LEVELING UP [FG03] 
=======================================================================

The level cap in Fallout 3 (if you don't already know) is level 20. If 
you explore a lot of the world you'll no doubt reach level 20 far before 
you've done everything. How fast you level depends on several things 
(how many quests you do, how many enemies you kill, how many traps you 
disarm or locks/computers you pick/hack, etc.) and can vary greatly. 
When and what you invest in while levelling will have a great impact (if 
not the greatest) on how powerful your character is in combat, and how 
versatile they are at auxilliary functions (lock 
picking/hacking/talking). With only 20 levels you want to be sure you 
don't waste any of them. 

=Investing Skills= This is pretty straightforward. Once you know what 
you'll be using, invest in it however much you deem appropriate. You'll 
have to feel this out for yourself. Keep in mind that if you're not 
having trouble killing things then you don't have to feel obligated to 
invest more into your killing skills. Also remember that you'll be 
acquiring skill books throughout the game which can boost your skills a 
considerable amount (depending on how thoroughly you search for them), 
as well as bobbleheads which can increase the appropriate skill by 10 
points. My opinion is that you want to delegate importance as follows: 

Primary Skills: Your primary killing skills. Make sure they're honed 
first, since if you can't kill things you'll probably have a hard time 
levelling, which means you won't be able to do anything efficiently. 

Auxilliary Skills: Utility skills like lock-picking, science, medicine, 
speech and such. Whatever you find most important will probably be 
different from what I find important, and will vary greatly depending on 
the character you're playing. However, I recommend getting lock-picking 
and science to 75 and 50 respectively ASAP (assuming you aren't having 
trouble in combat). If you have low strength you might consider working 
on your repair skill, since you'll be able to consolidate your loot 
better which in turn will let you make more money when looting. If 
you're really taking a harsh beating and are poor you might consider 
working on medicine to get more out of your stimpaks. 

Tertiary Skills: Your secondary killing skills (probably like 
explosives, big guns, sneak). Near mid to end-game you'll probably want 
something that helps you kill resilient enemies easier/quicker. That's 
probably when you'll want to start investing in these skills. By this 
time you should have a nice stockpile of ammo/explosives to use on your 
enemies if you've been saving them up. 

=Investing in Perks= I've read some other people's guides as to what 
they consider a good character. Their input on the value of perks seems 
sorely misplaced, in my opinion. They often write-off many perks not 
because they aren't good perks, but because they are not useful to the 
author because of the way they've built their character. While I 
consider many perks worthless for my style of play, I would be a fool to 
say they are simply no good just because they don't suit the way I 
design my character. You can get an exact description of what each perk 
does in someone else's FAQ easy enough, I'll just give you my input 
below. 

INTENSE TRAINING: This perk can be either very useful or completely 
worthless, based on how you play. I've used it a little, and I've used 
it a lot. If you're too lazy or don't have the time to get bobbleheads 
(or you just plain old don't want to) then you can find a use for this. 
Since several SPECIAL stats have a considerable amount of value, 
increasing them holds an equal value. Obviously one of the more 
versatile perks, since the benefit directly relates to which SPECIAL 
stat you increase (i.e. better resistance and HP from END, or better 
critical rate from LCK, etc.). 

COMPREHENSION/EDUCATED: These are similar to Intense Training in the 
fact that they can be very useful or very worthless. If you have a high 
INT or don't plan to invest in many skills then you won't need the skill 
point bonus from educated. If you have a low INT or plan to invest in a 
lot of skills then the opposite is true. Comprehension's usefulness 
depends on how thorough you plan to be when looting. Obviously if you 
don't find many skill books then comprehension won't do you any good. If 
you know you'll find a lot of skill books (assuming they are books that 
benefit the skills you actually use) then comprehension can be one of 
the best perks in the game. 

SWIFT LEARNER/HERE AND NOW: The EXP bonus from swift learner is not that 
great, and there is plenty of EXP to go around in Fallout 3. Considering 
you'd have to invest in Swift Learner 3 times to get a decent boost from 
it makes it pretty useless when accounting for the level cap of 20. In 
addition, the numeric value of EXP you get means that a 10% bonus 
doesn't amount to much (20-40 EXP for killing some enemies means only a 
bonus of 2-4 EXP per kill). Here and Now can seem appealing to some, but 
you'll probably regret it in the end, since you'll have no problem 
hitting the level cap without this perk. If you're playing on Very Hard 
you ought to know the value of patience... so excercise it. It's not 
often I'll say something has no real practical use, but this is one of 
those times. I recommend not investing in either of these perks. Ever. 

DADDY'S BOY/DADDY'S GIRL/GUN NUT/LITTLE LEAGER/THIEF/SCOUNDREL/SIZE 
MATTERS/TAG!: These are either good or terrible, depending on your 
character build. If you have a low intelligence then the skill point 
bonus can be pretty nice. If you have a high intelligence then these 
perks will be a waste of your time. If you think most the perks in this 
game are terrible (for you) and you have a low INT then these perks can 
be a real gem. 

GUNSLINGER/COMMANDO/SNIPER/ACTION BOY/ACTION GIRL/CONCENTRATED FIRE: I 
lump most of the VATS perks together here for one big reason: If you 
don't use VATS, then you will find these perks to be the most useless 
ones in the game. Gunslinger, Commando, and Sniper have a very specific 
effect which can either be a good thing for you or a bad thing for you. 
For example, if you always use an assault rifle and go into VATS mode as 
often as you can then Commando will be a great addition to your perks 
list. Gunslinger and Sniper can also be summed up the same way. If you 
use a versatile range of weaponry then you'll want to skip Gunslinger 
and Commando, though Sniper can still be useful to you. Action Boy/Girl 
could be nice for you if you want to get off more shots in VATS mode, or 
use VATS a lot but don't want to invest points into your AGI. 
Concentrated Fire is iffy, at best. When I do go into VATS mode (which 
is almost never) I always aim for the head with intent to take out one 
of several combatants just to clean up the battlefield. While I don't go 
into VATS often enough to make this perk worth it, it could be used in 
that sense with some efficiency (assuming you aim for a body part other 
than the head, since sniper would probably be a better bet for you 
headshooters AND you would have to be using a weapon that can get off a 
lot of shots in VATS to maximize the usefullness of this perk). 

MYSTERIOUS STRANGER: I haven't tried this myself since I'm a VATS hater, 
but it sounded interesting enough. Based on Absolute Steve's description 
of it though, I would venture to guess it has little value. The 
conditions for this perk to actually execute are pretty narrow (enemy 
below 150 HP, and only a 10% chance on top of that) for it to be overly 
useful. I can see how it would be nice though if you have bad luck 
finishing enemies off in VATS. Other than that I can't see any other 
real uses for it (unless you find it extremely entertaining [don't 
forget playing games is supposed to be about having fun]). 

GRIM REAPER'S SPRINT: From what I read on various FAQs this is without a 
doubt the most over-rated perk in this game. There's no doubt in my mind 
that it would be great for console gamers since VATS is probably really 
useful if you're using a controller, but if you've played a lot of first 
person shooters you'll have no need for VATS. Which basically means this 
is just as useless to you as anything in the two paragraphs above. 
However, if you don't want to actually aim this can be a very useful 
perk for you. Enemies die easily enough when you have the right 
hardware, so get close enough, activate VATS and roast one, move on to 
the next enemy and repeat. If this is your kind of style, I'd recommend 
grabbing other VATS perks like Action Boy/Girl, and Sniper as well as 
having a high AGI to maximize it's efficiency. On a side note, this 
would probably be really entertaining when coupled with Bloody Mess, if 
you're looking to revel in the gory glory of brutal amusement. 

PARALYZING PALM: Absolute Steve had some good advice in one of the FAQs 
around here. Paralyzing palm can help you paralyze big nasties who get 
too close for comfort (i.e. Deathclaws) and then choose your next action 
carefully. Whether you plan to flee, slice them up or maybe give them a 
bullet makeover or laser surgery, you'll have plenty of time to do it. 
It should be noted though that by level 18 you should be able to get 
along without this perk; however, if you have low END it can still have 
great value (those damned Deathclaws can really dish it out). 

ENTOMOLOGIST/IRON FIST/DEMOLITION EXPERT/PYROMANIAC/ROBOTICS EXPERT: 
Even though some of these perks are quite a bit different they all land 
in this grouping. Adding damage can be really nice in Very Hard mode. 
There aren't many insects who are hella bad, so I always advise against 
Entomologist. Robots, though few and far between, can be pretty 
troublesome from time to time. Regardless, I recommend you just tough it 
out and stick it to them hard (try the Shocker, or a shotgun, or maybe a 
minigun if you've got one handy). If you hit them with some serious 
hardware you won't have a need for Robotics Expert (keep in mind you can 
usually disable their targetting sensors or combat inhibitors to frenzy 
them, which isn't as good as de-activating them but it's a good 
substitute). Demolition Expert is not for me, but if you use a lot of 
explosives and want to increase the bang they make then go for it. Iron 
Fist is questionable since it's pretty much all or nothing. It takes 
three levels of investing in it for any real pay-off, but if you're 
really into hand-to-hand combat then you'll probably be addicted to the 
Iron Fist. Pyromaniac is either great or terrible. I like the cut-cut, 
and since the Shiskebab is easy to make and benefits from Pyromaniac I 
consider it a good call (works great for conserving ammo at the low cost 
of one level of investing). The flamer isn't that great and ammo is kind 
of hard to come by, so if you don't use the shiskebab then definitely 
pass up Pyromaniac. In summary, extra damage is always good in Very Hard 
mode. Go for any of these perks if you know you'll get the use out of 
them. Additionally, if you don't enjoy fighting insects/robots then the 
proper skill can save you a hassle, even if you don't find it necessary 
(it's all about having fun). 

BLOODY MESS: Questionable, but entertaining. Extra damage is always 
good, but 5% isn't really that great. If exploding corpses really cracks 
you up then I say go for it, but as far as it's practicality goes it 
really isn't so fantastic. 

FINESSE/BETTER CRITICALS: Criticals are one of the most powerful things 
in the game, since they apply to any weapon under any conditions. More 
criticals is always nice, and having more powerful criticals is even 
better. No matter what your character build you just can't go wrong with 
these perks. They're especially useful if you go for a lot of sneak 
attack criticals. 

NINJA: For level 20 perks you'll probably either want Grim Reaper's 
Sprint or Ninja. Like the above paragraph, more criticals and stronger 
criticals is never a bad thing on Very Hard mode. Anyone who does a lot 
of melee/unarmed killing or sneak attacking will find this skill to be 
very useful. If you don't sneak or use melee/unarmed skills then this 
perk will be completely useless for you. By level 20 you should have 
plenty of ammo, so melee/unarmed killing by this point in time is really 
a matter of preference. Sneak attacking will always be useful. 

NERD RAGE: In most games I'm a real fan of redlining (my handle used to 
be WolvieBerserker, go figure), but in Fallout 3 I don't think it pays. 
Especially on Very Hard. 20% of your health goes away really fast, 
regardless of your DR, so this is dancing with destruction. The bonuses 
are great, but whether it's worth the risk or not is your call. 

LEAD BELLY/TOUGHNESS/RAD RESISTANCE/ADAMANTIUM SKELETON/CYBORG: Damage 
resistance is a good thing if you use light armor, but I don't think 
radiation or poison are any sort of a real threat. I recommend passing 
up Lead Belly and Rad Restistance every time. Toughness can be good, but 
sometimes not worth investing in. If you wear heavy armor I recommend 
not investing in Toughness (unless there is nothing else you want). If 
you wear medium/light armor you might consider getting either Toughness 
or Cyborg, or both. Adamantium Skeleton is a perk that's under-rated, in 
my opinion. It's uses aren't many, but depending on how you play it can 
either save you time or hassle. If you don't want to worry about taking 
flak from missiles (which can cripple you even if it isn't a direct hit) 
or stepping on landmines (looking for them can slow the pace of 
gameplay) then go for it. Otherwise I recommend passing on Adamantium 
Skeleton. Cyborg is just hands down useful in my opinion. 10% to all 
three resistances is great in itself, and if you use energy weapons then 
the extra 10 points in it is a nice bonus. The only way I can see Cyborg 
being worthless for you is if you use heavy armor and don't use energy 
weapons (10% to rad/poison resistance very good by itself). 

FAST METABOLISM/CHEMIST/CHEM RESISTANT: These are pretty much medic 
perks. If you pop a lot of chems then you might find Chemist and Chem 
Resistant to be useful. If you don't pop chems ever (or do pop them, but 
very very rarely) you shouldn't waste your time on these. Fast 
Metabolism isn't really fantastic, but can help you out in a tough spot. 
If you have a lot of money for stimpaks then there is only one time that 
this perk will help you: When you're taking damage faster than you can 
heal. Even then it's hard to say that 20% is really worth it, depending 
on you medicine skill. Whether you think 20% is worth it or not is your 
call. 

LADY KILLER/BLACK WIDOW/CHILD AT HEART/IMPARTIAL MEDIATION: If you 
really get into dialogue in RPGs then you might be interested in taking 
any of these perks. That's pretty much it though. Speech isn't that 
great, but if you really like it and don't want to spend skill points on 
it then go for Impartial Mediation. Just keep in mind that you have to 
have neutral karma. It's not that hard to have neutral karma, just 
always be nice to people to get good karma, but once you pop out of the 
neutral range you'll just have to whack some civilians to bump it back 
down to neutral (I recommend killing the bigots at Tenpenny Tower if 
you're done with their quests or don't care about doing them). The Lady 
Killer/Black Widow perk has the 10% damage bonus vs. the opposite sex, 
which can be useful. As others have noted though, there are far more 
male enemies than females, so female characters will get more out of 
this perk than male characters. There aren't many child interactions in 
the game, so only take Child at Heart if you really get into dialogue 
(it might enhance your gaming experience) and aren't having trouble 
killing enemies. 

FORTUNE FINDER/SCROUNGER: There's plenty of booty in this game, so I 
wouldn't worry about either of these perks. Even if you're not a 
thorough looter, getting a full inventory shouldn't take long if you 
just loot enemy corpses. So I really see no reason to invest in either 
of these perks. 

CONTRACT KILLER/LAWBRINGER: These aren't really useful at all. The money 
you get from them is inferior to what you get from actually looting the 
corpses most the time. The only reason I see taking either of these 
perks is if you enjoy collecting severed fingers or ears and decorating 
your house with them. They don't have any real practical application 
though. 

MASTER TRADER: Another money affecting perk. By level 14 you probably 
won't have much of a need for this perk, especially if your barter skill 
is high enough to invest in this perk. This is a perk I would never 
recommend investing in. Not only is it not good, the requirements for 
investing in it were not thought out very well. To be fair, though, it 
might be useful if you loot the least amount possible in the event that 
you only want to kill things. 

NIGHT PERSON/SOLAR POWERED: Night Person is iffy. I'd say the conditions 
of it being night time make it worthless, but since you can wait to pass 
time that shouldn't be an issue. It's the bonus that bothers me. The 
bonus isn't very good, especially considering the time constraints. 
Unless you're anal retentive about playing at night and you really don't 
want to invest in INT and PER (I don't imagine anyone fits that mold) 
then Night Person is not worthwhile. Solar Powered must have been a 
designer's oversight. I can't see any other explanation for it being 
level 20. The mere fact that it is a level 20 perk means it's going 
against two other good perks, all of which you can only pick one of. The 
bonuses are great, no doubt, but the time constraints and the fact that 
it's a level 20 perk negate any appeal that this perk has. The only way 
I would recommend taking this perk is if you never use melee/unarmed 
attacks, never sneak, and never use VATS. Even then I would still say 
that there are other good perks to pick from since all perks should be 
available by this point. 

COMPUTER WHIZ/INFILTRATOR: These are not good perks. Unless you're 
extremely impatient and absolutely detest hacking/picking locks AND 
don't care about failing at either action permanently, then I recommend 
passing up both of these. Especially on Very Hard. 

LIFE GIVER: This can be good if you get hurt an excessive amount. Being 
level 12 and having 6 END means you'll have a decent amount of HP 
though. Still, if you can't seem to live long enough in firefights or 
against multiple melee assailants you might consider investing in this 
perk. I'd personally suggest getting Intense Training and sticking your 
point into END instead, but Life Giver can have it's advantages (such as 
if your END is already maxed out). 

STRONG BACK: This is great if you have low strength and are greedy as 
hell when looting. It seems like you can't go wrong by having 50 extra 
carrying weight, but last time I invested in this I regretted it. With 
10 STR you will only need this if you are excessively greedy. 

SILENT RUNNING: If you sneak a lot when in close proximity to enemies 
then definitely don't pass this one up. Being able to move faster 
without compromising your stealth is invaluable, let alone the bonus of 
10 to your sneak skill. If you don't sneak, or only sneak to get long 
range sneak criticals then you should probably pass on this one. 

LIGHT STEP: If you have problems with traps (probably due to impatience 
or hastiness) then you might consider this perk. It's not overly useful, 
but can help with the pacing of the game if you're the type of person 
who can't stand poking around looking for traps. Alternatively you might 
consider taking Adamantium Skeleton (though it won't protect you from 
swinging and projectile traps). Either way there aren't too many traps 
in Fallout 3, so I recommend you just take the damage and stick yourself 
with a stimpack. 

ANIMAL FRIEND: In all honesty, the best thing about this perk (in my 
opinion) is the picture it shows. It's nice for saving yourself time 
while roaming the wastes, as well as avoiding adds during combat in the 
wastes. The second investment sounds enticing, but investing in this 
twice means you've spent 10% of your perk investments on something that 
will only work while you're exploring/travelling. In addition, the only 
real use your animal companions can be comes in the form of distributing 
damage evenly between them and you. That's not really worth it, in my 
opinion. 

MISTER SANDMAN: You won't see many sleeping combatants in this game, so 
I wouldn't even consider this perk. The only reason I see anyone ever 
investing in this is simply because they are amused by killing people in 
their sleep. Not practical, but definitely amusing. 

CANNIBAL: An amusing concept, but not a useful perk. There will be a lot 
of corpses to feed on, but 25 health is pretty insignificant, especially 
by level 12. Like Mister Sandman and others, only take this if you find 
the entertainment value of this perk to be in great excess. 

EXPLORER: This is a cool idea, but too little too late. In addition to 
the huge drawback that it's a level 20 perk, you can always invest in 
this and save on a different file. That way you'll always have a map to 
look at (simply by loading the file and locating your destination, then 
resuming your actual file). Other than that I don't see any reason to 
invest in this perk. 

As you can see, almost every perk in Fallout 3 has at least one 
advantage or group of situations where it can be useful. Depending on 
how you play your character, certain skills will be supreme and others 
will be useless. If you play the game through again with a different 
style you'll notice some of your favorite skills and perks no longer 
have any value for you, and what you once considered useless becomes 
invaluable. Being a versatile player is more valuable than making a 
versatile character. If you're having trouble in Very Hard mode then try 
to remember that. 

=======================================================================
                      NOTES ON EQUIPMENT [FG04] 
=======================================================================

Equipment is one of your best friends. Sometimes it's your only friend. 
Aside from SPECIAL stats, skills, and perks, equipment is another thing 
that molds your character into a killing machine. It's best to use 
equipment that you enjoy using, as well as equipment that accentuates 
your stats/skills/perks nicely. All four elements should come together 
in perfect unison with the fifth element, your style, to form complete 
harmony. 

To alleviate any concerns for people who like using light armor, Very 
Hard mode is not so hard that you have to avoid using light armor. I 
used the Sheriff's Duster until I was about level 10, whereupon I 
switched over to Vance's Longcoat. This means that when I'd first depart 
from town to do some killing I'd have somewhere from 5-8 DR (15-18 from 
level 6 up because of Toughness), I'd usually end up really having 3-5 
DR (13-15 from level 6 up) by the time I was halfway through the 
dungeon/area I planned on visiting. Since Vance's Longcoat has 2 DR when 
it's totalled, I spent a lot of time battling with 14 DR until I had 
invested in Cyborg at level 14. By end-game I had Barkskin, Toughness 
and Cyborg, plus some sunglasses, the Shady Hat and Vance's Longcoat for 
a total of approximately 35 DR (I didn't know you could get DR from 
Moira's quest, sadly). Even before I had Toughness and Cyborg, having 
low DR wasn't too bad of a problem. Just be prepared to use a ton of 
stimpacks when the going gets tough. 

Obviously for you medium/heavy armor users, you'll know that your DR 
will still provide a lot of protection. So much protection I can't even 
imagine what it looks like when you get hit. Based on my experience of 
what the DR I had was worth, I doubt any of you will need to invest in 
Toughness or Cyborg, or get any DR boosts from questing without worrying 
about it. 

In terms of which armor you do use, if you want my opinion I would say 
to forget about the DR unless you have problems staying alive. Go for 
armor that gives you decent stat/skill boosts or something that you 
think looks cool (oh sweet video-game vanity). Who cares that you can't 
see yourself when you know that you look sweet? Of course, if you're 
having a tough time I say screw the vanity and go for the DR. In all 
reality, the skill/stat boosts that equipment provides isn't that 
fantastic (unless it's multiple stat points or any amount of LCK). Do 
note, however, that movement speed is very important in my opinion. 
Being able to dodge bullets/missiles/melee attacks means you need to 
rely on your DR less often. Also keep in mind that the more expensive 
your equipment is to repair the less money you'll have to spend on 
whatever you need. If that's not a problem then there's no worries. 

In summary, just use what you like to use. If you're getting damaged too 
much then try something new. It's a touch and go experience. No one can 
tell you what's best to use, they can only tell you what's best for them 
to use based on their particular playing style. 

As far as weaponry goes, pretty much anything kills the enemy. What you 
use just determines how many times you have to shoot/whack them and how 
much ammo you expend doing so. Though, unique weapons are obviously 
better in terms of how often you'll need to repair them (directly 
relating to the fact that they deal more damage). I still recommend 
using 2-4 different weapons if it's hard to come by parts to repair your 
weapons while you're out and about. You'll only need 1 or 2 if you're in 
an area where parts for your weapons are common. In end-game when I was 
totally loaded and didn't ever loot anything unless I was looking for 
gear to repair my own stuff with, I rolled around with 5 or 6 different 
weapons just for convenience (since I didn't need the carry capacity I 
had). It was fun, and if you don't need to loot things I definitely 
recommend it. 

=======================================================================
                    BEGINNING OF THE GAME [FG05] 
=======================================================================

As I stated earlier, the beginning of free-roaming RPGs is usually the 
most challenging, since your character hasn't taken their true shape 
yet. In addition, you adventurous players will probably make your way 
into extremely dangerous situations (if you're looking for a challenge, 
or flexing your ego). This section of this guide will give you some 
pointers on what you might want to do when you're low level, or some 
places you might want to visit. Also, if you're having problems with the 
difficulty I will talk briefly about some things you might not want to 
do, and places you might not want to go near the beginning of the game. 
And just to clarify, when I say the 'beginning of the game' I mean when 
you're level 2-8. 

If you're planning on getting bobbleheads, some of them can be gotten 
very early on. Specifically the STR, PER, AGI, INT, Explosives, Medicine 
(if you got it in the Vault before you left), Repair, Speech (if you 
have 500 caps to spare), and Unarmed. Some require a decent lock-picking 
skill (50 or 75, I can't recall), but most of these you can just grab 
immediately, assuming you can get to their locations without dying. 

If you're planning on getting unique weapons then you can get some of 
these very early without much hassle. The Kneecapper, A3-21's Plasma 
Rifle, and The Shocker are a few I can think of. There are probably 
others that you can get early on, but I didn't get all the unique 
weapons, so I wouldn't know. Regardless, you should consider this if you 
want to get an edge on your enemies at low levels. 

I recommend using melee or shotguns near the beginning since ammo is 
scarce (shotgun has high damage output vs. low ammo consumption, 
regardless of the high cost of ammo). You might consider killing Lucas 
Simms after you complete the Power of the Atom quest (or during, if you 
choose that route) just to get his duster and his chinese assault rifle. 
Just remember to do it near the town's exit, and to buy supplies first 
since you can't come back for a while (though, you could always just 
pass time by waiting). Some ammo is worth a lot of money, and you might 
want to consider selling it (even if you plan on using it later on) near 
the beginning of the game to start stocking up on stimpaks. You'll need 
a lot of stimpaks (don't forget to hotslot them to a *convenient 
location). 

Loot a lot in the beginning, even if it's junk. If you can carry more 
weight then keep grabbing things that you can sell. The only things I 
wouldn't loot (assuming you have the carry weight to spare) are tin cans 
and empty bottles. If you use a lot of things (or plan to) that you make 
from schematics, be sure to start saving up their components from the 
get-go. 

Some quests grant excellent rewards in this stage of the game and don't 
require you to do much to complete them. Consider some of Moira's 
quests, disarming the Megaton bomb, and the Replicated Man quest. By 
level 5-8 you should be capable of doing some real footwork with quests. 
By this time I had gotten the Terrible Shotgun and Barter bobblehead 
from Evergreen Mills, so Blood Ties or Trouble in Big Town would be good 
quests to do (with good bonuses [Shishkebab schematic, Vance's Longcoat, 
Vampire's Edge, tons of booty from the Family's merchant, and the Lucky 
8 Ball from Big Town]). By now you can probably get The Shocker (which 
will help when encountering robots in the Wastes, though I recommend not 
engaging robots aside from the Protectrons until later) if you couldn't 
get it earlier, as well. 

Note that by this time you should also have a decent amount of money, 
which I recommend you start building up piles of ammo and stimpaks, 
which are never a waste of money. Alternatively, if you have the cash to 
spare, you should consider investing in at least one of the merchants (I 
prefer Lucky Harith). For 700 caps they'll carry more/better inventory, 
more caps on hand, and have the ability to repair your equipment much 
better than anyone else in the game (including you, at this point in 
time). If you have the caps and need more ammo I recommend Lucky Harith, 
if you need more stimpaks (which you shouldn't since doctors usually 
have a large stock of stimpaks) then go for the Doc, etc. etc. You 
understand. 

Don't underestimate the value of a companion. I grabbed Jericho after I 
had a fair amount of stimpaks and ammo and 1000 caps to spare. Since he 
has no real upkeep and is pretty damn sturdy/devastating it's a good 
investment. If nothing else it'll make things move a lot quicker in the 
beginning, not to mention incoming damage will be distributed between 
him and you. 

Things you probably want to avoid near the beginning of the game are Yao 
Guai, Deathclaws, large groups of biped enemies, and most urban areas. 
Avoid wasting bullets/explosives, or using explosives altogether since 
they're worth good money vs. the weight they require. Avoid fighting in 
the open, always be taking some cover. I wouldn't mess with Super 
Mutants until you're level 5 or more, since they can pack some hefty 
hardware from time to time, in addition they can take quite a beating. 
The loot you'll get from their corpses probably won't be worth the 
damage your weaponry takes from killing them. 

Avoid shooting or using the shiskebab near gas leaks. The actually 
explosion won't hurt too much, but if an enemy gets on top of you when 
you're laying on the ground you probably won't last long. Even better, 
try to draw fire and then force the enemy to pursue you, allowing them 
to still shoot at you until they set off the leak and get knocked to the 
ground. You should be able to kill them before they get back on their 
feet. 

=======================================================================
               CAPITAL WASTELAND METROPOLIS [FG06] 
=======================================================================

Downtown DC is rough territory when playing on Very Hard. I recommend 
holding off on the metropolis until you can make dead bodies quickly 
without a lot of cost. The tunnels around here aren't too bad (mostly 
raiders and ghouls, which are pretty simple kills), but I'd avoid being 
topside too much. In addition, I thought this area was the funnest part 
of the game, and I'm a 'save the best for last' kind of guy. 

When you do get here make sure you're armed to the teeth. Weapon 
condition depreciates very quickly on Very Hard, so if you're using a 
common weapon and have a good repair skill you'll be better off. Don't 
forget to take tactical cover and crouch a lot when shooting mid to long 
ranges. If you're in the open be sure to be moving fast, and try to keep 
good judgement (no sense wasting bullets on suppressing fire, since 
enemies don't have the AI to actually become suppressed). 

Grenade tosses can easily get messed up in a lot of areas of the 
streets, either by bouncing off enemies who rush you or obstacles that 
are all over the place. Take care when using them. Be mindful when 
rounding corners or coming out of the tunnels, and avoid looting during 
combat if you're still having some trouble in minor firefights. Pay 
attention to how much ammo is in your magazine if you're not near cover. 
It doesn't take long to get your HP ripped away, especially when you 
can't fire back. 

Talon Company Mercs can be found randomly encountering Super Mutants in 
some areas. Use good judgement when deciding whether to jump into the 
fray or wait until one side is eliminated. Don't be greedy, but also 
don't pass up a good opportunity to flank enemies who are already 
engaged. 

There are a lot of Super Mutants who will charge you with melee attacks. 
Side stepping is a good way of dodging their attacks, but be sure you 
won't get stuck on anything or fall down a floor if you're in a 
destroyed building. Their attacks hurt, but sometimes it's better to 
take them if they're absorbing bullets (or missiles) for you. Keep that 
in mind. 

Even if you hate the Brotherhood of Steel as much as I do (that's hard 
to believe), don't kill them until they're finished helping you 
eliminate nearby enemies. These guys are few and far between, but their 
assistance should always be welcome, and they can have some pretty good 
loot after they've served their purpose. 

If you need to fast travel back to town in order to sell things be sure 
you discover the next area in your path, so you can always fast travel 
back to exactly where you were. It's not too important, but it'll save 
you time (and occasionally prevent you from killing people you've 
already killed). 

=======================================================================
                       GENERAL TIPS [FG07] 
=======================================================================

If this isn't your first play-through I'm sure you've got a whole big 
bag-o-tricks at your disposal. Some might be better than mine, some 
maybe not. Regardless, you might find some of these useful (whether they 
be tips or tricks). Just remember that not all tips and tricks apply to 
all character builds. Go with the concept of Jeet Kune Do, keep what is 
useful, discard what is not. I tend to avoid abusing AI glitches so you 
won't find much abuse in this section. 

-Crouch, crouch, crouch! If you're shooting mid to long range or taking 
cover behind a low wall, always remember to crouch. Your accuracy and 
recoil seem to be better off when crouching, and it takes little time, 
so why not do it? Just keep in mind that you move slowly, though if you 
have good cover you shouldn't worry about that. Pay attention to where 
your bullets go though. A lot of objects boundaries aren't perfect, and 
you'll find yourself shooting invisible walls from time to time. 

-Crowd control is important when facing several combatants. If you can 
get them into a good choke-point or lure them into each others fire it 
will help. Do not under any circumstances allow them to flank/surround 
you. You might be able to take their bullets, but having your vision 
blurred will significantly lower your accuracy, which in turn costs you 
more bullets and stimpaks. 

-Recon is not to be underestimated. Knowing how many enemies are in the 
area and their locations is a huge advantage. It's even better if you 
can see what kind of heat they're packing so you can assess the threat 
and delegate your target acquisition priority. 

-Rough waters ahead but too stubborn to turn back? Be prepared. If you 
know you're not tough enough to eliminate a threat that's blocking your 
path then rely on brains instead of brawn. Lay some mines (if you have 
them, your explosives skill won't matter much in this situation) and 
sneak attack the nearest enemy with a headshot. The headshot can 
possibly eliminate one enemy, the mine can possibly eliminate or cripple 
a second enemy. Just make sure you have an easily defensible position 
before you set up shop. 

-Melee is invaluable, especially when you're low on ammo. If you're 
close enough go ahead and rush the enemy. I recommend going for their 
arms so you can disarm them. In the time it takes them to pick up a new 
weapon they will be dead or close to it. 

-Don't shoot for the legs. Even though legs are pretty big targets they 
can soak up a good amount of damage without being crippled. And even 
when the enemy's legs are crippled it doesn't slow their bullets down. 
Only shoot someone's legs if they're fleeing from combat. 

-Shoot for the head to quickly make them dead. Headshots are brutal, and 
if you critical there's a good chance your target will stop for a second 
and grab their head (if it doesn't explode). Not only does it buy you 
some time, but it gives you an even better chance of getting headshots 
since they lean forward. 

-Body shots are a solid bet at mid to long range. Using something that's 
fully automatic? Go for the body. Your spread will always have a chance 
of hitting any part of their body as well as a chance of crippling any 
part it hits. It's hard to miss a Super Mutant when shooting for the 
body, and the largest part of a human as well. With Deathclaws and Yao 
Guai I never recommend body shots, always go for their heads since 
they're large targets. 

-Some people want to keep their distance from enemies, I say get closer. 
You'll do significantly more damage when close to an enemy (less 
missing), while they'll rarely do too much more to you. Plus this always 
allows the option of pulling out some hard steel to cut/smash them with. 
Miniguns and shotguns are two weapons that become substantially more 
powerful when you're close to the enemy. 

-Don't reload when you're out in the open. There's plenty of cover in 
the capital wasteland, don't let it go to waste. The enemy might come 
for you while you're reloading, but by the time they get near you'll 
probably have a fresh clip to empty into their face. 

-If you're gonna go, go hard. Don't shoot in bursts in Fallout 3. It's 
not any more useful than going full-bore. If you're missing too much 
then just get closer and lay down on that trigger. 

-A credo of mine is as such, "A bullet saved is a bullet wasted." This 
doesn't mean to shoot and miss a lot, you should remain accurate 
whenever firing your gun, just don't stop shooting until the enemy's 
corpse is lying on the ground (especially with a minigun, since it takes 
time for the barrels to get up to speed). 

-This is a no-brainer, but don't ever engage the enemy unless you have a 
full clip. 

-Enemies will step on their own traps, use this to your advantage. 

-Greed kills. Try to avoid looting during combat. 

-Be flexible. Be prepared to do whatever is necessary in combat. Whether 
that means switching weapons, finding better cover, jumping over 
railings or down a story, or whatever. Being flexible, quick, and 
decisive in your actions is one of your greatest assets. 

-In complicated engagements with numerous enemies you'd do well to try 
to think several steps ahead. A couple good educated guesses on how your 
enemies will maneuver can make a battle much easier. E.G.: If you shoot 
target A first he'll be dead by the time target B reaches the chokepoint 
to the north, by then you can be around the corner taking cover while 
reloading, and blast target C in the face through a window, having 
switched to your sword by the time target B rounds the corner you're 
next to. Once he's done for, target D and E will be in the 
aforementioned chokepoint ready for some well distributed bullets. 

-When sneak attacking, be patient. A sneak attack critical to the head 
is much better than one to the body. Take your time aiming, and then 
shoot. Don't jump the gun. 

-Don't get shot with missiles. If there's a good distance between you 
and an enemy with a missile launcher then strafe while shooting at them. 
They'll lead you with their missile, and when they fire just switch 
which direction you're strafing. Alternatively, you can engage their 
buddies in melee combat and a lot of the time your melee combatants will 
end up taking the missile in their back. Make sure you wait until an 
enemy with missiles is reloading before you get close enough to 
disarm/kill them. 

-Enemies might run around in what looks to be an aimless fashion. Don't 
write them off as retarded. They'll likely be on their way to pick up a 
better weapon to kill you with (like a minigun or missile launcher). 

-Just because an enemy is holding a sledgehammer doesn't mean he's not 
an immediate threat if there is still distance between you two. Many 
Super Mutants with sledgehammers also carry frag grenades. Watch out for 
them, as if taking damage from an explosion isn't bad enough, being 
crippled in the middle of an engagement is even worse. 

-I think it's fair to say almost all of us are too damn stubborn to flee 
from combat, but if for some reason it's been a while since you saved 
(and you're like me in the fact that you hate doing what you've already 
done over again) don't hesitate to get out of the kitchen before you get 
burned. 

-Utilize the surrounding environment. Killing enemies with exploding 
cars is an efficient way to take them out. Never count on picking up 
their loot though, since it can be hard to locate their bodies when this 
happens. 

-If facing several melee enemies is too much for you for whatever 
reason, use an old samurai technique. Run away from them in a straight 
line, and if your enemies move at different speeds they will naturally 
get seperated while they pursue you. Then you can take them out one at a 
time, or maybe a couple at a time. 

-I never used chems until I played Very Hard mode. Even then I only used 
3 different chems at one spot in the game, but the difference they made 
was more than noticable. Pop em if you got em. I tried Buffout, Psycho 
and MedX, and I recommend you use them when you fall on harsh times. 

-Get perks from questing ASAP. You can get several DR bonuses and 
various other character bonuses from completing certain quests. Do this 
as soon as possible and you could have some of the following permanent 
bonuses: DR, critical chance, VATS accuracy, skill bonuses, SPECIAL stat 
bonuses, and poison and radiation resistances. How to get these rewards 
is detailed in other FAQs. 

-And last but not least... Have fun! Very Hard mode isn't very hard, in 
my opinion, but it's much more fun than the easier difficulties. So 
enjoy it while it lasts. 

=======================================================================
                  MAKING THE GAME HARDER [FG08] 
=======================================================================

Fallout 3 is still not hard enough? Want to make it harder? Just 
excercise some discipline. Avoid getting unique weapons, collecting 
bobbleheads and skill books. Maybe try playing in a new style that 
you're not accustomed to. Ditch your companions (if you have any). Hell, 
even waste some perks on things you wanted to try but didn't think were 
worth it. Ultimately if you make a sub-par character the game will no 
doubt be harder. Of course, we can always hope that next time Very Hard 
difficulty will actually be very hard. Until then, keep dismembering 
your enemies. Take care. 

=======================================================================
                      THE SMALL PRINT [FG09] 
=======================================================================

Thanks should go to Bethesda, and the crazy mind that conceived the 
world of Fallout. Also I'd like to thank GameFAQs for having the best 
video-game site around, ever since it was GameSages. Thanks to all the 
people who contribute to GameFAQs as well. Without their contributions 
there would be no GameFAQs, and I would be sad. Thanks to the authors of 
the FAQs for Fallout 3. 

I have no contact information. If you somehow get ahold of it, please 
don't contact me. Thankyou. 

Copyright 2009, Anthony Forrestal 

Do anything you want with this guide except profit off of it. It is 
free, and always should be. 

-Feral 
 

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