Ammunition is a simple and yet often overlooked aspect of the game. Many guns have interchangable ammo, and with the sheer amount of guns and ammo types available, it's easy to just forget about it. If you can reload after a sour fight, no big deal. Unfortunately for the hardcore player, going into combat not knowing the strengths and weaknesses of both yours and your enemies ammunition is a luxury you do not have.
Luckily, ammo is fairly simple to understand in FO2. There are a handful of calibers, some more rare than others, and a handful of different types. Below is an explanation of each ammunition, its availability and what weapons support it.
- If you are not using the Fallout Restoration Patch or another patch that provides fixups for Ammo, you will be surprised that many types of ammunition do not behave like they should. Namely, the various types of Armor-piercing ammo end up being worthless in the original due to their stock mods. With 3rd-party patches installed, they behave more like they should.
All ammunition in Fallout 2 contains the following properties: Armor Class Mod, Damage Resistance Mod and Damage Mod. These three properties determine, in conjunction with what weapon they are fired from and what sort of armor and toughness your opponent yes, how much damage they deliver. These stats affect the damage as follows:
AC Mod: This number indicates what effect the bullet has on your targets Armor Class. Armor Class is a simple calculation of your probability to hit or be hit, so at face value this number offsets your chance to actually hit an opponent, whether positive or negative. If your target has a base Armor Class of 25, and your bullet has an AC mod of -10, your targets effective Armor Class becomes 15. Conversely, if they had the same base Armor Class of 25 and your bullet has an AC mod of 5, their effective Armor Class becomes 30.
- In practice, your perception, weapon skill, distance from target and lightning will impact your chance to hit much more than your opponents armor class. With a high enough weapon skill, AC Mod is almost ignorable. If you are about to enter a fight at a relatively low level, from long distances or with opponents above your skill range, it may be worth considering.
DR Mod: This number indicates what effect the bullet has on your targets Damage Resistance. It works in the same fashion AC Mod does. A negative number reduces your opponents Damage Resistance, letting you deal more damage. A higher number increases their resistance. This can be a very important figure when tackling foes who are in heavy armor with high damage resistance values (Combat Armor Mk II, Power Armor, et cetera) or opponents who are using Psycho.
- Remember that a critical hit has a chance of bypassing armor, and thus the majority of damage resistance, altogether. This is increased with a higher luck value, Better Criticals perk and hits to the Eyes and Head. Thus, if you make a habit of always aiming for the Eyes or Head, you can worry less about a foes Damage Resistance.
- Some weapons have very high or low DR Mod ratings. For instance, 14mm rounds have a -50% DR Mod. This means that, excluding damage absorbed by the armor itself, a 14mm round will do a high level of damage compared to a 9mm round of any type. This helps explain why an opponent will be harmed much more by a 14mm pistol as opposed to a 5mm assault rifle using JHP.
DMG Mod: This very important figure indicates how the damage output from the weapon you are using is modified. It is always represented as a fraction, such as 1/1, 1/2, 2/1, 3/2, et cetera. Ammunition with a "1/2" damage mod will have a potential damage range of 50% of the weapons actual damage range. Conversely, ammunition with a "2/1" damage mod will have a potential damage range twice as high as the weapon itself.
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