Fallout: Questionable Tactics

From PlayItHardcore

These tactics are This is a particularly cheesy tactic and it's discouraged to use in a Hardcore playthrough, and are really only listed here to let you know that invalidate Hardcore-ness right away.

Combat mode abuses

Forcing combat upon area load

Holding A while entering an area (including random encounters) will always allow the player to have the first turn. Well, vanilla game turn sequence is not implemented exactly fair - one enemy in a random encounter will always have a turn first. But spamming A to get a turn before anyone always is outright cheating.

Using combat mode to bypass regular gameplay features

Several game mechanics are disabled during combat mode, enabling clever (but cheesy) bypass of such mechanics, such as starting combat and walking right by guards that would otherwise force-initiate a dialogue. Vault City is infamous for enabling this skip at multiple steps.

Drug abuse


Alcohol reduces Perception. 1 per beer or booze, 2 per Rot gut. With Perception of 1, NPC will not see you until you're right in front of them.


Even if you fail a stealing attempt, the NPC will not initiate combat until they see you, and they see you when they are in front of them. This opens a possibility: when you know that you will no longer need to talk to this NPC or pass by them, you can safely get them dead drunk and rob of their posessions.


Reduced Perception lowers both hit chance and guns skill. So drunk enemies are quite likely to miss, even if you're right in front of them. And if you are not (and probably attack at night)... they can't even see the PC, even when being shot at. It's just slaughter.

Only applicable at times when the NPCs are initially neutral, obviously. Again, Metzger and cronies come to mind.

This can be further cheesed by stealing everything from the enemy before the fight, as described in the non-enemies section. Specifically, drugs and ammo. And probably weapons.

Final aggravation: afflictions are shared between critters that are using the same animation type. So you don't need to spend bottles on each member of Metzger's guild, just make sure to hit each type.

Other drugs

There are more ways to abuse drugs:

  1. Save/load will allow to get around the maximum of 2 stacking drug portions.
  2. Boosting stats before level up may open perks normally unavailable to the character in question.

Just don't do this.

Final word

It's perfectly fine use drugs to cheat game characters. It's not fine to use drugs to cheat game mechanics. For example, a viable tactic to beat Francis in wrestling is to slip him some Buffout and wait for withdrawal effects.

Some mods may alter alcohol mechanics, making it less cheesy, in which case it could become suitable for Hardcore. For example, EcCo makes enemies more suspicious, meaning that they'll accept only 1-2 bottles from you.

Infinite unintended repetitions

A few dialogue branches that should only play once can be triggered infinitely, occasionally to significant gameplay effect.

Anytime this is both clearly unintentional (such as turning in the same quest) and rewarding (XP, material, karma, ...) should be considered cheese.

Do note that repeating regular dialogue for any other reason is perfectly acceptable, and some reward loops exist by design (gambling, repeatable quests, ...)

Location warping

When entering a multi-zones area from the world map, typically a large city, a screen is presented to let the player chose which zone he wants to access. This is typically restricted to a few possibilities, and further restricted to only already visited zones.

For convenience, each sub-area is bound to a number that can be used as a shortcut, although this information is not displayed in-game. For instance in Fallout 2, entering the Den, "1" warps you to the western area (regular arrival) and "2" to the Metzger side.

Unlike the screen UI, those shortcuts are available regardless of eligibility condition, and can even warp you to area that should never be accessible (unfinished area, before-it-exploded, ...).

This comes with quite a lot of fair uses (avoiding meaningless walks), but also opens up the door to abuse, such as gaining access to any area in Vault City.

Locking doors

AI can't open locked doors, or blow them up, or otherwise handle them. Thus, you can contain the enemy and shoot-cover-shoot everyone without ever taking a hit. Prime example are Metzger and his band. You'll need some skill points invested into Lockpick, but you'll want to do that investment anyway.

Skill leveling abuses

Several techniques exist for skill abuse, artificially lowering/raising the game-perceived level of a skill before modifying to more effect than intended.

The first example most players discover is that the difficulty of the game applies a hidden modifier to many skills. By increasing the game difficulty (thus lowering skills current value), it becomes possible to

  • Spent skill points more effectively (+1% costs one skill point if the skill is currently below 100% value, then 2, etc)
  • Read books to greater effect (low-value skills gain more boost from books)
  • Level from books beyond the intended limit (91%)

Simply by then resetting the difficulty sliders to their original value.

Hardcore playthroughs should avoid such abuse. For that matter, they should be played at fixed difficulty (typically Rough/Rough)

Other examples of this type of abuse :

  • Lowering skills through temporary effects, to the same end
  • Pouring a lot of points into an untagged skill, select Tag! perk to double the amount, then redistributing the points

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Back to Fallout 2.