Fallout 4: VATS Tutorial

fallout boy fallout 4 vats tommy gun

fallout boy fallout 4 vats tommy gun

The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (VATS) is one of the most valuable tools in your arsenal when you enter the world of Fallout 4. With this guide and some critical shots, you can make short work of your enemies and survive longer in the Wasteland.

Fallout 4 is one of the games in the anthology that benefited the most from the success of Prime Video’s Fallout live-action series. It clawed its way up to the top of the European gaming charts in the week immediately following the premiere and is still enjoying a newfound popularity today.

If you’re a beginner, one of the features that would undoubtedly boggle your mind in Fallout 4, aside from settlement building, is the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System or VATS.

Nevertheless, VATS is very useful as a survival tool, especially when you’re only armed with a security baton and faced with insanely huge radroaches while exploring the corridors of Vault 111.

What is VATS?

fallout 4 vats system
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Credit: Bethesda

Fallout 4’s version of VATS is a special targeting system that helps you zero in on individual target points in the opponent’s body. When you engage VATS, it slows down time so that you can select which areas you’d like to drill holes in the enemy’s body and how hard you’d like to hit them.

When used properly, the VATS can help you save both time and ammunition. Well-targeted shots can weaken opponents considerably or even slow them down, raising your chances of beginner survival.

To activate VATS, press L1 on the PlayStation or the Left Bumper on the Xbox consoles if you're playing on a PC, press Q to activate the menu.

Which Targets Should You Hit?

softshell mirelurk fallout 4 vats
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Credit: Bethesda

You will often want to target the opponents’ heads for a quick kill. However, some opponents, like Super Mutants and Raiders, wear head armor that could weaken your shots or render them ineffective.

Some creatures, like the Mirelurks, shield their heads when moving. In these cases, aiming for their limbs, like their arms or legs, is better. Raiders also tend to duck behind cover while firing, making their arms ideal targets for your VATS.

Feral Ghouls also move swiftly and a lot, which makes one miss if they’re targeting the head instead of the legs. Aiming for the legs also slows the Ghouls down to a crawl, which is what you should aspire to, as they’re as deadly as Deathclaws at close range.

Related: Beating the Concord Deathclaw - Without a Minigun

Improve your SPECIAL Stats

fallout 4 special perks
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Credit: Bethesda

Unfortunately, VATS usage is not infinite. For instance, if the enemy is too well hidden, the system will not let you use it. Running out of Action Points is another scenario where VATS becomes unusable and is much more common than you think.

There’s also the possibility of missing your shots or not being able to achieve a critical hit when it appears very necessary against a powerful opponent. All of these can be addressed by simply buffing up three of your SPECIAL stats, namely:

  • Perception
    Perception makes you more accurate in battle.
  • Agility
    Agility increases your AP capacity, allowing you to perform VATS more with every battle.
  • Luck
    A higher luck means more frequent critical hits during fights.

Pay Attention to your Weapon Loadout

fallout 4 weapon statistics
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Credit: Bethesda

Weapons are central to VATS, which becomes deadlier the more powerful your weapons become. Make sure to spend some of your downtime getting to know your weapons’ statistics and making the necessary modifications to fit your play style.

At its core, the VATS feature enhances your enjoyment of Fallout 4 by making battles more manageable and eliminating frustration when fighting higher-level foes. Get to know this feature intimately, and you’ll be blazing through the Wasteland in no time!

Read More: Fallout 4 Beginners Tips

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