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What is V.A.T.S in Fallout 3?

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

It's the system in which you can pause the action a take aim at specific body parts, with known percentage of hitting them, and with each action costing a specific amount of "action points" (AP).

It stands for "Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting system", but mostly it

  • Gives a more cinematic feel when using it, due to the slow-motion action sequence after choosing a target.
  • Makes the game closer to earlier, turn-based Fallout games in which you could target specific body parts with known percentages, paying with action points, in a very similar way.
  • Gives the game a more RPG-ish, tactical feel than a typical shooter.
  • Makes the game easier / less stressful.

You can read more about it on Wikia's Fallout, Gamespy and even Wikipedia.

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You didn't think my answer was good enough, did you? =o) – juan Oct 27 '10 at 16:14
@Juan sorry man, I started it before you posted yours and I didn't click the "update" bar :( – Oak Oct 27 '10 at 16:23
@GnomeSlice, @BlueRaja, Problem, what problem? I got fast good answers. – C. Ross Oct 27 '10 at 17:09
Just a note to explicitly say that VATS also lets you distribute your shots between multiple enemies, not just the body parts of one enemy. – JavadocMD Oct 27 '10 at 21:44

It's the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System

See here

The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S., is a queuing system for Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, inspired partly by the ability to shoot specific body parts in the turn-based combat system of Fallout and Fallout 2. V.A.T.S. is also used for a cinematic combat experience.

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