In my first playthrough at level 40 I ran out of useful-sounding perks and started wondering about V.A.T.S effectiveness. There are 25 perks directly benefiting V.A.T.S out of 93 perks in total (yes, I counted), which makes me think that it is supposed to be a much more substantial aspect of the game than I (and perhaps others that are used to pulling the trigger themselves) can fathom.

Is V.A.T.S really just statistics, convenience and cinematic splatter or is there a whole other angle I'm not seeing?

EDIT: I know about Threat Detection and Critical Strikes. I'm just wondering why that would merit 1/4 of all perks being about V.A.T.S when it seems like it is just an alternative play style to FPS. Can someone give me a concrete breakdown of how effectively V.A.T.S can be used? I believe I'm not alone in saying that there might be less obvious nuances to it that justify its existence.

  • Fallout has always had VATS, but with the addition of the ability to actually look down sights in Fallout 4 they reduced dependency on VATS. They kept it in to appeal to non-FPS players, and to keep the traditional turn-based combat some Fallout players have gotten used to. Nov 21, 2015 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


One of the advantages of vats is when you are in a heated gun fight you can use vats to score shots on a target you might miss repeatedly with manual aim just because of how much the target is moving. This is especially true when you use it for shots at the limb and head to try and cripple the opponent which can be difficult to hit when the target is moving. It is also helpful against targets with small weak-points that are difficult to hit even when the target isn't moving and even more so when it is. The second advantage is the shots in vats fire as fast as possible if you did that manually at anything but close range you would miss most the shots just because of the recoil and stuff so you end up doing a higher amount of damage in a shorter time frame when you adjust for the slowed down time in vats.

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