The V.A.T.S system in Fallout 76 plays differently compared to other titles in the series. While you can specifically target enemies to generate a critical meter, time doesn’t slow down.
Instead, a real-time mechanic forces the player to execute their strikes on-demand to land critical hits. If you’re having issues adapting to the critical hit system, we have some notes to check out.
How to Get Critical Hits in Fallout 76
To land critical hits, enter your V.A.T.S. system to target an enemy. You’ll see a certain percentage on them that indicates your chance for a critical. While in V.A.T.S., execute your critical button if you have a good angle and shot at your foe. It all depends on how high the percentage is and how much fuel is in your critical meter.
Once you press your critical button (Y on Xbox, Triangle for PlayStation, Spacebar on PC), you’ll see if you were successful or not with a message from the game informing you that you’ve dealt a critical hit to an enemy.
The highest percentage that you can reach is 95%, and that’s usually the case for close-quarter combat. Remember, the V.A.T.S. is a real-time mechanic for Fallout 76, so watch your timing and stepping when trying to land critical hits.
One of the quickest ways to increase your critical hit potential is to equip additional perk cards that deal with Luck. The Critical Savvy card allows critical hits to only consume 85% of your meter. Another handy perk is the Four Leaf Clover, which gives each hit in V.A.T.S. has a chance to fill up your meter. It’s all a matter of looking through your cards to see which ones will boost your critical chances and meter. You can also try the Psychopath card that offers any kill in V.A.T.S to have a 5% chance of refilling your meter.
In addition to the aforementioned Luck perks, your character build will also affect how accurate your shots will be and whether or not they become critical shots. Tank, rifleman, demolitionist, and melee builds will favor in achieving extra critical hit damage.
Aside from the Luck cards, you can also assemble together a tough build to give you the best results in combat. Evidently, the Luck perks greatly affect your chances of getting the ultimate hits, but there are a few others in different categories that can give you a nice edge.
One of the more noteworthy Legendary perks that you can wield is the Concentrated Fire card in the Perception category. Essentially, it tweaks the V.A.T.S. system to be more precise by allowing you to target specific limbs. Instead of executing the system to target the enemy’s entire body, you can now focus your shots on whichever limb of your choosing. It goes without saying that a good sniper rifle shot to the head is almost a guaranteed critical attack.
Another Legendary card is the Adrenaline perk that gives you a damage boost for every kill. The card’s effect refreshes with each individual kill, allowing you to stack up incredible damaging power to quickly wipe out your foes.
One important note is the choice that you make when selecting a weapon to gain a critical advantage. What some players aren’t aware of is that the shotgun is capable of inducing multiple critical hits due to the several shotgun pellets that can come from just one shot.
The Combat Shotgun is just one weapon that comes to mind. Its immense base damage and ammunition capacity only crave for better upgrades, with improved additions for the receiver, magazine, and muzzle that greatly can boost your damage. However, you can always go with the Double-Barrel Shotgun if you want something a bit more old-school. The boomstick does have a slightly shorter range than the Combat Shotgun, yet its undeniable firepower is a no-brainer if you’re looking to stack up on critical strikes.
Of course, you have your explosive and long-range weapons that are strong enough to deal deadly damage, but a shotgun is effective against close-quarters combat. If you need a couple to have in mind, the Dragon rifle and the Auto Grenade Launcher are two that you should add to your radar. The rifle fires away a hefty 200+ in base damage, and the grenade launcher is a sturdy explosive weapon that can wipe out enemies in an instant.
As a bonus for the melee builds, here are a few that can dispense critical hits with ease. We have the All Rise hammer – a slow-swinging heavy-hitter that has a base damage of 160. Another classic weapon is the Deathclaw Gauntlet which comes with medium speed for its 68 base damage hits. Although it is labeled as an unarmed weapon, the gauntlet is still one that shouldn’t be neglected by melee-based players.
And of course, the Bone Hammer, which is probably one of the best melee weapons in Fallout 76 because of its simple repair process, damage, and potential ability to banish enemies with one blow if the proper perks are attached.
Plus, if you’re in the middle of a Weekly Challenge that tasks you with scoring multiple criticals, a single shotgun kill will give you several hits as opposed to one.
Lastly, your Luck stat will influence the recharge rate for your critical attacks. If you continue to add points to it as you level up, you’ll further intensify your chances of dealing critical damage. Increasing your Luck will also give you a better chance at looting legendary items throughout your travels.
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Image Credit: Bethesda.