The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Fo Render floater.png
LocationNew California
VariantsLamprey floater
Manowar tendril floater
Needle tooth floater
Icon info.png
This is a lore summary, presenting intradiegetic or in-universe information about the subject. For game characteristics and similar data, consult the table on the right.
Game-specific articles
Fallout 2Floater
FO: New VegasFloater
Fallout 76Floaters

Floaters are an unique mutant of unknown origins and known terrifying appearance.


A likely offshoot of West Tek experiments on flatworms from 2075,[1] floaters are unique creatures that were widely deployed alongside Unity forces, together with centaurs. Following the death of the Master, floaters became ubiquitous in the Central Valley in New California, preying on unwary travelers entering the regions.[2] Fortunately, they are quite scarce elsewhere in the wasteland, apart from Appalachia.


The floater is a large, soft-bodied invertebrate, named after the flotation sacs (frequently abbreviated to just float sac) that, contrary to its name, allows it to hover in the air. Noxious, flammable gases are generated by the creature's tissues, then stored in these large bladders, giving it its distinctive appearance. The sacs surround a mouth, which contains a tentacle terminating in a primitive, cross-shaped maw. When the floater attacks its prey, the maw is launched forwards, spiraling through the air and attempting to bite down on the target. Despite its ungainly appearance, the floater is fast, using its flexible tail to slither along the ground. Finally, they are oviparous, equipped with an ovipositor to lay eggs. Fortunately, floaters lack any meaningful intelligence: Their rudimentary ganglia are enough for them to recognize prey and members of its pack, but they are unable to work together as a pack, simply swarming whatever target they come across. However, that simplicity also makes them tenacious and difficult to put down. Their one disadvantage is that the flotation gases are flammable, making energy and flame weapons highly effective against these combustible creatures.[3][4][5]


Gameplay articles:

Only one variant of the floater exists across New California, frequently encountered in packs. The Unity harnessed floaters for use as war animals, accompanying patrols across the wasteland and protecting key locations in their domain. After the fall of the Master, packs of floaters and centaurs began to appear across the Central Valley, with another used by the Enclave to deny access to the navigational computer onboard the PMV Valdez.

Behind the scenes

I think Floaters are cool critters in the Fallout universe, but, like Centaurs, they have really weird bodies that require unique animation rigs. From an animation perspective, limbless flying things tend to be really cheap (usually), human-like bipeds are cheap, quadrupeds aren’t too bad. Once you start getting into creatures with multiple heads, snake bodies, tentacles, etc., they get really expensive. IIRC, we talked about having Floaters but we just didn’t have the animation time for them.

Joshua Sawyer on the Frog Helms Fan Club
  • Floaters are the creation of Jason D. Anderson. Notably, the creature was known as the "Sphincter Monster" during development after Anderson had used a pornographic image for its mouth.[6]



Floaters appear in Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout 76. The Art of Fallout 3 includes concept art for a Lamprey floater, Manowar tendril floater, and Needle tooth floater. Creatures named floater budding and floater evolved also appear in Fallout: New Vegas, though they use the centaur model, a legacy of development.


  1. FEV Experiment Disk
  2. World map encounters in Fallout 2.
  3. Floater appearance and behavior in Fallout and Fallout 2.
  4. Fallout 2 combat description: "#
    # Floater
    {1230}{}{the head}
    {1231}{}{the mouth}
    {1232}{}{the fore mouth}
    {1233}{}{the body}
    {1234}{}{the float sac}
    {1235}{}{the tail}
    {1236}{}{the ganglion}
    {1237}{}{the ovipositor}
    (COMBATAI.MSG (Fallout 2))
  5. Fallout 2 Official Strategies & Secrets p.26-27: "Floaters hover by, manufacturing and storing noxious gases in their flotation bladders. They're stupid, but move fast and are very difficult to kill. Floaters will try to surround you, so keep your distance. The gases that allow them to float turn them into a wonderful flambé when you crisp them with fire or energy weapons."
  6. Information acquired by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski from Jason D. Anderson: "We called it the "Sphincter Monster" after I used a porn image for its mouth"