Institute super mutant
A pair of super mutants in the wasteland
The super mutants of the Commonwealth are a different strain from either Vault 87 super mutants or Mariposa super mutants. While they possess the imposing musculature and resilience of the former, they have a level of intelligence on par with the dumber examples of the latter. They are capable of following a chain of command, erecting fortifications, and even setting up traps and ambushes - such as at Trinity Tower, where Fist deliberately used Rex Goodman as bait to lure humans and weed out the weak super mutants among his host. They are also capable of speaking like normal humans, unlike their practically feral brethren from the Capital Wasteland, and consider themselves the superior race of the Commonwealth.
All Commonwealth super mutants are the result of The Institute's research into FEV, which began in 2178 under the auspices of Doctor Frederick. Research on samples acquired by the team was authorized by the Directorate and the program began despite the objections of some members of BioScience. Both women and men were abducted from the Commonwealth and submerged in The Institute's modified FEV, their mutations carefully tracked and extensively investigated. Successful mutations would be monitored to ensure survivability, then tagged and discarded. In layman's terms, The Institute was simply releasing super mutants into the wild, creating a scourge on the Commonwealth that lasted for years. In fact, the first super mutants attacked human settlements as early as 2180. Their actions were even more heinous considering the fact that in case the mutation destabilized, it would create horrifying behemoths: Warped, immensely powerful giants with a fierce territorial instinct.
The research was intended to produce effective synthetic organics, but it ground to a halt in March 2224. Despite perfecting two FEV strains, the accumulated radiation damage in test subjects provided an insurmountable barrier to further development. Just three years later, in 2227, the organic synth project experienced a breakthrough due to the acquisition of Shaun and his undamaged pre-War genetic code. The third generation synth project was spun off from the FEV research initiative. The FEV research effort continued for several more decades, despite producing no useful data - except for manufacturing more super mutants for the surface to contend with. When Brian Virgil succeeded Dr Syverson as head of the project in April 2286, it became evident that FEV experimentation ran its course and served no useful purpose, not with the availability of third generation synths. Eventually, as Virgil's conscience took its toll, the scientist lodged a formal complaint with the Directorate. When no reaction came, Virgil rebelled and escaped the Institute after transforming himself into a super mutant, destroying as much of the project as he could.
Super mutants employ crude armor, fashioned out of junk. While it appears flimsy, the super mutants have inherent resistance to ballistic, energy, and poison damage, on top of total immunity to radiation. In combat, they rely on simpler weapons - melee implements, frag grenades, lower grade rifles (pipe rifles, assault rifles, laser rifles), and even miniguns and missile launchers among higher level mutants. They also employ mutant hounds as pets and guard dogs.
As such, super mutants can be a considerable threat if engaged in the open and without scouting the area, especially in places like the Revere Satellite Array, where missile launcher mutants occupy the high ground and can hit their targets pretty much anywhere. The best way to counter the threat would be to scout the area beforehand and prioritize high threat targets like super mutant suiciders or the aforementioned mutants with heavy weapons.
The situation is complicated further by the way the spawning lists are structured. Super mutants do not follow any specific loadout and their armor is always randomly selected from a generous list of outfits and possible helmets. As such, it's possible to encounter a fully armor skirmisher and a half-naked warlord. Caution is advised.
- Super mutant
- Super mutant skirmisher
- Super mutant brute
- Super mutant enforcer
- Super mutant butcher
- Super mutant master
- Super mutant overlord
- Super mutant primus
- Super mutant warlord
- Super mutant suicider
- The following map contains all the spawn locations on the world map (excluding interiors or harvested items)
Institute super mutants appear in Fallout 4.
Behind the scenes
Originally, Super Mutants were designed to have a softer and more approachable face to emphasize the human nature of a super mutant (as seen below). However, the more "thuggish" face was chosen instead.