|For an overview of the "mini nuke" ammunition used throughout the Fallout series, see Mini nuke.|
Developed at Fort Strong as part of the M42 Fat Man project, the mini nuke is one of the most powerful conventional weapons ever devised. Though the project was plagued by design issues from the beginning, caused by the weight of the micro-nuclear warhead and the resulting low range, the designers eventually happened upon a break through: Instead of trying to reduce the weight of the warhead or the power of the launching system, one researcher proposed falling back on the spigot mortar system, used over 130 years before in PIAT launchers. The ingenious solution was just what was needed to complete the project and by September 2077 the first M42 Fat Man weapon systems were sent to ordnance depots across the United States.
The mininuke consists of four principal components. The detonator shell on the bottom contains a conventional sub-charge that detonates when struck by the M42's striking pin, catapulting it out of the launcher. Four stabilizer fins attached to it ensure a stable trajectory and prevent tumbling in flight, increasing accuracy (a necessary feature, as the projectile is not spin-stabilized). The hemisphere core is screwed onto the top, containing the nuclear core. Finally, the weapon is fitted with a beryllium contact fuse that starts the nuclear reaction on impact.
Mini nukes are much less common in Fallout: New Vegas than in Fallout 3: there are only 14 in the base game (12 with the Wild Wasteland trait). They weigh 3 pounds each in Hardcore mode and are shaped like the WWII atomic bomb "Fat Man". Their explosion is powerful, causing a characteristic mushroom cloud and leaving residual radioactivity, initially 40 rads/sec., but which quickly drops to low levels that linger for quite a while. The Lonesome Road add-on introduces the possibility of mini nukes randomly spawning in duffel bags and other containers.
Weapons using this ammunition
Mini nuke, low yield (GRA)
Added with Gun Runners' Arsenal, it has less explosive power and a smaller kill radius than a standard mini nuke, but increased ballistic range.
Mini nuke, Big Kid (GRA)
Added with Gun Runners' Arsenal, this type is significantly more powerful than a standard mini nuke and produces more residual radiation. The increased damage comes at the cost of reduced range, which can cause serious harm to an unprotected player.
Mini nuke, tiny tots (GRA)
Added with Gun Runners' Arsenal, this type can be used for cluster bombing, with each tiny tots round releasing 9 miniature mini nukes, similar to an experimental MIRV shot. While descending, they make noise similar to incoming Boomer artillery.
Mini nuke, timed (GRA)
Added with the Gun Runners' Arsenal, this type has a 5-second fuse and will not detonate on impact. The time-only fuse allows the round to ricochet off objects or be bounced around corners.
|Mini nuke||600||x 1||x 1||x 1||10
1700 unit radius
|Mini nuke, low yield (GRA)||400||x 1||x 1||x 1||6
Gravity has 20% less influence
1500 unit radius
|Mini nuke, Big Kid (GRA)||800||x 1||x 1||x 1||30
Speed decreased from 2500 to 1800
2200 unit radius
|Mini nuke, Tiny Tots (GRA)||125||x 1||x 1||x 20||9 projectiles
25 for 12s
Gravity has 60% less influence
Speed decreased from 2500 to 1250
500 unit radius
|Mini nuke, timed (GRA)||600||x 1||x 1||x 1||10
5 second fuse, no detonation on contact
1700 unit radius
Fixed locations for mini nukes only, there are no fixed locations for any of the variants.
|Closest map marker||Amount||Description|
|Quarry Junction||2||One within the deathclaw mother's cave. One in the middle of the southern most irradiated pond.|
|Hidden Valley North Bunker||2||Inside the northernmost bunker behind an average locked door in the right corner on the ground.|
|Camp Searchlight Eastern Church Basement||2||Without Wild Wasteland trait you find two; with Wild Wasteland you find 3 Holy Frag Grenades.|
|Hidden Valley South Bunker||1||Inside the southernmost bunker behind the hard locked door in the left corner.|
|Nellis Array||2||On the metal shelves in the lower level to the right of the generators.|
|Vault 11 Security Room||1||Sitting on desk in the locked Security Room.|
|Nellis Air Force Base||3||Each can be pick pocketed or looted from a Boomer carrying a Fat Man in the eastern portion of Nellis, usually near the corn field (repeatable). High sneak skill is required, or a Stealth Boy. Boomers killed for their mini nukes will respawn.|
|Nellis Air Force Base, Mess Hall & Munitions Storage||1||In a wooden crate, atop of a shelf in the Boomer's munition store.|
- Gun Runners, Vendortron has the Gun Runner mini nuke variants in stock.
- The Commissary terminal has a 75% chance of stocking a single normal mini nuke each time it resets, after you reach level 16.
- The GRA mini nukes can only be used with the GRA Fat Man or Esther from the Gun Runners' Arsenal add-on, which also adds an infinite quantity of the new type of ammunition.
- Be careful with the Big Kid mini nuke on level ground; its reduced range and increased blast radius can hurt or kill you (along with your target). If you're too close to the explosion, you may have nearly no chance of survival, even with high DT/DR, health, skills and applicable perks.
- Mini nukes are the main component of a Fat mine.
- When detonated in the air, a mini nuke creates a mushroom cloud rather than a round fireball.
- alien blaster and almost if not all other ranged weapons. There is a glitch where sometimes if you kill an enemy and equip the Fat Man, then go pick up the dead enemy's gun, the ammunition from the gun will be converted into mini nukes and will remain in your inventory. This can also be done with the
- When using the Tiny Tots mini nuke in buildings it may cause the game to freeze in place.
- When using Tiny Tots, the noise they make when falling may not play or endlessly play if shot straight up, not always the case though.
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 001: "Things are getting tough around here. Brock has decided to split our men into two teams. I drew one of the short straws, so I ended up on the M42 "Fat Man" Launcher team while most of my buddies are sitting pretty upstairs with the T-51B suits. I can't even begin to describe what a ridiculous idea the M42 is - a man-portable mini-nuke thrower that a trooper in the field is supposed to deploy at close range. I've been pouring over the schematics and I have no idea how were going to get this thing to throw a warhead far enough not to kill the soldier unlucky enough to be stuck with these deathtraps."
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 002: "We've stripped the warhead weight down as much as possible, but I think we're looking at this the wrong way. Instead of trying to reduce the warhead weight, we should try and amp the power on the thrower itself. I know that means adding weight to an already heavy piece of ordinance, but I don't think we have any choice. One of the guys suggested we try magnetics to push the warhead through like a rail gun, but the power pack would need to be the size of a suitcase. I'll keep picking away at this problem and see what I can turn up."
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 003: "We lost two good soldiers this morning. They were on the surface testing a MIRV variant of the launcher, when one of the warheads misfired and hit the ground right where they were standing. Poor bastards didn't even have a chance. We couldn't even find any remains to send home to their folks, so Brock told us to just fill some cans with sand. I'll tell you, that guy doesn't give a crap about us, he's just worried about the brass back in Washington giving him a hard time."
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 004: "I was in bed last night when I had one of those "Eureka" moments. I ran over to the night shift guys in the lab, swept all of their drawings on the floor and starting sketching my idea. They must have thought I'd lost my mind. Six hours and about fourteen cups of coffee later, and I had it all mapped out. We'd use a small sub-charge as a launching catalyst to catapult the warhead from the launcher. We'd have plenty of range, and the sub-charge could be built into the warhead itself. Brock seemed to like the plan and gave us the go ahead to prototype the device. I can't wait to try it out."
- Fort Strong terminals; Bravo Team Testing Terminal, Bravo Team M42 Report 005: "It took the better part of a year, and over a hundred test firings, but the M42 is ready to shipped out into the field. I can't believe I spent over a year on this single project. I feel pretty good knowing we're delivering a well-tested weapon to our own guys fighting overseas. Now that it's over, I suppose Brock will move us on to something else, but for now I'm going to spend the rest of the month packing up these warheads to ship off base."
- Fort Strong terminals; General Brock's Terminal, General Brock's Report - December 2076: "Bravo Team is having a heck of a time getting the M42's not to shoot far enough away from its firing position. The problem is that the warhead is still too heavy to fire the distance required - our simulated soldiers are still soaking far too many rads and suffering blast burns. One of the technicians has suggested a radical idea of using a conventional depleting sub-charge to catapult the round rapidly out of the launcher. His calculations look sound, so I am going to let him give it a try."