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Strength does not affect Melee Damage

Strength does not affect melee damage in Fallout 3. I have tested this. Only skills affect melee damage in F3

Yes, but Strength affects the Melee Weapons skill, which in turn affects the damage, so Strength does affect Melee Damage, even if indirectly. Ausir 04:43, 3 November 2008 (UTC)
I am not sure that this is the case - the size of the increase in damage to Melee Weapons is similar to the size of the increase in damage to Unarmed Weapons - which suggests that it is not simply a damage bonus that arises from increased skill (ST has no impact on Unarmed SKILL). --Trithemius 06:33, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
If that's true, the chart is totally misleading. The damage column should be taken out, and a note put in, or something like that. There's no column in the Luck page saying that every 8 levels of luck gives +1 melee damage, and there shouldn't be a column here either. -jholman, Nov 15
Add one to Luck then! --Trithemius 06:33, 23 November 2008 (UTC)
There actually is one in luck, it say all skills plus 1, 2, 3, etc. Southparkrulz0ya 22:31, April 24, 2011 (UTC)

Yes it does

Well... My results are... Melee Weapons = 100, Strength = 6. Items used: Weapons, Chinese Officer's Sword (COS), Combat Knife (CK), Sledgehammer (S), Super Sledge (SS). Armor (stat modifiers), Power Armor (Strength +2), Enclave Power Armor (Strength +1). Other, Grognak the Barbarian (w/Comprehension, Melee Weapons +2).

With no stat modifications, DAM is as follows, COS = 13, CK = 10, S = 23, SS = 28.
With Enclave Power Armor (Str +1), COS = 13, CK = 10, S = 23, SS = 28
With Power Armor (Str +2), COS = 14, CK = 11, S = 24, SS = 29

So, either Strength DOES effect DAM aside from increasing the Melee Weapons skill, or the game tracks and applies skill increases over 100. There is where the GtB comes in. +2 to strength is equal to +4 to Melee Weapons. If the cause is the tracking and application of skill increases over 100, then equipping the Enclave Power Armor (Str +1, thus MW +2), and reading the GtB would have the same effect.

With Enclave Power Armor (Str +1, MW+2) and GtB (MW+2), MW+4, COS = 13, CK = 10, S = 23, SS = 28.

Conclusion: 1. Strength does effect melee damage, and the increase tracks quite well with the chart, as 2 points of strength gives the experienced +1 to all melee weapons, even with max Melee Weapons skill. 2. The game does not apply increases to skills past 100; though it does appear to track them, and increasing skills past 100 will negate skill loss from stat loss by the corresponding amount (Example, AGI effects Small Guns, Equipping Enclave Power Armor decreases AGI by 2, thus SG by 4. Reading Guns and Bullets will change the decrease from 4 to 3).Fiddlesoup 04:42, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Interesting point about the possible stat-loss prevention capability. Are you taking into account the skill bonuses from Luck? --Trithemius 05:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
I think it is non-contentious that ST gives a bonus to Melee (i.e. armed with a melee weapon) damage. This is visible in the game manual and in the derived attributes bit of the GECK wiki. The argument that has raged across the wide plains of the internet is whether ST gives a damage bonus to unarmed combat (i.e. with fists, spiked knuckles, power fists, etc). It doesn't. I thought it did myself, but it doesn't.
ST does double duty for Melee Weapons since it increases the skill (by 2 points per 1 point of ST; like all abilities increase their linked skills) and it increases the Melee Damage Bonus. Damage increases until skill reaches 100, so increasing ST will give quite large bonuses until 100 Melee Weapons skill is reached, then the bonuses to damage will one come from the Melee Damage Bonus.
So, to summarise:
ST does affect melee damage; indirectly through the bonus to Melee Weapons skill and directly through the Melee Damage Bonus.
ST does not affect unarmed damage; neither indirectly (EN is the linked SPECIAL for Unarmed skill), nor directly (there is no Unarmed Damage Bonus).
I hope this is helpful to everyone! --Trithemius 05:52, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
No time to log in, about to leave to take care of my sick aunt, but the reason I posted that was because none of the comments on the page definitively rebuked the claim at the very top that "Strength does not affect melee damage in Fallout 3. I have tested this. Only skills affect melee damage in F3". I was just confirming what we already knew. Hope that clears it up. Fiddlesoup (note: I moved this part to the end so it doesn't interupt Trimetheus' comment)

Out of curiousity, how certain is everyone on the strength damage bonus listed in the table? I realize that strength is boosting my melee damage, because equipping Butch's tunnel snake outfit (+4 melee) doesn't increase my melee damage, but getting the Str bobblehead (only +2 melee) does. However, going from 9 Str to 10 Str only increases my listed damage by ONE point, which contradicts the table's claim that there is a two point difference between the two strength values.

past 10?

Is it possible to increase strength beyond 10 using, for example, the bobblehead when you're already at 10? HungSoLow 13:24, 27 November 2008 (UTC)

No, it is not. The maximum ST in FO3 is 10, chems, gear, and bobbleheads will not increase it above 10. --Trithemius 03:05, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


I fixed where it said that Strength affected unarmed damage, because that's simply not true. Myself and numerous others have tested it on the PC console, and an unarmed attack with Str 10 is the same as with Str 1. Endurance is the SPECIAL stat that affects Unarmed.

I'll test is again, but I regularly get damage improvements due to ST (alcohol, buffout). How about you post your evidence? (Evidence does not comprise vociferous postings on forums). Screenshots would be ideal so that claims could be replicated. --Trithemius 08:52, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Disproved it myself! --Trithemius 11:18, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

No you didn't.

Unless for some reason you're actually confusing Melee damage with unarmed (fist) damage...but that would just be stupid.

Are you actually saying you think Str increases unarmed damage?

If you look carefully you will see that the references to Unarmed damage are removed from this article - and indeed from all the Unarmed weapon articles. I disproved my own position, through judicious empiricism. Also, would it kill you to follow the reply conventions - it's very hard to work out who is saying what. Ta! :) --Trithemius 01:40, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

It would be nice if this page explicitly stated that it does not affect unarmed dmg. It is not intuitive and there is a lot of misinformation going around elsewhere about it affecting it. I ended up testing it myself with 1 str vs 10 str on the eyebot near Vault 101 and there was no difference in damage using bare fists. 23:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Thanks to the release of the GECK I doubt that this will continue. Anyone can get into the game files and see the stat effects for themselves now. As to whether ST SHOULD give an unarmed damage bonus... ;)
Anywya, this is a wiki, so feel free to make that edit to the Strength page yourself! :) --Trithemius 00:30, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It still says Strength gives Unarmed a damage boost on the page for Unarmed, under Fallout 3 strategies.


Trithemius, i would just like to know the methods and experiments you used to conclude that strength (despite the stragety book indicating an extra +0.5 damage modifier with each point of str) does not affect unarmed damage at all (bare fisted/ fist weapon). I would like to believe you but i would prefer quantitative irrefutable proof.

Righto Invisible Person!
My current character is a brawler, with 100 Unarmed and ST 8, equipped with a 100% CND Power Fist. When I take Buffout (+2ST) I experience no increase in damage.
I am not sure what calculation determines the damage of the character's fists (this may be linked to ST somehow?), but I cannot alter the damage of any unarmed weapons. It is possible that the ST enters into calculations for the fist damage in much the same way that Strength in Oblivion determines unarmed damage - however since most "unarmed" attacks in Fallout 3 are based on the damage rating of the device this system could in fact be bypassed.
There is mention of an Unarmed Damage Bonus in the GECK Wiki ( however if this bonus is calculated then it is not currently applied in game to unarmed weapons.
Personally, I hope like hell that revision patches add in a ST bonus to Unarmed Damage. It seems supremely counterintutive not to have one, in my opinion. --Trithemius 02:37, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

I have 2 characters with about 100 in melee. One has a really low strength stat (something like 2 or 3) while the other has 10 in strength. The one with 10 strength did have a higher damage rating with melee weapons than the one with a low strength rating. I'm not sure of the exact values, I can check later if anyone doubts what is already on the page. I disagree with Unarmed needing the Strength bonus. Unarmed already benefits from Iron Fist, with the Strength bonus melee weapons would be obsolete.Galcoe 02:47, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Melee weapons are not the same as Unarmed weapons. Melee weapons do have a bonus, Unarmed do not. Did you read the comments above, or were you too busy being invisible? :(
Iron Fist is an optional perk, it doesn't change the fact that it is plain WEIRD that you get a ST-based damage bonus when hitting someone with a Super Sledgehammer but not when hitting them with a Power Fist. I think giving both unarmed and melee a damage bonus and increasing the base damage of melee weapons when compared to unarmed weapons would be a good thing - this would address any potential balance issues. --Trithemius 02:55, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I did read the rest of the page, that is why I said "if anyone doubts what is already on the page" so I would be confirming what people still seem to be doubting. When the Special book says "so I can swing stuff all day long" I don't think that is including the player's fists, but rather the player's ability to lift a heavy object and swing it effectively. Being stronger does not necessarily mean a stronger strike. The bulky muscles can slow down your strike making punches softer, so it is not entirely weird that the stronger player does not hit harder with his fists as he does with his hammer. I'm not seeing the balance issue between melee and unarmed, care to clear things up for me?Galcoe 03:10, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
Not especially sorry! You seem to making all sorts of weird references to bulky muscles and slowing down punches that don't make a whole lot of sense to me. --Trithemius 03:22, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
I will try to explain it in a way that is easier to understand. Unarmed should not get a strength bonus because strength does not determine how hard someone can punch or how effective they are at striking. Melee should get a strength bonus because strength determines how much someone can lift and how effectively someone can swing something. I do not see any balance issues that would warrant unarmed getting the same damage bonus melee gets from strength, or am I not understanding something? Let me know if I am.Galcoe 03:36, 17 December 2008 (UTC)
You should make up your mind if you want to drag real world examples into game world dynamics. Any person with the same skill level and who is stronger, would be able to land a more powerful blow - that's just physics. Since we are not talking about the real world, but balance issues, your points are subjective.
I think unarmed should get a bonus, but not as much as melee, (which ironically includes unarmed in the real world). If you understood how impact damage is dealt, you would know why using a hammer, for example, increases the damage. It should certainly give a bonus over endurance. Seriously, how does being able to do something for longer make you more skilful in unarmed combat and using heavy weapons? Don't forget, we are talking about a world where putting on a mask suddenly makes you more skilful at fighting.
There is the problem of descriptors used, as all of these categories cross over, and for most fighting skills you need a blend of each, but obviously the game isn't that sophisticated to take that into account. Or perhaps I should say, some people take them way to seriously.
I laughed out loud when I read this. 'Bulky muscles' don't slow you down, they make you faster. Muscles are not bags of meat that do nothing but weigh you down. Have you looked at a sprinter's legs? Toothpicks they aren't. By your logic, my granny would punch harder than Arnie because he's weighed down by all those muscles. I suppose they create drag as well, being not very aerodynamic?


There is a precedent that testing in this game should not be done at extreme values wherever possible. For instance, crouching increases accuracy in vats BUT not if your skill in that weapon is already 100. Rockit Launcher damage is based on weight BUT not if you have max skill and condition in which case all items do max damage. It might be possible that bonus damages could have some effect on melee but that a weapon could have max damage at a certain amount and nothing will affect it any longer.

Well... Not really. You can still have increases to accuracy from crouching, even if your skill is at 100, it just can't go above 95%. Extremely extensive testing and digging through the GECK, on my part, have produced no evidence that weight affects Rock-It Launcher damage. At several different skill levels and weapon conditions, damage remained consistant at each weight, adjusting for DR and weapon degradation. Finally, I showed up there that a person with a MW of 100 can still get an increase in damage over base from strength. While you certainly need to account for variables in testing, there's no reason the extremes can't be taken into consideration.Fiddlesoup 22:06, 14 January 2009 (UTC)


Updated page to specifically say that Unarmed Damage is unaffected by Strength. Hopefully that quiets things down a bit on that front (even though i'm incredibly late to the party). Bloodwars 05:47, 5 January 2009 (UTC)

a few observations

The sniper perk... does it just affect ranged weapons? Yes a stupid question on the face of it. However the perk itself [as stated in my manual] DOES NOT specify that this is limited to ranged weapons. You can she the potential for weapons such as deathclaw gauntlet and shiskebab.

Seconly the oddities of luck if u have a luck skill of 9 and use the lucky 8 ball u get 10, however if u have 10 and use the lucky ball is does nothing for you, or so I hear/experienced [pc, no dlc or patch] however if u have 3 dogs head gear and the lucky shades u still haev luck of 10 but you criticals happen more. I guess im look for confirmation/ rejection of this with some proof.

TY for any assistance. Sarch Laliath

You can't target the head (or any specific body part) in melee or unarmed combat.

It appears to me that beer or buffout won't stack with power armor str+1 or str+2 effect, but I might be hitting the 10 limit. 23:36, May 1, 2010 (UTC)Rick (

New Vegas: upgrading strength

Are there any ways to can increase your level of strength (and the other skills) in New Vegas? Like the bobbleheads from F3. I ask because I would like to use some of the heavy weapons, and my only option at this point is to take the perk which allows me to place one point into any of my skills, but i'd rather not use that (plus it will only allow me to use some of them, as I would need more points for the rest).

Implants , Weapon Handling . The perk you refer to is Intense Training which is very useful, do not underestimate it, its helpful if you put your signature at the end of a post (4x~) De Accipitre Deserta 19:47, October 29, 2010 (UTC)

Help with New Vegas tab

Hey, so I noticed the Strength article covered every game except New Vegas, so I decided to make a tab for it and fill it out. It's still in the page's coding as we speak, it's just that it isin't showing up. It seems like no matter how many changes I make I can't get it to appear. What kills me is that I copied a tab from a table that is visible and just changed the variables. --Oh, and before you ask: Yes. I know that that each section has to have a unique number (like "|game5 =FNV"). Either way, would someone mind looking it over for me?


10 Strength, 1 Strength

I added the two quotes Doc Mitchell gives you for having 10 or 1 Strength in the notes section. --CptMuddles 16:48, January 3, 2011 (UTC)