Surviving Against Fallout’s Strongest

Fallout 4 is finally here! The time has finally come for us Vault Dwellers to step out into the Wasteland and take on everything it’s been waiting to throw at us. Of course, one can hardly expect to survive in the wasteland without first knowing how to successfully engage its more hostile denizens.  So, as a continuation of last week’s Fallout Primer for beginners, the following is a list of the most troublesome enemy types you’re likely to encounter in the Commonwealth, and how to survive such meetings. 

(Note: This is information based on Fallout 3, not Fallout 4. If these enemies are encountered in Fallout 4, there is a chance that you’ll need to adjust your strategies.)

We’ll start off with a reprisal of 2 enemy types we’ve already discussed: Deathclaws and Yao-Guai.



(Image by Flickr user: Sir Mildred Pierce)

Deathclaws have long been notorious for being the absolute worst thing one can encounter in the wasteland. They’re fast, can shrug-off an impressive amount of damage, can easily two-shot high-level characters, and possess an extremely high degree of perception. Simply put, they’ll probably see you before you see them, and you have very little time to take them out once you’re spotted. As an added bonus, finding a single Deathclaw on its own is a rarity. Where there’s one Deathclaw, there’s almost always at least one more.

Thankfully, Deathclaws are very predictable in that they will always make a beeline straight towards your character. This allows you to have a few options to explore when engaging them:

Update: Deathclaws have become more intelligent in Fallout 4. They will not always run straight at you, and have developed an ability to dodge and strafe. The following strategies will still work, but will need to be undertaken with greater care and caution.

First, take a weapon that has high damage-per-shot and try to cripple its legs from a distance. If successful, you should be able to whittle away its health while staying safely out of melee range.

If you’re good with explosives, then you could also try setting up mines between the Deathclaw and yourself. That way it’ll just blow itself up before it could ever reach you.

Lastly,  if the Deathclaw manages to close the distance to you, try pulling out your best close-quarters weapon and shooting it in the face. You want to do everything you can to confuse the creature and by yourself enough time to finish it off!



(image by Flickr user: Sir Mildred Pierce)

Like Deathclaws, Yao-guai are powerful and very hostile creatures that have qualms over separating you from your insides. Thankfully though, Yao-guai aren’t nearly as bad as those horned hell-spawn that all Fallout out fans have come to know and fear hate. Unless you’ve been unlucky enough to stumble across a den, Yao-guai are typically solitary creatures. There’s no back up coming if these guys get in trouble.

I mentioned that Yao-guai are physically powerful, and they most definitely are powerful enough to give even high-level players trouble if caught off-guard. That said, they aren’t as fast as Deathclaws, so you do have some options when you spot one.

Like Deathclaws, you’ll want to cripple at least 2 of the legs first, then try landing headshots while they hobble over to you. A scoped .44 Magnum is a good tool for this, but any high-powered rifle will work too. If you’re caught in a close-quarters situation, then you’ll want something like a sawed-off shotgun. If you don’t have that, then do your best to disengage and run.

Mister Gutsy


(image by Flickr user ericnvntr)

Let’s talk about robots for a sec. Most are easy enough to deal with; just put some bullets in their command processor and they’ll be rendered permanently non-functional. That’s only in most cases though. Sometime you’ll find yourself confronting Sentrybots or even worse, a Mister Gutsy. Both of these make for tough customers, but Mister Gutsy’s mobility and high-damage plasma caster make him the nastiest robotic foe you’ll face in most parts of the Wasteland.

The best option is to take them down at range with EMP grenades, or EMP pistol (if available). If you don’t have these, then what you’ll need is a high-damage assault rifle or plasma weapon and get in close. Mr. Gutsies will always switch to their secondary weapon, a flamethrower, once you get close enough. It can’t use both weapons at once, so what you want to do is to keep dancing in and out of flamethrower range so that it won’t be able to choose a weapon to use against you. All you have to do then is chip away at it’s health until it’s finally nothing more than another heap of scrap metal.

Mirelurk Hunter

(Video is from YouTube Channel: thentheapple)

Mirelurks are tall bipedal creatures not unlike the Eyegore from Legend of Zelda. They are a mutated crab species, and judging by appearance alone, it’s likely that they’re descended from horseshoe crabs. As their looks suggest, they are heavily armored and as such are able to shrug-off damage from weapons that don’t have much penetrating power. Mirelurk Hunters are the most heavily armored variant of the species, able to withstand even more powerful weapons while also dishing out even greater amounts of damage to their enemies.

In order to successfully take these creatures down, you’re going to follow one of three strategies:

1.) Shoot them in the face with a sniper rifle/gause rifle at long range.

2.) Shoot them in the face with an a assault rifle/ plasma rifle at midrange.

3.) Use a weapon that ignores damage resistance at close range; those being either a deathclaw gauntlet or a flamethrower.

Super Mutant Overlord

(Video is from YouTube Channel: ShoddyCast)

Super Mutants are typically quite hardy and powerful individuals. Most of the time it’s best to engage them using the strongest weapons in your arsenal, but when it comes to the most powerful among them, it’s going to take a little extra finesse to come out the encounter mostly intact. Super Mutant Overlords are (in Fallout 3 anyway), the worst variety of Super Mutant one can encounter. They possess a large pool of HP, moderate damage resistance, and come equipped with a Gatling Laser to top-off the nightmare package!

There’s several methods you can use to take them out, but I recommend doing one of two things:

1.) Take them at range with a sniper rifle or rockets/fatman bombs you’ve been saving.

2.) Cripple their arms so that they’ll drop the weapon, them whittle down their health using the weapons you’d use against normal Super Mutants (assault rifles, plasma weapons, high-caliber pistols, shotguns, etc.) and just keept knocking the weapon out of their hand in the process.

All of these strategies assume that you’ve progressed far enough in the game to get your hands on some decent gear, and that you won’t reach areas with these high-level baddies until you’re equipped well-enough to handle them. If you encounter any of these without the proper equipment, then I would suggest either taking pot-shots at them while out of range, or doing your best to cripple their legs so that you can retreat and live to fight another day.

That’ll do it for general Fallout preparation. Armed with the knowledge of this and the previous guide, you should be ready to take your first steps into the Wastes. The next time we talk about Fallout, it’ll be much more specific to surviving in Fallout 4. Until then, do your best to stay alive my fellow Wastelanders!

*Header image by Flickr user: Jamiecat* (cc)


  1. James Dixon says:

    I don’t know if it was just that the Deathclaw I encountered was particularly skilled and/or a fan of the NFL, but it had the shimmying skills and footwork of an all-pro running back, which a) took me by surprise, and b) got me dead. A few times. In fact, as it was in the process of ripping my face off, I’m pretty sure there was a look in it’s eye that was basically saying “Yeah, not so predictable now, eh!?“.

    So, you know, Happy Days…. ;0P

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hatm0nster says:

      It could be that Deathclaws are finally the terrifyingly intelligent monsters that we’ve always been told that they were. My first deathclaw encounter was also much more frightening than any of those I’d experienced in the past…perhaps an update is in order.


  2. cary says:

    Reblogged this on Recollections of Play and commented:

    Whether you’re new to the Fallout universe or just new to Fallout 4, Hatm0nster’s guide to meeting and battling its creatures is not to be missed! He does an excellent job covering the details about how to survive in the Wasteland while not giving up all your precious resources. Head to the article here over on United We Game.


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