Carl's Fallout 4 Guide
for PC, Xbox One, and PS4

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See a full list of guides on the Nuka World page. I've written over a dozen in just a week and plan to continue. There is much more to this DLC, it will just take time to write it all. Check back for more. Comment on the appropriate page if you have a tip to share with other readers.

Fallout 4: Ninja

Perk Info & Sneak Attack with Criticals

The Ninja perk increases sneak attack damage for both melee and ranged builds. The sneak attack damage is not multiplied by the critical hit

The Ninja Perk offers sneaky characters a much larger sneak attack multiplier over the base of 2x damage. It's obviously more efficient as a Perk for melee characters given the damage boost is higher, but being that close to certain enemies requires a lot of patience, high agility, and investment into the Sneak Perk in order to get close. Ranged can often perform more than one sneak attack by being patient after the first and particularly with silenced weapons. I did some play-testing with this perk and can share my observations so that players know exactly what they're getting when they take Ninja. Here are the three ranks of the Perk, with their descriptions:

Ninja Perk Ranks
RankRequiresPerk DescriptionPerk ID
1Agility 7Trained as a shadow warrior, your ranged sneak attack do 2.5x normal damage and your melee attacks do 4x normal damage.4d8a6
2Level 16Your ranged sneak attacks do 3x normal damage and your melee sneak attacks do 5x normal damage.e3704
3Level 33Your ranged sneak attacks do 3.5x normal damage and your melee sneak attacks do 10x normal damage.e3705

Ninja PerkGameplay Effects & Utility
For a while, I've wondered if this perk, and sneak attacks in general, stack with critical hits. Ninja was the perfect reason to want this, because it offers a 3.5x modifier for ranged and 10x modifier for Melee. If critical hits stacked multiplicatively with Ninja, that'd mean at minimum 7x damage for ranged and 20x damage for melee. Even higher with ranks in Better Criticals and the various magazines/bobbleheads found in Fallout 4. Absurd.

After testing this for a while, I can easily say that no, it does not stack that way. The sneak attack damage and critical hit damage are added together. They are entirely separate multipliers, and whatever you would do with a sneak attack is added to whatever you'd do with a critical hit. In the screenshot above, over half the enemy's life is going to be taken by a rank 3 Ninja ranged attack. This would kill the legendary ghoul outright if it were going to be doubled by the basic critical hit. Instead, we get the ghoul mutating and going back to full life, meaning it failed to one-shot it (lesson to new players: taking Legendary enemies from 51%-0 in a single shot will prevent them mutating).

Does this invalidate the Ninja Perk's utility at all? No way. It's an amazing Perk for ranged AND melee builds who focus on stealth. On the melee side, you're probably going to want to be heavily invested in stealth to even bother with sneak attacks let alone this Perk, but for ranged, only a light (or even no) investment is necessary if you are just starting fights from afar with a sniper rifle and engaging after a sneak attack or two. Players with high stealth ability can sneak-attack their way to victory in most fights by simply starting with the closest enemy and gradually working inward, waiting for the 'Hidden' to reappear between shots.

So, there you have it, and I get to edit my page on Critical Hits to reflect this about sneak attacks stacking, as I know many players will wonder. If you think I've botched the test, let me know! I wish it were so, but it would be a bit unbalanced - especially on moderate difficulty - and trivialize a lot of the game if they stacked. Instead, we have a game where pretty much any build idea you have can work at least to some degree and are competitive with one another in terms of combat potential.

Ninja with Mister Sandman - Massive Sneak Attack Damage
The Ninja and Mister Sandman Perks synergize to give you 4.0x sneak attack damage with silenced weapons. This is particularly helpful when running a Sniper Build.

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