- New - A guide to making a Pistol/Gunslinger Build
- New - A guide to making a Melee Build
- New - Scav Magazine - All locations and details
- For New Players - Read the walkthrough.
- New - Open Season
- New - Power Play Quest
- New - Raider Outposts
- New - Nuka World Endings Guide - Options and Benefits
- The Grand Tour
- Faction Perks and New SPECIAL Ranks in Nuka World
- Gage (Companion)
Fallout 4: Penetrator Perk
How it Works and Why it's a Good Perk
Fallout 4's Perception Rank 9 allows you to unlock the Penetrator Perk, one which offers great promise in making enemy cover ineffective. This guide explains the Perk's mechanics and how you can make good use of it to snipe your enemies. Please note this does only apply to V.A.T.S. - you can't shoot through walls with this Perk without being in that mode. Also, an enemy 100% behind cover will still be untargetable in V.A.T.S., as they should be. There are only 2 Ranks to this Perk:
|Rank||Requires||Perk Description||Perk ID|
|1||PER 9||There's no place to hide! In V.A.T.S. you can target an enemy's body parts that are blocked by cover, with a decrease in accuracy.||24aff|
|2||Level 28||In V.A.T.S. when you target an enemy's body parts that are blocked by cover, there is no decrease in accuracy.||1d2477|
Penetrator Gameplay Effects & Utility
Penetrator is incredibly useful to any build except melee. For snipers, it's top notch. However, in its current state, you must have realistic expectations of what the Perk can do. First of all, what counts as cover? Sometimes, an enemy's body is blocking one of their own bodyparts - such as a Deathclaw's stomach when it's charging at you, or when trying to weaken a Supermutant Suicider's right hand while you're on his left side - his body reduces your accuracy when trying to detonate that mini-nuke. These are things your weapons can always penetrate, so long as your accuracy in V.A.T.S. is solid.
Naturally, there is also typical cover - a fence or wooden wall. Penetrator can go through one layer of this.
The first rank will make it so that it's as if the cover is roughly half what it really is, and depending on your range can get you to a very high percentage chance to hit despite there being a 'penalty', so it's reducing effective range but giving you a chance to hit. Rank 2 of Penetrator removes this penalty altogether, as though the cover isn't there.
I decided to do a few tests with the Perk to show examples without the perk, with rank 1 and with rank 2. They're not great, because I have an accurate weapon and the target was medium range. However, Mirelurks are good case studies because their shell counts as 'cover' as you can see:
Now, there ARE sitautions where it won't work. Certain objects just won't let you penetrate them, but my body blocking a body-part example should never fulfill this scenario. If you try to shoot a Mirelurk from behind, with only its shell (and innards) blocking its head, it'll go straight through and hit the head. It's super effective in that situation.
For an example where it won't work, in trying to shoot through a solid steel reservoir inside a brewery, it simply wouldn't penetrate. Same thing for a supermutant behind two layers of fence, although all of his limbs had the same hit chance. If the 'hit box' is behind multiple solid objects, don't expect it to work - this can apply even if they're only partially covered. In fact, this Perk may cause you to make mistakes because it will indicate they CAN be hit, when in fact they can't be hit. It seems to only penetrate one layer of cover, period.
Now, some report good success with armor penetrating weapons (and those are good anyway), but i think it's bunk. I think the reason some people don't see this working is the 'layers' factor. It'll penetrate one, but not two layers of cover in my testing. I've ruled out armor penetrating mattering at all by testing this a lot. It works with laser weapons just fine.
As for a Critical hit - they always hit so long as the % chance isn't 0 according to V.A.T.S., so therefore you can penetrate any number of layers in this case, and it can be incredibly useful. Just pay attention to whether multiple layers of steel or wood is blocking your shot and your relationship with the Penetrator Perk will be a good one! If the criticals being able to pass through multiple layers of cover is a 'bug' I hope they don't fix it, because shooting through to score a critical should be a thing.
It's a Great Perk
Though this isn't as reliable as the Perk description lets on, it's still an amazing Perk that will come in handy for all forms of gunplay, particularly when you are attempting to cripple an enemy's limb or just hit them when they're hiding behind a simple cover. If half a head is visible, you'll shoot as though the full head is visible, greatly enhancing accuracy.
Overall I love this perk and recommend it, it just takes some trial and error to use perfectly. If Bethesda changes it, or you think I've missed something about it, email [email protected]
More Fallout 4 Guides
Share Tips and Strategies Below
- Raider Outposts in Nuka World
- Nuka World - Play as a Raider in this DLC
- Far Harbor - Learn about the DLC, its secrets, and read walkthroughs
- Automatron - Guides to building bots and quest walkthroughs
- Settlements - An in-depth guide to Settlements and managing them
- Melee Build - the best perks for a melee character
- Sneaking - Learn to be stealthy
- Critical Hits - Shots to Crit and Crit damage mechanics
- Tips for Making a Build - General advice for creating your own build
- Action Points - AP and all the things that affect it
- VATS - all about the V.A.T.S. and AP usage on weapons
- Gameplay Tips - pointers that will help new players
- Making a Sniper Rifle Weapon mod examples. Heavy hitter and fast-firing Comparison - two guns from the same base.