Box art - Fallout 76

How to Use VATS in Fallout 76

It’s been a staple in the series for over a decade, but knowing how to use VATS in Fallout 76 requires some re-adjusting. The “live” nature of the MMORPG makes using VATS in Fallout 76 PvP a thorny issue, so we’ll get into that down below, as well as if you can target limbs using VATS. It’s all in our Fallout 76 VATS guide for PC, Xbox One, and PS4.

How to Use VATS in Fallout 76

vats in fallout 76

VATS (or: Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System), was first introduced in Fallout 3 as a means of replicating the turn-based combat of the original two games in the series. You, traditionally, press a button to pause the game, open up the VATS overlay and see the likelihood of you being able to hit certain body parts using your weapon, which was done in percentages. You could then fire, providing you had enough Action Points.

Since then, it’s evolved, firstly in Fallout 4 where, instead of stopping time completely, action would be reduced to a mere crawl while you targeted various body parts. Fallout 76 does away with slowing down the game entirely, presenting everything in real-time.

The method of using it, however, remains roughly the same. Press L1/LB to bring up VATS, the d-pad to cycle between enemies and Triangle/Y to unleash a critical attack, providing your Critical Meter is full. You can also target specific body parts and limbs by using the right stick to flit between arms, legs, torso, and head. More on that in a moment. Then, you just shoot and the percentage gods roll the dice and you either end up hitting or not hitting your target.

Can I Use VATS in Fallout 76 PvP?

You can! It can be a chaotic, hectic experience if the B.E.T.A is anything to go by. That’s because you barely even need to aim to get the most out of VATS in Fallout 76. Just use the system as described above and you’re good to go. Be warned, however, you can have VATS used against you, also, even on Pacifist Mode, so be sure to zig-zag your way out of dodge if you don’t want to be on the receiving end of a hail of bullets.

How to Target Limbs Using VATS in Fallout 76

You can’t target limbs using VATS straight out of the gate in Fallout 76. To do so, you must get the Concentrated Fire perk card. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to target limbs and body parts by using the right stick.