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    Fallout 
  • Fallout 2:
    • Getting the surgical armor upgrades is costly since it takes one combat armor and several thousand chips each, and you want at least two (more if you can survive the Charisma drop). This could be averted with some doctors (Johnson in Redding for one) by agreeing on an operation, moving the conversation to just before it's about to start... then opening the barter screen and use the "drop item" function on your money and combat armor. You'd still get the upgrade, and can use your stuff for the other upgrades too.
    • The most widely abused bug in Fallout 2 gives the status effect of a drug used by/on an NPC to every NPC in that category (e.g. Slavers) on the map. This is a real Game-Breaker, since players can drop the Perception of every enemy to 1 with 9 cheap bottles of beer, their strength down by 3 by giving one enemy Buffout and waiting 6 hours for the hangover, diminishing their Action Points by addicting them to Jet... Drugs Are Bad. This can also be used to kill NPCs in a manner which raises no alarms by dosing them with several super stimpaks, which have an aftereffect of causing a small amount of damage. Some players use this bug as a Self-Imposed Challenge by using only the beneficial drugs without waiting for the hangover to make combat extremely difficult. Adding one or two Buffouts and Mentats and two hits of Jet results in fast and hard-hitting enemies for several dozen turns.
    • While a random event and not an exploitable glitch, a Critical Hit can do zero damage, yet still have a chance to inflict a One-Hit Kill.
    • The broken computer quest in NCR. After Jack has blown himself up, you could repeatedly fix the computer, gaining 3000 XP every time. Sadly, fixed in patches.

    Fallout 3 
  • Fallout 3:
    • There is a bug in a quest where you must rescue a Brotherhood Initiate. Upon doing so, however, Paladin Hoss (who you must get the Initiate to) will start appearing next to you when you fast travel, then run away as fast as he can. But even better, sometimes he will enter your house and steal one of your guns (anything in the locker, or anything just left lying out). Then he walks out calmly, and if you kill him, you lose Karma. Luckily, the patrol he does round the Wasteland takes him near some cars with live reactors, just right for exploding. Then you can get back your gun from his body parts.
    • Hoss has been known to stalk players all over the wasteland, including DLC locations such as a hostile Enclave base, Point Lookout, and an alien mothership hovering many miles above the Earth's surface, materializing in full armour and toting a nuke catapult he stole from your house.
    • It is also sometimes possible to half-clip into objects, which will also hide you from enemies unless you move or they come in contact with your character. They won't, however, attack. There are some other areas where melee wielding enemies (most likely animals) will not attack you if you are standing above them, even though it would be entire possible for them to climb up a very gradual slope to kill you.
    • Another very useful exploit is the fact you can carry objects in your arms (well, floating in the air) that cannot be put in your inventory. While that would normally be useless, you can carry enemies. While that would still be useless (because enemy corpses encumber all but the strongest of characters with no gear), you can also simply carry an enemy's head (or other blown-off body part). You can then access the corpse for the items later. This led to a hilarious scene where, after killing a huge number of enemies, you stuff multiple chain lasers, rifles, foodstuffs, and essentially everything you could find in the wasteland into a raider's head, carrying it around everywhere as a second inventory. It's the modern Bag of Holding.
    • The game also has just plain wonky physics bugs. Sometimes if you approach the Deathclaw Sanctuary, you are treated to the sight of the mutated superpredators streaking up into the sky like rockets, never to return. Other times, jostled objects ricochet around at Mach speed, causing you to take damage from a flying femur. And occasionally corpses just fall out of the sky at your feet when you exit the building. Of course, such bugs become less fun when a quest object spawns but gets launched over the horizon before you can interact with it...
    • One bug added with the Point Lookout expansion is called the "Haley's Hardware Glitch". Each time you visit Haley's Hardware after visiting another area, his repair skill goes up by 5 points. You can milk this til it reaches the max of 100, which is very useful when it comes to rare items like the Alien Blaster, which has few options for being repaired 100%.
    • The infamous Gary 23 exploit. Using the dead body of a Gary clone, it is in fact possible to take items into the real world from out of a computer simulation. The glitch is lucrative due to the fact that the weapons inside the simulation have special scripts attached to them, giving them infinite damage resistance and rendering them virtually indestructible. Then there are other bugs, such as an exploit that enables a player to harvest unlimited amounts of ammunition from ammo dispensers. And then there's another well known bug that allows a player to zoom to level 30 by killing endlessly re-spawning friendly Chinese soldiers. All of these bugs combined can result in a major Game Breaker (or not, depending on whether or not you like fantastic bugs).
    • Related to Operation Anchorage is the Chinese Stealth Suit that you get by completing the mission. When wearing the suit, you can put on as much headgear as you want, which can seriously boost your stats (assuming you're wearing stat-changing headgear, of course).
    • Also related to Operation Anchorage, the Winterized T-51b Power Armor you receive after completing the simulation is a glitched version of what the devs had intended you to get (as they accidentally swapped it with the version meant to be worn by U.S. troops in the simulation). However, you won't mind, since instead of the 1,000 HP the armor was supposed to have, it instead has nearly ten million HP. The helmet adds another million. This is easily the best armor in the game, as it never, ever breaks down or needs repair.
    • Completing Operation Anchorage and getting the Winterized T-51b Power Armor also (oddly) automatically completes the quest You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head, assuming you've started it. This is good, because You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head is usually a very long, complicated and difficult quest.
    • One of the more interesting glitches involves escaping the room in the stat choosing scene as a baby. If you get past your father and outside, you can get into the vault 18 years later, as a baby. You can't actually do anything until you get to Megaton, but at that point, you can start attacking. You can go throughout the game world a foot tall, making baby noises every time you press A. You also move slowly, can't jump high, and can't see your Pipboy, because your face clips through it.
    • In the Broken Steel DLC, you get a device which will set hostile Enclave-controlled Deathclaws friendly, and will follow you around. However, it may disappear or de-spawn. There is a chance it will later spawn when you enter a friendly environment like the Rivet City Market or the Citadel. The Deathclaw is friendly to you, but not anyone else. Hilarity--and carnage--ensue.
    • If you shoot the Aqua-Cura salesman outside Underworld before completing "The Amazing Aqua-Cura!", he and the crowd will turn hostile. But if Fawkes is there and not a companion, shoot the salesman with a dart gun while hidden. Fawkes will go berserk, slaughtering the crowd and the salesman.
    • Another bug from Point Lookout involves the Ghoul Ecology perk. The perk is supposed to increase your damage against ghouls by five points per shot, but because the "ghouls" target is misplaced, it provides its damage bonus against everything.
    • The inventory system has a small bug where, if there are two or more of the same equip with different conditions and the more damaged equip is below the less damaged equip, moving the more damaged equip will instead move the less damaged equip. The same bug applies to equipment shops, only now you can buy the item that is less damaged for the price of the more heavily damaged one, then sell it back for its real price. Repeat the process as many times as you want and you will have quite literally robbed the shop blind of all its stock and money.
    • A Black Comedy version, Mister Lopez in Rivet City is contemplating suicide. If the player agrees to help him, he's flung backwards off the flight deck with the implication you push him. However, he's flung directly away from the player, not off the deck, so if you talk to him from the side, this results in him getting thrown backwards on the balcony, somehow dead from nothing.
    • The game applies perk-based skill bonuses upon selecting them, rather than after confirmation. During the level up screen, you can select a perk that gives skill bonuses, then go back to the skill distribution and see the game has added them already. But if you go select another perk and return to the skill screen, the added points remain. Repeat for more points.
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    Fallout: New Vegas 

Fallout: New Vegas has several hilarious glitches that flirt with game-crippling status.

Main Game

  • Chief among these is the "Doc Mitchell" glitch — upon waking up in Goodsprings, players can sometimes find themselves opening their eyes and sitting up as Mitchell's head spins around 360 degrees as he talks to you.
  • Ordering the game from Gamestop and using the exclusive preorder code for the Weathered 10mm Pistol, then equipping it with a laser sight would lead to the player running around with a giant exclamation point on him or her. Evidently, this was caused by the model of the gun with the sight attached not being programmed into the game, and the exclamation mark is a placeholder asset.
  • An infamous glitch caused by a quest stage not completing correctly can net you more experience than you know what to do with. If the player agrees to side with Joe Cobb in Goodsprings, then progresses "Run Goodsprings Run" far enough that Cobb asks the player to gather supplies from the locals, you can choose to kill him then and there. Doing so causes a glitch when talking to Chet in the General Store - you can infinitely farm XP from him by simply choosing the "Powder Gangers want your supplies" option, then passing the Speech 25 skill checknote . In short bursts, this can be a Disc-One Nuke, as it allows you access to a boatload of perks and skillpoints relatively quickly. With enough time, however (several hours of clicking), you can max out your level, skills and gain a ton of perks. Even worse, if you step outside Goodsprings and choose to respec your character, you will lose all the points you put into the 13 skills... but you keep all of the perks you amassed, as well as the "Idolized" status you gained passing the Powder Ganger skillcheck and the hundreds upon hundreds of copies leather armor (given by Chet) amassed during the speech checks. Broken doesn't begin to describe it.
  • Boone's ridiculous accuracy and ability to kill anything is the result of a game bug that occurs almost all the time, even to players who don't know about it. Because of a scripting error, Boone receives a perception bonus every time he equips a suit of armor or clothing. The only problem is that these bonuses stack infinitely, allowing him to obtain a 100%-plus hit ratio.
  • In a bit of pure irony, a glitch can be used to workaround a different glitch. Vault 22 has a glitch where if you use the elevator, your companions will appear next to you, even if told to wait elsewhere. This is useful since certain companions have a tendency to disappear for pretty much no reason. You can exploit the Vault 22 elevator to recover those companions.
  • Collect some Mantis Legs and then deposit them in the corpse of a Giant Radscorpion. Go on. See what happens. Better yet, collect five of the legs, lure a Giant Radscorpion into Goodsprings Graveyard in the intro of the game (shoot the BB-Gun over the side of the mountain to get its attention), kill it and spam the Mantis Legs in and out of its inventory for a while... then when leaving Goodsprings, select to remake your character. Not only can you leave the tutorial at maximum level, but you get an assortment of extra perks for your trouble.
  • Deathclaws will ignore you if their pathfinding can't reach you, even while you fill them with lead/lasers/nukes. While they react as most creatures would to a sneak attack (go alert and try to find the attacker), and even though they are perfectly able to see you, they'll never try to attack. Helps when clearing out Quarry Junction and the Deathclaw Promontory.
  • One that actually doesn't benefit the player but is amusing nonetheless: New Vegas has casinos and other areas where the player's weapons are taken away until they leave. Certain weapons are classified as holdout or "improved" holdout weapons and can be kept on the player if they choose to depending on their Sneak skill. ED-E's weapon is a built-in laser cannon, and so counts as a holdout weapon and is left alone... unless the player's Sneak is at 50 or more, since the cannon somehow doesn't count as an improved holdout weapon. Rex gets it even worse — no matter what your sneak skill, his teeth don't count as a holdout weapon and are somehow confiscated.
  • ED-E's laser weapon may randomly change to an Alien Blaster.
  • It's actually possible to gain infinite XP by killing Big Sal and repeatedly shooting his corpse.
  • Unarmed weapons tend to have a habit of turning invisible, which may make it irritating when trying to figure out what weapon you're using, but the fact that your bare fists can launch people into the skybox as if you're Goku makes it amusing, nonetheless.
  • Is the doctor at the Followers Safehouse? If so, then loot the fridges continuously for infinite food.
  • You can get infinite money by getting 32,678 chips, dropping them, and them cashing them in again and again.
  • If you kill the Enclave Remnants after completing "For Auld Lang Syne" (which requires a few bricks of C4 and a Detonator, as the door needed to reach them permanently locks upon completion of the quest), the game will still act as though they're still alive during the Battle of Hoover Dam, resulting in a hilarious scene where their bodies are airdropped out of a Vertibird right in the middle of The War Sequence when they're supposed to show up and assist the player. This can also happen with Moreno if you fail to talk him down for helping the NCR and he gets into a fight with you - game writer J. E. Sawyer jokingly theorizes that the other troops pushed his corpse out of the vertibird out of spite.
  • When you blow someone's head into pieces, sometimes the game will fail to apply the physics to the resulting gibs that would normally be sent flying all over the place. As a result, you are left with the bloody pieces of a person's head, carefully arranged into the proper shape and floating in the air in the position where it was shot. Even better, this can also happen with an attack that blows the enemy's entire body into bloody chunks, leaving behind a grotesque doll made of body parts.
  • Before patch 1.2.0.310, various kitchens and ovens had shaped human flesh inside them due to a mixup by area designers, suggesting that said inhabitants were cannibals. This has since been fixed.
  • Once you've completed the "That Lucky Old Sun" quest after setting the power to "full region", keep telling it to Ignacio for infinite XP, stimpaks and Doctor's Bag. Just make sure you have at least one companion to help you carry those bags!
  • Do your non-magazine guns annoy you by needing every bullet to be individually loaded? Does it upset you that the computers can reload these types of weapons in under a second? Well now you can too! Just carry a different type of ammunition, switch to it when you run dry and switch back instantly. That single bullet you loaded actually contained an entire magazine's worth of bullets, which all teleported to their proper positions immediately.
  • If you are playing in Hardcore Mode, your hunger, thirst, and exhaustion are all set to zero upon entering DLC areas. However, due to a glitch, the exhaustion will remain at zero, and this will carry on beyond the DLC.
  • In the quest "Climb Ev'ry Mountain", the player is tasked with tracking down someone who has been targeting refugees; you get positive karma for persuading him to stop killing without violence. However, the murderer is (rightfully) at Evil Karma, which isn't changed if you convince him to stop; therefore, you can get good karma for getting him to stop killing nonviolently, then another shot of good karma if you choose to shoot him in the back as he's walking away.
    • Examining the Freeside thugs in the "G.I. Blues" quest will say they are "merely pretending to be dead" even if they've been decapitated.
  • In the quest "How Little We Know", you have the option of examining a dead Gomorrah hooker. However, she will sometimes mistakenly spawn alive, but interacting with her still gives you the option to "Examine The Body".
  • A physics glitch makes the top half of a skeleton in a bathtub in the Bison Steve Hotel fly across the room if you grab the chems that are littered around it, which is always good for a laugh.

Dead Money

  • Due to the way the DLC was coded, it's possible to finish two of the Challenges in unintended ways. "Dead Man's Hand" requires you to collect a certain poker hand (Aces and Eights) found throughout the Villa and Casino... but you can complete it instantly at the very start of the DLC by picking up the playing card in the fountain (Ace of Spades) in the fountain directly in front of the start point, dropping it, then repeating four more times. "The Whole Sad Story" can be completed by simply asking Elijah a certain conversation topic (and following the resulting dialogue tree) four times over, which is very helpful if you were unable to secure Dean's loyalty or ask Dog a question that requires an Intelligence of less than 4.
  • The Holorifle is so bugged that there have been accusations made over the years that it was never fully playtested before release:
    • A particularly weird case is where the Holorifle can be modded to stop degrading. One of the rifle's three mods was intended to increase the durability of the weapon by reducing the amount its condition depreciated with each shot. However due to an error the amount degradation was reduced by was considered negligible by the game's engine and so for the most part there was no effect. For some reason though, when the weapon is fired with 100%, the mod removes nearly all of the item health damage the rifle would have taken, and the game considers the remaining damage negligible for the same reason and leaves the weapon at 100% condition. Even worse, when you get back to the main game with it, have Raul as a Companion, and have completed his Companion Quest for the Armored Petro-Chico uniform, the "Full Maintenance" Perk means the holorifle can fire overcharged, max charge and optimized Energy Cells without degrading.
    • In the console versions of the game, it's possible to keep using Weapon Repair Kits on the Holorifle, which can push its HP before degradation (and value) to some absurd levels.
    • The moral of the DLC Dead Money is to let go. This is made concrete by the reward of the add-on, a vault of gold bars rigged to explode on a timer. Each bar weighs 35 pounds (despite the in-game model stamping the metal as 10 oz.), which means only some of the 37 bars can be taken. You can't escape the vault before it explodes if you have to walk since you're over-encumbered, so at most you could take 10 bars if you've got the right Strength and perks. So began a Bug Arms Race between dev and player to get all 37 bars out. The obvious solution is to drop the gold then carry it instead of putting it into your inventory, so the devs made it so you can't lift them. The next step would be to put the dropped gold into a container and carry that, so the devs removed any containers from the area and gave the gold a special drop animation (usually, dropped items float in the air then fall, but the gold bars are immediately put on the ground). In order to keep players from walking through the door Elijah uses when he enters, they added a concussive blast to push the player away if they were too close. The next exploit was to sneak around Elijah to the other force field in the area, so the devs made it so that force field closed off the route automatically if it was reached. Then it was found out that you could drop the bars through the force field, so the fields were made solid. The final exploit was to use Turbo and/or Implant GRX, so the devs made sure to place a section of broken catwalk since you can't jump when you're over-encumbered. After all of this back-and-forth, it was found out that with the proper timing, you could just sneak around a conveniently placed generator to stay out of Elijah's sight and walk out the door he came in so long as you go unnoticed.

Honest Hearts

  • Honest Hearts brings a glitch related to the "Ant Misbehavin'" quest for the Boomers. The ants you're supposed to kill for the quest have eaten gunpowder and as a result will explode upon death if you hit them with pretty much anything other than regular firearms — but any of the guns added in that DLC will still blow them up on death.
  • Graham's stint as a companion during the DLC's questline can sometimes glitch itself to a point where he somehow has no ammo for his pistol, leading him to just Pistol-Whipping everything rather than shooting them, and then handing over magical companion ammo.

Old World Blues

  • While, mercifully, many bugs were patched by the time DLC rolled around, Old World Blues adds a delicious new bug in the form of the new Trait "Skilled." Skilled grants the player a permanent +5 to all skills in exchange for a permanent debuff that grants -10% experience. Already a good trade-off, selecting during character creation and then again with the "Remake Character?" option at the end of the tutorial will apply the bonus twice—but the drawback only once, making it easily eclipse every skill Perk or Trait in the game in regards to effectiveness. This can be repeated again in during Old World Blues itself when you are given one (and only one) opportunity to change your traits, where you can choose to remove and re-take the trait again. This gives you a total of 15 points to all 13 skills. To put this in perspective, the maximum amount of skill points you get from leveling up is 17, and that is with 10 intelligence and a perk. Alternatively, you can choose to just remove the trait — which removes the experience penalty, but lets you keep the skill point bonuses you've already gained from it.
  • The Sonic Emitter Tarantula can sometimes insta-kill on a crit. This is because unlike the other sonic emitters it has unique kill animation of the target dies (where your enemies flaming limbs explode off no less). However an error implementing this can rarely lead to the kill animation playing regardless of whatever health the target is at, and since the kill animation removes all their limbs this results in an instant kill.
  • The Autodoc in The Sink can wreak some real havoc by swapping out Traits. It only works once, but that's all you need. Swap out Skilled to keep the free skill points but lose the XP debuff, or just select it again for another free +5 to everything (you can also do this while leaving Goodsprings, granting a staggering 195 free skill points, 15% of those available in the entire game, or a 130 (10%) without a drawback). Take Logan's Loophole, then swap it out around level 29 (the drawback doesn't apply until level 30).

    Fallout 4 
  • Fallout 4:
    • Dogmeat has the ability to open up any level of locked containers by simply using the "fetch item" command. By returning to Vault 111 with Dogmeat, you can have him unlock Master locked container early and get the Cryolator and some ammo.note 
    • MacCready's companion perk Killshot. It normally provides the player with an extra 20% accuracy on VATS headshots, but before it was patched, it added 20000% due to a misplaced decimal... meaning that the player's VATS headshot accuracy would almost always be at maximum (95%) even at low Perception!
    • A tricky but utterly game-breaking glitch that was one of the first patched allowed you to get infinite caps, levels, and items by buying one type of ammo from a vendor and very quickly selling one before selling the rest. This glitched out the one bullet, allowing you to keep selling it forever while gaining caps and XP every single time you sell.
    • Similar to the New Vegas example above, Deathclaws will ignore you if their pathfinding can't reach you, even while you fill them with lead/lasers/nukes. This is particularly useful in the Glowing Sea - getting on top of one of the rocks will prevent them from attacking you.
      • Speaking of Deathclaws, they also have a humorous tendency to suddenly glitch out and launch into the stratosphere while they're weaving from side to side in their combat animations.
    • The Ricochet perk gives a random chance for any ranged attacks to ricochet off you and hit the enemy instead, killing them instantly. However, a bug made this factor also apply to certain melee attacks too, leading to the utterly hilarious sight of a Mirelurk Queen or Legendary Savage Deathclaw running up to you and then punching themselves to death.
    • There are reports of NPCs, creatures, and player characters surviving crippling injuries that result in visual dismemberment, up to the point where it is possible to see them walk around without a head.
      • If your hitpoint count is below a certain threshold, Deathclaws will usually finish you off with a special sync-kill animation, horribly mangling your body in the process. However, if you heal while the animation plays out, the result is that you survive, albeit with multiple dismembered limbs.
    • Companions have an upper limit to the weight they can carry when trading to them. This does not apply when you tell them to pick up items on the ground or loot containers, allowing you to bypass their carry limit as long as you don't do it through the dialogue interface.
    • Between the small size cap and the fiddly clipping boxes, the workshop seems rather limited - until you discover the settlement size glitch and the mat glitch, that is. Have fun building everything from treehouses to skyscrapers to underground bunkers!
    • In the VR version of the game you're able to walk through a locked door by slightly pushing your face through and using the teleport on the other side of the door.
    • Raw materials can be duplicated in workshop mode. Look at an item (raw materials count as items), press and hold the scrap button. Release the scrap button and simultaneously press the store item button. If done properly two menus will be shown and both can be accepted, allowing you to both store and scrap an item. If 5 or more items are dropped at once, picked up, and dropped again they will stack (Duplicating a stack of 20 items will result in 40 of that item being placed in storage). This allows you to continuously double raw materials.
    • Weapon, armor and power armor mods can be applied to objects without the necessary perks or materials. By selecting a mod that you can apply, pressing enter and simultaneously pressing down (or up, as the case may be), you can select mods that are greyed out provided that they are beneath a mod that you can make. On PC this is taken further, moving the mouse allows you to select any mod that can be viewed on the same screen as one that can be built.
    • The modswap glitch. On melee & unarmed weapons, this lets you apply the damage of one weapon to the moveset of another (the ripper has a fire-rate of very fast, for reference). On guns, this causes a gun to function more or less normally, with the exception of what is coming out of the barrel. This can result in all kinds of craziness, from a shotgun that fires several barbed harpoons with each shot, to a knife with the head of a sledgehammer, to a minigun that fires 6 mini-nukes with each shot.
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