Need *basic* help for Fallout 3--NO SPOILERS PLEASE

I just started playing Fallout 3. I am enjoying the game, but I am puzzled by a few things. I bought it via download, so maybe there is a little booklet included with the DVD version that I don’t have. (I am not a big gamer so maybe this stuff is obvious to everyone else. Last game I bought was Riven :o)

I don’t want spoilers or cheats, I just want to know basic game play. Anway, are there instructions that tell you what the hot keys are? Early in the game it teaches you how to move with WASD, and I found out by experimenting that F changes from 1st person view to being able to see yourself. But I have some basic questions:

How do I bring up the menu to save the game?

It keeps saying something like “To Enter VATS press V” but nothing happens. What’s VATS?

Is there anything else that is super-basic that I’m missing?

Thanks, and remember NO SPOILERS IN THIS THREAD

Snape killed Dumbledore.

What? It’s not a spoiler - everybody knows.

Save menu comes up with Esc. I assume you tried that already - if that doesn’t work, I smell a glitch. But even so, you can still quick save. Right?

VATS is the turn-based combat thing. Press it around enemies to pause the game and load in your attacks. If it’s not working, maybe you are trying it away from enemies.

For any further advice, wade through the enormous, spoiler-infested F3 thread.

Oh, a question of my own: how do you pickpocket? Is that similar to ‘Grab’?

In Esc main menu, you can learn/configure controls.

“Vault Assisted Targeting System.” It’s used in combat to target specific body areas. Press V while within visual range of an enemy and it will pause, highlighting the enemy in green and allow you to scroll body parts, each of which will be given a % chance to hit based on range, the weapon in use, your skill rating, coverage, etc… The large green arrows on either side will allow you to switch between targets in visual range. Clicking on a highlighted area sets up a shot, which can be deleted with with a RMB click. The E key escapes from VATS and if you have set up shots, initiates them in slo-mo. Using VATS requires action points and depending on how many you have ( based on agility and perks ) and what weapon you are using, will allow 2-4 shots in VATS mode. After that you have to recharge your APs before you can use VATS again ( several crucial seconds ).

VATS makes combat much easier in short to medium ranges and looks cool ( some perpetually impatient people get tired of it, I never do :slight_smile: ). Pointing, aiming ( hold down the RMB ) and firing normally seems to work better for long-range sniping, depending on your skill rating.

Esc- save menu, key configurations and the like.

R button - hold down to holster/put up your weapon. Repairs in PipBoy item screens.

Tab button - poked quickly calls up and dismisses PipBoy screen, but held down activates illuminated Pip screen ( i.e. a flashlight for dark areas ).

Ctrl - crouch

Caps Lock - run/walk

ETA - Hold down number keys in the weapons screen of the PipBoy to set weapons hotkeys ( numeric keys ).

There’s a good chance that there’s a PDF version of the manual available for you, either coupled with the download or available separately on the site.

Downloaded games don’t come with instruction manuals now??? Games you PAY for??? Really??

The download comes in the form of several CAB files. One is an EXE that unpacks and installs the game using the others. But there is no manual. I did extensive searching before opening this thread and have never found a manual.

Does the packaged version include a manual, either hard copy or on the installations disks?

Yes, the packaged version includes a manual. I have the limited edition, so I can’t say if the regular version includes a paper manual, but I assume it does.

Some other things you may find useful to know:

  • The R key reloads your weapon when pressed. Holding it holsters your weapon, as noted above.

  • F5 is quicksave. Use it often.

  • F9 is quickload (load your last quicksave, not your most recent save unless it is the quicksave). Very useful.

  • Q is autorun. Not that useful, but good to know why you are moving forward without keys held down.

  • Right mouse button zooms your field of view, which helps when aiming or trying to scout an area. Note that you move more slowly when zoomed.

  • CTRL, as noted above, is the crouch (aka Stealth) key. Note that it is a toggle, and that you move more slowly when crouching. This can be annoying if you are in combat, so remember to turn off stealth when fighting to allow yourself to move faster.

  • You can TAB into Pipboy at any time, even in the midst of combat. The game is paused, and you can use health and chems without game time passing. This is Very Handy when you are on the brink of death.

  • In VATS mode, A and D will swap you between targets.

Most games on Steam has the manual available as a PDF on the store page. Fallout 3’s store page is here, a direct link to the manual is here (PDF).

No, you pickpocket with the “Use”-key (E is standard) while in stealth mode/crouching. Try pickpocketing and giving your victim a grenade.

To repair an item, you must have more than one of it. Select the item you want to repair, press R, and select the item you with to repair WITH.

To hotkey weapons, hold down the 1-8 button and select the weapon.

The manual is available from Steam as a pdf.

Wow, that is the magic right there. I must have pressed every damn key except ESC :o

Thanks to all for the help, this is exactly the kind of stuff I’ve been hoping to figure out and am now happily playing the game and getting killed in dozens of different ways. :rolleyes:

Unless you’re holding a melee weapon, a grenade, a mine, or are unarmed, in which case the entire body is highlighted.

If you ever come across a sign that says “high radiation levels”, they mean it. Died twice before I realized I was gaining upwards of 600 rads/min!