Attack modes are the different types of attacks that can be performed with a weapon. For example, a 10mm SMG can shoot in single shot, aimed shot, or burst shot. Different attacks do different damage and/or have different ranges (a spear normally has a 2 range, but when set to throw, it has 15 range). Attack mode also allows the PC to access targeted shots with applicable weapons, this is where the V.A.T.S. menu will be displayed.
Different weapons have different means of attack, they are as follows -
- Single Shot, a single bullet or energy discharge is made, with single shot the AP use is low as well as spread.
- Burst Shot, multiple projectiles are fired from the weapon in a rapid fire instance; the AP use is usually slightly higher as well as spread. In burst fire the chances to hit multiple targets at a distance or hit close targets consecutively is possible.
- Aimed Shot, A single shot that can be targeted at a specific body part. Targeted shots usually the same amount of AP as a burst shot but can be aimed at weak areas of a target.
- Swing, the held weapon is swung in a horizontal motion.
- Thrust, the held weapon is jabbed at the target, this is best reserved for knives and spears.
- Throw, the weapon is thrown at the target, this is only possible for spears and throwing knives
Weapons with multiple attack modes
- 10mm pistol
- .223 pistol
- 9mm Mauser
- 10mm SMG
- Hunting rifle
- Sniper rifle
- Combat shotgun
- Pancor Jackhammer
- M3A1 "Grease Gun" SMG
- Tommy gun
Weapons with only one attack mode
Though the majority of smaller versatile weapons hold more than one method of attacking, larger weapons are ineffective at low volumes of fire.
The majority of Big Guns, if not all(with the exception of the Gatling Laser, Flamer, and Minigun), only feature burst fire and single shot modes. Being too big to make targeted V.A.T.S. shots, and in the case of rocket launchers and recoilless rifles, unable to make multiple consecutive shots.
Some of the larger melee weapons, such as baseball bats and sledgehammers, possess no cutting or piercing edges, making them only capable of being swung at targets.