Is VATS ever worth using?

Discussion in 'Fallout: New Vegas Gameplay & Tech' started by whirlingdervish, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. whirlingdervish

    whirlingdervish Brahmin Cavalry Commander

    Jul 3, 2007
    I've been playing a fairly all-around character with my highest skills being guns, lockpick, repair and speech.

    By level 18 or so (not even to vegas yet), I've bumped my guns skill up to around 75, but I still can't really tell a huge difference in my characters ability and I've probably only used VATS a few times in 40 hours of play because of it. Every time I tried it, it was showing worthless low accuracies from 20 feet away or more, and even if they were higher than 50% I was still missing every other shot if I tried to make multiple shots in VATS while crouched.

    Instead of using VATS, I've killed tons of stuff just sneaking in the hills and hitting crit headshots from long range with a silenced/scoped varmint rifle. Before I had the scope I was picking them off pretty easily with just the iron sights on the same rifle, and hitting every shot regardless of my character's guns skill.

    For close-up action I've been running and gunnin using a 44 mag revolver or the 10mm smg and I haven't run into much yet that I can't easily kill using this combination of stealth headshots to weaken them and the cowboy repeater or one of my 1-hand weapons to mop up.

    Since I picked up Boone and EDE, the sniping has gotten even more ridiculously effective.

    At this point, I'm wondering if the guns skill does much outside of VATS, and if anyone has been able to use VATS effectively for most of the game without taking a bunch of weapon specific VATS accuracy perks.

    As an avid FPS gamer, I don't mind that the shooting mechanics are consistent enough to allow me to blaze thru enemies on my own aim, but I figure I could spend my skill points more effectively if VATS is never effective and the guns skill doesn't really change much else.
  2. guillxer

    guillxer First time out of the vault

    Oct 29, 2010
    Here's my analysis.

    Vats is useless at far range.

    When you get surrounded by jerky fast moving mobs at close range using VATs is a good idea. It can save ammo and chip away at a particular parts of the enemies body.

    Its also a good way to appraise weak points on the targets.

    But from what I can tell far range, not so much.
  3. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    Yeah, I really wish there were perks that helped VATS at long range. Sniper seems ideal but even it tapers off far too early. I think that whether you're moving and/or crouched factors into VATS accuracy, so it might help to stand still. Also, if you take some Steady before going into VATS, you can snipe the heads off a half-dozen guys before the rest know what's going on.

    In my experience, VATS is best while using pistols and rifles at close range, where the game's jankiness as a shooter can make it very hard to hit certain enemies.
  4. DForge

    DForge Look, Ma! Two Heads!

    Jul 29, 2006
    VATS sucks at long range, true. But the game isn't about long range all the time; In most buildings you can't even dream of sniping.

    At close range, however...

    1. VATS allows you to shoot many times faster by slowing time. In real time, you will be shot more by the time you release the same amount of bullets unless you're using weapons with very fast rate of fire.
    2. Head shot doubles damage. Hitting the head of the moving opponent isn't that easy unless you're an FPS pro. I'm not, so 5 VATS shots deal definitively more damage than 5 ironsight shots (unless I'm lucky)
    3. If that wasn't changed, VATS grants you extra 15% critical chance while iron sights does not.
    4. Killing creatures that charge at you is easy thanks to VATS. You shoot them with iron sights and once they are dangerously close, you VATS them dead.
    5. Reload time is MUCH MUCH MUCH faster in VATS. See cowboy repeater. Reloading that thing in real time takes like 5 seconds. In VATS sequence, it does not take almost any time - try it when something is charging at you, say a coyote - you'll reload the gun by the time enemy makes 1 step. Very helpful since I used cowboy repeater early on a lot.

    I'm playing Very Hard only and VATS saved me a lot of trouble in buildings when I still had lame weapons only. My favorite strategy was to lure people to choke points and then shoot them with a shotgun once they emerged. If 2 or more popped at the same time, I used VATS to kill one and then kill the other without it. That made NCR facility easy - normally they'd wipe the floor with me with those SMGs that hurt like hell in Very hard.

    VATS isn't a necessity, but it's a very useful tool when you're outnumbered or the enemies have superior gear. Shoot a powerful enemy a couple times with iron sights, then provoke him to come near you by ducking behind a wall and finish him with few shotgun rounds to the head. This is pretty good on very hard early in the game.
  5. Hassknecht

    Hassknecht For hate's sake. Staff Member Admin Orderite

    Aug 16, 2010
    My computer is so damn crappy that I can barely win a fight without VATS :D
  6. Lexx

    Lexx Background Radiant
    Moderator Modder

    Apr 24, 2005
    Thanks to the new ironsights, I am not using VATS most of the time. If some foe comes very close to me and I see no way to fire my gun at him this fast, I am using VATS.

    So yeah, it's kind of a cheat-mode, especially because I have 95% hit chance in this distance anyway.
  7. Korin

    Korin So Old I'm Losing Radiation Signs

    Aug 6, 2010
    I've been using VATS less because of the ironsights and also because I usually snipe targets from a distance with a rifle of some kind. VATS is really handy as an "oh shit" option, or any time you have multiple targets that you want to dispatch quickly/efficiently with a queue of headshots.
  8. mobucks

    mobucks As a goof Orderite

    May 22, 2010
    I use vats as much as possible.
  9. the_cpl

    the_cpl Where'd That 6th Toe Come From?

    Aug 9, 2009
    I tried VATS, but I didn't use it, really.
  10. Mztr44

    Mztr44 First time out of the vault

    Jun 25, 2007
    I kind of wonder if VATS is broken in regards to weapon types. I'm pretty sure I remember FO3 differentiating in accuracy vs distance depending on what type of weapon you were using (i.e. hunting rifle vs pistol), but that doesn't seem to be the case in FNV. All weapons seem to have the same accuracy regardless of type, which seems to default on pistol type ranges when using VATS. So like I can be equipped with the anti-material rifle and if something is 40-50 feet away i'm getting like 30-40% accuracy even on torso.

    So yeah, like you I just ended up using iron sights/scope for long distance sniping. If anything got closer than 20-30 feet I would swap to a close range weapon and then activate VATS.

    And no i don't think the gun skill does anything outside of VATS. My melee character at level 1, because of low perception and having taken good nature as a trait, she started with 2 in gun skill. But doing the tutorial quests with Sunny Smiles was still able to hit the bottles perfectly through crouching/iron sights with the varmint rifle.
  11. sillyrabbit

    sillyrabbit First time out of the vault

    Oct 30, 2010
    VATS is extremely useful indoors, hallways, and when deathclaws are running at you from every direction. I only utilize VATS when I need to react much much quicker to enemies. No-scope or use the crosshairs on lesser enemies
  12. sea

    sea Vault Senior Citizen

    Oct 5, 2009
    I think that iron sights improve accuracy over hip firing, so much so as to make level low-level characters capable. This might be part of an effort to improve the shooter component of the game. However, it's also possible that things are different when firing at enemies - it definitely seems that some guns exhibit a lot of spread in the heat of battle that doesn't appear when, say, shooting at a wall. Also, for all we know, the bottle-shooting exercise is a special case that's meant to function as a tutorial, and ignores weapon skill temporarily to give you a more direct idea of how iron sights aiming works.

    At least Guns doesn't seem to directly increase damage anymore.
  13. Zeronet

    Zeronet It Wandered In From the Wastes

    Apr 26, 2003
    Sometimes VATs is worse, because a lot of the time you have to backpedal like crazy. Especially if you've unfortunately taken the exploding energy weapon perk.
  14. Kallisti

    Kallisti First time out of the vault

    Apr 9, 2010
    A guns score that's too low for the weapon reduced the rate of fire, and damage goes up with a high guns skill for some reason.
  15. wintermute000

    wintermute000 First time out of the vault

    Oct 25, 2010
    VATs is super useful because so many enemies in this game move at insane speeds. The extreme example is a cazador, not only super fast but super slim

    Heck even your stock human NPCs run faster than you.

    Agreed the place for VATs is up close facing multiple enemies who are moving fast.

    Also it looks superb when you shoot off four heads in sequence in slo mo, or even better, insta-gibb someone in slo mo with a powerfist
  16. Ausdoerrt

    Ausdoerrt I should set a custom tit

    Oct 28, 2008
    VATS is a mini-cheat engine, basically, just like in FO3. It also saves lots of ammo.
  17. laclongquan

    laclongquan Boned Hunter of Sister

    Jan 11, 2008
    I love VATS

    I am not a FPS shootan playa~ So I hate the damn twisting mess they put me through.

    With VATS, I have time to not only choose target and shoot, but also time to pause the game and check out enemies. After a full round shooting, I can VATS in to check battle field conditions, get out of the fray, reload, circle around to find target of opportunity.

    VATS make combat bearable.