The ballistic fist is a weapon in Fallout: New Vegas.
The ballistic fist is a top-tier Unarmed weapon. It consists of a wrist-mounted shotgun with a pressure plate worn over the knuckles. The impact of the plate triggers the firing mechanism when a punch connects with the target.
It has the highest base damage of any Unarmed weapon in the game.
- Two-Step Goodbye , a unique variant that deposits an explosive onto the target upon a critical hit resulting in death.
| Ballistic fist
|| Unarmed:100 Strength:9
| Two-Step Goodbye
|| Unarmed:100 Strength:9
|| Explosion upon critical death
- If the Ranger Takedown is used with this weapon, the target of the attack will take normal damage even though the pressure plate would not be touched. In third person, the player character hits with their leg. In first person, they use their palm, which would also be in the direct path of the shotgun.
- When using the Khan Trick, the sand thrown with this move shares the same explosion animation with the successful ballistic fist strike, although the pressure plate is left untouched.
- When using the Scribe Counter the explosion comes from the player's left hand, even though the ballistic fist is worn on the right.
- When a stomp is used in V.A.T.S., the explosion appears to originate from the player's foot. This can produce humorous results, such as flinging a corpse's limbs away in differing directions due to the explosion.
- Despite the nature of the weapon, it can be used to make silent sneak kills.
- When using full armor suits, such as the T-51b power armor or Remnants power armor, the shotgun appears to be grafted or welded to the suit. This is unlike the displacer glove or Pushy, which appear to overlap. This is caused by the armor and the ballistic fist clipping.
- This weapon is similar to the punch gun from Fallout Tactics.
 Behind the scenes
Despite firing shotgun shells upon a successful hit, the weapon does not drain 20 gauge or 12 gauge shells from the player's inventory. This is the result of an engine limitation: melee and unarmed weapons cannot be assigned an ammo type, nor set to drain them. Obsidian encountered problems attempting to implement this feature and ultimately the weapons have an invisible, infinite ammo supply.
Unused ballistic fist PipBoy icon.
- ↑ J.E. Sawyer: "Did you ever intend for the Ballistic Fist in Fallout: New Vegas to use shotgun shells as ammo?
I intended for several of the Unarmed weapons to use ammo, but we encountered some problems with implementing it. I would have liked to continue with it because I think ammo use/reloading could have helped distinguish those weapons in more interesting ways."