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Effect: Your character's right/left arm has been severely hurt, and cannot function well.
- Fallout 1, Fallout 2: if one arm has been crippled, the character is unable to use two-handed weapons like Hammers, Rifles and Big Gun. If both arms have been crippled, you cannot attack with weapons. This can be cured by visiting a doctor or using the Doctor skill.
- In Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas, your weapon accuracy is reduced in V.A.T.S. by a crippled arm, but you will still be able to use weapons. In first person mode, you will see your weapon sway, and while this doesn't seem to effect accuracy with regular non-V.A.T.S. shots, it does cause your crosshairs to sway significantly while using the scopes on weapons like the sniper rifle or scoped .44 magnum, making it much harder to aim. A crippled arm can be healed by sleeping, visiting a doctor, using a doctor's bag, or applying a stimpak on the crippled arm.
For more information on crippled limbs, see Crippled Limbs
Fallout 3 Exploit
Fallout 3 has a mechanism that gives any non-player character a certain amount of ammunition when they equip a weapon so that they can use it. Since this amount is usually much higher than the amount non-player characters usually carry, and since crippling an opponent's arms will make them drop their current weapon and try to pick it up again, this can be exploited. When you come across an enemy using a gun you want ammunition for, you can cripple their arm, let them pick up and equip the weapon (and get the bonus ammunition), then do the same thing again with their other arm so that they get the bonus ammunition again when they pick up the weapon the second time. For example, an non-player character equipped with a minigun usually has around 50 5mm round on them, but crippling their arm once and allowing them to recover their weapon will increase the number to around 150 rounds; doing so again will further increase the number of 5mm rounds to around 250 or more. Obviously, this can be used to get very large amounts of ammunition compared to what you would normally find. This technique is best utilized on opponents with Big Guns that have large magazines such as the minigun, Gatling laser, or possibly the flamer, but potentially any ranged weapon will do. Please note that super mutant overlords carrying the tri-beam laser rifle will not drop their weapon if you cripple their left arm. This can still be used in Fallout: New Vegas but the reduced number of enemies using weapons with large magazines will greatly reduce the utility of this exploit.