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Fallout 4: How to Kill a Deathclaw

Use these tips to survive your next Deathclaw encounter.

In Fallout 4, there are tons of vicious creatures and mutated monsters to encounter throughout the wasteland. One of the most formidable foes a player will face is the Deathclaw, a swift and armored creature that comes in several variations. For this guide we offer a few tips for taking down these powerful beasts.

For more Fallout 4 guides, including complete quest walkthroughs and how to find rare items like the X-01 Power Armor, head over to our Fallout 4 guides walkthrough hub.

Deathclaws are fairly nasty looking creatures, inciting fear in enemies through their appearance alone. Although it doesn’t seem like it at first, these tall burly beasts are actually incredibly fast and agile. They have a decent amount of armor, and are completely immune to the effects of radiation. When threatened, they will scoop up gobs of rubble to fling at enemies from a distance.

However, players will want to avoid getting too close, as this is when Deathclaws live up to their name. When in melee range, Deathclaws make quick swipes with their long claws, and even lift players into the air before pounding them into the pavement.

Tips for Defeating Deathclaws

Deathclaws certainly have a way of striking fear into unsuspecting players. However, that doesn’t mean these formidable foes can’t be beaten. Follow these few simple tips to emerge victorious from Deathclaw encounters.

Prepare Your Power Armor

For most players, the first Deathclaw battle occurs early in the game when helping the Minutemen in Concord. This is also when players receive their first suit of Power Armor. While Power Armor is suitable for nearly any situation, it’s no coincidence that this suit of armor is introduced during a Deathclaw fight scene. Power Armor increases a player’s damage resistance, making the Deathclaw’s swipes seem more like cat scratches.

Also, the partial radiation resistance that the Power Armor provides is perfect for hunting down Deathclaws in radiation heavy regions. One such location is the Glowing Sea, which contains at least one rad-resistant Deathclaw, and a whole host of other mutated creatures. The Glowing Sea is found in the farthest southwest section of the map, and can be located during the Main Quest: The Glowing Sea. An upgraded suit of Power Armor, especially the X-01 model, is perfect for this endeavor, so be sure to suit up before taking on this journey. Check out our guide for finding a full suit of X-01 Power Armor in the Commonwealth.

V.A.T.S. Lead to Victory

Deathclaws are notoriously fast, so use V.A.T.S. to slow time and land a few well executed shots.

Upon first encountering the Deathclaw in Concord, many players get so caught up in blasting the creature with their minigun that they forget to utilize their V.A.T.S. This built-in tracking system slows down time and allows players to mark certain hit points on an opponent’s body to execute accurate shots and critical hits. Since V.A.T.S. slow down time, this mechanic is especially useful against a fast moving Deathclaw, as it allows the player to fire off some powerful hits that may not have landed successfully otherwise.

Deathclaws are particularly vulnerable on their stomach, but rarely expose this area long enough for a player to shoot it. Luckily, V.A.T.S. make critical hits on Deathclaws a reality. Aim for the torso and head to deal the most damage, or even queue up a few shots on the Deathclaw’s limbs to cripple the creature. They also have high energy resistance, so use heavy weapons and ballistic rifles to help get the job done. Keep in mind that V.A.T.S. utilize Action Points, which can quickly deplete the Fusion Core on your Power Armor, so make every shot count.

Keep Your Distance

Deathclaws gain a significant advantage when close to their opponent. The swift swipes with their claws can easily overwhelm a player who is unprepared for the encounter. Try to maintain some distance between you and a Deathclaw, as this will keep you safe from harm as you prepare to engage in V.A.T.S. or fire off a distance shot. However, Deathclaws move quickly, so be ready to back away at a moment’s notice. Grenades and Molotovs help deal a decent amount of damage to enemies from a distance, and high-power sniper rifles are always a good choice for long range damage.

Keep these tips in mind during your next Deathclaw encounter, and you should be able to walk away with some valuable loot in no time.

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