In Fallout 76 the V.A.T.S system is a little bit different than previous games. Because of the nature of being an online-only game that is designed to be played with others, the V.A.T.S. system does not slow down time like it had in previous games. Some of the key components of the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System carry over to Fallout 76 but this is what you need to know before using it in this game.
Any time you encounter an enemy in Fallout 76 you can use V.A.T.S. Assuming you have enough AP to do so, V.A.T.S. can be accessed by pressing the LB/L1 button on your controller. Once you’re in the V.A.T.S. mode you will see numbers that pop up on the screen over the enemies. These numbers represent how much of a percentage chance you have of hitting the enemy if you fire. After pressing LB/L1 you will simply press the RT/R2 button to fire.
If you are fighting with multiple enemies while using V.A.T.S. you can toggle between them by pressing the d-pad right and left. You can also attack specific body parts while using V.A.T.S. if you’ve picked up the Concentrated Fire perk card and equipped it. Focus fire can be done by using the right thumbstick to cycle through body parts and this will give you greater accuracy and damage per shot. Depending on the size of the body part you are trying to target and your distance to the enemy, your percentage chances of hitting it will vary.
Each hit that you deliver in the V.A.T.S. system will go towards building a Critical Meter. Once that meter is full you can press the Y/Triangle Button to do a critical attack. The rate at which your critical meter fills is determined by your character’s luck stat.