This skill determines how likely you are to hit someone in combat when you're not wielding any weapon. It will also affect the hit and damage of fists-related weaponry.
Here are the main advantages of the fists class:
- Speed - Mosts fist weapons fall into one of two speed categories: fast, or very fast. Some can be dual-wielded to fight even faster; fisters can bury opponents in a flurry of punches before they can fight back. Dual jawbreakers is enough to make many players cringe.
- Ease of acquisition - From your bare knuckles to Jawbreakers, fists weapons are all easy to get. Even the most labor-intensive crafting for fists weapons is pretty straightforward.
- Ease of Use - If you can wrap your head around the concept of maxing out Endurance, Brawn and Reflexes, you can make a good fists class. All three of these stats also have good general utility; a newbie playing fists will be able to climb cliffs without any problems.
- Mutation Flexibility - Most racial mutations can work in a fists class. See the section on Racials for more details.
- Excellent Damage - Fists put out very solid DPS. Jawbreakers deal copious amounts of beat damage in addition to stun, Patas deal more slash than a shiver sword and Tesla/Edison Gauntlets deal large amounts of electric, a very difficult to soak damage type.
- Accuracy - As a general rule of thumb, fists all have excellent to-hit, making them harder to dodge. This is very useful, especially in PvE. A fister's core stats also work well with headbutt, which has anti-dodge powers.
- Grabbing Synergy - Jawbreakers and knuckle busters are one-handed, which means that fisters can grab people with their off-hand and beat them up while keeping themselves out of danger. Since brawn, endurance and reflexes are the key stats for the wrestle skill, the synergy here is top dollar, though this doesn't work for Edisons or Patas.
The fists class, while being excellent, does have a few shortcomings:
- Parry Class - Fists don't have much in the way of parrying power. Edisons are PC1 and patas are PC2, but that's about it. This is sometimes a good thing, but fisters have relatively low dodge, so it may cause you problems if you're fighting an accurate PC2 opponent with your PC0 jawbie.
- Weapon Variety - Fists does not have a wide weapon pool. A fister's life revolves around jawbreakers and edisons, with the odd pata and knuckle buster thrown in.
- Damage Options - Fists don't have tons of options for what damage types they put out; they've got the choice of beat, slash, or shock. These cover all the bases you need most of the time, but all the exotic damage types like acid and bleed will be out of your reach.
Here's a quick overview of some of the more notable fist weapons in the game. A more exhaustive list can be found on the Weaponry page.
- Fists - The first weapon everyone starts out with. Unless you get the Ripper mutation, you will always have these unless you are holding an actual weapon. Damage is buffed by taking the Lithodermis mutation.
- Knuckle Buster - Bought for super cheap from Ammu-Nation. Deals solid beat damage, gets good speed, has fine accuracy -- generally speaking, is a jawbie-lite. One-handed, so you can dual wield them or wield one for nanites or grabbing. Gets even better max damage than jawbreakers do with impractically extreme brawn, but the jawbreaker is all-around better.
- Claws, all of the claws - Ripper claws have mediocre scaling but good crit and grant you +1 fists. Zombie claws are very slow but scale well with brawn, and can grief noobs with zombie rot infection. Chud claws are relatively poor, but they do have a chance to pass on any diseases that the chud is infected with on hit, so you can give all your friends AIDS. Finally, abomination claws and fangs are fast scale excellently with brawn and get great to-hit, as well as doing unsoakable irradiation damage.
- Jawbreakers - The high end weapon of choice for many fisters. They deal high amounts of beat damage (capping just under 50) at a very quick speed, are very accurate, and have a whopping 35% beat crit rate, which means you'll be stunning enemies consistently before beating the stuffing out of them. Can be dual-wielded or combined with grabs too! Bought pretty cheaply from Pegleg Pete's too, so they're super easy to replace.
- Tesla Gauntlets - These deal high amounts of electric damage, and are unusual in that they scale with fists scale rather than brawn. They're also a bit slow and have a parry class of 1. They are craft only, and are the most labour-intensive craft job of the fists class, but this isn't saying much. Most people just upgrade these into Edison Gauntlets straight away.
- Edison Gauntlets - These are a little harder to speedcap than Teslas, but scale much higher, capping out a little over 45 maximum electric damage (scaling with brawn). They also get increased bonus beat damage, and an extra 10% crit (which can be buffed by Torture). A very solid choice for PvP -- with a few drugs, any fister should be able to speedcap them and go on a shock damage rampage; electric is quite difficult to soak. Two-handed and PC1 like the Teslas, and they weigh a hefty 7kg.
- Pata Gauntlets - The only fist weapon that is PC2. They are rather quick and deal huge amounts of slash (capping around 48) and some stab on the side. They're two handed and heavy like the edisons. Crafted, but the recipe is easy. As the only PC2 fists weapon, these have a lot of utility. Fisters have poor dodge, but get great to-hit, meaning that patas can be used to parry people into next week if you're buffed up.
What to consider when picking your racial mutation:
Abomination - Abom is unpopular, but fists and abom do synergize very well. The mutation itself boosts both fists stats by 1, and gives you the fearsome abom claws with their special irradiation damage. Aboms also can't kill themselves with drugs, which means they can buff themselves like crazy.
Chromemouth - +3 endurance, which can be combined with other endurance-buffing mutations for the best endurance in the entire game. That means a little extra fists and wrestle for you at no significant cost, aside from not being able to take any other racial instead. You won't be able to , but plenty of people take this mutation for the stat bonus and ignore the ability anyway.
Chud - Chud minions spawn with their claws, which scale on fists. Their stats mirror your base stats, so they'll get their claw damage boosted by your stats!
Hideous Freak - Gives good focus and stress immunity, which means you can spam , and in between smacking them around with jawbies. You can also screech and burn while holding a grab!
Vampire - A stats match made in heaven. The vampire mutation's +4 brawn is a huge boost; +2 to weapon skill on top of big bonus damage, while also boosting your headbutt. Also includes the +4 endurance that most others have to fill two mutation slots to acquire.
Zombie - Solid soaks, which help with your lower fister dodge if you can't set up or land a for some reason. Also easy access to high, fist-and-wrestle-friendly buff numbers with .