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Mirelurks: Misc



Up to date as of February 01, 2010
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From The Vault

variations: Mirelurk
Mirelurk Hunter
Mirelurk King
Swamplurk Queen
Catfish Mirelurk
base id: 1CF83

Mirelurk concept art

Alternate concept art

The Mirelurks are a species of bipedal, mutant crabs from the Capital Wasteland area. They are descended from Chesapeake Bay horseshoe crabs. Most Mirelurks are surrounded by a carapace which is difficult to penetrate, even with powerful ballistic and laser weaponry. The face is more vulnerable, but is small and hard to hit, and when charging, Mirelurks lower their head, protecting this area.

Mirelurk Meat, especially of the Softshell variety, is highly nutritious and grants some of the highest HP replenishments of all the food in the game. Both still are slightly radioactive, but no more than typical food.



Mirelurks appear only in Fallout 3 and the add-ons




SPECIAL Level Hit Points XP Combat skill Attack damage Special damage
ST, 4 PE, 8 EN, 2 CH, 3 IN, 3 AG, 8 LK 6 120‡  ? 40 28 N/A

‡ Due to their hard shells, shots on the torso only do half of the normal damage.

The most common type of Mirelurks have a whitish-grey shell, are about a head shorter than a typical human, and walk slightly slower than a human. Mirelurks fight with their claws and lack ranged attacks. Additionally, at close range they can charge forward in a brief burst of speed for a head-butt, which also makes it impossible to target their face. They drop Mirelurk Meat when killed.

Due to their damage resistant carapaces and relatively difficult to hit face, Mirelurks are one of the toughest enemy creatures that can be encountered at low levels. Fortunately, their presence in the Capital Wasteland is mostly limited to rivers and water pools. This makes them common around the Potomac, in increasing numbers further north. They also infest some vaults and sewers.

Mirelurks pose even more of a threat when in groups. Mirelurk packs are usually found around eggs or chasing and harassing other creatures and usually come in numbers of 1-3 or sometimes 4-5.

Mirelurks can be found in most low-level outdoor and indoor water sources. Be cautious of Mirelurk nests that are in or around water sources; walking too close to them will cause all the Mirelurks in the area to pursue and attack you. The head of a Mirelurk is usually too small to be aimed at when not using V.A.T.S., so weapons with a high rate of fire often work well. When using V.A.T.S., single-shot weapons like the Scoped .44 Magnum, Hunting Rifle, and Sniper Rifle work well. In addition, a Chinese Assault Rifle or regular Assault rifle delivered to the face at close range in V.A.T.S. also kills Mirelurks and NukaLurks quite nicely. One of the easier ways to deal with any form of Mirelurk is also the Flamer. Start firing at them shortly before they reach you. The constant spray of flame plus the damage over time should kill them before they reach you or at worst they will manage to get one hit off. This is especially effective with groups of them as the area effect of a Flamer can be quite helpful.

When fighting Mirelurks in confined spaces such as the Anchorage War Memorial it is sometimes best to trade off between taking damage and dealing it out. Crouching in front of a Mirelurk just before it charges gives the best shot at its face but means that in a enclosed situation you will probably get hit. After you have been charged the Mirelurk will stand up straight in front of you giving another clear shot to the face. Using this tactic (with certain weapons e.g. Combat shotgun) it is possible to drop the Mirelurk with two shots, however with the forfeit of taking one hit yourself.

Some Mirelurks are identical to Mirelurk Hunters (save for the brownish shell).

Mirelurk Hunter

Main article: Mirelurk Hunter

A much larger, reddish-brown colored version of the Mirelurk. In additional to their two main arms, Hunters also have 2 pairs of small, vestigial crab limbs growing out of their chest. Mirelurk Hunters inhabit the Northern Wastes and several sewers and caves near the Metropolitan area of the Capital, along with a good number in the Anchorage War Memorial. Hunters are very violent and are more difficult to kill due to their increased strength, speed, and health.

Mirelurk King

Main article: Mirelurk King

Mirelurk Kings are different from other Mirelurk variants, mainly because they do not resemble their crab-like "subjects", but are mutated snapping turtles and appear more like mermen. They are fully humanoid, and do not have a heavily armored carapace, making them easy to distinguish from standard Mirelurks. They're most likely a separate species in a symbiotic relationship with the crab-like Mirelurks.

Mirelurk Kings lack the Mirelurks' armored shell, but to compensate they have extremely high health (slightly higher than that of a Super Mutant Master). They also have a sonic projectile attack that disregards Damage Resistance (and causes a lot of Limb damage to your head). Kings are found few and far between in the Capital Wasteland, outside, but more so in caves and sewers, and do not present any other special loot or items over Mirelurk Hunters, except for Soft Shell Mirelurk Meat, which is one of the best foods in the game. Of note, they infest the Reactor area of Vault 92. They only appear when the player is at very high levels.


Main article: Swamplurk

A type of Mirelurk which has altered colorization to better blend in with the environment of Point Lookout.

Swamplurk Queen

Main article: Swamplurk Queen

Swamplurk Queens are similar to Mirelurk Kings, except they have glowing yellow eyes and a look adapted to the swampy environment they live in. They also have a ranged attack in the form of spitting which causes medium damage.


Main article: NukaLurk

A glowing blue Mirelurk that is only found in the Nuka-Cola Factory, almost certainly due to the isotope used for Nuka-Cola Quantum. They seem to be bigger and faster than the normal Mirelurks, similar in size to the Mirelurk Hunters. Their meat is notable for a small boost in AP as well as Radiation and Health; 4 Rads, +10 AP, and +20 HP.

Catfish Mirelurk

Main article: Catfish Mirelurk

A humanoid, mutated catfish known as a "catfish mirelurk" also appears in The Art of Fallout 3, the art book available with the collector's edition of Fallout 3.


  • Mirelurks are, interestingly, unable to attack while swimming just like the Lone Wanderer. This makes coming across while in deep water completely harmless, though they will probably chase the Wanderer till he or she reaches shallow water, from where they will start to engage. However, the player can swim faster then mirelurks, this often buys you enough time to make a clean getaway.
  • Interestingly enough, two or more instances occur in which the player can learn the full scientific classification of the Mirelurks. It is officially Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Arthropodia Subphylum: Crustacea/Chelicerata Class: Merostomata/Malacostraca, while Order, Family, and Genus are left undetermined due to their mutation. The Subphylum and Class are disputed in an Enclave Officer's Field Research terminal, as he believes Horseshoe Crabs and Blue Crabs both evolved into Mirelurks, due to their DNA/RNA samples having markers from two different Subphyla and Classes. Furthermore, he and the player both fill in the missing Order, Family and Genus with the same answers (on the terminal, and in a Science Dialogue Check after completing the Mirelurk portion of The Wasteland Survival Guide quest): Scylla serrata horrendus.
  • Mirelurks seem to ignore any and every weapon's "stopping power". That is to say, even a missile or Gauss Rifle shot to the face will not faze them while they charge towards you. Power Fists and Deathclaw Gauntlets appear to repel them to some extent, but it's more likely this is tied to their attack animation which tends to "push" things away.
  • Hunters are a further threat because of how their brownish shell blends in with most of the Wasteland's water. It is advisable to check for them underwater near any body of water with VATS.
  • Mirelurks killed in water will often flip over on their fronts and twitch. This is purely a graphical glitch related to their wireframe.
  • In real-world modern taxonomy, Scylla serrata is the proper scientific name for a crab found in Africa, Asia, and Australia. The popular name for this crab is the "mud crab." As the mud crab is not native to the American eastern seaboard (and, indeed, has never been found in North America), and given the visual similarity to the common horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus), the taxonomic name suggested by the player in the Moira Brown dialogue is likely a veiled nod to the mudcrabs found in Bethesda Softworks' other franchise games, Morrowind and Oblivion. However, unlike the small and easily-killed nuisances of the Elder Scrolls worlds, the Fallout mudcrabs are significantly more dangerous.
  • A Brotherhood of Steel Initiate is burning Mirelurk corpses with a Flamer outside of Project Purity after it becomes operational. He notes that the Mirelurks are dying in the new pure water and appear to survive solely in radioactive water. He also notes that they smell rather bad. There is also a BoS Knight patrolling the catwalks, who will comment on how the player is encouraged to take potshots at the dying Mirelurks.
Creatures in the Fallout games

This article uses material from the "Mirelurk" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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