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The fire ants were created by Doctor Lesko, a Capital Wasteland scientist, and can only be found in Grayditch, Marigold Station and Queen Ant's Hatchery. He was attempting to return giant ants to their normal size through genetic manipulation and accidentally created the fire ants.
Dr. Lesko's ambition was to make the ants exponentially smaller through generations, ie. the offspring is born smaller than parent. But as he reasons, one small tweak of an error has left the ants with a completely different mutation. The fact that Lesko used FEV in his experiments in order to produce a quicker result may also explain quite a bit.
If asked, Lesko will explain in very technical terms that the ants breathe fire by expelling flammable venom from their venom sacks, then igniting it with a spark made by clicking their mandibles. He calls this process 'pyrosis', which is actually the medical term for heartburn.
- Boly őre (only found in Queen Ant's Hatchery)
- Királynő (unique, only found in Queen Ant's Hatchery)
Due to their fire breath, (which has surprisingly long range) it is best to handle the Fire Ants in mid to long range. Melee/Unarmed combat can seriously harm your character, but if done properly can be surprisingly effective. The ants seem to have a minimum range at which they could breathe fire at you. If you get extremely close to the ants, they will be constantly forced to move backwards, letting off a spurt of flame or two. Alternately, at close ranges, you can also attempt to outflank them. As they have a slow turn speed, this is easy to do. In fact, Dogmeat is effective at holding up Fire Ants, so that you may out-flank them or keep your distance.
If you target their antennae in V.A.T.S. and cripple the antennae, they will become Frenzied. Once a fire ant becomes frenzied it will attack other nearby fire ants. If done correctly, you can use a single Soldier or Warrior Fire Ant to destroy 2 or 3 worker fire ants. Once attacked by another ant, the attacked ant will return fire, damaging the attacking ant. This tactic can be extremely useful when under attack by 2 or more fire ants. It may take 2-3 hits to work a fire ant into a frenzy. Soldier or Warrior fire ants are a better choice to work into a frenzy, as they have more hit points, making them more likely to survive having their antennae shot up, and more likely to kill other ants before dying themselves. Frag mines also have a tendency to cripple antennae, effective on both the surface ants and the Nest Guardian ants. In the train station, plant frag mines next to the generators in the crevices and draw an ant down the corridor. This can do more damage than a normal frag mine, but probably will not kill the ant outright. They are tough to kill with explosives (they can survive 2 frags and 7 hunting rifle shots to the head), although frag mines work better than frag grenades. They can be very difficult for low-level players.
It is helpful to cripple a fire ant's legs and then continue backing away. Once it is crippled, it is easy to take single, non-zoomed-in shots at the ant's head as it limps towards you.