: : : : Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition Character Creation FAQ

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition Character Creation FAQ

by Haeravon   Updated to v1.02 on

Table of Contents

  1. Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition
  2. Introduction
    1. The DLCs
    2. Implants
    3. Lonesome Road DLC Bonus Attribute
    4. Strength
    5. Perception
    6. Endurance
    7. Charisma
    8. Intelligence
    9. Agility
    10. Luck
    11. My Personal Build, Attributes
  3. Skills
    1. Barter
    2. Energy Weapons
    3. Explosives
    4. Guns
    5. Lockpick
    6. Medicine
    7. Melee Weapons
    8. Repair
    9. Science
    10. Sneak
    11. Speech
    12. Survival
    13. Unarmed
    14. Skills I Tag! (and why)
    15. Skill Point Allocation
  4. Traits
    1. Built to Destroy
    2. Claustrophobia
    3. Early Bird
    4. Fast Shot
    5. Four Eyes
    6. Good Natured
    7. Heavy Handed
    8. Hoarder
    9. Hot Blooded
    10. Kamikaze
    11. Logan's Loophole
    12. Loose Cannon
    13. Skilled
    14. Small Frame
    15. Trigger Discipline
    16. Wild Wasteland
    17. My Personal Build, Traits
  5. Perks
    1. Level 2 Perks
    2. Level 4 Perks
    3. Level 6 Perks
    4. Level 8 Perks
    5. Level 10 Perks
    6. Level 12 Perks
    7. Level 14 Perks
    8. Level 16 Perks
    9. Level 18 Perks
    10. Level 20 Perks
    11. Level 22-28 Perks
    12. Level 30+ Perks
    13. Additional Perks
    14. My Personal Build, Perks
  6. Getting Started in the Mohave
    1. New Vegas Medical Clinic Run
    2. Alternate Route
    3. Jackpot Winner!
    4. Infinite Experience
    5. Noteworthy Gear
  7. Hardcore Mode Blues
  8. Books
    1. Big Book of Science (7)
    2. Chinese Army: Spec. Ops. Training Manual (7)
    3. D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine (5)
    4. Dean's Electronics (6)
    5. Duck and Cover! (5)
    6. Grognak the Barbarian (6)
    7. Guns and Bullets (6)
    8. Lying, Congressional Style (6)
    9. Nikola Tesla and You (6)
    10. Pugilism Illustrated (6)
    11. Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (6)
    12. Tumblers Today (5)
    13. Wasteland Survival Guide (5)
    14. Workbench Crates [Honest Hearts]
    15. Skill Book Recipes [Old World Blues]
  9. Updates/Thanks
    1. Version 1.01 to 1.02 changes (11/27/2010) (170,216 bytes)
    2. Version 1.02 to 1.03 changes (3/15/2011) (218,493 bytes)
    3. Ultimate Edition Version 1.01 Changes (11/22/2012) (286,065 bytes)
    4. Ultimate Edition Version 1.02 Changes (9/5/2015)
    5. Special Thanks

Fallout: New Vegas Ultimate Edition

Version 1.02

Written by: Nathan Garvin

Email: Theendbringer (at) Hotmail (dot) com.

If you're going to email me about this guide, make sure you put "Fallout: New Vegas" as the subject, or I'll probably end up deleting it as junk. If you would like the text version of this guide, e-mail me and ask for a copy.

Guide Information This FAQ was made in Notepad, and is best viewed in a simple text editor. The default text is Lucida Console at size 10 font, but any fixed-width font will work... if not with the intended aesthetics intact. Note that this is an incredibly large FAQ, and depending on your computer, internet speed, and the restlessness of computer gremlins, you may have to refresh this file several times to get the whole thing to load. Look for the ***END OF FILE*** line at the bottom to ensure you've got the whole thing.

Legal I have no affiliation with Bethesda, Obsidian, or any other parties involved with this game. This is a not-for-profit fan-made guide. If you wish to post, mirror, or quote this guide, feel free to do so. Credit would make me happy, an email would make me feel good. Let your conscience be your guide, just like all good people.

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Hello, kiddies! Another Fallout game, another Fallout Character Creation FAQ. If you read my previous FAQ for Fallout 3 you'll have a good understanding of how this FAQ will be laid out, and what it'll try to do. If not, then read on. This FAQ is designed to help you create a characters with the best chances of surviving in the Wasteland, or at least to give you an idea of how the SPECIAL stats, perks, and skills work so you can make an informed decision on how to best build the character you want. It's mostly informational, but I do have my own opinion on the best way to do things and what works best. Follow it or not, but most of all, I hope you come out with a better idea of how you want to play the game. If that's the case, Whether you do things my way or not is irrelevant. I'm fairly power-gamey, and I focus more on a general build, rather than specialization.. or rather, I try to focus on making the most powerful character I can. After all, a character who is good at talking his way out of a fight is fine, and a gunslinger has its uses.. but a character who can do both is obviously better. Right?

This version of the guide is for the Ultimate Edition of Fallout: New Vegas. If you don't have all the DLCs, the full level cap, and all that good stuff, this guide probably isn't going to help you all that much. I've left my old Character Creation FAQ for the original game intact on Gamefaqs.com. Just make sure the title doesn't have 'Ultimate Edition' in it, and you'll be fine. Some people who have played the original game and read the original FAQ can rightly view this as an unspoken v1.04 of my previous Character Creation FAQ-with all the juicy DLC stuff you've been waiting for.

The DLCs

With the Ultimate Edition you get all the DLCs and all the pre-order bonuses.. the pre-order bonuses are mostly nothing special (although I love the Vault 13 gear, for nostalgia purposes!), just some junky weapons and medicore armor to making the early-going easier. The deck of cards I got for buying this on day one is still the best side-bonus that came with the game, as far as I'm concerned. Anyways, the real deal is that all the major DLCs increase your level cap by five-four DLCs, base level 30, the new level cap is 50, with all new perks and twenty more levels of skill points to make the old build well and truly obsolete. The new gear you'll start out with thanks to the 'Courier's Stash' DLC is listed below:

Classic Pack

Sturdy Caravan Shotgun 20 Gauge Round x40 Binoculars Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit (I love this!) Vault 13 Canteen (again, nostalgia love..)

Tribal Pack

Weathered 10mm Pistol 10mm Round x50 Stimpak x5 Tribal Raiding Armor Throwing Spear x10 Broad Machete Bleak Venom x5

Mercenary Pack

Lightweight Leather Armor Lightweight Metal Armor Mercenary's Grenade Rifle 40mm Grenade x24 Doctor's Bag x3 Super Stimpak x3

Of these items, the only real standout is the Vault 13 Canteen. It contains an endless supply of water that will mitigate (not eliminate) your H20 level in Hardcore Mode. It cannot be activated, it's automatically used once every so often, lowering your H20 level a bit. It's handy, if not necessary.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L Attributes

Your seven attributes are cleverly formed into the acronym 'SPECIAL', which stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck.

Attributes do a number of things for you-depending on what the actual attribute is, but they all give a 2 point bonus to their related skills for each point in that attribute. For example, if your Strength was 5 your base Melee Weapons skill would get a 10 point bonus. Luck is the exception, which gives a 1 point bonus for each two points in Luck to all your skills. This also means that when determining your skill points, each skill starts out with at least a +2 bonus (for your minimum of 1 in each attribute.) But.. more on that later.

I will give you a brief description of each attribute, as well as list what bonuses it gives. Below the chart listing the nuances of the effects of that attribute will be my build choice when it comes to that attribute, and a rating following it. The grade is somewhat arbitrary, as it 'rates' the attribute in measure of importance. You can get a feel for the rating an attribute will get just by looking at the number of points my build requires.


Instead of Bobbleheads, in New Vegas you have Implants. Again, anybody who played Fallout 1 or 2 shouldn't be surprised by the concept of shelling out caps to have your character surgically augmented. You can get one Implant per point of Endurance you have (not counting points gained from gear worn or from getting an Endurance-boosting Implant). Naturally, this means you shouldn't use Endurance as a dump stat, at least, and at most, if you're a power gamer, you should strive to have a high Endurance to get as many Implants as possible. The Implants are listed below, along with the Caps they cost, and the bonuses they give. Note that buying an Implant rewards you with a perk corresponding to that Implant, which is how I will identify the Implants listed below. Also, to my knowledge there is no significant down-time associated with these surgeries. You shouldn't starve to death or dehydrate from having a surgery, even though it does fast-forward time by three hours.

Agility Implant4,000+1 Agility
Charisma Implant4,000+1 Charisma
Endurance Implant4,000+1 Endurance
Intelligence Implant4,000+1 Intelligence
Monocyte Breeder12,000Regenerate Hit Points
Luck Implant4,00+1 Luck
Perception Implant4,000+1 Perception
Strength Implant4,000+1 Strength
Sub-Dermal Armor8,000+4 Damage Threshold

Obviously these Implants differ in potency.. the Sub-Dermal Armor Implant is better than a Toughness perk, and for Hardcore players, how can life get much better than health regeneration? On the other hand, for a build like mine that uses Charisma as a dump stat it might seem mindless to bother getting enough Endurance in order to boost Charisma.

You can buy the Implants from Doctor Usanagi at the New Vegas Medical Clinic. Check the {MOH002} section to see how to reach this area with a new, low-level character.

Why Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant?

The Monocyte Breeder is NOT a combat implant. It heals too slow to make any difference in a fight. Why bother with it then? Well, two reasons, one good, one bad. First the bad reason-save a few essential considerations, such as meeting perk requirements, weapon requirements, and having enough Intelligence (and hence skill points) to max out all your skills, there are few good reasons to invest more or less into many of the attributes. Simply put, the health and extra implant we can get with a point of Endurance is worth more than what the other SPECIAL attributes offer. Now for the good reason-in Hardcore mode, the Monocyte Breeder is not a lackluster implant, as it will allow you to heal by resting, waiting, or even fast travelling. Sure as hell beats having to snarf food, constantly drink from a water source, or make yourself a Stimpak pin-cusion.

Lonesome Road DLC Bonus Attribute

At the end of the 'Lonesome Road' DLC you'll get one of four perks, depending upon your actions... the only interesting thing we need to focus on here is the fact that all these perks will give you one SPECIAL point to allocate-just like picking an Intensive Training perk, but for free! It's something to keep in mind, but since it happens so late in the game, I wouldn't really consider it a 'build' consideration. I'm just as happy putting it in Luck and getting the 1% critical hit chance.


Skills: Melee Weapons

Strength is a measure of your raw physical power. It affects how much you can carry, the power of all melee attacks, and your effectiveness with many heavy weapons.

"Strength'll tell you how easily a cowboy totes his saddle, and those bigger firearms, or how much help he's gonna be for ya in a saloon brawl."

Strength has a more important role in New Vegas than it previously had. If you played Fallout 1 or 2, you'll remember that weapons in those games also had a minimum Strength requirement. So too, for New Vegas. Strength also increases your melee damage, carrying capacity, and gives a bonus to your Melee Weapons skill. In my mind, however, the most important thing it does is it effectively limits what weapons you can use. If you don't have enough Strength to use a weapon, your aim will wobble, and you'll have a laughable to hit rate in VATS. For melee weapons, it may slow down your rate of attack. Now, as far as unarmed, melee, and explosives are concerned this is only so much of a handicap. Most of the time you don't need a great deal of accuracy with, say, a Fat Man. The increased spread hurts, but with an explosive weapon or a Minigun, some inherent inaccuracy is built into the weapon anyways. With a Sniper Rifle, however, accuracy is a much greater concern, and considering that higher damage weapons give a much better damage return over high Damage Threshold than lower damage weapons, you're going to want to use the bigger, badder guns.

With all that said, the 'bigger, badder' category really starts at a Strength of six, especially if you use ranged weapons. With the Weapon Handling perk you can lower this requirement by two points, meaning that most characters really only need four Strength.. or three, with the Implant. With the DLCs installed, however, the build changes a bit. First, we have twenty more levels and many more books to boost our skill points with-meaning we need less Intelligence. These SPECIAL points have to go somewhere, and Strength isn't a bad place to put them. Also, in the Old World Blues DLC you'll get one of two perks to choose from (they can be switched out at will);

Strength ScoreMelee DamageCarry CapacitySkillsDescription
10.5160+2Wet Noodle
21.0170+4Beached Jellyfish
31.5180+6Doughy Baby
52.5200+10Average Joe
63.0210+12Barrel Chested
73.5220+14Beach Bully
84.0230+16Circus Strongman
94.5240+18Doomsday Pecs
105.0250+20Hercules' Bigger Cousin
  • You can increase your Strength by one point by getting the Strength Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.
  • You can increase your Strength by one point by getting the Spineless perk in the 'Old World Blues' DLC. This perk replaces Reinforce Spine, they do not stack.
  • You can increase your Strength by two points by getting the Reinforced Spine perk in the 'Old World Blues' DLC. This perk replaces the Spineless perk, they do not stack.

My Build

I put five points into Strength. The Implant will raise my Strength to six-which is all I'll need for most of the game. Once I complete the Old World Blues DLC, I'll pick the Reinforced Spine perk and raise my Strength up to eight. This is enough to use pretty much any weapon in the game, and it allows me to dispense with Weapon Handling entirely. If for some reason I need more Strength... well, there's always Power Armor.


Skills: Explosives, Lockpick, and Energy Weapons

A high Perception grants a bonus to the Explosives, Lockpick and Energy Weapons skills, and determines when red compass markings appear (which indicate threats).

"A perceptive cowboy always knows when there's a lit stick of dynamite nearby... or when a varmint's sneakin' up on him."

Perception's big draw is that it increases the distance as which you notice threats-red marks on your compass. Granted this is only useful for avoiding said threats, or ambushing/sneaking up on them. Still, if you are a ranged fighter, this is useful for letting you know where your enemies are before you engage. Yep, that's right out of the old FAQ, and it holds true in New Vegas.

There are, however, a few changes in New Vegas that diminishes... or rather, replaces... the use of Perception in New Vegas. First, you can just toggle VATS to spot enemies far outside of your range to locate them, so long as you have a line of sight. With one side kick you get a perk that highlights enemies when you aim, and with another you get a perk that vastly increases your detection range. Both of these perks make having a high personal Perception score rather moot. Add into this the fact that with the new iron sights you can effectively snipe outside of VATS much easier... you don't need a high Perception to find-and kill-enemies.

It still has its tactical uses to be sure, and more importantly it is a requirement for some perks, but you don't need nearly as much Perception this time around. In fact, with the larger range of Perception you'll get from one companion, you will see enemies on the compass much earlier than is useful. It doesn't really do you much good to know that there are hostiles on the far side of a mountain, does it? Especially not until you find a way to reach that side of the mountain, in any case. The best thing Perception does is it allows you to get the Better Criticals perk. Without this you can really use it as a dump stat. That said, I can't see why anybody would ignore +50% critical damage. Keep your Perception up at six (or five plus the Implant) to have access to this perk.

Perception ScoreSkillsDescription
1+2Deaf Bat
2+4Senile Mole
3+6Squinting Newt
4+8Unsuspecting Trout
5+10Wary Trout
6+12Alert Coyote
7+14Big-eyed Tiger
8+16Monocled Falcon
9+18Sniper Hawk
10+20Eagle with Telescope

You can increase your Perception by one point by getting the Perception Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build

I start out with a base of five Perception.


Skills: Survival and Unarmed

Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. A high Endurance gives bonuses to health, environmental resistances, and the Survival and Unarmed skills.

"You can't keep a good cowboy down, not if he's the endurin' type... and not if he's got a six-shooter the size of all tarnation."

As the description says, Endurance increases your Health and some resistances. Presumably your resistance to poison is the same as in Fallout 3, as your radiation resistance remains unchanged. Since you only receive five Hit Points per level in New Vegas (as opposed to 10 in Fallout 3) Endurance plays a more crucial role. Most importantly, however, in New Vegas your Endurance determines how many stat-boosting Implants you can receive. There are a total of nine Implants, and you can get one for each point of Endurance you have.. not including an extra Endurance you may get from an Implant. If you want as many Implants as possible, you're going to want a high starting Endurance. Since this attribute also boosts your Survival, it's a good pick for people playing in Hardcore mode.

Endurance ScoreHit PointsPoison ResistanceRadiation ResistanceSkillsDescription
11200%0%+2Basically Dead
316010%4%+6Do Not Bend
418015%6%+8Handle with Care
826035%14%+16Flame Retardant

You can increase your Endurance by one point by getting the Endurance Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build

The more the merrier in Endurance, I start out with a whopping eight Endurance. This allows me to get all the Implants in the game, save the Charisma Implant.


Skills: Barter and Speech

Having a high Charisma will improve people's disposition of you, and give bonuses to both the Barter and Speech skills.

"You'll find there are some smooth-talkin' cowboys out there that got themselves a voice that sounds like an angel's harmonica."

Charisma isn't any better in New Vegas than it was in Fallout 3, with the exception of the bonuses it gives to your companions' nerve, which significantly increases their Damage Threshold and Damage. Still, this is a character creation guide aimed at making the strongest character for this game as possible.. not for making the strongest companions. At the end of the day I'd rather have a strong main character than a strong side-kick. Keep the benefits in mind, sure, but realize that a high Charisma is going to cost you in other areas. I use it as a dump stat and let Speech and Barter get me through the conversations in the game.

Charisma ScoreSkillsDescription
2+4Old Hermit
3+6Creepy Undertaker
4+8Peevish Librarian
5+10Substitute Teacher
6+12Cheery Salesman
8+16Movie Star
10+20Cult Leader
You can increase your Charisma by one point by getting the Charisma Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build

I start out with one point in Charisma. There's really no great reason to start out with more. If you want to be a silver-tongued devil, get a high Intelligence and just use Speech instead.


Skills: Science, Repair, and Medicine

Intelligence affects the Science, Repair and Medicine skills. The higher your Intelligence, the more Skill Points you'll be able to distribute when you level up.

"A smart cowboy's good at most anything, from suckin' the poison out of your rattler bit to fixin' your broken wagon axle."

Intelligence is again a solid attribute.. and even though it has been reduced in potency, the fact remains that a character with higher Intelligence will have higher skills, which does all kinds of good things. Not only will you pass more [Intelligence] checks, but more skills means you'll pass more skill checks, too, and in New Vegas, there are alot of them. Simply put, a more Intelligent character is a more versatile, stronger character. And yes, half-points do carry over to next level, so with a 9 Intelligence, you'd get 16 skill points to distribute on one level, and 17 on the next. With all the new DLCs, Intelligence has become somewhat less useful. Sure, with more levels you stand to gain more benefit from each point of Intelligence.. but there are so many new levels, so many new books, that we just don't need as much Intelligence to max out all our skills. Having a high Intelligence is still nice for some dialogue options.. but it's nothing a well-timed Mentat can't get us.

On a mindless tangent, does anybody else find it odd that you move from 'Knucklehead' at four Intelligence, to "Knowledgable" at five? Isn't 5.5 the average result of a 1-10 system? So shouldn't five denote a (slightly-less-than) average intelligence? And why the huge upgrade? Knucklehead is an insult, and Knowledgable is what you call somebody when... well, they display competence in a field.

Intelligence ScoreSkillsDescription

You can increase your Intelligenceby one point by getting the Intelligence Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build

I start out with six Intelligence. My first priority, as in Fallout: New Vegas is to get the Intelligence Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic so as to ensure I'm gaining as many skill points per level as possible.. hence the 'Getting Started in the Mohave' section. Again, we don't need quite as much Intelligence with the expansions installed, so an end total of seven is more than enough.


Skills: Guns and Sneak

Agility affects your Small Guns and Sneak skills, and the number of Action Points available for V.A.T.S.

"When a fella's in a gunfight and shoots the other guy six times before they can get off a shot, it's cause that fella is agile."

Agility is more of a mixed bag in New Vegas than it was in Fallout 3. Action Points are still good and all, but since VATS doesn't make you more-or-less invincible anymore, it can be a liability. It's often better to use VATS sparingly, when you have time to pull off some safe shots, rather than spam VATS relentlessly. Being able to use VATS more often is better than taking more shots in VATS. Also with the new iron sights, you can kill enemies more effectively at a distance.. again, lessening the need for VATS this time around. Still, you should keep a minimum of six points (or five plus the Implant) if you intend to get the Silent Running perk.

Agility ScoreSkillsDescription
1+2Walking Disaster
2+4Accident Prone
5+10Under Control
7+14Knife Thrower
8+16Knife Catcher
9+18Acrobatic Marvel
10+20Walks on Water
  • You can increase your Agility by one point by getting the Agility Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.
  • You can increase your Agility by one point by selecting the Small Frame Trait.

My Build

I grab seven points of Agility to start with, raising it to eight with the Small Frame trait. It will eventually reach nine when I get the Implant, which is plenty as far as Action Points and reload speed is concerned.


Skills: All skills

"Some folks claim not to believe in luck, but when they lose in a duel you'll hear them say, 'That lucky son-of-a-gun!'"

Doesn't the loser of a duel often die? Anyways.. Luck is a great skill, especially with poor Intelligence suffering. From Luck you will get a half-point bonus to all your skills (rounded up), which tops out at +5 once you have nine Luck, making nine really the terminal score for Luck. Considering this, Luck can potentially give you the highest skill bonus of any attribute, and the fact that each point also translates to your critical hit chance makes it a very nice attribute indeed.

Luck ScoreSkillsDescription
1+213 Pitch-black Coats
2+4Broken Gypsy Mirror
3+6Sickly Albatross
4+8Spilled Salt
5+10Coin Flip
6+12Stacked Deck
7+14Lucky 7
8+16Leprechaun's Coat
9+1821-Leaf Clover
10+20Two-headed Coin Flip

You can increase your Luck by one point by getting the Luck Implant perk from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

My Build

I start out with eight Luck, and with the Implant I bring it up to nine, which is as high as it needs to be. Even the critical- hit happy builds should be satisfied with this, and I really can’t see stripping a point from another S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Attribute for one measly point of critical hit percentage.

My Personal Build, Attributes

The numbers below are the starting attributes I pick, and the numbers in parentheses are what they'll be when I get the Implants, complete the 'Old World Blues' DLC, and select the 'Small Frame' Trait. This does not include any boosts I might get from worn items (temporary boosts) or the free SPECIAL point you'll get to allocate at the end of the 'Lonesome Road' DLC.

Now, for some notes about the build. I've been conflicted about a few alternatives, so I feel it's best to mention them than pretend this build is absolute. First, Intelligence has been reduced by the DLCs a bit-but it could stand to suffer more. This has everything to do with perks-so if you're not familiar with the perks.. well, bear with me. By my math (which isn't anything I'm proud of, by the way), this build will-if you get all the skill books-end up with surplus skill points. This doesn't even include the random books you can get in 'Honest Hearts' (I try to count randomness out of the build somewhat). You can really even ignore all skill books that require explosives, console codes, and other tricks and still have enough skill points to max everything at 100 (although we'll admitably be cutting it rather close). Ultimately, however, I like having an intelligent character (a few dialogue options will be unlocked, and having seven allows us to pop Mentats and pretty much get them all-but it's really a vanity thing). Also.. the benefits of raising the other attributes at the expense of Intelligence is rather minute. A few points of Health from Endurance, an extra 1% critical hit chance from Luck, a paltry amount of Action Points from Agility? These are negligible benefits. At the end of the day, I'd rather just be lazy and not have to uncover every book in the game, and give myself a large surplus. People who don't play in Hardcore mode can safely ignore Survival, however, and save themselves a great bit of skill points, which in turn allows you to safely drop Intelligence even further.

Strength58+1 Implant, +2 Reinforced Spine
Perception56+1 Implant
Endurance89+1 Implant
Intelligence67+1 Implant
Agility79+1 Implant, +1 Small Frame
Luck89+1 Implant


Skills determine how good you are at various activities, anything from picking locks, hacking computers, attacking with various weapons, sneaking, interacting with NPCs and so forth. Your skills are every bit as important as your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes and your perks.


You start out with two points in each skill, and get an additional two points per S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute in related skills with the exception of Luck, which gives .5 point for each point of Luck (rounded up).


You select three skills to tag after being tested early in the game. Unlike the first two Fallout games, this doesn't double your rate of skill point increase, it merely adds a 15 point bonus to those skills.


You gain 10 skill points per level plus half your Intelligence score. The sooner you get to the New Vegas Medical Center and buy yourself a shiny new Intelligence Implant, the more skill points you'll have in the long run.

Skill Books

In addition to perks, leveling, and intelligence, you can get skill bonuses from books throughout the game. Unlike in Fallout 3, you no longer gain one point for each book, you now get three (or four, with the Comprehension perk). Of course, with bonuses like this you can't expect to find quite as many of them.. but even if you find three or four, that's a significant number of skill points.


Magazines, like books, exist only to boost your skill points, albeit temporarily. Magazines normally boost your skill points by +10, but with the Comprehension perk this bonus increases to +20. For most skill this is not a huge deal, although the benefits of popping a Milsurp Review to boost your Guns before a big fight is obvious enough. For some 'checked' skills, however, a temporary boost can be just as good as a permanent one. For example, the Speech skill is really only used in conversation. If you reach certain benchmarks you can succeed at Speech checks, which greatly helps with questing, improves rewards, etc. However, you don't ALWAYS need a 100 Speech. In fact, most of the time you're not even using that skill. This is where magazines shine, as with Comprehension you can leave Speech at 80 and just read a magazine before you need to make a check. The Barter, Lockpick, and Science skills all fall into this category as well.

Breakdown of Skills Points

There are 13 skills in the game, each of which can be raised to a score of 100, for a grand total of 1300 possible points in the game. With the inclusion of a whopping 20 more levels to the game, maxing out all your skills at 100 is now pretty easy to do-so much so that the Comprehension Perks and the Intelligence Attribute are now less interesting to power- gamers like myself. On the other hand, Educated now gives 46 levels worth of skill points-or a total of 92 points over the game, and the increased number of books means Comprehension will go further, too.

The breakdown of skill points below shows how my skill points are allocated at level one, with their projected totals once I have the implants purchased. If your SPECIAL Attributes don't match mine, you'll have different numbers. Remember, you start out with a base of two points in each skill, plus two for every point in the governing SPECIAL Attribute for that skill. Also, Luck adds one point to each skill for every odd point of Luck (1 = +1, 3 = +2, etc, up to +5 with a Luck score of 9). When we get our Implants, naturally every SPECIAL Attribute (save Charisma) will increase by one, making the related skills increase by +2.. and since my Luck is raising from 8 to 9, I get another bonus to every skill. Hence, all skills will receive a +3 bonus save Barter and Speech, which get +1. What follows, then, are my base skills after the New Vegas run*. In the 'Perks/Traits' section I account for three things-the bonus to Agility from having the Small Frame Trait, the whopping +5 bonus to each skill that Skilled gives me (it's an absolute must-have Trait) and the bonus Strength I'll receive (much later) from completing the 'Old World Blues' expansion and getting the 'Reinforced Spine' perk.

Base Skill Points
SkillsBaseSPECIAL BonusImplant AdjustmentPerks & TraitsTotal
Energy Weapons2143524
Melee Weapons2153928

See the Getting Started in the Mohave section of the guide for more information on the New Vegas Medical Clinic Run.

Now that we've got that down, let's figure out how many points we can expect to get from leveling and Tag! skills, and see where that leaves us.

346Base Skill Points
+66113.5 Skill Points per level/45 levels (7 Intelligence)
1052Skill Points distributed by level 50

With 1052 skill points we can get an average of 80~ in each skill.. Which honestly, is pretty damn good already. But why settle for good when perfect is within reach? The previously mentioned books weigh in at three skill points per copy (or four, with the Comprehension perk). There are, on average, between five and six skill books per skill in the game that can be found-not including the extra skill book per skill that can be made via recipe holotapes found in Old World Blues, and not counting the random Workbench Crate books in "Honest Hearts". In total, that's at least seven skill books per skill that can be found, or 21 bonus skill points per skill (28 with Comprehension). Still, I don't tend to work that hard, so my simplified maxing tips are as follows:

  • Pick Skilled as one of your traits at the beginning of the game. You can survive the experience hit, trust me, and the 85 Skill Points you'll get in return are well worth it. If you reset your traits at the Auto-Doc in The Sink (Old World Blues) and pick Skilled again, you can score another 85 points!

  • Get either 'Comprehension' or 'Educated' at level four. This will allow you to be lazier with hunting down skill books.

  • Get all your skills up to a base of 80 (Sneak and Science need fewer points).

  • Find as many skill books as possible-you'll need about seven per skill to raise your scores to 100. Educated will allow you to add more points to skills where you find fewer skill books, Comprehension will allow you to max your skills with only five skill books.

  • In the meantime, use skill magazines to boost your skills to succeed at skill checks, when necessary.

With this approach you won't need to complete all the expansions and find every book. Get your skills to a base score of 80, then just use skill books as you find them. If you get all the skill books in the Mohave, most of your skills should be doing pretty good. "Old World Blues" is a great expansion to do, as it includes two Sneak skill books (Chinese Spec. Ops. Training Manual) , a Science skill book (Big Book of Science) and a recipe from which you can make one skill book per skill, for a total of 48 skill points (64 with Comprehension). I was able to max out all my skills by level 45 with this method, and only completed 'Old World Blues' and 'Honest Hearts' (and only bothered to get two skill books from the latter expansion).


Related Attribute: Charisma

The Barter skill affects the prices you get for buying and selling items. In general, the higher your Barter skill, the lower your prices on purchased items.

The higher your Barter, the more Caps you'll get when you sell things, and the less Caps items will cost when you buy them. In addition to this useful bonus, Barter often acts as a Speech substitute.. allowing you to haggle for better deals and rewards. However, Barter will not cover all your Speech checks (and vise versa), and Repair may actually do better at saving you money. In Hardcore mode you typically have to find things to sell to make Barter effective.. which means exploring or hunting/killing enemies, which takes time, and hence, resources. It's a fine skill if you have the points to spend, but it's usually one of my later concerns.

Energy Weapons

Related Attribute: Perception

The Energy Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses Small Energy Cells, Micro Fusion Cells, EC Packs, or Flamer Fuel as ammunition.

A bit of a weapon shakeup here, Flamers now belong to Energy Weapons, and not to the now-defunct Big Guns category. Still, Energy Weapons are in direct competition with Guns as a primary arms. Explosives might have their own niche, but if you're using a ranged weapon, it's either Guns or Energy Weapons. The most conventional Energy Weapons are either Laser Pistols, Laser Rifles, Plasma Pistols, or Plasma Rifles, which are by default short to mid-ranged weapons. There are weapons that function like shotguns, the Gauss Rifle takes the place of a Sniper Rifle, and there's even a cannon-type weapon. There are fewer types of ammo.. which is a blessing and a curse. You won't get Armor-Piercing ammo, and more powerful weapons tend to burn through their ammo quickly (the Gauss Rifle, for example, takes five 'rounds' of ammunition per shot.) Overall I prefer to go with Guns, which just seem to have a better selection of ammo and higher relative damage. Not to mention the fact that they are more readily available. Still, I can't argue with the fact that YCS/186 is a superior long-ranged weapon, outperforming the Gauss Rifle in both damage, weight, proficiency requirements, and ammo consumption, and a Multiplas Rifle kills enemies with satisfying speed. Seriously, take a Multiplas Rifle out with Maximum Charge ammo and go shoot up some Deathclaws. It's effective, I'll give it that.


Related Attribute: Perception

The Explosives skill determines the ease of disarming any hostile mines and the effectiveness of any explosive weapon (all mines, all grenades, Missile Launcher, Fat Man, etc.)

You will certainly notice the delay you get when it comes to disarming mines, but that's not a reason to raise a skill, right? No, it's the fact that Explosives now govern all weapons that.. you know.. cause explosions? Now it's a skill worth considering, since Explosives are a wide and often powerful variety of weapons, easily able to overcome the Damage Thresholds of enemies. Of course, it is still a limited-use and often expensive collection of weapons.. and certainly not one for use against most enemies. Frankly, I'd rather shoot a Deathclaw with an Sniper Rifle, rather than stock up on heavy and expensive Explosives. In fact, I'd rather use Guns to do everything Explosives can do, which is why I have no inclination to endorse it as an essential skill. In fact, it's one of the last skills I tend to raise.


Related Attribute: Agility

Guns determines your effectiveness with any weapon that uses conventional ammunition (.22 LR, .357 Magnum, 5mm, 10mm, 5.56mm, .308, .45-70 Gov't etc.).

The Guns skill consists of a stupidly wide variety of weapons with an equally stupidly wide variety of ammunition. Including such mainstays as the 9mm Pistol, Hunting Rifle, Assault Carbine, Light Machine Gun, Riot Shotgun, Sniper Rifle and.. Anti-Material Rifle?.. It is a truly diverse and powerful weapon skill set. It is in direct competition with Energy Weapons for your primary ranged arms, and in my mind, Guns win out. Guns typically deal more damage (especially with Hand Loader) and settle at a comfortable Strength requirement of six.. even for the Sniper Rifle. If anything, Guns might suffer from having too many options. Do you go with the Brush Gun for its low Action Point costs, get the Cowboy perk, and get your Repair skill up to 90 in order to make 45-70 Gov't Hand Load ammo, or stick with the Sniper Rifle, Gobi Rifle, or The Machine and use .308 Hand Load ammo? Or do you do both? Heck, you can even decide to play with revolvers and stick with the Ranger Sequoia. No matter what you decide to do, you can expect to deal a lot of damage with Guns, at close range, long range or from even beyond the Perception range of your enemy. It's a lot of power and versatility for one skill, and in my mind everybody who really wants to kill things, and kill them well, should get at least 75 points in Guns.


Related Attribute: Perception

The Lockpick skill is used to open locked doors and containers.

It's a brief description for a rather straight-forward skill. You'll find locked boxes, doors, crates, etc. of various degrees of difficulty. Obviously you're going to want to get into them, and this requires your Lockpick skill to be at different levels. This is a pretty useful, if not obligatory skill for everybody to have. Thankfully, however, if you get Comprehension you can just get your score up to 80 and just use a Locksmith's Reader Magazine for when you encounter a [Very Hard] lock.

Lockpick SkillLock Difficulty
0Very Easy
100Very Hard


Related Attribute: Intelligence

The Medicine skill determines how many Hit Points you'll replenish upon using a Stimpak, and the effectiveness of Rad-X and RadAway.

This skill, for all its apparent worth, can be ignored. There is always another way of handling a situation, from donning an Environmental Suit, to visiting a doctor, to just using more Caps. It's more useful in Hardcore mode to be able to ignore these inconveniences, but in a normal game you don't really need a high Medicine score. That said, there are a good number of Medicine challenges in this game, so from a story aspect it's not entirely bad to splurge a little extra.

Melee Weapons

Related Attribute: Strength

The Melee Weapons skill determines your effectiveness with any melee weapon, from the simple lead pipe all the way up to the high-tech Super Sledge.

Melee Weapons is again in competition with Unarmed, and it again loses. Paralyzing Palm might not be as awesome in New Vegas as it was in Fallout 3, but it does give Unarmed an edge. Also, many of the better perks the two share (Piercing Strike, Slayer) require you to have a large number of points in Unarmed. To its credit, Melee Weapons does control the Ninja, Unstoppable Force, and Super Slam perks, but it does seem to be the loser in this competition, nonetheless. It's also hard to compare a Super Sledge to a Displacer Glove or Ballistic Fist. Your natural inclination is to specialize in one or the other, but unfortunately New Vegas requires you to pay attention to both, whereas with Guns and Energy Weapons you can get by just fine with one or the other.


Related Attribute: Intelligence

The Repair skill allows you to maintain any weapons and apparel. In addition, Repair allows you to create items and Guns ammunition at reloading benches.

Repair is still good in New Vegas, for many of the same reasons. There has, however, been one significant change to how the skill works. You no longer need to get your Repair skill up to 100 to repair an items condition to 100.. the higher your skill the more you repair when you combine an item, but if you have enough of them you'll be able to fix an item to your heart's content. Also, some weapons and armor are prohibitively rare, making fixes with Repair difficult (unless you have the Jury Rigging perk). You need a whopping 90 Repair Skill score for this, but there are other considerations, too. You'll need 50 Repair to make Weapon Repair Kits (restores 25% of an equipped weapon's condition, which is just great for fixing all that rare expansion gear you bring into the Mohave, or vise-versa), and you'll need a 70 Repair score to get the Hand Load perk.. which you can use to make .308 JSP ammo, which turns the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle into the Finger of God. I'd suggest getting up to 70 once your Survival and questing skills are up to snuff (like Speech, Lockpick, Science), but the last points can wait a while.


Related Attribute: Intelligence

The Science skill represents your combined scientific knowledge, and is primarily used to hack restricted computer terminals. It can also be used to recycle Energy Weapons and ammunition at workbenches.

Again, like Lockpick, you'll encounter terminals with varying difficulties which you'll typically want to hack. Also like Lockpick you will be able to get your Science skill up to 80 and just fill in the last 20 points with a Programmer's Digest for the [Very Hard] hacks.. provided you have Comprehension, of course. The crafting is somewhat moot, as Stimpaks require a score of 70 and components that are more annoying to find than simply paying the Caps for the Stimpak. Everything else that's useful, like ammo recycling or Doctor's Bags, typically have a much lower requirement.

Science SkillHack Difficulty
0Very Easy
100Very Hard


Related Attribute: Agility

The higher your Sneak skill, the easier it is to remain undetected, steal and item, or pick someone's pocket. Successfully attack while undetected grants an automatic critical hit.

Sneak is a nice skill that allows you to steal loot, score sneak attack criticals, and move past enemies when you'd rather avoid (or at least delay) a fight. Most items can be stolen by being patient and waiting for potential witnesses to leave, and sneak attack criticals are more easy to score than ever, now that you have iron sights and don't need to approach as close. Both of these factors mean you really don't need a Sneak score that's terribly high, although if you want to sneak anywhere near an enemy, much less past one, you're going to want the Silent Running perk.. which requires an obligatory minimum investment of 50 Sneak. I tend to wait a bit to invest in Sneak, since I don't bother sneaking much (in combat at least, where a high skill matters) until I have the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle, which requires at least an 80 Lockpick score (plus a magazine with Comprehension) to get, and a 75 Guns skill to use, and a 70 Repair score to make good ammo for. You can see, then, why I wait to invest into Sneak.


Related Attribute: Charisma

The Speech skill governs how much you can influence someone through dialogue, and gain access to information they might otherwise not want to share.

There are many quests that can only be solved-or that can be more easily solved-through Speech. This skill largely eliminates the need for Charisma, so long as you're willing to invest points into it. Your ability to get alternative solutions to quests is priceless and frequent, and a character build that doesn't include at least 80 points of Speech is really missing the point of a Fallout game, in my opinion. It's not really a priority, however, if you're fine with exploring and grinding for a few levels. If you want to get right into questing, however, you might want to fast-track this skill.


Related Attribute: Endurance

The Survival skill increases the Hit Points you receive from food and drink. It also helps you created consumable items at campfires.

The usefulness of this skill depends wholly on one thing; are you playing in Hardcore mode? If so, you might want this skill, as it will increase the usefulness of consumables and allow you to create better, more wholesome consumables at campfires. If you don't play on Hardcore mode, you don't need to eat or drink anyhow and might as well just use a Stimpak to heal. Seriously, 15 points of Survival makes Purified Water restore 15 more H20, so 100 points of Survival.. well, it makes you need half as much food and water, which is a good thing indeed. As far as I am concerned, if you're playing in Hardcore you absolutely must get this skill up to 50 as soon as possible so that you can prepare Bighorner Steaks, which should take care of all your food... I mean, FOD needs.


Related Attribute: Endurance

The Unarmed skill is used for fighting without a weapon, or with weapons designed for hand-to-hand combat, like Brass Knuckles, Power Fists, and Displacer Gloves.

The other melee skill, Unarmed has a bit more going for it than Melee Weapons. For one, a high Unarmed skill is required for both the Slayer and Piercing Strike perks, both of which are obligatory for melee-type characters. Power Fists can be found pretty readily at Camp Golf, and even Spiked Knuckles tend to out-perform low-end Melee Weapons. Also, the fact that most builds call for high Endurance plays into the Unarmed skill right from the start. On the other hand, this skill will start pretty high for my build, and since I choose to grind Bighorners early, I don't see a real need to raise it until after I've boosted Survival, my questing skills, and the myriad of skills it takes to make Gobi the Finger of God. I pay more attention to Melee Weapons and Unarmed when I start (or am about to start) 'Old World Blues'.

Skills I Tag! (and why)

Now that Repair isn't as vital, I generally decide to Tag! Science, Lockpick, and Speech to start out, which allows me to complete quests and explore places right from the get-go. If I'm playing in Hardcore Mode, I substitute Speech for Survival, which has the added bonus of allowing me to pick the 'Light Touch' perk at level two if I wanted to dispense with 'Black Widow'.. which I have considered doing.

Skill Point Allocation

First things first, if you're playing in Hardcore Mode, get Survival up to 50 ASAP. If you're playing in normal mode, don't touch Survival until you've got everything else up to 80 (sans books). Otherwise, I prefer to start out with Lockpick and Science in the early levels, just so I have access to more areas and have to do as little back-tracking as possible. Companions can, for the meantime, pick up the combat slack (Veronica at the 188 Trading Post can smash Bighorners admirably. I typically get Lockpick and Science up to 75 before switching off to Speech, Repair, and Guns. My goal here is to get Speech up to 80 (for questing), Repair high enough for Hand Loader (70), and Guns high enough for the Gobi Scout Campaign Rifle (75). Make it a priority to find some Tumblers Today books to raise Lockpick, and use some skill points to cover what books can't. Your goal is to get a Lockpick score of 90, use a skill magazine, and finally get our hands on Gobi (80 will suffice, if you have Comprehension). Now I bring Sneak up to 50 to get Silent Running. Once this is done, you can start raising your other skills-Melee Weapons and Unarmed are great for the 'Old World Blues' expansion. Start with Melee weapons and get it up to 45 for 'Super Slam', then switch to Unarmed. With the aid of skill books, get it up to 90 for Slayer (and get Piercing Strike along the way). Now that you're a melee and ranged phenom, you can start getting all the previously mentioned skills up to at least 80 (sans books), then start working on the less interesting skills. Medicine starts having more significant dialogue checks, and Barter will also show up fairly often. Explosives and Energy Weapons are the last two skills I raise.


Traits are back in Fallout: New Vegas after a brief absence in the last Fallout title. They are essentially bonus perks that have both positive and negative effects on your character. You may choose up to two when you create your character, but you can choose to pick less if you prefer. Of course.. the expansions have added a few new traits, some of which are really, really great.. This makes all the perks that were formerly mediocore seem downright detrimental-ratings have been adjusted, harshly.

The Sink Psychiatric Evaluation

During the expansion 'Old World Blues', you'll be able to consult the Auto-Doc in The Sink... once its personality matrix is back online, anyways. One of the many tasks it can perform is to give you a 'psychiatric evalution'. While this is synonymous with bullshit in reality, in New Vegas, it allows you to repick your Traits. So.. if you were starting to regret picking/not picking something earlier, you get a second chance at it! And in case you're wondering, no, you cannot level up past level 30 and pick the trait-that-shall-not-be-named, nor can you pick 'Wild Wasteland' and score both the YCS and the Alien Blaster. You can, however, drop skilled and pick up another trait without dropping your Skill Points. Score! Built to Destroy seems like a good replacement.. I love me some critical hits.. Or, if your Skill Points are somewhat lacking you can pick SKilled again and get ANOTHER five points to each skill! Seriously.

Built to Destroy

Requirements: --

Ranks: 1

The Flamer that burns twice as bright burns half as long. All weapons have +3% chance to Critically Hit, but equipment condition decays 15% faster.

Three percent critical rate doesn't sound that great at first, but it is equal to three points of Luck, and over the course of the game you will be scoring lots of hits... On the other hand, 15% weapon degradation kind of sucks. Here's the rub, however. Early weapons will be relatively plentiful, allowing you to just recombine them and fix them at will. More expensive weapons, like the Riot Shotgun, Brush Gun, Sniper Rifle, etc., could end up costing several thousand Caps to fix... which is not a good thing. You can, however, create Weapon Repair Kits at a Workbench, allowing you to repair weapons for a handful of Caps using a variety of items that can be purchased from most any merchant. This will save you thousands of Caps, and makes the downside of this trait negligible. Still, it's a mediocre trait, you can pick better.


Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

You have a fear of enclosed spaces (probably because of the mutants that live there). You have +1 to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes when outside, but suffer -1 when indoors.

The first of a trend of give/take traits, which give you bonuses half the time, and penalties the other half of the time (or give you a bonus all the time to one statistic, but a penalty to another). Normally I'd make a snarky comment about them sucking and you being able to pick better.. and since I'd normally do that, I'll do it here, too. Why suffer during half the game for a benefit that's not really going to give you most of what you'll want from S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, like perk selections? Also, once you max all your skills at 100, the skill point bonuses from your boosted attributes won't count, so in the long-run, this trait is more detrimental than useful.

Early Bird

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

Hey early risers! Enjoy a +2 to each of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes from 6 am to 12 pm, but suffer a -1 from 6 pm to 6 am when you're not at your best.

Seriously? Didn't I just... okay, so it's Claustrophobia, with a time factor. I suppose if you weren't playing on Hardcore mode you could manipulate the time so you're almost always playing at your best.. but come on, this is lousy.

Fast Shot

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

While using Guns and Energy Weapons, you fire 20% more quickly but your shots are 20% less accurate.

Accuracy and shooting speed are both important factors, and I can’t see myself happily sacrificing either. There are better traits out there.

Four Eyes

Requirements: PER < 10 Ranks: 1

While wearing any type of glasses, you have +1 PER. Without glasses you have -1 PER.

Glasses are plentiful and cheap.. but the fact that you can also just wear a hat for the same bonus makes this trait less useful. Oh, and the fact that Perception isn't terribly useful in this game. Also note that this is an equipment bonus to your Perception-not a permanent one. In fact, picking Four Eyes permanently lowers your base Perception-which is then supposedly made up by receiving an extra point to Perception from glasses. There are lots of stupid traits out there, but this is the only one that makes your character weaker just so you can break even by wearing some clothes.

Good Natured

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

You're Good Natured at heart, more prone to solving problems with your mind than violence. You gain +5 to Barter, Medicine, Repair, Science, and Speech, but have -5 to Energy Weapons, Explosives, Guns, Melee Weapons, and Unarmed.

It's not worth considering anymore. You'll get all your skills up to 100 with any smart build, so any skill point traits are useless.

Heavy Handed

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

Your melee and unarmed attacks do more damage, but less critical hit damage.

This trait makes you choose between damage per hit, and critical hit damage. It seems pretty simple to me that you're going to score more normal hits than critical hits, so that's probably not a bad option. However, if you then go ahead and get Finesse, Better Criticals, and Ninja, you're just gimping yourself.


Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

You gain +25 lbs. to your carrying capacity, but suffer a -1 to all attributes any time the weight you're carrying drops below 160 lbs.

Seriously, this game is going to kill me. Who thought of this? The extra carry weight you'll get will be offset by the fact that you can take advantage of the ability to travel light without gimping your character. Die please.

Hot Blooded

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

When your health drops below 50% you gain +10% more damage, but you also suffer -2 to your Agility and Perception attributes.

The health requirement isn't so low that you're unlikely to ever reach it, and +10% damage is... okay. In the midst of combat, a few Action Points and Perception aren't going to hurt you, so I'd at least say this trait is potentially more beneficial than harmful.


Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

You have +10 Action Points but your reckless nature causes you to have -2 Damage Threshold.

In the grand scheme of things, two points of Damage Threshold isn't a huge deal. With Power Armor and Toughness you'll easily gloss over this deficiency. On the surface it might seem like it's saying you're taking two more points of damage per hit.. but if your Damage Threshold is still higher than the enemies' damage with Kamikaze slowing you down, you're really not suffering at all. That said, many enemies like Cazadores and Deathclaws will easily surpass your Damage Threshold. At the end of the day the two-point penalty is fairly unnoticeable later on in the game, but the ten point bonus to your Action Points boosts a VATS system that is nowhere near as strong as it was in Fallout 3.

Logan's Loophole

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

No one's going to put you out to pasture 'cause you're going to stay young (and level 30) forever! You'll never again become addicted to chems, and they'll last twice as long... but after level 30 you can kiss experience, perks, and skill points goodbye!


Loose Cannon

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

From Frag Grenades to Throwing Spears, you can throw weapons 30% faster at the cost of 25% less range.

What do Frag Grenades and Throwing Spears have in common? They're not decisively powerful. This trait allows you to waste more of them, while sacrificing range. Granted, you'll still lob thrown weapons pretty far, but this whole trait just stinks of who-gives-a-crap.


Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

You're skilled, but not experienced. You gain +5 points to every skill, but you suffer -10% from experience gained from now on.

Now that I've recovered from my stroke after dealing with the trait- that-shall-not-be-named, let's get back into the swing of things with what is-hands down-the best trait in the game. Five skill points per skill? That's 85 skill points! Almost as good as the Educated Perk-one of the best skill point boosting perks in the game. And you get to pick it-for free! The downside is a -10% experience penalty.. which if anything just extends the game. Experience is everywhere, you can glitch it, you can kill another Deathclaw, whatever, but 85 skill points is a huge bonus. Pick this trait. Don't argue. Just... pick it.

Small Frame

Requirements: AGL < 10 Ranks: 1

Due to your small size, you have +1 AGL but your limbs are more easily crippled.

First let’s look at the bonus. Agility is a fairly useful attribute, governing two skills and influencing your Action Points, draw speed, and reload speed. And what is the downside? More frequently crippled limbs? If you're not playing in Hardcore mode, this is a no-brainer. Who cares about crippled limbs? Beds and Stimpaks are plentiful. If you're playing in Hardcore mode... well, still, who cares about crippled limbs? You can buy Doctor's Bags at every doctor in the game. It seems like a small price to pay for a better SPECIAL stat. Still.. it's not as good as Skilled, so out of respect for the hierarchy, I've taken it down a notch. (You should still pick it, though.)

Trigger Discipline

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

While using Guns and Energy Weapons, you fire 20% more slowly but are 20% more accurate.

Accuracy and shooting speed are both important factors, and I can’t see myself happily sacrificing either. There are better traits out there.

Wild Wasteland

Requirements: -- Ranks: 1

Wild Wasteland unleashes the most bizarre and silly elements of post- apocalyptic America. Not for the faint of heart or the serious of temperament.

Seriously. What good fallout game doesn't have abundant references to Monty Python and alien encounters? This perk might not do anything for your build, but it should read "Remember the old Fallout games? Pick this trait to make New Vegas more like them." Nostalgia makes this an interesting choice, indeed.

My Personal Build, Traits

Okay, be prepared to be surprised.. I pick Skilled and Small Frame as my traits. See? You're surprised now because I said there would be a surprise... and there wasn't! They're the best traits, period. I happily take the 85 Skill Points and +1 Agility boost, and laugh away the limb crippling and experience penalty. Laugh! Oh, Built to Destroy is pretty nifty, too. It can easily substitute for Small Frame.

Once you get to "Old World Blues" and get the Auto-Doc back online, you can have it perform a psychiatric evaluation on you, like I mentioned earlier. This allows you to reset your Traits. The best exploit to take advantage of here is with the Skilled Trait. Since it gives us a one- time permanent boost to our skills when we pick it, we won't lose it's bonuses if we drop it now. My ideal options? At this point switch to Built to Destroy and Small Frame, or pick Skilled again and get another +5 bonus to all your skills. Awesome.


In Fallout: New Vegas you gain a perk every even level (starting at level 2). Perks are separated by their level prerequisite, with every even level opening up more perks. Prerequisites for perks may also include S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes or skill points. (For example, the Entomologist perk requires that you be level 4, have Intelligence 4, and Survival 45.) Since there are fewer perks you can pick in New Vegas, you should probably be more conscious of what Perks you pick. I have retained my rating system from the old FAQ for this one, although there are less useless perks in New Vegas (getting rid of all the skill perks will do that). Your perk choices should follow your build, and should help you specialize in certain areas depending on your skills. I will note where the grade of a perk varies from normal mode to Hardcore mode.

Note that some perks are also rated by availability.. for example, Lady Killer isn't a very good perk. But the fact that it's one of the very few perks that actually do anything worth mentioning at level 2, it is rated a bit higher than it otherwise would be. And yes, if the same values applied to perks in Fallout 3 that apply to them in New Vegas, I copied the description right from my old FAQ. Some perks, like Night Person, are just as horrible and for the same reasons, there's really no need for me to restate the information arbitrarily.

Overall, with the expansions installed and the level cap raised, we can gain ten extra perks for a grand total of 25. This.. actually eases the selection pressure a good deal, and thus, some perks have been given an increase in rank. New perks were added, but save a few standouts, most are garbage. This means that some of the previous perks that were decent, but not great, now become viable options. Also, since we can max out all our skills, we no longer have to worry about picking one weapon type and 'build' our character around it.. now we can afford to invest perks into melee AND ranged options, and still end up with plenty of perks left over. Also note that some new perks have no level requirement. These are listed under the 'Level 2 Perks' heading, since you can't get any perks until level two anyways.

Level 2 Perks

Black Widow/Cherchez La Femme/Lady Killer

Requirements: Level 2 Ranks: 1

In combat you do +10% damage against male/female opponents. Outside of combat, you'll sometimes have access to unique dialogue options when dealing with the opposite sex.

You won’t use this perk much in dialogue.. it just doesn't have all that many uses. And what few it has, you can get the same results from other methods. Still, the +10% damage to the opposite gender is.. well, something, which is more than can be said for the other level 2 perks. Note that only 'human' enemies have a gender. This does not include Feral Ghouls, Animals, Insects, Robots, or Abominations. Since most of the affected enemies are either NCR Troopers, Caesar's Legion Soldiers, Raiders, or Gang Members, it should be noted that there is a clear plurality of male-gender enemies that will be affected by this.

Friend of the Night

Requirements: Level 2, Perception 6, Sneak 30 Ranks: 1

You are a true friend of the night. Your eyes adapt quickly to low- light conditions indoors and when darkness falls across the wasteland.

First, you can use Cateye to duplicate this effect. Second, you have a Pip-Boy light. Third, it never gets too dark to really need night vision, three, you have allies that can illuminate enemies for you. Useless perk.

Heave, Ho!

Requirements: Level 2, Explosives 30, Strength 5 Ranks: 1

Quite an arm you've got there. All thrown weapons fly farther and faster for you.

Or you could just use a Grenade Gun or Missile Launcher. Seriously.


Requirements: Level 2, Survival 30 Ranks: 1

In combat, you do +75% Critical Damage against animals and mutated animals.

Note that this category doesn't include Ghouls, Insects, or Abominations. But if Big Horner’s and Geckos are kicking your ass.. well, quit playing. Once you get decent guns you'll pop off Golden Geckos before they get anywhere near you, +75% critical damage or not.

In Shining Armor

Requirements: Level 2, Repair 20, Science 70 Ranks: 1

Beams reflect off the mirror-like finish of your gleaming armor! You gain an additional +5 Damage Threshold against energy weapons while wearing any metal armor, +2 while wearing reflective eyewear.

The concession perk for heavy armor characters, this perk is pretty good too-although about half of all attacks in the game are melee attacks, and of ranged attacks, half of those (generously) are from Energy Weapons. Also, the +5 Damage Threshold just isn't as good as the 5% Critical Hit Chance from Light Touch. Still, if you're married to heavy armor... well... eh...

Intense Training

Requirements: Level 2 Ranks: 10

With the Intense Training perk, you can put a single point into any of your S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes.

Beyond equipment and Implants, this is the only way to raise an attribute, and it is arguably a worthy choice for a level 2 perk. If you don't care for a gender-perk, get this instead.

Junk Rounds

Requirements: Level 2 Repair 45, Luck 6 Ranks: 1

Survival is the mother of invention! Craft ammo at the Reloading Bench using alternate materials (Scrap Metal and Tin Cans).

This perk allows you to replace the components of ammo you're trying to create (save the ammo casings) with Scrap Metal and Tin Cans. So, say you take .308 ammo, which normally requires .308 cases, lead, rifle powder, and large rifle primer, with this perk you'd instead need .308 cases, scrap metal, and tin cans. There are a few problems, however. First, you can just buy or find ammo. No need to create any. Second, it takes five Tin Cans perk round you want to make.. are you going to bother harvesting that many Tin Cans, and lugging them around to a Reloading Bench? And if so.. why? I wipe my ass with this perk. Next.

Light Touch

Requirements: Level 2, Repair 45, Agility 6 Ranks: 1

Heavy armor just isn't your thing, so you've learned to customize light armor for maximum benefit. While wearing light armor you gain a +5 Critical Hit Chance and your enemies suffer a -25% Critical Hit Chance.

This perk gives you a +5% Critical Hit Chance and imposes a -25% Critical Hit Chance on your foes while wearing Light Armor. Sure, when we hit level 50 the reduction of critical hits will be eclipsed by whatever level 50 perk we pick.. but the +5% Critical Hit Chance is still as good as Finesse. Of course, the issue here isn't whether a +5% Critical Hit Chance is a good thing-I think most of us can agree that it is, and we can also agree that those who didn't agree with us are morons, and we shouldn't care too much about their opinion. The real issue is whether Light Armor-with the aid of this perk-is worth anything. An easy candidate for best armor in the game is Medium Armor- Elite Riot Gear, which has a max Damage Threshold of 22 and +5% Critical Hit Chance (among other bonuses which aren't interesting). The best Light Armor challenge to this is-in my mind-Joshua Graham's Armor, which has a max Damage Threshold of 15, and a +3% Critical Hit Chance. So the trade-off with this perk is +3% Critical Hit Chance, faster movement, cheaper repairs (especially with Jury Rigging, almost everything can be used to Repair Joshua Graham's Armor) and this armor weighs 1/4th as much as Elite Riot Gear. Elite Riot Gear, on the other hand, has 7 points of Damage Threshold over Joshua Graham's Armor. It's pretty close-you'll never have enough Damage Threshold to block everything, and as long as you get up near 30, you can ensure that weaker foes and high DPS weapons won't affect you too much.. but it's really hard to argue with the look of Elite Riot Armor.

Old World Gourmet

Requirements: Level 2, Survival 45, Endurance 6 Ranks: 1

Thanks to unclean living you've learned the secrets of the lounge lizards! +25% Addiction Resistance. +50% Health bonus from Snack Foods. Scotch, Vodka, and Wine now give you Health in addition to their normal effects.

Save/load and you won't get addicted, and there are better ways to restore health than by resorting to snack food. This perk sucks.

Rapid Reload

Requirements: Level 2, Guns 30, Agility 5 Ranks: 1

Rapid Reload makes all of your weapon reloads 25% faster than normal.

This.. well, it's mostly junk, but weapon reloads can be a problem. The faster you reload, the faster you're firing, and it might be a consideration if your Agility is a flat 5. If you have a higher Agility, like, say you were actually following my build advice, you'll reload fast enough.


Requirements: Level 2, Intelligence 5 Ranks: 1

With the Retention perk, the bonuses granted by skill magazines last three times as long.

As far as I'm concerned, skill magazines are meant to be used in order to pick a lock, hack a computer, or succeed at a skill check. This can typically be done just before interacting with the object or character that requires the check. There is absolutely no reason to require your skill magazines to last three times longer. They weigh nothing, and they are pretty cheap to buy, too.. and, with the expansions installed, you'll get a score of 100 in every skill, making magazines obsolete. You don't need this perk.

Swift Learner

Requirements: Level 2, Intelligence 4 Ranks: 3

With each rank in the Swift Learner perk, you gain an additional 10% to total Experience Points whenever Experience Points are earned.

In New Vegas there are tons of quests, and many enemies give 50 XP, which was reasonably rare in Fallout 3. Add in the challenges, which give you bundles of experience, and you'll find that you're leveling up even faster in New Vegas than you were in Fallout 3! You don't need to speed up the process and in so doing waste one of your precious perks.

Level 4 Perks


Requirements: Level 4 Ranks: 1

With the Cannibal perk, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the option to eat a corpse to regain Health. But every time you feed, you lose Karma, and if the act is witnessed, it is considered a crime against nature.

If you want to be truly despicable, you can go ahead and get this perk. I would deride this perk more.. but in Hardcore mode it just might come in handy. You'll apparently heal points of [FOD] for every corpse you eat.. which isn't much, but if you kill a batch of Viper Gang Members, you can get a good bit of.. you know what, this perk sucks, food is plentiful and cheap, you'll never need to eat corpses.


Requirements: Level 4, Intelligence 4 Ranks: 1

With the Comprehension perk, you gain double the bonus from reading magazines and one additional skill point whenever a skill book is read.

Few perks have been hit by the expansions as hard as Comprehension, and for an obvious reason. If you can get all your skills up to 100, you don't need magazines, and with twenty extra levels, its very easy to get your skills up high enough without needing the extra point from each skill book. Still, there are even more skill books in the game now, and if you find them all (or most of them) you'll end up getting more skill points than Educated gives.. and the magazines help in the early-to-mid phases of the build. I typically get all my skills up to 80~, and use skill books to max them out-using magazines in the interim until I find enough skill books. Honestly, if you're absolutely commited to getting all the skill books in the game, you don't need this perk.. but level four perks aren't great, and I prefer the convenience. Get Educated or Comprehension, but not both.


Requirements: Level 4, Intelligence 4 Ranks: 1

With the Educated perk, you gain two more skill points every time you advance in level. This perk is best taken early on, to maximize its effectiveness.

This was already a great perk before the DLCs-it's just that much more useful now that it gives us an extra 40 skill points over the extra twenty levels.. but with all the new skill books and levels, it's just not necessary to max out all skills. It's more convenient than Comprehension-you don't need to hunt down books, you just need to level up-but Comprehension can end up giving more skill points if you're vigilant about hunting down skill books. Also, Comprehension allows you to get scores to 80, then use magazines every time a [Very Hard] lock or computer rears its ugly head. With Educated you'd have to boost such skills to 90.. which really isn't that much more work. Honestly, if you're absolutely commited to getting all the skill books in the game, you don't need this perk.. but level four perks aren't great, and I prefer the convenience. Get Educated or Comprehension, but not both.


Requirements: Level 4, Survival 45, Intelligence 4 Ranks: 1

With the Entomologist perk, you do an extra 50% damage every time you attack a mutated insect, like the Radroach, Giant Mantis, or Radscorpian.

Giant Radscorpians suck in this game, but not enough that I can really suggest picking this perk. Later on you'll have weapons that can handle their Damage Threshold, and they're just never become the same level of threat that Deathclaws become, although the extra damage against Cazadors is somewhat welcome. It doesn't come high on my list of potential perks, but if you're just getting wasted by bugs later in the game.. and you have good weapons and armor, maybe it's worth a look.

Rad Child

Requirements: Level 4, Survival 70 Ranks: 1

You truly are a rad child. As you go through the increasingly devastating stages of radiation sickness, you will regenerate more and more health.

Yeah, there's an Implant for that now, and frankly, it's better to avoid becoming heavily irradiated.

Run 'n Gun

Requirements: Level 4, Guns 45 OR Energy Weapons 45 Ranks: 1

The Run 'n Gun perk reduces accuracy penalties with one-handed Guns and Energy Weapons while walking or running.

Let’s think about this critically, shall we? Most one-handed guns aren't very strong, at least not against armor, and certainly not compared to rifle-grip guns. And there's another way we can negate this penalty.. by stopping and aiming. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of the whole thing, but if you are running around shooting wildly at an enemy with a one-handed gun, then there's something you did wrong at some point in the encounter.

Travel Light

Requirements: Level 4, Survival 45 Ranks: 1

While wearing light armor or no armor, you run 10% faster.

10% isn't a huge speed boost. I gotta say, even for Hardcore mode folks, I wouldn't pick this perk.

Level 6 Perks

Bloody Mess

Requirements: Level 6 Ranks: 1

With the Bloody Mess perk, characters and creatures you kill will often explode into a red, gut-ridden, eyeball-strewn paste. Fun! Oh, and you'll do 5% extra damage with all weapons.

Okay, the aesthetics are cool, but that's no reason to get a perk. 5% damage against everything is nice, though. Considering the fact that other damage increasing perks only affect certain weapon types, or certain enemies, a pure, honest, damage boost is special. There's also the nostalgia factor, for us old school Fallout players.

Demolition Expert

Requirements: Level 6, Explosives 50 Ranks: 3

With each rank of this perk, all of your explosive weapons do an additional 20% damage.

Guess what? This perk isn't so useless anymore. Explosives now encompasses all the weapon types it originally should have, and 20% is a huge damage bonus, that goes a long way. Make your Explosives even more spectacular or.. if I may.. get more bang for your buck with the Demolition Expert perk. That said, if you don't consider Explosives a big part of your build, you shouldn't consider this perk a priority.

Ferocious Loyalty

Requirements: Level 6, Charisma 6 Ranks: 1

The power of your personality inspires die-hard loyalty from your followers. When you drop below 50% Health, your companions temporarily gain much greater resistance to damage.

Three problems with this, well, four, really. First, you have to rely on your companions to make the most of this perk. Second, if you drop below 50% of your health, the enemies are clearly attacking you, and not your companions. Third, it's a duration effect, so you can't even strategically keep your health below 50% so your allies reap the benefits. Fourth, it requires six points of Charisma, which is just about a waste of five S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points, as far as I'm concerned.

Fortune Finder

Requirements: Level 6, Luck 5 Ranks: 1

With the Fortune Finder perk, you'll find considerably more Nuka-Cola caps in containers than you normally would.

More caps. Yay. You'll get plenty of caps killing things and selling their loot.


Requirements: Level 6 Ranks: 1

While using a pistol (or similar one-handed weapon), your accuracy in V.A.T.S. is significantly increased.

If you plan to use one-handed ranged weapons-and V.A.T.S.-you should definitely pick up this perk. Now that V.A.T.S. is less useful and perks are more precious, I just can't bring myself to buy this perk.

Hand Loader

Requirements: Level 6, Repair 70 Ranks: 1

You know your way around a reloading bench and don't let good brass and hulls go to waste. When you use guns you are more likely to recover cases and hulls. You also have all hand load recipes unlocked at the Reloading Bench.

Okay, I can admit when I was wrong.. grudgingly. This perk allows you to recover ammo cases in hulls, which in and of itself isn't worth much. It does, however, unlock all the ammo recipes for guns, which includes the hand load ammo recipes. These, in turn, do wonderful things, typically giving a damage boost as well as altering the ammo in some other wonderful way. For instance, the 50mg rounds you can build with this perk deal x1.2 damage and increase spread. Now, if you buy plenty of ammo and break it down, and convert it to the better, hand load ammo recipes you'll reap the benefits. It sounds like a lot of work, and you tend to take a loss on the ammo in the process (breaking down 100 rounds of ammo will not allow you to rebuild 100 rounds of ammo), but how can you really argue with a damage bonus on EVERY shot? If you specialize with Guns, you can't. Note that to actually make some of the ammo this perk gives you access to, you may need a significantly higher Repair score. For example, .45-70 Gov't, SWC Hand Load ammo requires a Repair score of 90, and .50MG, Match Hand Load ammo requires a whopping 100 Repair score. Getting up to 75 and using magazines and wearing a Utility Jumpsuit comes highly recommended, in this case. Also note that most Guns don't have Hand Load ammo recipes.. and some of the few that do aren't really worth making. You're really looking at three types of ammo when it comes to the Hand Load recipes; .308 rounds, 50mg rounds, and 45-50 Gov't rounds, all of which have excellent Hand Load recipes. Fortunately, they are the ammo used by pretty much all the good Guns in the game.

Lead Belly

Requirements: Level 6, Survival 40 OR Endurance 5 Ranks: 1

With the Lead Belly perk, you take 50% less radiation every time you drink from an irradiated water source.

There's plenty of clean water around. You can buy Purified Water cheaply. You can get your Rads cured from doctors and by using chems. Nobody needs this perk. Ever.

Mad Bomber

Requirements: Level 6, Repair 45, Explosives 45 Ranks: 1

Your intimate knowledge of gadgets and explosives have combined to make you... the Mad Bomber! At Workbenches, you have special Explosives recipes unlocked for use.

Mad Bomber is for Explosives nuts what Hand Loader is for Gun nuts- albeit, if you think grenades make up the entirity of the Explosives. This perk will allow you to make a slew of different Grenade types you'd otherwise not be able to make, from the potent Nuka-Grenade to simple and cheap grenades that allow you to convert Microfusion Cells to grenades.. it's honestly the only way you can expect to use Explosives as a primary weapon (as clunky as that would be, at best). If you're a fan of Explosives, and plan to pick perks like Demolition Expert, you should get this perk, too.

Shotgun Surgeon

Requirements: Level 6, Guns 45 Ranks: 1

Your precision with a scattergun is something to behold. When using shotguns, regardless of ammunition used, you ignore an additional 10 points of a target's Damage Threshold.

If you use Shotguns, you need this perk, period. Shotguns function something like automatic weapons, firing numerous, low-damage shots at a time. This makes the Damage Threshold reduction absolutely crucial for Shotguns, and the fact that SMGs and Assault Rifles don't have a perk like this really argues for the supremacy of the Shotgun. Combine this with Slugs, and you've got a good combination. I've managed to kill a Deathclaw in three shots with this perk and a Riot Shotgun, which is a pretty nice feat. That said, there are plenty of weapons out there that are simply stronger than Shotguns. A Sniper Rifle will punch through an enemies Damage Threshold just fine-no perks required.

The Professional

Requirements: Level 6, Sneak 70 Ranks: 1

Up close and personal, that's how you like it. Your Sneak Attack Criticals with pistols, revolvers, and submachine guns, whether Guns or Energy Weapons, all inflict an additional 20% damage.

The high Sneak requirement on this is somewhat accounted for by the fact that you'd need a decent Sneak to get within range for these weapons. I have to be honest, this isn't a great perk. It's a 20% damage bonus that only applies to sneak attack criticals, and only to a variety of guns that aren't really suited for sniping (or for doling out huge amounts of damage, in any event).. and the guns that are most useful for this-the Ranger Sequioa or the .44 Magnum will already do loads of damage if you perform a sneak attack with them. And by loads I mean, they'll probably make whatever you're firing at dead. Surely perks like Finesse and Better Criticals put this to shame.


Requirements: Level 6, Endurance 5 Ranks: 2

With the Toughness perk, you gain +3 to overall Damage Threshold. This perk may be taken twice, with the second rank granting an additional +3.

Here's how Damage Threshold works. If an enemies weapon can't overcome your Damage Threshold, you only take a small fraction of that weapons' damage. Many enemies use fairly typical weapons and thus do fairly low damage. A suit of Power Armor (typically granting you 20 some Damage Threshold) is about the best you can shoot for. With two of these perks, the Implant, and Remnant Power Armor and Helmet, you can aspire to the upper 30's. Many enemies, however, will do much more damage than this. A Deathclaw, Cazador, Giant Radscorpian, or an enemy with a high-end gun will still do plenty of damage to you, regardless of your Damage Threshold. This perk will help you mitigate a bit of damage from every attack, but three points off a 50 damage attack is less impressive than Fallout 3's base 10% damage resistance.

Vigilant Recycler

Requirements: Level 6, Science 70 Ranks: 1

Waste not, want not. When you use Energy Weapons, you are more likely to recover drained ammunition. You also have more efficient recycling recipes available at the Workbench.

Just like the Hand Loader perk, but for Energy Weapons. Eh. There's a quest you can do which will net you a good bit of free Energy Weapon ammunition that respawns over time. Also, there are fewer types of Energy Weapon ammunition, and less need to convert such ammo. I don't suggest picking this perk, even if you love Energy Weapons. You can create Maximum Charge ammo just fine without this perk, which makes me wonder.. why bother with this perk? If you're an adamantly die-hard Energy Weapons user, perhaps, but this perk mostly just saves you money.. if that's your goal, why not pick Jury Rigging instead?

Level 8 Perks


Requirements: Level 8 Ranks: 1

While using a rifle (or similar one-handed weapon), your accuracy in V.A.T.S. is significantly increased.

V.A.T.S. might not be the prime-and-only combat solution in this game, in fact, as often as it's a godsend it's a liability, but it does have its uses. In New Vegas, rifle-grip guns are by far the dominant branch of weapons. One-handed weapons typically lose the damage battle by a wide margin. While this was excusable to some extent in Fallout 3, you really need that damage this time around, and no, being able to run faster with a one-handed gun doesn't make up for their lack of power (especially not with the Agility this build calls for.) The bottom line, V.A.T.S. may not be king, but it has its uses, and if you use V.A.T.S., and use two-handed weapons, this perk is calling to you. It's better than Gunslinger, in any event.


Requirements: Level 8, Guns 45, Melee Weapons 45 Ranks: 1

You do 25% more damage when using any revolver, lever-action firearm, dynamite, knife, or hatchet.

Promising on paper, as 25% is a big chunk of damage, there's just one catch. Most of the weapons this applies to are rather weak, with the exception of the Brush Gun and Ranger Sequoia. The Brush Gun is good at short to mid range combat, and is easily a better choice for close encounters than the AM Rifle or Sniper Rifle. If you've got a good handle on sniping (especially when it comes to the stronger enemies, like Deathclaws), you may not even give this perk a second glance. On the other hand, the Brush Gun has some excellent utility it when comes to slaying Cazadors, or swarms of moderately powerful enemies (many human enemies come to mind). In fact, if something isn't far enough away to bother shooting at with a Sniper Rifle, you might as well be using a Brush Gun, and this gives a hefty 25% damage bonus to that weapon, making it a useful-although not vital-addition to any Guns build.


Requirements: Level 8, Guns 45, Explosives 20 Ranks: 1

Just good, honest infantry work! You do 25% more damage with 9mm and .45 Auto Pistols and SMGs, Service Rifles, Assault and Marksman Carbines, Light Machine Guns, Frag Grenades, Grenade Rifles and Launches, and Combat Knives.

Most of the weapons on this list are low-to-mid damage auto-fire weapons.. or failing that, are so useless they're not worth considering. It's a decent damage bonus, but it's a shame most of the weapons it affects aren't worth using. I say just grab a powerful, single-shot rifle and punish critters that way, and ignore this perk.

Home on the Range

Requirements: Level 8, Survival 70 Ranks: 1

Whenever you interact with a campfire, you have the option of sleeping, with all the benefits that sleep brings.

When would you EVER need this perk? If you're not playing in Hardcore mode.. well, if you can sleep, you can fast travel. If you can fast travel, you cand find somewhere to sleep. If you are playing Hardcore mode.. same thing, except if your sleep deprevation meter is in the 900's.. well, then you're an idiot and should have slept earlier.

Living Anatomy

Requirements: Level 8, Medicine 70 Ranks: 1

Living Anatomy allows you to see the Health and Damage Threshold of any target. It also gives you a +5% bonus to damage against Humans and non- Feral Ghouls.

Ah, another pre-Fallout 3 perk that makes its return in New Vegas. First lets discuss the damage. 5% isn't much, and the fact that it applies only to humans and non-feral Ghouls means you can safely ignore it, as it's only as effective as, say, Black Widow. On the other hand, being able to see an enemies Health and, more importantly, their Damage Threshold is a huge advantage, especially on your first playthrough. When you see a that a Super Mutant Master has a 20 Damage Threshold, or a Giant Radscorpian has a 36, you begin to understand why your Cowboy Repeater wasn't hurting it. Once you've played the game a bit, however, you start to understand this intuitively, especially after playing with this perk. Anybody knows that a Deathclaw is going to have a high Damage Threshold, and even without knowing the exact number of hit points, you can always see an enemies health bar in V.A.T.S. For veteran players, this perk becomes much less useful, although anomalies exist, and once you have played the game more you'll realize that getting a bigger, stronger gun is always the answer.

Pack Rat

Requirements: Level 8, Intelligence 5, Barter 70 Ranks: 1

You have learned the value of careful packing. Items with a weight of 2 or less weigh half as much for you.

At first this perk almost seems silly, and it does have some flaws. For one, if you're not playing in Hardcore mode, it's a complete waste of a perk. If you are playing in Hardcore mode, however, it still requires what can be a brutal and potentially wasteful amount of points in Barter. On the other hand, anything that weighs less than a pound will weigh, well, half as much. This comes with an important implication for Hardcore mode players; most of your vital food, ammo, and crafting components will weigh half as much, allowing you to stock up and carry around twice as many, which is worth its weight in gold. Worth more, really, gold isn't very good for drinking. Right Crassus? With this benefit you have to weigh it against the Strong Back perk.. if you're not going to carry more than fifty pounds of supplies, you might as well get that perk instead. Also if you have some allies, you can just load them up full of gear. So, this perk does have its issues, but if you just want to be sure you are carrying as much gear as possible.. Well, I'd still say pick Strong Back, if you've got the Strength and Endurance. I'd take a flat 50 pounds over carry weight over this any day.

Quick Draw

Requirements: Level 8, Agility 5 Ranks: 1

Quick Draw makes all of your weapon equipping and holstering 50% faster.

With the base of five Agility this perk calls for.. maybe.. but with anything higher you're going to be doing just fine on your own. And, since this game allows you to be the sniper more successfully and from a safer distance, chances are you'll have your gun out before the enemy anyways. Don't waste your perk.

Rad Resistance

Requirements: Level 8, Survival 40, Endurance 5 Ranks: 1

Rad Resistance allows you to -- what else? -- resist radiation. This perk grants an additional 25% to Radiation Resistance.

25% is a fairly large amount of radiation resistance, but there are plenty of environmental suits in the game, and of course.. Rad-X. You can take a perk to permanently gain resistance, or take a pill to get the resistance when you need it. Even if you get irradiated, it only costs 100 Caps or some RadAway to fix you up. If you're the Hardcore mode survival type, just wait for Rad Absorption.


Requirements: Level 8, Luck 5 Ranks: 1

With the Scrounger perk, you'll find considerably more ammunition in containers than you normally would.

Buy your ammo, instead. Problem solved.

Sneering Imperialist

Requirements: Level 8 Ranks: 1

You don't take kindly to raiders, junkies, or tribals trying to "settle" or "stay alive" in civilized lands. Against dirty raider and junkie types as well as Zion's tribals you do +15% Damage and have a bonus to hit in V.A.T.S.

...or you could get something like Black Widow, which does +10% damage to every male character in the game-NCR, Great Khans, Fiends, Caesar's Legion, or whatever other politics they have. Not to say that Black Widow is a great perk, but more to put this perk up for comparison. Plus, most raiders and tribals aren't terribly strong (compared to Cazadors, Death Claws, etc.) There are just better damage-dealing perks to pick, and many that help you kill stronger creatures, or give bonuses when fighting.. well, anything.


Requirements: Level 8, Endurance 6, Strength 6 Ranks: 1

You gain +5 Damage Threshold against all Melee Weapons and Unarmed attacks and cannot be knocked down in combat.

Sure, +5 isn't a big deal when it applies to only melee attacks.. but honestly most of the enemies that will blast through your Damage Threshold are things like Cazadors, Deathclaws, Radscorpians, and to some extent Nightstalkers and Geckos, all of which use.. you guessed it, melee attacks. Still, Deathclaws routinely hit for over 100 points of damage (even with a modest Damage Threshold of 20), so five points probably isn't going to save you. On the other hand, I've started to view this a bit like Toughness.. but only applying to-for argument's sake-half the attacks in the game. With that math, it doesn't seem like a terrible perk.

Strong Back

Requirements: Level 8, Strength 5, Endurance 5 Ranks: 1

With the Strong Back perk, you can carry 50 more pounds of equipment.

It was in my build for Fallout 3, but with only 15 perks in the vanilla version of New Vegas, it just didn't make the cut. Now, with ten more perks, I'm somewhat more inclined towards it. Carrying extra stuff is nice, even nicer in Hardcore Mode, and very, very nice during the expansions. After hitting level 40~ I had every perk that was remotely interesting to me, so I was warmer to the idea of returning it to my build.

Super Slam

Requirements: Level 8, Strength 6, Melee Weapons 45 Ranks: 1

All Melee Weapons (except thrown) and Unarmed attacks have a chance of knocking your target down.

In the original guide, I was rather dismissive of this perk-it wasn't easy to do both melee and ranged with a limited number of skill points, after all. In the Ultimate Edition, however, we can-and will-become great at everything. It's simple enough to gun everything down with the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle and .308 JSP Ammo, and it's still my prefered method of dealing with most things. Still, in some of the expansions, you're rather limited by what you can carry with you. Intead of getting Pack Rat to carry twice as much ammo, I opt for a full melee build. It kills the critters that are too weak to bother wasting precious ammo on, and it allows me to be more versatile. This perk shines with a melee build-it's much better that Paralyzing Palm, since it always has a chance to work, and it works very often. Many times you can risk going toe-to-toe with foes somewhat secure in the knowledge that there's a decent chance you'll simply knock them down. It's a great melee perk.

Terrifying Presence

Requirements: Level 8, Speech 70 Ranks: 1

In some conversations, you gain the ability to initiate combat while terrifying a mob of opponents, sending them fleeing for safety.

Seriously? Do I even have to discuss this one? Ah, I guess there are.. uh.. some second generation mutants out there who might not understand when suck rears its ugly head. Okay, how often will this help you against Cazadors, Super Mutants, and Deathclaws? What's that? Never? Okay then. You don't need to scare off NPCs, they tend to be weak enough.

Tribal Wisdom

Requirements: Level 8, Survival 70 Ranks: 1

Your limbs take 50% less damage from Animals, Mutated Animals, and Mutated Insects, you gain +25% resistance to Poison Damage, and can eat Mutated Insects when you're in Sneak mode.

Who really cares about limb damage? Seriously? Poison Resistance also sucks, since you'll get the Cardiac Arrest or Heartless perks for free. Finally, eating dead bugs is the equivalent of the Cannibal perk.. which also sucks. It doesn't heal much. If you want to eat crap from dead enemies, get the 'Them's Good Eatin' perk, instead.

Level 10 Perks

And Stay Back

Requirements: Level 10, Guns 70 Ranks: 1

You've discovered a Shotgun technique that has a chance to knock an enemy back.

This perk causes enemies to get knocked down when you shoot them with a shotgun. Its usefulness varies on what you shoot with it-Death Claws and Super Mutants seem to be all but helpless against this perk, but other critters I tested it on-humans, for example-were very rarely affected.. not that it mattered, since they're too weak to care about. This is a good helping perk if you love shotguns, and if you got the Shotgun Surgeon perk, you should definitely get this one, too. Me, I'd rather just go with Super Slam. It works on ALL unarmed and melee attacks, not just a subset of one weapon category.

Animal Friend

Requirements: Level 10, Charisma 6, Survival 45 Ranks 2

At the first rank of this perk, animals simply won't attack. At the second rank, they will eventually come to your aid in combat, but never against another animal.

Even though Yao Guai make their New Vegas appearance in the 'Honest Hearts' expansion, I still maintain that getting a perk to pacify wasteland critters is less effective than just putting a few bullets through them. Still, now that there are some strong foes that might be affected by it, it's a little less useless. Not less useless enough to make me give it two stars, but still. Plus, where are you going to get five more SPECIAL points to put into Charisma for this perk?

Fight the Power!

Requirements: Level 10 Ranks: 1

You've had enough of the so-called "authorities" pushing poor folks around! You gain +2 Damage Threshold and +5% Critical Hit Chance against anyone wearing the faction armro of the NCR, Legion, or Brotherhood.

I'd make a direct comparison to Sneering Imperialist, save the fact that this perk just give better bonuses, even though it's just as selective with its affected foes. The Damage Threshold and Critical Chance certainly outshines the accuracy and damage of Sneering Imperialist, and some of these faction folks can actually be somewhat strong.. nothing strong enough to survive a well-placed Sniper Rifle round, but still, pretty strong. I'd still suggest picking perks that are a little less discriminating.


Requirements: Level 10 Ranks: 1

With the Finesse perk you have a higher chance to score a critical hit on an opponent in combat, equivalent to 5 extra points of Luck.

An extra 5% chance to critically hit sure fits into my game plan. Actually, I can't imagine anybody not having a use for an extra 5% chance to critical. I'd rather take a sure damage increase any day, but this is still a good perk. Think of it this way, taking Strong Back is good because it gives you the best part of having five points of Strength. Finesse does pretty much the same thing, but with Luck, a far superior attribute. Again, if you get perks like Better Criticals, this perk becomes that much more useful.

Here and Now

Requirements: Level 10 Ranks: 1

The Here and Now perk immediately grants an additional experience level, complete with all the advantages that brings.

Or you could just level up like normal. If you're like me, you hit level 50 well before you finished the game. This is a waste of a perk.

Math Wrath

Requirements: Level 10, Science 70 Ranks: 1

You are able to optimize your Pip-Boy's V.A.T.S. logic, reducing all AP costs by 10%

In Fallout 3 this would have been a killer perk. In New Vegas, V.A.T.S. is less important.. However, it seems that I was wrong about the relative usefulness of this perk. Originally I had pointed out that with Action Boy you'll get 15 extra Action Points.. which is almost certainly better than the 10% reduction in Action Points. Except for one thing; it takes longer for you to regenerate those 15 points from Action Boy, whereas with Math Wrath, you get a reduction to Action Point costs (which is just as good as an increase in Action Points) but with no actual overall increase in Action Points-and hence, no more points that you actually have to regenerate. I'll directly quote an email I received from one John Mickey:

"Action Boy gives +15 AP, true, but the advantage of Math Wrath is that it still takes the same amount of time to fully recover AP; wouldn't the larger number of AP given by Action Boy result in a longer recharge? According to fallout.wikia.com: "A character will take 16.66 seconds to recover their AP bar to full regardless of their AP total, unless their AP is modified by perks. It should be noted that AP gained through perks do NOT count towards regeneration rate. Therefore a player with 115 AP, 30 of which were gained through Action Boy perks, would actually take over 23 seconds to fully recover their AP bar. Furthermore, the perk Nerves of Steel decreases this regeneration period by 20%, to a potential minimum recovery period of 13.33 seconds." So while Math Wrath provides fewer APs, it allows the player to use VATS more often by waiting less after a drain. So with Action Boy you get basically get to use the perk once per encounter, at the beginning, since it's unlikely that you'll be able to wait enough for your AP to recharge into that extra amount; with Math Wrath it's possible to utilize the perk's advantage more than once per encounter because it increases the amount of actions within the base recharge time. Anyway, just thought I'd throw out a counterargument."

So.. long story short, I was wrong about Math Wrath-it's still not a great perk, but it is better than Action Boy, and with the Ultimate Edition... it's actually worth considering.

Miss Fortune

Requirements: Level 10, Luck 6 Ranks: 1

Just when your enemies think they have the upper hand, Miss Fortune appears to turn their world upside down. Appearing only in V.A.T.S., she has the ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Two things about this, and it applies to Mysterious Stranger, too; the only 'luck' I want to rely on in this game is critical hits. And the fact that this perk only works in V.A.T.S., and then, unpredictably at that, makes me pass on it for something more certain.

Mister Sandman

Requirements: Level 10, Sneak 60% Ranks: 1

With the Mister Sandman perk, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the option to silently kill any human or Ghoul while they're sleeping. And, all Mister Sandman kills earn bonus XP.

First, if they're sleeping, you can probably just shoot them from a distance anyways. Second, when enemies are sleeping, they seem to have a greater ability to detect you. Hell, half the time I get detected it's by sleeping characters. Third, most enemies you'll want to kill won’t be caught sleeping, so this is mostly useful for assassinating NPCs. And finally-how much XP are you really going to be getting from this in the long run? Don't waste your perks.

Mysterious Stranger

Requirements: Level 10, Luck 6 Ranks: 1

You've gained your own personal guardian angel... armed with a fully loaded .44 Magnum. With this perk, the Mysterious Stranger will appear occasionally in V.A.T.S. mode to lend a hand, with deadly efficiency.

For the same reason that I won't use Miss Fortune, I won't use Mysterious Stranger. Sure, the extra damage in V.A.T.S. might be nice, but it can be done other, more reliable ways.

Nerd Rage!

Requirements: Level 10, Science 50, Intelligence 5 Ranks: 1

You've been pushed around long enough! With the Nerd Rage! perk, your Strength is raised to 10 and you gain +15 Damage Threshold whenever your Health drops to 20% or below.

I've actually used this perk before in New Vegas.. more for novelties' sake than for any good reason. It was fun to mess around with a character who stuck to mid-strength weapons, but once they got injured whipped out a Minigun. It wasn't horribly effective, mind you, just amusing for a spell. +15 Damage Threshold is pretty nice, but falling under 20% of your health is cutting it awful close.. I wouldn't bother with this perk, especially with the new luxuries in the Strength department afforded to us with the higher level cap and the perks from 'Old World Blues'.

Night Person

Requirements: Level 10 Ranks: 1

When the sun is down, a Night Person gains +2 to both Intelligence and Perception (up to a maximum of 10). This perk directly affects your "internal clock" and remains active both inside and outside.

The best part of this perk is the skill bonuses you'd receive from the stat increases. If you get the extra skill points from the Intelligence when you level up at night.. maybe. But still, having a bonus half of the time.. eh. I mean, it's not like it adds to your combat abilities, it lets you see threats further (at night) and gives you some extra skill points. There's better out there.

Plasma Spaz

Requirements: Level 10, Energy Weapons 70 Ranks: 1

You're just so excited about plasma that you can't (magnetically) contain yourself! The AP costs for all plasma weapons (including Plasma Grenades) are reduced by 10%.

You remember Math Wrath? Yeah, it worked for all weapons, and it was mediocore. How is a perk that only works for plasma weapons going to fare? Not so well.

Level 12 Perks


Requirements: Level 12, Perception < 10, Perception 6 Ranks: 1

You've learned to keep your senses alert to any danager. When crouched and not moving you gain a +2 to your Perception attribute to help you find enemies before they find you.

To get this perk, you need to have a Perception score of between six and ten, and it allows you to sense enemies as if you had two more points of Perception when you're crouched and not moving.


Why not get a point of Intensive Training, instead, so you'll have a point of Perception ALL the time, that gives bonuses to skills, too? Or, just drag ED-E around with you.

Fast Metabolism

Requirements: Level 12 Ranks: 1

With the Fast Metabolism perk, you gain a 20% Health bonus when using Stimpaks.

Stimpaks are cheap enough to buy, you don't need this perk.

Ghastly Scavenger

Requirements: Level 12, Cannibal Ranks: 1

With Ghastly Scavenger, when you're in Sneak mode, you gain the option to eat a Super Mutant or Feral Ghoul corpse to regain Health. Every time you feed, you lose Karma, and if the act is witnessed, it is considered a crime against nature.

Much like the Cannibal perk, this perk is only remotely useful if you're playing in Hardcore mode. Even then, this perk requires you to have Cannibal-a perk with arguable value as it is-and only works on Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls. Humans are more plentiful, and unless you're just starving away on Black Mountain, Camp Searchlight, or Vault 34, there's not really any widespread use for this perk.


Requirements: Level 12, Strength 7 Ranks: 1

Have you been working out? Weapons heavier than 10 lbs. now weigh half as much for you. (Modified weapons that drop below 10 lbs. will not gain this benefit.)

I don't know about you, but I almost never use weapons that weigh 10 lbs. or more, and in any event, how many of these weapons would you even have on you at once? One, two? Unless it were loot you grabbed from Super Mutants. In that case, doesn't have Strong Back, to give you 50 lbs. extra carrying capacity all the time, for everything, help more in the long run? I think so, and so should you.

Hit the Deck

Requirements: Level 12, Explosives 70 Ranks: 1

Your extensive familiarity with Explosives allows you to ignore a portion of their damage. Your Damage Threshold is increased by 50% against any and all Explosives--even your own.

I don't suppose this applies to the explosive corona caused by the Meltdown perk? Ah well. I can actually see this perk having its uses, albeit dependent upon your love of Explosives and your base Damage Threshold. If you use nothing but Explosives, and wear enough armor to give you.. about 30 Damage Threshold, then the frequency of friendly fire and the Damage Threshold bonus may well be worth the perk. If not, you can ignore this perk.


Requirements: Level 12, Perecpetion 7 Ranks: 1

With the Hobbler perk, your chance to hit an opponent's legs in V.A.T.S. is significantly increased.

Like Sniper, but for retards. Really. I can't be nicer than that. Going for headshots kills. Killing is better than slowing-the only benefit of which would be to kill later. The only time I shot at something's legs was when I was erroneously trying to do the 'Deathclaw Pro Hunter' 'Gun Runner's Arsenal' challenge by using Boxing Tape. I thought that with Super Slam.. anyways, it works better with a Silenced .22 Pistol.. or at least it would if stupid Obsidian would stop breaking things with their 'patches'.. Oh, uh, anyways, this perks sucks, you never need to shoot anything in the legs.

Life Giver

Requirements: Level 12, Endurance 6 Ranks: 1

With the Life Giver perk, you gain an additional 30 Hit Points.

Considering that you gain 20 hit points for a point of Endurance, this perk is pretty much on the same level as an Intensive Training perk spent on Endurance-minus the bonuses to resistances and the skills, and the ability to grab another Implant. The fact that Implants call for us to have such a high starting Endurance makes 30 extra hit points dispensable, and although it's nice, I can't see it fitting into most builds.

Long Haul

Requirements: Level 12, Barter 70, Endurance 6 Ranks: 1

You have learned how to pack mountains of gear for the Long Haul. Being over-encumbered no longer prevents you from using Fast Travel.

Sure, you might think this is nifty. After all, how wonderful would it be to just grab up all the loot you can carry and fast travel back to town? What about the implications for Hardcore mode? Hogwash. Crawling around scavenging the last few items in a room or on some corpses and then having to inch your way outside to fast travel is not a time saver. Just drop the excess and come back. Or store it on a companion. This is an illusory time saver, and unless you stored an ungodly amount of loot in a container, picked it all up, and then waddled outside to fast travel, you wouldn't be doing anything. This isn't a good perk, it's just procrastination disguised as convenience.

Piercing Strike

Requirements: Level 12, Unarmed 70 Ranks: 1

Piercing Strike makes all of your Unarmed and Melee Weapons (including thrown) negate 15 points of Damage Threshold on the target.

Ignoring 15 points of Damage Threshold is huge, even ridiculous, especially considering that many Unarmed and Melee Weapons already do good damage. Combine this with the Purifier perk and you will be able to deal with Deathclaws and Super Mutants as well as any weapon-bearing character in the game. Frankly, however, against those enemies I'd rather keep my distance. If you go melee, however, you're going to want this perk.


Requirements: Level 12, Explosives 60 Ranks: 1

With the Pyromaniac perk, you do +50% damage with fire-based weapons, like the Flamer and Shishkebab.

This is a huge damage boost that effects a small variety of weapons. Still, the Heavy Incinerator can be fun. If you use Energy Weapons, and really have the desire to use a fire-based weapon.. well, you might as well get this perk. If you don't fall into this narrow niche, ignore it. This perk is especially useful for boosting the Shiskebab melee weapon. With this perk it becomes a viable weapon for late game use.. well, as much as any melee weapon becomes, anyways. It might not be as powerful as the Super Sledge, but it is much faster. Or you could just go Unarmed and use a Displacer Glove or something. Either way.

Robotics Expert

Requirements: Level 12, Science 50 Ranks: 1

With the Robotics perk, you do an additional 25% damage to any robot. But, even better, sneaking up on a hostile robot undetected and activating it will put that robot into a permanent shutdown state.

This is still as good of a perk in Fallout: New Vegas as it was in Fallout 3, but with a few notes on the gameplay. First, it's much harder to sneak to within melee range of enemies in New Vegas. Second, there aren't nearly as many robots in the Mohave as there were in D.C., which makes this a less useful perk. Oh, also there's the Pulse Gun, which pretty much wastes robots on its own.

Silent Running

Requirements: Level 12, Agility 6, Sneak 50 Ranks: 1

With the Silent Running perk, running no longer factors into a successful sneak attempt.

Alright, let’s be honest here. In order to Sneak effectively, you need a fairly high Sneak score. However, in Fallout: New Vegas, you don't need to get within most enemies' perception range to snipe them, making Sneak less obligatory. However, if you want to sneak near an enemy, much less sneak up to them, you're going to need to be quick about it, as enemies wander around more regularly. To this end, you'll want Silent Running. If all you want Sneak for is to get within the generous sniping range, or to grab an item off a shelf, you probably don't need this perk. If you want to get closer to enemies, or to sneak past them at any decent speed, you need this perk.


Requirements: Level 12, Perception 6, Agility 6 Ranks: 1

With the Sniper perk, your chance to hit an opponent's head in V.A.T.s. is significantly increased.

If it has a head, you probably want to shoot it there for the bonus damage. If you only stick to melee attacks, or never use V.A.T.S., you can ignore this perk. If you play realistically however, this is a pretty good perk. Mind you it doesn't just cover 'sniping'. Popping a Super Mutant in the face with a few rounds of Shotgun Shells at mid range is also a good use of the Sniper perk.

Splash Damage

Requirements: Level 12, Explosives 70 Ranks: 1

When you're deep in enemy territory, you just start chucking grenades and hope for the best. All Explosives have a 25% larger area of effect.

I'm rather skeptical of all these area of effect perks.. first, it seems just as likely to hurt you as not, and second, just how many enemies are going to find clustered together? Three, or four at the most? I don't know, I'd rather just take Demolition Expert instead.

Unstoppable Force

Requirements: Level 12, Strength 7, Melee Weapons 90 Ranks: 1

Your martial might is truly legendary. You do a large amount of additional damage through enemy blocks with all Melee Weapons and Unarmed attacks.

Just how many enemies actually block in this game? Human enemies that use melee weapons, which are, as a rule of thumb, usually easy to kill. Super Mutants, Cazadors, and Deathclaws won't be blocking your attacks, so what use is this perk? And 90 Melee Weapons? Even a dedicated melee fighter can ignore this perk.

Level 14 Perks

Adamantium Skeleton

Requirements: Level 14 Ranks: 1

With the Adamantium Skeleton perk, your limbs only receive 50% of the damage they normally would.

If you are playing in normal mode, laugh at this perk-laugh at it and stick yourself with a Stimpak, you lucky bastard. On the other hand, this perk started to seem slightly less useless in Hardcore Mode, during the expansions, with my Small Frame build.. And then I remembered I wasn't retarded, made some Healing Poultices, and forgot about this perk again.

Center of Mass

Requirements: Level 16, Guns 70 Ranks: 1

You don't fool around with fancy trick shots. Straight to the midsection and down they go. In V.A.T.S., you do an extra 15% damage with attacks targeting the torso.

15% is nice and all, but note the 'in V.A.T.S.' line. Also keep in mind that headshots tend to deal more damage.. if you're close enough to pull off a V.A.T.S. shot with some expectation of success, you're probably close enough to go for the head.


Requirements: Level 14, Medicine 60 Ranks: 1

With the Chemist perk, any chems you take last twice as long.

First, it should be stated that the 'any chems' here is bogus. In Hardcore Mode, all restoratives work over time-and this perk will NOT make Super Stimpaks, Stimpaks, and RadAway work 'twice as long'. So if you're hoping it'll double the healing, you're hoping in vain. Once we realise that, there's seemingly only one use for this perk-extending the coverage of Rad-X. Rad-X is the only chem I tend to use with any regularity, but it's not so rare that I can't just pop another one to keep me from glowing, and there are always Radiation Suits for when we have to walk into the fire. There is, however, one instance when this perk might be handy-if you plan to invest in the Implant GRX perk, you should consider Chemist, as it'll double the duration of the effect.

Jury Rigging

Requirements: Level 14, Repair 90 Ranks: 1

You possess the amazing ability to repair any item using a roughly similar item. Fix a Trail Carbine with a Hunting Rifle, a Plasma Defender with a Laser Pistol, or even Power Armor with Metal Armor. How does it work? Nobody knows... except you.

Originally I gave this perk a mediocore three-star rating, despite how useful it is (and despite how ardently people advocated for it). In a 15 perk game, it's just not a priority.. not when I can wait a few days, kill some Super Mutants, and pay for repairs.. and then steal the Caps back later. In the Ultimate Edition, however, there are fewer perk pressures, and more need for this perk. There are plenty of new items in the expansions that won't be found in the Mohave.. and unique versions of those items that you might want to use. Also, the expansions tend to force you to travel light, and restrict you from going back to the Mohave.. and lets just say that they tend to be light on merchants who will repair your stuff, and who wants to sell off all that new expansion loot simply to repair your gear? This perk saves you money, and eliminates hassle in a big way-it's comparable to the Them's Good Eatin' perk, especially for Hardcore Mode players.. and it's not an exaggeration to say that keeping your arms and armor in good condition is just as good as healing. Repair Joshua Graham's Armor with any old Pre-War clothes you find, or keep the Gobi in shape by fixing it with parts from various-less godly-guns.

Light Step

Requirements: Level 14, Perception 6, Agility 6 Ranks: 1

With the Light Step perk, you'll never set off an enemy's mines or floor-based traps.

Land mines are pretty common. Fortunately, they're also obvious, they don't do a huge amount of damage-in the grand scheme of things, and you can disarm them with a simple button click. Not only that, you get experience and the mine itself when you do! Be observant, and you wont need this perk.


Requirements: Level 14 Ranks: 1

As a purifier of the wasteland, you do +50% damage with Melee and Unarmed weapons against Centaurs, Nightstalkers, Spore Plants, Spore Carriers, Deathclaws, Super Mutants, and Feral Ghouls.

This perk seems somewhat obvious-after all, +50% is a huge damage boost, and the enemies this effects are bad news. On the other hand, most of these critters are such bad news, that I still suggest-with Piercing Strike, Super Slam, Slayer, and this perk, that you don't go toe-to-toe with a Deathclaw. They can still kill you in several hits, regardless of how fast you can kill them, and if there's more than one of them, you will probably get hit a few times. Why fight fire with fire when you have.. say.. the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle (aka, the Finger of God)? Also, Centaurs are always weak, Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls are managable without this perk, and when you become immune to poison (courtesy of 'Old World Blues') you'll laugh at Nightstalkers. That really only leaves Deathclaws as worthy of consideration (Spore critters are too rare to care about) and.. well, don't fisticuffs with something called a Deathclaw seems a good rule of thumb. You have guns for that.

Level 16 Perks

Action Boy/Girl

Requirements: Level 16, Agility 6 Ranks: 2

With the Action Boy/Girl perk, you gain an additional 15 Action Points to use in V.A.T.S.

Action Boy/Girl has been split into two ranks, radically diminishing the effectiveness of this perk. On top of that, you have LESS perks with which to choose from, further exacerbating the situation. If that wasn't enough, having a high Action Point total isn't as useful in New Vegas. All of these conditions add up to one conclusion: you can look elsewhere for your V.A.T.S. perks.

Better Criticals

Requirements: Level 16, Perception 6, Luck 6 Ranks: 1

With the Better Criticals perk, you gain a 50% damage bonus every time a critical hit is scored on an opponent.

Your critical chance is determined by your Luck-1 point of Luck equals a 1% chance of landing a critical hit. This doesn't increase your chance of landing a critical hit, instead Better Criticals improves the damage you deal when you do land a critical hit. Therefore the usefulness of this perk is directly related to how high your luck is. With sneak attack criticals, the Sniper perk, or the Finesse perk, Better Criticals becomes greatly useful, but it really depends on your build. No character is hurt by having high luck however, so it stands to suggest that most characters could benefit greatly from this perk.. And since you need a Luck score of 6 for this perk, if you can get it, you might as well. This perk is especially useful for players who have the Laser Commander perk, for obvious reasons.

Chem Resistant

Requirements: Level 16, Medicine 60 Ranks: 1

Having the Chem Resistant perk means you're 50% less likely to develop an addiction to chems, like Psycho or Jet.

First, why you would ever need to use Psycho or Jet is beyond me. Secondly, addiction isn't a big deal. You can always get your addiction cured at a hospital, or you could just reload. If doubling the duration of chems didn't appeal to you, this shouldn't either.


Requirements: Level 16, Energy Weapon 90 Ranks: 1

Meltdown causes foes killed by your Energy Weapons to give off a corona of harmful energy. Note: this can cause a chain reaction.

Another Energy Weapons perk, this one is more of a general perk, as it applies to all Energy Weapons, rather than either lasers or plasma weapons. I can't question the power of Energy Weapons, but I can and will question the usefulness of this perk. Seeing enemies explode into a corona of energy when they die is awful fun, but the explosion has a fairly short radius, although it can do good damage. The bad part is that you can catch yourself in this blast, making it a hassle any time an enemy gets close to you in combat. Sure "Don't let them get close", yeah, whatever. In any event, blowing yourself up is not fun, and this perk doesn't make energy weapons exceptionally more powerful. On top of that, there's not all that many situations in which you'll find enough enemies close together to cause a useful explosion, much less a chain reaction. It's slight usefulness is offset by the hassle of having to keep away from enemies to avoid catching yourself in the blast.


Requirements: Level 16 Ranks: 1

The Tag! perk allows you to select a fourth Skill to be a Tag skill, which instantly raises it by 15 points.

Skill points are good, I think we can all agree with that. But there is a limit. A 15 point skill perk is arguably less useful than Comprehension.. even if you don't find 15 skill books, and it is certainly less useful than Educated, which can give up to 92 skill points. Sure, I like skill points, but I won't sacrifice a perk for such a small return.

Weapon Handling

Requirements: Level 16, Strength < 10 Ranks: 1

Weapon Strength Requirements are now 2 points lower than normal for you.

Strength isn't a great attribute.. in fact, the only reason I bother with it at all is because you NEED to have Strength to use weapons effectively. This perk gives you, essentially, two points of Strength. Or at least the better benefits of having two Strength. In the Ultimate Edition, the 'Old World Blues' expansion increases your Strength by one or two points, and since you have more levels-hence more skill points, Intelligence is less useful.. a few points from Intelligence can (and in my build, does) boost your Strength score.. since I'll hit a natural eight Strength anyways, what do I ever need this perk for?

Level 18 Perks

Computer Whiz

Requirements: Level 18, Intelligence 7, Science 70 Ranks: 1

Fail a hack attempt and get locked out of a computer? Not if you're a Computer Whiz! With this perk, you can attempt to re-hack any computer you were previously locked out of.

Words can hardly describe how useless this perk is. Okay, yes they can. This perk is damn near worthless. A 10 skill point perk seems fantastic by comparison. Here's a way to get the benefits of this perk without wasting your perk pick on it: before you hack a computer, save. If you get locked out, reload. Bam, no need for this perk. And considering 90% of the computers you encounter in this game lock a door (which you can pick) or disable turrets (which you can destroy) there's no great fear of getting locked out of a terminal in any case. Don’t waste your perk.

Concentrated Fire

Requirements: Level 18, Energy Weapons 60, Guns 60 Ranks: 1

With Concentrated Fire, your accuracy to hit any body part in V.A.T.S. increases slightly with each subsequent hit on that body part.

If you've been paying attention, you'll know that most of the time taking more shots in V.A.T.S. at one time is a bad thing. You know, the sitting duck thing? This isn't an issue if you're up on a ledge sniping, but then again, you don't really need that much accuracy in that case. Point is, you won't be taking as many consecutive shots in V.A.T.S. in this game, meaning you don't need this perk, even if you use a fast weapon. Also, the accuracy percentage in V.A.T.S. is a filthy stinking liar in this game. I've become accustomed to sniping enemies from long distances and popping their heads with a 20%~ or lower accuracy. It works so often, I EXPECT it to hit, almost regardless of the percentage I see.


Requirements: Level 18, Perception 7, Lockpick 70 Ranks: 1

With Infiltrator, if a lock is broken, and can't normally be picked again, you can attempt to pick it again one more time. This includes locks previously broken by a "Force Lock" attempt.

This perk sucks for the same reason Computer Whiz sucks. Why anybody would be forcing locks in the first place is a mystery, and if you are going to bother forcing locks, why wouldn't you save first? Save and reload, and save a perk.

Paralyzing Palm

Requirements: Level 18, Unarmed 70 Ranks: 1

With Paralyzing Palm, you will sometimes perform a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. V.A.T.S. palm strike for 30 seconds. Note that in order to perform the Paralyzing Palm, you must be completely unarmed.

Paralyzing Palm was the great unequalizer in Fallout 3.. but that was back when V.A.T.S. kept you safe from reprisal. In Fallout: New Vegas, running into a pack of Deathclaws and hoping for a Paralyzing Palm to even the odds is tantamount to committing suicide. Also, in New Vegas, enemies just don't have as much health.. most critters you'll fight won't take that much abuse, unlike the absurdly strong Super Mutant Overlords from the last game. In the end.. I just don't think it's necessary, even if you are going for a melee-strong build.

Walker Instinct

Requirements: Level 18, Survival 50 Ranks: 1

Your sense have become so keen that you can feel the slightest vibration in the ground. You gain +1 Perception and Agility attributes while outside.

...Or you can pick Intensive Training and have one of those attributes all the time. Perception and Agility aren't hugely important SPECIAL Attributes, and my build started out with as much as I'll ever need. I'm not enticed by a few bonus points half the time.

Level 20 Perks


Requirements: Level 20, Endurance 6 Ranks: 1

With the Atomic! perk, you are 25% faster and strong whenever you are basking in the warm glow of radiation. Outside irradiated areas, your Action Points (AP) regenerate faster and faster the higher your level of radiation sickness becomes.

I generally try to avoid getting irradiated, personally, so these perks have very low appeal for me. Nerves of Steel regenerates your Action Points faster all the time, and as for the hot-zone bonuses.. well, radiation isn't as common as you might think. Most fights will take place outside of irradiated areas, so why bother?


Requirements: Level 20 Ranks: 1

When you choose the Explorer perk, every location in the world is revealed on your map. So get out there and explore!

You can find all the areas on the map by yourself. You even get little icons that will guide you to them when you're close. Along the way, you'll get to explore the wasteland, which is the meat of the game. You'll find skill books, get experience, and find loot. Also, it must be noted that this perk doesn't make your character stronger in any way. Download a world map and search for places yourself, save yourself a perk.

Eye For Eye

Requirements: Level 20 Ranks: 1

For each crippled limb you have, you do an additional 10% damage.

A flat 10% damage bonus is pretty nice, and with Small Frame, I'm somewhat prone to having crippled limbs. Still, it's something I generally try to avoid, and the slow movement from having crippled legs, the loss of accuracy from crippled arms, and the loss of vision from having a crippled head offset the damage bonus, as far as I'm concerned. Plus, some of the better perks in 'Old World Blues' make your head and torso immune to crippling, reducing the potential of this perk by a great bit.

Grim Reaper's Sprint

Requirements: Level 20 Ranks: 1

If you kill a target in V.A.T.S., 20 Action Points are restored upon exiting V.A.T.S.

V.A.T.S. has been reduced in this game, and so has Grim Reaper's Sprint. Still, it's not abysmal. In the grand scheme of things it's better to take fewer, safer, smarter shots in V.A.T.S. With this perk you can finish off an enemy in V.A.T.S. and recharge your AP a bit. You'll do most of your fighting outside of V.A.T.S., certainly, but popping an enemy in the head with a Brush Gun at the right time can be a very effective way to exterminate threats and thin the crowd.. and with Grim Reaper's Sprint you can manage to do this somewhat often.

Mile in Their Shoes

Requirements: Level 20, Survival 25 Ranks: 1

You have come to understand Nightstalkers. Consuming Nighstalker Squeezin's now grants bonuses to Perception (+1 PER), Poison Resistance (+5) and stealth (+5 Sneak) in addition to the normal benefits.

Night Stalkers are uncommon outside of the the 'Old World Blues' DLC, so having a constant supply of... heh... Squeezin's.. is probably not going to be likely. Also, Perception isn't great, Poison Resistance is useless (due to the Cardiac Arrest/Heartless perks), and you should be able to max your Sneak skill, making the... heh... Squeezin's.. redundant in any case.


Requirements: Level 20, Sneak 80, Melee Weapons 80 Ranks: 1

The Ninja perk grants you the power of the fabled shadow warriors. When attacking with either Melee or Unarmed, you gain a +15% critical chance on every strike. Sneak attack criticals do 25% more damage than normal.

This perk seems like it's golden if you look at what it promises.. However, it only really shines if you're a melee character, whether Unarmed or Melee Weapons, as the sneak attack critical damage only works for melee attacks. In Fallout 3, this was great (even if the critical hit rate is buggy) but in New Vegas.. it's very hard to sneak up on something to be able to attack it in melee. As for the bug mentioned earlier-according to contributors (and confirmed by the wiki), the +15% critical chance isn't added to your base critical hit chance, instead what you get is a 1.15 multiplier to your current critical hit chance. So, with a critical hit chance of 20% (say 10 Luck, Finesse, and Light Touch, not counting any V.A.T.S. or weapons bonuses) you'd end up with a 23% critical chance with this perk-not nearly as good as the promised +15%. While it aspires to be an epic perk, it just falls laughably short.

Solar Powered

Requirements: Level 20, Endurance 7 Ranks: 1

With the Solar Powered perk, you gain an additional 2 points to Strength when in direct sunlight, and slowly regenerate lost Health.

As tempting as two points of Strength are, I'd rather have two points all the time from Weapon Handling, and just buy the regeneration Implant.

hem's Good Eatin'

Requirements: Level 20, Survival 55 Ranks: 1

Any living creature you kill has a 50% chance to have the potent healing items Thin Red Paste or Blood Sausage when looted.

Alright, first off, if you're not playing in Hardcore mode, ignore this perk. You have Stimpaks, you don't need it. Now that we've got that out of the way.. this perk is actually fairly interesting for Hardcore gamers. The drop rates are fairly generous-it says 50%, but there's a chance that enemies will drop two or three of one of the items, and the healing from both items is pretty damn significant-for Blood Sausage it's HP +15(20s) and for Thin Red Paste it's HP +7(30s). Compare that to a Stimpak's HP +15(6s) and.. well.. it's pretty good healing, even if you have to wait a bit to get the full effects (which we're used to doing in Hardcore mode anyways). The end result? If you're not completely incompetent at combat and fighting living creatures, there's a good chance you'll get full-healing after each fight. These items can also be used as crafting components to make even more powerful healing items, but other components aren't as easy to get, so I'm just fine using them as I find them. They also sell for a good bit-125 Caps for the Thin Red Paste and 175 Caps for the Blood Sausage, although money is never a good reason to select a perk. Overall? It's an interesting and often useful healing perk for Hardcore players, although with a high Medicine score you'll do just fine with Stimpaks-especially by level 20, when you can finally get this perk.

Rating: ***

Level 22-28 Perks

Irradiated Beauty

Requirements: Level 22, Endurance 8 Ranks: 1

Any time you sleep, you remove all of your Rads in addition to regaining all of your Health. (In Hardcore Mode, you still don't regain health, but you lose 100 Rads.)

This seems fairly intriguing for Hardcore Mode.. until you remember that you have RadAway. And Doctors. And the Auto-Doc in the Sink. The only time this is ever really an issue is in the Dead Money expansion, and the radiation there is entirely managable without spending a perk.

Laser Commander

Requirements: Level 22, Energy Weapons 90 Ranks: 1

From the humble Laser Pistol to the might Gatling Laser, you do 15% more damage and have +10% chance to critically hit with any laser weapon.

If you decided to use Energy Weapons, you might want this perk. Lasers are generally weaker than plasma weapons, but the bonuses from this perk do a good bit to close the gap. Turn your Tri-Beam Laser Rifle into a destructive force! Okay, seriously, no laser weapon will become so strong from this perk that it will easily overcome the Damage Thresholds of stronger enemies, but the bonuses are nice, nonetheless. Especially with Gatling Lasers, which do little damage per hit, but fire fast.. the more chances you have of each little laser dealing critical damage, the better off you're going to be. Still, seriously think about the damage that most laser weapons are doing before getting this perk. At 15%, you're looking at an increase of a couple of points, at best. Pick it for the crits, not for the damage boost.

Nuka Chemist

Requirements: Level 22, Science 90 Ranks: 1

You have unraveled some of the greatest mysteries of Pre-War masters: formulas for developing special Nuka-Colas! This perk unlocks special Nuka-Cola recipes at the Workbench.

I've not been impressed by workbench-related perks yet, so why would I be impressed by this? Simply put, I wouldn't. You can make Nuka-Cola Quartz, Nuka-Cola Victory, and Ice-Cold Nuka-Cola.. all of which are novelties, but not great items in their own right. There simply aren't enough perks for this kind of profligacy.

Spray and Pray

Requirements: Level 22 Ranks: 1

Your attacks do much less damage to companions, allowing you to liberally spray an area with reckless abandon.

I've frankly never had a problem with killing my own companions. Maybe I'm just more careful? Or maybe I use long-ranged weapons that call for precision, and not reckless abandon? If you're in Hardcore mode, there is more call for this perk.. If you use temperamental weapons, anyways.

Voracious Reader

Requirements: Level 22, Intelligence 7 Ranks: 1

You don't just read books, you tear into them. Damaged books you pick up become blank magazines, which you can use to copy your existing skill books at a workbence (or convert blank magazines back to books).

Alright, you pick up useless books, and they become Blank Magazines. Sure. Then you take whatever skill magazines you have to a Workbench and with these Blank Magazines (and some Wonderglue!) turn them into new skill magazines. The only problem? I plan to max all my skills out at 100, hence, I won't need any more magazines ever. And by the time I'm level 22, I already 1) have plenty of skill magazines ready for when I need them and 2) have most of the more important skills up to decent levels already. Nobody needs this perk, and only because Nobody is notoriously stupid.


Requirements: Level 24, Unarmed 90, Agility 7 Ranks: 1

The slayer walks the earth! The speed of all Melee Weapons and Unarmed attacks is increased by 30%.

Ah.. Good old Slayer, returned to us in a different form in New Vegas. If you use Melee Weapons or Unarmed, you must pick this perk. It increases your damage output by 30%. What more is there to say? If you don't use Melee Weapons or Unarmed attacks, ignore this perk.

Lessons Learned

Requirements: Level 26, Intelligence 6 Ranks: 1

The wasteland has taught you some hard lessons, but you've remembered them all. You gain +1% to earned experience per level gained. (For example, +25% experience at level 25.)

Yeah, I love how they give an example of the perk in action at a level where you can't possibly have this perk. Let that set the stage for the butt-nuttery of this perk. It's like Swift Learner, except you have to wait until there is much more perk competition to pick it, and you're already halfway done leveling. What's more fun is the absolute stupidity of the fact that the stronger this perk gets, the less you need it. I wipe my ass with this perk.

Nerves of Steel

Requirements: Level 26, Agility 7 Ranks: 1

With the Nerves of Steel perk, you regenerate Action Points much more quickly than you normally would.

As I've already stated, the best defense in New Vegas is a good offense. Or failing that, high ground the enemy can't reach and a superior ranged weapon. When using V.A.T.S. it's often better to take fewer shots as the situation presents itself. To this end, regenerating more Action Point is better than having more to spend at once, which makes Nerves of Steel a better perk choice than, say, Action Boy.

Tunnel Runner

Requirements: Level 26, Agility 8 Ranks: 1

The warrens of The Divide have taught you to keep your head down. Your movement speed is greatly increased while sneaking in light armor.

If you have the Stealth Armor MK II from the 'Old World Blues' expansion, don't you already move pretty fast while sneaking? Also, doesn't the Travel Light perk allow you to move faster in light armor all of the time? Am I missing something here? Oh no, wait, there it is- it sucks.

Rad Absorption

Requirements: Level 28, Endurance 7 Ranks: 1

With the Rad Absorption perk, your radiation level slowly decreases on its own over time.

You always have RadAway and Rad-X to deal with high radiation, and when minor exposure finally starts to wear on you, you can always take a trip to see a doctor. 100 Caps is much easier than wasting a perk.

Roughin' It

Requirements: Level 28, Survival 100 Ranks: 1

You're more at home under the open stars than under a roof. Any time you sleep outside, you gain the benefits of being Well Rested, even if you don't own the bed.

I would hit this perk with a righteous torrent of vicious name-calling that so many perks deserve, but there actually is a use for this perk.. albeit in Hardcore Mode, and it's more of a matter of convenience than anything else. There are two types of beds in the game-beds you 'own' that give the Well-Rested bonus (hotel rooms, safehouse beds, the bed in the Sink, etc.) These heal you fully-no bullshit. Limb condition and everything. The fact that they give the Well-Rested bonus is inconsequential. The other types of beds are unowned beds, which pretty much covers the majority of sleeping opportunities. These beds are no better for you that simply waiting-you'll only heal if you have the Monocyte Breeder Implant, and a small amount at that, and you will recover no limb condition what-so-ever. For Hardcore Mode gamers, this perk changes EVERY bed out in the wastelands into an 'owned' bed. Every time you find a place to sleep, you can instantly recover all your lost Health and limb condition for a mere hour of time. Still, it's not too much work to find a doctor to patch you up in most cases, and failing that, bring Doctor's Bags and/or Healing Poultices. Also, there is obviously no combat value to this perk whatsoever. For normal mode characters, this perk is absolutely useless. For not being entirely worthless.. I'll put this perk in the two-star category.

Level 30+ Perks

Implant GRX

Requirements: Level 30, Endurance 8 Ranks: 2

You gain a non-addictive subdermal Turbo (chem) injector. This perk may be taken twice, with the second rank increasing the effect from 2 to 3 seconds and the uses per day from 5 to 10. [Activated in the Pip-Boy inventory.]

Implant GRX is NOT a bad perk, it just has bad interface. Turbo is a pretty handy chem, and although you could simply carry some around, it's much more convenient to have this perk. If you get this perk, however, you should plan to exploit it fully-get both ranks, and get the 'Chemist' perk. The duration of 2-3 seconds means 2-3 seconds of real time, which will be slowed down. Your actual effects will be greater. It can make some tough fights easier, but it's not entirely without fault. First, it takes three perks to get the best out of it. Second, I prefer sniping as my primary means of expressing death-don't really need to slow down time to pull off a quick V.A.T.S. assisted head-shot. Third, and most damningly as far as I'm concerned, you can only activate this implant via your Pip-Boy. You can't hotkey the effect, which makes using this perk as a combat aid very tedious. For me, the game already crashes enough that I don't need to tempt it further by bringing up the Pip-Boy screen every fight.

Broad Daylight

Requirements: Level 36 Ranks: 1

You're so sneaky that you can sneak even with your Pip-Boy light on! Any time the Pip-Boy light is on, you gain a sneak bonus to offset the light's sneak penalty.

So.. you can see in the immediate area around you and keep your stealth the same as if you were in darkness? As one awesome guy to another somewhat less awesome guy or gal, let me inform you that you can find a helmet that give you night vision in the 'Old World Blues' expansion. Also let me inform you that it doesn't matter-this perk would still be full of folly. You'll be fine, sneak in the darkness.

Certified Tech

Requirements: Level 40 Ranks: 1

Your knowledge of robotic components allows you to break them more easily and salvage their mechanical corpses. You have a +25% chance to score critical hits against robots, and you'll also find more useful components on robots you destroy.

More components are good, but it's no reason to get a perk. On the other hand, the +25% chance to score critical hits is pretty nice.. but I'd rather have the brute +25% damage from Robotics Expert. Also, outside of 'Old World Blues' robotic foes are uncommon.

Ain't Like That Now

Requirements: Level 50 Ranks: 1

Maybe you were bad once, but you ain't like that now. Your Karma has been reset to 0, you regenerate AP 25% faster, and your attack speed is increased by 20%. You are also immune to critical hits. (Requires Bad Karma.)

What can you say about this perk? It's like Nerves of Steel with some Slayer added in, and immunity to critical hits for good measure. I'll admit, I'm rather offensive-minded in this game, and this satisfies both my melee needs (attack speed) and sniping needs (faster Action Point regeneration = more shots in V.A.T.S.) I purposefully stole until I tanked my Karma to get this perk.

Just Lucky I'm Alive

Requirements: Level 50 Ranks: 1

You've had lots of close calls. Whenever you finish a fight with less than 25% Health, your Luck increases by +4 for 3 minutes. You are also immune to critical hits, and your own critical hits inflict +50% damage.

Although this is probably the least impressive of the three level 50 perks, the fact that it gives you +50% critical damage (equal to Better Criticals) is win enough. The Luck bonus sucks-first, my Luck is high already, and I generally try to AVOID getting that injured. Being immune to critical hits is just a staple of level 50 perks. Even though Better Criticals got itself a five-star rating, it wasn't competing with two other perks that had merit over it. Also.. there's only so much critical damage you need. Very few things survive the critical touch of Gobi. That's why it's the Finger of God.. and by God I mean Zeus, because he's cooler.

Thought You Died

Requirements: Level 50 Ranks: 1

Your storied past has fallen from memory 'cause everybody thought you died. Your Karma is reset, you inflict +10% damage, and for every 100 points of Karma, you gain 10 Health. You are also immune to critical hits.

First, a brute +10% damage bonus is pretty awesome. Second, be sure to boost your Karma to the max before getting this perk-the 10 Health per 100 points of Karma is apparently a permanent boost you get when you pick this perk-view it as trading Karma for Health. Since you can get a maximum of 1000 Karma, that's 100 points of Health, which is no lean bit of Health. The critical hit immunity is obligatory for these perks.

This is a balanced offense/defense perk, and really, it's twice as good as Bloody Mess, and three times better than Life Giver... with immunity to critical hits thrown in. I prefer the all-out, all the time offense of 'Ain't Like That Now', but I can't ignore goodness when I see it.

Additional Perks

Additional perks are quest-based or challenge-base perks that you get for completing specific quests and challenges. Some quest-based perks may be missable, and obviously if you don't buy a certain Implant, you won't get the related perk. Challenge-based perks unlock automatically when you meet the conditions.. usually killing so many of a certain type of enemy, or inflicting a certain amount of damage with a certain weapon.

Since there are all 'free' perks that can be earned, I won't bother rating them-there's no real selection pressure for most of these, hence, there's no such thing as a 'bad' additional perk. There are, however, some that are quite fantastic, which can affect real perks, and even our build as a whole. For example, Reinforced Spine gives you a +2 bonus to Strength, meaning you'll never need more than a base of eight Strength (or seven, if you get the implant). Also, Heartless makes you immune to poison-which significantly reduces the threat you'll face from Cazadores and Nightstalkers. It's almost unfair to get such great perks for free.. but you don't hear me not complaining.


Kill 50/100/150 Abominations (Deathclaws, Centaurs, etc.) and you'll get this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Agility Implant

Buy the Agility Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Agility (4,000 Caps).

Animal Control

Kill 50/100/150 Animals (Bighorners, Coyotes, Geckos, etc.) and you'll get this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Beautiful Beatdown

Inflict 10,000 damage with Unarmed weapons to obtain this perk, which reduces the AP Cost of Unarmed attacks in V.A.T.S.

Better Healing

While Arcade is a companion, the player gains more health from all sources.

Big Brained [Old World Blues]

Complete the quest 'Old World Blues' and reunite with your brain to get this perk. Your head cannot be crippled anymore, you are 10% more resistant to chem addiction, and your have an improved Damage Threshold of +10% (minimum of +1). This perk replaces Brainless.

Brainless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old World Blues' expansion to get this perk. While you have it, it'll prevent your head from getting crippled, give you +25% resistance to chem addiction and a +5% bonus to Damage Threshold (minimum of 1).

Bug Stomper

Kill 50/100/150 Animals (Giant Ants, Radscorpians, etc.) and you'll get this perk, which increases your damage against this class of enemy. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Camarader-E [Lonesome Road]

As you find 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Boards' in the Divide, ED-E's capabilities will upgrade, giving you higher ranks in this perk. The bonuses provided by each rank are as follows:

Rank 1: Weapon Condition Bonus (daily 25% weapon condition repair dialogue) Rank 2: Energy Cell Manufacture (daily Energy or Microfusion Cell creation dialogue option). Rank 3: Increased DT (+2 DT). Rank 4: Damage Bonus (+5 beam weapon damage). Rank 5: V.A.T.S. Attack Bonus (+5% V.A.T.S. targeting)

The locations of these upgrades are as follows:

Hopetown - Hopeville Missile Silo From the entrance, head east into a large room. Go into the hallway to the north (through a door with a 'REACTOR' sign near it) and on the ground near the 'Hydraulics Access Level Three' terminal you'll find a 'Destroyed Eyebot', upon which you'll find an 'Eyebot Upgrade Circult Board'.

Hopetown - Hopeville Missile Base HQ From the entrance, head north into a hallway, then enter the first northern room to the east. There's a 'Destroyed Eyebot' under a desk in the north-eastern corner of the room.

The High Road - Ashton Missile Silo At the 'Ashton Silo Control Station' area, take the lift down to the Ashton Control Silo. Go through a door to the south-east and into the launch-deck level one room-the huge hole in the center of the room should be a dead-giveaway. Head across the catwalks to the south-eastern side of the room and hack a terminal [Hard] to open the nearby door. In the room beyond, on the floor, you'll find another 'Destroyed Eyebot'. Loot it for another 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Board'.

The Divide From the Cave of the Abaddon, turn south and explore in that direction. Between two ruined buildings to the east you'll see a warhead that can be detonated. Blow it up and explore the rubble where it was to find a 'Destroyed Eyebot', which contains another 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Board'.

The Divide - Municipal Sewers Reach the Municipal Sewers by head north-west across some scaffolding connecting the 'Third Street Municipal Building' to a sewer pipe. You'll find a 'Destroyed Eyebot' at the mouth of a tunnel heading east. Search it for an 'Eyebot Upgrade Circuit Board.'

Camel of the Mohave

Drink 100 bottles of Purified Water to get this perk, which slightly increases the H20 restoration provided.

Cardiac Arrest [Old World Blues]

During (or after) the quest 'Old World Blues', once you've reunited with your brain you'll be able to use the Auto-Doc in the Sink to recover your heart, which grants this perk. While you have this perk you'll you'll recieve a 50% resistance to poison and robots suffer a -25% critical hit chance against you. Healing chems are also more effective. This perk replaces the Spineless perk.

Charisma Implant

Buy the Charisma Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Charisma (4,000 Caps).

Coin Operator [Dead Money]

Talk to Christine and ask 'Do you know what those machines around the Villa are?', then say 'Here's a Sierra Madre Chip. I'll need that back.' Succeed at a [Perception 6] check and an [Intelligence 6] check and you'll get this perk.

Day Tripper

Use addictive chems (Jet, Psycho, etc) 25 times to get this perk, which slightly extends the duration of such chems.

Dead Man's Burden [Lonesome Road]

Launch nukes at both the NCR and the Legion during the quest 'The Apocalypse' to get this perk, which gives you one bonus SPECIAL point to spend. It also lowers your reputation with the NCR and Caesar's Legion, but boosts your reputation with the Boomers and the Powder Gangers. You'll gain access to both the Long 15 and Dry Wells.

Divide Survivor [Lonesome Road]

Stop the missile launch during the quest 'The End'. This will get you fame with the Brotherhood of Steel and the Followers of the Apocalypse, as well as the obligatory SPECIAL point to spend.

DNAgent [Old World Blues]

Complete the quest 'X-8 Data Retrieval Test' to get this perk, which will give you a +10% damage bonus versus Nightstalkers.

DNAvenger [Old World Blues]

Kill two/five/ten Cazadors (cumulatively) to recieve a +10%/+20%/+30% bonus to damage against them.

Elijah's Last Words [Dead Money]

After completing the Dead Money expansion, return to the furnished room to the south in the Abandoned BoS Bunker and activate the terminal on the desk. Select the 'Download Holomessage' option and go pay Veronica a visit (she is, by default at the 188 Trading Post). Talk to her about Father Elijah until you get the option to say "I found Elijah'. Say it and go through the dialogue until you get a few options. Say 'You should watch it' and she'll get this perk, which improves her attack speed by 150% and gives her a 25% chance to knock down foes.

Elijah's Ramblings [Dead Money]

After completing the Dead Money expansion, return to the furnished room to the south in the Abandoned BoS Bunker and activate the terminal on the desk. Select the 'Download Holomessage' option and go pay Veronica a visit (she is, by default at the 188 Trading Post). Talk to her about Father Elijah until you get the option to say "I found Elijah'. Say it and go through the dialogue until you get a few options. Say 'Can you unlock it for me first? He was... vague on that point.' then say 'Yes. It was entrusted to me, not you.' to get this perk, which increases the critical hit damage you do with melee weapons by 150%. Score.

Endurance Implant

Buy the Endurance Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Endurance (4,000 Caps).

Enhanced Sensors

While ED-E is a companion, the player can detect enemies at an increased range. Additionally, enemies will appear on the player's compass and can be targeted in V.A.T.S. even when cloaked.

Fast Times

Use Turbo twenty times to get this perk, which will give any further uses of Turbo a duration boost.

Free Radical

Use twenty doses of Rad Away and you'll get this perk, which triples your Rad Away effectiveness. No, seriously, I went from Rads -15(10s) to Rads -45(10s).

Ghost Hunter [Dead Money]

Talk to Dog after he's eaten a fallen ghost person and select the dialogue option "I watched you devour one of the ghost people", which will eventually lead to you getting this perk... which only helps keep ghost people down.

Heartless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old world Blues' expansion to get this perk, which will make you immune to poison, improve all chems, and reduce chance that a robot will land a critical hit by 50%.

Implant C-13 [Old World Blues]

Find the C-13 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing People'. This implant scores you a +10% damage bonus versus Cazadores.

Implant M-5 [Old World Blues]

Find the M-5 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing People'. This implant will increase your sneaking (crouching) speed by 20%. (10,000 Caps).

Implant Y-3 [Old World Blues]

Find the Y-3 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing People'. This perk removes all radiation from liquid consumed. In other words, you can drink Dirty Water, Nuka Cola, Sunset Sarsaparilla, etc., without getting any Rads. This does not protect you from Rads gained from water sources external to your inventory (dirty water fountains, puddles, etc.) (12,000 Caps).

Implant Y-7 [Old World Blues]

Find the Y-7 Implant for the Auto-Doc as part of the quest 'Influencing People'. This perk supposedly increases the Health gained from foods, although if it actually does, it's not reflected in the item's description, or in the perk description. Testing with a Bighorner Steak healed me from 221 HP to 296 HP-75 points-whereas a normal Bighorner Steak has a healing rate of HP +5(10s), or 50 Hit Points, so this perk apparently increases the healing value of food by 50%. It also restores Action Points when you eat food. (20,000 Caps).

In My Footsteps [Dead Money]

When God is a companion, he grants you increased Stealth as well as the ability to step lightly around placed traps.

Intelligence Implant

Buy the Intelligence Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Intelligence (4,000 Caps).

Khan Trick

Complete the quest 'Aba Daba Honeymoon' and you'll be taught this trick by Diane.

Legion Assault

Talk to Lucius at Caesar's fort and-if you have a good enough reputation with Caesar's Legion and an Unarmed skill of 50 or higher, he'll teach you this maneuver.

Lonesome Road [Lonesome Road]

In the Maintenance and Storage Area, right before entering Ulysses' Temple, you'll get a chance to free Ed-E. If you do NOT free him, you'll get this perk, which gives you a +10% damage and +10% VATS accuracy bonus while you're traveling solo.

Lord Death

Kill anything. Alot of anything. You'll get a damage bonus against everything. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Luck Implant

Buy the Luck Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Luck (4,000 Caps).

Machine Head

Kill 50/100/150 robots and you'll get this perk, which gives you a damage bonus against robots. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Marked [Lonesome Road]

Kill enough Marked Men in The Divide and you'll get this perk, which gives +10% Damage Resistance and +10% Damage versus Marked Men.

Melee Hacker

Inflict 10,000 damage with melee weapons and you'll get this perk, which increases your attack speed with melee weapons. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Monocyte Breeder

Buy the Health Regeneration Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get this perk (12,000 Caps).

Mutant Massacrer

Kill 50/100/150 Super Mutants and you'll get this perk, which increases your damage against them. There are multiple ranks of this perk.

Perception Implant

Buy the Perception Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Perception (4,000 Caps).

Power Armor Training

Complete the quest 'Eyesight to the Blind' and you'll get this perk, which allows you to wear all forms of Power Armor.

Quiet as the Waters [Honest Hearts]

While Walking Cloud is in your party, it is much easier to sneak by the White Legs (their PER is decreased).

Ranger Takedown

In Novac you can find Ranger Andy, a retired NCR Ranger who is a down on himself. Succeed at a Speech challenge and convince him he doesn’t suck and he'll teach you this perk.

Ravenous Hunger [Dead Money]

When Dog is a companion, he'll make sure fallen ghost people stay down... in gruesome fashion.

Regular Maintenance

While Raul is a companion, the Condition of weapons and armor decays more slowly.

Reinforced Spine [Old World Blues]

During (or after) the quest 'Old World Blues', once you've reunited with your brain you'll be able to use the Auto-Doc in the Sink to reattach your spine, which grants this perk. While you have this perk you'll get a +2 bonus to Strength and a +2 bonus to Damage Threshold. This perk replaces the Spineless perk.

Scribe Assistant

While Veronica is a companion, the player can craft Workbench items through Veronica's dialogue.

Scribe Counter

Give Veronica some Formal Wear or White Glove Society attire and she'll offer to teach you this perk.

Scourge of the East [Lonesome ROad]

Launch nukes at the Legion during the quest 'The Apocalypse' to get this perk, which gives you NCR fame, Legion infamy, one SPECIAL point to spend, and opens the path to Dry Wells.

Search and Mark

When Rex is a companion, various types of loot (including ammo, chems, weapons, aid, and some containers) will be highlighted when you aim.

Set Lasers for Fun

Ack, what an awful pun... for shame, Obsidian, for shame... anyways, you'll get this perk for dealing 16,000 damage with pistol-grip laser weapons (use Pew-Pew and you'll get this in no time). This perk gives a small bonus to critical hit chance with all laser weapons.

Sierra Madre Martini [Dead Money]

Talk to Dean Domino to get this perk, which allows you to create said item.

Signal Interference [Dead Money]

When Christine is a companion, she grants you a short period of time near a speaker before your bomb collar starts to activate as well as increasing the amount of time before your bomb collar detonates by 50%.

Spineless [Old World Blues]

Start the 'Old World Blues' expansion to get this perk, which makes your torso immune to crippling, and gives you a one point bonus to Strength and Damage Threshold.


While Boone is a companion, hostile targets are highlighted whenever the player is actively aiming.

Stealth Girl

While Lily is a companion, the duration of Stealth Boys is increased by 200% and all Sneak Attack Critical Hits do an additional 10% damage.

Strength Implant

Buy the Strength Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 bonus to your Strength (4,000 Caps).

Sub-Dermal Armor

Buy the Sub-Dermal Armor Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +4 bonus to your Damage Threshold (8,000 Caps).

The Bear Slayer [Lonesome ROad]

Launch nukes at the NCR during the quest 'The Apocalypse' to get this perk, which gives you NCR infamy, Legion fame, one SPECIAL point to spend, and opens the path to the Long 15.

The Way of the Canaanite [Honest Hearts]

When you have Joshua Graham as a companion, .45 Auto Pistols have less spread and are twice as likely to score a critical hit.

Tough Guy

I got this perk while messing around, trying to get achievements. Jumping off cliffs and using Stimpaks is fun! Anyways, you'll get this for injuring limbs, which is paradoxically easier to do with Small Frame. That's right, Small Frame, which makes it easier to injure limbs, make it easier to get Tough Guy, which makes it more difficult to injure limbs.

Unclean Living [Dead Money]

While Dean Domino is your companion, you'll take less damage from toxic clouds, and you'll even have a short grace period when you enter them before taking any damage at all.

Way of the Canaanite [Honest Hearts]

While Joshua Graham is a companion all .45 Auto Pistols have less spread and are twice as likely to inflict critical hits.

Well-Stacked Cairns [Honest Hearts]

While Follows-Chalk is in your party, reaching any summit in Zion Valley (such as ranger stations) will reveal all nearby map markers and inspire a heightened state of awareness (+3 PER) for three minutes.

Whiskey Rose

While Cass is a companion, she and the player gain Damage Threshold when they drink Whiskey. Additionally, the player does not suffer Intelligence loss from consuming alcohol and ignores the negative effects of alcohol addiction.

My Personal Build, Perks

These are the perks I choose for my character.. hence the name of the section. Perks are now more flexible than they ever were before.. having ten more of them will do that. Anyways, you no longer need both Comprehension AND Educated. If you get Educated, get it at level four to maximize its usefulness. If you are playing in Hardcore mode, get Them's Good Eatin' at level 20 so you can start stocking up on healing items as soon as possible-having a stockpile of them will make your life easier. Otherwise.. get perks as you want them, the order is somewhat unimportant. Also, there is no more 'builds'. With the Ultimate edition we can max all skills and get.. well, all the great perks, and most of the useful ones. The character I play is now equally skilled at using melee/unarmed, energy weapons, and guns, as well as simply talking their way out of (or into) trouble.. and all the obligatory questing and exploring skills like Science and Lockpicking are easily maxed. This character is also designed to handle Hardcore mode, which isn't really that hard, and doesn't take too many build considerations so much as it takes a bit of smart playing.. see the Hardcore Mode Blues [HMB001] for more information. Still, I've left a bit of variability in the guide.. more or less because by the time I hit level 30 I was having serious trouble picking perks. Really, there's only so many great perks out there. Below the following list you'll find some perk suggestions.. or rather, ideas, of how to pick the last few perks. Lastly, don't take the levels or order too seriously. If you want to boost your Repair faster to get Jury Rigging, by all means. Still, I had to put them in an order, even if it's not set in stone. It's more reflective of how you want to play the game, than anything else. 

2Black Widow Certified Bachelor Cherchez La Femme Lady Killer12Sniper22Piercing Strike32Math Wrath42Stonewall
4Comprehension14Hand Loader24Slayer34Silent Running44Optional (1)
6Toughness (1)16Better Criticals26Nerves of Steel36Grim Reaper's Sprint46Optional (2)
8Super Slam18Commando28Toughness (2)38Bloody Mess48Optional (3)
10Finesse20Them's Good Eatin'30Jury Rigging40Living Anatomy50Ain't Like That Now Just Lucky I'm Alive Thought You Died

Optional Perks

There are three optional perks in this build, and there are no clear winners for what perks to fill them with, so instead I'll just suggest some build variants you can use to fill these three perks with.

Agile Assassin Pick 'Light Touch', 'Cowboy', and 'The Professional', to make a badass critical hit junky. Using revolvers (like the Ranger Sequoia) when at close-range and undetected will murder anything. Not like the Gobi already doesn't do this, and at a better range, but a +25% damage Brush Gun is nothing to laugh at, either. This is for those Pistoleros out there.

Chrono-Crusher Get two ranks of the 'Implant GRX' perk and 'Chemist'. This will essentially allow you to use a built-in, self- replenishing stock of Turbo up to ten times per day. It's pretty handy in tough fights to be able to slow down time for fairly good stretches of time... the only real downside (besides the whopping three perks) is that you have to go into your Pip-Boy to activate each dose of the implant. Every. Time. You. Use. It.

And in case anybody out there is getting clever ideas in their heads about amplifying this build with the trait- that-shall-not-be-named.. no. Twenty levels and all the Hit Points, Perks, and Skill Points that entails is not worth it. And for those really clever folks out there, you cannot use the Auto-Doc in The Sink to pick the trait-that-shall-not-be-named after you hit level 50. Worth a try though, right?

Duke Destructo Pick 'Mad Bomber' and as many ranks of 'Demolition Expert' as you can.. and/or get 'Hit the Deck'. Granted, this approach could take as many as five perks to do correctly, depending on your love of Explosives... and your poor accuracy.

Energy Elitist Take the 'Laser Commander', 'Plasma Spaz' and  'Meltdown' perks. They're not great, but if you're dead-set on playing with Energy Weapons all the time, you might as well beef them up some.

Shotgun Smiter Take the 'Shotgun Surgeon' and 'And Stay Down' perks if you want to destroy everything with shotguns. Pick up a Riot Shotgun, and have fun.

Ultima Utility Pick 'Burden to Bear', 'Strong Back', and 'Pack Rat'. This will allow you to carry all kinds of loot, and in Hardcore Mode, 'Pack Rat' will allow you to carry twice as much ammo and food.

Getting Started in the Mohave

This little section of the FAQ is less character creation and more character establishment. Since obtaining the Implants from the New Vegas Medical Clinic greatly affects your character build, it is fairly essential for a guide of this sort. The early loot locations, unique weapons, and various exploits are thrown in-just because I like you.

New Vegas Medical Clinic Run

My first goal is to make it all the way to the New Vegas Medical Clinic as quickly as possible. This is in every way reminiscent of the Rivet City run from Fallout 3... except this time around we can score our bonus Intelligence before we hit level two. We'll do our best to do so, at least, and since this is a fairly important part of the guide, I'll help you get there as best as I can.

Save your game before you head off. You never know what might happen, so play it safe and keep a save of your character before you go running out into the Mohave.

Leaving Goodsprings

First step, follow the road south east out of Goodsprings until you find Jean Sky Diving. From here head east along I-15 until you find some railroad tracks. You may want to get off I-15 sooner to avoid any hostile Powder Gangers you see. The Bloatflies in the desert will mostly leave you alone unless you get too close.

Avoiding the Viper Ganger Ambush

Get on the railroad tracks and follow it south past the Powder Ganger Camp South area until you reach the Emergency Service Railyard. You now have to follow the railroad south past Nipton until it connects with a road running east-west. Don't follow along the road, as there are Viper Gangers set up in ambush, instead head through the hills to the north of the road. This will let you bypass the enemies. Once you reach the road continue east until you find a road sign that directs you to turn north to find Novac. You now want to continue north up these roads for the foreseeable future.

Caesar's Legion Strikes!

You SHOULD find a merchant caravan heading north here. They'll be attacked by Caesar's Legion Recruits. Stay nearby but don't get involved in the fight. Once the fight is over, loot the bodies. It doesn't matter who wins, and none of this gear is going to be all that useful, but it will sell for enough to earn you a handful of Caps with which you can gamble yourself a small fortune later. If you want to play it safe, you can follow the caravan up to Novac, letting them handle whatever baddies you may find. You will pass near Ranger Station Charlie on your way north, which can (like all locations) be avoided if you wish to forgo gaining experience.

The Road Through the Desert

Either way, follow the road with the railroad tracks running next to it to find Novac. North of here you can find the Gibson Scrap Yard and the HELIOS One power plant. Cross the desert to the east of the HELIOS One plant and avoid any Fire Ants you find until you find another road running north-south.

The 188

You'll find yourself on I-95, near the El Dorado Gas & Service station. The road will will run north and connect to I-93 at a site wisely called the 188 Trading Post. Our journey is, surprisingly, mostly over. Continue past the 188 Trading Post and follow I-95 west, then north into the outskirts of New Vegas. When you're getting close you'll pass under a few underpasses and start seeing billboard signs promoting the casinos on the strip.

The Outskirts of New Vegas

Once you start find numerous standing buildings... well, you've found the outskirts of New Vegas. Visual confirmation can be obtained by checking to the west to locate the lights of New Vegas in the not-so-distant distance. The New Vegas Medical Clinic is between the Crimson Caravan Company to the west, and the Mole Rat Ranch to the east. I managed to reach this area with a total of 60 experience.

The Great Gambling Spree

Now that you're here you just need... oh... 4,000 Caps toget yourself a shiny new Implant. There are two feasible ways of doing this. Scavenging.. I mean, 'prospecting' and selling any and all loot you find. This route seems the most sensible, but since you will most likely have to discover new areas and/or kill things, it might be somewhat counter-productive. The second way is to head west to Freeside's East Gate. Enter Freeside and find the Atomic Wrangler. If you are attacked by thugs, just run back to the entrance of Freeside and let the Bodyguards for Hire kill them. At the Atomic Wrangler, save your game and play some slots, blackjack, or roulette to get money.. what else? If you win, save, if you lose, reload. Is there a better way to make money in a game called Fallout: New Vegas? I didn't think so. Sure, there's a wait period for reloads... anti-cheating measure indeed.. but it's a painless way to make money without leveling up... so long as you don't accidentally complete too many challenges, anyways. Within 20 minutes I was 4,200 Caps richer, and off to get my Intelligence Implant.

You can also visit Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan and loot the dead Van Graff guys there for some Combat Armor, which sells very well if you're tight on experience. Durable Dunn's is south west of New Vegas, and can easily be found during your trip there.

Alternate Route

Status: Tested/Dubious Results

My suggestion for how to reach New Vegas is certainly not the quickest route, but it might just be the safest. I have received several other route suggestions, which I have tried to duplicate myself with varying degrees of success. First there's the option to head north of Goodsprings and run past the Radscorpians and Cazadores.. let’s just say that didn't end well. Between not being able to outpace Cazadores and hitting invisible walls while trying to climb up rocks, it was just more trouble than it was worth. Then there is Primm Pass, which was previously mentioned in this FAQ but removed on the basis of the fact that there's almost always a Deathclaw in the pass. Lastly there's the suggestion to head to Hidden Valley, find Neil's Shack, and make your way along the cliffs there to avoid both Super Mutants and Deathclaws while heading east, which is actually possible and a good bit quicker. My way, the worst you'll face are some Bark Scorpions, Coyotes, Mole Rats, and, if you fail to avoid them, some gangers, most of which aren't too aggressive and are territorial, so they can be fairly easily avoided.

Jackpot Winner!

Status: Tested/Nerfed (Xbox 360, Ultimate Edition)

This "exploit" has been nerfed a bit by Obsidian, but it still works- albeit in a more humble, less Cap-ful manner. The winning ceilings for the casinos are still a bit too low for my liking, and those implants aren't getting any cheaper. Since you can't really win that much money at the Atomic Wrangler and stay under the cap.. why not just blow the winnings cap all to hell? Play Black Jack and win nine times, saving after every win, and loading after every loss. After nine wins you should have at least 1800 Caps if you were betting max every time.

Now, if you're level 1, you want to avoid the experience you'll get if you play a casino game ten times. If you were very conservative on your way up to New Vegas, there's a chance you'll be able to complete one of these challenges without leveling up. The idea is to get the Intelligence implant as early as possible. You know, max skill points and all that (although with the Ultimate Edition's level cap, you probably don't need to worry about this as much, I'm just a mindlessly obsessive perfectionist.) If you're like me, your goal will be to score 2,000 Caps at the Atomic Wrangler, then use those Caps to gain access to New Vegas-where you can seek much higher winnings at the Ultra-Lux. Once you have 4,000 Caps (plus extra for future gambling), buy the Intelligence implant so you can game with impunity..

Once done, get near the caps for every casino by playing Black Jack. Any game will do, I just score chips fastest with Black Jack. Once you are as close to the cap as possible, switch to Roulette. In the previous version of the guide, we'd play slots for its awesome jackpot, but Obsidian reduced the bets and the payouts on slots, so Roulette is now a better option. Anyhow, place a bet on any number (27 is my lucky number, and it comes up often enough for me that I'm bothering to specifically mention it). With any luck, you'll eventually win and score that juicy 35:1 payoff-or 7,000 Caps. If you lose too many games, reload and try again. I typically reload after losing ten games, so when I do win, I'm break the casino's winnings ceiling by over 5,000 Caps. It's not nearly as good as we were able to do previously, but it's still enough to fund pretty much all the implants.

Infinite Experience

Status: Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, Ultimate Edition)

Find Deputy Beagle in the Bison Steve in Primm. Don't free him, instead ask him about the man in the checkered suit who passed through town. He'll try to negotiate to get himself free. Succeed at a Speech challenge [Speech 40] and he'll agree to tell you what he knows, without actually doing so. You'll then get the option to ask him about the people who came through town again.. which will lead to the Speech challenge again. Simply continue to succeed at the Speech challenge for 40 EXP a pop to get as much experience as you wish.

Note: This option becomes unavailable after you update the quest 'They Went That-a-Way', with the information to head to Boulder City.

"Free" Repairs

Status: Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)

Get your gear repaired by Paladin Sato (Brotherhood Safehouse), Major Knight (Mohave Outpost), or your sidekick Raul (Black Mountain/Raul's Shack), then pick-pocket your Caps back. Talk about a money saver-this little trick makes perks like Vigilant Recycler and Jury Rigging even more obsolete! It'll take a few tries-and hence some patience, even with a fairly high Sneak score, but it is possible. I imagine this is possible with most any character who will repair stuff for you, but I have the uncanny knack of failing to pick-pocket people even with (or I should say, especially with) a Sneak score of 100.

Noteworthy Gear

Below will be listed some of the best arms and armors in the game... because even the best character needs good gear to truly conquer the Mohave.

Elite Riot Gear [Lonesome Road]

After going through the Ashton Silo Control Station and down the Sunstone Tower Roof you'll be able to find the Third Street Municiple Building to the south-west. Climb up the debris into the building and head into the Municipal Sewers. Head through the sewers and take an alternative exit back to the Divide to the east, where you'll find yourself on an upper floor. To the north, near a hole in the wall you'll find a dead NCR Riot Control Ghouls, who can be looted for this armor. It's one of the strongest suits of Medium Armor in the game, and it gives several bonuses-the most impressive of which is a +5% Critical Hit Chance boost. The helmet is kind of assy, though.

Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle

This wonderful weapon is a must if you're a Guns user. To get it, just head over to the Sniper's Nest area, where you'll find a locked [Very Hard] footlocker. This gun is inside. Sure, you need a 100 Lockpick skill to get it, but it's slightly more damaging than a normal Sniper Rifle, carries an extra round per clip, weighs almost half as much, and has the same skill and strength requirements (75/6, respectively.)


At the Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters, cash in your Star Sunset Sarsaparilla Caps to Festus, then make your way to the southern end of the level and loot the body of Allen Marks for this interesting little gun. If you ever wanted to use a pistol Energy Weapon, but didn't want to sacrifice the YCS/186.. well, this is as good as it gets. It deals out a whopping 119 damage and has no real requirements. The catch? It eats up a whopping 15 Energy Cells per shot, and only gets two shots off per clip. You might not want to use it against groups of enemies, and against singular foes.. make sure they die in two shots.

Q-35 Matter Modulator

A unique version of the Plasma Rifle, this weapon has the same damage as a normal Plasma Rifle-but double the DPS. Why? It fires much faster. Too bad it has half the ammo-but huzzah!-it uses half the ammo per shot. The skinny? It's requirements for strength are lower and it pumps out damage faster. To get your hands on it, you'll need to visit the REPCONN Headquarters. It's on the first level, behind a locked [Very Hard] door-but you can also use a [Very Hard] terminal! That, or go up to the second level, then take another door down to the first level, go through a hole in the floor and bypass all those nasty locks entirely.

Joshua Graham's Armor [Honest Hearts]

Complete the 'Honest Hearts' expansion and you'll find this armor (along with every other bit of unique loot worn by NPCs) in a footlocker. This armor is just great-it gives one less point of Damage Threshold than Vault 34 Security Armor, but it weighs half as much and it gives a +3% critical hit chance while you wear it. It's a great suit of light armor.

Remnant Power Armor

One of the most interesting items in the game to find-in part because it's the most protective armor in the game, but mostly because of the fighting involved. Head east from the Techatticup Mine across the Colorado River to find a beach with a slope leading up through the cliffs. You'll find that this side of the river is infested with Death Claws. Kill them and search to the south east. Once the first wave is dead, another pack of Death Claws will spawn, including a Mother Death Claw and an Alpha Male Death Claw. So long as you stay on cliffs, you can simply snipe the Death Claws at will. Once they're dead, go search near where they were walking to find two rather dead people-on one of which you'll find this armor.

Remnant Power Helmet

Enter the Silver Peak Mine and enter the actual mine through the mine house. Inside you'll find swarms of Cazedores. Make your way through the mine to find a tunnel leading up to a ledge in a large room. You'll find plenty of loot here, including the Remant Power Helmet. Unfortunately, once you're up on the ledge you'll more Cazedores will spawn, including a Legendary Cazedor. On the bright side, you just need to make it out alive to keep your prize.

This Machine

To get ahold of this gun, do errands for Sgt. Daniel Contreras (found at Camp McCarran Supply Shack). What you'll get us a weapon that does more damage (per shot, at least) than Gobi. It uses the same .308 ammo, and hence gets the same wonderful damage boosts from using JSP Hand Load ammo. With the same strength and skill requirements, it seems like a pretty obvious compliment for the Gobi, too. If that's not good enough, it's got an eight round clip and fires twice as fast in V.A.T.S., making it an ideal short to mid-ranged weapon for when trouble gets too close. Sure, the Brush Gun out-performs it, but This Machine is cheaper to use, and doesn't force you to hunt for 45-70 Gov't ammo.

Ulysses' Duster/Ulysses' Mask

Complete the quest 'The End' or 'The Apocalypse' and you'll find a footlocker with this armor and mask in it back in the Mohave. Or... you could just kill and loot Ulysses for it. Or both. The armor has decent Damage Threshold, but more importantly, it's light-weight light armor that gives a +5% bonus to Critical Hit Chance. The mask that comes with it isn't too bad, either.

YCS/186 -or- Alien Blaster

Head over to Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, which is north west of New Vegas. From the Tumbleweed Ranch, head east over some hills. If you have the Wild Wasteland Trait you'll find a group of Aliens just hanging around. If you don't, you'll encounter some Mercenaries. Kill them and you'll obtain the Alien Blaster (in the former case) or the YCS/186, a unique version of the Gauss Rifle. Sure, the Alien Blaster has a ridiculous critical hit rate, but since the YCS/186 is the best long-ranged Energy Weapon in the game, and quite possibly the best sniper weapon overall (certainly the most damaging), we'll consider it the real prize.

Hardcore Mode Blues

When I picked up the Ultimate Edition for Fallout: New Vegas, I knew I would have to start a whole new character to write an update to this guide.. so I figured I'd just do the whole next playthrough in Hardcore mode, instead of just dabbling in it like I did in the original versions of the guide. This section will give some pointers to new players, or old players who haven't tackled hardcore mode yet. But first, a word of encouragement; Hardcore mode isn't very hardcore. Certainly having the Ultimate Edition to give us the ability to max all our skill points helps, but that's besides the point. The mere fact that I don't have any real seperate build suggestions (save the odd, optional, convenience perk or two) for Hardcore mode gamers and normal gamers should say plenty.

Survival of the Skilled

If you're playing in Hardcore mode, an obvious move to make is to boost your Survival skill score. Tag! it, and boost it to 80 as soon as possible. This will make the restorative effects of food and water more potent, as well as allowing you to make superior meals at campfires.


Water is a constant concern in Hardcore mode, as it's the status that degrades the fastest. If you have the Ultimate Edition installed, then you'll start out with a Vault 13 Canteen, which you'll automatically drink from occassionally. This mitigates-but doesn't eliminate-the need for water. Fortunately there exists plenty of sources of clean water you can drink-for free! In pretty much every casino in New Vegas (even the Atomic Wrangler in Freeside) has free water, as well as the troths at Goodsprings Source, and.. well, the whole freaking Colorado River. I never had to worry about dehydration, and neither will you.


Keeping yourself fed is a secondary concern in Hardcore mode, as you'll need food less often than water. Fortunately, getting plentiful food is quite easy to do. There are several locations where you can find herds of Bighorners, which can be killed by even low-level characters wielding melee weapons. Bighorner Meat can be turned into Bighorner Steak at any campfire, which becomes a great source of food, and healing, in a pinch. Places to find Bighorners include; along the railroad south-east of Goodsprings, north of Bonnie Springs, in the mountains west of New Vegas (around Ruby Hill Mine), and around the Wrecked Highwayman south of Novac. These aren't the only places where they can be found, and they aren't guaranteed to be free of risk (poke around the mountains too much and you'll certainly find Cazadors, for example), but with a little caution Bighorners will provide for all your food needs. A Bighorner Bull gives 50 EXP, and will often drop 3-5 pieces of meat.


Sleep is the least of our concerns, and if you find that you're failing in Hardcore mode because of sleep deprevation.. well, then you really just need to quit now. There are beds all over the place. The only concern with sleeping is that passing the time raises your other needs. So.. sleep in a hotel, a safehouse, or near the Goodsprings Source, somewhere near water.

'Tis But a Flesh Wound...

Healing in Hardcore mode is another, more serious problem. You have plenty of ways to get food, water, and kip, but healing takes time, and resources. You'll have to use a variety of methods to keep your health up. These methods aren't exclusive-you'll have to be a lot more careful when you're lower level and have fewer resources, and over time 'graduate' to simpler methods.

  • First, for low level characters, just drink from a clean water source. Each sip will heal you.. a tiny amount. The downsides are obvious, it's annoying to sit there and click fifty times until you're healed, and most of the safe sources of clean water are in towns. Cutting short your exploration is a bother.

  • As you accumulate resources and levels, Bighorner Steak becomes a decent source of healing, as well as food. Ignore your hunger until you get hurt, and chow down on some steak. It'll heal about 50 Hit Points per steak. Not great, but a hell of a lot more convenient than finding water, and cheaper than a Stimpak.

  • Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant. This will cause you to slowly regenerate. It won't save you in a fight, but it will allow you to wait and heal a bit. Also, just fast-travelling from place to place will heal you. It's great supplemental healing.. if you're not shot up going into a fight, chances are you won't need healing to stay alive.

  • When you hit level 20, get the perk 'Them's Good Eatin'', which will cause living enemies to drop Blood Sausage or Thin Red Paste 50% of the time. Most enemies in the game are living, and they don't have to be particularly strong-a Bloatfly will drop you these great healing items as often as a Deathclaw. Plus, you'll often get multiple drops when an enemy has these items on them. Both these items heal more Hit Points than a Stimpak, and you'll be able to get your hands on far, far more without spending a single cap. Sure, they have weight, but Thin Red Paste only weighs 1/10th of a pound. You can spare five pounds of carry weight to drag fifty of these around.. and there's a good chance you'll constantly replenish your stock as you go.

Ammo Weight Hate

One of the biggest pains of Hardcore mode is ammo weight. This is especially damning if you use Energy Weapons, as Energy Weapon ammo just weighs too damn much (save Electron Charge Packs). Still, how many ranged weapons do you tend to carry around at once? Personally, I only tend to have one-the Gobi gets everything done. The fewer different weapons you have, the less different types of ammo you need. Just be frugal, only take one good ranged weapon, and a moderate supply of its ammo. This works better with the Ultimate Edition build, since we can now freely invest in Melee Weapons and Unarmed-they don't require ammo, and they can deal with any enemy that gets too close, eliminating any need for a short-to-mid range alternative.

And Then There Was One...

When your allies bite the dust, they die for good in Hardcore Mode. Easily one of the most annoying aspects of Hardcore Mode, there are a few ways to mitigate ally deaths.

  • Keep healing items on your allies. It's not always convenient in a gun fight to run up to your buddy and tell them to heal themselves.

  • Give them the best armor. Lets face it, Enclave Armor looks stupid, they'll be able to wear it before you will, and nobody wants to walk around that slowly. Plus, unless you have the worst gaming reflexes ever, you'll avoid damage better than any ally will.

  • Most importantly, if you're going into a fight where you just can't babysit them the whole time, make them wait somewhere out of the fire. Hordes of Cazadores and packs of Deathclaws are usually where I draw the line, especially since I tend to rely on long-range sniping to deal with them.. or at least thin the herd.

  • Use weapons that don't inflict collateral damage. This should be pretty easy, since most dangerous auto-fire weapons are low-damage, high DPS affairs.. which is to say, they suck against anything that is armored and dangerous.

First Do No Harm

Doctors are an obvious source of health in the wasteland. Do not be afraid to visit a doctor to cure your Rads or heal you. Early on, it's easier to just pay the 50 Caps for a full healing at Goodsprings (limbs and all) than it is to use healing items. And if you wait until your Rad count is high (600+) it'll probably be cheaper to just pay 100 Caps to get rid of your Rads than it is to use RadAway.

Don't Mind the Grind

The higher your level, the more resources you'll have to deal with your needs. Get your Survival skill high, and you'll need to eat less. Get your Lockpick score high and you'll be able to get the godly Gobi. Once you can obliterate Super Mutants, you can scourge Black Mountain for valuable weapons. It's all got to start somewhere. Don't be afraid to take your time, visit familiar locales for water and rest, and grind Bighorners for food and experience.


In this section I will list the books I have found so far in this game. If they're not listed here, it doesn't mean they don't exist, it just mean I have not personally found them, and hence, have no business commenting on their locations. As a rule of thumb there are about four of each type of book in the game, save Big Books of Science.

Big Book of Science (7)

  • Brewer's Beer Bootlegging In the cellar, in the back room. The book is on a table next to a chemistry set.

  • Camp Forlorn Hope - Camp Forlorn Hope Command Center In the south eastern corner of the command tent, on a table.

  • HELIOS One - HELIOS One Power Plant In order to get this you'll need to side with Ignacio Rivas during the quest 'That Lucky Old Sun' and distribute power evenly to all the settlements. Since the alternatives-pissing off the NCR or helping Fantastic-are both unsavory, this isn't too terrible of an option, anyways.

  • Nipton - Town Hall Steyn's Office This book is in Steyn's Office (the room, not just the level), on the desk near "Mayor Steyn's Terminal."

  • REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Offices Main Level In the first room of the REPCONN tour you'll find a door to the east that leads to the Gift Shop. Inside the Gift Shop there is a locked [Hard] door to the north. The book is inside, on a metal shelf.

  • [Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Executive Suites In Vera's room (the south-eastern-most room of the level), on a bookshelf full of Pre-War Books.

  • [Old World Blues] Y-0 Research Center South of the Y-0 Research center there are a number of crashed trucks. South-east of these trucks, near the cliff face, you'll find this book on the ground, near a skeleton and a duffle bag.

Chinese Army: Spec. Ops. Training Manual (7)

  • Camp Searchlight - Searchlight Church Basement You can find this basement within a chapel on the eastern end of Searchlight. The book is on the floor near some metal shelves.

  • Goodsprings - Goodsprings Home In the house east of the Goodsprings Schoolhouse, this book is in the living room (in the north east corner of the area map). It's on a bookshelf amongst a bunch of other, mundane, books.

  • NCR Sharecropper Farms - Sharecropper Barracks This book is in the south eastern corner of the barracks, on the floor near a desk, on top of some papers.

  • Vault 3 - Vault 3 Living Quarters When entering from the Vault 3 Entrance you'll find a locked door [Average] at the bottom of the staircase. Get inside and you'll find this book on a bookshelf near the door.

  • [Dead Money] Puesta del Sol North - Puesta del Sol Switching Station From the 'Remote Maintenance Terminal' (Christine's post for triggering the Gala)-in the south-western corner of the eastern-most room-head east, then north out onto the catwalks. Just before the turret there's a broken section of catwalk to the west. Jump there and explore the catwalks to the south, near the electronics. You'll find this book on the floor of the catwalk.

  • [Old World Blues] X-13 Testing Facility In the room with the torso armor of the Stealth Suit Mk II, on the floor between two damaged prototypes.

  • [Old World Blues] X-13 Stealth Testing Facility - X-13 Stealth Testing Lab Complete all three Infitration Tests (Basic, Advanced, and Expert) to upgrade the Stealth Suit Mk II, then complete the Robot Compliance Test. Once you succeed, this book will be in the 'Reward Safe' near the 'Test Terminal'.

D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine (5)

  • HELIOS One - HELIOS One Power Plant In the upstairs bedroom, on the bed.

  • Mesquite Mountains Crater - Hell's Motel In the first room, this book is on a counter along the northern wall, behind a globe, harmonica, and an ashtray.

  • Novac - Ranger Andy's Bungalow This book is on the bed in Ranger Andy's house.

  • [Dead Money] Villa - Clinic Basement Unlock the door to the basement [Hard] and head downstairs into the room with the 'Clinic Power Status Terminal'. The book is on the shelf of a doorless metal locker along the northern wall.

  • [Lonesome Road] Buried Buildings Enter the Cave of the Abaddon and travel through it to reach the Buried Buildings. You'll find this book in the room right before you can enter into the Divide again, on the floor under/near a chair and a nightstand in the southern corner of the room.

Dean's Electronics (6)

  • Abandoned BoS Bunker - Brotherhood of Steel Bunker Go down the stairs and head down the tunnel to the west, taking the first left (south). The book is in the room at the end of the hall, on a shelf near a bunch of books. You will need to hack a terminal [Average] to gain access to the room this book is in.

Note: The Abandoned BoS Bunker is part of the Dead Money expansion. You must have this expansion installed to be able to get this book, although technically you can get the book without really starting the Dead Money questline. Alternatively, if you have the unpatched version of the original Fallout: New Vegas you can get this book, as the developers apparently forgot to lock the Abandoned BoS Bunker. If you do not have the Dead Money expansion installed, and you are playing a patched version of the game, you cannot get this book... legitimately, anyways.

  • Nellis Air Force Base - Loyal's House You can find this book on the table along the southern side of the room, near a broken computer.

  • Sloan - Worker Barracks In the Worker Barracks, on a shelf in the eastern corner. The book is near a radio. There is also a Duck and Cover! in the same room.

  • Southern Nevada Wind Farm - Wind Farm Maintenance Shack This book is on the tables in the middle of the room.

  • [Dead Money] Puesta del Sol North - Puesta del Sol Switching Station Make your way east from the entrance, shooting speakers as necessary to progress. Eventually you'll come to a large, multi-leveled room with catwalks. You'll have to cross through some toxin on the ground level and go up some stairs to reach the catwalks on the eastern side of the room. On top of the stairs you should see some electronics on the eastern wall with a black arrow pointing south. Save your game. Follow the catwalk south and your collar will start beeping. Continue following the catwalk-quickly-into a room. At the northern end of the room you'll find a corpse, near which is this book. You'll need to disarm the terminal [Easy] to shut off the speakers and keep your head, but be wary-there's a tripwire in front of the terminal that'll drop grenades on you. It's possible-if you're careful-to hack the computer and turn off the speakers without disturbing the tripwire. Christine's 'Signal Interference' perk makes this easier, but isn't strictly necessary.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville Missile Silo From where you find the first Destroyed Eyebot head east to enter a room with a missile in it. On the eastern side of the room, on the floor near the wall by some desbris you'll find this book.

Duck and Cover! (5)

  • Mohave Outpost - Mohave Outpost Barracks You'll find this guy behind the bar in the first room. It's in a cupboard built into the bar counter facing the door, near the floor.

  • Nellis Air Force Base - Pearl's Barracks In the room with two couches you'll find a bookshelf along the wall to the south, south-east. The book is standing between a bunch of Pre-War Books. Note that this is also the shelf with some 40mm Grenades and a Grenade Rifle on it.

  • Ranger Station Foxtrot This book is in the tent, on the table next to the radio.

  • Sloan - Worker Barracks On the metal locker to the left (the unlocked one), on a shelf near some ruined Pre-War Books.

  • [Lonesome Road] Collapsed Overpass Tunnel From the exit to The High Road head south until you find a sandbag barrier, behind which is a small camp. In a metal box you'll find a Teddy Bear, underneath which is this book.

Grognak the Barbarian (6)

  • Cannibal Johnson's Cave On the corner of the mattress near the fire.

  • Cottonwood Cove - Office of Aurelius of Phoenix In the south western corner of the room, on a bedside table.

  • Hidden Supply Cave On top of a crate south of the first aid box.

  • Jacobstown - Jacobstown Bungalow In front of the Jacobstown Lodge is a lake, to the east of which lie several bungalows. In the southern-most bungalow you'll find this book. It's on the floor in front of the stove.

  • [Dead Money] Villa - Police Station Basement In the north-western room, on the floor in front of some filing cabinets.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Women's Barracks In the smaller, southern room, on a small desk against the southern wall. This book is on top of a Small Scorched Book.

Guns and Bullets (6)

  • Gomorrah Main Level In Big Sal's office, on a bookshelf along the south-western wall.

  • Nevada Highway Patrol Station Inside the station, on top of the southwestern most desk in the first room.

  • Raul's Home This book is inside a wooden crate on the floor near the entrance.

  • Vault 34 - Armory In the room with the couches and pool table in the north eastern corner of the level. The book is on a metal object.

  • [Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Sierra Madre Casino Head up to the bar on the second floor and turn west. Jump on a support beam and follow it west until you see the cashier's cage to the south. From the support beam, jump over the barrier and into the cashier's cage. This book is on the floor, near some filing cabinets.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Armory In the north-eastern corner of the room, on the floor under a desk.

Lying, Congressional Style (6)

  • Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch - Tumbleweed Ranch House On the second floor on the shelf of a locker.

  • Cerulean Robotics In Freeside you'll find the Cerulean Robotics building, inside of which you can nab this book. It's in the north-eastern room (the room with the rows of desks and the conveyor belt) on the floor near a chair.

  • Lucky Jim Mine - Lucky Jim Mine House You can find this book in the southern corner of the house, on a metal shelf near the floor.

  • NCR Correctional Facility - NCRCF Administration On the second level, in the room across from the Warden's Office (the room in the north eastern corner of the level.) The book is on a desk near a broken computer terminal.

  • [Dead Money] Sierra Madre - The Tampico In the theatre, go up the stairs in the north-eastern corner of the room and you'll reach the projection room. This book is on a metal shelf, near a fan.

  • [Lonesome Road] Third Street Municipal Building Head up into the building, through the Municipal Sewers, and onto the upper floor. This book is on the floor under a desk on the eastern side of this level. Note that this is the same level of the building where you can score the Elite Riot Gear.

Nikola Tesla and You (6)

  • Hidden Valley - Hidden Valley Bunker L1 In the Surgery room where Scribe Schuler spends most of her time, in a plastic bin next to the desk.

  • Old Nuclear Test Site - Nuclear Test Shack This book is on a table along the south eastern wall of the shack, under another book near a Hunting Shotgun.

  • REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Office 2nd Floor In the north eastern corner of the level, on a desk next to a terminal [Very Easy] from which you can add your facial data to the database for the 2nd floor.

  • REPCONN Headquarters - REPCONN Office Main Floor In the north western corner of the level, behind a locked door [Very Hard]. This book is on top of a safe, amidst numerous Microfusion Cells. Note that it's possible to reach this room by going through a locked door [Hard] on the REPCONN Office 2nd Floor.

  • [Dead Money] Sierra Madre - Sierra Madre Vault When you reach the vault door, turn south and jump on some pipes below the floor (you should see a skeleton on them, and yes, you'll have to endure toxin.) You can find this book in 'Sinclair's Bag', which is between the two pipes, near the skeleton. To get out of the poison, head east along the pipe, jump up onto a pipe valve, then onto an elbow pipe. Note that this is one of the few books in the game that you can actually miss.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville Missile Base HQ From the entrance head south to immediately find some bookshelves. This book is located under a 'Large Burned Book' on the lowest shelf of the southernmost bookshelf.

Pugilism Illustrated (6)

  • Fisherman's Pride Shack This book is in the eastern corner of the shack, on a table near the bed.

  • Nipton Road Reststop - Nipton Road General Store This book is on a wooden shelf along the southern wall.

  • The Tops Casino - The Tops Presidential Suite In the first room you enter after taking the elevator, on a table in the north western corner of the room. You can get access to this room by being a high-roller (win 7500 or so Caps at casino games) or by hearing Benny out.

  • Vault 11 - Vault 11 Living Quarters From the door leading to Vault 11, head down the stairs into the first room. Head through a door to the south and go down some more stairs. At the bottom turn west where you'll find four rooms. The book is in the second room on the right, on the floor near an overturned dresser.

  • [Dead Money] Villa As soon as you start the expansion, you'll talk to Father Elijah, who will project an image of himself over a fountain. You can find this book immediately after talking to him, by searching the floor along the northern end of the fountain.

  • [Lonesome Road] Wastewater Treatment Plant From the entrance, head south-west, then south-east to find a room occupied by some Marked Men. Kill them and head up some stairs to the north. In this room jump behind the lockers in the northeastern corner to find this book on the floor.

Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (6)

  • Allied Technologies Offices In the south west corner of the level, on the floor just north of the Nuka-Cola Vending Machines.
  • Cap Counterfeiting Shack Enter the Cap Counterfeiting Shack and go through a cellar door to reach.. well, the cellar. Go down some stairs and search the suitcases near the bed along the south eastern wall. This book is on top of one of the suitcases.

  • Primm - The Bison Steve Hotel In the north eastern corner of the level you'll find the Gift Shop. The book is behind the counter, on top of a lock safe [Hard].

  • Vault 22 - Pest Control Take the Elevator down from any level to Pest Control. From where you arrive head east and take the first left, which will take you up two flights of stairs and ultimately into a lab. The book is inside the lab, on a counter near a chemistry set along the northern end of the room.

  • [Dead Money] Salida del Sol South From the exit leading to Salida del Sol North, head south over a railing, onto a balcony, through a ruined wall and into a room. You'll find this book on a shelf below a terminal.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Basement On a gore-strewn counter in the north-western corner of the basement. This book is tastefully nestled in amongst some bloody bits.

Tumblers Today (5)

  • Bitter Springs Recreation Area - Bitter Springs Recreation Office In the room to the south, on a desk near a paperweight and a broken terminal. Note that Bitter Springs and Bonne Springs are not the same area, and that Bitter Springs Recreation Area is not a sub-area of Bitter Springs. It's got its own map marker and everything.

  • Silver Peak Mine - Silver Peak Mine Shack Along the northeastern wall of the shack you'll find some lockers. This book is inside one of the bottom lockers, near the floor. Note that the Silver Peak Mine itself contains the Remnant Helmet, which is yours for the taking.. if you're up to fighting some Cazadores, that is.

  • The Prospector's Den Inside the actual den, in the middle room. The book is on the floor by the bed in the north eastern corner of the room.

  • Wolfhorn Ranch Inside the ranch you you'll find this book, on the floor near the fridge.

  • [Lonesome Road] Hopeville - Hopeville Men's Barracks In the southern corner of this v-shaped building, in the south-western-most bathroom stall. This book is on the floor, under a wooden crate.

Wasteland Survival Guide (5)

  • Lone Wolf Radio The books is on the floor near a metal box in the back of the trailer, by the bed.

  • Matthews Animal Husbandry Farm In one of the barns, on the upper level. The book is on the ground near some metal boxes and a crate.

  • Mosquite Mountain Camp Site You'll find this book inside the southern most tent, on the ground behind a Toolbox.

  • Scavenger Platform In one of the shacks there is are some fallen metal shelves. This book is on the floor in between some of the shelves.

  • [Lonesome Road] Waste Disposal Station From the entrance head north into a mass of radioactive barrels. On top of one you'll find a skeleton. You'll find this book on the floor just north of this skeleton-adorned barrel.

Workbench Crates [Honest Hearts]

During the 'Honest Hearts' expansion, you'll find several Workbench Crates throughout the game. These innocuous containers hide a bit of a secret-they randomly spawn skill books. According to the wiki, each one can spawn up to four of them per crate, although the most I've ever seen is two.. I only had so much patience for reloading the game. Most of the time they spawn random junk. To get them to (potentially) spawn skill books, you'll need to save the game before entering the area they are in for the first time, run up to the crate, open it, and if it doesn't have what you want, reload and try again. This can.. take a while, and since the number and type of books found are random, they're not included in the list of books, above. Note that only non-combat related books can be found in these crates-you will not find any copies of Duck and Cover!, Grognak the Barbarian, Guns and Bullets, Nikola Tesla and You, or Pugilism Illustrated. There are four such crates in the game, their locations are given below. Again, you can supposedly get four books per crate, but it's really not necessary. Don't kill yourself trying to get four-I'm more than happy settling for a modest two per crate.

Angel Cave

This Workbench Crate is in the north-western room, where Joshua Graham resides. On your first visit you'll be bothered by a Dead Horse Disciple of Canaan (unless you're fast enough to run past) and you'll have to talk to Joshua Graham, as well, making this a somewhat tedious effort.

Cueva Guarache

In the formerly occupied chamber along the eastern edge of the level. You'll have to go through a booby-trapped, brush-filled tunnel to get here, or through a chamber occupied by spore creatures. Either way, it's another annoying one to reach.

Fallen Rock Cave

In the middle of the level, in the lowest chamber, you'll find signs of a previous inhabitant of the caves-as the journal on the terminal indicates, this cave was occupied shortly after the bombs dropped in 2077. There are no enemies in this cave, but plenty of traps to dodge/ disarm, making this Workbench Crate a pain in the ass to run to.

Stone Bones Cave

In the previously-occupied chamber to the north-west. You'll have to bypass some traps to get here.

Skill Book Recipes [Old World Blues]

During the 'Old World Blues' expansion, you'll find various holotapes that are recipes for skill books. You can use these recipes to create said skill books at a Workbench. What this boils down to is you can create one of each type of skill book (only one since the recipe holotapes are ingredients in these recipes themselves). The locations of the recipe holotapes are listed below. You will need Blank Books and Wonderglue to create each book.. twenty-five Blank Books, in fact, so collect books to process via the Book Chute in the Sink.

  • Barter Skill Book In the Signal Hills Transmitter building, under the metal shelves near the door.

  • Energy Weapons Skill Book In the Z-38 Lightwave Dynamics Research building, on top of the catwalk in the north-eastern corner of the level. The book is under a large monitor, just south-east of the upper-level door to the Big MT.

  • Explosives Skill Book You'll find this recipe in the X-7a "Left Field" Artillery Launch, in the Artillery Command Center. The recipe is on the shelf of a large machine, on the northern side of the room.

  • Guns Skill Book This one is a bit tricky.. fire the artillery guns at the X-7a "Left Field" Artillery Launch area, which will create a crater at the X-7b "Boom Town" Target Zone. Fast travel to said location and from where you appear head east, over a ruined car, and into the ruins of a white house. To the north is a metal ramp running over the fence, go up it, and into the crater below. Inside is a footlocker, which contains this recipe.

  • Lockpick Well, this one is absurd, and I'll be honest, I didn't find this without help. Head into the X-13 Testing Facility - X-13 Stealth Testing Labs area. Head across the bridge to the east and once across, go through the northern door (the door has a terminal on the wall near it and may be locked [Hard] if this is your first time here.) Enter a hallway with a glowing floor and enter the first room to the north, with the "Reception Observation Area" sign near it. In this room, head across another metal bridge to the west until you reach a wall-terminal with a security camera over it. Along the wall to the south is a vent. Jump onto the ledge along the western wall, hugging the wall as you go. There's a 'ledge' that can be navigated. Carefully walk south from the bridge to the vent and open the vent to find this recipe.

  • Medicine Skill Book Find this recipe in Higgs Village, house #103. The recipe is upstairs, in the bedroom, on a shelf on a desk.

  • Melee Weapons Skill Book You can find this recipe on the roof of the Y-0 Research Center. Jump up on the trucks near the building, then onto the roof. The disk is near the cliff face, by a duffle bag.

  • Repair Skill Book In Higgs Village - house #00. Go upstairs and head into the room adjoining the three rooms to the north-west. Along the south-western end of this room you'll find a terminal on the wall. Go to the terminal, crouch, and turn to face the doorway to the north-west. You should see the recipe sitting between some of the electronics before the doorway.

  • Science Skill Book This recipe is in Higgs Village, in house #102, upstairs in the bedroom, in the northern corner of the room on some electronics.

  • Sneak Skill Book In the X-13 Stealth Testing Lab, on the lower floor, in the room in the south-eastern corner of the level. The book is on the ground between two refrigerators.

  • Speech Skill Book You'll find this recipe in Higgs Village, house #104. It's upstairs, in a room full of Teddy Bears and broken mirrors, on top of a radio.

  • Survival Skill Book In Little Yangtze. When you enter via the eastern gate, in the first tent to the north. This recipe is under a bed.

  • Unarmed Skill Book In the Big MT West Tunnel, in a locked [Easy] room north-west of the entrance.


Version 1.01 Information: Completed 11/13/2010, (139,306 bytes)

To all you crazy gamers who gave me such great advice and righteously chastised me for being ignorant, this is where you get yours. Credit where credit is due, right? I can't pretend that I found out everything in this guide on my own-well, I could, but then I'd be some kind of jerk.. Anyways, this is where I thank the people who helped bring this FAQ up to snuff, and where I make notes of the changes over the versions so we can all see just exactly how things have changed.

Version 1.02 Notes

Immediately after GameFAQs got off of its lazy ass and posted this FAQ (seriously, how long does it take to add a 150kb FAQ?) I was met with a swarm of E-mails. The sheer fact that this FAQ received 13,000 hits in two days should say enough. Sure, it might not be a viral Youtube video, but it's certainly a faster pace than the rest of my FAQs hit. I guess it pays to post near the game launch, eh? Some were critical, most were complimentary, and all containing a few things I missed, alternative ways of doing things, or simply contrary opinions. I have read and responded to all the E-Mails I received (at least, to my knowledge anyways) and made a host of changes depending on the input you guys gave me. After all, the point of this FAQ isn't to necessarily have my ideas and my builds pushed on everybody-it is, to a large extent-to be accurate. Mistakes have been changed, alternative viewpoints considered (and added to the FAQ when they seemed to have merit.) However, keep in mind that the goal of this FAQ is to create a strong character, and even if you don't follow my advice, I hope to give you enough facts that you can make your informed decisions. Builds and play styles are pretty personal, and you can really make arguments for most any build. I try to be fairly neutral, but there are just some things this guide is tailored for-which is optimal efficiency. A character with a lot of skills, a strong combat presence and overall the ability to solve nearly every quest and get into nearly every area. For this reason I tend to exclude 'niche' builds that sacrifice playability in exchange for role-playing, or higher SPECIAL stats, or something else that I just don't feel coincide with the goals of this FAQ. If you wrote me a lovely E-mail and gave me a build idea or some other advice, that's great. The more ideas thrown at me, the better this guide will be. If I didn't put your ideas in here, that doesn't mean they weren't valid.. they just might not have been a good fit for this particular FAQ and the goals set out herein. Also, when multiple people E-mailed me about a problem, I typically credited the first person who pointed it out.. the rest of you will just have to be satisfied with the fact that you're in the (and many others) category.

Version 1.03 Notes

Version 1.03 is less essential of a change than Version 1.02 was. Honestly, V1.01 was horrible in a lot of ways. Mostly, V1.03 was adding IssacFrosts Energy Weapons build, putting in the locations of some of the more useful loot in the game (or at least some of the more easily obtained loot), and correcting some information. I had lots of school between the V1.02 and V1.03 FAQs, (being one semester away from graduating with a BA with two minors will do that) and there were lots of changes and errors I just didn't have time to make.. that and the fact that I hate releasing 'minor' updates, when possible. The V1.03 FAQ just contains a lot more information on how to get your character off the ground, and few build 'revelations', something we can all be thankful for, I think.

5/28/2011: It's after school, and I finally went back to pay this FAQ some attention. I found a few problems, changed the rating of Strong Back and Pack Rat, and added the Tough Guy earnable Perk. It's not quite enough of a change to warrant V1.04 (I'm saving that for when I get around to buying some of the DLCs), but it's not insignificant enough to ignore.

Ultimate Edition v1.01 Notes

Well, it's been over a year since I touched what is arguably the most successful and popular of my FAQs, mostly at the request of the readers of the original guide. It's been.. a busy year. Since the last update of the original guide I've graduated from college and started on my Master's degree, and in all honesty.. I just needed the time away from the game to get back in the mood to play it again. Also.. I was waiting for the Ultimate Edition to launch so I wouldn't have to bother buying all the DLCs (CDProjekt has it right-I have yet to pay for a single DLC that wasn't on a disc).. then I was being cheap and waiting for it to drop in price. Being a poor college student, however, my idea of 'cheap' is apparently lower than the market. Anyways, after some goading I eventually just paid the $30 for it off of Amazon.com. (Btw, sorry Bethesda/Obsidian, but I'm not buying a game new if the PC version has retarded DRM on it. If you want to force me to jump through hoops to buy your game, I'll buy the damn thing second-hand to ensure you don't see a dime of profit off of it. Forcing me to spend extra money on the Xbox 360 version just because I refuse to go through your online crap.. jackasses..) Anyways, I bought it, played it, and fixed the guide around the new level cap, Perks, Traits, and gear. Aside from some (hopefully) minor tweaks, additions of things I still have yet to find, and other corrections... I should be done with this guide and this game.

Version 1.01 to 1.02 changes (11/27/2010) (170,216 bytes)

  • Fixed some bad math in the skill point section.

  • Added Book information to skill point builds.

  • Added some text on the effects of Charisma on companion's Nerve.

  • Added some generic information regarding the use of skill point boosting apparel.

  • Changed the description and/or ratings of the Good Natured trait, and the Hand Loader, Ninja, and Pyromaniac perks.

  • Fixed some typos and dinosaurs.

  • Vastly increased the number of books found, improved vague directions to books, and edited the skills section by adding the possible number of skill points obtained by books into consideration.

Version 1.02 to 1.03 changes (3/15/2011) (218,493 bytes)

  • Removed the Respec exploit.

  • Confirmed various exploits and glitches, hoping to avoid posting false info (see above.)

  • Added IssacFrost's exhaustive Energy Weapons build.

  • Reorganised the "Implant" section (formerly {IMPxxx} and made the "Getting Started in the Mohave" section {MOHxxx} in its place.

  • Added numerous weapon and armor locations, for those of you who hear of all the weapons the various builds talk about, but have no clue have to find them.

  • Added the 'Tough Guy' Perk.

  • Removed the Intensive Training (Luck) pick as the first Perk. I've long since been using Black Widow, instead. Also, with a starting Luck of 9, an implant, and Intensive Training, how do I end up with 10 Luck? That's right, the max is 10, and 9 + 2 doesn't equal 10. (Note: Intensive Training is still a decent Perk pick at level 2, but with a starting Luck of 9, it's not what I'm looking for.)

  • Re-rated the Strong Back and Pack Rat perks, due to their helpfulness in Hardcore mode games where the goal is to actually play-not just beat-the game.

  • Edited the 'Four Eyes' trait, due to user feedback revealing that it is really not a good idea to pick with this build.

Ultimate Edition Version 1.01 Changes (11/22/2012) (286,065 bytes)

  • Revamped the build (and hence, the entire guide) to present my personal power-gamey build with the DLCs installed.

  • Changed the word 'grade' with 'rating', as it makes me seem like less of a professor-douche. Grades seem more objective, ratings seems more subjective, and all that.

  • Re-rated Attributes, Traits, and Perks as necessary. Skills are no longer rated, since we can (and should) max them all at 100.

  • Added new Traits and Perks into the guide.

  • Added the 'Hardcore Mode Blues' section, to give some pointers on surviving in Hardcore mode.

  • Added the 'Why Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant' subsection to (belatedly) defend my decision to get that implant.

  • Added the 'Workbench Crates' subsection to the guide.

  • Added the 'Skill Book Recipes' subsection to the guide.

  • Deleted the 'Suggested Scores' from the Skills section, as it's just not necessary for a build that intends to get all Skills up to 100.

  • Deleted the 'Apparel and Skills' entry from the Skills section. Again, if you max all your skills, you don't need to worry about what to wear to boost your skills.

  • Deleted IssacFrost's Energy Weapons build, as it's patently out-dated in the Ultimate Edition. If I can get him to send me an updated version of his build, it will be added again.

  • Replaced the builds in the 'My Personal Build, Perks' section. This power-gamey build is not so specialized as to bother discussing separate builds anymore. Instead, the section has been replaced by some suggestions for how to spend the last few perks.. when all the great, general perks have long since been picked.

  • Added many new skill books, both ones I just didn't find in the original game, and new skill books found within the expansions.

  • Added index headings to the individual book types, for ease of browsing.

  • Expanded the search tags for the Updates/Thanks section of the guide, as it's actually getting to be quite big. The community for this game was absolutely awesome.. just look at how many people helped with this guide!

  • Checked and revised all the glitches/exploits, to ensure that they were still valid for the Ultimate Edition. The infinite experience exploit with Keith at the Aerotech Office Park and the Vault 11 exploit have been fixed (and thus, removed from this guide), and gambling has been severely nerfed.

Ultimate Edition Version 1.02 Changes (9/5/2015)

  • Converted the text file into a FFAQ.

  • Fixed numerous typos.

Special Thanks

  • My girlfriend, for dutifully hovering around as I wrote this FAQ, created build after build, and always told her 'this is the last one'. She really helped morale by telling me she was going to wait 'until I figured it out' before she made a character. She has, as of yet, to bother playing the game.

  • Shimagami, (and many others) for pointing out that the Good Natured trait can be exploited to score some extra skill points.

  • David Streitman (and many others) for pointing out the fact that I left a reference to Rivet City in the guide.

  • Sean Johnson, for pointing out that I was a moron for making a Guns build without the Hand Loader perk, and for pointing out that the Sniper Rifle owns the Anti-Material Rifle.

  • Adam Lowe, for pointing out a problem with my Charisma score in the build.

  • Keith Causin, for pointing out exactly what Charisma does in regards to companion's nerve. Also for putting forward the idea of wearing clothes to boost checked skills, grabbing the Pyromaniac perk to boost the Shishkebab-melee build, and for pointing out some problems with the Ninja perk.

  • Leon Kennedy, for saying that my guide was "more helpful" than the official guide, and for giving me the locations of all the books in the game. What a great guy!

  • Mark, for pointing out a infinite experience glitch. Hey, it never hurts to stay informed, right?

  • Paul Williamson, for also showing me where all the books were located. Sometimes it just helps getting two descriptions of where something is to find it.

  • Roberto Moutran, for telling me that you can grab some Combat Armor at Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan on your way to New Vegas.

  • Mr. Galindo, for pointing out a contradiction with the Luck attribute in the build and in the descriptive paragraph for Luck.

  • Mr. J. Kelemen, for letting me know that the 'Four Eyes' trait is really not a good investment with my build. To be fair, there's a reason it was given a two-star rating (as compared to Small Frame, which *originally* a five-star), but for not checking myself and warning the rest of you that picking 'Four Eyes' is essentially choosing to lower your Perception by one point for determining what perks you can choose, I apologize.

  • John Mickey, for looking at fallout.wikia.com and finding out that Math Wrath is slightly better than Action Boy. Most importantly, the correct functioning of Action Point regeneration has now been noted in this FAQ.

  • DarthTwitch and the rest of the HaeravonFAQs Facebook company, for harassing me until I bought the Ultimate Edition and made this much-needed update. Hope I didn't disappoint.

  • Ken Egervari, for valiantly defending the Brush Gun, Jury Rigging, and for doing stellar statistical work breaking down the damage of the better weapons in the game to show which ones were up to snuff. For more information than my guide offers on weapons, check out his FAQ on Gamefaqs.com. My FAQ will tell you what weapons to build your character around, but his tells you why. http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/959557-fallout-new-vegas/faqs/61255

  • IssacFrost, for his continued correspondance following from Fallout 3 to Fallout: New Vegas. Both of our tentative pre-release builds for this game weren't able to hold water in the end, but it was still extremely valuable to have somebody to bounce ideas off of. Although his Energy Weapons build might be gone, he still deserves special recognition for how much he helped get this guide off the ground.