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    Character Creation FAQ by Haeravon

    Version: 1.04 | Updated: 11/22/12 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

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    |								       |
    |			    Fallout: New Vegas			       |
    |			     					       |
    Version 1.04
    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" in the title, or I'll probably end up deleting it
    as junk.
    Guide Information
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    Table of Contents
    I. Introduction				{INT001}
    	1. Hardcore Mode		{INT002}
    II. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Attributes		{SPC001}
    	1. Implants			{SPC002}	
    	2. Why Get the Monocyte Breeder {SPC003}
    	3. Strength			{SPC004}
    	4. Perception			{SPC005}
    	5. Endurance			{SPC006}
    	6. Charisma			{SPC007}
    	7. Intelligence			{SPC008}
    	8. Agility			{SPC009}
    	9. Luck				{SPC010}
    	10. My Personal Build,		{SPC011}
    III. Skills				{SKL001}
    	1. Base				{SKL002}	
    	2. Tag!				{SKL003}
    	3. Leveling			{SKL004}
    	4. Books			{SKL005}
    	5. Magazines			{SKL006}
    	6. Breakdown of Skill Points	{SKL007}
    	7. Apparel and Skill Points	{SKL008{
    	8. Barter			{SKL009}
    	9. Energy Weapons		{SKL010}
    	10. Explosives			{SKL011}
    	11. Guns			{SKL012}
    	12. Lockpick			{SKL013}
    	13. Medicine			{SKL014}
    	14. Melee Weapons		{SKL015}
    	15. Repair			{SKL016}
    	16. Science			{SKL017}
    	17. Sneak			{SKL018}
    	18. Speech			{SKL019}
    	19. Survival			{SKL020}
    	20. Unarmed			{SKL021}
    	21. Skills I Tag! (and why)	{SKL022}
    	22. Skill Point Allocation 	{SKL023}
    IV. Traits				{TRT001}
    	1. Built to Destroy		{TRT002}
    	2. Fast Shot			{TRT003}
    	3. Four Eyes			{TRT004}
    	4. Good Natured			{TRT005}
    	5. Heavy Handed			{TRT006}
    	6. Kamikaze			{TRT007}
    	7. Loose Cannon			{TRT008}
    	8. Small Frame			{TRT009}
    	9. Trigger Discipline		{TRT010}
    	10. Wild Wasteland		{TRT011}
    V. Perks				{PRK001}
    	Level 2 Perks			{PRK002}
    	Level 4 Perks			{PRK003}
    	Level 6 Perks			{PRK004}
    	Level 8 Perks			{PRK005}
    	Level 10 Perks			{PRK006}
    	Level 12 Perks			{PRK007}
    	Level 14 Perks			{PRK008}
    	Level 16 Perks			{PRK009}
    	Level 18 Perks			{PRK010}
    	Level 20 Perks			{PRK011}
    	Level 22 Perks			{PRK012}
    	Level 24 Perks			{PRK013}
    	Lever 26 Perks			{PRK014}
    	Level 28 Perks			{PRK015}
    	Additional Perks		{PRK016}
    	My Personal Build, Perks	{PRK017}
    VI. IssacFrost's Energy Weapons Build	{EWB001}
    	1. Attributes			{EWB002}
    	2. Perks			{EWB003}
    	3. Skills/Traits		{EWB004}
    	4. Weapon Selection		{EWB005}
    	5. Companions			{EWB006}
    	6. Getting Established 		{EWB007}
    	   in the Mohave
    VII. Getting Started in the Mohave 	{MOH001}
    	1. The New Vegas 		{MOH002}
    	   Medical Clinic Run
    	2. Alternate Routes		{MOH003}
    	3. Jackpot Winner!		{MOH004}
    	4. Infinite Experience 		{MOH005}
    	   Exploit #1
    	5. Infinite Experience 		{MOH006}
    	   Exploit #2
    	6. Infinite Experience 		{MOH007}
    	   Exploit #3
    	7. "Free" Repairs		{MOH008}
    	8. Early Combat Armor		{MOH009}
    	9. Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle	{MOH010}
    	10. Pew-Pew			{MOH011}
    	11. Q-35 Matter Modulator	{MOH012}
    	12. Remnant Power Armor		{MOH013}
    	13. Remnant Power Helmet	{MOH014}
    	14. This Machine		{MOH015}
    	15. YCS/186 -or- Alien Blaster	{MOH016}
    VIII. Hardcore Mode Blues		{HMB001}
    	1. Survival of the Skilled	{HMB002}
    	2. H20				{HMB003}
    	3. Food				{HMB004}
    	4. Sleep			{HMB005}
    	5. 'Tis But a Flesh Wound..	{HMB006}
    	6. Ammo Weight Hate		{HMB007}
    	7. And Then There Was One..	{HMB008}
    	8. First Do No Harm		{HMB009}
    	9. Don't Mind the Grind		{HMB010}
    IX. Books				{BOK001}
    X. Updates/Thanks			{UPD001}
    	Special Thanks/Credits		{UPD002}
    |								       |
    |			Introduction {INT001}			       |
    |								       |
    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?
    All that said, this is a FAQ written relatively close to the game 
    launch, and I'm sure I haven't found everything the game has to offer,
    so what I have proposed should all be viewed as tentative, and hence,
    subject to change. Also, if you followed the previous Fallout FAQ I
    wrote you'll notice that it gradually gained more and more information
    that wasn't strictly character-build related until it evolved into a
    full FAQ/Walkthrough. We'll see how that goes this time around.
    This is for the vanilla version of the game. If you have any of the
    DLCs or especially the Ultimate Edition of the game, see my Ultimate
    Edition Character Creation FAQ, instead. The build for the vanilla game
    is not really a great build for the Ultimate Edition.
    Hardcore Mode							{INT002}
    With New Vegas comes the addition of Hardcore mode, which adds
    significant gameplay changes. These include weight for ammo, the need to
    mind food (FOD), dehydration (H20), and sleep deprivation (SLP) meters,
    as well as a host of other tweaks, like the need to use a Doctor's Bag
    to heal crippled legs, or to go find an actual doctor. This makes the
    game a much more tedious experience, and in my mind it exists more for
    challenge and realism than for any sort of story benefit. On that note,
    when I played Hardcore mode it made me rush through the story more, and
    explore less. I ignored most sub-quests and side-areas, and I really
    wouldn't recommend it for a first play-through. If you do, however, play
    Hardcore mode, save before you go out exploring and when you find new
    areas, assess their resources and decide whether it's worth your time to
    run out there. If not, reload.
    As far as Hardcore mode affects my build.. It mostly changes perk and
    skill point allocation, rather than affecting SPECIAL stats. It also
    means I have to be more picky when it comes to buying Implants. I would
    rather have Sub-Dermal Armor and Monocyte Breeders than many of the
    SPECIAL stats, and since I wasn't running out and killing Super Mutants
    for gear, and by extension, Caps, I was a little more conservative with
    my spending. If you're lucky enough, however, you can gamble at the
    various casinos in the Strip to rake up some Caps without wasting time..
    that's right, time doesn't flow in the gambling mini-games. Other than 
    that, I stand by my general build as Hardcore friendly. The only thing 
    I suggest changing are a handful of Perks, and the priority of skills. 
    Obviously Survival as a skill is more important in Hardcore Mode.
    |								       |
    |		S.P.E.C.I.A.L Attributes {SPC001}		       |
    |								       |
    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 rating 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.
    Implants							{SPC002}
    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.
    	|      Implant       | Cost |       Effect        |
    	|Agility Implant     | 4,000|     +1 Agility      |
    	|Charisma Implant    | 4,000|    +1 Charisma      |
    	|Endurance Implant   | 4,000|    +1 Endurance     |
    	|Intelligence Implant| 4,000|   +1 Intelligence   |
    	|Monocyte Breeder    |12,000|Regenerate Hit Points|
    	|Luck Implant	     | 4,000|      +1 Luck        |
    	|Perception Implant  | 4,000|   +1 Perception     |
    	|Strength Implant    | 4,000|    +1 Strength      |
    	|Sub-Dermal Armor    | 8,000| +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?				{SPC003}
    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.
    Strength 							{SPC004}
    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
    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 or Minigun, some inherent inaccuracy is built into the
    weapon anyways. But with a Sniper Rifle, 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. 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.
    |Score|Melee Damage|Carrying Capacity|Skills|       Description	       |
    |  1  |      .5    |       160       |  +2  |Wet Noodle 	       |
    |  2  |     1.0    |       170       |  +4  |Beached Jellyfish         |
    |  3  |     1.5    |       180       |  +6  |Doughy Baby               |
    |  4  |     2.0    |       190       |  +8  |Lightweight               |
    |  5  |     2.5    |       200       | +10  |Average Joe               |
    |  6  |     3.0    |       210       | +12  |Barrel Chested            |
    |  7  |     3.5    |       220       | +14  |Beach Bully               |
    |  8  |     4.0    |       230       | +16  |Circus Strongman          |
    |  9  |     4.5    |       240       | +18  |Doomsday Pecs             |
    | 10  |     5.0    |       250       | +20  |Hercules' Bigger Cousin   |
    My Build: I put *THREE* points into Strength.. decidedly low, but hear
    me out. With the Implant my Strength will raise to four, and with the
    Weapon Handling perk I effectively have access to six point weapons,
    which.. pretty much includes all the pistols and rifles in the game.
    Considering that I don't have any Strength-dependent perks, I don't
    care to specialize in Melee Weapons or Unarmed, so the damage doesn't
    concern me one bit.
    Rating: ***
    Perception							{SPC005}
    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.
    		|Score|Skills|    Description     |
    		|  1  |  +2  |Deaf Bat		  |
    		|  2  |  +4  |Senile Mole	  |
    		|  3  |  +6  |Squinting Newt	  |
    		|  4  |  +8  |Unsuspecting Trout  |
    		|  5  | +10  |Wary Trout	  |
    		|  6  | +12  |Alert Coyote	  |
    		|  7  | +14  |Big-eyed Tiger	  |
    		|  8  | +16  |Monocled Falcon	  |
    		|  9  | +18  |Sniper Hawk	  |
    		| 10  | +20  |Eagle with Telescope|
    My Build: I start out with a base of *FIVE* Perception.
    Rating: **
    Endurance 							{SPC006}
    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.
    |Score|Hitpoints|Poison/Rad Resistance|Skills|  Description   |
    |  1  |   120   |        0%/0%        |  +2  |Basically Dead  |
    |  2  |   140   |        5%/2%        |  +4  |Crumbly         |
    |  3  |   160   |       10%/4%        |  +6  |Do Not Bend     |
    |  4  |   180   |       15%/6%        |  +8  |Handle with Care|
    |  5  |   200   |       20%/8%        | +10  |Stain-resistant |
    |  6  |   220   |       25%/10%       | +12  |Hardy           |
    |  7  |   240   |       30%/12%       | +14  |Tough-as-nails  |
    |  8  |   260   |       35%/14%       | +16  |Flame Retardant |
    |  9  |   280   |       40%/16%       | +18  |Bulletproof     |
    | 10  |   300   |       45%/18%       | +20  |Unstoppable     |
    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.
    Rating: *****
    Charisma 							{SPC007}
    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 any other Fallout
    game, 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.
    		|Score|Skills|   Description    |
    		|  1  |  +2  |Misanthrope       |
    		|  2  |  +4  |Old Hermit        |
    		|  3  |  +6  |Creepy Undertaker |
    		|  4  |  +8  |Peevish Librarian |
    		|  5  | +10  |Substitute Teacher|
    		|  6  | +12  |Cheery Salesman   |
    		|  7  | +14  |Diplomat          |
    		|  8  | +16  |Movie Star        |
    		|  9  | +18  |Casanova          |
    		| 10  | +20  |Cult Leader       |
    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.
    Rating: *
    Intelligence 							{SPC008}
    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.
    	|Score|Skill Point per Level|Skills| Description |
    	|  1  |         10.5        |  +2  |Sub-brick    |
    	|  2  |         11          |  +4  |Vegetable    |
    	|  3  |         11.5        |  +6  |Cretin       |
    	|  4  |         12          |  +8  |Knucklehead  |
    	|  5  |         12.5        | +10  |Knowledgeable|
    	|  6  |         13          | +12  |Gifted       |
    	|  7  |         13.5        | +14  |Smartypants  |
    	|  8  |         14          | +16  |Know-it-all  |
    	|  9  |         14.5        | +18  |Genius       |
    	| 10  |         15          | +20  |Omniscient   |
    My Build: I start out with *NINE* Intelligence. My first priority, as
    in Fallout 3, is to bring this nine up to a ten.. and this involves 
    heading to the Emergency Service Railyard, through Primm Pass (if
    possible), and north until I find the New Vegas Medical Clinic. The 
    lower my level when I do this, the better my character will end up over 
    all, so I take pains to avoid getting experience until I have the 
    Intelligence Implant, after which I play the game more or less 
    normally.. Normal for me, anyways.
    Rating: ****
    Agility 							{SPC009}
    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.
    	|Score|Action Points|Skills|  Description   |
    	|  1  |      67     |  +2  |Walking Disaster|
    	|  2  |      69     |  +4  |Accident Prone  |
    	|  3  |      71     |  +6  |Oaf             |
    	|  4  |      73     |  +8  |Butterfingers   |
    	|  5  |      75     | +10  |Under Control   |
    	|  6  |      77     | +12  |Catlike         |
    	|  7  |      79     | +14  |Knife Thrower   |
    	|  8  |      81     | +16  |Knife Catcher   |
    	|  9  |      83     | +18  |Acrobatic Marvel|
    	| 10  |      85     | +20  |Walks on Water  |
    My Build: I grab *SIX* point of Agility to start with, raising it to
    seven with the Small Frame trait. It will eventually reach eight when
    I get the Implant, which is plenty as far as Action Points and reload
    speed is concerned.
    Rating: ***
    Luck								{SPC010}
    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!'"
    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|Critical Chance|Skills|    Description     |
    	|  1 |       1%      |  +1  |13 Pitch-black Coats|
    	|  2 |       2%      |  +1  |Broken Gypsy Mirror |
    	|  3 |       3%      |  +2  |Sickly Albatross    |
    	|  4 |       4%      |  +2  |Spilled Salt        |
    	|  5 |       5%      |  +3  |Coin Flip           |
    	|  6 |       6%      |  +3  |Stacked Deck        |
    	|  7 |       7%      |  +4  |Lucky 7             |
    	|  8 |       8%      |  +4  |Leprechaun's Foot   |
    	|  9 |       9%      |  +5  |21-Leaf Clover      |
    	| 10 |	     10%     |  +5  |Two-headed Coin Flip|
    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. state for one measly 
    point of critical hit percentage.
    Rating: *****
    My Personal Build, Attributes					{SPC011}
    I will purchase all the Implants save Charisma, and focus on Guns..
    but I'll have enough skill points that I can bring Energy Weapons and
    Explosives up to snuff, too. In fact, on a typical build I get all
    my skills as high as I want them save Melee Weapons, Survival, and
    Unarmed, which is pretty good, if you ask me. Also, I have recently
    decided to disdain Power Armor, as it.. well, it's just too heavy and
    I rarely needed that much protection. Instead I typically go with
    Vault Security Armor, which has a Damage Threshold of 16 and a repair
    cost of 100-200 caps. It's also light armor, which is handy.
    Overall the build can be described as a Gun-using skill-junkie. I will
    have the skills to handle many different situations in the game, but
    this character will excel in direct confrontations. The plain number is
    my starting score, the number in parentheses is my ending score, with
    Implants and traits considered.
    Strength	3 (4)
    Perception	5 (6)
    Endurance	8 (9)
    Charisma	1
    Intelligence	9 (10)
    Agility		6 (8)
    Luck		8 (9)
    For characters who want to play through the game in Hardcore mode-not
    merely run through, it might be a good idea to grab Perks such as
    Strong Back and Pack Rat. The following adjustments can be made without
    the overall building suffering much, if any.
    Strength	4 (5)
    Perception	5 (6)
    Endurance	8 (9)
    Charisam	1
    Intelligence	9 (10)
    Agility		5 (7)
    Luck		8 (9)	
    |								       |
    |			    Skills {SKL001}			       |
    |								       |
    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.
    Base 								{SKL002}
    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).
    Tag! 								{SKL003}
    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.
    Leveling 							{SKL004}
    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.
    Books								{SKL005}
    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
    Comprehension). 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							{SKL006}
    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					{SKL007}
    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. Because
    of several factors, namely the lack of Bobbleheads and a reduction in
    the number of skill points per level, you will likely not reach 100 in
    all of your skills.. but you can certainly reach 100 in many of them.
    Here's a breakdown of where our skills stand with this build at level
    one. Note that these numbers do not include any trait bonuses.
    		Base	SPECIAL	Total	Implants	Total
    			(+Luck)		(+Luck)		
    Barter		2	2  +4	8	1		9
    Energy Weapons	2	10 +4	16	3		19
    Explosives	2	10 +4	16	3		19	
    Guns		2	12 +4	18	3		21
    Lockpick	2	10 +4	16	3		19
    Medicine	2	18 +4	24	3		27
    Melee Weapons	2	6  +4	12	3		15
    Repair		2	18 +4	24	3		27
    Science		2	18 +4	24	3		27
    Sneak		2	12 +4	18	3		21
    Speech		2	2  +4	8	1		9
    Survival	4	16 +4	24	3		27		
    Unarmed		2	16 +4	22	3		25	
    Now that we've got that, lets figure out how many points we can expect
    to get from leveling and Tag! skills, and see where that leaves us.
    		265 Base Skill Points
    	       + 45 Tag!
    	       +435 15 Skill Points/29 Levels (w/ 10 Intelligence)
    	       + 52 2 Skill Points/26 Levels (w/Educated)
    		797 Skill Points to spend by level 30
    With 797 skill points we can get an average of 61~ in each skill..
    Simply put, that doesn't really cut it. Fortunately, that's not all
    there is to it. The previously mentioned books weigh in at three skill
    points per copy (or four, with the Comprehension perk). Since there are
    four of each type of book (save Big Books of Science, which has five
    copies floating about).. that adds up to a lot of potential skill 
    points. Four books per skill, thirteen skills, with an extra Big Book
    equals 212 skill points that can be obtained from books.. provided you
    find them all, which can be a major chore in and of itself. Still, if
    you are dedicated to power gaming, if we add in all the skill points
    we would receive from books to our base build, this is what we'd end up
    		Base	w/Skill	Total	Points	Real
    			 Books		to Max	Req.
    Barter		9	+16	25	+75	+55
    Energy Weapons	19	+16	35	+65	+65
    Explosives	19	+16	35	+65	+65	
    Guns		21	+16	37	+63	+63
    Lockpick	19	+16	35	+65	+45
    Medicine	27	+16	43	+57	+57
    Melee Weapons	15	+16	31	+65	+65
    Repair		27	+16	43	+57	+57
    Science		27	+20	47	+53	+33
    Sneak		21	+16	37	+63	+63
    Speech		9	+16	25	+75	+55
    Survival	27	+16	43	+57	+57		
    Unarmed		25	+16	41	+59	+59
    	      ------  ------  ------  ------  ------
    Breakdown	265  +  212  =  477     819	739
    		739 Skill Points (Real Requirements)
    	       - 45 Tag!
    	       -435 15 Skill Points/29 Levels (w/10 Intelligence)	
    	       - 52 2 Skill Points/26 Levels (w/Educated)
    		207 Number of Skill Points Required to Max all Skills
    Keep in mind that by 'base' I mean what our scores will be after 
    getting all the Implants, and an Intensive Training perk in Luck to
    bring our Luck score up to nine. Comprehension is counted into the book
    skill point total, to bring us to our potential skill results without
    spending a single point from leveling. This might be an unrealistically
    ambitious goal (certainly in Hardcore mode), but it does give those
    perfectionists out there something to shoot for. The 'Real Req.' column
    gives the amount of skill points you should spend into a skill at most
    before spending more becomes redundant. For example, I view it wasteful
    to bother spending more than 80 points into Barter, Lockpick, Science,
    and Speech, since these are mostly 'checked' skills that can be raised
    by reading a magazine prior to a check in order to succeed (see my
    description of the Comprehension perk for more about this.)
    As you can see by the math above, with this build we will be able to get
    about 1095 Skill Points in total, where we would need 1300 to max all
    the skills at 100. Even getting as many skill points as humanly possible
    you're going to have to let some things go.. which amounts to roughly 
    three skills that you can't put any points into.
    Apparel								{SKL008}
    In addition, if you really want to be a skill point hoarder, some
    types of Apparel increase your skill points. While not as handy as a
    magazine (or as rewarding, typically) this doesn't change the fact that
    if you carry around a Vault Utility Jumpsuit, you really only need 75
    Repair, for example, to reach 100. When you find a Very Hard lock pop on 
    the Jumpsuit and read a magazine and get to work. It can be unwieldy to 
    carry around several outfits for the purpose of skill point boosting.. 
    but you can potentially save a good bit of skill points this way.. skill 
    points you can then put into other skills that need a boost on a more 
    permanent basis. Also keep in mind that certain Apparel increases 
    SPECIAL stats, which in turn boost skills.. but it's rather tedious to 
    keep on hand hats for the two point boost you'd get to Lockpick. Where 
    you draw the line at convenience and min/maxing is up to you, but below 
    are some examples of stat-boosting gear, just in case.
    Apparel				Boost		       Max Skill w/Boost
    Followers Doctor Coat		+5 Science			75
    Pre-War Businesswear		+5 Speech			75
    Roving Trader Hat		+5 Barter			75
    Vault Utility Jumpsuit		+5 Repair/	 		n/a
    				+5 Lockpick			75
    NCR Engineer Outfit		+5 Repair			n/a
    Chinese Stealth Armor		+5 Sneak			n/a
    Barter (Charisma)						{SKL009}
    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 may not be
    worth picking for everyone. 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, and if you plan on hunting down all the
    skill books in the game, there's really no reason not to bring Barter up
    to 80. Unless you absolutely need to have three or four weapon skills..
    and good luck getting the perks to make that work.
    Rating: ****
    Suggested Score: 80
    Energy Weapons (Perception)					{SKL010}
    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.
    Rating: ****
    Suggested Score: 100 (for Energy Weapons users, base for everyone else)
    Explosives (Perception)						{SKL009}
    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. If you
    have points left over after focusing on Energy Weapons or Guns, and you
    a taste for destruction, it makes an interesting-not essential-secondary
    weapon skill.
    Rating: ***
    Suggested Score: 100 (for Explosives users, base for everyone else)
    Guns (Agility)							{SKL010}
    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.
    An exception can be made for devoted Energy Weapons users.
    Rating: *****
    Suggested Score: 75 (Everybody can benefit from getting Guns up to 75.)
    Lockpick (Perception)						{SKL011}
    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]
    |Lockpick SKill|Lock Difficulty|
    |       0      |   Very Easy   |
    |      25      |      Easy     |
    |      50      |     Average   |
    |      75      |      Hard     |
    |     100      |   Very Hard   |
    Rating: *****
    Suggested Score: 80
    Medicine (Intelligence)						{SKL012}
    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.. especially if
    you've got the skill points to spare.
    Rating: **
    Suggested Score: base
    Melee Weapons (Strength)					{SKL013}
    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
    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
    Rating: **
    Suggested Score: 45 (for people who want the Cowboy Perk.) 
    		100 (for Melee Weapons users, base for every one else.)
    Repair (Intelligence)						{SKL014}
    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 hearts' content. Also, some weapons and armor are
    prohibitively rare, making fixes with Repair difficult. In fact, most
    armors are easier to simply repair by going to an NPC and paying them
    to do it, rather than hunting down some armor with which to repair your
    own. That brings us to weapons. The best way to repair weapons in my
    opinion is to simply make Weapon Repair Kits, which is much cheaper and
    simpler than other methods. This makes the terminal skill level for
    Repair 50, as far as I'm concerned.. unless you use Guns, then you
    should get a score of 70 for Hand Loader.
    Rating: ***
    Suggested Score: 50
    		 70 (for Guns users who use .308 ammo.)
    		 90 (for Guns users who use 45-70 Gov't ammo.)
    		100 (for Guns users who use 50mg ammo.)
    Science (Intelligence)						{SKL015}
    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.
    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 SKill|Hack Difficulty|
    |       0     |   Very Easy   |
    |      25     |      Easy     |
    |      50     |     Average   |
    |      75     |      Hard     |
    |     100     |   Very Hard   |
    Rating: *****
    Suggested Score: 80
    Sneak (Agility)							{SKL016}
    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
    easily 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. To be fair, however, you will need a Sneak score of 70+ to
    really be any good at sneaking, and since enemies are typically more
    mobile in New Vegas, you probably won't often be sneaking up to a
    hostile foe in order to get a melee or unarmed sneak attack.
    Rating: ***
    Suggested Score: base (for Melee Weapons and Unarmed characters.)
    		50 (for Silent Running.)
    		70+ (for dedicated snipers.)
    Speech (Charisma)						{SKL017}
    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.
    Once at 80 you can supplement your score with magazines for when you
    need a higher Speech check.
    Rating: *****
    Suggested Score: 80
    Survival (Endurance)						{SKL018}
    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. On the other 
    hand, if you're a veteran and make the New Vegas run, chances are you'll
    get yourself enough Caps to just buy all the food and water you need. 
    It's not essential, even in Hardcore mode, but it is nice. I suggest
    at least getting it up to 50 so you can make Bighorner Steaks, which
    are a staple healing/food item. The fact that it also allows you to
    make.. nearly every other recipe you're likely to find plenty of
    ingredients for is just a bonus.
    Rating: *
    Rating: **** (Hardcore Mode)
    Suggested Score: base (normal gamers) or 50 (hardcore players)
    Unarmed (Endurance)						{SKL019}
    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, New Vegas 
    requires you to have both skills high in order to get the full range 
    of useful perks, so you'll either have to suck it up and waste a good
    number of skill points for Ninja, or go without. Still, if push comes
    to shove, I'd rather have Unarmed than Melee Weapons.. not to mention
    that Unarmed Weapons typically weigh less helps, too.
    Rating: ***
    Suggested Score: 100 (for Unarmed characters, base for everyone else.)
    		  90 (for any melee character, most of the good perks
    		     (require a high Unarmed skill.)
    Skills I Tag! (and why)						{SKL020}
    Now that Repair isn't as vital, I generally decide to Tag! Science,
    Lockpick, and Speech to start out, which allows me to complete quest
    and explore places right from the get-go. 
    Skill Point Allocation						{SKL021}
    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. I typically get Lockpick and Science up to 50 before
    switching off to Speech, Sneak, and whatever weapon I am specializing
    in. Once those are up to 50, I generally put another level into all of
    the previously-mentioned skills to bring them up to 64 or so. Then I
    let books do the rest of the work for Science, Lockpick, and Speech
    while continuing to build on my specialty weapon. Below I've listed
    several sample builds, all using the same SPECIAL stats, but with
    differing skills to reflect different focuses.
    		  (Normal Build)	(With Books)
    Barter:			80		64 + 16 = 80   
    Energy Weapons:		19		19 + 16	= 35
    Explosives:		19		19 + 16 = 35
    Guns:			100		84 + 16 = 100
    Lockpick:		80		64 + 16 = 80
    Medicine:		27		27 + 16 = 43
    Melee Weapons:		17		17 + 16 = 33
    Repair:			75		59 + 16 = 75
    Science:		80		60 + 20	= 80
    Sneak:			50		54 + 16 = 70
    Speech:			80		64 + 16 = 80
    Survival:		27		27 + 16 = 43
    Unarmed:		25		25 + 16	= 41		
    		      ------	       ---------------	
    Total			602             578
    Skill Points Remaining:	118             220
    With the inclusion of the skill books and further play-testing, I can
    offer a more powerful 'general' build. Although it might accurately be
    called a general 'Guns' build, that's more because of the fact that
    Guns are just the strongest and most versatile weapons out there. If
    you feel otherwise.. well, that's fine, but multiple plays with
    different builds really points to Guns. That's not the say that's all
    this build can do.. there are more than enough skill points left over
    to focus on any other secondary weapon skill.. granted, you might not
    have the perks to make Melee Weapons and Unarmed too useful and get
    all out of Guns that you want, but you can certainly splurge on role-
    play related perks (like Black Widow/Lady Killer), or focus on a 
    niche of weapons and get the Cowboy perk to beef up the Brush Gun or
    Ranger Sequoia, or heck, even grab the Laser Commander perk if you
    really like lasers. As long as you keep Guns, however, you should be
    able to survive any encounter with some ease, whether you like to
    fight at close range with a revolver or shotgun, medium range with a
    Brush Gun, or at long range with a Sniper Rifle. Most importantly,
    this build has the skills available to do pretty much anything and
    everything in the game. You'll be able to pick any lock, hack any
    computer, and succeed at every Speech and Barter check in the game,
    with plenty of points to spare.
    If you really dedicate your builds to Guns, you might also want to 
    consider getting yourself a Repair score high enough to make the Hand
    Load ammo (90), and a Melee Weapons skill high enough for Cowboy (45).
    On the other hand, if you want to be conservative with Guns you
    really only need a Guns skill of 75 for a Sniper Rifle, and a Repair
    skill of 70 for .308 JSP ammo.
    With Unarmed you're obviously going to want to get up to 90 in 
    Unarmed to get Slayer, but beyond that, there's nothing to prevent
    you from playing hybrid. Use Guns to take out hordes of Deathclaws,
    and use Unarmed to kill everything else. Note that the Unarmed
    build is probably going to be less reliant on Sneak. Also keep in
    mind that as a fisticuffs character you're going to want all the
    Damage Threshold you can get, so keep an eye out for Power Armor.
    "Energy Weapons"
    If you played conservative with Guns, you can still be pretty damn
    proficient at them while focusing on Energy Weapons. Energy Weapons
    doesn't have too many great perks dedicated solely to it, but there
    is nothing to stop you from relying on Energy Weapons in place of
    Guns. However, I don't really think that the Gauss Rifle is worth its
    requirements.. especially since a Sniper Rifle does a better job
    anyways. The one saving grace of Energy Weapons is the unique Gauss
    Rifle YCS/186, which has a lower strength requirement and deals 
    downright stupid damage. At the short-to-mid range, however, nothing
    stops you from going around with a Multiplas Rifle and decimating 
    enemies, either.
    |								       |
    |			    Traits {TRT001}			       |
    |								       |
    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.
    Built to Destroy						{TRT002}
    Req: --
    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%
    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.
    Rating: ****
    Fast Shot							{TRT003}
    Req: --
    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.
    Rating: **
    Four Eyes							{TRT004}
    Req: 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. For
    leveling purposes your Perception is always considered one point LOWER,
    glasses or not. So if you think you're going to be clever by picking
    Four Eyes, just make sure you have enough base Perception to get all
    the perks you want.
    Rating: **
    Good Natured							{TRT005}
    Req: --
    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.
    If you really want to play a pacifist, this is for you. Overall, it's
    bonuses equal its penalties, but that's not the whole story. Think about
    it. How many weapons will you use? Chances are, you're not going to get
    more than one or two weapon skills.. three at most. On the other hand,
    all the skills that gain bonuses are pretty good skills. If you went
    with a solo-weapon build (Guns or Energy Weapons, for example), the -5
    skill check on the one skill you'll spend points in is offset by the +5
    bonuses you'll receive. It's worth considering, at least.
    Rating: ***
    Heavy Handed							{TRT006}
    Req: --
    Ranks: 1
    Your melee and unarmed attacks do more damage, but less critical hit
    If you want to use this trait.. well, you have to get Unarmed and 
    Melee Weapons, which seems bad enough to me. You also have to 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.
    Rating: **
    Kamikaze							{TRT007}
    Req: --
    Ranks: 1
    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 
    Cazadors 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.
    Rating: ***
    Loose Cannon							{TRT008}
    Req: --
    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.
    Rating: *
    Small Frame							{TRT009}
    Req: AGL < 10
    Ranks: 1
    Due to your small size, you have +1 AGL but your limbs are more easily
    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.. 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.
    Rating: *****
    Trigger Discipline						{TRT010}
    Req: --
    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.
    Rating: **
    Wild Wasteland							{TRT011}
    Req: --
    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 
    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.
    Rating: ***
    |								       |
    |				Perks {PRK001}			       |
    |								       |
    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 rating 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.
    *	Horrible	Nobody should pick this perk.
    **	Bad		Generally this is a low-end perk. Sometimes
    			they provide just enough of a benefit specific
    			to a character to be worth it, but most
    			characters will not find this perk useful.
    ***	Average		This perk is good simply because of the
    			lack of competition, or there is a good, but
    			not overwhelmingly good reason to pick it. It
    			might look good on its own merit, but compared
    			to truly great perks, it doesn't measure up.
    ****	Good		A good perk for anybody to pick, or a perk
    			that is absolutely essential to a specific
    *****	Great		A perk everybody should get. Period.
    Level 2 Perks 							{PRK002}
    Black Widow/Cherchez La Femme/Lady Killer
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ** (vs. females) 
    Rating: *** (vs. males)
    Friend of the Night
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Heave, Ho!
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: Level 2, Survival 30
    Ranks: 1
    In combat, you do +75% Critical Damage against animals and mutated
    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.
    Rating: *
    Intense Training
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Rapid Reload
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Req: 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. You don't need this perk.
    Rating: *
    Swift Learner
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Level 4 Perks 							{PRK003}
    Req: 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
    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 
    still sucks, even in Hardcore mode.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    I was hesitant about this perk at first, and put it off for a long time
    on my first character. With skill books giving three points per book,
    Comprehension's one point increase wasn't as outstanding as it was in
    Fallout 3. Later into the game, when I had found perhaps a dozen books,
    I decided that Comprehension was indeed worthy of selection. But more
    than just the skill points from books.. the magazine bonus is what
    really makes this perk worthwhile. Very Hard terminals and locks are
    fairly rare in this game.. rare enough that you can just keep a
    magazine on hand for when you really need to pop a lock, or pass a
    Speech check. With the Comprehension perk, you only need to be within
    twenty points of 100 to pass such rare checks. This led me to the
    conclusion that checked skills like Barter, Speech, Lockpick, and
    Science could just be left at 80. Most of their benefit is there all
    the time, but when you REALLY need more than 80 to pass a check, you
    can just pop open a magazine. This effectively saves you scores of 
    skill points that you can put into skills that need to be high all the
    time.. like Sneak, or Guns. Oh, and since there are-as far as I have
    seen-four of each type of book (except Big Book of Science, of which
    there are five) this perk also effectively can give you 53 extra skill
    point.. one more per book. Provided you bother to find all the books,
    that is.
    Rating: *****
    Req: 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
    Sure, it's not as good as it was in the last game, but now that there
    are less skill points to go around, it actually becomes more important.
    I look at it this way. If you get it at level four, you will have 26
    levels to reap the benefits. That's 52 skill points.. enough to bring
    up a single skill. That's one more thing your character can do well,
    whether it's Barter, Energy Weapons, Guns, Explosives, Lockpick,
    Science, Sneak, Repair, or what have you. I don't know about you, but I
    like my character being able to do things.
    Rating: *****
    Req: 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 
    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.
    Rating: **
    Rad Child
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Run 'n Gun
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Travel Light
    Req: Level 4, Survival 45
    Ranks: 1
    While wearing light armor or no armor, you run 10% faster.
    Light armor or 'no armor' is not very good armor, and 10% isn't a huge
    speed boost. I gotta say, even for Hardcore mode folks, I wouldn't
    pick this perk.
    Rating: *
    Level 6 Perks 							{PRK004}
    Bloody Mess
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Demolition Expert
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Ferocious Loyalty
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Fortune Finder
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Hand Loader
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ****
    Lead Belly
    Req: 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.
    *Sigh* Okay, if you're not playing Hardcore mode, this perk is safely
    useless. If you are playing Hardcore mode.. there has to be a better
    way to reach water, right? I mean, you can create quantities of 
    Purified Water? Heck, there are plenty of perfectly clean water sources
    sitting out in the wastes just waiting to be discovered. Still, I can
    admit that there might be the need to do this once in a while.. but
    even so, you can surely get to a doctor before you die of radiation
    poisoning and just pay the 100 damn caps. In fact, it's cheaper to
    drink irradiated water and just pay a doctor to fix you than it is
    to buy purified water! You'll never need this perk, Hardcore mode or
    Rating: *
    Shotgun Surgeon
    Req: 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, you can probably
    just use a Brush Rifle or an Anti-Material Rifle, which, although they
    don't have any perks designed for them, do enough damage to negate an
    enemies Damage Threshold anyways.
    Rating: ****
    The Professional
    Req: 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). Surely perks like Finesse and Better Criticals
    put this to shame.
    Rating: **
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Vigilant Recycler
    Req: 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
    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?
    Rating: *
    Rating: *** (Energy Weapon nuts)
    Level 8 Perks 							{PRK005}
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Living Anatomy
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Pack Rat
    Req: 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..
    Rating: *
    Rating: *** (Hardcore Mode)
    Quick Draw
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Rad Resistance
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    On the other hand, five damage probably won't slow most of them down
    much (especially the poisonous ones), and I've yet to be knocked down
    in combat.. save from an explosive.
    Rating: **
    Strong Back
    Req: 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 half the perks there's no way
    this one is getting back in. Sure, carrying extra stuff is nice (perhaps
    even vital, in Hardcore mode), but otherwise it's not a big deal. If you
    are playing Hardcore mode and having the ammo-weight blues, give this
    and Pack Rat some consideration. 50 pounds of equipment can go a long
    Rating: *
    Rating: ** (Hardcore Mode)
    Super Slam
    Req: 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.
    This is pretty simple, knocking enemies down will buy you some breathing
    room and allow you to score more hits.. and the biggest issue of melee
    in New Vegas is easily the fact that enemies can retaliate more 
    successfully (especially compared to a sniper-build). If you are making
    an Unarmed, or especially a Melee Weapons build, you should consider
    this perk.
    Rating: ***
    Terrifying Presence
    Req: 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
    Rating: *
    Level 10 Perks 							{PRK006}
    Animal Friend
    Req: 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.
    This perk was useless in Fallout 3, and it's useless in New Vegas.
    There is simply no animal that is dangerous enough to need sanctuary
    from it, much less aid.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *****
    Here and Now
    Req: 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
    30 well before you finished the game. This is a waste of a perk.
    Rating: *
    Math Wrath
    Req: 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. In any event, using more V.A.T.S. at once is risky.
    I would shoot for perks that replenish or regenerate your AP, rather
    than perks that reduce AP costs or raise your AP total. Sure, using
    VATS in short bursts works just as well (for example, taking two or
    three shots instead of five or six) but with more powerful, Damage
    Threshold defeating weapons, you won’t' get many shots off at once
    anyways. Also, think about this. Most characters will have around 100
    AP. In fact, the only way you'll get much more is by picking perks like
    Action Boy/Girl or the Kamikaze trait. TO that end, having -10% AP costs
    from 100 AP is like having 10 more AP.. which is patently inferior to
    the Action Boy/Girl perk.
    Rating: **
    Miss Fortune
    Req: 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; 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.
    Rating: *
    Mister Sandman
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Mysterious Stranger
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Nerd Rage!
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Night Person
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Plasma Spaz
    Req: Level 10, Energy Weapons 70
    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 still 
    wasn't that good. How is a perk that only works for plasma weapons
    going to fare? Not so well.
    Rating: *
    Level 12 Perks 							{PRK007}
    Fast Metabolism
    Req: Level 12
    Ranks: 1
    With the Fast Metabolism perk, you gain a 20% Health bonus when using
    Stimpaks are cheap enough to buy, you don't need this perk. If it
    increased the healing and other drug benefits, (perhaps H20 recovery),
    then it might be good for Hardcore players, but as it stands, it
    sucks. Heh.
    Rating: *
    Ghastly Scavenger
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Hit the Deck
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Life Giver
    Req: 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
    Rating: **
    Long Haul
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Piercing Strike
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ****
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Robotics Expert
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Silent Running
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ****
    Splash Damage
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Unstoppable Force
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Level 14 Perks 							{PRK008}
    Adamantium Skeleton
    Req: Level 14
    Ranks: 1
    With the Adamantium Skeleton perk, your limbs only receive 50% of the
    damage they normally would.
    Your limbs don't take much damage throughout the game, unless you step
    on a mine or take a glancing blow from a missile launcher. You won’t see
    much in the way of hit point preservation with this perk, if anything,
    you'll just get crippled less. Sure, it can be handy in Hardcore mode,
    but doctors and Doctors Bags are not rare enough that this should be
    an ever-present concern for you. The fact that I still perk the Small
    Frame trait for Hardcore mode characters should say a lot about how I
    will rate this perk.
    Rating: *
    Center of Mass
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: Level 14, Medicine 60
    Ranks: 1
    With the Chemist perk, any chems you take last twice as long.
    There are few instances in the game when you will need to take chems,
    in fact, the most useful chemical in the game is Rad-x. You'll find
    plenty of chems in your travels, enough that you can just take two
    instead of having this perk.
    Rating: *
    Jury Rigging
    Req: Level 14, Repair 90
    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.
    This can be an incredibly useful, Cap-and-bother saving perk. First off,
    however, let’s just say with a high enough Repair you can just make
    Weapon Repair Kits with fairly common components that can be purchased
    from most vendors (Duct Tape, Scrap Electronics, Scrap Metal, 
    Wonderglue, and Wrenches), which, again with a good Repair skill, should
    restore about 25% of a weapons' condition. This means you really don't
    need this perk for any weapons in the game. Armor, however, has no easy
    fix, and you'll really feel it when you want to repair your Remnant
    Power Armor, or your Combat Armor, Reinforced Mark II. Still, if you're
    not in Hardcore mode you can just kill some Super Mutants and sell their
    guns for the Caps you need, and even if you are in Hardcore mode.. wear
    less expensive armor (humble Vault Security Armor has a respectable
    16 Damage Threshold, is light armor, and costs under 200 Caps to fix.)
    That said, there is probably no better 'legitimate' way to earn Caps
    than by repairing high-end weapons with lower-end counterparts. Energy
    Weapons is by far more expensive per shot than Guns, making that build a
    great candidate for this perk on one hand. On the other hand, Energy
    Weapons requires a much lower Repair score than Guns, so you'll have to
    waste more points to meet the requirements for this perk. Then again,
    if you're a die-hard Energy Weapons' user, what have you got to lose?
    Rating: ***
    Light Step
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    If you are going to be using Melee Weapons or Unarmed, you MUST get this
    perk. Deathclaws are bad enough, but capitulating and going toe-to-claw
    with them in melee combat is insane. This perk helps even the odds.
    Also, bonuses against Feral Ghouls and Super Mutants shouldn't be 
    overlooked, especially not a damage boost of 50%, which can really add
    up big with a Ballistic Fist, Displacer Glove, or Super Sledge. If you
    are a hybrid character and have access to a decent gun, you can ignore
    this perk, but for melee-specialized builds, this is gold.
    Rating: ****
    Level 16 Perks 							{PRK009}
    Action Boy/Girl
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Better Criticals
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *****
    Chem Resistant
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Req: 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.
    Rating: **
    Req: 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 52 skill
    points. Sure, I like skill points, but I won't sacrifice a perk for
    such a small return.
    Rating: *
    Weapon Handling
    Req: 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 both with
    it 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. This perk allows me to start 
    out with four Strength, and let Power Armor and an Implant get me to
    the equivalent of eight.. which allows me to wield all the weapons I
    care to wield anyways.
    Rating: ****
    Level 18 Perks 							{PRK010}
    Computer Whiz
    Req: 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
    Rating: *
    Concentrated Fire
    Req: 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
    Rating: **
    Req: 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.
    Rating: *
    Paralyzing Palm
    Req: Level 18, Unarmed 70
    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.. but against one or
    two enemies, it can eliminate one threat and let you concentrate on 
    another, or put down an enemy quick-like for a coup-de-gras. It will
    keep an enemy down longer than a knockdown attack, and it remains
    useful.. unless you don't use Unarmed attacks.
    Rating: ****
    Level 20 Perks 							{PRK011}
    Req: 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 
    Rating: *
    Grim Reaper's Sprint
    Req: 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.
    Rating: ***
    Req: 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. A +15% critical rate is huge, and with a high
    Luck, Finesse, the 1st Recon Beret, and this perk your critical hit rate
    can aspire to 35%. Of course, a gun-using character will almost 
    certainly get more use out of the sneak attack critical damage, as.. 
    frankly.. they can just pull them off easier. Which brings us to Ninja's
    glaring problem.. it's skill requirements are outrageous. Sneak is a 
    fair skill, but 80 points is a huge investment, and Melee Weapons.. 
    well, they just kind of suck. Your chances of sneaking up on many 
    enemies in order to gain one of this perks' benefits isn't very high, 
    and certainly not against enemies against which it would actually be 
    useful to do so. This perk promises a lot, but in the end it just isn't
    worth it.
    Rating: **
    Solar Powered
    Req: 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 
    Rating: **
    Level 22 Perks 							{PRK012}
    Laser Commander
    Req: Level 22, Energy Weapons 90
    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.
    Rating: ***
    Nuka Chemist
    Req: Level 22, Science 90
    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.
    Rating: *
    Spray and Pray
    Req: Level 22
    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? Or best of all, just leave those
    worthless bastards behind. They're nothing but mules, anyawys.
    Rating: *
    Level 24 Perks 							{PRK013}
    Req: Level 24, Unarmed 90, Agility 7
    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.
    Rating: ****
    Level 26 Perks 							{PRK014}
    Nerves of Steel
    Req: Level 26, Agility 7
    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.
    Rating: ***
    Level 28 Perks 							{PRK015}
    Rad Absorption
    Req: Level 28, Endurance 7
    With the Rad Absorption perk, your radiation level slowly decreases on
    its own over time.
    In normal mode, you have doctors who will clear up any Rad problems you
    might have for a measly 100 Caps. In Hardcore mode, this saves you the
    resource-wasting trip back to town. Even better, it allows you to 
    safely eat any type of irradiated food and drink from any water source
    you want. You'll simply heal over time. This opens up many options for
    eating and drinking on-the-go, and makes the run a good bit simpler.
    Too bad you have to wait until level 28 to pick it.. by then, you 
    should have already beaten the game or you should have plenty of 
    resources that starvation and dehydration aren't imminent dangers.
    Rating: *
    Rating: *** (Hardcore Mode)
    Additional Perks						{PRK016}
    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
    Kill enough 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 enough 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 players gains more health from all
    Bug Stomper
    Kill enough 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.
    Charisma Implant
    Buy the Charisma Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 
    bonus to your Charisma (4,000 Caps).
    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.
    Intelligence Implant
    Buy the Intelligence Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a 
    +1 bonus to your Intelligence (4,000 Caps).
    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).
    Mutant Massacrer
    Kill enough Super Mutants and you'll get this perk, which increases your 
    damage against them. 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).
    Perception Implant
    Buy the Perception Implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic to get a +1 
    bonus to your Perception (4,000 Caps).
    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.
    Regular Maintenance
    While Raul is a companion, the Condition of weapons and armor decays
    more slowly.
    Scribe Assistant
    While Veronica is a companion, the player can craft Workbench items 
    through Veronica's dialogue.
    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).
    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
    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					{PRK017}
    These are the perks I choose for my character.. hence the name of the
    section. Note that most of the perks don't really require a specific
    order save the first two. Intensive Training is taken at level 2 
    because.. well, there's little else worth taking at that level, and 
    Educated is taken at level four to maximize its usefulness. If I'm
    playing a female character, I find it worth my while to pick Black
    Widow, since there are some interesting dialogue options for it, and
    since there are a lot of male enemies in the game (for example, all of
    Caesar's Legion?) After that, it's really just preference and how you've
    allocated skill points that should determine your perk picks. Note that 
    my build is considered the 'base build' for this FAQ, to which extra 
    skill/perk choices are added at your discretion to make your own ideal 
    character. Some sample builds are included after the text for the base 
    2	Black Widow/Intensive Training			
    4	Educated					
    6	Comprehension					
    8	Hand Loader					
    10	Finesse						
    12	Silent Running						
    14	Toughness (1)					
    16	Weapon Handling					
    18	Better Criticals				
    20	Toughness (2)			
    22	--
    24	--		
    26	--
    28	--		
    30	--				
    This build makes for a pretty proficient Guns-user, who is also adept
    at sneaking. This can arguably be called the 'sniper' build, as it is
    mostly designed to take advantage of the good range of Guns weapons, and
    the ability to make shots from stealth. Note that while this build 
    isn't specifically married to Guns, they've got a low Strength 
    requirement and do great damage, and I really see no good reason to not
    use guns.. just like I don't see why this build can't spend skill points
    to be able to use Energy Weapons and Explosives, as well.
    If you want to make a more 'rangery' version of this build, consider 
    getting Melee Weapons up to 45, Repair to within striking range of 90, 
    and pick the Cowboy perk to take advantage of the benefits it'll give 
    the Brush Gun. With the Brush Gun, using V.A.T.S. to pick off enemies at 
    close to mid range becomes a more rewarding option, meaning that in 
    addition you can consider the Grim Reaper's Sprint and Nerves of Steel 
    Perks. Also, for any ranged fighter Commando and Sniper are fair perks, 
    especially considering that many of the better weapons in the game are 
    two-handed 'rifles', and shooting enemies in the head is almost always 
    better than shooting them somewhere else.
    There are also enough free perks to pick up some essential Unarmed
    perks, although you'll have to settle for a Displacer Glove, as this
    build has nowhere near enough Strength for a Ballistic Fist. Purifier,
    Piercing Strike, and Slayer come to mind as perk choices for the really
    dedicated melee characters.
    "Energy Weapons"
    The only changes that really have to be considered in this build for
    Energy Weapons is with the Laser Commander perk. Frankly, however, most
    of the weapons that are good in the Energy Weapons category either
    require too much Strength for this build, or aren't even lasers. In my
    mind, there's no real reason to specialize in Energy Weapons-related
    perks at all. Even a diehard Energy Weapons supporter would be hard-
    pressed to say that there are a great number of useful perks for the
    skill set. At least, honestly. Frankly, perks like Nerves of Steel,
    Grim Reapers Sprint, Commando, and Sniper affect all weapons (or at
    least all ranged weapon) enough to make them recommendable, whatever
    your favorite weapon type. If you're a die-hard Energy Weapons fanatic,
    go for Vigilant Recycler to save some Caps (and perhaps Jury Rigging).
    The biggest difference between Energy Weapons and Guns is cost per
    |								       |
    |		Getting Started in the Mohave {MOH001}		       |
    |								       |
    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					{MOH002}
    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. For Hardcore players, you may as well 
    postpone this journey and try to reach the New Vegas area by questing 
    your way there.
    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. 
    1) 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.
    2) Get on the railroad tracks and follow it south past the Powder Ganger
    Cap 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.
    3) 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.
    4) 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.
    5) 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.
    6) 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.
    Now that you're here you just need.. oh.. 4,000 Caps to get 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 accidently complete too
    many challenges, anyways. Within 20 minutes I was 4,200 Caps richer,
    and off to get my Intelligence Implant.
    Note: You can bypass the waiting period if you don't exit the game
    in order to reload.
    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 ROUTES***			{MOH003}
    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 Cazadors.. let’s just say
    that didn't end well. Between not being able to outpace Cazadors 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 
    			***JACKPOT WINNER***			{MOH004}
    Status: Test/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)
    It's also possible here to be greedy, especially if you have a lot of
    luck (both you personally and your character.) 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 
    Now that you've got a windfall of Caps, be sure that you have NOT
    completed the Black Jack  challenge, "Double Down", which will get you
    100 unwanted experience points.. or just make sure you're not within
    100 Experience of hitting level 2. If you haven't played ten games of
    Black Jack, you should be fine.
    You can also gamble on Roulette, if you're more the big-rewards big
    risk kind of person. Save your game, then make a bet of 200 Caps on
    whatever number you think is lucky. At 35:1 odds, a single win can
    net you 7000 Caps, which is pretty good money.. good enough to get you
    ready for the real money winner..
    Leave the Black Jack tables and go over to the slot machines and save
    your game. Now for the lengthy part.. bet max and play slots, reloading 
    if you lose all your caps, or if your winnings exceed 4000 Caps (which 
    will get you banned from the casino). If you're lucky you will win one 
    of the higher payouts, which at 200 Caps a gamble, even a x30 payoff
    can win you well more caps than the Atomic Wrangler would normally
    allow you to win. If you're patient and lucky, you may just win the
    jackpot of 32,000 Caps, which is enough to let you buy most of the
    implants you'll want. Sure, it's time consuming, but it doesn't advance
    game time any (for Hardcore mode players) and walking out of the
    Atomic Wrangler with 10,000 to 30,000 Caps is much better than walking
    out with 4,000. If you're super greedy, you can rob every casino in the
    game this way.
    Status: Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)
    At the Aerotech Office Park (Aerotech Suite 200) you'll find a man in
    a red jumpsuit named Keith. You can attempt a Barter challenge (Barter
    45) with him right from the get-go, which, if successful prompts him
    to sell you some Jet. Decline and the option to make a Barter attempt
    with him will still-or should I say-always be available. Just keep
    making the Barter check for endless experience.
    Status:	Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)
    Another infinite experience glitch, pretty much the same thing as the
    one above, but more rewarding, simpler to accomplish, and easier to
    reach. 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 XP a pop to get as much experience as you wish.
    Status: Tested/Confirmed (Xbox 360, unpatched)
    Here's yet another infinite experience glitch (Obsidian was lazy eh?
    But we all knew this already.) In Vault 11 - Lower Level, after 
    accessing the Overseer's terminal and opening the way to the sacrificial
    chamber, kill all the robots that ambush you, then activate the Vault 11
    Mainframe. Select the option 'Automated Response: Vault 11 Solution' 
    and you'll be rewarded with a hefty 500 experience. Note that the option
    will not go away after selected. Continue to select the option as many
    times as your little heart desires. Each time you select it, you'll get
    500 experience. If you exit the screen anytime after selecting the
    response, it'll be gone when you mess with the Vault 11 Mainframe again,
    so be sure to get all the experience you want in one go. The good thing
    about this method is it's extrememly fast and mindless, just click until
    you're as experienced as you want. The problem with this method is that
    you've got to trek all the way through Vault 11, and then kill a handful
    of robots and turrets before you can reap your ill-gotten gains. It's
    really not for weak characters.
    		          ***"FREE" REPAIRS***			{MOH008}
    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.
    Early Combat Armor						{MOH009}
    There are many ways to score yourself some Combat Armor early on in
    the game, but these two methods require no fighting, and they can be
    easily done during or immediately after your New Vegas run. First, 
    simply search Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan, where you'll find plenty
    of corpses with Combat Armor just waiting for you to grab it. Also, you
    can be rewarded with Combat Armor by winning enough at Gommorrah.
    Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle					{MOH010}
    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, 
    Q-35 Matter Modulator						{MOH011}
    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
    Pew-Pew								{MOH012}
    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.
    Remnant Power Armor						{MOH013}
    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						{MOH014}
    Enter the Silver Peak Mine and enter the actual mine through the mine
    house. Inside you'll find swarms of Cazedors. 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 more Cazedors will spawn, including a
    Legendary Cazedor. On the bright side, you just need to make it out 
    alive to keep your prize.
    This Machine							{MOH015}
    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.
    YCS/186 -or- Alien Blaster					{MOH016}
    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.
    |								       |
    |		IssacFrost's Energy Weapons Build {EWB001}	       |
    |								       |
    Note from Nathan: Who the hell is Nathan? The bum who wrote this FAQ.
    IssacFrost has submitted this build to me, over much correspondance and
    editing on his part. Since it's his build, I'll post his email here so
    you can question the source directly. If you as me about this build
    theendbringer (at) hotmail (dot) com, I'll just refer your email to him,
    so you might as well cut out the middle man. Besides, this will let you 
    tell IssacFrost directly how much you think his build is better than 
    mine. So, to get in contact with IssacFrost and save me the trouble of 
    forwarding your e-mail, contact him at: issacfrost (at) gmail (dot) com.
    My buddy IssacFrost has gone through some considerable effort testing
    out Energy Weapons.. it's a labor of love (love of Energy Weapons, that
    is) that has driven him to suggest the following build. It's play
    tested in Hardcore mode on the Very Hard difficulty setting (at least,
    that's what he tells me) so if you need any credentials.. well, what
    more can you ask for? Note that this description is a little.. long
    winded and it jumps from subject to subject. Also note that it does
    include some spoilers, so only use it if you're a veteran looking for
    some solid hardcore Energy Weapon's advice that'll really hold your
    hand until you're established in Hardcore mode, or if you don't mind a
    few spoilers in exchange for some great advice. Here's his build in his 
    own words:
    Attributes							{EWB002}
    This is the best an EW can be as this build is deadly and has the Caps 
    to maintain it with ease (ie rich.) Any EW aficionado can try, if they 
    can, to say otherwise but the results speak for themselves: this build 
    is powerful, stupidly powerful. Specially since it's played on Very 
    Hard: Hardcore from the very start to the very end. 
    New Vegas Energy Weapons Build By IssacFrost This build is effective in 
    Very Hard: 
    Hardcore Initial 	After Implants
    Strength	4	Strength	6 (+1 Implant, +1 T51-b PA)	
    Perception	5	Perception	6 (+1 Implant)
    Endurance	8	Endurance	9 (+1 Implant)
    Charisma	1	Charisma	1 (+1 T51-b Power Helmet)
    Intelligence	8	Intelligence	9 (+1 Implant)
    Agility		6	Agility		8 (+1 Implant, +1 Small Frame)
    Luck		8 	Luck		10 (+1 Implant, +1 Int. Train.)
    Perks								{EWB003}
    Level	Perk						
    2 	Intensive Training (Luck) 
    4 	Educated 
    6 	Vigilant Recycler**
    8 	Toughness (1)
    10 	Finesse
    12 	Bloody Mess
    14 	Toughness (2)
    16 	Weapon Handling
    18 	Better Criticals
    20 	Grim Reaper's Sprint*
    22 	Jury Rigging**
    24 	Sniper*
    26 	Silent Running*
    28 	Nerves of Steel*
    30 	Laser Commander* 
    ** Optional but helps to considerably reduce costs of weapon maintenance 
    and shots per cap.
    * Optional 
    Luck is very important in this build and an Intense Training (Luck) plus 
    the Luck Implant are necessary for a 10% crit chance. Educated is just 
    good for extra skill points. It gives you 2 points for every level when 
    taken. That is +52 more skill points and that's a good thing. Level up 
    your Science to 70 as fast as you can so you can get Vigilant Recycler 
    at level 6. This will increase the efficiency of recycling your energy 
    ammunition as well as make you recover consistently more drained ammo 
    which will help with the cost efficiency of this build. With your first 
    rank in Toughness you will benefit from a +3 DT. With the Sub Dermal 
    Implant, +4DT, your total will be +7DT. Finesse adds +5% more to your 
    natural crit and with the 10 LK that's a 15%. Add Built to Destroy and 
    you have a natural critical rate of 18%. Bloody Mess synergizes very 
    well with Lord Death R3 for an 8% damage boost with all weapons. This 
    increases your EW damage output exponentially with all the other Damage 
    Bonus Challenge Perks. You get your second rank of Toughness adding 
    another +3 DT making the total with the first rank and the Sub Dermal 
    Implant to +10 DT. By level 16 you should have 100 Energy Weapons skill. 
    And with Weapon Handling you can start making use of the Plasma Caster. 
    Try to get it's mod so it's fire rate becomes faster. You definitely 
    want Better Criticals for it's additional +50% damage which will make 
    ALL your EW weapons criticals truly devastating. Grim Reaper's Sprint 
    recharges 20 AP every time you make a kill in VATS and with the 
    efficiency of consistent crit kills it should be helping you to get back
    some much needed AP for whenever you are using the Multiplas Rifle, Q-35
     or even the Pew Pew if you want. By level 22 you should have a Repair 
    of 90. Jury Rigging is a handy perk to have as it increases repair 
    options for your gear as well as, if used correctly, net you LOTS of 
    Caps by repairing much more valuable and expensive items of a category 
    with cheaper and common items of that same category. Sniper is probably 
    the best VATS accuracy related Perk because frankly you will be aiming
     for the head most of the time. This gives some extra range in VATS for 
    the Multiplas Rifle, Q-35 and Pew Pew. Silent Running is the best Sneak 
    related perk you can get and since you are using Heavy PA it can help 
    you a lot when you are moving in for the kill. Mostly so you can pull 
    off sneak criticals with a Multiplas Rifle which are extremely deadly, 
    more so if aimed to the head. Best used for enclosed areas where YCS is 
    not that useful. Nerves of Steel was retooled from Fallout 3 to be more 
    effective then it used to be. Now it increases AP regeneration by 20%. 
    This is good because you don't want to stay in VATS you want to trigger 
    VATS pull of a shot or two and move. Laser Commander is there mostly 
    for Pew Pew and any other laser weapon that strikes your fancy as it 
    increases damage by a +15% and critical chance by +10% making your 
    laser weaponry crit more often then your plasma based ones. With Bloody 
    Mess and Lord Death R3 your laser weapons do 23% more damage. Challenge 
    Perks you want are Abominable R3 +10% damage to abominations, Animal 
    Control R3 +10% damage to mutated animals, Bug Stomper R3 +10% damage 
    versus mutated insects and Mutant Massacrer R3 +10% damage versus Super 
    Mutants and Set Lasers for Fun R2 +4% critical chance with all energy 
    weapons. You won't really need Machine Head as the Pulse Gun makes short
    work of them. With the above perks mentioned Bloody Mess and Lord Death
    R3 that's an 18% damage against bugs, animals, mutants and abominations.
    If using laser based weaponry with, Laser Commander, that's a 33% damage
    Skills/Traits							{EWB004}
    Tag Energy Weapons and two more skills then when approaching Jenny Sky 
    Diving respec for Science, Lockpick, Speech TraitsSmall Frame for 
    Agility +1. The tradeoff to this Trait is that you will take 25% more 
    limb damage which translates to getting crippled much more easily. Since 
    this build doesn't take Adamantium Skeleton your best option is to get 
    into PA as quickly as possible and to stock up on Doctor's Bag. The good 
    news is that with a Medicine of 40 and Forceps, Medical Braces, Scalpels 
    and Surgical Tubing you can craft Doctor's Bags via Veronica. Also with 
    the Tough Guy challenge perk this drawback is cut down to 5%. Built to 
    Destroy for 3% critical chance with the tradeoff of having a 15% 
    increased weapon degradation. Due to access to the "free" full repairs 
    of people such as Paladin Sato, Mayor Knight and even Raul whom can fix 
    your gear and then you can pickpocket your caps back this tradeoff is 
    negligible. With a Repair of 50 you can craft and stock up on Weapon 
    Repair Kits through Veronica and I suggest you save up on every Scrap 
    Metal, Scrap Electronic, Wonderglue, Duct Tape and Wrench you can get a 
    hold off. 
    Skill Points
    Barter 		78
    Energy Weapons 	100
    Lockpick 	78
    Repair 		90
    Science 	78
    Speech 		78  
    +12 to a skill if finding all 4 skill books
    +20 to Science if finding all 5 skill books 
    Weapon Selection						{EWB005}
    What's the best EW weapon? Ken Egervari has done a lot of work on 
    breaking down every weapon and shows you what weapons are the best. EW 
    proponents beware that Guns trumps EW heavily in New Vegas but that's 
    nothing new. A EW Specialist can be as deadly efficient as a Guns 
    Specialist but it will require more cost then a Guns Specialist needs 
    to produce the same effect of deadliness. Thus Guns are more powerful 
    and varied then EW as it requires less costs to do exactly what an EW 
    would even with lower crit rates. Thankfully you still have some pretty 
    solid options. 
    Q-35 Matter Modulator (2) - This is the "best" Plasma Rifle you can get 
    as it counts like a Plasma Rifle+ but only uses up one Microfusion Cell.
    It is easily trumped by Multiplas Rifle and Plasma Caster+ but used 
    against low tier DT enemies it's deadly and efficient, given it's ammo 
    usage, slow degradation and the fact it crits consistently. When it 
    crits it tends to do astounding damage even to high DT opponents. But I 
    don't recommend it for high DT opponents; stick to Plasma Caster+, 
    Multiplas or YCS. 
    Multiplas Rifle (1) - Even though it uses a lot of Microfusion Cells it 
    is one of the best plasma weapon you can get for it's low strength. 
    This is the closest an EW has to a VATS weapons. If this weapon 
    performs a sneak critical to the head of a target the damage it does is 
    astronomically high. 
    Plasma Caster+ (1) - A ST 8 and EW skill of 100 is needed to properly 
    wield this weapon. When mod acts as the Turbo Plasma Rifle. This is 
    probably the best EW Weapon you can have. It's fast rate of fire and 
    high damage gives this weapon an incredibly high DPS. This weapon is 
    bugged in third person and VATS and the blast hits an invisible wall but
    you shouldn't use it in VATS anyway to benefit of it's DPS. 
    Pew Pew (2.5)- It uses 15 energy cells but the damage output and crit 
    rate are astounding. Since this build becomes self sufficient and rich 
    just stock up on lots of SEC MC and make sure you have Laser Commander 
    and most things will die with one shot. The best pistol an EW 
    Specialist has access too, but an expensive one to use.
    YCS/186 (2) This is the upgrade to the Gauss. Don't use in VATS as it is
    bugged. Stick to sniping and whatever you snipe at dies, snipe something
    else and it dies too as simple as that. Whenever you plan on using YCS, 
    switch to the 1st Recon Beret and if possible use MFC MC.
    Pulse Gun - This is a great weapon for any build. It simply owns all 
    robots and people in power armor. 
    (Optional) Euclid C Finder (50) - Deals one shot every 28 hours and 
    does massive damage and an insane range but quite a delay before the 
    blast hits. I find this more of a fun novelty weapon. 
    A person using 10 LK, Finesse, Built to Destroy, Set Lasers for Fun R2, 
    1st Recon Beret, Laser Commander if using laser based weapon, VATS and 
    boosted with True Police Stories would have a natural crit rate of 
    37%/47%. Since this build doesn't use comprehension and preferably uses 
    the T-51b set your natural critical rate will be 22/32 out of VATS, 
    27/37 in VATS, 27/37 if wearing the Beret and 32/42 if using the Beret 
    and VATS. 
    Ammo charge options: Over ChargeDeals 25% more damage per shot and 
    accelerates degradation by 50%. Max Charge Deals 75% more damage and 
    accelerates degradation by 150%. 
    Companions							{EWB006}
    Veronica, E-DE I really love having these two as companions. E-DE is an 
    amazing pack mule surprisingly being able to lug around with a lot of 
    gear. For this reason I tend to have it storing all the equipment, ammo 
    and miscellaneous based items. His Enhanced Sensors perk is great as it 
    allows you to ambush your enemies via sniping. Veronica is an unarmed 
    expert, breaking the limits at an Unarmed skill of 103 and with Bonds 
    of Steel and Remnants Armor set she gains +40DT. Always make sure she is
    armed with the Ballistic Fist, which is a non unique weapon, and she 
    becomes a powerful ally despite the fact she is stuck at level 12. Also 
    she can soak up more hits than you can despite the fact you are a higher
    level with more health and more DT. Overall Veronica is your BEST 
    melee/unarmed oriented character despite the bug. Her Scribe Assistant 
    perk means you have access to a workbench 24/7 and this is quite useful. 
    Getting Established in the Mohave				{EWB007}
    This is where IssacFrost goes into quite a bit of detail about how to
    get his Energy Weapons character started.. And honestly, mostly 
    finished. Have your hand held as much as you wish, the first steps-the
    New Vegas run-should be familiar to any player using this FAQ, the
    others.. well, they mostly include quick ways to score top-notch loot.
    (Note from Nathan: IssacFrost quotes the Fallout Wiki
    [http://fallout.wikia.com] as his source for some of the following 
    information he gives. I have no idea how much of this information he
    pulled from the wiki, or even then, how much he paraphrased-if at all.) 
    -Do the New Vegas Medical Clinic Run from Nathaniel Garvin's FAQ-During 
    the run make sure you get Veronica at the 188 Trading Post.
    -Get banned from gambling in Atomic Wrangler. First max bet on BlackJack
    and reaload if you lose. Rack up some wins at least nine. Then save the 
    game and start playing the slots on max bet until you hit the jackpot of
    three oranges. Reload if you see you have lost and repeat until you get 
    -Go buy the following Implants: +1 IN Implant, +1 LK Implant, 
    +1 AG Implant +4 DT Subdermal Armor, +1 Health/10 seconds Regeneration.
    -Return to Gun Runners. You should still have enough money to buy the 
    Combat Armor Reinforced Mark II set if not then proceed to the next 
    step and purchase it when you have the Caps.
    (Note from Nathan: Don't bother buying Combat Armor Mark II. You can
    find some Combat Armor at Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan on one of the
    ash piles. You'll also get some Combat Armor for being a high-roller at
    -Steal all weapons from Silver Rush by using the Left Trigger click and 
    carrying them to the bathroom. Drop them there and repeat. When you have
    everything close the door and pick everything up. Transfer as much as 
    you can to Veronica.
    -Go to Gun Runners or Mick and Ralph's and sell some of the stuff you 
    don't need. Keep the Plasma Caster and Multiplas Rifle and any other 
    weapon that strikes your fancy. I personally sold everything except 
    Plasma Caster, the Multiplas Rifle and a Plasma Rifle.
    -Accept the guard job and let the fourth man in without patting him 
    down. Then wait for the explosion and Simon to rush in. Once Simon 
    rushes in go inside and talk to Simon then kill him. Now loot all the 
    Van Graff corpses and on your way out kill the Silver Rush Crier then 
    sell all you can.
    (Note from Nathan: This might affect some of the sidequests related to
    the NPC Cassidy.)
    -Show your 2000 credit and enter New Vegas, you may want to go to Lucky 
    38 and 'accept' to work for House to get access to the Presidential 
    Suite but this is purely optional. Although I recommend it to stash the 
    Plasma Caster and anything else you don't need to carry at the moment. 
    As well as take care of SLP and H2O by sleeping and drinking water from 
    the bathroom sink.
    -Get banned from gambling at Gomorrah just as you did in Atomic Wrangler
    by trying to win slowly until you build up for the jackpot that way you 
    can reap the house rewards.
    -Get banned from gambling at Tops just as you did in Atomic Wrangler but
    this time try to win slowly until you build up for the jackpot that way 
    you can reap the house rewards.
    -Make sure you have Reinforced Combat Armor MK II Set and that Veronica
    is wearing the Reinforced Combat Armor you won at Gomorrah. At the Tops
    confront Benny and let him convince you to use the Suite. Go up there 
    and he is going to tell you via intercom that he isn't showing up. Kill 
    the thugs by using the pool cues. This should trigger Wild Card: Ace in 
    the Hole. Go check Benny's room to find Yes Man.
    (Note from Nathan: If your character is female and has the 'Black Widow'
    perk, you can seduce Benny and kill him in his sleep. Now that's the
    definition of a Black Widow!)
    -Talk to Yes Man and use up all the dialogue. He should give you map 
    markers to the minor factions and you should level up twice when you 
    are done. Get up to Science 70 if you haven't to get Vigilant Recycler. 
    Also one of the map markers is Hidden Valley.
    -Buy the remaining Implants: +1 ST Implant, +1 PE Implant, 
    +1 EN Implant.
    -Make sure you have Multiplas Rifle and a Plasma Rifle, preferably 
    modded, as well as MFC OC. Fast travel to Jean Sky Diving then go 
    straight to Hidden Valley and start the quest for the Elder McNaran but
    first help Hardin find the information he needs to overthrow the Elder. 
    Alternatively you could keep doing some more quests for McNaran to build
    your reputation with the Brotherhood.
    (Note from Nathan: Do NOT try to play both sides. It might seem like a
    sly idea to do McNamara's quests, then turn the holotapes into Hardin
    after you report to McNamara, but this can cause the quest to 
    permanently freeze. No follow up quests, no Power Armor Training. That's
    not a good thing.)
    -Perform the quest and then report the holotapes to Hardin. Wait three 
    days then after that talk to him again and tell him you want to join 
    the Brotherhood of Steel and he will accept and give you the task to 
    kill the Van Graff. Wait a bit and talk to him again and an option 
    appears where you let him know you took care of the Van Graff. He will 
    give you a T-45d set and Power Armor Training. You will also would have 
    gotten access to the Brotherhood Safehouse as a way of thanks for 
    helping him become the elder.  
    During the quest McNaran gives you, you have to go to Repconn. Make 
    sure to get the Q-35 as it is a "better" upgrade to your Plasma Rifle+, 
    firing at fast speeds, doing slightly more damage and using up only one 
    Microfusion cells it isn't the best EW weapon but it will remain useful 
    and reliable until you can wield Plasma Caster+. 
    Accessing the weapon without 100 in Science or 100 Lockpick: 
    Floor 1: Take the tour. The tour guide will open the room to the 
    planetarium (average locked door if you do not like the Long tour or 
    the robot is dead) and go to the room back in the left. Walk upstairs 
    and there is a key card for the main floor. Go back to the entrance and 
    enter the room at the right (4 dead fiends in front of it) and walk up 
    the stairs. Go to Floor 2.
    Floor 2: In the room on the left is an easy terminal to add facial data 
    recognition (optional if you have the key card). At the southwest corner
    of the 2nd floor is a staircase which will guide you to Floor 3.
    Floor 3: There is a Mr. Handy who asks for the password, with luck 7 you
    can say Ice Cream. Otherwise you have 30 seconds to find the next key 
    card (see below) before an alarm sounds, all the Mr. Handys turn 
    hostile, and hostile heavy combat bots appear from hidden compartments 
    in the walls. Where the roof collapsed there are lying 2 Brotherhood 
    Paladins (holotape for accessing Hidden Valley) and next to the 
    collapsed roof at the other side (go all the way around) is a skeleton
    with a briefcase with 200 Pre war money and key card for Floor 3.
    Back to Floor 2: Get to floor 2 again and find the door for floor 1 
    access (not the main door). Back to Floor 1Use the keycard on the door 
    and in the next room (where the floor has collapsed) walk in to it and 
    in the right corner you see the Q-35 matter modulator!If you can't find 
    the correct door on the 2nd door, you can also unlock the very hard door
    on the main floor now with the key card to enter the same room. If you 
    do not meet some of the stat/skill requirements mentioned above, you 
    can simply kill all the hostile robots.If the gun is not there make 
    sure to check your companions inventory as they may have taken it 
    before you get to it. 
    -Go to the Quartermaster in Hidden Valley and buy the T-51b set, repair
    with the Brotherhood T-51b armor you got from the Elder's quest. Do not 
    use the Brotherhood T-51b as it makes NCR hostile to you. Give Veronica 
    the T-45d set and buy her Ballistic Fist if available. Sell whatever you
    don't need like the Plasma Rifle+ since the Q-35 is better.
    (Note from Nathan: If you don't care about who gets what armor, 
    Veronica can wear Brotherhood T51-b Power Armor just fine without 
    arousing any hostility.)
    -Go to Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, which is close to a double road that 
    heads northwest from the Strip. Once you arrive at the Ranch head east 
    of it and go up the hill and you should find a mercenary camp. The 
    leader is carrying the YCS so use the Multiplas for quick carnage and 
    get the YCS. This is going to be your main sniping weapon. 
    (Note from Nathan: If you have the Wild Wasteland trait, you will find
    some aliens here instead of Mercenaries. Accordingly, you will recieve
    the Alien Blaster instead of the YCS/186.)
    -Head to the Brotherhood Safehouse but be careful as you may encounter 
    some Young Deathclaws. Snipe them with the YCS. Once in the Safehouse 
    talk to Paladin Sato so he can repair everything you can at 100% 
    condition. Then steal the caps back from Paladin Sato, keep trying until
    you get them back. Finish repairs and re steal the caps again. You might
    have to wait a few days for him to appear. Use the cot to sleep and 
    drink from the water fountain but make sure you have food with you.
    -Go back to Good Springs and do the quests you where supposed to do a 
    long time ago. First do the full tutorial and then kill Cobbs and side 
    with Good Springs during the Ringo storyline. Talking to Sunny or Trudy
    will let you learn about Primm. Get the parts necessary to repair E-DE: 
    3 Scrap Metals, 2 Sensor Module and 1 Scrap Electronics.
    (Note from Nathan: If you have a high enough Repair score, or a high
    Science and moderate Repair score, you can just repair him without
    using up components.) 
    -Once you have these items head over to Primm enter the Mojave Express 
    at your right and look at E-DE then go to the Vicky and Vance Casino a
    nd talk to John Nash about E-DE. Go repair E-DE and gain it's Enhanced 
    Sensors perks which is invaluable to ambush enemies or snipe them. Also
    E-DE is an excellent pack mule. Have him carry most of your weight 
    affecting gear and miscellaneous but try not to give him any aid 
    supplies as he may end up attacking non hostile NPC.
    -Since you are in Primm do any quests related to it. Once you can head 
    over to the NCR Correctional Facility head there and kill all the 
    convicts. Talk to Meyers but tell him you will think about his 
    proposition. I suggest you reverse pickpocket a Combat Armor Reinforced 
    then accept his deal.
    -Travel to the Mojave Outpost and kill all the creatures and enemies you
    can to rack up experience. Then at the Mojave talk to Mayor Knight then
    get your weapons and armor repaired. Pickpocket back the caps and go 
    talk to Ranger Jackson and take his quest, then talk to Ranger Ghost 
    and take her quest as this will help you gain some much needed 
    -If you have a Speech of 50 travel to Black Mountain and talk to the 
    friendly mutant Neil and convince him to join forces with you. Proceed 
    up Black Mountain and kill Super Mutants. You will be coming here often 
    to grind for Caps so know the layout of the area quickly.
    -Carry out the Caesar quest so you can have access to Fortification Hill 
    on friendlier terms. Talk to Caesar and act as you are going to do what 
    he wants and he will give you the Platinum Chip. Talk to Benny on your 
    way out and learn all you can.
    -Go to the bunker area near Caesar's Tent: Weather Monitoring Station. 
    You'll get your equipment. Head on inside and do what House tells you 
    and upgrade the Securitrons. Return to Caesar then kill Benny and loot 
    him. Talk to Caesar again and act as if you will do what he wants.
    -By now Veronica should have triggered her quest and I suggest you go do
    it. At its conclusion tell her to stay so she can gain Bonds of Steel if
    she gets stuck go visit Gibson's Shack re download the information, 
    talk to her use the option that you completed the quest then sneak. If 
    you go into Sneak and she sneaks she is following you again.
    -Go for the Pulse Gun quest for Veronica as it is good experience and 
    because it is a great weapon against robots and people wearing PA. 
    Stock up on Radaway and Rad-X because the Vault you are headed to is 
    -(Optional for Euclid C Finder) Do the Lucky Old Sun quest and route
    power to Archimides II and buy the Euclid C Finder from Max at East 
    -Make sure you are stocked up on MFC OC/MC and you are at least level 18
    with an EW skill of 100 and that you have Plasma Caster+, Multiplas
    Rifle and YCS/186, the Q-35 is more of a cheap reliable "sidearm" for 
    the weaker enemies. Head to Silver Pike Mine and obtain the Remnants 
    Helmet, be wary as you will be going up against Cazadores. My advice is 
    set up your partners on aggressive and to wait a little bit off where 
    the Cazadores are then YCS snipe if you can when they start to approach 
    let it rip with the Plasma Caster+ and once they are close switch to the
    Multiplas Rifle and VATS while leading them towards your companion's 
    ambush. Silver Pike Mine is home to the Legendary Cazador so take it 
    slow, slow is smooth and smooth is fast. Go to the Safehouse and get 
    the Remnant Helmet repaired and hold on to it.- For the next part make 
    sure you are stocked up on a LOT of MFC OC and MC. You are going up a 
    buttload of Deathclaws so my advice is that to be at least level 18 with
    a 100 in EW, and you have brought Plasma Caster+, Multiplas Rifle and 
    -Travel sort of north east from Cottonwood Cove until you find the 
    Cliffside Prospector Camp then head east. From here make it to the 
    water by hugging the cliff and cross to the other side. Be wary of 
    -At the other side, you should time wait to get your partners and have 
    them stay in a safe area. Clear the first area of Deathclaw by YCS 
    sniping and if they discover you let then meet your Plasma Caster+ if 
    they make it close pull out the Multiplas and VATS, although the Plasma 
    Caster+ should make short work of them. If they get close you can 
    backtrack towards the water. The Deathclaws will not go into the water 
    and you can clear the area by using this tactic.
    -Once the first area is clear, very slowly approach the southern 
    eastern area making use of cliffs and cover to snipe at the Deathclaws 
    from a safe range. A safe range being that when you sneak critical one 
    and go into Caution they cannot detect you, reload if this doesn't 
    happen and find a better sniping position. You can then proceed to 
    snipe or wait until returning to hidden status to sneak critical. Once 
    you have cleared ALL the Deathclaws (they don't respawn) search the 
    south eastern area for two dead prospectors one of them has the Remnant 
    Armor which is what you really came for. Loot the corpses, Deathclaws 
    and get the eggs in the south eastern most areas.
    -Then, if overloaded, walk slowly back to your companions. Spread the 
    loot so you can fast travel to the Safehouse and get the Remnants Armor 
    repaired. Give the Remnant set to Veronica, which along with Bonds of
    Steel should have 40 DT.
    -Proceed with the game as you wish.
    |								       |
    |		      Hardcore Mode Blues {HMB001}		       |
    |								       |
    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. Despite being tested in the Ultimate Edition, all the advice
    here works just fine for the vanilla version of the game, too... just
    with the limitations of a lower level cap in mind.
    Survival of the Skilled						{HMB002}
    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.
    H20								{HMB003}
    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 exist 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.
    Food								{HMB004}
    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								{HMB005}
    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..					{HMB006}
    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.
    Ammo Weight Hate						{HMB007}
    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. Then again, in the vanilla
    game everything is much more tame, so I wouldn't worry about the lack of
    melee prowess too much.
    And Then There Was One..					{HMB008}
    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 Cazadors 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 inflinct 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						{HMB009}
    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						{HMB010}
    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.
    |								       |
    |			      Books {BOK001}			       |
    |								       |
    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 (5)
    [ ]	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.
    Chinese Army: Spec. Ops. Training Manual (4)
    [ ]	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.
    D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine (3)
    [ ]	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.
    Dean's Electronics (4)
    [ ]	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, in a niche.
    	(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.
    Duck and Cover! (4)
    [ ]	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
    [ ]	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.
    Grognak the Barbarian (4)
    [ ]	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, 
    Guns and Bullets (4)
    [ ]	Gomorrah Main Level
    	In Big Sal's office, on a bookshelf along the south-western
    [ ]	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 
    [ ]	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.
    Lying, Congressional Style (4)
    [ ]	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.
    Nikola Tesla and You (4)
    [ ]	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
    Pugilism Illustrated (4)
    [ ]	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.
    Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (4)
    [ ]	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 
    [ ]	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.
    Tumblers Today (4)
    [ ]	Bitter Springs Recreation Area - Bitter Springs Recreation 
    	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 Cazadors, 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.
    Wasteland Survival Guide (4)
    [ ]	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.
    |								       |
    |			Updates/Thanks {UPD001}			       |
    |								       |
    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.
    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.
    Version 1.01 to 1.02 changes: Completed 11/27/2010, (170,216 bytes)
      o=o	Fixed some bad math in the skill point section.
      o=o	Added Book information to skill point builds.
      o=o	Added some text on the effects of Charisma on companion's
      o=o 	Added some generic information regarding the use of skill
    	point boosting apparel.
      o=o	Changed the description and/or ratings of the Good Natured
    	trait, and the Hand Loader, Ninja, and Pyromaniac perks.
      o=o 	Fixed some typos and dinosaurs.
      o=o	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
    Version 1.02 to 1.03 changes: Completed 3/15/2011, (216,764 bytes)
      o=o	Removed the Respec exploit.
      o=o	Confirmed various exploits and glitches, hoping to avoid posting
    	false info (see above.)
      o=o	Added IssacFrost's exhaustive Energy Weapons build.
      o=o   Reorganised the "Implant" section (formerly {IMPxxx} and made 
    	the "Getting Started in the Mohave" section {MOHxxx} in its 
      o=o	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.
      o=o   Added the 'Tough Guy' Perk.
      o=o	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.)
      o=o	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.
      o=o	Edited the 'Four Eyes' trait, due to user feedback revealing 
    	that it is really not a good idea to pick with this build.
    Version 1.03 to 1.04 changes: Completed 11/22/2012, (230,952 bytes)
      o=o	Fixed a few typos/over margin sentences.. you know, general
    	editing stuff.
      o=o   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.
      o=o	Added the 'Hardcore Mode Blues' section, to give some pointers
    	on surviving in Hardcore mode.
      o=o	Added the 'Why Get the Monocyte Breeder Implant' subsection to
    	(belatedly) defend my decision to get that implant.
      o=o	Added a few things I had missed previously-a book or two and
    	Traits, mostly. These were discovered while doing the Ultimate
    	Edition version update, but they pertain to this version as
    Special Thanks to:						{UPD002}
      o=o	My fiancé, 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.
      o=o 	Shimagami, (and many others) for pointing out that the Good 
    	Natured trait is can be exploited to score some extra skill 
      o=o	David Streitman (and many others) for pointing out the fact
    	that I left a reference to Rivet City in the guide.
      o=o	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.
      o=o	Adam Lowe, for pointing out a problem with my Charisma score
    	in the build.
      o=o	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.
      o=o	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!
      o=o	Mark, for pointing out a infinite experience glitch.
    	Hey, it never hurts to stay informed, right?
      o=o	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.
      o=o   Roberto Moutran, for telling me that you can grab some Combat
    	Armor at Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan on your way to New
      o=o   Mr. Galindo, for pointing out a contradiction with the Luck 
    	attribute in the build and in the descriptive paragraph for
      o=o	Mr. J. Kelemen, for letting me know that the 'Four Eyes' perk
    	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 got 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.
      o=o	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.
      o=o	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. Also, he deserves a medal for his
    	submission of his own Energy Weapons build. Again, here's his
    	email so you can contact him directly about his build: 
    	issacfrost (at) gmail (dot) com
    			   ***END OF FILE***

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