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 The Fallout 3 Optimal Playthru Guide

 
   
 
 
The Fallout 3 Optimal Playthru Guide

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FAQ TITLE:

The Fallout 3 Optimal Playthru Guide

COPYRIGHT INFO:

This FAQ is copyright 2013 by Stanley E. Dunigan (dunigase@yahoo.com).

Always check one of the official host websites listed below for the latest
version of this FAQ.

GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) -- always the first site updated
Neoseeker (www.neoseeker.com)

Check the Universal Hint System (www.uhs-hints.com) for my complete Fallout 3
hint file. It's not a FAQ-style walkthru, but instead organizes the hints into a
hypertext-like Q&A document, making it easier to find the hints you need without
accidentally seeing other hints you don't want yet.

FAQ DESCRIPTION:

I'm usually completely done with a big Bethesda RPG by the time the next one
comes out, and never have any urge to replay it, but Fallout 3 recently became
an exception to that rule. Sure, Skyrim is lots of fun, but I started missing
the wastelands of Fallout 3 and New Vegas something fierce, so I went back to
replay Fallout 3, confident that I knew enough about the game to have a great
playthru. As it turned out, I compromised my character in several key ways, and
ended up wishing I'd had a carefully crafted replaythru guide to help me make
the most of my Fallout 3 replay. There's just too much good stuff to correlate
properly in my head all at once!

When writing this FAQ, I carefully went through my Fallout 3 stealth guide and
my UHS hint files for Fallout 3 and its add-ons to be sure I considered
everything. The goal of this "ultimate replaythru" is to use all of the best
methods and tricks to get a really good start on a stealthy character who is
carefully groomed for close-range V.A.T.S. combat as well as long-range sneak-
shooting. This is by far the best kind of character to have if you're playing
the game on the highest difficulty setting with no cheats, which is what I
always do. Another way to think of this guide is as a very detailed way to
create the kind of character that's described in my Fallout 3 stealth guide.

Everything in this FAQ is based on playthrus of the Fallout 3 Game of the Year
(GOTY) edition on the PC with all five official add-on games (and no other mods
at all) installed. Any differences you experience will probably be due to
playing with a different set of add-ons or on a different gaming platform.

VERSION 1.0 (7/11/2013) NOTES AND CREDITS:

This is the original version of this guide, so I have no one else to credit yet.

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx


********************************************************************************
***************************  CREATING YOUR CHARACTER  **************************
********************************************************************************

After you start a new game, choose to make your character female. When you're
setting your starting S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, put a 10 in Strength and leave
everything else at 5. After that, see my UHS hint file if you want further
details on the first few main quests.

Some important things to remember are to save the Melee Weapons skill book you
get from Amata, to get the Medicine bobblehead, and to keep the Vault Lab
Uniform and one of the Vault 101 Utility Jumpsuits with you at all times for
temporary +5 boosts to your Science, Repair, and Lockpick skills.

When you exit the vault, set your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes and tag skills to
what's listed below.

Strength: 7
Perception: 6
Endurance: 8
Charisma: 1
Intelligence: 6
Agility: 6
Luck: 6

Tag skills: Lockpick, Repair, Small Guns

When you level up, choose Black Widow as your first perk, and use your 16 skill
points like this:

* Raise Lockpick to 35
* Raise Science to 25
* Raise Speech to 12


********************************************************************************
*******************************  A BRIEF SUMMARY  ******************************
********************************************************************************

Before I get started with the detailed walkthru sections, I will first provide a
brief summary of what each section involves. That way, you can skip reading all
the details if you're really familiar with the game, and can just go for the
goods on your own. (Do remember to get as little XP as possible until you start
on the Mothership Zeta add-on game.)

GETTING STARTED AT MEGATON

- Get the Unarmed skill book from a mailbox in Springvale.
- Get the Melee Weapons skill book from Jericho's House in Megaton.
- Do the "The Power of the Atom" quest to get a house in Megaton.
- Steal the money from the Brass Lantern's safe.
- Do the water pipe repairs for Walter.
- Get the Strength bobblehead from Lucas Simms' house.
- Loot the secret hollowed-out rock stash that's just outside Megaton.
- Get all of Silver's bottle caps in Springvale.
- Get the Armored Vault 101 Jumpsuit from Moira.
- Steal enough stuff to get your karma down to "neutral."

GETTING TWO NEAR-UNKILLABLE FOLLOWERS

- Travel to the RobCo Facility and buy Sergeant RL-3.
- Get the Lucky Shades and an Unarmed skill book from Lucky's store.
- Go to the Scrapyard to get Dogmeat and the dead scavenger's trader outfit.

GETTING VARIOUS USEFUL THINGS

- Get the Lockpick bobblehead and four skill books from the Bethesda Ruins.
- Get the Greener Pastures Disposal Site's two skill books.
- Have Dogmeat fetch the alien blaster and power cells at the UFO crash site.
- Buy the "My First Infirmary" item from Moira.
- Get three skill books from the raider chapel area west of Megaton.
- Get alien power cells from a large crater west of Jury Street Metro Station.
- Get the Barter bobblehead and the Terrible Shotgun from Evergreen Mills.
- Get a skill book at Jalbert Brothers Waste Disposal.
- Have Dogmeat get the Victory Rifle out of an abandoned shack's locker, and
pick up the shack's two skill books.
- Get a skill book and a bottlecap mine schematic from Jocko's Pop and Gas Stop.
- Get Ledoux's Hockey Mask.

CREATING SOME CUSTOM WEAPONS

- Buy a nuka-grenade schematic from Doc Hoff.
- Buy a shishkebab schematic from Lucky Harith.
- Buy the "My First Laboratory" item from Moira.
- Get a skill book from the Everglow National Campground.
- Get a bottlecap mine schematic from Little Lamplight's souvenir shop.
- Get two skill books and a nuka-grenade schematic from Cliffside Cavern.
- Get a skill book from the Five Axles Rest Stop.
- Get a skill book from the Abandoned Car Fort.
- Get a skill book from the dead ant researcher at Shalebridge.
- Get a skill book from a blue truck NW of the Abandoned Car Fort.
- Get a skill book and a dart gun schematic from the MDPL-05 Power Station.
- Get a skill book from SatCom Array NW-05a.
- Get two skills books and the Big Guns bobblehead from Fort Constantine's CO
Quarters.
- Get a shishkebab schematic from a Brotherhood Outcast shack.
- Make some shishkebabs.
- Do the "Tenpenny Tower" quest to get two dart gun schematics, a bottlecap mine
schematic, seven skill books, and the ghoul mask.
- Make some dart guns and bottlecap mines.

GETTING BOBBLEHEADS AND SKILL BOOKS

- Get all remaining skill bobbleheads except Energy Weapons.
- Get a bunch of skill books, including the two respawning ones.
- Do the "Oasis" quest to get a skill book, a permanent +5 to DR, and Yew's bear
charm.

GETTING USEFUL STUFF FROM ADD-ONS

- Do the Operation: Anchorage add-on to get the Chinese Stealth armor.
- Do the Mothership Zeta add-on to get alien epoxy, alien power cells, and the
Xenotech Expert perk.

DOING SOME QUESTS

- Do the "Those!" quest to get the Ant Might perk and Lesko's Lab Coat.
- Do the "Big Trouble in Big Town" quest to get the Lucky 8 Ball.
- Do the "The Wasteland Survival Guide" quest to get the Survival Guru perk.
- Do the "Blood Ties" quest to get a shishkebab schematic.
- Do the "The Replicated Man" quest to get the Wired Reflexes perk.
- Do the "The Nuka-Cola Challenge" quest to get a nuka-grenade schematic.
- Do the "Rescue from Paradise" quest to get lots of XP.
- Sell scrap metal to Walter in Megaton and pre-war books to Scribe Yearling in
the Arlington Library to get lots more XP.
- Sell blood packs to Vance and sugar bombs to Murphy.
- Do The Pitt add-on to get the Perforator and a couple of useful perks.

MOVING ON FROM THERE

- Finish up misc. quests, do main quests to get Fawkes as a follower, and do the
Point Lookout add-on (in whatever order).
- Reach level 30 and get all remaining attribute bobbleheads.
- Hunt up skill books for any skills that aren't at 100.


********************************************************************************
**************************  GETTING STARTED AT MEGATON  ************************
********************************************************************************

Drop some heavy items (like security armor) if you have to, then go down the
sloping path to reach a road. Turn left and go along the road to reach
Springvale, checking along the left side of the road for mailboxes with stuff in
them (including an Unarmed skill book, which you should save for later).
Continue east down the road until it curves right, then go straight south to
reach Megaton. Go inside and talk to Lucas Simms about the bomb until you get
the "The Power of the Atom" quest. (Don't choose the option about not wanting a
reward, and don't waste your time trying to pass the Speech Challenge.)

Go south down the sloping path until you reach a spot where a pipe has sprung a
leak, then hop over it and go up another sloping path to reach a locked empty
house. Drop some more heavy stuff on the ground next to it, but be sure to keep
one set of vault security armor, including a helmet. Go to the next house down
the line, which is Jericho's house. Crouch down and sneakily pick the door's
lock if necessary, then look next to a sword-impaled teddy bear to find a Melee
Weapons skill book. Take the skill book and save it for later (as usual).

Exit Jericho's house and make your way over to Moriarty's Saloon at the back of
town. Enter through the unlocked front door, then turn right and move up to the
guy in the side area who's gesturing to you. Listen to Mr. Burke's plan to blow
up Megaton, then agree to help him. Say that messing with the bomb seems pretty
technical to get an optional objective, then look around the saloon for Colin
Moriarty. Ask him if he's seen your father, then talk to him about it until he
asks for 100 caps. Say you don't have 100 caps, then agree to help him out with
Silver in Springvale.

Find the small curtained bathroom that's underneath the stairs, then drink from
the sink until you're fully healed. Go find Lucas Simms and tell him about
Burke's plan. Hand over the fusion charge, then follow Simms as he runs into the
saloon. Equip your best suit of security armor and the 10mm pistol you got from
Amata, then wait for Burke to kill Simms. Quicksave, then go into V.A.T.S. mode
and use it to start attacking Burke. After you kill him, you'll be able to loot
him and Simms to get several good items, including a Speech skill-enhancing
business suit and a silenced 10mm pistol. You probably took some hits, so drink
from the bathroom sink until you're healed before you leave the saloon.

Go down to where the huge bomb is, then enter the nearby Brass Lantern building.
Look in the area past the left end of the counter to find a small room with a
computer terminal and a floor safe. Put on your vault lab uniform and quicksave,
then sneakily hack the terminal. Use it to open the safe, then loot it to get
300 caps. Go back to the counter and sneakily steal the box of darts that's on
it, then look around to see if you can find Leo Stahl. If not, exit the building
and use the quest arrows on the local area map to find him. (Note that this
requires you to make "The Power of the Atom" be the active quest.)

Put on the dirty pre-war businessware you got from Mr. Burke and quicksave
before talking to Leo, then mention his chem habit. Say you want to help, then
try to pass the Speech Challenge that comes up. If you fail, bring up the main
menu and load your quicksave, then try again. After you succeed, end the
conversation and level up. Choose Intense Training for your perk, then choose to
add a point to Strength. As for your 16 skill points, use them like this:

* Raise Science to 33
* Raise Sneak to 25

Find the Water Processing Plant in the NW part of town, then enter it and go to
the back room. Loot the locked desk to get some caps and chems, then look around
for an old guy named Walter. If he's not inside the building, check for him just
outside. If he's not there, he'll be in the saloon. When you find him, ask how
you can help, then go around town and look for leaking pipes. There are three
leaks, one of which can be gotten to by jumping over the railing that's just
east of the Craterside Supply store's entrance door. Once you're done, report
back to Walter to get 200 caps, then agree to bring him parts. You can then
trade him scrap metal for XP and either caps or karma, but wait to start doing
that until later.

IMPORTANT NOTE: From now until quite a bit later on, you'll want to minimize
your XP gain. That sounds like a bad thing, but it'll keep you from leveling up
too fast and encountering more powerful enemy types before you're ready. That's
a *very* important aspect of this guide, so be sure not to do any quests, pick
any locks, hack any computers, disarm any traps, or pass any Speech Challenges
unless I specifically say to do so. As for killing enemies, do as little of that
as possible, too, though it won't be completely unavoidable once you start
exploring outside of Megaton.

Go over to the back part of the huge bomb, then use a mentats item in inventory
before activating the bomb and disarming it. Use the quest arrows on the local
area map to find Harden Simms, then talk to him to finish the quest and get the
key to the empty house. Go over to the empty house and pick up all the stuff you
dropped near it earlier, then go inside. Talk to Wadsworth, your robotic butler,
and ask for a drink five times to get five bottles of purified water. (Remember
to do that again every now and then, since he'll periodically have more purified
water for you.)

Next, look around for containers to store stuff in. There are two lockers in the
main room and a fridge in a side niche, plus a desk and a filing cabinet in the
bedroom upstairs. Pick one to put your spare weapons in, one to put armor and
other apparel in, one to put misc. items to save for later in (see the second
list in the "Reference Lists" section at the bottom of this file), one to put
items to sell in, and one for anything you want to keep that doesn't fit into
one of the other four categories.

Remember to keep all of your chems with you, as well as your best-condition gun,
melee weapon, and armor. Also hold onto your skill-enhancing apparel, and maybe
your silenced pistol (though it won't be of much use yet). Note that you can
probably repair some extra items into the ones you're keeping with you to
improve their conditions. When you're done with that, enter Lucas Simms' house
and get the Strength bobblehead that's in an upstairs room. (It's okay to get
this one attribute bobblehead early, since this guide is set up to get your
Strength to 10 long before you reach level 30 and get the Almost Perfect perk.)

Leave Megaton through its main gate, then turn left and move slowly along
Megaton's outer wall while crouching. Watch your compass for red blips that
denote mole rats, and try to sneak-shoot the nearest one before it sees you.
Stand up and back away while continuing to shoot the mole rat to hopefully kill
it before it reaches you. If you can't, go into V.A.T.S. mode to finish it off.
Keep killing mole rats until you level up, then take the Comprehension perk and
do the following skill adjustments:

* Raise Repair to 36
* Raise Science to 40
* Raise Sneak to 30

Now that you have the Comprehension perk, you can use all of the skill books
you've saved up to get two skill points from each. After doing that, watch out
for more mole rats while looking around for the secret hollowed-out rock that
contains a sniper rifle and a stealth boy. The rock is a short way SE from
Megaton's SW corner. It has three small dead trees next to it, and a bush just
to the right of it. After looting it, fast-travel to Springvale, then go north
to find a small ranch house that you can enter.

Talk to Silver about her debt, then say you'll tell Moriarty that she's gone if
she'll give you some of her caps. Get out your new sniper rifle, then crouch
down and follow her around if necessary until you can shoot her in the head
while hidden. After looting her body, search her house to find several useful
items to steal. Fast-travel to Vault 101 and pick up everything you dropped
outside of it earlier, then return to your house in Megaton and store all the
stuff that you want to keep but not carry around.

Pick up the items you've been saving to sell, then go to the saloon. Use the
sink in the bathroom if you're not at full health, then talk to the ghoul named
Gob. Speak politely to him to get a discount, then sell him as much stuff as you
can. After he runs out of money, go to Craterside Supply and talk to Moira. (If
the store is closed, use the wait feature to repeatedly wait one hour until it
reopens.)

Agree to help Moira with her research to get the "The Wasteland Survival Guide"
quest, plus a unique suit of armor that you should replace your vault security
armor with. (It doesn't matter which activity you choose to start the quest
with, since you won't be doing it for a long time.) Sell as much as you can to
Moira, then go look on her workbench for a bottlecap mine. Use grab mode to
carry it into the next room, then crouch down so you can steal it unseen.

Leave the store and enter the nearby clinic, then sell some stuff to Doc Church
if you have any left. Sneak around the clinic and steal some useful items,
including stimpaks and radaway, then check your karmic category on the
"Stats/General" page of your Pip-Boy. If it's still "good," look around Megaton
for more useful stuff to sneakily steal. You'll need to get your karma down to
"neutral," and the best way to do that is to steal stuff you can use. (Remember
to check the second reference list for items you may not yet have a use for, but
that you will later on.)


********************************************************************************
********************  GETTING TWO NEAR-UNKILLABLE FOLLOWERS  *******************
********************************************************************************

Once your karma is neutral, go to your house and store items. Also, make sure
you have a good assortment of weapons with you, including your new sniper rifle.
Leave Megaton and head SW, watching out for vicious dogs, bloatflies, and other
enemies. Take it slow, and watch your compass carefully for red blips. Try to
sneak around them unseen whenever possible to avoid combat, using the stealth
boy you got from the hollowed-out rock stash if necessary. Not only do you not
want to get killed, but remember that you also want to keep your XP gain to a
bare minimum. If you get badly injured in an unavoidable combat, fast-travel
back to Megaton and heal up at the saloon's sink. You'll have to start your trip
over again, but any enemies you've killed will still be dead. 

Your goal is Fort Independence, which is next to the much larger Fairfax Ruins.
Stay out of the ruins, since they're full of raiders. Get to the fort as quickly
as you can, and take cover while the Brotherhood Outcasts who live there kill
off a couple of raiders. Talk to Defender Morgan and then Protector Casdin about
their technology trade, then loot the dead raiders and fast-travel back to
Megaton. Store stuff you want to keep, then sell off stuff you don't want to
keep. (Remember that the four traveling traders stop just outside Megaton one at
a time. If no one is at their spot, wait an hour to get one to appear.)

Use the saloon's sink to heal up, then fast-travel back to Fort Independence.
Get on the road that's near the fort, then head west along it until you reach
some ruined houses. Go SW from there until you reach the RobCo Facility
building. Go around to its parking lot, then look for a guy named Tinker Joe who
has several robots with him. If he's not anywhere around, repeatedly wait an
hour until he shows up. Talk to him about buying a robot, then pay 1000 caps for
Sergeant RL-3. Buy any bobby pins and scrap metal that Tinker Joe has in his
merchant inventory, then talk to RL-3 to make sure he starts following you.

Run over to the south side of the nearby tower structure to discover Tenpenny
Tower. There'll be a ghoul talking into the intercom near the tower's entry
gate, but ignore him. Go SW until you discover Warrington Station, then go SW
from it to reach a store called Lucky's. There'll be an enemy or two near the
store, so hang back and let your new robot follower kill them for you. Enter the
store and go to the back left corner to find the Lucky Shades on a store
mannequin's head, then take them and put them on. You'll want to always be
wearing them whenever you don't have a particular need to wear some other type
of headgear that doesn't let you wear glasses with it.

Sell some junk to the store's resident scavenger if you want, then go behind the
front counter and look for an Unarmed skill book. Take it and use it, then
sneakily steal the contents of the nearby first aid box that's on the wall. Also
steal the two boxes of darts that are on a display counter, and the Nuka-Cola
Quantum that's in one of the broken-out cold cases in the back. There are lots
of other items to steal, but they're all misc. items, and therefore aren't all
that important.

Fast-travel back to Megaton and store stuff in your house, then rest an hour in
your bed to heal up and restore all limb conditions. (Yes, you'll get the Well
Rested XP bonus, but if you're careful to avoid all XP-getting activities, that
won't hurt you any.) Fast-travel to Springvale, then head NE to discover the
Springvale School. Go north from it to reach a cliff next to a lake, then turn
right and hop over rocks until you reach a fallen-over metal structure. Make
your way NE from there to the Bethesda Ruins, making sure Sergeant RL-3 keeps up
with you along the way.

Run and dodge around while he kills off the raiders at the ruins, watching out
for a sniper and a few frag mines as you go. Loot all of the dead raiders, and
wear your utility jumpsuit to enhance your Repair skill whenever you need to
repair raider armor and weapons together to lighten your load. When that's done,
return to Megaton to store and sell stuff (and sleep another hour in the bed),
then return to the Bethesda Ruins and go over to their west edge.

Head straight north from there, watching out for a few more raiders, until you
reach the Scrapyard. Enter the yard through its big fence gate (or a big fence
hole), then go to its NE corner to find Dogmeat. Talk nice to him and invite him
to join you, then loot the dead scavenger to get a roving trader outfit. Keep it
with you at all times, and remember to wear it (and the Lucky Shades) whenever
you're doing any buying or selling. (Note that the scavenger may also have a
roving trader hat. If not, be sure to keep the first one you find.)


********************************************************************************
************************  GETTING VARIOUS USEFUL THINGS  ***********************
********************************************************************************

Loot all of the dead raiders and repair their stuff together, then return to the
Bethesda Ruins and enter its Offices East building. Make your way slowly through
the rooms, staying out of the way while Dogmeat and RL-3 do all the combat for
you. There's lots of loot to pick up, including a Sneak skill book on a desk, a
Big Guns skill book in the inventory of one of the raiders, and the Lockpick
bobblehead on another desk. (It's okay to pick up skill bobbleheads when you
find them. It's the attribute bobbleheads that you'll want to save until after
you get the Almost Perfect perk at level 30.) Just remember to carefully avoid
all XP-getting activities, including picking locks and hacking terminals.

After you're through there, do the Offices West building, too. Remember to
repair things together when you can, and talk to RL-3 about accessing his
storage module so you can give him things to carry. Watch out for various traps,
and don't miss the Science skill book (on the large ground-floor desk) and the
Repair skill book (hidden in a small milk crate on an upstairs desk). Return to
Megaton to store all of your plunder, then sleep an hour in your bed to heal up
before fast-traveling back to the Scrapyard. Go through the gap in the yard's
northern fence, then head NE. Keep going until you discover the Temple of the
Union, then go NW until you discover the Greener Pastures Disposal Site.

Cross the site while avoiding steaming radioactive spots until you reach a small
office building, then go inside and loot it. However, do *not* pick up the
Agility bobblehead. Exit the office and go SE to a truck with a large open
container next to it. Look inside the container for a Science skill book and a
dead scientist who's wearing a radiation suit. Go a ways north from there to
find another large container that's been converted into a makeshift shack. Enter
it and loot it for stuff, including several radaways and a Medicine skill book.

Return to the container you found the Science book in, then go W/SW to a sloping
path with two signs on it. When you reach the top of the slope, use your Pip-Boy
to make the "Not of This World" quest active. Follow the quest arrow on the
compass closely until you come to the edge of a large pit that has a crashed
alien ship in it. Talk to Dogmeat and tell him to fetch you a weapon, then wait
until he returns with the alien blaster. Have him fetch ammo for you ten times
to get all of the spare alien power cells, then immediately fast-travel back to
Megaton. Store stuff (including the blaster) and rest an hour in your bed, then
go sell everything that you want to get rid of.

Your next goal is to be able to afford the "My First Infirmary" item that Moira
sells in the Craterside Supply store, and you probably won't have enough money
for it yet. If necessary, go to the Springvale School and/or the Fairfax Ruins
to get lots more loot to sell. (This is also a good idea to help pass the time
if all of Megaton's merchants, plus all four traveling traders, are currently
out of money.) Another thing you can do is enter Megaton's armory and loot it
after your followers kill its guardian robot. You may want to keep some of the
weapons and ammo you get from the armory, but there'll probably be some you'll
want to sell.

After buying the infirmary item, go find it on the upper floor of your house.
Use it to heal yourself and your limbs, and to remove all of your rads. Remember
to do that every time you return to Megaton from now on. Also keep in mind that
since you now have a free way to remove rads other than using radaway items, you
should feel free to drink from radioactive water sources to heal up whenever you
get badly injured and don't feel like returning to Megaton right away. Many
outdoor areas have fire hydrants and pools of water, and many indoor areas have
sinks and fountains. (Save your stimpaks for use during combat.)

Gather up all your remaining sell-able items and go sell them to Moira to get
some of your money back, then go loot the school and the Fairfax Ruins if you
haven't already to get more stuff to sell. After that's done, head due west from
Megaton and across some rocky terrain until you reach a small group of ruined
houses and a chapel. Look in the back of the truck near the houses for a Big
Guns skill book, then approach the chapel cautiously. There's a raider with a
flamer near the chapel, plus two tripwire traps inside the chapel. Also, some
more raiders will show up as you loot the place. (Be sure to get the Unarmed and
Speech skill books.)

Go NE to discover the Jury Street Metro Station, then go west from its Gold
Ribbon Grocers building until you find a small radioactive crater. Go west from
that and through some ruins to find a much larger crater, then go into it and
look for a dead body near an overturned truck. Raid the body, then go over to
the truck and crouch down so you can move under it and get the alien power cells
that are on the ground. As soon as you have them all, fast-travel back to
Megaton to heal up and store stuff. Return to the Jury Street Metro Station,
then go SW to get back to the raiders' chapel.

Go NW from the chapel until you reach some train tracks, then turn left and
follow them into Evergreen Mills. There are a lot of raiders and a few frag
mines to watch out for, so play it safe and let your followers do all the
combat, as usual. Quicksave often, especially since one of the raiders will
probably release the caged super mutant behemoth. It's possible (though not
likely) that the behemoth will be able to eventually kill one of your followers.
If that happens, quickrestore and try again, using your own weapons to help
attack the behemoth from a safe distance.

Once you've cleared the outdoor area, loot all the dead raiders and the three
small shacks, then return to Megaton to heal up and deal with all the stuff you
got. Return to Evergreen Mills and enter the foundry building, then go through
the door that leads to the bazaar area. Let your followers kill off all the
raiders for you, then go around and loot the whole area. Be sure to jump over
the counter that's in the NE corner of Smiling Jack's back room to find the
Barter bobblehead on a shelf.

Crouch down behind Smiling Jack and quicksave. Try to pickpocket his shotgun
shells, and keep quickrestoring and trying again until you succeed. Once you do,
stand up and punch him to turn him hostile. Wait until your followers kill him,
then loot him to get the Terrible Shotgun. It's a very powerful close-range
weapon, and it can be repaired with ordinary combat shotguns. Get Smiling Jack's
key, then loot his inventory locker before returning to Megaton to heal up and
store items.

Return to the Jury Street Metro Station, then go west to the big crater you got
the alien power cells from. Don't go into the crater this time, but instead head
west until you reach Fort Bannister's outer fence. Go up to a big fence hole and
look around for unset frag mines near it while your followers attack the nearby
Talon Company mercs. Watch out for a couple of missile-firing mercs as you move
through the fort's outdoor area, since they can one-shot-kill you with a direct
hit. Look around for loot (and to make sure you're counted as having discovered
the fort), then return to Megaton for healing and item storage.

Go back to Fort Bannister, then go through the hole in the east fence. Go north
until you reach a road, then turn left and go up the side road to discover
Jalbert Brothers Waste Disposal. Search the office building to find some stuff,
including a Medicine skill book, then get back on the main road and follow it
west to a small shack. Shoot out the frag mines so you can loot the ammo boxes,
then go north down the road until you reach a left branch that leads to a large
rocket-shaped structure. Go over to it to discover Rockbreaker's Last Gas, then
check near the two soda machines for some useful items.

Look to the SW to see a path that slopes upward, then get on the path and go to
the top of the slope. Turn to the north and make your way over to a small
abandoned shack, then enter it and look around for useful items (including Small
Guns and Repair skill books). Tell Dogmeat to find you a weapon so he'll snatch
the Victory Rifle out of the locked locker, then exit the shack and fast-travel
to Evergreen Mills. Go NE along the train tracks until you can turn south, then
go down to a wrecked overpass highway. Go west along its south side until you
reach Jocko's Pop and Gas Stop, then enter the small store and look for loot,
including an Energy Weapons skill book and a bottlecap mine schematic.

Keep following the overpass highway west until you reach Girdershade, then enter
Sierra Petrovita's house and talk to her to start on the "The Nuka-Cola
Challenge" quest. Be sure to ask her where to start looking so she'll mark the
Nuka-Cola Plant on your Pip-Boy's world map. Exit the house and talk to Ronald
Laren, then visit Megaton before returning to Fort Independence or the Fairfax
Ruins. Head SE and use the world map to help you make your way to the Nuka-Cola
Plant. Go inside and loot your way through it until you get the Nuka-Cola Clear
formula from a safe. See the hints for the above-mentioned quest in my Fallout 3
UHS hint file if you need more details.

After exiting the plant with the formula, go north down the nearby road until
you reach a large billboard on the right with a car pictured on it. Turn right
past the billboard, then go up a rocky slope to reach a small fenced-in parking
lot with a couple of raiders in it. After your followers kill the raiders, open
the fence gates on the other side of the parking lot, then turn left and go up a
ramp. Put on your businessware and quicksave, then approach the hockey-lookin'
guys who are standing around in the area ahead. Talk to Goalie Ledoux about the
Nuka-Cola Clear formula until he offers you 200 caps for it. Try to pass the
Speech Challenge to get 400 caps, then optionally load your quicksave and try
again if you fail.

Quicksave after you sell the formula, then move back and shoot one of the hockey
dudes to turn them all hostile. Run around and avoid damage as much as possible
while your followers kill them off, then loot their bodies. You can get the
formula back and resell it to a regular merchant, but the most important item to
get is Ledoux's Hockey Mask. Wearing it will add 25 to your action points, which
can be very useful when using the Terrible Shotgun or a melee weapon in close-
range combat. Remember that while you're in V.A.T.S. mode, you only take 10% of
normal damage, and your chance to make a critical hit is increased by 15%.


********************************************************************************
************************  CREATING SOME CUSTOM WEAPONS  ************************
********************************************************************************

You've already gotten a head start on this section's activities by picking up a
bottlecap mine schematic. The next thing to do is buy a nuka-grenade schematic
from Doc Hoff and a shishkebab schematic from Lucky Harith. They're both
traveling traders, so gather up all the stuff you've saved up to sell, then go
to the traders' stopping spot just outside Megaton and repeatedly wait an hour
until one of those two guys shows up. Buy his schematic, then sell him as much
stuff as you can to get your money back.

After getting both schematics, go to Craterside Supply and buy the "My First
Laboratory" item if you have enough money. (If you don't, you can put it off
until later.) If you get the laboratory, go to your house and have it start
making a compound. You should check with it every time you return to your house
to see if it's finished a compound (random chem). If so, have it detoxify you if
you've gotten addicted to anything, then have it start making another compound.

Fast-travel to Rockbreaker's Last Gas, then go SW until you reach the Everglow
National Campground. Watch out for several raiders and super mutants as you look
around for supplies (including a Small Guns skill book), then continue SW until
you reach Little Lamplight. Look inside its shack for some more loot, then enter
the Lamplight Caverns and make your way down to a large cave room with a closed
gate. Put on your businessware and quicksave before approaching the gate and
talking to Mayor MacCready. Keep loading the quicksave and trying to pass the
tough Speech Challenge to gain entry until you manage it. (Note that if it gets
way too tedious, you can put it off until later.)

Past the gate, go over to the nearby group of kids. Locate the one called Knick
Knack, then wait until he walks away. Follow him along until you can crouch down
behind him unseen, then quicksave before pickpocketing his key. Once you have
it, take the right branch at the cave tunnel split to reach the large cave room
with the souvenir shop in it. Enter the shop and look to your immediate right
for the inventory cabinet, then steal the bottlecap mine schematic from it (plus
whatever else you want).

Return to Megaton for healing and item storage, then fast-travel to Fort
Independence and head S/SE until you reach Andale. Go west from the south end of
Andale until you get close to the Overlook Drive-In, then rapidly shoot one of
the many cars until it starts flaming. Stay back as all the cars blow up, then
look around for dead raiders to loot. Find the path that starts at the northern
of the two large light poles, then watch for a couple of raiders as you follow
the path west to discover the Cliffside Cavern. Enter the raider outpost and
crouch-walk along with your Pip-Boy light on, watching for traps and raiders.

After you've thoroughly explored and looted the outpost, return to Megaton to
store stuff and heal up before returning to the outpost and going through the
door that leads to the yao guai cave area. Disarm or shoot out the three frag
mines that are just ahead, then sneak into the main cave area. Sneak along the
upper walkways, watching for yao guai, and have the Terrible Shotgun ready to
help out with. Despite all their hit points, your followers can be killed by yao
guai, so consider the XP ban lifted until all of the yao guai are dead. (Note
that sneak attack criticals from the Terrible Shotgun are immensely powerful as
long as you don't use V.A.T.S.)

NOTE: If you get enough XP to level up to level 5, see the first reference list
to find out what perk to take, and distribute your skill points however you
want. I recommend you use them to bolster up whichever skills are currently
lowest, even if you don't plan on using them much. Getting all skills to 100 is
an eventual goal of this character build, and you don't want things to get too
uneven. (If you don't level up here, keep all of this in mind for when you do.)

Make your way along until you reach the back of the lower cave area, where
you'll find a nuka-grenade schematic. Retrace your route to leave the cave, then
fast-travel to Rockbreaker's Last Gas. Go north from there to the Five Axles
Rest Stop, then maneuver your followers into finishing off the resident raiders.
Check the trucks to find some loot (including a Big Guns skill book) in the back
of one of them. Go NW from there, watching out for super mutants, until you
reach the Abandoned Car Fort. Check it for some stuff (including a Barter skill
book), then go SW to Shalebridge. Find the big anthill that's just south of the
two smoking pools of gunk, then enter it and move along until you reach the back
cave room.

Check the central pond for a dead guy with a Science skill book on him, then go
back the way you came and exit the tunnels. Visit Megaton if you need to, then
fast-travel to the Abandoned Car Fort and go NW down the highway, watching out
for holes. When you come to a blue-and-white truck, jump into the back of it and
look for an Unarmed skill book. Past that, it's just a short distance to the
spot where you can turn left and approach the nearby satellite tower to discover
SatCom Array NW-07c. Go north from there and get onto the higher ground so you
can go up to the large electrical structures. When you reach a fenced-in area,
go through the big hole in the NW side of the fence, then look for a dart gun
schematic and a Repair skill book next to a moldy old skeleton.

Go back through the fence hole, then turn east and carefully drop down the rocks
until you reach the ground. Wait an hour to get your followers to catch up to
you (note that RL-3 may not), then go east until you can see a wooden dock
structure in the distance. Crouch down and fire a few pistol shots at the
raiders on the dock, then wait for them to come to you (and watch out for the
missiles that one of them may launch). Search the dock area for supplies, then
go east and around to where you can approach another satellite tower. Quicksave
when you get near it, then crouch down and sneak up next to it. Hopefully, RL-3
will soon catch up, and he and Dogmeat will start in on the nearby hostiles.

When there's no one else within their reach, sneak around to where you can enter
the tower, then sneak through it while your followers finish off its residents.
(Note that you'll probably have to shoot out the turret that's up on the
ceiling.) Climb the ladder in the top-floor room so your followers can kill the
mercs who are on the outside walkway, then go up the steps and through another
door. Climb the next ladder to get onto the satellite dish, then dodge around
without falling while your followers finish off one last merc. After getting all
the loot (including a Sneak skill book on the tower's bottom floor), return to
Megaton to heal up and store items.

Fast-travel back to SatCom Array NW-05a, then watch out for frag mines as you
start off to the east. Keep going east, and a little bit north, to reach Fort
Constantine. After your followers finish off the nearby robots, enter the small
CO Quarters building and let them wreck another robot. Get the Small Guns skill
book from the bed, then go downstairs and look in an open safe for the Big Guns
bobblehead. There's also a Sneak skill book on a nearby cinderblock. Exit the CO
Quarters building and go S/SE from it until you reach some large rocks, then go
SE along them until you can turn left and go N/NE toward three big satellite
towers.

Keep going toward those towers until you come to a small shack that some
Brotherhood Outcasts are guarding. Loot it, not missing the shishkebab schematic
on a table, then return to Megaton. After healing and storing stuff, check your
container of misc. items to see how many shishkebabs you can make. (You'll need
lawn mower blades, motorcycle gas tanks, motorcycle handbrakes, and pilot
lights.) Take your components over to Craterside Supply, put on your utility
jumpsuit, and use the workbench to make shishkebabs. If you have enough money,
you can buy a workbench for your house to make things more convenient.

Keep one shishkebab with you to use as your new melee weapon, and put the rest
in your weapons storage container. You'll be using them to repair or replace the
shishkebab you're using when its condition gets low. You could also make some
dart guns now, but it's best to wait until you get two more schematics before
you do that. In order to get those schematics, you'll need to do the "Tenpenny
Tower" quest. See my Fallout 3 UHS hint file for all the details, remembering to
do all of the following things:

* Before you start on the quest, sneakily steal everything in the tower that you
want, including the Barter skill book (Tenpenny Suites area) and the Speech
skill book (Penthouse Suites area).
* As you do the quest, opt to facilitate the ghoul invasion.
* Look for the three skill books that are scattered about the Warrington Station
interior area while you're there to talk to Roy Phillips.
* Wearing the ghoul mask that Roy Phillips gives you, re-loot the entire tower,
not missing duplicate copies of the two above-mentioned skill books.
* Loot all the dead bodies, especially the ones that have keys on them. They'll
allow you to loot store inventories and locked safes.
* Be sure to get a dart gun schematic from the "Boutique Le Chic" shop's
inventory chest and a bottlecap mine schematic from Herbert Dashwood's safe.

To get the tower's second dart gun schematic, you'll need to wait until Masters
and Lynn take over the "Boutique Le Chic" and "New Urban Apparel" stores. You
can then buy the schematic from Masters. It'll be a couple of game days before
that happens, so pass the time by doing some more exploring and looting, or by
getting a head start on the next section of the walkthrough. As soon as you buy
Masters' schematic, go make as many dart guns as you can, and keep one with you
at all times. They're great for crippling enemies and making them move slower,
especially fast and deadly ones like yao guai and deathclaws. You should also
make lots of bottlecap mines, since you now have three schematics for it.
(Unless you gave up on the Speech Challenge needed to enter Little Lamplight, in
which case you should wait on making bottlecap mines.)


********************************************************************************
*********************  GETTING BOBBLEHEADS AND SKILL BOOKS  ********************
********************************************************************************

The next thing to focus on is getting all of the skill bobbleheads that you
haven't already gotten (except for the Energy Weapons one, which requires you to
do a bunch of main quests). I won't give detailed directions on getting any of
the bobbleheads here, so refer to my Fallout 3 UHS hint file for all the
details. Just remember to wear your ghoul mask while getting the Melee Weapons
bobblehead to make things a lot easier. (And don't forget that you're still in
"absolute minimum XP" mode. You may reach level 6 or even level 7, but hopefully
nothing beyond that.)

Once you have all the skill bobbleheads you can get, it'll be time to start on a
serious skill book hunt. Once again, I'll refer you to my UHS hint file for all
the details. Start by checking the annotated map keys for zones that you've
already discovered a lot of locations in (like zones 7 and 8) to find out which
locations have skill books you haven't gotten yet. You can then check the skill
book lists in the "General Tips and Information" section if you need info on
exactly where each skill book is located.

NOTE: There are two skill books that periodically respawn. One is the Big Guns
skill book that one of the raiders at the Bethesda Ruins has, and the other is
the Science skill book that the dead guy in the Shalebridge ant tunnels has.
Keep going back to those locations every 3 to 5 game days to "reap" another
skill book from each. (Note that the Shalebridge guy will be alive after
respawn, and you'll have to kill him to get his skill book.)

At some point, do the "Oasis" quest, choosing the option that gets you a
permanent +5 to your damage resistance. Also, be sure to pass the Speech
Challenge with Sapling Yew before you enter the caves so you can get her bear
charm after the quest is over. It gives a permanent +10 to the Speech skill.
Also, don't miss the Medicine skill book that's in the caves' Sunken Chambers
area.

Your goal is to get all of your most important skills up to around 70. Those
skills include Lockpick, Repair, Science, Small Guns, and Sneak. It would also
be a good idea to get Explosives, Medicine, Melee Weapons, and Speech up to at
least 60 or so. As for the others, 50 would be good, but not strictly necessary.
It'll take you awhile to achieve all of those goals, but be sure to do so before
moving on to the next walkthrough section.

SAVE OFFER: I've kept a copy of the saved game I made right after finishing this
section of the walkthrough. If you email me using the address given in the
"Copyright Info" section near the top of the file, I'll email you a copy of the
save. Note that it's about 2500 KB (2.5 MB) in size, so make sure you have
enough room in your inbox.


********************************************************************************
**********************  GETTING USEFUL STUFF FROM ADD-ONS  *********************
********************************************************************************

The first add-on game to do is Operation: Anchorage. After finishing the long
and tedious Anchorage sim, you'll be able to get the wondrous Chinese Stealth
Armor. Take your two followers along while traveling to the Brotherhood
Outcasts' outpost to help you in combat, since you're still in minimal XP mode.

While doing the first part of the simulation, you'll have to kill several
enemies yourself. That's unavoidable, so don't worry about the XP you get from
that. After you meet up with Sergeant Benjamin Montgomery, you can maneuver him
into shooting every enemy for you, though it can sometimes be hard to get him to
cooperate. Be careful to not let any enemies shoot you to death while waiting
for Montgomery to finish them off.

You can optionally hunt down and pick up all 10 intel briefcase items in order
to get a permanent +3 to your Lockpick, Science, and Small Guns skills. It's not
really that important to get those skill increases, but I always hate to miss
out on such things. Whenever you level up, keep distributing your skill points
among your lowest skills to help even things out, and check the reference lists
section for which perk to choose.

After you finish the sim, sneakily pickpocket ammo from Defender Sibley and all
of the nameless Brotherhood Outcast guys. Open up the armory by using the
terminal, then run in and immediately grab up every weapon that's on the
shelves. Get the Chinese Stealth Armor and put it on, then crouch down and wait
out the combat. After it's over, finish looting the armory, then carry
everything you want to take with you to the elevator. Ride it up, then offload
excess items into one of the nearby crates so you can fast-travel to Megaton and
store stuff.

Make however many trips are necessary to get all of your loot to Megaton, then
get ready to do the Mothership Zeta add-on game. From it, you'll get a lot of
alien epoxy for easy weapon repair, more power cells for your alien blaster, and
the Xenotech Expert perk to increase the damage you do with all alien weapons by
20%. Also, who doesn't enjoy pounding on aliens with their own shock batons and
making them yell "Brian Dugan?" (It must be their version of "uncle.")

The reason you'll want to do that add-on right away instead of later is that the
higher-level you are, the more aliens you'll encounter with crackly energy
shields around them. Those aliens are *super* hard to kill, even if you start
off by sneak-attacking them with the alien blaster or Terrible Shotgun.
Hopefully, you'll still be level 8 or 9 when you start, and therefore won't
encounter hardly any energy-shielded aliens.

Be sure to take your Chinese Stealth Armor along and put it to good use. The
same goes for your alien blaster, the Terrible Shotgun, a shishkebab, and a dart
gun. As for your other usual weapons, you can probably leave them behind. You'll
be getting a lot of powerful aliens weapons to help you in combat, plus a few
followers. You can consider minimal XP mode to be officially over, especially
since your next major goal is to reach level 12 and get the Silent Running perk
as soon as possible.

Once you do, sneaking around while wearing the Chinese Stealth Armor will become
much more effective. You'll often be able to sneak right up next to an enemy
without him detecting you, though pushing up against him might cause him to
notice you. When you're trying to whack an enemy with a melee weapon, get fairly
close to him, then use V.A.T.S. to attack him. That way, you won't have to get
quite as close to him as you would if you weren't using V.A.T.S. Also, don't
forget that your dart gun is a silent ranged weapon, as well as a great way to
slow enemies down.

After you finish all of the quests, get Sergeant RL-3 to rejoin you and help you
tote loads of loot to Megaton for storage. You can get more alien stuff by
killing off the respawning aliens in the various parts of the ship that are
still accessible, and by talking to Sally and Elliot once a day from now on. As
for the other three add-on games, you can't do anything on the Broken Steel add-
on until after you've finished the main quest series, and there isn't anything
particularly great to be gained by doing The Pitt or Point Lookout right away.
(You'll eventually want to get the Perforator weapon from The Pitt, but there
are a few things that are more important right now.)


********************************************************************************
******************************  DOING SOME QUESTS  *****************************
********************************************************************************

The next things to do are several quests that have useful rewards, including
some serious XP. Be *sure* to always have the Well Rested bonus on you from
sleeping an hour in your home's bed when you finish a quest. As for your two
followers, you can decide whether or not you want to take any of them with you
while doing the quests. Since you've undoubtedly reached level 12 by now, you'll
have some major sneaking power, and won't really need followers to help in
combat anymore. You'll get more XP without them (which is a good thing now),
though you will need to be more careful not to be detected when there are
several enemies nearby. Also, not having Sergeant RL-3 along will mean that you
have less spare inventory capacity.

First, do the "Those!" quest so you can get the Ant Might perk and Lesko's Lab
Coat. The perk will raise your Strength to 10 and give you a 25% resistance to
fire, and the coat is good to keep with you for when you need to temporarily
increase your Science skill or rad resistance. Next, do the "Big Trouble in Big
Town" quest so you can get the Lucky 8 Ball. It'll increase your Luck by 1 as
long as it's in your inventory, so keep it with you at all times.

After that, do Moira's "The Wasteland Survival Guide" quest. It's a long one,
but the end reward is very nice. Be sure to do all the optional objectives, and
use mostly Strength and Endurance dialogue options when reporting back to Moira
so that your survival perk will include an increase to damage resistance. (You
could instead use snide responses to get an increase to critical chance, or
straightforward responses to get a health increase, but neither of those are
really as beneficial as increased DR.)

Once you've gotten your survival perk, do the "Blood Ties" quest to get a
shishkebab schematic, and the "The Replicated Man" quest to get the special
combat module that increases your to-hit chances in V.A.T.S. (Note that you can
get both the combat module and a unique plasma rifle by telling Harkness that
you want to kill Zimmer yourself. Go tell Zimmer that Harkness is the android,
then sneak-attack him and his bodyguard with a shishkebab to kill them easily.)
Since you've undoubtedly saved up 30 or more Nuka-Cola Quantums by now, take 30
of them to Sierra Petrovita in Girdershade to finish her quest and get the third
schematic for nuka-grenades. Make as many as you can with your remaining
quantums, and use them sparingly.

Go discover Paradise Falls if you haven't already, then do the easy "Rescue from
Paradise" quest to get a huge 990 XP (including the 10% Well Rested bonus). You
can then get lots more XP by selling all the scrap metal you've saved up to
Walter in Megaton, and all the pre-war books you've saved up to Scribe Yearling
in the Arlington Library. You can also now sell all of your saved-up blood packs
to Vance, and you might as well find the ghoul named Murphy in the Northwest
Seneca Station and sell him all your sugar bombs. (Be sure to pass the Speech
Challenge to get more money per box.) After that, you can buy or steal some
ultrajet from him.

NOTE: If you gave up on passing the tough Speech Challenge to get into Little
Lamplight earlier, you can now get in without it because you rescued the kids
from Paradise Falls. Do so, then go get the bottlecap mine schematic from the
souvenir shop.

Once all of that is finished, it'll be a good time to go and do The Pitt add-on
game. Be sure to get some infiltrator weapons, including the unique one, and
consider making one of them your new sniper rifle. They won't have the accuracy
of the Victory Rifle, but they're all silent and automatic. You might want to
keep the Victory Rifle for long-distance sniping, and use the Perforator for
some high-powered medium-distance silent shooting. (Note that the Perforator and
all regular infiltrators can be repaired with assault rifles.)


********************************************************************************
****************************  MOVING ON FROM THERE  ****************************
********************************************************************************

After you finish transferring all of your loot from the Pitt area to Megaton,
you're pretty much on your own. There are several more misc. quests to do, plus
the main quests, the Broken Steel add-on quests, and the Point Lookout quests.
It's entirely up to you as to what order to do the quests in, whether to take
any followers along, what equipment to use, etc. Just remember to have the Well
Rested bonus on you whenever possible (especially when completing quests) to get
more XP. Also remember to periodically sell your saved-up scrap metal to Walter
and your pre-war books to Scribe Yearling for even more XP.

You don't necessarily have to rush your way to level 30, but the sooner you get
there, the sooner you can get the Almost Perfect perk and pick up the remaining
attribute bobbleheads to get every attribute up to 10. Also, all of your skills
should be 100 by then. If not, hunt up any remaining skill books for the skills
you're short on.

There are a few more things to cover before I conclude this guide. One of them
is a brief summary of all the great equipment you've gotten, and what good it
is. Use it to decide what to have with you, and when.

* Ghoul Mask: Wear when you're near ghouls and don't feel like fighting them.
* Ledoux's Hockey Mask: Wear to add 25 to your action points.
* Lesko's Lab Coat: Wear whenever you're taking more than 1 rad per second, and
when you want to eat irradiated food or drink irradiated water.
* Chinese Stealth Armor: Thanks to the Silent Running perk, crouch-running
around in this armor will make you nearly undetectable. You can crouch-run up to
just about any enemy and whack him with a shishkebab, or blast him point-blank
with the Terrible Shotgun for massive damage. It's also useful to note that
having the Pip-Boy's light on won't compromise your stealth at all.

* Victory Rifle: The best weapon for precise long-distance shooting.
* Perforator: The most powerful silent ranged weapon in the game.
* Shishkebab: The most powerful melee weapon in the game.
* Dart Gun: Use to cripple enemies' legs, especially fast and dangerous ones.
* Silenced 10mm Pistol: Use in V.A.T.S. to "induce" Mysterious Stranger visits,
and shoot enemies to lure them into a group of mines you've set.
* Terrible Shotgun: Causes massive up-close sneak-attack damage (no V.A.T.S.).
* Alien Blaster: Best weapon for sneak-attack head shots in V.A.T.S.
* Bottlecap Mines: (See the Silenced 10mm Pistol info.)
* Nuka-Grenades: Throw at groups of enemies to heavily damage them all.

Another important thing to be aware of are the repair options that are available
to you. You've gotten lots of alien epoxy from Mothership Zeta that you can use
to repair any weapon that's still equippable, but you should save all of that
for emergencies. Your other two options (both of which are especially useful for
apparel items, since epoxy won't work on them) are to save up items that can be
repaired into your favorite equipment, and to pay the traveling traders for
repairs out of all the money you've been making by selling stuff. If you invest
in the traveling traders with Uncle Roe in Canterbury Commons, they'll be able
to repair things up to higher conditions. Once you invest in each trader twice,
Crazy Wolfgang will be the best repairer in the game, though the other three
traveling traders will be almost as good. (To make them even better repairers,
pickpocket-give them some apparel that'll increase their Repair skills, such as
the workmen's coveralls from the Point Lookout add-on.)

Another thing worthy of mention is Fawkes. You'll meet him in Vault 87 during
one of the main quests, and he'll be available as a follower after you do
several more main quests. Donate purified water to the water beggar who's
sitting outside Megaton if necessary to get your karma into the "good" range,
then get Fawkes to join you as a follower. If you're not yet level 30, you may
want to wait until after you are. Fawkes can really deal some rapid damage to
enemies with his gatling laser, which will cut you out of a lot of combat XP.
Once you're level 30, having Fawkes and Dogmeat with you at all times will
ensure that even the massively tough super mutant overlords, albino
radscorpions, and feral ghoul reavers won't give you much trouble.


********************************************************************************
*******************************  REFERENCE LISTS  ******************************
********************************************************************************

This first list is of the perks you should take for levels 5 thru 30. Notice
that some of them have skill requirements listed in brackets. Be sure that you
meet the requirement by the time you reach that level, and remember that wearing
skill-enhancing apparel won't help.

5: Entomologist [Science 40]
6: Toughness
7: Bloody Mess
8: Strong Back
9: Demolition Expert [Explosives 50]
10: Finesse
11: Mysterious Stranger
12: Silent Running [Sneak 50]
13: Pyromaniac [Explosives 60]
14: Cyborg [Science 60, Medicine 60]
15: Life Giver
16: Better Criticals
17: Action Girl
18: Paralyzing Palm [Unarmed 70]
19: Robotics Expert
20: Grim Reaper's Sprint
21: Ninja [Sneak 80, Melee Weapons 80]
22: Quantum Chemist [Science 70]
23: Demolition Expert
24: Demolition Expert
25: Concentrated Fire [Small Guns 60, Energy Weapons 60]
26: Rad Resistance
27: Fast Metabolism
28: Adamantium Skeleton
29: Nerd Rage!
30: Almost Perfect


This second list is of all the miscellaneous, useless-looking items that you
should pick up and save whenever you find them during your explorations. Some of
them are used to create custom weapons at workbenches, and others can be traded
to certain people for XP or caps. The list is alphabetized for ease of use.

Abraxo Cleaner                  -- make nuka-grenades
Blood Pack                      -- sell to Vance after "Blood Ties" quest
Brotherhood of Steel Holotag    -- sell to Scribe Jameson in the Citadel
Camera                          -- sell to Scribe Rothchild after Broken Steel
Cherry Bomb                     -- make bottlecap mines
Lawn Mower Blade                -- make shishkebabs
Lunchbox                        -- make bottlecap mines
Motorcycle Gas Tank             -- make shishkebabs
Motorcycle Handbrake            -- make shishkebabs
Nuka-Cola                       -- make Quantums with Quantum Chemist perk
Nuka-Cola Quantum               -- make nuka-grenades
Paint Gun                       -- make dart guns
Pilot Light                     -- make shishkebabs
Pre-War Book                    -- sell to Scribe Yearling in Arlington Library
Purified Water                  -- give to water beggars to gain karma
Radscorpion Poison Gland        -- make dart guns
Scrap Metal                     -- sell to Walter in Megaton
Sensor Module                   -- make bottlecap mines
Sugar Bombs                     -- sell to Murphy in Northwest Seneca Station
Surgical Tubing                 -- make dart guns
Teddy Bear                      -- sell to Sandra after The Pitt
Tin Can                         -- make nuka-grenades
Toy Car                         -- make dart guns
Turpentine                      -- make nuka-grenades
 

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