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 Fallout - New Vegas - Weapons Guide

Fallout - New Vegas - Weapons Guide

                       Fallout: New Vegas - Weapons Guide
                                by Ken Egervari
                     ken.egervari [.AT.] gmail [.DOT.] com

                  Game......................Fallout: New Vegas
                  Guide...........................In-depth FAQ
                  First Published............November 09, 2010
                  Last Updated...............November 10, 2010

Table of Contents

Use CTRL-F and copy-paste the content inside the []'s to quickly find a

   1. Introduction ....................................................[1-00]
      1.01 - About This FAQ ...........................................[1-01]
      1.02 - Credits/Thanks ...........................................[1-02]
      1.03 - Updates and Revisions ....................................[1-03]

   2. Weapons .........................................................[2-00]
      2.01 - Best General Purpose Gun .................................[2-01]
      2.02 - Best General Purpose Energy Weapon .......................[2-02]
      2.03 - Best Sniper Weapon .......................................[2-03]
      2.04 - Best VATS Weapon .........................................[2-04]
      2.05 - Best 1HKO Weapon .........................................[2-05]
      2.06 - Best Anti-Robot Weapon ...................................[2-06]
      2.07 - Best One-Handed Weapon ...................................[2-07]
      2.08 - Best Ammo-Conservation Weapon ............................[2-08]
      2.09 - Best Unarmed Weapon ......................................[2-09]
      2.10 - Best Melee Weapon ........................................[2-10]

   3. Builds ..........................................................[3-00]
      3.01 - Versatile Ranged Weapon Build ............................[3-01]

   4. Last Words ......................................................[4-00]
      4.01 - Contact Info .............................................[4-01]
      4.02 - Copyright Info ...........................................[4-02]
      4.03 - Coming Soon ..............................................[4-03]

1. Introduction

1.01 - About This FAQ

The main purpose of this FAQ is to detail all the best weapons in a given
situation, provide an objective commentary and analysis to help you select the
best weapon for the job at hand, and provide you with their exact in-game
locations to help you quickly find them.

There are a lot of choices and options in Fallout: New Vegas, as the weapon
system is surprisingly very deep. This guide mostly focuses on ranged weapons,
although there is a section on melee/unarmed weapons.

This FAQ is aimed at helping new and experienced players alike.

If you need to, check the "Credits" and "Copyright" sections at the bottom of
the document.

Lastly, I hope you learn something, and please ALWAYS have fun! :)

1.02 - Credits/Thanks

* To GameFAQS for hosting this FAQ.

* To @, for
  all the fantastic statistical information about weapons and other related

* To mmSNAKE for his mathematical analysis on Gobi vs. Plasma Caster, where
  he showed that Plasma Caster+ does in fact deal slightly more damage than
  Gobi over a 5 second span

* YOU: For reading this FAQ! ;)

1.03 - Updates and Revisions

Version 1.11 - November 10, 2010
* Renamed Anti-Material to Anti-Materiel. Thanks to Barticle for that!
* Added Service Rifile as a cheap repair option for Gobi and Sniper Rifle+

Version 1.10 - November 10, 2010
* Mostly spelling and grammar fixes
* Added more information about Gobi's damage, and how it compares to Plasma
* Added "Versatile Ranged Weapon Build"

Version 1.00 - November 09, 2010
* Start of the project

2. Weapons

In Fallout: New Vegas, the developers took care to create a combat system where
different weapons excelled in different circumstances. So in this section, we'll
look at the best weapons available for each type of situation.

This FAQ assumes your character has the Hand Loader perk to bring out the best
in your weapons. This perk is easily one of the best perks in the game, and if
you're using guns, it's highly recommended that you should get it.

For some weapons, additional perks are also taken into consideration.

If you do not have these perks on your character, the analysis presented here
will not be accurate, and you should make decisions according to the perks you
have rather than follow this advice blindly. If in doubt, restart your
character and get the necessary perks ;)

2.01 - Best General Purpose Gun

When people say, "What is the best weapon?", this is what they probably mean.
When I think of a best all-around gun, I think that weapon should have the
following characteristics:

    * Has access to plentiful and cheap ammo
    * Does not need to be repaired often
    * Can be repaired cheaply without Caps or Weapon Repair Kits
    * Has fantastic regular damage
    * Has fantastic critical damage
    * Has fantastic DPS (damage per second)
    * Has a decent range
    * Has low AP requirements in VATS
    * Has high Damage/AP
    * Reloads ammo quickly

There's a lot of excellent weapons to choose from that satify most or all of
this criteria. But in the end, it comes down to two weapons: Gobi and This

1. Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle
While Gobi is a Sniper Rifle, it is balanced in such a way that you can use it
as a general purpose weapon. That is its main attractive quality over the basic
Sniper Rifle.

When using basic ammo, Gobi does 60 damage, which is very high among all the
weapons in the game. The only weapons that do considerably more damage per shot
are weapons like the Anti-Materiel Rifle (110) or the YCS/186 (140). Most of the
other high-quality weapons hover around 60-75.

With the Hand Loader perk, you can craft .308 JSP Hand Loader ammo, which adds
50% more damage on top of the regular ammo with no drawback. This should be your
standard ammo as it enables .308 weapons to become some of the best in the
entire game. Break down all of your .308 rounds and convert them .308 JSP Hand
Loader ammo regularly. There is never a good reason to use the regular .308

While .308 is fairly common, you'll want to buy it in bulk from Quartermaster
Bardon at Hoover Dam. If you have a good reputation with the NCR and a
reasonable barter skill, you can buy hundreds of rounds for a little over
1000 caps:

What sets Gobi apart from 'more powerful' weapons, though, is its 5x critical
multiplier. If you have a character with 10 luck (highly recommended) with the
Finesse perk, you'll score critical hit 75% of the time, even without sneaking.
Equip a "1st Recon Baret" which adds 5% to your critical chance (you get this
helmet after finishing Boone's quest in Novac) and you will score a critical hit
with Gobi 100% of the time. Thus, Gobi will do much more damage than every other
weapon in the game in practice except for the Plasma Caster... despite what the
statistics say in your Pip-Boy.

You should expect to do 91 damage per shot and 261 DPS, but since you'll score a
critical hit every shot, in reality you'll do 226 damage per shot with 648 DPS.
That is why Gobi is THE best Gun in the game - period.

Even though Gobi is a Sniper Rifle, don't be afraid to use it like a normal gun.
You are not required to use the scope in order to score a critical hit. You can
shoot from the hip and get fantastic results. You'll end up conserving a lot
.308 JSP Hand Loader ammo in the end compared to using 'This Machine' because
you'll be doing a lot more damage per hit. Having the ability to use the scope
is just an added bonus, and you'll get lots of free kills before the fight truly

A lot of people marry themselves to the Anti-Materiel Rifle because it does
amazing burst damage, but Gobi isn't too far behind and the ammo is cheaper and
more readily available. Even despite that, Gobi can fire 6 times very rapidly,
which makes it far superior to the Anti-Materiel rifle. The Anti- Material Rifle
has a horrible rate of fire, and has low DPS as a result.

Unlike the basic Sniper Rifle, Gobi can be used in VATS a bit more easily.
Because it uses 33 AP per shot instead of 38, it will allow most builds to get 3
or 4 shots using VATS. It's not the best VATS weapon by a long-shot, but it'll
work well enough without having to change weapons to kill fast-moving cazadors
and other annoying enemies, which are very hard to shoot outside of VATS.

Also, Gobi lets you fire 6 times instead of 5 before having to reload. This is
surprisingly useful for general purpose combat. Gobi reloads ammo very fast as

Considering the insane amount of damage you'll be doing with each shot, 3-4
shots in VATS is likely all you will ever need. To help with the AP expenditure,
it's recommended to get Grim Reaper's Sprint at level 20 to allow you to use
VATS continually throughout an encounter as it's very likely each enemy will die
with only 1 shot. Action Boy/Girl taken twice will let you fire Gobi 4 times in
VATS (this is optional).

Gobi also has 50% more durability compared to the basic Sniper Rifle, so you
won't have to repair it as much. Still, there aren't many cheap repair options
even with the Jury Rigging perk. Buying fully repaired Service Rifles from Gun
Runners for 645 caps for repair parts is probably the most efficient way to keep
your Gobi in top condition.

In the end, if you are the kind of person that hates switching weapons - which
is not entirely recommended - you can't go wrong using the Gobi Campaign Scout
Rifle throughout the entire game.

You can find a Gobi at the Sniper's Nest. Not only is this hard to find on your
own, you will need 100 points in your lockpicking skill to unlock the
container that contains Gobi:

2. This Machine
While Gobi is probably the best general purpose weapon in the entire game, it
comes with two striking drawbacks that make it a bit bothersome for regular use.
Gobi is only moderately effective in VATS because of its high AP cost and low
damage per AP spent. It's also difficult to repair and has low durability, which
forces you to repair it frequently to maintain peak performance.

This Machine, while lacking Gobi's scope and 5x critical multiplier, solves
both of those problems. It provides you with a nice alternative.

NOTE: Do not expect This Machine to do nearly as much damage as the Gobi
      Campaign Scout Rifle. When you use this weapon, you are doing so
      because of ease of maintenance.

Like Gobi, This Machine uses .308 ammo and does 65 base damage per shot, which
is a bit more than Gobi. In practice though, Gobi will perform much better due
to more frequent criticals, at least with high luck and the Finesse perk.

Just like with Gobi, you should also craft .308 JSP Hand Loader ammo for This
Machine. You should expect to do 98 damage per shot and 237 DPS with that ammo

Two things set This Machine apart from Gobi. The first is that This Machine is
tied for the most durable weapon in the entire game, having 600 HP. It is very
likely that you will only have to repair it once by the time you reach level 30,
and that assumes you found it and have been using it regularly very early in
your game.

It is also much easier to repair with the Jury Rigging perk, as you can use
cheap and plentiful Vermite Rifles, as well as many other types of common rifles
found in the game in order to repair it.

Secondly, This Machine is an excellent VATS weapon. In fact, without considering
perks like Cowboy, it is the best VATS weapon in the entire game doing the most
damage per AP spent. It only costs 22 AP per shot, so getting 5 or 6 shots off
in a VATS sequence is very easy for most characters to achieve. If you can kill
an enemy in 1 hit, Grim Reaper's Sprint will give you that attack almost free.

While This Machine obviously doesn't work as a long-range weapon like Gobi, it
is the best medium-range, general purpose weapon in the entire game,
particularly in VATS combat.

Outside of VATS though, don't expect accurate shots at long range, since This
Machine has a spread of 0.5. In Fallout: New Vegas, the lower the spread value,
the better. This Machine's spread is high enough that shots will still miss
their target even though your retical was spot on at long ranges, so move in
towards your enemy a bit before firing.

This Machine is extremely easy to find, so you'll likely be using This Machine
for awhile before you can even get your hands on Gobi anyway. You can find it at
Camp McCarran during a free-form quest called "Dealing with Contreras". Make
sure to have 40 in Science with a magazine since the easiest way to resolve the
quest is to hack into Contreras'

Note: Riot Shotgun
A lot of people drool at the sight of this mighty weapon, but I don't think it's
all that great by the end of the game. It's first major problem is that this
weapon is confined to close quarter combat. That alone takes it out of
contention for being the best general purpose weapon.

Secondly, the Riot Shotgun suffers from the same problems as Gobi in that all of
it's repair options are rare and expensive. Even with the Jury Rigging perk, you
can't even repair it with other shotguns! In fact, it's repair options compete
with Gobi and Sniper Rifle+, which I think is horrible.

You'll find all sorts of useless shotguns in this game, and yet, they'll be
useless for repair purposes. At least you can sell the shotguns for caps so an
NPC can repair the Riot Shotgun I suppose. Other than that, you'll have to rely
on Weapon Repair Kits.

Lastly, and more importantly, even with the Shotgun Surgeon perk, the Riot
Shotgun will not be enough to take on a deathclaw... or even a securitron for
that matter. Weapons like This Machine, Brush Gun, Anti-Materiel Rifle, Gobi and
the Sniper Rifle - just to name a few - are simply more effective and efficient.
These weapons can also be used in other situations as well.

2.02 - Best General Purpose Energy Weapon

I think it's fair to say that energy weapon users got hosed in Fallout: New
Vegas... probably because the developers thought they were too powerful in
Fallout 3. While there are some standout energy weapons, there isn't one weapon
that I would say is truly great in many areas. In fact, you'll often pay more in
caps to get a similar effect for far cheaper with regular guns.

Other than continuity reasons, I'm not sure why energy weapons are in this game
from a mechanics point of view. They seem to offer no distinct advantages to
regular guns. In fact, regular guns are so versatile that there isn't a single
context or purpose that energy weapons excel at that guns can't.

Nonetheless, you have a few choices, all with varying tradeoffs to consider.
It's up to you to decide which characteristics matter most.

1. Plasma Caster+
The closest thing to the best general-purpose energy weapon in the game would
have to be the Plasma Caster+.

For one, unlike a lot of energy weapons, it is extremely economical to use. Each
shot only requires a single MF Cell, which amounts to 3 caps per shot.

The damage per shot is excellent (65) and compares to other guns like This
Machine. The DPS is also very high, reaching up to 299 DPS if modded with the
Plasma Caster HS Electrode!

Because the Plasma Caster is so economical, you should convert some of your MF
Cells to use the Overcharge or Max Charge variants at a Workbench if you have a
Science skill of 70. Alternatively, you can simply ask Veronica to do it.

When using Max Charge ammo (the recommended choice, because it's the best bang
for your buck), you'll be doing 115 damage per shot and 382 DPS unmodded. When
modded with the HS Electrode, the DPS will jump up to 488! This is pretty much
the best your going to get with energy weapons - especially at the bargain price
of 7.5 caps per shot!

There are a lot of minor drawbacks to this weapon, but none that are truly
devastating. The Plasma Caster+ doesn't have very good durability, so you'll
have to repair it frequently - especially when using Max Charge ammo.

It's also a little difficult to repair. With the Jury Rigging perk, you can
expand its repair options to include Flamers, Incinerators, and Heavy
Incinerators, which are all quite common and useless... so repair away. You may
still have to utilize Weapon Repair Kits though.

Secondly, the Plasma Caster+ doesn't fire correctly in 3rd person mode. For some
reason, the weapon fires towards the ceiling, thus missing it's targets and
makes the weapon completely unusable. This will likely get fixed in a future

Lastly, it is not a very good VATS weapon at all. For some reason, sometimes
non-critical hits do very little damage - a lot less damage than they ordinarily
would in regular combat. Perhaps it's bugged and will be fixed in a patch as
well :/ Regardless, this will surely make some fights much harder. It doesn't
matter because in order take advantage of the Plasma Caster+'s insanely high
rate of fire, you do NOT want to use this weapon in VATS anyway!

Overall, the Plasma Caster is a fantastic weapon and compares favourably even to
many of the best Guns (it even does slightly more damage than Gobi, but lacks
the Scope and the ability to do VATS combat... so it's not quite as good in my

You can acquire the Plasma Caster+ at Silver Rush. That place gives you the
opportunity to acquire 2 of the best energy weapons (the other being the
Multiplas Rifle) relatively early in the game.

Make sure to also purchase the Plasma Caster's only mod - the "Plasma Caster HS
Electrode" - from Gloria or the Gun Runner kiosk near Freeside. It's a random
spawn. Since some quests encourage you to kill the Van Graff's, you'll want to
try and get this mod from Gloria to increase your chances before you start your
killing spree :)


When doing the mission Birds of a Feather (a Van Graff mission receieved in
Silver Rush), if you choose to save Cass, Jean Baptiste will pick up the Plasma
Caster. Because of a glitch that makes his body unsearchable, if you do not
acquire the Caster before killing him, it will be lost forever in his inventory!
This happened to me! If that's the case, you are stuck with the
Multiplas Rifle as your top weapon :/

2. Multiplas Rifle
The second best general purpose energy weapon is easily the Multiplas Rifle. It
does excellent damage per hit, has a fair range, is extremely easy to repair
since Plasma Rifles are a dime-a-dozen, and the ammo is plentiful (just not

The Multiplas Rifle is probably the best VATS energy weapon in the entire game,
especially if you can get up-close to your target because you'll do at least 105
damage and up to 420 damage per shot depending on how many critical hits you
score from each round of plasma.

It also does really well outside of VATS if your aim is good, whether in medium
to close range. It only takes 1 or 2 hits to crisp a Securitron MK II into a
pile of goo, which is a feat only reserved for a few weapons in the game.

Because this weapon is a shotgun variant of the regular Plasma Rifle and has a
wide spread, you should strive to get into medium or close range of the enemy at
all times to make sure all 3 rounds of plasma make contact.

Because of this, I would recommended wearing Power Armor and getting all the
Damage Threshold bonuses you can if you're going to use this weapon exclusively.
You're going to be in the thick of combat all the time.

The only real drawback to the Multiplas Rifle - and it's a doozy - is that it
uses 6 MF Cells per shot - 2 for each round of plasma and there are 3 rounds of
plasma total. In a nutshell, it'll cost you 18 caps to fire each shot, so you'll
want to use this weapon in VATS exclusively to make sure every shot counts.

It's ironic that with the Plasma Caster, you generally want to stay away from
VATS, but with Multiplas Rifle, you want to be in VATS all the time ;)

You be lucky to find around 1200 MF Cells as you progress through the game, so
that gives you around 200 shots before you have to invest your own money into
ammo. You'll most likely need to invest in MF Cells frequently. Having a
character with high Luck and playing lots of Blackjack at the various casinos
will make sure you got the caps to buy your ammo in bulk from Quartermaster
Bardon at Hoover Dam:

On the plus side, the Multiplas Rifle's attack with basic ammo is strong enough
that you'll likely not upgrade your ammo to Overcharge or Max Charge. But, it
couldn't hurt either against really tough targets.

Another big drawback to the Multiplas Rifle is its slow rate of fire outside of
VATS. It is one of the slowest energy weapons available, taking about 1 second
to fire in between shots. This really hampers the weapon's potential DPS. Just
be sure to stick to VATS as much as possible and you'll do fine.

Probably the easiest way to acquire the Multiplas Rifle is simply by stealing it
from Silver Rush, which has many other weapons and ammo for your thieving

3. Q-35 Matter Modulator
This weapon, while not the most impressive for its base damage, has a high
critical modifier and does 3x the base damage whenever you score a critical hit.
So while a regular hit does 35 damage, a critical hit will do 126 damage.

The Q-35 Matter Modulator has many drawbacks though. Firstly, it's VATS cost is
very high (28) compared to other weapons of similar function, so you will need
to take many Action Boy/Girl perks and additional energy weapon perks to make
the best use of it.

Is it worth using as a general purpose weapon? To put it simply: No. I only
include the weapon because I see it discussed on the forums as an alternative.
So I'm going to explain why isn't.

For example, let's say you have a character with 140 AP. This Machine will get 6
attacks in VATS while the Q-35 will get 5 attacks. This Machine will actually
deal more damage when it scores ZERO critical hits for all 6 attacks than the Q-
35 deals when scoring 2 critical hits from its 5 attacks.

In order for the Q-35 to win, it needs to score 3 or more critical hits to
finally come out ahead. This just doesn't happen in practice - even with all the
luck and perks in the world - and this is assuming that This Machine will never
score even 1 critical hit, which just isn't true.

My biggest beef with the Q-35 is that even if your character has 9 or 10 luck
and has the Finesse perk, the Q-35's damage is still wildly inaccurate. If you
score a critical hit, the damage is very impressive. Otherwise, the damage is
abysmal. In fact, if the target's DT is high, it will do hardly any damage at
all - even with Max Charge ammo!

With the Q-35, you are essentially "gambling" for critical hits, which do not
occur often enough in practice to justify using this weapon. I just don't see
any reason to put up with this weapon when other weapons can achieve reliable
damage every hit, like the Plasma Caster+.

This leads me to believe that the Q-35 is a sneak attack weapon only, where
criticals are at least assured.  How you pull this off without a scope and a
spread of 0.2 is beyond me. I guess the developers want you to sneak with Silent
Running? There's no way you successfully do that for the whole game. You're
going to get into trouble... and then what?

Honestly, if you want to sneak attack things, use Gobi. At least you won't be
screwed if your sneak doesn't work out the way you planned, because unlike the
Q-35, Gobi is actually good!

If you do plan on using the Q-35, you are basically accepting the trade-off that
you will do less damage compared to your other choices in order to conserve ammo
more efficiently while having a weapon that is easy to repair at the same time.
I guess that is something good about the Q-35.

Despite all of this negativity, choosing the Q-35 Matter Modulator as your
leveling weapon is a pretty solid option because of the low strength
requirement. To use a Plasma Caster+, you need 100 in energy weapons and 8
strength to satisfy its requirements, so you can use the Q-35 before you are
able to use power armor and before you buy your strength implant. You can
actually start with a character that has as little as 3 strength!

In the end though, the Q-35 Matter Modulator is just not worth it when you have
easy access to a Plasma Caster+.

You can find the Q-35 Matter Modulator at REPCONN Headquarters:

4. Pew-Pew
Pew-Pew, is a brilliantly fantastic weapon in almost all respects. Not only does
it deal solid damage and DPS, it's highly accurate and comes with a 2.5x
critical multiplier. It is definitely the best Laser-based weapon hands down,
and makes the rest of them look like child's toys.

All this power comes at a price. The Pew-Pew uses a hell of a lot of ammo. It
sinks 15 Energy Cells per shot. When compared to the damage output of 3 Energy
Cells in a Plasma Defender, I can only conclude that this is not a very
efficient use of ammo. This rules Pew-Pew out of contention for the top general
purpose energy weapon.

When playing the game through to level 30, you'll likely find around 1500 Energy
Cells throughout the wasteland. This gives you around 100 shots.

Keep in mind that each shot with Pew-Pew will cost you 30 caps. If you want to
use Overcharge ammo for the +25% damage bonus, each shot will cost you 45 caps.
If you want to use Max Charge ammo for the +75% damage bonus, each shot will
cost you 75 caps. It seems you have to pay to play with Pew-Pew.

Each shot with Gobi costs 4-6 caps by comparison. Still think energy weapon
users didn't get hosed? The Overcharge ammo is especially a huge rip-off.

On the bright side, you'll find lots of Laser Pistols to repair Pew-Pew. It is
one of the easiest elite weapons to repair, and you don't even need the Jury
Rigging perk.

For those who have 12,000 spare caps laying around and don't mind investing in a
quality weapon, one could hardly go wrong with buying 6000 Energy Cells. That's
how many cells it's going to take to fire this great weapon 400 times!

If you are willing to invest the caps into this weapon, taking the Laser
Commander perk is a no-brainer. You'll get an additional 15% damage (as if the
base damage on Pew-Pew wasn't enough) plus an additional 10% chance to score a
critical hit! The Laser Commander perk was made for this weapon specifically
(most of the other laser-based weapons in New Vegas are pretty abysmal) since
Pew-Pew gives a 2.5x critical multiplier - half that of a sniper rifle! Don't
forget to get Finesse and Better Criticals too.

I will admit, doing 152 Damage per shot and 352 DPS with Max Charge ammo while
getting a critical hit on nearly every shot is truly a sight to behold. Nobody
can fault energy weapons for not having the potential for greatness... you just
need to be bloody rich to afford the upkeep.

For most of us, it's not very practical and the Plasma Caster is almost as good.
Perhaps better in some ways because it's clip size is much larger (10 instead of

You can get the Pew-Pew at Sunset Sarsaparilla Headquarters by talking to Festus
and giving him 50 star battle caps:

Note: Alien Blaster
While an Alien Blaster certainly does the most damage out of all the energy
weapons, you have a limited supply of non-replenishable ammo. This makes the
Alien Blaster a horrible choice for general purpose combat, even though it's
technically the absolute best energy weapon in the game, period.

2.03 - Best Sniper Weapon

If you're inclined to use sniper rifles - and you should - there are lots of
options availabe in Fallout: New Vegas. Despite the stats on the the YCS/186 or
the Anti-Materiel Rifle... it turns out that the plain, old Sniper Rifle
is actually the best sniper weapon in the entire game.

1: Sniper Rifle+
Unlike all the uninque weapons, normal weapons give you the ability to add mods.
There is one very good mod for Sniper Rifles - The Supressor - which causes
enemies to be completely oblivious to your attacks and will just stand there
helpless... waiting to be picked off.

Because of the Suppressor mod, an upgraded Sniper Rifle turns out to be the most
effective sniping weapon in the entire game. In fact, it kind of breaks the game
and makes many areas too easy.

There's also a mod to lower it's weight to just 3 pounds, which is not bad at

The Sniper Rifle also does a little more damage compared to Gobi. They are
comparable regardless, but with a proper sneak attack with Better Criticals,
you'll be able to kill a deathclaw on the hardest difficulty level in a single

Like This Machine and Gobi, regular Sniper Rifles use .308 Caliber Rounds, so
you'll want to use the .308 JSP Hand Load ammo for maximum damage. Never use
plain .308 rounds.

One small annoyance - and it's not really a problem with the weapon - is the
stupidity of your companions. Especially ED-E. He just loves to charge into
battles, playing that stupid music of his and blowing your cover in the process.
Be sure to keep allies in passive mode and have them stay way behind you,
although ED-E will get you into trouble anyway unless you tell him to wait. I
guess the developers had to find some way to balance Sniper Rifle+.

An actual drawback to Sniper Rifle+ is that it degrades very quickly due to its
poor durability. Like Gobi, Sniper Rifles are not easy to repair, even with a
Jury Rigging perk because most of the repair options are rare and expensive. It
becomes doubly so if you intend on using Gobi and Sniper Rifle+ at the same
time, which many people do, including me.

Still, probably the cheapest way to repair your Sniper Rifle+ is to buy fully
repaired Service Rifles from Gun Runners for 645 caps. You'll need the Jury
Rigging perk to pull this off.

Also, if you ever find yourself forced into medium to short-range combat, a
basic Sniper Rifle is definitely not the weapon of choice. You'll probably want
to switch to Gobi, This Machine or a Brush Gun to finish them off in VATS.

The best place to acquire two Sniper Rifles is in Vault 34's Armory. You'll be
heading to the armory for lots of other quests anyway, so might as well get
those Sniper Rifles!:

One way to get a Suppressor is to buy one from the Gun Runners kiosk near
Freeside. The other is at the 188 Trading Post's "Arms Merchant" (that's her
name). Just warp there, cross the bridge and talk to her - she's by the truck
during the day.

NOTE: It *is* annoying to get the shops to spawn the Suppressor though, as their
inventory's stock is random. In one playthrough, I had to refresh the inventory
8 times to get the Suppressor... while in another playthrough, I got the
Suppressor on the first attempt. So if you don't see an item called "Sniper
Rifle Suppressor", wait 24 hours and keep checking their stock. Good luck!

2.04 - Best VATS Weapon

VATS combat has been nerfed in New Vegas in comparison to Fallout 3. In New
Vegas, VATS shouldn't be used exclusively. Nonetheless, it's still an important
and necessary part of the game.

There are a variety of enemies that are extremely difficult to hit without
VATS, such as:

    * Cazadors, which fly around and from side-to-side, making them difficult to
      hit at long-range. They are also difficult to take out when they swarm
    * Giant Mantis', which almost seem like they are programmed to jump at the
      exact moment you fire
    * Nightstalkers, which are invisible before they attack but can be seen in
      VATS if ED-E is one of your companions

The game mechanics in VATS combat work differently from regular combat. Instead
of using the weapon's rate of fire to dictate how much damage potential, the
VATS system uses Action Points (AP) instead. AP governs how many actions you can
take, and thus how much damage you can deal, while using VATS.

Some weapons which are really good at firing from the hip actually do less
damage in VATS because they use a lot of AP per shot. Pew-Pew is a great example
of this.

Likewise, weapons that have poor DPS surprisingly perform much better in VATS
because they are very efficient when it comes to AP usage. The Multiplas Rifle
is a great example of this.

The best VATS weapons need to have a really good balance between doing a lot of
damage while expending a low amount of AP per shot.

With the Grim Reaper's Sprint perk, you regain 20 AP for every kill in VATS. So,
if you can kill a target in a single shot and only expend around 20 AP to get
the kill, that VATS attack will essentially be free. This perks enables you use
VATS repeatedly as long as you are using the right weapon.

Two weapons really shine in VATS: This Machine and Brush Gun. Both weapons have
great base damage and have very low AP costs (22 and 23 respectively), which
makes them excellent candidates to exploit the Grim Reaper's Sprint perk.

The Multiplas Rifle is probably the 3rd best option, and for energy weapon users
it's easily the best choice, especially at close range.

While the YCS/186 technically does more damage per AP spent in VATS, it requires
a whopping 40 AP per shot, thus rendering Grim Reaper's Sprint more-or-less
useless. Also, it's been said that the YCS/186 is bugged in VATS and does less
damage than it should anyway.

Both This Machine and Brush Gun do ~3.25 damage per AP spent in VATS, which is
the highest ratio among all the weapons.

However, after all the number crunching, and taking ammo and perks into
consideration, it turns out that the Brush Gun is the best VATS weapon to use
in Fallout: New Vegas.

1. Brush Gun
While the regular .45-70 Gov't ammo packs a mean punch and is generally
excellent, the .45-70 SWC Hand Load ammo crafted with the Hand Loader perk is
far superior. This ammo offers 20% more damage plus -6 to the target's DT
(defense threshold).

While .45-70 SWC Hand Load ammo is quite good... by itself, it would not be
enough to outperform This Machine. For Brush Gun to become the best, you must
also take the Cowboy perk, which gives a +25% damage increase to all lever-
action weapons (which Brush Gun qualifies).

When using the Cowboy perk and SWC Hand Load ammo, you should expect to deal a
whopping 114 damage per shot and 236 DPS. Mathematically, this is almost as good
as using an Anti-Materiel Rifle using .50 MG Match Hand Load! (Except you won't
have to put up with *any* of Anti-Materiel Rifle's drawbacks, such as its
horrible rate of fire or its insanely low DPS).

Since Brush Gun does 75 damage per shot - 10 more damage than This Machine -
when combined with the 45% damage boost, you will do roughly ~14% more damage
compared to This Machine in VATS. And that doesn't even account for the -6 DT
either! It's probably closer to 20% better - a very noticeable upgrade.

The Brush Gun is not limited to just VATS however - it is an excellent weapon in
its own right. It has a fantastic, low spread of 0.03, which is on par with a
Sniper Rifle. If you have the skill to hit things out of VATS, the Brush Gun is
highly effective - much more accurate than This Machine.

While there's a lot to like about the Brush Gun, there are two major
disadvantages that might cause you to use This Machine anyway.

The first problem is that .45-70 Gov't ammo is not at all common. It is very
likely you will only find around 75-100 bullets by looting ammo from containers
and corpses as you progress through the game.

Furthermore, most vendors do not sell the basic .45-70 Gov't ammo - only the
Hollow Point version, which is terrible against high armored targets. It
performs terribly despite the high damage and DPS that is reported by the Pip-
Boy. Since the only reason you want to use such a powerful weapon like the Brush
Gun is take down tough targets in the first place... I have to conclude that
this ammo is absolute crap. It's best not to use it.

The easiest way to acquire lots of .45-70 Gov't ammo is to breakdown regular
.308 ammo, which can be purchased in bulk cheaply, to get 3 out of the 4
components at the Reloading bench. Then, you'll just have to find cases... and
that's actually quite a painful process.

The best locations to acquire .45-70 Gov't are to:

    * Buy .45-70 Gov't Regular rounds from Knight Torres in Hidden Valley, a
      Brotherhood of Steel outpost. She's the only one that regularly sells
	  normal rounds from what I can tell.
    - Buy .45-70 Gov't HP rounds from Alexander at the Gun Runners outpost
      underneath the 188 Trading Post overpass, or Gun Runners near Freeside.
    - Pickpocket from Regular and Veteran NCR Rangers in various NCR locations
    - Pickpocket from several members of the Great Khans in Red Rock Canyon.
    - Pickpocket Orris, the bodyguard for hire in Freeside. You have to avoid
      helping the Kings to make sure he sticks around.
    - Loot the various footlockers found in tents at Camp Golf.

The second problem is the Brush Gun's ammo reload time. Each bullet has to be
inserted individually, so inserting 6 bullets takes several seconds. Hopefully
after 6 shots the battle is over... but if it isn't, you'll have to find cover
before firing again. Since This Machine reloads quicker, it doesn't have this
problem. A lot of people use This Machine instead for this reason too.

The easiest way to get a Brush Gun is to simply purchase one at the Gun
Runners kiosk near Freeside:

2.05 - Best 1HKO Weapon

Sometimes you just wanna kill something in one hit in a 1-on-1 situation.
These weapons will do that nicely.

1. YCS/186 Gauss Rifle
Outside of VATS, the YCS/186 has the single most powerful shot in the entire
game at 140 damage for the modest expenditure of 4 MF Cells. It sounds like a
lot of ammo, but compared to the Multiplas Rifle, it's actually quite a bargain.

With Max Charge cells, you'll bring the damage up to 247, which is absolutely
devastating, especially when you score a critical hit (which will most likely be
the case).

To put it simply, you point the YCS/186 at something? - It dies. You point it at
something else? - It also dies.

The YCS/186's main drawback is that you must reload it after every shot, which
takes a significant amount of time. It also has a nasty kickback, which makes
aiming the next shot in your scope a big problem when your targets are moving.

For this reason, once enemies are alerted to your presence and are rushing
towards you, you should switch to a close-quarters weapon or a VATS weapon. Feel
free to get another shot off if you can, but you want to be prepared. Good
choices for this style of play are This Machine, Brush Gun or the Multiplas

In VATS, it has been reported that the YCS/186 is bugged and does less damage
than it's supposed to. This often makes Gobi a superior choice to use when using
VATS, at least until things get patched up.

The YCS/186 can be found very easily if you're willing to trek all the way to
Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, which is west of Freeside/The Strip. Once you arrive at
Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, head north-east from there until you see a merc camp
with 5 mercs. You can use a Sniper Rifle+ to make short work of them without any
retaliation. One of those mercs has the YCS/186 on him.

2. Anti-Materiel Rifle
This weapon is discussed a great deal on forums everywhere. It's often touted as
the best weapon in the game by many. It's certainly potent, but doesn't quite
measure up to the YCS/186. It does have a few things going for it however.

The Anti-Materiel Rifle uses .50 MG rounds, which typically shred through just
about everything. They are even more powerful than .308 rounds.

Unfortunately, .50 MG's ammo variants are not quite as good. The best of the
bunch is the custom-made .50 MG Match Hand Load provided by the Hand Loader
perk. It boosts your damage by 15% while reducing the weapon's spread by 35%.
The Anti-Materiel Rifle is already extremely accurate, so it's doubtful the
player will see any meaningful difference due to the spread reduction, but a 15%
damage increase is always nice.

The Anti-Materiel Rifle can also use .50 MG Armor Piercing rounds, which can be
purchased from any of the Gun Runners merchants. These are almost as effective
as the custom Hand Loader rounds, but the Match Hand Load rounds will deal more
damage against lightly armored targets while dealing about the same damage to
heavily armored targets.

When using .50 MG Match Hand Load, you should expect to deal 127 damage per shot
with the Anti-Materiel Rifle - the highest damage out of any regular gun in the
game. You'll often be sneak attacking too, so you'll be doing 259 damage per
shot if your sneak attack critical was successful. That's a little more than
Gobi's first shot, which only does 226 damage in the same situation.

One nice thing about .50 rounds is that you can buy them in bulk for just 6 caps
per round. So even though it's not quite as good as the YCS/186, it's a bit more
economical to use unless the targets are really tough.

Anti-Materiel Rifles have several disadvantages. For one, they are not good for
anything other than 1HKO's and 1-on-1 encounters. Their rate of fire is abysmal,
so once the enemy comes charging, you must switch to a different weapon like
Gobi, This Machine or Brush Gun - or face the consequences. The Anti-Materiel
can't be used in VATS very well either.

Another drawback is that while the Anti-Materiel Rifle has a scope, it doesn't
get the critical multiplier like a regular Sniper Rifle+ does. This isn't a
problem when sneaking, but afterwards, it is at a significant disadvantage when
compared to Sniper Rifle+ or Gobi.

To make matters worse, the Anti-Materiel Rifle barely does more damage than a
character who is spec'd to use the Brush Gun. Remember, the Brush Gun does 114
damage. After the first shot, the Brush Gun quickly jumps in the damage lead
with its superior rate of fire while the Anti-Materiel Rifle is still busy
setting up for its next shot. By then, the Brush Gun will have dealt around 228-
342 damage.

Probably the easiest way to acquire an Anti-Materiel Rifle is to go to the Gun
Runners kiosk near New Vegas, suck it up, and buy it for ~6500 caps. Although
for the same price, you can buy a Brush Gun instead ;)

2.06 - Best Anti-Robot Weapon

Robots have different type of armor and a high damage threshold. You often need
specialized weapons to take them out as regular weapons like Shotguns and the
like just won't cut it. Sometimes This Machine won't hack it either.

This section covers some of your options in taking out high-armored robots,
like Sentry Bots or Securitron MK II's.

1. Pulse Gun
This is *the* weapon to kill Robots, as it only takes 1 or 2 hits to kill any
robot with it. Each shot will cost you 10 caps due to the gun consuming 5 Energy
Cells, but the effects are very much worth the cost.

If you ever want to take out Mr. House's entire army of Securitron MK II's...
this is the weapon you want to do it with. Each consistently dies in 1 hit,
which is pretty stellar. No other weapon can claim that except for the YCS/186.
All other weapons, such as Gobi, Brush Gun or Plasma Caster need to rely on
criticals in order to kill a Securitron MK II successfully in one hit.

Outside of the purpose of killing robots (or those wearing Power Armor), this
gun is useless. Luckily it only weighs 2.00 pounds, so you're not really
punished for lugging it around everywhere you go. You'll never know when it
might come in handy!

You can find the Pulse Gun in Vault 34's armory, like many other excellent

To get access to the key that open's the locked footlocker, you need to initiate
Veronica's personal quest "I Could Make You Care":

2. Others
If you don't have the Pulse Gun, use the YCS/186, Gobi or an Anti-Materiel Rifle
- in that order. It'll work.

2.07 - Best One-Handed Weapon

I haven't quite figured out why anyone would want to use a pistol. They
generally do less damage compared to Rifles and other types of weapons, and
never seem to offer any significant advantages. It's not like you have an energy
shield or something else in your free hand. The only advantage that I can think
of is that you run faster. If someone knows, be sure to send me an email ;)

Anyway, if you do happen to require a pistol, there are a lot of options, all
with various tradeoffs. When just comparing damage output, the Alien Blaster
easily wins outright... but it's ammo is limited and it's non-replenishable.
This fact pretty much rules it out of contention for practical use. The other
options are not much more practical, however.

1. Pew-Pew
For Energy Weapon users, you're going to want to use Pew-Pew. In terms
of raw damage, dps, critical hit chance, low spread, etc., this weapon has it

There are two drawbacks though:

1. It's very hard to acquire, and will take you many hours until you eventually
   find 50 of the 100 star bottle caps.

2. It uses A LOT of ammo, and will cost you 30 caps per shot - 75 caps if you
   should want to use the Max Charge variant.

For a more detailed discussion about Pew-Pew, see section 2.02.

2. Ranger Sequoia
For gun users, the Ranger Sequoia is the cream of the crop. It simply demolishes
the competition. It is simply quality at its finest.

For starters, it has a base damage of 70, which is the highest among all the
Gun-based pistols. It's not just the highest, but it's nearly 30 points higher
than the next in line - The Mysterious Magnum at 42.

The damage is noteworthy too because even among the rifles, only the Anti-
Materiel Rifle and the Brush Gun have a higher base damage - 110 and 75,

Conclusion? This is one powerful pistol! Since Ranger Sequoia is part of the
Hunting Revolver family, it also gets a 25% damage bonus with the Cowboy perk!
Who would have thought the Cowboy perk could be so useful? :)

When using custom .45-70 Gov't SWC ammo, you can expect to deal 94 damage per
shot and 188 DPS. Remarkably, it does almost as much damage as This Machine!

Ranger Sequoia is superior in many other ways too:

- It is the most accurate pistol, in and out of VATS at long ranges since it
  has a low spread of 0.1.

- It deals the most critical damage out of any other pistol (62 damage).
  Critical hits with this weapon are capable of taking out extremely tough
  enemies! If you like the Ranger Sequoia, you should probably consider taking
  "The Professional" perk, which adds another +20% damage whenever you get a
  sneak attack critical. With Better Criticals and Cowboy, that's a total of
  +95% damage from just perks alone.

- It has a 1.5x critical modifier, which is the most out of any of the high
  damage pistols. High Luck and the Finesse perk can be used to further boost
  this advantage.

- It offers 2.33 damage per AP spent in VATS, making it tied for the best guns-
  related pistol to use in VATS.

- It's easily repaired with Hunting Revolers and just about any type of pistol
  with the Jury Rigging perk. That's right - you can use all of those spare 9mm
  and 10mm's to repair your Ranger Sequoia easily.

Like the Brush Gun, the Ranger Sequoia's only real drawback is it's ammo type.
You'll be busy hunting for a reasonable amount of ammo to comfortably use the
Ranger Sequoia. Unlike Brush Gun, where This Machine acts as a suitable
substitute... all the other pistols are terrible.

You can obtain the Ranger Sequoia from Chief Hanlon at Camp Golf during the
"Return to Sender" quest chain. This is a long chain, but the Ranger Sequoia is
a good reward for your effort! Make sure to choose to turn him in so he commits
suicide. After the long speech he'll kill himself. When you can finally enter
the room, open the door and look on the ground near his body for the Ranger
Sequoia. It's not ON his body, but near it!

3. Mysterious Magnum
Of course, if you need to sneak something into a casino or into the Legion camp,
the Mysterious Magnum is probably the weapon of choice. While not nearly as
powerful as other weapons, it's plenty capable of handling whatever threats lie
in these locations.

The Mysterious Magnum's one advantage over Ranger Sequoia or Pew-Pew is that
it's very economical, easy to repair and is not a total pain to get ammo for.
You'll likely find 150 rounds all on your own, but .44 Magnum rounds can be
purchased in bulk rather easily and cheaply.

Mysterious Magnum's base damage is 42 - kind of miserable - but it can be
improved. You can take the Cowboy perk to get an additional +25% damage. With
that, you'll do 53 damage per shot and have 149 DPS. Unfortunately, the
Mysterious Magnum still doesn't perform very well in VATS and still has problems
cutting through high DT targets. What can you do?

You can acquire the Mysterious Magnum from the Lonesome Drifter, a guitar
playing cowboy with daddy issues, during the quest "Talent Pool". When you
recruit him to play at the Tops Casino, be sure to pass the Barter check to get
something in return for your troubles:

2.08 - Best Ammo-Conservation Weapon

Sometimes you don't want to use weapons because of repair issues, because you
don't have enough ammo, or you just want to save your high quality ammo for
harder targets.

This category goes to the weapon that is best at killing trash effectively while
being easily and cheaply repaired and having access to a constant,
natural supply of ammo.

1. Weathered 10mm
Without a doubt, the Weathered 10mm is the best weapon for this purpose. While
Maria has a slightly higher DPS out of the box, and has a 2.0x critical
multiplier, It's possible to upgrade the Weathered 10mm to be far superior.

For starters, you can use the Hand Loader perk to create custom .10mm JHP
rounds, which takes the base damage from 24 to a whopping 40! DPS is also
significantly increased from 65 to 123! This almost puts the Weathered 10mm on
par with the Mysterious Magnum.

The best news of all is that you'll find about 800 or so rounds of 10mm ammo,
which will allow you to craft 600 rounds of JHP - more than enough to kill all
sorts of trash in this game. In fact, it's such an effective weapon that you'll
find yourself using it against 50% of the lower-bound enemies in this game. It's
that good!

Because the Weathered 10mm only uses 17 AP per shot in VATS, it's Damage/AP
ratio has been boosted dramatically to 2.35, which puts it exactly on par with
the Ranger Sequoia (assuming no Cowboy perk or SWC ammo)!

But that's not all! Unlike a lot of unique weapons, you can actually further
mod the Weathered 10mm to add many exciting capabilities!

For example:
- 10mm Pistol Extended Mags gives +4 Rounds per magazine.
- 10mm Pistol Laser Sight decreases bullet spread and adds a laser sight
- 10mm Pistol Silencer reduces limb damage but adds a silencer to avoid

To obtain the Weathered 10mm, You need the pre-order DLC from EB-Games or
Gamestop. If the DLC is installed, you'll get it immediately at the start of
your adventure:

2. Maria
For those that don't have access to the Weathered 10mm, your next best option is
Maria, a unique 9mm Pistol. It's one drawback is that you need to progress the
storyline up to the point where you kill Benny in order to obtain it. It's
possible to progress the story where you don't kill Benny... and if
so, you miss out on it indefinitely:

2.09 - Best Unarmed Weapon

1. Ballistic Fist
This weapon is easily the best fist weapon in the game. When you have maxed
strength and maxed unarmed skill, it does 104 damage! The one drawback is that
you need a character with 9 strength to use it effectively. This is not a
problem, because you'll probably want to make a character with 7 strength if you
plan on using fist weapons anyway (you can get +1 strength from implants and +1
from armor).

The Ballistic Fist is also the best fist weapon in VATs, as it offers the
highest DMG/AP, Pushy falling slightly behind.

The easiest and earliest ways to get this weapon is from Blake at the Crimson
Caravan Company:

Or from Torres in the Hidden Valley Bunker:

2. Pushy
This one is not as potent as Ballistic Fist outside of VATS, but it's much
easier to obtain, it's free, and it only requires 2 strength to wield it.

You can find Pushy on a dead Jackal Gang member inside the Ruby Hill Mine. This
is not an easy location to get to early in the game, but if you can deal
with Cazadors on your way there, go for it.

3. Mantis Gauntlet
Another option is to craft a Mantis Gauntlet. This weapon doesn't have as high
of DPS as the Ballistic Fist, but it does have a 3x critical modifier on it and
(should) ignore target defense, making it ideal against heavily armored targets.
It's best used on a character with lots of LUCK. It is also a very fast weapon
as you can get in lots of attacks, but it is terrible when using VATS compared
to Pushy or Ballistic Fist.

Unfortunately, people report that it doesn't work so well against Deathclaws, so
you're probably better off with Ballistic Fist anyway as it's non-critical
damage is much higher than the Mantis Gauntlet, at least until this gets

You can learn about how to craft a Mantis Gauntlet here:

2.10 - Best Melee Weapon

1. Oh Baby!

3. Builds

Here's the builds section. If you have a build that you'd like presented here,
be sure to email it to me. Make sure to take the time to use the exact same
format that I used so it fits with the formatting goals of this FAQ, or
I won't bother putting it in here.

3.01 - Versatile Ranged Weapon Build

I don't claim this build to be the absolute best - although it's most certainly
potent enough to do everything in this game easily - but one advantage it has is
that it'll let you experiment with all the weapons in the
way this FAQ advocates. I think that's pretty fun.

1. Stats
Our first goal is to make sure that somehow we end up with 10 Luck, because
that'll gaurentee that we can get as many critical hits as possible, and it
allow us to achieve 100% critical success with Gobi. We can achieve that by
allocating 3 of our 5 points towards Luck. We can get the remaining points with
a Luck implant from the New Vegas Medical Clinic and from the Intense Training
perk at level 2.

A Luck score of 10 will also boost all of our skills by 5 points, which is a
very nice side-effect. We'll also win ~85% of our hands in Blackjack at all 4
casinos in the game, allowing us to make a sizable number of caps very quickly -
probably around 25,000 or 30,000 in total before they ban us. This is a
fantastic way to get early money for crafting 1000 .308 JSP rounds, or buying up
all of our implants as soon as possible.

Next, we need to make sure that you can get 8 strength somehow to use weapons
that have this strength requirement. The best way to achieve this without
forcing you to wear power armor (let's face it, the running speed is awful) is
to keep Strength at 5, get a Strength implant and take the Weapon Handling perk
when it becomes available. That way for weapons, our strength will be 8.

We'll also need to get 6 Perception to get the Better Criticals perk, so we'll
also keep that at 5 and get the last point of Perception from an implant.

Intelligence is always handy to boost the number of skill points per level, so
we'll use 1 extra point there.

Now we'll want to make sure we get 6 implants in total. We've already planned on
getting 3, but it would be nice to get implants for Agility, Intelligence and
Damage Threshold as well. In order to achieve this, we'll have to get 6
endurance before implants. So we'll put our last remaining point into Endurance.

Here's what we have so far:

|  STAT         | AT START | /W IMPLANTS | TOTAL |
|  Strength     |        5 |          +1 |     6 |
|  Perception   |        5 |          +1 |     6 |
|  Endurance    |        6 |             |     6 |
|  Charisma     |        5 |             |     5 |
|  Intelligence |        6 |          +1 |     7 |
|  Agility      |        5 |          +1 |     6 |
|  Luck         |        8 |          +1 |     9 |
|  DT BONUS     |          |          +2 |    +2 |

Now, you could go off in the Mojave just like this, and you'll be fine... but
there's more we can do.

Having a high agility is very desirable. It raises your gun skill, giving you a
bonus at the start of the game and allows you to focus on other skills like
lock-picking, science, repair and speech... without having to put a single point
in guns for the first 10 or 15 levels.

Agility also the number of AP you get in VATS and our run speed. I don't have to
tell you how useful these are. In the Majove, you'll trek long distances and
explore areas much faster with a high agility score. This cannot be overstated!

Because of all the amazing benefits agility gives us, we need to find a way to
get this stat to 10 in the long run. For now, we just need to get it to 8.

It would also be nice to get more Intelligence, because skill points are always
useful. The earlier we get it, the more useful it's going to be - so let's try
and get 1 more point in Intelligence as well.

Charisma isn't that great of a stat. Sure, it increases the nerve of our
companions, but honestly, besides Boone, they mostly get in the way. Heck, Boone
will still rock even if you have 1 Charisma. It's my honest opinion that
companions are best suited as pack mules. Besides, you're actual character is
going to be so strong you won't need any companions to attack anyway. They are
probably just going to get in the way.

So in order to bring our Agility up to 8, we can drop Charisma by 3 points.
We'll lose 6 points in Speech and Barter, but we'll gain 6 points in Guns and
Sneak. This is actually a fair trade so we don't lose any skill points by doing

To get the extra point in Intelligence, we can further drop Charisma to 1.
Here's the final stats of our Versatile Ranged Weapon character build:

|  STAT         | AT START | /W IMPLANTS | TOTAL |
|  Strength     |        5 |          +1 |     6 |
|  Perception   |        5 |          +1 |     6 |
|  Endurance    |        6 |             |     6 |
|  Charisma     |        1 |             |     1 |
|  Intelligence |        7 |          +1 |     8 |
|  Agility      |        8 |          +1 |     9 |
|  Luck         |        8 |          +1 |     9 |
|  DT BONUS     |          |          +2 |    +2 |

As a last note, try and get to the New Vegas Medical Clinic as early as
possible. It's not essential, but getting an Intelligence implant early will net
you 10+ more skill points. If that adds more stress on your life, don't
worry about it.

2. Traits
Traits were designed to give balanced tradeoffs - "more of this, but less of
that." But some of the traits are broken in that they obviously give you free

Two come to mind:

1) Good Natured - This trait gives you +5 to Barter, Medicine, Repair,
                  Science, and Speech, but have -5 to Guns, Energy Weapons,
                  Explosives, Melee Weapons, and Unarmed.

                  This trait is broken in that most characters, especially
                  the one we are making right now, will only require points
                  in Guns, Energy Weapons and Melee Weapons (for the Cowboy
                  perk). On the other hand, we'll happily take all 5 of the
                  social skills.

                  At level 1, we save 15 skill points immediately, and in the
                  long run, this gives us a boost of +10 skill points for
                  when we actually take the Cowboy perk.

2) Small Frame - This trait gives you +1 Agility at the cost of getting +25%
                 more damage to your limbs.

                 I will admit, in the short-term, if you are not very good at
                 this game, this perk will force you to sleep or use stimpaks
                 a bit more often than you would otherwise. If you are good,
                 this disadvantage is negligible.

                 But in the end, when you have fantastic armor, a lot of
                 damage threshold perks and bonuses, and can kill everything
                 in 1 shot - the disadvantage becomes pointless. So you
                 should happily take that extra point in Agility.

Factoring in our extra point in agility, here's what we have now:

|  Strength     |        5 |          +1 |           |     6 |
|  Perception   |        5 |          +1 |           |     6 |
|  Endurance    |        6 |             |           |     6 |
|  Charisma     |        1 |             |           |     1 |
|  Intelligence |        7 |          +1 |           |     8 |
|  Agility      |        8 |          +1 |        +1 |    10 |
|  Luck         |        8 |          +1 |           |     9 |
|  DT BONUS     |          |          +2 |           |    +2 |

3. Perks
These perks are not the absolute best you can get, but they will let you
experiment with all of the ideas presented in this FAQ.

If you already know that you don't want to play around with Pew-Pew or Shotguns,
I'd recommend another rank in Toughness and Action Boy/Girl.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Make sure to rob the casinos and get all of your implants
                BEFORE level 16, because you'll need +1 Perception to get the
                Better Criticals perk. I'd recommend visiting there much

The exact order that you take these Perks in doesn't really matter too much. For
example, you could take Cowboy at level 8 if you wanted to, but it's doubtful
you'll be in a position to get all 4 of the Melee Weapon Magazines throughout
the Mojave at that point in the game.

It is NOT recommended to invest so many skill points in Melee Weapons, because
they'll be wasted. Make sure you only have 33 points in melee weapons before you
use the magazines. Once you use the Magazines, you'll have 45 in Melee Weapons -
enough to get the Cowboy perk.

I recommend getting Hand Loader at level 8 so you can benefit from getting extra
cases from corpses and pick-pocketing as early on as possible, but it's not
essential either. Remember, some of the best ways to get .45-70 ammo is to steal
the cases on the NCR Veteran Rangers in Camp Golf. Between stealing their ammo
and their cases, you should get around 100 ammo for your Brush Gun and Ranger

Also, using .45-70 HP Rounds, which are easily bought at Gun Runners at the 188
Trading Post and near Freeside, will sometimes give you extra cases. So even
though I already said this ammo is crap (and it is), use it to kill trash so
that you'll recover more .45-70 cases to make more SWC ammo.

Now for the perk listing:

|  LEVEL | PERK             | NOTES                                         |
|      2 | Intense Training | Get +1 in Luck, bringing it to 10             |
|      4 | Educated         | Get an extra 52 skill points over the         |
|        |                  | long-term. Great!                             |
|      6 | Toughness        | Get +3 to our DT. Very helpful in the         |
|        |                  | beginning, and lets us use medium armor in    |
|        |                  | the end                                       |
|      8 | Hand Loader      | Hopefully by now you have +70 in Repair       |
|     10 | Finesse          | By now, you should be kicking ass             |
|     12 | Sniper           | Probably the best VATS-% perk there is        |
|     14 | Jury Rigging     | Not essential, but very handy!                |
|     16 | Better Criticals | To really boost the damage on all of your     |
|        |                  | weapons, especially Gobi.                     |
|        |                  |                                               |
|        |                  | NOTE: Make sure to have gotten all of your    |
|        |                  |       implants!                               |
|     18 | Weapon Handling  | Now you can mess around with YCS/186 and      |
|        |                  | see how bad the Anti-Materiel Rifle is ;)     |
|     20 | Grim Reaper's    | Weapons like This Machine, Brush Gun and      |
|        | Sprint           | Multiplas Rifle got a whole lot better!       |
|     22 | Cowboy           | Make sure to hunt for all 4 Melee Weapon Mags |
|        |                  | before level 22!                              |
|     24 | Action Boy/Girl  | Make Gobi a bit more viable in VATS           |
|     26 | Silent Running   | Probably the best sneak-related perk          |
|     28 | Laser Commander  | Hopefully you've found 4 Nikola Telsa Mags    |
|        |                  | and boosted energy weapons high enough. Now   |
|        |                  | you can play around with Pew-Pew              |
|     30 | Shotgun Surgeon  | So you can play around with Riot Shotgun      |

Here's the final stat table with all of our perks taken into consideration:

|  Strength     |        5 |          +1 |           |          |     6 |
|  Perception   |        5 |          +1 |           |          |     6 |
|  Endurance    |        6 |             |           |          |     6 |
|  Charisma     |        1 |             |           |          |     1 |
|  Intelligence |        7 |          +1 |           |          |     8 |
|  Agility      |        8 |          +1 |        +1 |          |    10 |
|  Luck         |        8 |          +1 |           |       +1 |    10 |
|  DT BONUS     |          |          +2 |           |       +3 |    +5 |

I don't claim that the Perk selection is perfect. It wasn't meant to be. If you
know exactly the kind of build you're going for, I'm sure you can make a lot of
optimizations, like taking 3 Strength instead of 5, and things like that.

Anyway, Happy Gaming!

4. Last Words

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading the FAQ and learned something from it.  I
enjoyed poking away at the secrets of the game, trying to find best weapons
myself as well and writing this FAQ was a good way to assert my knowledge and
help people who don't have time to do all the work we did.

4.1 - Contact Info

If you have any suggestions to improve or fix the content in the FAQ, please
contact me (Ken Egervari) at ken.egervari [.AT.] gmail [.DOT.] com and I'll add
them to the next version.  I will, of course, give you full credit for your
addition, and be eternally grateful to you (as well as the other readers that
benefit from your information).

If you are going to email me about this game, in the subject line, please put
"Fallout: New Vegas" along with the version number of the FAQ that you are
looking at.  If you don't do this, I might not reply seeing as you didn't take
the time to respect my wishes.

If you ask me generic questions about the game, I may or may not respond. I only
have so much free time and I obviously can't respond to everything. I really
tried to convert my knowledge about this game into the written work that you see
here, so if it concerns Radiant Dawn's characters, it's probably here already.

As a last thought, please read this FAQ in its entirety before you ask

4.2 - Copyright Info

This Document is Copyright 2010 by Ken J. Egervari.

Fallout: New Vegas and all related marks are copyrighted and trademarked by
their respective owners.  I had nothing to do with the development of the game
and I am not affiliated with them in any way.

This FAQ may not be posted without my expressed permission. In the event where
it's posted, YOU are responsible for keeping to date. If it's not, I reserve the
right to ask you to take it down from your site.

You may not charge for, or in any way profit from this FAQ.

If you would like to me write articles and FAQs for you, email me and we can
work something out.

You are welcome to download the FAQ, print it out and even give it out to
friends (although I'd prefer that you give them the proper URL).

4.3 - Coming Soon

Perhaps detailed builds to best take advantage of certain weapons.

Also, expect future updates to this FAQ as people, like yourself, contribute new
ideas and material.


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