«Fallout: New Vegas Guide by Colin Moriarty You liked Fallout 3, didn’t you? Of course you did. Bethesda’s smashhit 2008 action-RPG set gamers ...»
Fallout: New Vegas Guide
by Colin Moriarty
You liked Fallout 3, didn’t you? Of course you did. Bethesda’s smashhit 2008 action-RPG set gamers across the world back hundreds and
hundreds of hours as they explored every nook, cranny, corner,
option and choice the vast Capital Wasteland had to offer. Fallout 3
was a gigantic game, and its much-anticipated pseudo-sequel,
Fallout: New Vegas, is a game just as big... if not outright bigger.
That’s right! Fallout: New Vegas is the all-new, latest addition to the Fallout line of games, and if you loved Fallout 3, well, you’ll love Fallout: New Vegas, too.
But that love provides you with an all-new set of problems. Fallout 3 was a gigantic game, and Fallout: New Vegas is absolutely, positively no different. The game is huge. If you want to see all the Mojave Wasteland has to offer, then you need to be ready to buckle down for a hell of a time-suck. And that’s where our Fallout: New Vegas guide comes in. Our 750,000+ word Fallout 3 guide didn’t garner legions of fans for no reason. We’re as thorough as they come. Get ready for the same kind of treatment for Fallout: New Vegas, unrivaled anywhere.
Fallout: New Vegas Guide Contents Basics, to help you survive in the Mojave Wasteland.
Walkthrough, chronicling every main quest in the game.
Fallout: New Vegas Side Quests, covering all primary and secondary side quests.
Snow Globes, with locations, screens and videos galore.
Trophies/Achievements, to pad your Trophy Count or Gamer Score.
© 2010, IGN Entertainment, Inc. May not be sold, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, in whole or part, without IGN’s express permission. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content. All rights reserved.
© 2010 IGN Entertainment, Inc. Page 1 of 320 Fallout: New Vegas Basics The Fundamentals Intermediate Tactics Advanced Tactics Ten Tips What Is Fallout: New Vegas?
Welcome one, welcome all, to the gigantic Basics section to our Fallout: New Vegas strategy guide. Here, you’ll learn...
well... all of the basics, fundamentals, and things you absolutely must know in order to survive your time in the Mojave Wasteland. Novices and other players new to the Fallout universe will generally want to read this lengthy Basics section from front to back, starting here andworking your way sequentially through each Basics section. Intermediates and experts, however, can feel free to jump around at will, as there’s no doubt plenty of information here that they already know, sprinkled with plenty of information they don’t yet know.
If you’re new to Fallout games, Fallout: New Vegas is the second Fallout game of its kind. A direct follow-up to 2008’s smash-hit Fallout 3, New Vegas was developed by a different studio, but is essentially Fallout 3’s spiritual successor (it’s important to note that this isn’t Fallout 4, which is upcoming in the next couple of years).
What’s most notable about Fallout: New Vegas (and Fallout 3 before it), however, is just how incredibly non-linear it is.
There’s a main task in the game, to be sure, and you’ll follow along with a series of missions to get to the end of the game. But New Vegas provides you with so much more than that. The open-world nature of the title means you can explore whatever you want whenever you want (as long as you can survive long enough to do so), and it’s easy to get sucked into dozens of hours of simple exploration without doing anything mandatory to get through the game itself. And then there are choices to make, people to meet, and a bunch of other important aspects of the game that we’ll discuss in subsequent sections. So let’s get to it.
© 2010 IGN Entertainment, Inc. Page 3 of 320 Wandering the Wasteland At the heart of your Fallout: New Vegas experience will be open-ended exploration. The fully-realized, extremely expansive Mojave Wasteland is quite literally yours to explore as you’d like, so long as you can survive long enough to do so. As we mentioned earlier, there are main tasks to complete to inch closer to the end of the game, but the real meat of the game rests with everything else. For when we say that Fallout: New Vegas is a game about doing what you want, treating people however you’d like, and making both easy and complicated choices with lasting implications, well... we meant it.
In Fallout: New Vegas, there are fundamentally two different types of quests. On the one hand, there’s main missions that will expand upon the main story, bringing you through the game’s string of primary narratives towards it ultimate conclusion. However, on the other hand, you’ll run into what really amounts to 95%+ of Fallout: New Vegas’ content, and that’s side quests. More accurately, however, while there are scores and scores of proper side quests that the game will chronicle for you, there’s also a whole lot of other ancillary activity to keep you busy as well.
© 2010 IGN Entertainment, Inc. Page 4 of 320 For instance, just about every person you meet (unless that person is a child) can be killed. Really -- you can just pull out your character’s favorite weapon and do in just about anyone you meet. But wait... what happens if you do that? The great thing about Fallout: New Vegas is that every choice you make, whether big or small, obvious or subtle, has lasting repercussions. And this isn’t only in terms of obvious choices, such as people wanting to kill you for killing one of their friends right in front of you, or stealing something that belongs to them while they’re looking at you. Choices you make will also affect your standing with the game’s various factions, and your karma (which is an important meter in the game) will also be affected.
Does this sound complicated? Well in a way, it definitely is. If Fallout: New Vegas is decidedly one specific thing, it’s complicated. We’re talking about a game that requires a time investment of at least a hundred hours to thoroughly see it all, but much more than that if you’re going to deal with everything there is to deal with, explore every nook and cranny of the Mojave Wasteland, complete all tasks, quests and side quests, and more. But as you keep reading our Basics section, more and more will become illuminated for you. So let’s keep it going.
© 2010 IGN Entertainment, Inc. Page 5 of 320 Understanding Statistics A good place to begin understanding Fallout: New Vegas is to quite simply delve into the game’s statistical background.
Like many RPGs, just about everything that happens in Fallout: New Vegas is determined by numerical statistics, behindthe-scenes dice rolling, and how various numbers match up with one another in order to give advantages or disadvantages to just about every person, action and scenario in the entire game.
Near the beginning of the game, you’ll be introduced to the outlying, basic statistical system in New Vegas, which is called S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Obviously, S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is an acronym, and it stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck. While there are a more complicated and more expansive set of statistics that live within S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (which we will discuss shortly), S.P.E.C.I.A.L. is, for now, what we will concentrate exclusively on. The brief explanations below are ripped from the game itself, allowing you to understand better just what each statistic directly affects. We’ll then discuss the skills in more depth, and talk about why or why not a skill may or may not be important for you.
Even if you don’t intend on fighting with melee weapons or your bare fists, there’s still something to be said about raising your Strength to a pretty high level in the game. What this all depends on is whether or not you’ll be exploring extensively, and whether or not you intend on carrying a lot of equipment at one time. Because if you’re not playing with a melee/bare fists slant, your Strength will really only determine your "raw power" strictly in terms of how much equipment you can carry. And as you’ll find our sooner rather than later as you begin to experience Fallout: New Vegas, carrying a lot of equipment around with you isn’t only beneficial, but actually outright integral to your long-term success. Thus, a high Strength statistic is worth your consideration, even if it comes at the detriment to another S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skill.
Perception: "A high Perception grants a bonus to the Explosives, Lockpick and Energy Weapons, and determines when red compass markings appear (which indicate threats)."
Perception is one of those statistics that you’ll want to dump at least some points into without giving it too much credence... at least unless you intent to specialize exclusively in the three realms which Perception will specifically help you master. That’s because Perception helps the all-important red threat markers appear on your HUD quickly, which will prove to be extremely useful when you’re stalking about unfamiliar or dangerous environments. Without those red compass markers, enemies you’re unaware of will be able to sneak up on you and strike at you without much warning time, which could prove to be disastrous, especially later in the game. But again, if you’re wanting to use Energy Weapons and have a nice Lockpicking skill, for instance, Perception will also prove to be beneficial.
Endurance: "Endurance is a measure of your overall physical fitness. A high Endurance gives bonuses to health, environmental resistances, and the Survival and Unarmed skills."
Out of all of the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills, Endurance is probably one of the more unimportant ones, though it certainly caters to gamers who want to craft characters in a very specific mold. It’s true that Endurance’s base advantages rest almost entirely in bonuses to health and environmental resistances (so the former allows you to sustain more damage, while the latter will allow you to, for instance, become radiated more slowly), but if you want to play as an unarmed character, relying in totality on your fists to do damage, Endurance might be a good statistic for you to jack-up. Your Survival skill will inherently increase if you do this, too, though most gamers won’t find much of an important use for it.
Charisma: "Having a high Charisma will improve people’s disposition towards you, and give bonuses to both the Barter and Speech skills."
If you want to see and do everything the game has to offer, you’re going to want to concentrate on raising your Charisma skill at least to moderate levels. Charisma’s usefulness is easy enough to identify, since high Charisma will give your character significant, permanent bonuses to your Barter and Speech skills. Now, to a novice, Barter and Speech sound like the most boring and unimportant skills imaginable, especially when you compare them to skills like Guns, Explosives, and Sneak. But having a high Speech skill, as you’ll find out later, will allow you to use your words to convince people to speak with you, opening up many more options for you. And Barter will allow you to do the same, mostly with merchants, bringing down costs and opening up new conversation trees and higher bounties for work done. So in other words, Charisma is quite, quite important, especially if you intend on seeing the game in its entirety. Don’t underestimate it!
Intelligence: "Intelligence affects the Science, Repair and Medicine skills. The higher your Intelligence, the more Skill Points you’ll be able to distribute when you level up."
Out of all seven S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills in the game, Intelligence might prove to be the most useful and important. A high Intelligence not only gives you permanent boosts to other skills that are actually quite important in their own right, including Science, Repair and Medicine, but it also gives you a boost to earned skill points. Jacking-up your Intelligence will therefore net you more skill points to spend on each and every other non-S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skill in the game upon leveling up. But let’s put this into context to truly stress how important Intelligence is. Let’s assume that you start out the game right away with a high Intelligence. The level cap is thirty, so leveling up with a high Intelligence will net you let’s say three extra skill points per level. That’s around ninety extra skill points you’d have at a high Intelligence level as opposed to a mediocre Intelligence level, which will only make your character much stronger much quicker. Food for thought (pardon the pun)!
There are certainly arguments to be made both for and against Agility. On one hand, Agility does give you statistical bonuses of a permanent nature to both Guns and Sneak. The former is going to be a very important skill for most people (the latter not so much, especially with Stealth Boys at your disposal), so that might be reason enough to dump some points into Agility. But for us, a high Agility means much more, since action points available for V.A.T.S. (which stands for Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) is determined by how high your Agility is. If you’re a gamer who intends on really relying on V.A.T.S. (as opposed to simply running and gunning), Agility might be worth a second look.
Luck: "Raising your luck will raise all of your skills a little. Having a high Luck will also improve your critical chance with all weapons."
Luck is unequivocally the most unimportant of the seven S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, and is worth siphoning points out of to distribute anywhere else. Luck may initially sound appealing to you since it will raise all of your non-S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills a little bit, but that in itself flies against what Fallout: New Vegas seems to stress. Unless you hit the level cap with a high Intelligence level (thus garnering as many skill points as humanly possible from each level-up), and unless you find all of the game’s Skill Books, you’ll never max-out all of your skills anyway. Instead, you should be concentrating on what’s important for your type of character, and what isn’t. There’s no type of character that needs to max-out every stat-type.
As for Luck’s caveat with critical damage, it’s not nearly important enough to have a high Luck, either. Critical strikes will come on their own regardless, albeit at a much slower clip.