Fallout New Vegas Stealth Guide

The main character in Fallout New Vegas, aka “Vic” has two very important statistics:  Sneak and Endurance.  Sneak is the key to survival as it determines how much damage you will take while sneaking.  A high sneak skill lets you sneak right up to enemies, avoid detection, and even kill them without being noticed.  Endurance on the other hand determines your ability to survive in the wasteland, as it affects your health, fatigue, and radiation resistance.

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Stanley E. Dunigan’s The Fallout: New Vegas Not-So-Ultimate Stealth Character Guide

Select a section: (You may also use Ctrl + F to rapidly locate anything.)

  • Armor of Chinese Stealth
  • Boys in Black
  • Benefits of Stealth
  • Ranged Weapons That Aren’t Loud
  • Unarmed and melee weapons
  • Weapons That Make a Lot of Noise
  • Followers
  • Possible Stealth Configuration
  • Getting Started
  • Reference for V.A.T.S.

Although, unlike Fallout 3, it is not feasible to create an ultimate stealth character in Fallout NV, this FAQ is devoted to assisting stealth fans in creating the greatest stealth character possible. Even on the “very hard” difficulty level, the stealth build provided works effectively, but you must be very cautious while taking out strong opponents at range. As in Fallout 3, “extremely hard” setting reduces your damage by half and increases enemy damage by double. In this game, you don’t even earn additional battle XP for it. What a swindle! Everything in this FAQ is based on playthroughs of Fallout: New Vegas on the PC with the most recent updates (forced by Steam) as of the date shown in the top version note below. Any changes you see are most likely the result of playing on a different gaming platform or not allowing Steam to update the game while in offline mode. Send me an email at the address listed in the copyright section if you have any suggestions for enhancing my stealth build or the V.A.T.S. reference section, or if you have an alternative stealth build to contribute.  


(Top of page) Fans of stealth, I have bad news for you. The Chinese Stealth Armor from Fallout 3 is still available in Fallout: New Vegas, although it no longer possesses a stealth field. It’s the same as recon armor, but it’s light armor with a maximum DT of 12, while recon armor has a maximum DT of 17. Despite its absence of a stealth field, the stealth armor may be worth getting if you desire a light armor suit that improves your Sneak skill by 5 points. The game’s only two Chinese Stealth Armor suits may be found near Hoover Dam, which connects Lake Mead to the Colorado River and is located on the east side of the global map. Take the elevator to the Power Plant 01 section after entering the tourist center. Turn right and pass through a doorway, then enter the offices via the guarded door. Turn right at the end of the hall, then turn right again at the end of the next hall. Repeat this process until you reach a dead end with a door. Turn left after passing through the entrance to see a stack of wooden boxes. Except for the one with the stealth armor, they’re all empty. Because it is officially held by the NCR, take it quietly. A user-created module is available that adds various dragoon-brand suits of armor to the game, some of which feature stealth fields similar to Fallout 3’s Chinese Stealth Armor. However, playtesting revealed that the dragoon armor isn’t nearly as effective in close quarters, thus melee and unarmed stealth characters won’t fare much better. The dragoon armor, on the other hand, is much better than the sabotaged Chinese Stealth Armor for ranged stealth characters. To obtain the RCSS module, go to www.newvegasnexus.com, create a free account if you don’t already have one, and then search for “reinforced chinese stealth suit” in the file search box.  

STEALTH BOYS are a group of young men who live in the shadows.

(Page Top) So now your only standard source for stealth fields are the stealth boy items. And there’s bad news on that front, too. Whereas Fallout 3 had 60 non-random stealth boys scattered about the wasteland, Fallout NV only has 10. Their locations are given below. * Goodsprings: in the safe that’s near the SW corner in the schoolhouse & in the inventory of Joe Cobb, who appears near the end of the “By a Campfire on the Trail” Goodsprings faction quest * Lucky 38 Casino (New Vegas Strip): in a floor safe in the cocktail lounge, which is only accessible after you talk to Mr. House * Jack Rabbit Springs (SE of Primm): next to a skeleton and some ammo boxes on a hill in the center of the area * REPCONN Test Site (west of Novac): on the floor next to a dead nightkin that’s near the southern exit doors & in the safe in the locked room that’s near the center of the middle floor (2) & in the wall safe in the administrator’s office on the top floor (2) & on a table in the small dining area that’s near the SW corner of the northern section of the basement If you ever get your rep with the Caesar’s Legion faction up to “liked” or higher, talk to Lucius in the back of Caesar’s tent at the Fort to get a key to the Caesar’s Legion Safehouse (SE of Nipton). You can ask the Legion guy who’s occasionally in the safehouse for stealth boys to get two of them. You can randomly get stealth boys from various containers like ammo boxes, safes, and gun cabinets (10% chance) and from dead nightkin (25% chance). When you’re about to enter an area for the first time that has such a container or nightkin in it, you could quicksave, enter and check the container or nightkin, and quickrestore if you don’t get a stealth boy. However, that can get *really* tedious really fast, so you’d better hoard the non-random stealth boys and only use them when you need to for quests and other very important things. Also, get Lily as a follower to double their duration, and get the Day Tripper challenge perk (by using 25 addictive chems) to add another 33% onto that. As long as you’re using a stealth boy and are crouched, you’ll have a stealth field around you that’s very hard for anyone to penetrate. The main ways to get yourself detected are crouch-running without the Silent Running perk, firing off noisy weapons like shotguns, and brushing up against people, so be careful to avoid doing any of that. NOTE: While you’re sneaking around with a stealth boy on, having the Pip-Boy’s light on doesn’t seem to increase your chances of being detected, so leave it on in dark areas to help you see better. Due to the rarity of stealth boys and the inferiority of the Chinese Stealth Armor, it just isn’t practical to build a melee- or unarmed-oriented stealth character in Fallout NV. If there was a constant-effect stealth field item, you could (theoretically) always sneak up on enemies and whack them around without being detected and coming under attack. Since there isn’t, all stealth builds should be focused on using silenced guns for ranged sneak attacks.  


(Page Top) * Friend of the Night (Level 2, Perception 6, Sneak 30): This perk lets you see a tiny bit better in dark areas. However, so does the Pip-Boy light, the chem called cateye, and upping the game’s brightness setting. In fact, all of those work better than this perk does. * The Professional (Level 6, Sneak 70): This perk increases the sneak-attack critical damage you do with one-handed guns by 20%. That sounds really good since most of the best silence-able guns are one-handed, including the 12.7mm submachine gun. If you plan to use it and/or 12.7mm pistols a lot for sneak attacks, this is a good perk to get. If you prefer to use sniper rifles most of the time, skip this perk since it won’t apply. * Piercing Strike (Level 12, Unarmed 70): While not directly stealth-related, this perk would be of great value to any stealth character who uses melee, unarmed, or thrown weapons for sneak attacks a lot. However, non-unarmed specialists will have a very hard time qualifying for the perk. * Robotics Expert (Level 12, Science 50): This perk is stealth-related because it allows you to deactivate any robot that you can sneak up to without being detected. However, it’s not really a good choice, since sneak-shooting robots from a distance (or using pulse grenades or mines on them) is usually an easier and safer way to deal with them. * Silent Running (Level 12, Agility 6, Sneak 50): This perk allows you to sneak- run without being any more detectable than when you’re slowly sneak-walking. This eliminates a vast amount of tedium when it comes to sneaking up on or sneaking past enemies. In fact, if you’re using a stealth boy, you can sneak-run right up to enemies and whack them with a melee or unarmed weapon for tremendous damage. Even if they aren’t killed, they probably won’t see you, and you can wait until your stealth indicator reads “[HIDDEN]” again to get in another powerful sneak attack. If an enemy does detect you, you can stand up and run for a spot out of his sight, then crouch and wait for your stealth indicator to return to “[CAUTION]” before going after him again. * Chemist (Level 14, Medicine 60): This perk can be tempting to stealth-focused characters because it’ll double the duration of every stealth boy you use. That won’t be useful all that often since the main problem with stealth boys is that you’ll want to use them much more often rather than have them last a bit longer. Besides, you can double their duration by having Lily as a follower, and add another 33% to that by getting the Day Tripper challenge perk. * Purifier (Level 14): This perk gives you a 50% damage bonus when you’re attacking abominations like deathclaws and ghouls, but only if you’re using a melee or unarmed weapon. That’s not directly stealth-related, but only super- sneaky characters are going to want to get close enough to a deathclaw to whack it with a melee or unarmed weapon. Even then, it’s really too dangerous without a stealth field, and that’s hard to come by since using a rare stealth boy is the only way to get it. (Besides, deathclaws can detect you at close range even with a stealth field, thereby ruining your sneak attack.) * Better Criticals (Level 16, Perception 6, Luck 6): This is another perk that’s not exactly stealth-related, but all stealth characters will want to get it as soon as possible since it’ll increase the damage done by all critical hits (including sneak-attack critical hits) by 50%. * Paralyzing Palm (Level 18, Unarmed 70): This is yet another non-stealth- specific perk, but any stealth character that’s focused on up-close sneak attacks instead of ranged ones should get this perk as soon as they can so they can paralyze enemies in V.A.T.S. Unfortunately, the huge Unarmed skill requirement will be a problem for melee-focused characters. * Ninja (Level 20, Melee Weapons 80, Sneak 80): This perk is ideal for stealthy melee weapon users, since it increases your sneak-attack critical damage with melee and unarmed weapons by 25%. It also increases your critical chance with such weapons by 15%, which can be handy when you’re discovered. Unfortunately, characters who focus on unarmed combat may be unable to qualify for this perk.  


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(Top of page) Because this game lacks a stealth field item with a continuous effect, stealth characters that concentrate on melee and/or unarmed sneak attacks rather than ranged ones are a poor choice. Even ranged sneak-attack experts, though, may benefit from a decent up-close quiet weapon again and then, particularly because melee and unarmed sneak attacks do a lot more damage than ranged sneak attacks. * Ballistic Fist: This is not just the most powerful unarmed weapon in the game, but it’s also *the* most powerful sneak-attack weapon, even if your Strength and Unarmed skills are low. Its only major flaw is that it can’t be utilized at range, so you’ll have to sneak up on your victim extremely close to avoid being spotted. After you reach level 21, you may purchase one from a variety of merchants, including Blake at the Crimson Caravan Company (immediately east of Freeside). You may also receive one from Knight Torres, regardless of your rank. * Knock Knock: Most one-handed melee weapons are too weak, while most two-handed melee weapons are too heavy. This one-of-a-kind flaming axe strikes a good balance between the two, doing much more damage than any one-handed combat weapon yet weighing just 8 pounds (compared to 20 pounds for chainsaws, super sledges, and thermic lances). It is, however, a bit of a hassle to get. You must travel to the severely radioactive Camp Searchlight (at a road junction a long distance east of Nipton) and complete the “Wheel of Fortune” miscellaneous task. * Chainsaw: If you don’t mind carrying a 20-pound item about, this is one of the two finest melee sneak-attack weapons. In V.A.T.S., always utilize it, particularly if you’re attempting to get a one-hit kill. One may be found within the Legion safehouse (see the stealth boy section), and Motor-Runner has one in Vault 3 (near southwest of New Vegas). If you’re level 16 to 20, certain merchants, such as Blake at the Crimson Caravan Company, will sell them to you, and you may receive them randomly from Legion veterans. * Thermic Lance: The other great melee sneak-attack weapon is the Thermic Lance. It also weights 20 pounds and should be utilized in V.A.T.S. at all times. It deals the same amount of damage as the chainsaw, but as a general-purpose weapon, it is inferior to the chainsaw. If you’re level 21 or above, you may find thermic lances in the inventory of Blake and other merchants (or go to Knight Torres to get them at any level). You may also acquire them from Legion centurions at random. NOTE: Those of you (like me) who designed their Fallout 3 stealth characters around melee sneak assaults with the great shishkebab should forget about it in this game. If you’re between levels 16 and 20, you can find shishkebabs in the inventory of certain shops (including Blake’s), but they’re not quite strong enough to compete with the ballistic fist and other excellent sneak attack weapons, even if you have the Pyromaniac and Ninja perks. Create him an unarmed expert with a ballistic fist if you truly want to make a close-range stealth character (and the Ninja perk).  


(Top of page) Non-silent weapons are often helpful, particularly when you need to eliminate a strong opponent who is alone fast. The greatest loud weapons that can offer you considerably more devastating ranged sneak-attack criticals than most hushed firearms are mentioned below. Remember to shoot enemies in the head whenever possible, use special ammo for bonus damage, and flee to cover (or quickrestore and try again) if you’re detected. * CZ57 Avenger: This one-of-a-kind minigun, when used up close in V.A.T.S. mode, will deliver the most powerful sneak-attack damage of any ranged weapon in the game. It’ll cause even more harm than a ballistic fist if you shoot your victim in the head. Due to its high damage and low V.A.T.S. cost, it’s also excellent for V.A.T.S. fighting when opponents find you, but keep in mind that it only scores critical strikes half as frequently as other weapons. It’s also worth noting that it’s 18 pounds and isn’t much more powerful than a suppressed 12.7mm submachine gun (and is actually a tiny bit inferior to that weapon if you have the Professional perk). If you want it, go to The Devil’s Throat, which is east of Bloodborne Cave, and check at the rear of the container trailer. * Multiplas Rifle: This is the game’s most potent sneak-attack energy weapon, but not by much. Because it shoots several projectiles, you’ll need to get near to your target and avoid using V.A.T.S. to get the most damage out of it. It’s worth noting that it loses some punch against armored targets like deathclaws, in which case the YCS/186 is a preferable choice. To acquire a multiplas rifle, head to the Silver Rush building in Freeside and use Grab mode to pull one from the weapon counter into the bathroom area for simple theft. * YCS/186: This one-of-a-kind gauss rifle features a sight for long-range shooting and nearly as much sneak-attack damage as the multiplas rifle. In V.A.T.S., its damage is poor, and you’ll want to utilize it mainly on faraway targets. If you don’t have the Wild Wasteland trait, you may acquire this weapon by killing the mercenaries at a camp just east of the Brooks Tumbleweed Ranch, which is located northwest of New Vegas. (If you choose the Wild Wasteland attribute, you’ll have to battle aliens instead to get the Alien Blaster.) Due to the blaster’s lack of ammunition and sight, I don’t suggest it.) * Brush Gun: If you have a high Guns skill and don’t want to invest a lot of skill points in Energy Weapons, this is an excellent option for a loud sneak-attack weapon, particularly if you don’t want to carry the CZ57 Avenger. It’s excellent for non-sneaky V.A.T.S. fighting, much like the avenger, because of its high damage and cheap action point cost. If you acquire the Cowboy perk, you’ll have a weapon that’s nearly as strong as the two energy weapons mentioned above. Once you’ve reached level 16, you may purchase one from the vendortron at Gun Runners, or you can receive one from Knight Torres at any level. * Anti-Materiel Rifle: This rifle has a sniper sight and deals nearly the same sneak-attack critical damage as the brush gun with the Cowboy perk. It does, however, weigh as much as all three of the preceding weapons combined, and it has a poor health value. Due to its low DPS and high action point cost, it’s also one of the worst weapons for battling opponents who have spotted you. You may purchase one from the Gun Runners vendortron after you’ve reached level 16, or from Knight Torres at any level. Explosives may also be useful for a sneaky character. Even if they’re loud, the noise doesn’t originate from your location, therefore you won’t be detected. You may harm opponents by throwing grenades at them or setting mines for them to step on. When dealing with opponents that are too strong to be taken down in a single sneak assault, you may lay a line of mines, then go to the other end of the line and fire a single silent shot at your target. That should entice him to dash over to your location, detonating mines along the way. You may also construct one or two compact clusters of mines to lead your victim through instead of a line of mines. Even if your Explosives skill is poor, this works very nicely.  


(Top of page) Having one or two followers with you at all times can be very beneficial, if not necessary, in the early stages of the game, while you’re still molding your stealth character into the person you want him to be. This is particularly true if you’re masochistic enough to play on the “very tough” difficulty level despite the fact that there are no tangible rewards. Thankfully, ED-E, Boone, and Veronica are all very simple to find when completing the early major missions on your journey from Goodsprings to New Vegas. Get ED-E and one of Boone or Veronica and keep them with you until you’re ready to go out on your own. Having followers with you may be extremely helpful even after you’ve mastered serious sneaking and sneak-attacking. They can not only carry a lot of the treasure you’ll find, but you can also have them wait in strategic locations so you can bring any foes you can’t handle back to them. That way, you’ll have additional firepower when you need it without jeopardizing your covert operations. Remember that each follower provides you with a beneficial benefit as long as they’re with you, even if they’re waiting someplace far away instead of following you about. Lily’s Stealth Girl perk is the most helpful follower perk for stealth characters. It increases all sneak-attack critical damage by 10% and doubles the duration of stealth boys (two game hours instead of one). Remember to make her wait someplace out of the way so she doesn’t spoil your covert operations. Just don’t abandon her entirely, since she’ll come in useful in battle support and loot-carrying duties.  


(Page Top) So what’s the best way to build your stealth character? As in Fallout 3, my favorite way is to combine it with a V.A.T.S. fighter build where increasing action points is emphasized over increasing aiming percentages. The idea is that all V.A.T.S. combat will be done at close range, and medium- to long-range combat will be done with scoped weapons and follower support. For Fallout NV, I had the idea of also making this into a “super crit” build, meaning that it aims to maximize your critical chance whenever you’re delivering non-sneak attacks to enemies. This required a few trade-offs and disadvantages which will make your character physically weaker and force him to repair his weapons more frequently. If you don’t like that, you can modify the build by changing the starting attributes and traits to something you think will work better for you. For example, move some points from Luck and Agility into Strength and Endurance, and take the Good Natured trait instead of Built to Destroy. You may also want to modify the level-up perk list a bit. Strength: 6 Perception: 5 Endurance: 6 Charisma: 1 Intelligence: 6 Agility: 9 Luck: 7 Tag skills: Guns, Sneak, Repair Traits: Built to Destroy, Kamikaze When you level up, remember that your most important skills are Sneak, Guns, Repair, and Lockpick. Consider those your major skills. Your minor skills include Medicine, Science, and Energy Weapons. On your first few level-ups, put most or all of your skill points into your major skills. Once they get to 50 or so, you can start putting more points into your minor skills. As for perks, I recommend the following: Level 2: Confirmed Bachelor or Black Widow Level 4: Educated Level 6: Intense Training (Luck) Level 8: Hand Loader [Repair 70] Level 10: Finesse Level 12: Silent Running [Sneak 50] Level 14: Jury Rigging [Repair 90] Level 16: Better Criticals [Perception 6] Level 18: The Professional [Sneak 70] Level 20: Action Boy/Action Girl Level 22: Action Boy/Action Girl Level 24: Grim Reaper’s Sprint Level 26: Nerves of Steel Level 28: Math Wrath [Science 70] Level 30: Bloody Mess Notice the attribute and skill requirements listed in brackets after some of the perks. Those are things that won’t be high enough already when you start the game, and you’ll have to make sure they get high enough by the time you reach the level they’re listed for. The hardest one will be getting your Repair skill up to 70 by the time you reach level 8. You probably won’t be able to get more than one or two of the Repair skill books before then, so most of the points will have to come from level-up skill points. If you just can’t do it, take Bloody Mess at level 8 and put off Hand Loader until level 30. (Or juggle it around with something else if you want to get it earlier.) The only attribute requirement that you won’t start out meeting is a Perception of 6 for the level 16 perk Better Criticals. You’ve gotta have that perk without delay, so be sure to go to the New Vegas Medical Clinic (a bit east of Freeside) and buy the Perception implant before you reach level 16. It costs 4000 caps, but you should easily be able to save up that much by then. In fact, if you’re a thorough looter, you can get enough to buy that and five other implants long before you’re level 16. For the other implants, I recommend the ones that raise Strength, Endurance, Agility, Luck, and damage threshold. (Note that the Agility and Luck implants are essential to this build, but the others are negotiable.) One piece of essential equipment that you should get ASAP is a 1st recon beret. The best way to get one is to go to Novac while on your way to New Vegas and do Boone’s quest “One For My Baby.” Wear it from then on to get a +1 to Perception and +5% to your critical chance. (And no, wearing it won’t take the place of getting the Perception implant mentioned above.) Another piece of essential equipment is the Lucky Shades. Unfortunately, they’re locked up in the Caesar’s Legion Safehouse (see the “Stealth Boys” section). After you finish the “Ring-a-Ding-Ding!” main quest, go to Cottonwood Cove and turn in enough NCR dogtags to Arelius of Phoenix to get your Legion rep up to “liked.” If you need more dogtags, go to places like Camp McCarran and the Hoover Dam and pickpocket dogtags from the NCR troopers. (Note that it’s best to give Arelius a bunch at once rather than a few at a time.) Sail to the Fort and meet with Caesar, then talk to Lucius to get the safehouse key. Go there to find the Lucky Shades setting on one of the beds along with some other stuff. If you go to the trouble and sacrifice necessary to get the Hand Loader perk at level 8, be sure to start taking advantage of it right away by using reloading benches to break down regular ammo and make hand load ammo out of its components. This is particularly important with .308 ammo for your sniper rifle, since its hand load version does 50% extra damage. Note that .308 hand load ammo takes a bit more lead and rifle powder than you can get by breaking down regular .308 ammo, so save up scrap metal to break down into lead and buy jars of rifle powder from merchants who sell it. Another very important crafting project will be to use workbenches to make weapon repair kits. Since you took the Built to Destroy trait, your weapons will degrade faster, and will need repairing more often. Having the ghoul follower Raul with you would help a lot with that, though note that you can’t have both him and Lily at the same time. Getting the Jury Rigging perk at level 14 will also help by giving you a wider variety of repair options, such as being able to use service rifles to repair your sniper rifle. Still, you’ll need plenty of weapon repair kits, so start saving up duct tape, scrap electronics, scrap metal, wonderglue, and wrenches at the start of the game so you can make lots of repair kits once your Repair skill reaches 50. I put the Nerves of Steel perk in for level 26 since it is (in theory) a really good V.A.T.S./action point perk. However, it’s broken again, just like it was in Fallout 3 (at least on the PC version), so you may not want to take it. If not, move the next two perks up and then decide on something else when you reach level 30. The Cowboy perk is one I hated to leave off since it helps power up brush guns and ranger sequoia pistols, so you might want to get that one (but note that it requires a Melee Weapons skill of 45+).  


(Top of page) Loot Goodsprings extensively after completing the character creation procedure and Sunny Smiles’ two Goodsprings faction missions. After that, travel south to Primm, taking three scrap metal, two sensor modules, and one scrap electronics with you if you have them. If not, search about Primm for them while completing the main quest “They Went That-A-Way.” Enter the Nash Residence building and fix ED-E to make him a follower after you have all of those things. Finish the primary quest activities in Primm, then go to Novac via Nipton. To get a 1st recon beret, complete Boone’s “One For My Baby” quest in Novac, then utilize Manny Vargas’ terminal to swiftly and simply obtain the primary quest information you need. Continue to Boulder City, where you may complete the NCR/Great Khans faction quest “Boulder City Showdown,” then travel NW to the 188 Trading Post to speak to Veronica about becoming a follower. Return to Goodsprings and go east until you come upon Hidden Valley. To get access to Knight Torres’ shop, complete the Brotherhood of Steel faction quest “Still in the Dark,” then purchase a ballistic fist from her. Get two ballistic fists, fix one using weapon repair kits, and give the other to Veronica. Start stealthily killing generic individuals with no distinctive identities in the different cities and villages for XP and treasure with your ballistic fist. To avoid earning faction infamy and making others hostile, only assault them while your stealth indicator displays “[HIDDEN]”. Also, in certain places, like as the Brotherhood of Steel’s bunker, this is difficult to get away with. Return to Boulder City and then go to Ranger Station Delta in the southeast. To get to the Hoover Dam, use the route that goes north from there. Return to the 188 Trading Post and pick up a 12.7mm handgun and a sniper rifle (see the “Silent Ranged Weapons” section), as well as the Chinese Stealth Armor (see its section), before making your way down the road to Freeside’s East Gate. Purchase a 12.7mm pistol silencer, a sniper rifle suppressor, and sniper rifle carbon fiber components from the vendortron at the adjacent Gun Runners kiosk. After that, you’ll have a ballistic fist for ambushing generics and two strong, light-weight silent weapons for ranged battle with hostiles. Then go to Camp McCarran to acquire a sniper rifle (if you don’t already have one) and a slew of NCR soldiers to ambush with your ballistic fist. If you haven’t yet reached level 8, you should search for some Repair skill books so that you can obtain the Hand Loader perk at level 8 without having to invest as many skill points in Repair. Other near-term objectives include obtaining the Lucky Shades and a silenced 12.7mm submachine gun, as well as a brush gun and/or the YCS/186 if desired. Replace Veronica with Lily in Jacobstown to obtain her lovely Stealth Girl perk, then pop 25 addictive chems to earn the Day Tripper challenge perk.  


(Page Top) — THE FIVE V.A.T.S. ADVANTAGES — * Increased critical chance: Every time you make an attack with any type of weapon, using V.A.T.S. will increase your chance of making a critical hit by 5%. Even if your Luck stat is high and you have the Finesse perk, this can be a big help in finishing off tough foes. * Aim assistance: At long range, your chance to hit in V.A.T.S. will be so low that you might as well just take your best aim and shoot without it. However, V.A.T.S. is very useful for close-up shooting, especially with enemies who are moving around quickly. Hit the V.A.T.S. key to “freeze” them in place, then take your time choosing where to shoot them. Remember that head shots will do more damage, though it’ll usually be a bit harder to hit the head than the other parts. Thankfully, being close to an enemy means that every part of him will be fairly easy to hit. Another good thing to target in V.A.T.S. is an enemy’s weapon, especially if it’s a big one like a missile launcher or minigun. It’s pretty easy to shoot a big weapon out of an enemy’s hands, especially if you’re using an automatic weapon like a submachinegun. You’ll have a chance to grab the dropped weapon after the V.A.T.S. session is over, though you’ll have to be quick to get it before its owner reclaims it. You can also disarm an enemy by targeting his arms, but shooting the weapon directly usually works better, and has the added effect of rapidly lowering the weapon’s condition. You may end up breaking it so that it can’t be used at all, which means you won’t have to run to pick it up to keep your opponent from using it again. NOTE: If you’re using unarmed or melee attacks (or grenades), you won’t be able to target a specific body part, and therefore can’t take advantage of the head- shot damage bonus or specifically target an enemy’s weapon. * Free Damage Reduction: While you’re in V.A.T.S. mode, you only take 75% of normal damage from any attack. Unfortunately, V.A.T.S. doesn’t always start up the instant you hit the V.A.T.S. key, so it’s risky to try to time things so that you go into V.A.T.S. right before an attack hits you. Also, to get the attack to hit you while you’re still in V.A.T.S., you’ll need to have enough action points to do an attack or two of your own. This is one of the main reasons you should maximize your action points as much as you can. See the sections for perks, apparel, and chems. * Total LOS targeting: V.A.T.S. can always see any enemy that’s within your line of sight (LOS), even if you can’t due to factors such as distance or darkness. You can use that in conjunction with the red blips shown on your compass to pinpoint nearby hard-to-see enemies, and thereby make attacking them or sneaking past them much easier. Just remember that V.A.T.S. usually won’t be able to target a nearby enemy if he’s mostly or completely obscured from your LOS by an obstruction. * Gap-closing: To hit an enemy with a melee or unarmed attack without V.A.T.S., you’ll have to get very close to him. With V.A.T.S., you don’t have to be nearly so close. Experiment with it to see how far away V.A.T.S. will let you be while still doing melee and unarmed attacks. Also note that V.A.T.S. doesn’t care if there are partial obstructions between you and your target as long as you’ve still got LOS. — V.A.T.S.-RELATED PERKS — * Gunslinger, Commando, Sniper, Concentrated Fire: These four perks all have to do with improving your aim in V.A.T.S. As stated above, V.A.T.S. is really only useful for close-up combat, where you’ll always get good chance-to-hit percentages, so none of these perks are really all that useful. * Math Wrath: This very useful perk reduces the action point cost for any weapon by 10%. That’s especially great if you’re just a few action points short of being able to use your favorite weapon another time in V.A.T.S. With the 10% reduction in AP cost, you’ll get that extra attack! * Plasma Spaz: This perk is the same as Math Wrath except that it only applies to energy weapons. Also, it requires an Energy Weapons skill of 70 instead of a Science skill of 70. It’s good for V.A.T.S. fighters who are energy weapon specialists with a low Science score, but that’s about it. Everyone else should get Math Wrath instead. * Mysterious Stranger: This is a very quirky perk, and isn’t really recommended, though it does have some useful features. If your target’s health is less than 150 when a V.A.T.S. session ends, there’s a 10% chance that a “mysterious stranger” guy will show up and use his super-powerful magnum to finish your target off. One problem is that the stranger is manifested as a physical person, which means he needs to be placed somewhere specific. Sometimes his placement prohibits his shooting the target because he won’t have LOS with it. On the other hand, he can sometimes kill multiple targets for you, though don’t count on this always happening. Other disadvantages include not always getting the XP for an enemy that he finishes off, and your action points not getting restored if you have Grim Reaper’s Sprint. NOTE: If you want to maximize the chances that the stranger will show up and finish off a particular target, repeatedly V.A.T.S.-attack that target one time with a weak weapon — preferably a ranged one, like a BB gun or silenced .22 pistol. This can be a good way to finish off a distant foe before he can get close to you, especially if you’re sneaky enough to avoid his notice. Also, after you have 15 mysterious stranger visits, you’ll get a challenge perk that raises his probably of appearing from 10% to 20%. * Miss Fortune: This perk is very similar to the Mysterious Stranger one. The difference is that Miss Fortune doesn’t require a target’s hit points to be less than 150, and she won’t deliver a fatal attack to the target. Instead, she does something non-fatal like crippling one of his limbs or knocking him down. That can be funny and somewhat helpful, but not really worth a perk slot. * Center of Mass: This perk will add 15% to the damage you do if you target an enemy’s torso in V.A.T.S. Not very useful, especially since head shots will do extra damage without you having to take a perk, and the head isn’t much harder to hit than the torso when you’re close to your target. * Action Boy / Action Girl: This perk permanently adds 15 to your action points each time you take it (up to two times), and is therefore highly recommended. Remember that it’s not your aiming percentages in V.A.T.S. that you need to increase as much as possible — it’s your action points. It’s just too bad that you have to use two of your 15 level-up perk slots to get 30 more action points, whereas you only had to use one of 30 perk slots to get +25 action points in Fallout 3. Blasted #@&^ “play-balancing” bullcrap! * Paralyzing Palm: This perk has nothing directly to do with action points, but is still very useful if you can meet its high Unarmed skill requirement. Having a powerful enemy lying helpless on the ground for a full 30 seconds is *hugely* helpful, especially if you have a follower or two with you to help pound on him. * Grim Reaper’s Sprint: This perk is useful because it will instantly restore 20 of your action points when a V.A.T.S. session is over if you killed your target. That’s not nearly as good as restoring *all* of your action points like the Fallout 3 version of this perk did (more “play-balancing,” I suppose), but it is still a good choice for V.A.T.S. fighter builds. * Nuka Chemist: This perk doesn’t affect your action points directly, but it does allow you to use workbenches to transform regular nuka-colas into the new victory variety, which increases your action points by 10 to 30 (depending on your Survival skill) temporarily. Even with the perk, your Science skill has to be 90 to make the victory colas, which will be prohibitive for many players. * Nerves of Steel: This perk doesn’t add to your action points, but it makes them regenerate 20% faster. That will help you get back into V.A.T.S. sooner in the all-too-frequent situations where you can’t kill your target in one V.A.T.S. session, and therefore won’t get the reaper to restore any of your action points. NOTE: On the PC version of the game, this perk only increases action point regeneration by a super-tiny amount. To fix this, use the G.E.C.K. construction set program to load up the FalloutNV.esm file, then edit the script named DLC03APRegenScript. On the line that starts with “Set MicroRegen,” change the number after the slash from 10 to something smaller. A 2 will cause your action points to regenerate about 20% faster than normal, like it was intended. An 0.75 will cause them to regenerate about 50% faster than normal, and 0.25 will make them regen at double the normal rate. After that’s set, go to the Perk section under the “Actor Data” tab and edit the DLC03NervesofSteel entry. In its “Perk Entries” section, right-click on “Action Point Regen” and choose “Edit,” then check the “Ability” field and set it to “DLC03PerkNervesOfSteel.” The Finesse perk is also recommended to increase your critical chance even more, and the Better Criticals perk will make each critical hit you score count for more. The Chemist and Chem Resistant perks can also be useful to characters who use chems to increase action points a lot (see the section on chems), but aren’t recommended since chems should only be used in emergencies, and their regular durations are usually long enough. — V.A.T.S.-RELATED APPAREL — * General Oliver’s Uniform: This outfit adds 20 to your action points when worn, but can’t be gotten until the very end of the game (if even then). And that’s it except for all the generic, cheap outfits that add 1 to your Agility, thereby giving you 3 extra action points. Phooey! They really stiffed us on V.A.T.S. apparel this time! — V.A.T.S.-RELATED CHEMS — * Jet: This is the most common action-point-increasing chem, and can be found and bought in many different places. Since it’s weightless, you should keep all the ones you find so that you’ll be sure to always have some on hand. Due to the risk of addiction each time you use one, you should save them for special combat situations where having 15 more action points for awhile will be a big help. In most combat situations, it’s better to use a few stimpaks and run for cover while your action points regenerate. * Dixon’s Jet: This is a special (and inferior) form of jet that you can buy and pickpocket from Dixon, who hangs out near Mick & Ralph’s store in Freeside’s first section. It only adds 10 temporary action points instead of 15, but it’s a lot cheaper than regular jet, and its effect will stack with jet’s for a total of 25 temporary action points. * Ultrajet: This is a powerful variant of jet that gives you 40 temporary action points. If you take one of these and a jet, you’ll get a total of 55 temporary action points (or 65 if you throw in a Dixon’s jet). The problem with ultrajet is that it’s not widely available. You’ll have to do the “Dealing with Contreras” undocumented quest without killing or reporting Contreras. He’ll then have a small supply of ultrajet in his store inventory. (Note that it doesn’t ever seem to replenish.) * Rocket: This is another powerful variant of jet. It gives you 30 temporary action points, but the only way you can get it is to craft it at campfires, which requires a Survival skill of 50+. * Rebound: This new chem will make your action points regenerate a little bit faster for one minute. Look for it in loot and merchants’ inventories that normally include chems. * Nuka-Cola Victory: This special new variety of nuka-cola will add 10 to 30 temporary action points (depending on your Survival skill). You can find them in a few places, but the main way to get them is to craft them at a workbench, which requires the Nuka Chemist perk and a Science skill of 90+. * Fire Ant Nectar: These special chems can only be gotten from the fire ants that are at the Ant Mound (just south of Camp McCarran) and the El Dorado Dry Lake (south of the 188 Trading Post). Fire ant nectar doesn’t directly affect action points, but instead adds 4 to Agility. If your Agility is 6 or under, the nectar will add 12 to your action points, otherwise it’ll only add (10 – Agility) X 3 to your action points. You’ll probably prefer to either save the nectar for its temporary +25 fire resistance or sell it. * Sugar Bombs & Irr. Sugar Bombs: These items add 5 to 15 to your action points (depending on your Survival skill) for a brief time. Regular sugar bombs are very common and can be found in many places. The irradiated version can only be found in one place in Camp Searchlight, but don’t bother going after it — it has no advantages over regular sugar bombs, and has the disadvantage of giving you more rads when you use it. * Mushroom Cloud: Instead of using sugar bombs directly, you can use them plus a few other items at a campfire to make mushroom clouds (Survival skill 35+ required), which give you 3 to 9 temporary action points. You clearly wouldn’t want to do that for the action points, so only make mushroom clouds if you want an item that restores a lot more health than sugar bombs do. * Trail Mix: This is another campfire-craftable item, requiring a Survival skill of 25+ to make. It’ll add anywhere from 5 to 15 action points, depending on your Survival skill. * Coyote Tobacco Chew: These nearly-weightless items will increase your Agility by 1, which adds 3 to your action points if your Agility is less than 10 to begin with. You can find them in some container and merchant inventories, and can harvest them from coyote tobacco plants. Also, you can get 10 of them from Trent Bascom at the NCR Sharecropper Farms if you finish the “The White Wash” Followers of the Apocalypse faction quest in such a way that the water stealing is stopped. COPYRIGHT INFO: This FAQ is copyright 2011 by Stanley E. Dunigan ([email protected]). This FAQ may be posted and used anywhere by anyone as long as it’s unaltered, but always check one of the official host websites listed below for the latest version. GameFAQs (www.gamefaqs.com) — always the first site updated Neoseeker (www.neoseeker.com) Game Guide World (gameguideworld.net) SuperCheats (www.supercheats.com) Check the Universal Hint System (www.uhs-hints.com) for my complete Fallout: New Vegas 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. It’s a great resource for detailed quest and reference information that I didn’t include in this FAQ. VERSION 1.2 (1/18/2011) NOTES AND CREDITS: This version adds quite a few things, including: * info on the best sneak-attack automatic weapons, both silent and noisy * info on two silenced unique weapons * the fact that you can get sniper rifles and 12.7mm pistols by ambushing NCR troopers at Hoover Dam’s visitor center * a way to deal with the pesky “day of the week doesn’t update after loading a save” glitch when trying to get random stuff from merchants * note about getting the Day Tripper perk to increase stealth boy duration * integration of the Lucky Shades into the suggested character build * a slight reorg of the suggested character build’s perk list to move the Professional perk up to an earlier level * a quest-related source for 10 coyote tobacco chews (V.A.T.S. chems section) VERSION 1.1 (1/6/2011): info about the Reinforced Chinese Stealth Suit (RCSS) add-on module that Tim Narvaez told me about. VERSION 1.0 (1/2/2011): original version.

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If you are a stealth gamer you’ll probably be aware of the stealth system in the Fallout games, especially if you played Fallout 3. If you have however never heard of the mechanic it’s all to do with light and sound. Essentially stealth is about blending in with the environment to avoid detection and it’s arguably one of the most important aspects of the game.. Read more about fallout: new vegas sniper build and let us know what you think.

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