Fallout: New Vegas – Character Builds

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We love Fallout games for a variety of things but its roleplaying system is wonderful. It allows you to create so different characters from melee maniacs with iron claws to invisible snipers who can eliminate their victims from afar. It’s really nice that players can create their unique heroes but sometimes such variety can embarrass. So we created this guide with the most balanced builds for Fallout: New Vegas.

Here we provide basic info about primary statistics related to S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, tips on skills, and examples of characters with a lot of hints on them. Also, check our guide on characters for Fallout 3.  

Best attributes and skills

Firstly, let’s look at primary statistics or S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes. You can set them at the very beginning at the doctor’s house at Goodsprings. Pay close attention to these features so far as they affect your secondary statistics, skills, perks, behavior, and dialogues:

  1. ST is for Strength. 5 will be enough for all builds except true fighters.
  2. PE is for Perception. 1 or 2 is nice so far as this stat almost useless.
  3. EN is for Endurance. Set it to at least 7 as this stat will help you boost other ones.
  4. CH is for Charisma. 1 or 2 again, another useless stat again.
  5. IN is for Intelligence. At least 9 is necessary as it increases a number of skill points.
  6. AG is for Agility. 5, 6 or even 7 depending on your plans for using V.A.T. S.
  7. LK is for Luck. Either choose 1 or 9 depending on your plans for critical hits.

The importance of IN is difficult to overestimate. It’s the best attribute because it affects a number of available skill points. Thus, with high IN you can raise your skills significantly which means more efficiency in battles, trading, and dialogues.

By the way, let’s discover skills and their effects. We divided all available features on 4 tiers including the optional one, similarly to the guide for Fallout 3. But New Vegas has some changes in skills, for example, Small Guns and Big Guns are now united in the single Guns category. Also, there is a completely new skill called Survival. 

  • Tier 1: Barter, Repair, Medicine.

These are essential features for every build. They boost your trading abilities, help to maintain equipment and repair it, and increase the efficiency of medical consumables. You can tag all of them but we suggest selecting at least one skill from the last tier.

  • Tier 2: Lockpick, Science.

These are pretty useful but not for all players. First two skills can facilitate your mini-games significantly, they let you unlock more complex doors and terminals. It’s better to invest a few dozens of points to enter protected areas.

  • Tier 3: Survival, Sneak, Speech.

«Three S» category contains interesting but not necessary features. Survival is wonderful for true adventurers and, especially, those who play on Hardcore Mode. Sneak is suggested for specific builds based on stealth playstyle. Speech is only for chat-oriented characters.

  • Optional: Unarmed, Melee Weapons, Guns, Explosives, Energy Weapons.

This tier is the last but not the least. It’s highly suggested tagging at least one skill from this category if you plan to fight with enemies. Unarmed and Melee Weapons are good for close combats, other stats cover range combats. Choose skills depending on your build.

Exact character builds

Here we want to introduce some sample builds which will be effective during the game for sure. However, you can combine these examples creating your own unique hero. Try different playstyles to decide which one suits you better and then start the real game. Note that you are free to change presented builds. For example, lasers are good weapons for each character as well as Comprehension and Educated perks.

Here are main builds:

Melee Warrior

Probably, one of the most difficult builds. You will use only melee weapons and confront foes in close combats. For this, you will need high agility and fast movement as well as long jumps and enough protection. Select perks and traits which increase the damage against specific types of enemies, e.g. Hunter against animals or Living Anatomy against humans. You also want high enough crit chance and stealth level to perform deadly melee attacks.  

Attributes (ST – PE – EN – CH – IN – AG – LK): 7 – 4 – 6 – 5 – 6 – 5 – 7.

Skills: Melee Weapons, Medicine, and Sneak.

Companions: ED-E and Craig Boone OR Arcade Gannon.

Unarmed Warrior

This build is pretty close to the previous one but it’s even more complicated. At the beginning, you will fight with bare hands. The thing is that you should act sneakier, perform more critical attacks, and find better weapons such as Knuckles ASAP. High Speech can help you to avoid unnecessary combats. Also, try to complete a few side missions to learn powerful moves for close combats.

Attributes: 7 – 4 – 6 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 8.

Skills: Unarmed, Medicine, and Sneak.

Companions: ED-E and Craig Boone OR Arcade Gannon.


Unlike both previous builds, this one is the easiest. Sniper weapons are your best friends but you should acquire some pistols or SMGs for middle ranges. Using V.A.T.S. to perform deadly shots in heads is crucial, so you have to invest extra points in AG. Don’t forget to sneak as hostiles can slay you from ambush easily. All perks and traits should complement your style increasing the damage, range, critical hits, and a number of action points. 

Attributes: 4 – 7 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – 7.

Skills: Guns, Lockpick, and Sneak.

Companions: Rex and Veronica Santangelo OR Lily Bowen.


The death machine is the most straightforward build that can focus on regular guns or lasers. Anyway, you want good armor and high HP pool to protect yourself against hostiles. Perks, traits, and skills depend on the chosen weapons type. It will be useful to minimize unnecessary items in your bag so far as heavy armor and weapons weigh a lot. Even if you aren’t a pyromaniac be sure to invest some points in Explosives for additional damage.

Attributes: 7 – 7 – 6 – 4 – 7 – 4 – 5.

Skills: Guns OR Energy Weapons, Explosives, and Repair.

Companions: ED-E and any ranged humanoid companion.

Laser Gunner

Here we have glass cannon. When Tank focuses both on damaging and protecting, Laser Gunner wants to annihilate foes before they can reach him. Lasers are wonderful when it comes to crippling enemies, especially, when you use V.A.T.S. Choose those perks which can help you to keep your equipment in the ideal condition and deal additional damage. Action points are crucial for aiming with V.A.T.S., as well.

Attributes: 4 – 7 – 5 – 6 – 6 – 6 – 6.

Skills: Energy Weapons, Science, and Repair OR Barter.

Companions: Rex and Cass OR Lily Bowen.


Yes, it’s almost impossible to finish the game without a single kill. But you can try and create a talkative hero who will solve all his problems via dialogues. Note that a lot of checks during interactions require a high level of certain skill, so you should invest in almost all features equally. However, we recommend taking at least one weapon-related attribute for tough situations when you cannot persuade enemies.

Attributes: 4 – 5 – 4 – 9 – 9 – 5 – 5.

Skills: Speech, Barter, and Survival.

Companions: really anybody.

Stealth Boy

Do you want to become an invisible thief crawling in shadows? Then choose this build. It allows you to pass guards, open doors, and hack terminals to get access to well-protected areas. When it comes to fights, use melee weapons or put a few mines in key places to deal with all enemies at once. Choose perks that boost your hero at night. The combination of Silent Running and Travel Light is wonderful, also.

Attributes: 4 – 7 – 4 – 5 – 7 – 7 – 7.

Skills: Speech, Sneak, and Science.

Companions: it’s better to work alone.

In addition, we have two unusual builds for specific events:

Hardcore Mode

This build is really the best for Hardcore Mode as its title states. The main purpose of it is to let you survive alone in the Wasteland. For this, invest a lot of points in Survival to create cool consumables. We suggest taking some perks that affect your inventory because ammo has weight in this mode. Also, focus on lasers so far as they are based on the same type of ammo. Another valuable perk is Educated, it gives you additional skill points.

Attributes: 5 – 5 – 6 – 5 – 7 – 6 – 5.

Skills: Survival, Guns OR Energy Weapons, and Barter.

Companions: ED-E and Craig Boone.


This build is designed for the easiest start of the game that takes action in Goodsprings. It focuses on extremely high IN which gives your character a lot of skill points. After the beginning, you can create any desired build from this one depending on your chosen perks and skills. We highly suggest taking Comprehension and Educated, although. This build is our leader as it allows developing the Courier as you wish.

Attributes: 5 – 5 – 5 – 5 – 10 – 5 – 5.

Skills: Speech, Barter, and Explosives.

Companions: depend on your further playstyle.

Choose the best character build or create your unusual one to succeed in the game!

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