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Trading and trade-related tasks. The ability to get better prices for items you sell, and lower prices for items you buy.— In-game description

Barter is a Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout Tactics, Fallout: New Vegas and Van Buren skill.

The Barter skill is primarily used in the buying and selling of items, such as trading with a merchant or scavenger. In general, purchase prices will be lowered and selling price will be higher. It is the primary factor in price determination, and is also offset by the Barter skill of the non-player character in question. The skill is also used in certain dialogue options with non-player characters, where certain responses require Barter checks.

Fallout and Fallout 2Edit

  • Fallout 1: $ \text{Initial level}\%=20+(2\times\text{Charisma}) $
  • Fallout 2: $ \text{Initial level}\%=(4\times\text{Charisma}) $

The skill only affects the prices for the vendor's items, the player character's items are always worth the same.

Having the Master Trader perk will give the player character an automatic 25% off all goods, and the Good Natured trait will provide a +15% to the Barter skill.

Barter is noticeably effective in Fallout & 2 in case of limited funds. With a low Barter skill, item prices may be as high as $800 for Rad-X and $32,500 for combat armor.

Fallout TacticsEdit

$ \text{Initial level}\%=0+(4\times\text{Charisma}) $

The initial level for Barter is still governed by Charisma, but usually starts out lower than Barter in Fallout.

Barter also determines how much things can be sold for in Tactics, whereas selling prices were always static in the previous Fallout games.

Fallout 3Edit

Bobblehead Barter

"Never forget to walk away with more than you've brought."

Barter Value

$ \text{Initial level}=2+(2\times\text{Charisma})+\left\lceil\frac{\text{Luck}}{2}\right\rceil $

Example: A starting Charisma of 5 and Luck of 5.

$ 2+(2\times5)+\left\lceil\frac{5}{2}\right\rceil=15 $

Derived Values

$ Sale~Value~ = Item~Value~ \times \left ( 0.45 + \left ( \frac{Barter~Skill~}{100} \times 0.45\right ) \right ) \times Modifier $
$ Buy~Value~ = Item~Value~ \times \left ( 1.55 - \left ( \frac{Barter~Skill~}{100} \times 0.45\right ) \right ) \times Modifier $
  • The final value is rounded to the nearest integer at the end of the calculation.
  • The item value is the rated value of the item present in their Pip-Boy menu description.
  • The modifier is defaulted to 1 (or 100%), and it will change in accordance to other discounts or price increases coming from the specific vendor you're buying or selling from. For example, the 10% discount you get in Moriarty's Saloon for treating Gob kindly.
Barter Sell % Buy %
0 45 155
20 54 146
40 63 137
80 81 119
100 90 110

Each 5th point increase in score increases the sale price of an item by 2.25 percent. And a Barter skill of 11 allows the Lone Wanderer to sell at practically 50% of the rated value of an item.

A high Barter skill is a good choice for characters lacking Strength, since they do not have much room to carry many items and, subsequently, have less things to sell. However, having a companion partially negates this, since they can be given around 200 pounds of weight.

Barter based perksEdit

Perk Required Level Additional Requirements
Master Trader 60 14 Charisma 6

Available discountsEdit

Interactions that require Barter skillEdit

A number of dialog based trading can be altered with sufficient Barter:

Ways to increase BarterEdit

Permanent
Temporary

NotesEdit

  • The Lone Wanderer will eventually have more bottle caps than is possible to spend, so deciding whether or not to put points into Barter during character development is a strategic decision. Barter is best taken early on, to more effectively sell loot or acquire better equipment.

Fallout: New VegasEdit

$ \text{Initial level}=2+(2\times\text{Charisma})+\left\lceil\frac{\text{Luck}}{2}\right\rceil $

Example: A starting Charisma of 5 and Luck of 5.

$ 2+(2\times5)+\left\lceil\frac{5}{2}\right\rceil=2+10+3=15 $

Barter affects the prices gotten when trading with merchants. There are also many Barter skill checks in the game that can help advancing in quests by displaying a good sense with money, talking down costs, and talking up rewards. The Barter skill is governed by the Charisma attribute.

General price (before application of reputational fees or discounts) is counted with the same formula as in Fallout 3. Note that reputation does not affect prices unless that particular merchant is scripted to modify worth based on the Courier's reputation. For example, Chet will only use the PC's barter skill value to determine prices even if they are Idolized with Goodsprings, but with a mixed reputation (regardless of how good or bad it is), he will offer at 1:1 prices.

Barter Sell % Buy %
0 45 155
20 54 146
40 63 137
60 72 128
80 81 119
100 90 110

Barter in quests and explorationEdit

While hard to tell in the abstract from the following list, in many cases Barter is offered as an alternative dialogue skill check to Speech (though generally involving paying money) or other skill checks. This may be to help compensate for the fact that Barter on its own may not be as useful as other skills.

Available DiscountsEdit

Ways to increase BarterEdit

Permanent
Temporary

Barter-based PerksEdit

Perk Requirement Level Additional Requirements
Pack Rat 70 8 Intelligence 5
Long Haul 70 12 Endurance 6

Van BurenEdit

In Van Buren, as in Fallout and Fallout 2, Barter did indeed have an effect on store prices. However, it also represented a certain level of knowledge about the caravan houses and trading in general, giving it a small role in dialogue. The intended depth to Barter development came in the perks available at higher skill ranks.

Notable Barter expertsEdit

Fallout 3Edit

Fallout: New VegasEdit