Fallout: New Vegas SPECIAL

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This page describes the SPECIAL implementation in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For SPECIAL implementations in other Fallout games, please see "SPECIAL".
  • For an overview of Fallout: New Vegas content, please refer to "Portal:Fallout: New Vegas".

Character creation

The maximum level the player can achieve in Fallout: New Vegas is 30, however, each add-on installed adds an additional 5 levels to the maximum. With all four DLC's, the level is increased to a final level maximum of 50.

Primary statistics

Main article: SPECIAL

The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system should be familiar to players of the Fallout series. As has been the case since Fallout, the character's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes default to 5 points per attribute which, with an additional 5 points for distribution for a total of 40 points. As in previous games, individual attributes can be adjusted upwards and downwards so long as the total equals exactly 40. Also as in previous games, individual attributes can not go lower than 1 or higher than 10; any bonus or penalty beyond those are simply ignored.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stands for:

Unlike Fallout and Fallout 2, the game internally keeps track of your "base stats", in other words your SPECIAL scores without any temporary adjustments (such as from chems or certain equipment). These base stats are used both for calculating whether you meet the necessary prerequisites for a perk and for the number of skill points you gain on a level up. The only ways to increase your "base stats" are through:

There is a special Endurance calculation used just for the New Vegas medical clinic implant limit. This is your base Endurance minus any Endurance implant. This is to prevent an Endurance implant from being "free" (as otherwise everyone could install an Endurance implant and still have the same number of available implants as before).

Ranks of SPECIAL

Rank Strength Perception Endurance Charisma Intelligence Agility Luck
1 Wet Noodle Deaf Bat Basically Dead Misanthrope Sub-Brick Walking Disaster 13-Pitch Black Cats
2 Beached Jellyfish Senile Mole Crumbly Old Hermit Vegetable Accident Prone Broken Gypsy Mirror
3 Doughy Baby Squinting Newt Do Not Bend Creepy Undertaker Cretin Oaf Sickly Albatross
4 Lightweight Unsuspecting Trout Handle With Care Peevish Librarian Knuckle Head Butterfingers Spilled Salt
5 Average Joe Wary Trout Stain-Resistant Substitute Teacher Knowledgeable Under Control Coin Flip
6 Barrel Chested Alert Coyote Hardy Cheery Salesman Gifted Catlike Stacked Deck
7 Beach Bully Big-Eyed Tiger Tough-as-nails Diplomat Smartypants Knife Thrower Lucky 7
8 Circus Strongman Monocled Falcon Flame Retardant Movie Star Know-It-All Knife Catcher Leprechaun's Foot
9 Doomsday Pecs Sniper Hawk Bullet Proof Casanova Genius Acrobatic Marvel 21 Leaf Clover
10 Hercules' Bigger Cousin Eagle with Telescope Unstoppable Cult Leader Omniscient Walks on Water Two-Headed Coin Flip

Derived statistics

Derived statistics are attributes of a character which are based on (or derived from) the character's primary statistics or attributes which the player cannot influence directly.

The following derived statistics are known to exist in Fallout: New Vegas:


Skills in Fallout: New Vegas determine the player's effectiveness in a variety of situations. As in the previous games, the player chooses three tag skills out of thirteen to be the character's specialties. Tagging a skill grants the player a 15 point bonus to that skill. Your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points affect the amount of skill points your character starts with.

The skills in Fallout: New Vegas are:


Perks are special elements of the level up system which grant special effects and abilities. In Fallout: New Vegas, you gain a perk every two levels. Many perks have an attribute requirement(s), for example the Mysterious Stranger perk, which requires a particular skill to use. Some perks require a high gun skill or a high unarmed skill. Some perks also grant special bonuses. For example, again, the Mysterious Stranger perk. It grants a non-player character from above that comes down to help in combat every once in a while.

For a list of perks, please see Fallout: New Vegas perks.


Traits modify different aspects of gameplay, including (but not limited to): Primary statistics, derived statistics and skills. Traits always have both positive and negative results. For example, the Small Frame trait which grants a +1 to Agility, but your limbs are more easily crippled.

One can choose up to two traits when designing a character (or none at all).

For a list of traits, please see Fallout: New Vegas traits.


Changes from previous Fallout games

Much of the SPECIAL from Fallout 3 remains intact, with very few new features being added in the way of character creation or stats. Weapons now have a minimum Strength requirement to be used effectively, like in Fallout and Fallout 2. Also returning from the first two games are low Intelligence characters, which can be created by setting your Intelligence less than 3. The SPECIAL bobbleheads have been replaced by implants available from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

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