|This page describes the SPECIAL implementation in Fallout: New Vegas.|
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.
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:
- New Vegas medical clinic implants
- Intense Training (perk)
- Completing Lonesome Road (add-on)
- Taking Four Eyes (trait), which gives you a permanent -1 to Perception while giving you a temporary +2 to Perception when wearing glasses, or +3 with Lucky Shades
- Taking Small Frame (trait)
- Completing Old World Blues for +2 Strength
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
|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 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:
- Combat skills: Energy Weapons, Explosives, Guns, Melee Weapons, Unarmed,
- Other skills: Barter, Lockpick, Medicine, Repair, Science, Sneak, Speech, Survival
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.
- There are a maximum of 61 SPECIAL points available in Fallout New Vegas; requiring all ten ranks of Intense Training, the Small Frame trait, the seven implants available from the New Vegas Medical Clinic and the completion of Lonesome Road and Old World Blues for +2 strength.
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.