Forums: Index > Fallout: New Vegas gameplay help > Explosives best builds/weapons?

Q-35: Hey everyone,

Just planning an explosives character and was wondering which weapons would be the best. If you have any good builds that would be appreciated too Q-35 14:00, February 22, 2011 (UTC)

You will play on hardcore or not? Explosives in hardcore are very different than casual, because the weigh of ammunition. Anyway, I recommend that you also raise a secondary combat skill like melee or unarmed, because in the beginning you will have available mostly grenades, dynamite, mines and powder charges, but don't let this mislead you, grenades are very powerfull with 30 or 40 points in the skill. Also, sometimes you'll need to finish the enemy at close range and you can't do that with explosives, hence the melee or unarmed. If you play on hardcore grenades of various types, mines, powder charges, thump-thump, grenade laucher and grenade machinegun are a must. Missile Lauchers and Fat Man are only situational because the ammunition, they are heavy (mini-nukes weigh 5 and misssiles weigh 3 each. 10 missiles will add 30lbs on your back!!!).

For perks I really recommend the three levels of demolition expert, Heavy Ho! and Splash Damage, Pack Rat (if playing on hardocore) and Strong Back. If you favor open combat and charging the enemy don't bother too much with sneak, just throw grenades and hope for the best, like the Splash Damage perk says. LOL But if you choose to play stealthy you will have a very fun time, because you will lay traps A LOT for your enemies. Brfritos 00:32, February 24, 2011 (UTC)

Q-35: Thanks for the reply! Yeah, I'll be playing casual because I have played all 3 of my previous playthroughs on hardcore and it's getting annoying; hate having to drink water every two seconds and my weak-as-hell companions.

Anyway back to explosives. Thanks for the advice - I've never used an explosive weapon apart from when I attacked the BoS Bunker with a Level 14 Melee buff (!). Would Rapid Reload and/or Quick Draw be useful? And what other tag skills would be useful to invest in? Q-35 13:52, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

I'm assuming that you are taking off most points of charisma, that's why your companions are weak. With 5 points in charisma they will have +25% in DT AND weapon damage. ED-E upgraded by the Followers with +25% in weapon damage simply kill Deathclaws in Quarry Junction, for exemple. If you are choosing to take companions with you, a few points in Charisma will make them stronger.

Generally I make my builds with a higher Endurance (usually beginning at 8), not Inteligence, because with a higher one you can take most implants at the clinic. For example, with Explosives is good to have a high perception, so I usually raise mine by one point (6), take the Four Eyes trait wich will lower it by one (5) and then buy the implant with Dr. Usinagi. Your base Perception for perks will be 6 (Better Criticals), but with glasses and hats you will have in fact 9 in the end. Or you can spend this point in another skill and later use Advanced Training, it's up to you. The same goes for Agility, it's good to have 7 for using melee/unarmed with VATS, so I pick the small frame trait (+1 AG), break my own limbs later for the Tough Guy perk, wich nullify the negative effects of the trait, then buy the implant with Dr. Usinagi. 7 Agility without spending a single point in character creation. Also I like the Slayer perk and it requires 7 agility.

But this is me, you build your SPECIAL the way you it's best for you. ;) For tag skills, explosives, medicine and melee or unarmed, barter only if you want the Pack Rat perk. You don't need a high Luck with explosives, 6 or 7 is more than enough. Brfritos 22:03, February 24, 2011 (UTC)

Q-35: Thanks, I'll try that out. :) I think I'm going to roll with: S P E C I A L 6 6 8 6 6 7 1 Tag Skills: Explosives, Unarmed & Speech. With "Tag!", I'll probably take Science or Barter. Implants: Endurance, Perception, Strength, Intelligence, Charisma. High Endurance for Implants + Unarmed power. Str 6+1 & Weapon Handling => Str 9 effectively for carring weapons - so I can use Mercy and Ballistic Fist. Key Perks: Heave Ho!, Demo. Expert x3, Rapid Reload*, Quick Draw*, Strong Back*, Piercing Strike, Hit the Deck!, Splash Damage, Purifier, Tag!, Weapon Handling, Grim Reaper, Slayer, Bloody Mess, Finesse.. etc Ones with *might be exchanged Traits: Loose Cannon, Heavy Handed Prefered Weapons: Mercy, Thump Thump & Ballistic Fist

What do you think of this build? Which followers do you think would be best? ED-E and Raul? Q-35 13:54, February 25, 2011 (UTC)

Your SPECIAL is good, you have the intention of taking followers with you, trust me, with 6 CH they will kick ass hard! :D I prefer the Grenade Machinegun upgraded with High-Speed Kit than Mercy, because it has more ammo in the mag. With x3 demolition expert + splash damage this weapon is good as Mercy (better in my opinon). Also, Mercy have x16 critical chance, but explosives don't have critical damage, I don't understand why this weapon have the stat. The DPS in the page are misleading, Grenade Machinegun with the upgrade will have almost 400 DPS, it fires really fast.

But why are you picking Rapid Reload? Your Agility is high and this perks will impact very little in the end, the perk is good if your agility is low. If you really want fast reload, in my opinion the Small Frame trait is a better option, with 8 agility in the beginning you will do this very fast and will have a lot of AP points to use. On the other hand missile lauchers and Fat Man will benefit from it, if you are planning to use them heavelly I can understand your decision, so it's up to you. I still need to see an advantage in Loose Cannon except reducing the need of AP points for throwing weapons, because the downside of -25% range do not compensate the 30% more speed. And Heavy Ho! is available right from the start and the requirement is low (30 explosives), plus the most usefull explosive for using at long range - the Long Fuse Dynamite - are not affect by this trait. Also you have Quick Draw, so you will actually have your weapons ready to use fast enough. If you have the chance I would also pick Super Slam, the melee requirement is low and will have a huge impact in your unarmed attack, since you will knock down deathclaws or that friggin' Legendary Deathclaw with it, specially using the Ballistic Fist, Pushy or Love and Hate.

I tested a lot and for my surprise one of the best companions for explosives/unarmed build are ED-E and Veronica or ED-E and Cass. Cass for the Whiskey Rose perk, so you can use unarmed or a grenade closer to you with +4DT and she's good with melee weapons. Veronica is also a terrific companion because she is capable of using very destructive energy weapons, like the YCS/186, Plasma Defender or Q-35, and is also very proficient at close range (she's a demon when equipped with Pushy). So you have two companions that are BOTH good at close/long range, unlike Arcade, Boones, Raul or Lily, wich are more specialized. Altough I have to admit that Veronica personal perk is of little use, unless you are planning to make weapon repair kits on the fly. LOL Just one advice if you are choosing Veronica as your main companion, go for Pushy and the Paladin Toaster. The PT have the bonus EMP, but deals very good damage until you have the skills to use Ballistic Fist. Plus, the unarmed requirent is lower than Pushy (100) or Ballistic Fist (100), only 75 points.

I liked your build, you are basing your choices in raw damage instead of luck + criticals and the stats are consistent with the choice. My gosh, Ballistic Fist + Slayer! After level 24 nothing will stand in your way. LOL Brfritos 07:17, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Even non-stealthy chars can find mines useful, especially if you want to go pure explosives. Lay a mine down at the beginning of combat and back away from it, when the baddies come to attack you they will run over the mine and usually cripple a leg, which slows them down enough so you can keep backing away and not have to finish them off close up. This does often cause problems with companions who like to stand next to your mines for some reason. 09:59, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Updated: S P E C I A L 6 6 8 6 6 7 1 Tag Skills: Explosives, Unarmed & Speech. With "Tag!", I'll probably take Science or Barter. - Implants: Endurance, Perception, Strength, Intelligence, Charisma. - High Endurance for Implants + Unarmed power. Str 6+1 & Weapon Handling => Str 9 effectively for carring weapons - so I can use Mercy and Ballistic Fist. - Key Perks: Heave Ho!, Demo. Expert x3, Piercing Strike, Super Slam!, Hit the Deck!, Splash Damage, Purifier, Tag!, Weapon Handling, Grim Reaper, Slayer, Adamantine Skeleton, Paralysing Palm - Traits: Heavy Handed, Small Frame - Prefered Weapons: Mercy, Thump Thump & Ballistic Fist

- I was thinking of using Loose Cannon because according to the Wiki Page, it is bugged to affect some other explosive weapons like Thump Thump. - I've added in Small Frame, and Adamantine Skeleton to offset the disadvantages which should be fairly minor because I'm not playing HARDCORE. - None of the Dead Money Perks look very enticing, so I've not taken any of those. For tooling up Veronica, however, I think I'm going to give the holotape from Elijah and equip her with Oh Baby! or something like that. What kind of Energy Weapons are her speciality - one-handed or two-handed?

- More importantly I need to choose two from the following; Life Giver, Finesse, Bloody Mess and Strong Back.   

Strong back could be a waste if my companions carry the bulk of my stuff. Bloody Mess might just be unnecessary because of the sheer damage I will be doing already. With a high Endurance already, Life Giver might be a waste of a perk; Finesse would be taken to counteract my poor Luck. Q-35 10:39, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Actually you don't need to much Adamantium Skeleton if you take the time to break your own limbs for the Tough Guy perk, I do this a lot. I can even tell you when and how you do that :D. You'll need 32 sticks of dynamite, wich is fairly easy to obtain from Powder Gangers, 4 Hydra, 10 Sunset Sarsaparillas and Colas, 2 Trail Mix (find them in Boulder City), 2 Caravan Launches (you gain from Ranger Jackson), 5 stims and one super-stim. I do this when I reach Novac and after I gain my house, on the bridge that leads to Nelson (since no one cross that bridge, so you don't have to worry hitting something). You throw a dynamite right next to you until explodes, then you drink some SS and Colas, you probably should break one limb. Then you toss another one, this will break another limb, or possible two at the time. After that is easy, you drink Hydra and repeat ad naseum, you will break two or more limbs in every explosion, so it's fast to gain the perk. But it's up to you, I know is a little boring to do this some times, so the perk will work just fine too. But with this strategy you will be able to pick Blood Mess, Strong Back and Finesse. ;)

You have 8 Endurance, so you will be able to buy ALL except one implants from Dr. Usinagi. With 8 Endurance your health will be very high also, you start the game with 260HP and by level 20 you'll have almost 360HP, so Life Giver is of little use. Also high endurance allows some things very interesting, like having 45 points in medicine and don't needing anti-radiation suit or power armor, only Rad-X for fighting radiation and being able to recieve two stings of a Cazador and still be able to fight without antivenom.

As for Dead Money, unarmed builds have actually a tough time choosing what to do with Elijah's perk, because it works wonders with Ballistic Fist and Pushy, you pratically spawn crit hits one after another. Of course a higher luck will help more, so I agree with you, Veronica will benefit more than you with this build, she becomes unbeatable (I'm not joking, try it). Legion unarmed attack my ass! LOL But don't give Oh, Baby! to her, there's a bug in this weapon that drop the condition to 0 when used by companions. And melee and unarmed weapons are affected by this perk, not only melee. Brfritos 20:34, February 26, 2011 (UTC)

Cool thanks again @ Oh Baby!; I'll give her a ballistic fist too instead! @ Life Giver; ok I'll only take that if there's no other perks that I should take. @ Adamantium Skeleton; I'll try your method out then.

SO cut life giver and finesse. That leaves Bloody Mess and Strong Back.. I can take those two. Q-35 11:34, February 28, 2011 (UTC)