Here's part one of my quick and dirty guide to the perfect near-100% FO:NV playthrough, first a few quick tips:

  • This guide is meant for your second or later playthrough once you've seen the storyline "properly" and want to create a powersave for playing mod content.
  • It's not designed for hardcore play, sequence-breaking can lead to companion death when you're doing things like running through deathclaw territory at level 2.


You can re-do your skills after you leave the goodsprings area. The most important thing to do when initially setting skills is have enough so that when you take books into account you can pass all the speech checks for the Goodsprings quest. That means Explosives, Medicine, Barter and Sneak or Speech.

Once you're setting your skills and attributes "for real" you want to get important skills as high as possible. I picked energy weapons because I wanted to see how they were after the buff in the later patches and the new stuff in Gun-Runner's Arsenal. Guns are arguably better however, as ammo is more plentiful and varied.

Good-natured costs you points out of combat skills and puts them into non-combat skills, since you only have to worry about getting explosives high enough to do the powder ganger vault quest, and your main combat skill, you will be sacrificing 5 points out of three skills you'll never use (the three combat skills you aren't making your main skill) for points in noncombat skills you WILL definitely want to max out. A great deal.

You will be grinding for XP at the same time you grind for karma, caps and ammo by killing fields and other gangers, so Skilled is also a great pick. The additional SPECIAL point from small frame can be nice as well. XP should never be a limiting factor since there is an infinite amount of XP available in the game, for the same reason the Here and Now perk is utterly useless.

You will want to get your intelligence high, because one goal is to eventually cap out every last skill. Also, a moderately high Endurance is nice for taking more implants. The Strength implant is superceeded by the bonus from Old World Blues (it normally gives +2 will only give +1 if you have the STR implant already) and the regen one is superfluous but other than that you want to get every last implant you can. A decent STR is also nice for hauling more loot, and eventually wearing powered armor.


Do the tutorial! you get some free XP, a gun and some ammo and goodsprings rep, as well as some healing powder.

Explore EVERYWHERE, pick up everything. Make sure to pick