Game Tips and Tricks

Save yourself the trouble and read these tips once or twice.  They will greatly increase your self-sufficiency during your wasteland travels, and might even prevent you from dying!  Definitely read this before your first playthrough, even if you're not planning to use the walkthrough.

General Tips

  • Be sure to save your game often, and keep multiple save games.  Fallout New Vegas is a large game, and you might want to reload a previous save game in which you hadn't messed up a particular quest, event, or where you missed an important item.  This is one of the most important things for a healthy and enjoyable experience.
  • Holster your weapon when there's no direct danger in proximity.  This not only allows you to travel faster (two-handed weapons slow your down, although one-handed weapons don't), and it also scares neutral or friendly NPC's less   quickly.
  • Keep your gun reloaded at all times.  You never know what might surprise you around the next corner.
  • Never waste ammunition, and never waste Stimpaks, especially on hardcore mode. If you're in need of healing, do it properly and rest.  Use V.A.T.S to greatly conserve precious ammo.  [If you sleep in a rented bed or own bed, you'll get the Well Rested status that grants 10% extra EXP until it wears off after a couple of hours.]
  • When you crouch nearby water you can drink from it.  Hold down the button to continuously drink from it, which is a good way to heal yourself at the cost of a few RadAways instead of Stimpaks!
  • Learn to use Fast Travel!  After having explored a location, simply bring up the World Map on your Pip-Boy and select the location you want to travel to. This saves enormous amounts of time.
  • Collect items just for resell purposes.  You can check on the value (VAL) of an item in your inventory, and it's wise to sell these whenever the next possibility comes up; Don't let them clutter up your inventory, especially not when you're on a lengthy quest.
  • Pressing the Right Stick (on consoles) lifts items/bodies from the ground. It can sometimes be worthwhile to lift up buckets or small wooden crates to find they actualy contain a hidden treasure!
  • Always search vending machines for Nuka Cola and Sarsaparilla Bottles.

Get your Science and Lockpick up to 50 as soon as possible, which allows you to pick locks on all average level locks and terminals.  Alternatively boost them to 40 at least, so you can pick locks with the aid of a skill magazine that gives you a temporary 10 boost.

It's the game's intention to make you explore the world.  Don't rush through the areas, look in every corner and behind every brick, and you'll be richly rewarded.  You propbably don't want to end up missing the neatest secrets.

Fast Travel with your Worldmap! If you are on the worldmap and you find yourself stuck, don't hesitate to use the fast travel option!

Items with no weight (--) should always be picked up.  Even if the item seems useless, you can always sell it in larger amounts later on.  If an item does weigh something, look at its value.  Is the weight 1 and the value 1?  Then it might be better to leave the item.  Is the value 50 and the weight 2?  You can then sell the item later on and make a profit without putting too much weight on your shoulders!

The checklists in this survival guide feature two kinds of brackets:

1. [] means that the item doesn't cost you any Karma for taking it.

2. {} may cost you Karma and indicates you must steal the item.  Therefore, these items are optional pickups.

Infinite Caps Glitch

1. Find a merchant that sells two of the same weapon or armor.

2. Buy the cheapest of their two weapons or armors.

3. Sell it back to the merchant with profit.

4. Repeat and profit more.

Hacking Tips

You have four attempts each time you access a terminal before you get locked out
after the fourth erroneous password attempt.  In other words, you have three 'free' tries every time you start up a terminal.  The goal is to select the correct password from the gibberish text.  Depending on how high your Science skill is, the easier hacking becomes.

Roughly speaking, there are three (combinable) methods for hacking terminals:

1. You try three 'free' attempts and back out of the terminal.  Simply try your luck once again and repeat this process until you've figured out the password.

2. Whenever you attempt a password, on the right part of the terminal screen it tells you how many letters you've got at correct places.  In other words, if you've got three letters correct, start looking for words that use similar letters in similar positions.

You attempted "FESTERS" and get 0/7 correct (nothing at all).  You can now say to yourself: Okay, all other passwords containing an F as the first letter will be incorrect, all passwords with an E as second letter are incorrect, etcetera.  Thus "SYSTEMS" would be incorrect as it contains an E on the fifth spot, and we know thatthis cannot be a possibility.

If you get 1/7 correct, you know that at least one letter is in the right position.  This doesn't help you that much, but if you can find any passwords that don't match *any* of the letters in the same positions (compared to "FESTERS", the password "SUCKING" does not contain an "F" at the first spot, not an "E" on the second spot, not a "S" on the third spot, and so on for all other letters.  Thus you can conclude that "SUCKING" is not your key inside the terminal. Not this time, at least...

If you get even more letters correct, such as 5/7 with the password "TESTERS", look for words that have various similarities, such as those ending with "TERS".

3. It's possible to replenish your attempts by looking for what I'd like to call bracket combinations.  These are brackets such as < >, [ ], () and { } which are linked when highlighted.  In other words, when you highlight one of these brackets, more than one character is highlighted, and everything between these brackets is also highlighted.  An example would be: {.,::&}. Selecting this can either replenish your attempts, or remove a faulty password from the possibilities.  It it wise to first attempt three passwords and then search for brackets, resulting in removing several duds and a possible allowance replenishment, greatly improving your odds.

If this doesn't help, either search for another bracket combination or back out of the terminal and try again.

Lockpicking Tips

               EASY:               AVERAGE:               HARD:
            __________            __________            __________
           /::::|     \          / \:::|    \          /  \::|    \
          /:::::|      \        /   \::|     \        /    \:|     \
         / \::::|       \      /     \:|      \      /      \|      \
        |    \::|        |    |       \|       |    |                |
        |      \|        |    |                |    |                |
        |                |    |                |    |                |
         \              /      \              /      \              /
          \            /        \            /        \            /
           \__________/          \__________/          \__________/

VERY EASY and VERY HARD have bigger and smaller correct zones respectively.

Is that a Bobby Pin in your pocket?

___________ _______________
|Very Easy  |        0      |
|Easy       |       25      |
|Average    |       50      |
|Hard       |       75      |
|Very Hard  |      100      |
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯

You can only attempt more difficult locks when your lockpick skill has reached a certain level.  For example, in order to pick average locks you'll need a lockpick skill of at least  50 , and for hard locks you need 75 .  The locks above indicate example ranges of where your bobby pin can be placed at in order to unlock the lock with the screw driver.  Placing the bobby pin correct is impossible without  trial and error.  You know you're close to the correct position (or rather, "correct zone" as shown above) if you can turn the screw driver nearly 90 degrees vertical.  The further you can turn the screwdriver, the closer you are.

If you're haven't hit the right spot yet (and I could make a nice analogy here), adjust your BOBBY PIN (if you know what I mean) and turn it to a better position.  In other words, you can turn it left or right.  If you turn it to, say, the right, and you get the feeling the bobby pin starts to tremble sooner than before, you know the "correct zone" is the other way, and you can move closer.  Keep adjusting it until you hit the right spot and the treasures will be yours...  If you fail, your Bobby Pin *BREAKS*, and you'll have to try again, that is, if you have another Bobby Pin left in your .. pocket..

Playing Caravan

Try the video below, or more details can be found here:

Game Tips and Tricks