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Latest update by CRAZY CHEATS on Dec 19th 2012


What are skills?

Skills are basically how good you are a certain thing. The higher a skill, the better you are at it. Someone with a skill of 100 in Repair can repair a weapon or armour to full condition, while someone with only a skill of 50 can only repair it half way. Similarly, weapon skills improved damage and accuracy, Medicine increases the effectiveness of Stimpaks, Rad-X and RadAway, and Sneaking improves, well, sneaking

How do I increase a skill?

Unlike other Bethesda games, like Skyrim, skills do not increase with use. Instead, every time you level up you unlock a certain amount of skill points to spend on your skills. The amount of points you get is 10 + your Intelligence level. A perk can be got at level 4, Education, that gives you 3 extra skill points every level. This is almost a mandatory perk to get. There also many perks that you can get to increase a skill, varying from 5 to 15 points for level of the perk
Another way to level up skills is with Skill Books. There are 25 skill books for each skill in the game, each one improving the skill by 1 point. There is, however, a perk called "Comprehension, unlocked at level 4 that gives you two points for each book, and I highly recommend it. Some clothing types can also increase (or decrease) skills
Your base skill for each skill depends on the corresponding S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute, and is found by:
2+(Attribute x 2)+(luck/2)
Each skill also has a Bobblehead, which raises the skill by 10 points

The Skills

  • Barter

  • Big Guns

  • Energy Weapons

  • Explosives

  • Lockpick

  • Medicine

  • Melee Weapons

  • Repair

  • Science

  • Small Guns

  • Sneak

  • Speech

  • Unarmed

  • What they do


    As the name implies, this is the skill of buying and selling at as good a price as you can. With a low barter, you can be forced to spend outrageous amounts of caps on small things, and your fully repair Gatling Laser will barely pay for an Assault Rifle. A good barter is not a necessity, but it can be very handy.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Charisma
    Skill Book: Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor

    Big Guns

    Miniguns are hard to control, and it's very difficult to hit an enemy from afar with a missile launcher. This is where the this skill comes in. As with all combat skills, increasing this skill boosts accuracy and increases damage.
    Weapons covered: Minigun, Flamer, Gatling Laser, Missile Launcher, Fat Man
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Endurance
    Skill Book: U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipies

    Energy Weapons

    Be it Laser or Plasma, they're the weapons of the future, and the average person isn't capable of handling these very well. Increased Energy skill improves your ability to literally disintigrate enemies.
    Weapons covered: Pretty much everything "Plasma" or "Laser", including Alien Technology. Excludes grenades and the Gatling Laser.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Perception
    Skill Book: Nikola Tesla and you


    Things that go boom make bigger booms. Need any more be said? Also helps disarming enemy traps.
    Weapons covered: Grenade and mines
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Perception
    Skill Book: Duck and Cover


    A great way to get free things, or avoid a troublesome fight. Higher levels are required to even attempt more difficult locks.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Perception
    Skill Book: Tumblers Today


    Makes you more like your Dear Ol' Dad. Makes you better with medical stuff like Stimpaks, RadAway and Rad-X.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Intelligence
    Skill Book: D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine

    Melee Weapons

    You wouldn't really think hitting people with things would take a lot of skill, but there you go. Increases in melee skill make you swing harder and faster.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Strength
    Skill Book: Grognak the Barbarian


    A broken weapon is useless, and damaged one doesn't do much. Increasing your skill allows you to increase your weapon condition. Weapons can only be repaired with other weapons. Also increases the starting condition of all created weapons.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Intelligence
    Skill Book: Deans Electronics


    A lot like Lockpicking, except with computers. Often used to hack turrets, or gain access to information
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Intelligence
    Skill Book: Big Book of Science

    Small Guns

    Quite possibly one of the most important skills. This is the skill associated with all conventional firearms, which make up the majority of all weapons
    Weapons covered: Anything that fires bullets, including Pistols, Shotguns and Rifles of all kinds
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Agility
    Skill Book: Guns and Bullets


    Sneaking is a great way to get the upper hand in combat, or avoid it altogether. Hitting an enemy while undetected will always be a critical hit, and do some fierce damage.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Agility
    Skill Book: Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual


    A silver tongue can get you out of prickly situations, or through some locked doors. A lot of additional rewards for quests are got via Speech challenges, and it will often cut down time spent trying to get something.
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Charisma
    Skill Book: Lying, Congressional Style (Also, one copy of Paradise Lost, got in Underworld)


    The simple act of punching your enemy bareknuckle, or with special melee weapons, like Brass Knuckles
    S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute: Endurance
    Skill Book: Pugilism Illustrated
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