Fallout New Vegas Perks Guide

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Perks play a significant role in defining your character in Fallout New Vegas. Our Fallout New Vegas Perks guide will see how they can make you better with certain weapons, give you new interactions with NPCs, or grant entire new abilities. This makes determining what perks to take as you level up extremely important, especially when playing on more complex difficulties requiring an excellent build to survive the horrors of the wasteland.

Key Info Up Front

Perks in Fallout New Vegas fall into multiple categories, but you will get the point to unlock one every two levels. In total, there are 130 unique perks, with a handful of them being able to be leveled up multiple times for more significant effect.

Perks Overview


Every two levels, you will receive a perk point that can be used to unlock one of the many unique perks in Fallout New Vegas. The game’s perks are also split into regular and special perks. Regular perks are the ones you can purchase with perk points as you level up, while special perks are unlocked by completing specific challenges or tasks for characters.

In total, you can get 25 regular perks during your playthrough, but you can get as many special perks as you see fit. There are also companion perks given to the player only while they have a particular companion journeying with them, of which there are ten in total.

Regular Perks

There are 86 regular perks included in the base game of Fallout New Vegas. Even without the game’s DLC packs, there are plenty to pick from. All of the regular base perks in Fallout New Vegas are below.

Perk Name Level Requirement Other Requirements Description
Black Widow / Lady Killer 2 Female PC / Male PC +10% damage and unique dialogue options when dealing with the opposite sex.
Cherchez La Femme  / Confirmed Bachelor 2 Female PC / Male PC +10% damage and unique dialogue options when dealing with the same sex.
Friend of the Night 2 Perception 6, Sneak 30 You can see better in dark environments.
Heave, Ho! 2 Strength 5, Explosives 30 You can throw weapons 50% faster and further.
Hunter 2 Survival 30 You deal an extra 75% critical damage to animals and mutated creatures.
Intense Training (10) 2 You can put an extra point into one of your SPECIAL attributes for each rank.
Rapid Reload 2 Agility 5, Guns 30 You reload weapons 25% faster.
Retention 2 Intelligence 5 The effect of skill magazines lasts for three minutes.
Swift Learner 2 Intelligence 4 You gain 10% more experience points.
Cannibal 4 While you’re sneaking, you can eat human corpses to heal at the cost of losing Karma.
Comprehension 4 Intelligence 4 You receive an extra point for skills when you read a skill book and double the points when reading a skill magazine.
Educated 4 Intelligence 4 Every time you level up, you get an additional two skill points.
Entomologist 4 Intelligence 4, Survival 45 You deal 50% extra damage to mutated insects.
Rad Child 4 Survival 70 You regenerated two health per second for every 200 Rads you have.
Run’ n Gun 4 Guns 45 or Energy Weapons 45 Your gun spread is halved when walking or running and shooting one-handed ranged weapons.
Travel Light 4 Survival 45 You run 10% faster when wearing no armor or light armor.
Bloody Mess 6 You deal an extra 5% damage, and enemies have more gruesome death animations.
Demolition Expert 6 Explosives 50 You deal 20% extra damage with explosives.
Ferocious Loyalty 6 Charisma 6 Your companions gain 50% damage resistance when you drop below 50% health.
Fortune Finder 6 Luck 5 You find a lot more bottle caps in stockpiles.
Gunslinger 6 You are 25% more accurate in V.A.T.S. with one-handed weapons.
Hand Loader 6 Repair 70 You are twice as lucky to recover cases and hulls while using guns and have all hand load recipes unlocked.
Lead Belly 6 Endurance 5 You take half as much radiation from food and water.
Shotgun Surgeon 6 Guns 45 You ignore 10 points of a target’s damage threshold when using shotguns.
The Professional 6 Sneak 70 Your critical hits from sneak attacks with revolvers, pistols, and submachine guns deal an extra 20% damage.
Toughness 6 English 5 Three points increase your damage threshold.
Vigilant Recycler 6 Science 70 You are twice as likely to recover drained ammunition when using energy weapons and have more efficient recycling recipes.
Commando 8 You are 25% more accurate with two-handed weapons in V.A.T.S.
Cowboy 8 Guns 45, Melee 45 You deal 25% extra damage with dynamite, hatchets, knives, revolvers, and lever-action guns.
Living Anatomy 8 Medicine 70 You can see any target’s health and damage threshold and deal 5% extra damage against humans and non-feral ghouls.
Pack Rat 8 Intelligence 5, Barter 70 The weight of items weighing less than two pounds is cut in half.
Quick Draw 8 Agility 5 You holster and equip weapons 50% faster.
Rad Resistance 8 Endurance 5, Survival 40 Your radiation resistance is increased by 25%.
Scrounger 8 Luck 5 You find a lot more ammunition in stockpiles.
Stonewall 8 Strength 6, Endurance 6 During combat, you cannot be knocked down and have an additional 5% damage threshold against melee and unarmed attacks.
Strong Back 8 Strength 5, Endurance 5 Your carry weight is increased by 50.
Super Slam! 8 Strength 6, Melee Weapons 45 All of your melee attacks have a chance to knock your target down. Unarmed and one-handed attacks have a 15% chance, and two-handed attacks have a 30% chance.
Terrifying Presence 8 Speech 70 You can intimidate foes through dialogue which can cause enemies to flee for five seconds.
Here and Now 10 You instantly gain an additional level.
Animal Friend (2) 10 Charisma 6, Survival 45 The first rank makes hostile animals neutral. Second rank animals assist you in combat, but not against other animals.
Finesse 10 Your critical hit chance is increased by 5%.
Math Wrath 10 Science 70 All of your action point costs are decreased by 10%.
Miss Fortune 10 Luck 6 It gives you a 10% chance that Miss Fortune will appear and incapacitate a foe while using V.A.T.S.
Mister Sandman 10 Sneak 60 You can instantly kill sleeping characters and receive a bonus experience.
Mysterious Stranger 10 Luck 6 It gives you a 10% chance that Mysterious Stranger will appear and finish off foes while using V.A.T.S.
Nerd Rage! 10 Intelligence 5, Science 50 Your damage threshold increases by 15, and your strength increases to 10 whenever your health is less than 20%.
Night Person 10 You gain two points of Intelligence and Perception between 6 pm and 6 am.
Plasma Spaz 10 Energy Weapons 70 Your action point costs for all plasma weapons are reduced by 20%.
Fast Metabolism 12 You restore 20% more health with stimpaks.
Ghostly Scavenger 12 Cannibal perk While sneaking, you can eat super mutant or feral ghoul corpses to heal at the cost of losing Karma.
Hit the Deck 12 Explosives 70 Twenty-five points increase your damage threshold against explosives.
Life-Giver 12 Endurance 6 You gain 30 hit points.
Long Haul 12 Endurance 6, Barter 70 You can fast travel while you are over-encumbered.
Piercing Strike 12 Unarmed 70 Your unarmed and melee attacks negate 15 points of the target’s damage threshold.
Pyromaniac 12 Explosives 60 You deal 50% more damage with fire-based weapons.
Robotics Expert 12 Science 50 You deal 25% extra damage to robots and can shut down robots when you sneak up to them.
Silent Running 12 Agility 6, Sneak 50 Running does not impact your ability to sneak.
Sniper 12 Perception 6, Agility 6 You are 25% more likely to hit headshots while using V.A.T.S.
Splash Damage 12 Explosives 70 Your explosives have their area of effect increased by 25%.
Unstoppable Force 12 Strength 7, Melee Weapons 90 You deal four times average damage through enemy blocks with melee attacks.
Adamantium Skeleton 14 Your limbs take half as much damage.
Center of Mass 14 Guns 70 You deal 15% more damage when targeting the torso in V.A.T.S.
Chemist 14 Medicine 60 Chems and stimpaks (in Hardcore mode) last twice as long.
Jury Rigging 14 Repair 90 You can repair any item with a similar thing.
Light Step 14 Perception 6, Agility 6 You do not set off floor traps or mines.
Purifier 14 Your melee attacks deal 50% extra damage centaurs, night stalkers, spore plants, spore carriers, deathclaws, and super mutants.
Action Boy/Action Girl 16 Agility 6 You have 15 more action points.
Better Criticals 16 Perception 6, Luck 6 Your critical hits deal 50% more damage.
Chem Resistant 16 Medicine 60 You are half as likely to develop addictions.
Meltdown 16 Energy Weapons 90 When you kill an enemy with an energy weapon, they emit energy that damages nearby enemies.
Tag! 16 Increase a skill by 15 points.
Weapon Handling 16 Strength less than 10 The strength requirement of weapons is decreased by two.
Computer Whiz 18 Intelligence 7, Science 70 You can make one extra attempt to hack locked-down terminals.
Concentrated Fire 18 Energy weapons 60, Guns 60 Attacking the same body part multiple times in V.A.T.S. gives you 5% more accuracy for each shot after the first.
Infiltrator 18 Perception 7, Lockpick 70 You can make one extra attempt to pick a broken lock.
Paralyzing Palm 18 Unarmed 70 Your unarmed V.A.T.S. attacks paralyze enemies for 30 seconds. 
Explorer 20 Your map shows all locations in the game.
Grim Reaper’s Sprint 20 Killing an enemy with V.A.T.S. rewards you with 20 action points.
Ninja 20 Melee Weapons 80, Sneak 80 You are 1.15 times more likely to get critical hits when attacking with melee and unarmed attacks and increase their damage by 25%.
Solar Powered 20 Endurance 7 Your Strength gains 2 points, and you heal one point per second when outside between 6 am and 6 pm.
Laser Commander 22 Energy Weapons 90 You deal 15% more damage with energy weapons and have a 10% higher chance of getting critical hits.
Nuka Chemist 22 Science 90 You can craft unique recipes at workbenches.
Spray and Pray 22 Your attacks deal 75% less damage when they hit companions.
Slayer 24 Strength 7, Agility 7, Unarmed 90 Your melee and unarmed attacks are 30% faster.
Nerves of Steel 26 Agility 7 Your action points will regenerate 20% faster.
Rad Absorption 28 Endurance 7 Your Rad decreases by one every 20 seconds.

Companion Perks

Enhanced Sensors

There are also ten additional perks that you only get while a companion follows you. These are:

Perk Name Follower Name Description
Better Healing Arcade Gannon You regain 20% more health from consumables
Enhanced Sensors ED-E You detect enemies from much further away and target cloaked enemies in V.A.T.S.
Regular Maintenance Raul Your weapon and armor condition decays 50% slower. This can be increased to 75% if Raul stays a mechanic at the end of the quest Old School ghoul.
Old Vaquero Raul Rauls’ rate of fire with revolvers and lever-action firearms is increased by 33%. This is only available if you have him go the way of the Vaquero at the end of the quest Old School Ghoul. Here’s a complete guide to New Vegas quests.
Scribe Assistant Veronica You can craft workbench items by talking to Veronica (Full Veronica Guide). 
Search and Mark Rex Chems, firearms, and ammunition are highlighted when you zoom in.
Spotter Craig Boone Enemies are highlighted when you aim.
Stealth Girl Lily Stealth Boys last twice as long, and your critical hits while sneaking deal 10% more damage.
Whiskey Rose Cass You don’t get any adverse effects from drinking alcohol, cannot get addicted to alcohol, and can raise your damage threshold by drinking whiskey or wasteland tequila.

Challenge Perks

Beautiful Beatdown

Challenge perks are unique in that you unlock them by completing a specific objective as you play. They also do not require any perk points to open them, so you can conceivably collect as many of them as you wish in a single playthrough. These perks are:

Perk Name Requirements Description
Abominable Kill 50/100/150 abominations Deal 3%/6%/10% more damage to abominations.
Animal Control Kill 50/100/150 animals Deal 3%/6%/10% more damage to animals.
Beautiful Beatdown Complete the quest A Fistful of Hollars and inflict 10,000 damage with unarmed attacks Action point costs for unarmed attacks are reduced by 10%.
Bug Stomper Kill 50/100/150 mutated insects Deal 3%/6%/10% extra damage to mutated insects.
Camel of the Mojave Drink water 100 times You are hydrated by water and heal from the 15% more.
Day Tripper Use 25 Chems that can make you addicted The effects of these Chems last 33% longer.
Dine and Dash Eat 25 corpses with the Cannibal perk It gives you the option to take human remains while using the perk.
Fast Times Use turbo 25 times Makes turbos last 50% longer.
Free Radical Use RadAway 20 times RadAway removes ten additional rads.
Friendly Help Receive 15 visits from either Mysterious Stranger or Miss Fortune Mysterious Stranger and Miss Fortune are twice as likely to appear.
Lord Death Kill 200/700/1000 enemies Deal 1%/2%/4% more damage.
Machine Head Kill 50/100 robots (the third tier is glitched and unachievable) Deal 3%/6% more damage to robots.
Meat of Champions Cannibalize Mr. House, The King, and Aaron Kimball You gain one Luck, Strength, Charisma, and Intelligence for one minute whenever you eat a corpse.
Melee Hacker Kill 125 enemies with melee weapons, deal 10,000 damage with one-handed melee weapons, deal 10,000 damage with two-handed melee weapons. Your melee attacks are 10% faster.
Mutant Massacre Kill 50/100/150 super mutants Deal 3%/6%/10% more damage to super mutants.
Power Armor Training Complete the quests Eyesight to the Blind or Tend to Your Business or For Auld Lang Syne It gives you the ability to wear all variants of power armor.
Set Lasers for Fun Deal 16,000 damage with one-handed energy weapons deals 25,000 damage with two-handed energy weapons. All energy weapons are 4% more likely to get critical hits.
Tough Guy Become crippled 50 times Your limbs take 20% less damage.

Dead Money Perks

Dead Money Perks

Fallout New Vegas’s Dead Money DLC also adds new regular perks, companion perks, and special perks for players to unlock.

Regular Perks

Name Level Required Requirements Description
In Shining Armor 2 Repair 20, Science 70 Grants five more damage thresholds while wearing metal armor and two additional damage thresholds while wearing reflective eyewear or helmets.
Junk Rounds 2 Luck 6, Repair 45 You can craft ammunition using scrap metal and tin cans.
Light Touch 2 Agility 6, Repair 45 You gain a 5% critical hit chance when you wear light armor, and your enemies suffer 25% less critical hit chance.
Old World Gourmet 2 Endurance 6, Survival 45 You are 25% more resistant to addiction and get 50% more health from snack foods. Scotch, vodka and wine give you health in addition to their regular effects.
And Stay Back 10 Guns 70 Your shotgun attacks have a 10% chance to knock an enemy back per pellet.
Heavywieght 12 Strength 7 Your weapons with a weight of fewer than ten pounds weigh half as much.
Hobbler 12 Perception 7 You are 25% more likely to hit a target’s legs in V.A.T.S.

Companion Perks

Perk Name Companion Name Description
In My Footsteps God You don’t activate traps and sneak more easily.
Ravenous Hunger Dog Dog eats the limbs of any Ghost People to keep them from resurrecting.
Signal Interference Christine Escape Signals last 50% longer.
Unclean Living Dean Domino You take 25% less damage and gain temporary cloud protection.

Challenge Perks

Ghost Hunter

Perk Name Requirements Description
Coin Operator Talk with Christine Allows you to craft 50 Sierra Madre chips with one fission battery and two scrap metals.
Ghost Hunter Talk with Dog It makes Ghost People more likely to die outright.
Sierra Madre Martini Talk with Dean Domino Allows you to craft Sierra Madre Martinis with two junk food, one tin can, and one jar of Cloud residue.
Elijah’s Last Words Deliver Elijah’s holo message to Veronica It makes Veronica attack 50% faster and gives her attacks a 25% chance to knock down enemies.
Elijah’s Ramblings Keep Elijah’s holo message Your melee attack critical hits deal 50% more damage.

Honest Hearts Perks

The Honest Hearts DLC also adds additional regular perks and companion perks. These are:

Regular Perks


Perk Name Level Required Requirements Description
Grunt 8 Guns 45, Explosives 20 You deal 24% more damage with 9mm guns, .45 caliber guns, service rifles, carbines, light machine guns, frag grenades, grenade launchers, and combat knives. 
Home on the Range 8 Survival 70 Allows you to sleep at campfires.
Sneering Imperialist 8 You get deal 15% more damage and are 25% more accurate in V.A.T.S. when fighting tribal and raider enemies.
Tribal Wisdom 8 Survival 70 You take 50% less limb damage from animals, mutated animals, and mutated insects. You gain 25% more poison resistance and eat mutated insects while sneaking.
Fight the Power! 10 You get two more Damage Threshold and a 5% more critical hit chance against anyone wearing armor from the NCR, Legion, or Brotherhood of Steel.
Eye for Eye 20 You deal 10% more damage for each crippled limb you have.

Companion Perks

Perk Name Companion Description
Quiet As The Waters Waking Cloud Decreases the Perception of White Legs enemies by three.
The Way of the Canaanite Joshua Graham Double the critical chance and decrease the spread of .45 auto pistols.
Well-Stacked Cairns Follows-Chalk Reaching summits reveals map markers and temporarily buffs Perception by three.

Old World Blues Perks

The Old World Blues DLC adds a handful of regular perks alongside nine new challenge perks.

Regular Perks


Perk Name Level Requirement Requirements Description
Atomic! 20 Endurance 6 You gain 25% move and attack speed, two damage thresholds, and two Strengths in irradiated areas. When your rad level is exceptionally high, your action point regen increases up to 1.5 times on average.
Mile in Their Shoes 20 Survival 25 You can eat the squeezins of night stalkers to gain one Perception, five Poison Resistance, and five Sneak.
Them’s Good Eatin’ 20 Survival 55 Any creature you kill has a 50% chance to have the healing items thin red paste or blood sausage.
Implant GRX 30 Endurance 8 You gain a subdermal non-addictive turbo injector.

Challenge Perks


Perk Name Requirements Description
Brainless Optional in think tank conversation with Doctor Klein Your head cannot be crippled, and you gain 25% resistance to chem addiction and 5% more damage threshold.
Heartless You’re immune to poison, have 50% less chance to get critically hit by robots, and have some bonus healing from specific items.
Spineless Your Strength and Damage Threshold go up by one, and your torso can no longer be crippled.
Big Brained Sink Auto-Doc after you complete the DLC Your head cannot be crippled. You gain 10% resistance to chem addiction and 10% more Damage Threshold.
Cardiac Arrest You gain 50% Poison Resistance, have 50% less chance to get critically hit by robots and heal more with particular items.
Reinforced Spine Your Strength and Damage Threshold are increased by two.
DNAgent Finish the quest X-8 Data Retrieval Test You deal 10% more damage to Night Stalkers.
DNAvenger Kill ten Cazadores in the Big MT You deal up to 30% more damage to Cazadores.
Stealth Suit MK II Complete the last challenge of the quest Project X-13 You move 20% faster while sneaking.

Lonesome Road Perks

The Lonesome Road DLC again added additional regular, companion, and challenge perks.

Regular Perks


Perk Name Level Requirement Requirements Description
Alertness 12 Perception between six and nine You gain two Perception while crouched and not moving.
Walker Instinct 18 Survival 50 You gain one Perception and Agility while outside.
Irradiated Beauty 22 Endurance 8 All of your rads are removed while you sleep (or 100 while playing on hardcore).
Voracious Reader 22 Intelligence 7 Damaged books become blank magazines and you can transfer skill magazines into blank magazines to get stat buffs.
Lessons Learned 26 Intelligence 6 You gain 1% more experience per level.
Tunnel Runner 26 Agility 8 You move 25% faster while sneaking in light or no armor.
Roughin’ It 28 Survival 100 You gain the Well Rested benefit while sleeping.
Burden to Bear 30 Strength 6, Endurance 6 Your carry weight is increased by 50.
Broad Daylight 36 You receive no sneak penalty while using the Pip-Boy light.
Certified Tech 40 You have a 25% higher critical hit chance against robots and have an 85% chance of finding extra crafting components on robots.
Ain’t Like That Now  50 Karma less than -250 Your Karma is reset to 0, your action points regenerate 25% faster, attack 20% more quickly, and are immune to critical hits.
Just Lucky I’m Alive 50 Karma between -250 and 250 You gain four Luck for three minutes when you finish a battle with less than 25% health, gain immunity to critical hits and deal 50% more critical hit damage.
Thought You Died 50 Karma above 250 You gain ten health per 100 Karma, your Karma is reset to 0, you deal 10% more damage, and you have immunity to critical hits.

Challenge Perks

Perk Name Requirements Description
The Bear Slayer Launch nuclear missiles at the NCR Gain 1 SPECIAL point, fame with the Legion, and infamy with the NCR
Dead Man’s Burden Launch nuclear missiles at both the NCR and the Legion Gain 1 SPECIAL point, fame with the Boomers and Powder Gangers, and infamy with the Legion and NCR
Divide Survivor Stop the missile launch Gain 1 SPECIAL point, fame with Brotherhood of Steel and Followers of the Apocalypse
Lonesome Road Leave ED-E behind in Ulysses’ Temple Deal 10% more damage and be 10% more accurate in V.A.T.S. when you have no companions.
Marked Kill three Marked Men Deal 10% more damage and 10% damage threshold when fighting Marked Men.
Scourge of the East Launch nuclear missiles at the Legion Gain 1 SPECIAL point, fame with the NCR, and infamy with the Legion.

Companion Perks

Perk Name Companion Description
Camarader-E ED-E ED-E repairs 25% weapon condition and produces energy or microfusion cells once per day; you gain two Damage Threshold, earn 5% beam weapon damage, and gain 5% accuracy in V.A.T.S.

Gun Runners’ Arsenal Perks

Mad Bomber

The Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC also included just one regular perk. This perk is:

Perk Name Level Requirement Requirements Description
Mad Bomber 6 Repair 45, Explosives 45 Allows you to create special explosives.


Question: What’s the most crucial perk in Fallout New Vegas?

Answer: The best perks largely depend on your character build, but the most universally powerful are Jury Rigging and Implant GRX.

Question: Can you get all of the perks in Fallout New Vegas?

Answer: Unfortunately, getting all of the perks is not possible. With all four DLCs installed, you can get up to 25 regular perks, have one companion perk active at a time, and get most of the challenge perks.

Question: Is there a maximum level in Fallout New Vegas?


Perks are a great feature in Fallout New Vegas, and while not all of them are as strong as others, they all at least allow players to flesh out a unique character and roleplay however they want in the Mojave Wasteland.

Perks have always been a pillar of the Fallout series, and it is impressive to see just how well Obsidian Entertainment did with them in their only entry.

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