“The last thing you never see.” Pretty accurate, and so were we. – Craig Boone
Boone is every Fallout New Vegas player’s favorite stone-faced sour-puss for a reason, and no, it’s not just because he’s a sniper. If you’ve yet to experience Novac’s resident guardsman’s story for yourself, then you’re in for one hell of a time, and I mean that in the truest of terms.
As you’ve probably realized from playing New Vegas for yourself, it’s got a far more refined and nuanced style of writing than both Fallout 3 and 4. Boone exemplifies that with his backstory and quest. It’s as heartwrenching as it is damning, both for Boone himself as well as the NCR as a whole. Even after 1000 hours, the poor man still breaks my heart.
Boone is more than just his writing, though. As a retired NCR First Recon Sharpshooter, he is arguably the best companion in the game for combat. His Scoped Hunting Rifle lets him deal high damage at ranges that your other companions can’t. If you’re playing on Hardcore mode and your companions can die, this helps keep him alive compared to someone like Veronica.
So, if you’re looking to make the most out of your Fallout New Vegas playthrough, you’ve come to the right place. I’ve compiled everything you need to know about FNV’s most complex companion in this Craig Boone guide.
I’ll be going light on the spoilers, so don’t worry about ruining the experience for yourself. All I’m doing is showing you how, you get to figure out the why for yourself.
Bottom Line Up Front
- Boone’s recruitment quest can be obtained by speaking to him in Novac.
- Boone hates the Legion and will attack them on sight.
- Boone uses a powerful sniper rifle.
- Boone’s companion quest can be started by killing certain Legionnaires during missions.
- Character Location: Novac.
- Related Quests: One For My Baby / I Forgot to Remember to Forget.
- Recruitment Cost: None (Quest Completion).
- Weapon: Boone’s Scoped Hunting Rifle.
- Faction Alignment: NCR.
Boone isn’t exactly a sight for sore eyes. When you find him, he’ll be wearing a filthy Merc Grunt outfit complete with sweat-stained t-shirt, a pair of Sunglasses to hide the fact that he hasn’t had a good night’s sleep in years, and his old First Recon Beret. For all intents and purposes, he’s just a stoic dude. A badass killer that hides his emotions.
That’s partially true, but there’s a whole world of hurt behind those dead eyes. Something you’ll find out yourself once you manage to take Boone out of Novac. You’re going to be forcing him to confront his past traumas, effectively playing therapist. A homicidal and maniacal therapist, but one all the same.
As an NCR Veteran, it should come as no surprise that Boone is, well, aligned with the NCR. Despite retiring from the military, he still considers them his people. So if you plan on siding against the NCR for your playthrough, consider getting Boone’s quest done before you make them your enemy.
You still have a little bit of wiggle room with Boone when you’re not acting in favor of the NCR. The same cannot be said for Ceaser’s Legion. Boone will attack them onsight making him the only companion in the game that is constantly hostile to one of the four main factions. This means that you’ll need to leave him behind any time you need to parlay with Legionnaires, such as when you have to go to the Fort to speak with Ceaser himself.
Boone’s Key Moments/Quest Triggers
All of the characters in Fallout New Vegas have a mechanic called history points. These points effectively serve as quest triggers. They involve you doing specific things with your companion to get them to open up to you, eventually unlocking their companion quest and the upgrades that come with that.
History point triggers are missable. Boone has to be in your party while you do any of the following things in order to earn the associated points. If you complete too many of these without Boone in your party, you will not be able to earn his side quest without using console commands.
With that disclaimer out of the way, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that literally all of Boone’s quest triggers involve killing Legionnaires. So, if you plan on completing I Forgot to Remember to Forget (Boone’s Quest) before siding with the legion, do it before you confront Benny on the Strip. This way, you’ll be able to rack up as much bad blood with the Legion as you’d like before the slate gets wiped clean in Vegas.
I’m going to assume that only 1% of you out there are actually going to be playing with the Legion, especially for your first playthrough. It would take a certain kind of monster to do that. So, you, the average Fallout New Vegas enjoyer, shouldn’t have to worry about pissing the Legion off. You’ll be fighting them in 75% of the game’s endings anyways.
Boone’s Quest Triggers
You need to get at least five history points with Boone to trigger his quest. Remember, you can only get these points if Boone is in your party. You also need to have spoken to either Manny Vargas (Novac) or Bitter-Root (Camp McCarran) about the Bitter Springs incident.
- Kill Vulpes Inculta – 1 History Point.
- Kill Silus during the Silus Treatment quest in Camp McCarran (legitimately an NCR war crime) – 1 History Point.
- Confront and kill the spy during the quest I Put a Spell on You in Camp McCarran – 1 History Point.
- Kill Ceaser at the Fort (this will prevent you from doing a Legion playthrough) – 2 History Points.
- Rescue the enslaved Powder Gangers during the Booted Quest – 2 History Points.
- During Back in Your Own Backyard
- Mercy kill all the NCR captives – 1 History Point.
- Rescue all the NCR captives – 2 History Points.
- Eradicate all the Legion in Cottonwood Cove during the Eye for an Eye quest – 2 History Points.
If you’re looking for the path of least resistance, you should rescue the Powder Gangers, rescue the NCR captives, and either kill Silus or kill the spy. These three will earn you enough points to start I Forgot to Remember to Forget without crossing the Legion too badly.
It’s worth pointing out that Boone will have extra dialogue for each point you earn with him. If there’s one thing you should take away from this Craig Boone guide, it’s that you should be exploring his dialogue. He is one of the most interesting and nuanced characters in all of Fallout New Vegas, so do yourself a favor and actually have a chat with the man.
One for My Baby
When you first meet Boone, he’s going to ask for your help. He’ll explain that his wife was kidnapped by Legionnaires (hence the hatred) and that he believes someone inside Novac sold her out. As a stranger, you’re in a perfect position to do some snooping and figure out just who the culprit is.
He’ll tell you to bring the one responsible in front of Dinky the Dino (yes, that’s the dinosaur’s name) while Boone is on guard, meaning between 9 PM and 9 AM. He’ll also give you his First Recon Beret and tell you to put it on when you’re with them.
Ask Around Novac for Information on Who Kidnapped Boone’s Wife
There are a few NPCs of note, but the only one you need to speak with for this quest is No-bark Noonan. Noonan is a seemingly crazy old man that spends his days peeping through the windows at the back of the motel. You’ll be able to recognize him pretty easily by the fact that he’s the only one wearing rags instead of clothes.
Speak to No-bark about Boone’s wife and he’ll tell you something about the Dino Dee-Lite lobby, prompting your quest to update.
Look for Evidence of the Guilty Part Inside the Dino Dee-Lite Lobby
You’d be forgiven for not even knowing about this place until this quest. I didn’t notice it myself until I was trying to recruit Boone for the first time.
Essentially, it’s a small motel lobby directly next to the main gate into Novac. This is where Jeannie May spends her days. You can purchase one of the motel rooms from her to act as a player home. The price of the room will depend on your reputation with Novac. You can get access to the room both before and after completing this quest, so don’t worry about locking yourself out of it.
Head into the Lobby at night time so that there’s nobody around. Behind the counter, you’ll find a safe with an easy lock. Inside the safe is a Bill of Sale that proves Jeannie May Crawford sold Boone’s wife to the Legion. If you can’t pick the safe, the key can also be pickpocketed from Jeannie herself.
This proves that Jeannie is the one that sold Boone and his Mrs out and will progress your quest to the next step.
Send Someone in Front of Dinky the Dinosaur. Put the Beret on to Signal Boone That This is the Culprit
When the game tells you to send someone in front of Dinky, it means anyone. It doesn’t have to be Jeannie May if, for some reason, you want to keep her incredibly obnoxious head attached to her body.
Keep in mind that if you don’t send Jeannie, or you send her without having the Bill of Sale in your possession, you’ll need to pass a level 55 Speech check to convince Boone you had the right person. If you don’t, he’ll throw a tantrum and you’ll miss out on becoming best buds forever (lock yourself out of recruiting him as a companion).
For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to assume you have the Bill of Sale and that you’re sending Jeannie May to die because, you know, it’s the right thing to do. So find her at nighttime in her house outside of the main town (you can see it on your local map). Talk to her and tell her to follow you out in front of the dinosaur. She’ll agree because, well, why not?
Once you get there, go into your inventory and equip the Beret. Boone will make her brain go boom, at which point you’ll be told to return to him.
Return to Boone
Once you head back to Boone, he’ll take his Beret back and ask how you knew it was her. You can either present him with a Bill of Sale or pass the previously mentioned Speech check. Either option results in the quest completing and Boone being recruitable as a companion.
If you forgot to buy the Novac player house from Jeannie before her untimely demise, you can purchase it from Cliff in the Dino Dee-Lite giftshop, instead.
I Forgot to Remember to Forget
I Forgot to Remember to Forget is the poetic culmination of Boone’s entire story. It’s something that you should experience for yourself, so for the sake of that, I won’t be telling you any of the plot or narrative implications of it. I will, however, guide you through the steps you need to complete the quest.
Travel to Bitter Springs with Boone
Once you get all five history points with Boone, he’ll ask you to travel to Bitter Springs with him. You’ll understand the importance and implications of this at this point by talking to him throughout your playthrough.
I Forgot to Remember to Forget is a very dialogue-heavy quest. It’s a rich story climax as opposed to an action set piece, so be prepared for that. There is a little fighting, but this is much more about Boone and his past than it is about fighting some baddies.
Go With Boone to Coyote Tail Ridge
When you travel to Bitter Springs, your quest will prompt you to head to Coyote Tail Ridge. This is a marked location down the road from Bitter Springs, overlooking a pass through the mountains that leads to the camp.
Talk to Boone About Staying Overnight at Coyote Tail Ridge
Once you’ve arrived at the Ridge, Boone will have some dialogue. He’ll then ask you if the two of you can stay at Coyote Tail Ridge overnight. Agree to his request and your game will fade out and skip to the next morning.
Talk to Boone
When you wake up, Boone will mention that he spotted a massive Legion raiding party. Willing to make a final last stand to atone for his sins, Boone will tell you that he’s staying at Bitter Springs to repel the raiders. You, being the great friend that you are, will of course agree to stay and fight with him.
Go to the Bitter Springs Refugee Camp and Repel the Legion Raid
For low-level or otherwise underprepared players, this fight can actually be pretty tough. Legionnaires are difficult enemies, they have strong armor and use some of the best weapons in the game, so don’t go into this fight expecting a complete walk in the park.
There are three waves of raiders, each spawning in a different location outside the entrance to Bitter Springs. You’ll need to kill every single one of them to progress the quest.
Talk to Boone
Once all of the raiders are dead, Boone will speak to you. At this point, the quest is considered done and you’ll be prompted with a final choice much like you are with the rest of the companions in the game.
The choice you pick will affect which armor Boone wears for the remainder of your playthrough. Both have the same stats, but look a little different from one another. They are both variants of the NCR Trooper Armor.
The most important consequence of this choice is on Boone’s ending. The path you go down will have direct implications on Boone’s slide after you finish the story, so make sure you think long and hard about the road you want him to take.
Boone’s Companion Perk
Boone’s signature companion perk is called Spotter. It’s not particularly helpful, although sniper players may get some use out of it.
The perk will cause any enemies to be highlighted in red while you’re aiming down your sights or using a scope. This can make targets easier to see at long ranges and subsequentially makes them easier to hit. If it’s nighttime and you’re using a night vision scope, your targets will glow green, instead.
One caveat to this perk is that it won’t highlight enemies that are cloaked. Meaning any Nightkin or Nightstalkers you stumble across will still be invisible.
How to Find Boone in Fallout New Vegas
You should be able to find Boone by following Fallout New Vegas’ main questline. Specifically, during the course of They Went That-a-Way.
You’ll constantly be told to head to “Novac, through Nipton” at the start of your Fallout New Vegas run. If you decide to take this advice instead of B-lining it to Vegas through the Deathclaws at Quarry Junction, you’ll end up speaking to Manny Vargas in Novac. He’s the town’s daytime guard and can be found in the mouth of the giant dinosaur. Boone is Manny’s nighttime equivalent, meaning you can find him in the same prehistoric oral cavity during the night (9 PM to 9 AM).
Speak to him and he’ll give you the quest One for My Baby. Complete that successfully and you’ll have the option to take him along as a companion, giving you access to his history points and Spotter perk.
Craig Boone’s Playstyle
Boone is an ex-First Recon Sharpshooter. In other words, he’s a sniper. Keep him using his Scoped Hunting Rifle and he’ll make short work of a lot of human enemies. While he struggles a little bit against larger creatures, he still does great damage. He generally one-shots Geckos and Freeside Thugs, as well as hard-to-hit enemies like Bloatflies.
Switch him to his melee weapon, however, and all you’re getting is a glorified meat shield. Boone doesn’t have much defense or health to begin with, so the last thing you want him to be doing is running down enemies with a Knife. This goes double for anyone playing on Hardcore. It’s exceptionally hard to keep your companions alive in this mode, so don’t put yourself through that pain.
If you want to use Boone as optimally as possible, make sure he’s using ranged attacks and tell him to keep his distance from you. This will ensure he’s as far away from enemies as possible while also still being able to attack.
Oh, and don’t forget that having him in your party makes all Ceaser’s Legion members immediately hostile, with the exception of Vulpes Incluta while he’s undercover on the strip. So if you’re going to be venturing into areas with Legion patrols, or need to speak with Legion members, consider leaving Boone behind.
Likewise, if you intend to do any damaging actions to the NCR, you should also let Boone stay on the bench. He won’t immediately leave you for working against the NCR, but if your reputation is low enough, he will give you a single chance to improve it. If you don’t, he will leave you completely and will no longer be recruitable.
Key Relationships and Quotes
Manny Vargas is the daytime spotter for Novac and Boone’s former best friend. The two served in the NCR army together and both retired after the Bitter Springs incident, although Manny was not there for it.
The relationship between Boone and Manny soured after Boone met Carla and the two are no longer friends.
Carla Boone is Craig Boone’s wife. She is only ever mentioned by name and cannot be found within Fallout New Vegas.
Craig and Carla met while the former was on military leave on the New Vegas Strip. It wasn’t long before the two fell in love and got married. After the Bitter Springs incident, the pair, along with Manny Vargas, moved to Novac.
Carla died before the events of Fallout New Vegas take place.
Question: Can You Kill Boone in Fallout New Vegas?
Answer: Boone can be killed by the player at any time if they are in Hardcore mode. Regular mode players will need to turn Boone hostile through dialogue in order to make him killable. Otherwise, he is marked as essential and cannot be killed.
Question: Can You Get Boone’s Sniper Rifle in Fallout New Vegas?
Answer: Boone’s Scoped Hunting Rifle is only obtainable through glitching or console commands on Fallout New Vegas for PC. Even with it equipped, you cannot use the weapon as it requires MCA ammo to be chambered. This ammo does not exist outside of companion’s inventories. Once you have obtained Boone’s rifle, you cannot give it back to him, or pick it up once you drop it.
Question: Does Boone Care if You Steal in Fallout New Vegas?
Answer: Boone does not care if you steal in Fallout New Vegas. You will still suffer a karma loss for theft, but it will not impact his perception of you.
So, there you have it. I’ve tried to keep this Boone companion guide as spoiler-free as possible, so I hope it doesn’t take away from the experience for you.
Even if you’re not a fan of dialogue and lengthy plots, do yourself a favor and invest in Boone’s history. It’s a prime example of what Fallout New Vegas did so well and why it’s considered the best of all the 3D Fallout games.
If that doesn’t convince you, at least know that Boone is a great companion purely for combat. He deals outstanding damage and is perfectly suited to compliment a sniper rifle playthrough.
So, for gameplay or story, pick Boone up at Novac and see him through his trauma. It’s worth it on all fronts.