Fallout: New Vegas FAQ

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Production and release details


What is Fallout: New Vegas?

Fallout: New Vegas is a futuristic post-apocalyptic RPG set in an alternate universe based on 50s sci-fi pulp fiction, as if the world had stopped during the optimistic 50s and found itself in a dystopian post-apocalyptic reality. It makes use of the gameplay style of Bethesda Softworks' Fallout 3,[1] however, with a brand new story and setting.

Is it Fallout 4?

No, Fallout 4 will be a separate future project that will likely be developed by Bethesda Game Studios itself. For more information, see: Fallout 4 FAQ.

Will it be an MMORPG?

It is a Single-Player game, like previous Fallouts. However, Interplay licensed the rights to a Fallout MMORPG from Bethesda in 2007 simply called Fallout Online. Bethesda recently moved to rescind the Fallout MMORPG license, claiming that Interplay is in breach of the licensing agreement. Interplay disputes these claims.

For more details, see: Project V13 FAQ.

Is it some kind of add-on?

No, unlike the add-on packs, it is a standalone game.

Will it feature exclusive add-ons/DLC, like Fallout 3?

It has been confirmed Obsidian is working on an add-on that will be coming out shortly after New Vegas's release. Its first add-on, Dead Money was released on the 21st of December, 2010 for the Xbox 360 and on the 22nd of February, 2011 for PS3 and PC. The second add-on, Honest Hearts, was released on Xbox 360 and GfWL on the 17th of May, 2011. Its third add-on, Old World Blues, was released simultaneously on all platforms on the 19th of July, 2011. The fourth and final add-on, Lonesome Road, was originally supposed to be released in late August, but was delayed and was released on the 20th September, 2011 for all platforms.

Does it use the Fallout 3 engine?

Yes. J.E. Sawyer says:

We have the GECK as well as all art source and code source. We coordinate the viability of any given addition/change with Bethesda since they have a decade-ish of experience with the technology base.[2]

Who is making and publishing Fallout: New Vegas?

Fallout: New Vegas was developed by Obsidian Entertainment and published by Bethesda Softworks.

What is Fallout: New Vegas rated?

It is rated M (Mature) by the ESRB in the United States and 18 in the UK.

Release date(s)

When was it released?

October 19, 2010 (US) October 22, 2010 (EU)


What platforms is it released for?

Like Fallout 3, the game is released for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Will it require Windows 7?

Fallout: New Vegas works on PCs running either Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7.

What DRM will it use?

Fallout: New Vegas uses Steamworks for PC Digital rights management (DRM).

Development team

Was it made by people who made previous Fallouts?

Yes, it was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, which was founded by some of the people who worked on Fallout, Fallout 2 and Van Buren at Interplay/Black Isle Studios.

Who is on the team?

J.E. Sawyer, who previously worked on Van Buren, is the project director and lead designer. Chris Avellone, who worked on Fallout 2, Van Buren and wrote the Fallout Bible is a senior designer. For the full list of known developers see: Fallout: New Vegas developers.

Other people at Obsidian who worked on previous Fallout games include Feargus Urquhart, Chris Jones, Chris Parker and Darren Monahan. At least some of them are likely to be on the New Vegas team.



Is the SPECIAL character system used in the game?

Yes, SPECIAL is used in the game.

How does character creation look?

The first part of the game is part character creation, part role-playing. It starts with your character being found almost dead by Victor and Doctor Mitchell, and you pick your stats, skills etc. through psychological tests.

What are the main stats?

The main statistics are the same, since otherwise it couldn't be named SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck). You have 40 character points to divide among your stats (all 7 stats start at 5 and you have 5 more points to distribute). They can't be lower than 1 nor higher than 10.

What are the skills in Fallout: New Vegas?

Some of the skills in Fallout 3, like Explosives and Medicine return, while the classic Small Guns and Big Guns have been merged into the Guns skill from Van Buren. Melee Weapons has been renamed to Melee, and a skill called Survival has been added as a parallel to the Outdoorsman skill from Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics.

What about perks?

Perks are gained every two levels. For a list of the known perks, see Fallout: New Vegas perks.

How about traits?

Yes. During character creation, you will have the option to select zero, one, or two traits. Traits include some of the classics and new ones (such as Four Eyes).

Is there a level limit?

Yes. Obsidian has assured us that the level limit has been capped at 30. But add-ons will bring this up to 50, 5 levels for each add-on makes for a final level cap of 30 + 4 x 5 = 50.

Does your character in Fallout 3 carry over?

No. New Vegas shares no save data with Fallout 3 and vice versa.


Gameplay works like Fallout 3's gameplay on the occasion of slight differences.


Is the combat turn-based or real-time?

Unlike Fallout and Fallout 2, which were turn-based, and like Fallout 3, New Vegas uses a real time with pause system.

There are two combat modes; real-time first- or third-person combat and V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). Real-time combat takes into account factors such as weapon condition and a character's skill level in that weapon category, but accuracy depends greatly on the player's skill in aiming the targeting reticule.

The V.A.T.S. mode uses AP (Action Points), of which a character has a limited supply, depending on a number of factors, and weapons require different quantities of AP per use in V.A.T.S. mode. There are two phases in V.A.T.S. mode; targeting and execution. In the targeting phase, time freezes and the player can choose which enemy to target, then which body part to target (except in the case of melee or unarmed attacks), with all targets displaying a percentage 'chance to hit' based solely on the weapon's attributes and the character's skill level, while the impact of a player's skill is seen only in the assessment of tactical options, i.e. which enemy or body part to target. Players can target as many different enemies and/or body parts as they wish, as long as there are sufficient AP.

Once the player commits to a choice of targets, the execution phase begins. In slow motion cinematic mode the player witnesses the results of their choices in the targeting phase. During this phase enemies may continue to move and attack, though in slow motion, so they may avoid attacks by moving behind an obstruction or attack the character. Although successful attacks on the character during this phase do considerably less damage than usual, it's possible to sustain a crippling injury that will have a detrimental effect on subsequent attacks in the execution queue.

When all the actions the player chose in the targeting phase have been executed, time returns to normal, and any AP spent begins to regenerate.

What is V.A.T.S.?

The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S. is the active pause system. While using V.A.T.S., the otherwise real-time combat is paused. Various actions cost action points, and both the player and enemies can target specific body areas for attacks, inflicting specific injuries.

What are the available weapons and armors?

For a list of known Fallout: New Vegas weapons and armors, see:

Other gameplay questions

Is there a multiplayer mode?

There is no multiplayer mode, like in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout 3.

Is first or third perspective used?

Like Fallout 3, it will allow you to use both first and third-person perspective. It was also stated during a video interview that it is now possible to aim firearms properly while in third person (which wasn't entirely possible in Fallout 3, especially for near targets).

Are there be any changes to gameplay mechanics?

There are some minor changes, rebalancing weapon stats and the reintroduction of Damage Threshold. The biggest change is the inclusion of a hardcore mode.

What is the hardcore mode?

Aside from the normal gameplay mode, which is similar to how Fallout 3 is played, the game includes an optional "hardcore mode", in which the character needs to drink water, eat food, sleep to survive, and where stimpaks no longer heal instantly and ammunition has weight. Hardcore mode has no impact on damage dealt or received.

Will there be any houses you live in?

Several houses will be available for player use, including a penthouse suite in the Lucky 38 casino.

Are there any collectibles, like Vault-tec bobbleheads?

Yes, Snowglobes can be collected for profit as well as Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap. Collectibles don't seem to provide stat increases like the bobbleheads of Fallout 3 however.



When is Fallout: New Vegas set? How long after the previous games?

The game is set in 2281, exactly 204 years after the Great War, 120 years after the start of Fallout, 40 years after Fallout 2 and 4 years after Fallout 3.

What is the main quest?

Your player character is a courier who was meant to deliver a certain package. However, the protagonist is attacked and left for dead in the desert, and then saved by a robot named Victor and Doctor Mitchell. The courier must now discover who the attackers were and what was in the package they wanted.

Where is the game set?

Fallout: New Vegas is set in the Mojave Desert, mainly in the city of New Vegas and its surroundings.

Does the story continue the plot of the previous games?

It is not a direct continuation of any of the previous games, but there will be references to the events of all three previous Fallout RPGs.

Can I continue playing after finishing the main quest?

No, the game will end after you complete the main quest like in Fallout and Fallout 3 without the Broken Steel add-on. There will be a message that appears before you "pass the point of no return", so you can consider going back if you wish to continue playing.


Is Fallout: New Vegas canon?

Yes, there is no reason for it not to be treated as a canon part of the series.

Is Van Buren treated as canon?

While Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios is not treated as fully canon, Fallout: New Vegas will reuse many of its ideas, like Caesar's Legion or the Powder Gangs, which will be incorporated into the canon as such.

Super mutants

Are super mutants going to be in Fallout: New Vegas?

Super mutants will indeed appear in Fallout: New Vegas.

They look different from the ones in Fallout and Fallout 2. Are they from the East Coast?

While the super mutants in Fallout: New Vegas do indeed look more similar to the ones in Fallout 3 than the ones in previous games, they are meant to be Mariposa super mutants, not their East Coast counterparts. The models have been reskinned and partially remodeled to more closely resemble Mariposa super mutants.


Do ghouls appear in Fallout: New Vegas?

Yes, ghouls are definitely in Fallout: New Vegas.

What factions appear in the game?

The main factions are the New California Republic, Caesar's Legion and the New Vegas locals. Other, minor factions include the Powder Gangers, Crimson Caravan, and the Brotherhood of Steel.

Brotherhood of Steel

Is the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout: New Vegas?

Yes, although it is not be one of the main factions. While it plays a minor role, as in Fallout 2, the player is at least required to make contact with the Brotherhood (however briefly) as part of any of the main quest paths. Additionally, one of the non-player character companions is a Brotherhood scribe.

The Enclave

Does the Enclave appear in Fallout: New Vegas?

An Enclave eyebot named ED-E appears in the game as a companion, and a few ex-Enclave survivors from Navarro also exist as a minor faction which may be recruited to the player's cause. However, it is possible to complete the main plot without encountering the Enclave at all.


What creatures from previous games reappear?

The iconic two-headed brahmin, as well as ghouls, super mutants, mirelurk kings (as lakelurks), deathclaws, radscorpions, mantises, and Fallout 2's Geckos all appear in Fallout: New Vegas.

What new creatures are going to appear in the game?

New creatures include the bighorner, cazador, and nightstalker.


Do any characters from previous games return?

None of the characters from Fallout 3 return; characters might obliquely refer to the occurrences "back east." Marcus, the friendly super mutant from Fallout 2, makes an appearance in Fallout: New Vegas.