Fallout New Vegas Best Attributes -What To Invest In?

Sure, you’re special. But are you S.P.E.C.I.A.L.?

What are the most useful Fallout: New Vegas attributes?

Hello again, my fellow Wastelanders. I’m back with more Fallout: New Vegas content. This time we are delving deep into the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes and learning which are the best and worst places to sink your points. Like most things in the Fallout universe, attributes are extremely customizable for your needs. This guide will help explain what each does and how to use it to your advantage. 

Anyone who has played the Fallout games is familiar with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute system. S stands for Strength, P for Perception, E for Endurance, C for Charisma, I for Intelligence, A for Agility, and L for Luck. Each of these attributes affects your game in different ways. Read on to see how you can build a better character by maximizing your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. skills for your build. 

7. Strength

Strength is a must-have for hoarders who feel it is their mission to clean up the Wasteland one tin can at a time. 

Starting off strong (pun intended), we have strength. Use this attribute to carry more and hit harder. A lot of weapons have a strength requirement. Not meeting the strength requirement of a weapon will take a heavy toll on your accuracy. 

Invest in Strength If…

  • You intend to make a build focused on melee weapons. You’ll hit harder.
  • You are a hoarder who will pick up everything you find. You’ll have more carry capacity.
  • You plan to use weapons with high Strength requirements.

Strength Details:

  • Modifies: Melee Weapons Skill, Melee Damage, Inventory Carry Weight, and whether the Courier is strong enough to use a weapon
  • Strength-Related Perks: Heave Ho!, Strong Back, Stonewall, Super Slam!, Heavyweight, Unstoppable Force, Weapon Handling, Burden to Bear
  • You can gain permanent Strength upgrades with the Strength Implant, the Intense Training perk, taking the Reinforced Spine perk after completing the Old World Blues DLC, or completing either The Apocalypse or The End quest to choose an attribute to boost. 

6. Perception

Sense your enemies before the fight begins and you will always have the upper hand. 

I always invest in Perception because I want to know where my enemies are long before I can see them. The biggest bonus Perception offers is increasing the distance at which the Courier notices threats (red compass marks). While the game offers you other ways to boost your Perception score, don’t discount Perception as a valuable attribute. 

Invest in Perception If…

  • You plan a stealthy build that wants to be aware of enemies well ahead of a fight. Sometimes the best way to win a fight is to avoid it. 
  • You want to take the Better Criticals perk. And who wouldn’t?
  • You use energy weapons. I love a good laser or plasma rifle. 

Perception Details:

  • Modifies: Explosives Skill, Lockpick Skill, Energy Weapons Skill, and the distance at which the Courier detects creatures and people
  • Perception-Related Perks: Friend of the Night, Alertness, Sniper, Hobbler, Light Step, Better Criticals, and Infiltrator
  • Perception-Related Traits: Four Eyes

5. Endurance 

If you want to take a hard hit and power through, Endurance is the attribute for you.

Endurance is a versatile skill that brings you more hit points, affects your resistances, and determines how many implants you can get. You must have Endurance 9 to get all of the implants. Raise your Endurance and run through the Wasteland “built solid as an oak,” as Doc Mitchell would say. 

Invest in Endurance If…

  • You plan to take any of the Endurance-based perks. There are some great ones on the list.
  • You want to be harder to kill. More hit points mean you survive longer. 
  • You want to get all of the Implants. So many to choose from, you can’t go wrong with them all!

Endurance Details:

  • Modifies: Unarmed Skill, Survival Skill, Hit Points, Radiation Resistance, Poison Resistance, Implants
  • Endurance-Related Perks: Lead Belly, Life Giver, Long Haul, Old World Gourmet, Rad Absorption, Rad Resistance, Solar Powered, Stonewall, Strong Back, Toughness
  • Gain a permanent Endurance boost from the Endurance Implant, Intense Training perk, or complete either The Apocalypse or The End quest to choose an attribute to boost. 

4. Charisma 

Are you a smooth talker who can sweet-talk your way out of anything? Do you want to be? Level Charisma and find out!

Take a trip through the Mojave as the silver-tongued Courier. Buy and sell for the best prices when you visit vendors and enjoy companions who stay by your side through thick and thin. For me, Charisma is a vital skill, but I do lean heavily into the role play aspect of New Vegas. 

Invest in Charisma If…

  • You want to have all possible speech options. I like to have my choices.
  • You plan to buy and sell a lot of items to vendors. I pick up everything and have to clean out my inventory often. 
  • You want the strongest companions possible. Companions have +50% damage and armor at 10 Charisma. 

Charisma Details:

  • Modifies: NPC Disposition toward the Courier, Barter, Speech, and Companion Nerve
  • Charisma-Related Perks: Animal Friend, Ferocious Loyalty
  • Gain a permanent Charisma boost from the Endurance Implant, Intense Training perk, or complete either The Apocalypse or The End quest to choose an attribute to boost. 

3. Intelligence 

The smarter you are, the faster you learn. 

While a low-intelligence build can be fun for a playthrough to experience the changes it brings, I tend toward high-intelligence characters. I want to earn the maximum number of skill points per level and I often take many of the Intelligence-related perks on every playthrough. 

Invest in Intelligence If…

  • You want to build your skills faster. Higher Intelligence means more skill points at each level.
  • You use healing items and repair gear often. Both are vital in the Wasteland.
  • You want access to the many intelligence-related dialogue options. I like access to as many choices as possible.

Intelligence Details:

  • Modifies: The number of skill points the Courier receives per level, Dialogue options, Medicine, Repair, and Science
  • Intelligence-Related Perks: Comprehension, Computer Whiz, Educated, Entomologist, Nerd Rage!, Pack Rat, Retention, and Swift Learner
  • Gain a permanent Intelligence boost from the Endurance Implant, Intense Training perk, or complete either The Apocalypse or The End quest to choose an attribute to boost. 

2. Agility

“Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee.”

Agility lets you do many things in the Mojave. It determines how many Action Points you get to fight the enemy, how well you sneak, and how fast you reload. I am a big fan of stealth builds, so Agility is always an important attribute for me. 

Invest in Agility If…

  • You want to be able to make lots of attacks in V.A.T.S. without stopping. Just empty the whole clip.
  • You plan on any kind of stealth build. I like to be sneaky. 
  • You play with a gunslinger build that relies on fast reload times. There’s a new “fastest gun in the West.”

Agility Details:

  • Modifies: Action Points available in V.A.T.S., Guns Skill, Sneak Skill, Draw/Holster Speed, Reload Speed
  • Agility-Related Perks: Action Boy/Action Girl, Light Step, Light Touch, Rapid Reload, Silent Running, Slayer, Sniper, Quick Draw
  • Agility-Related Traits: Small Frame

1. Luck 

I’m feeling lucky today. Maybe it’s time to explore that old Vault I heard about. How bad could it be?

I love the way Luck works in New Vegas. It serves to make a game that I know so well into something new every time I play. I always look forward to an unexpected visit from the Mysterious Stranger or Miss Fortune. I like to win at the casinos and live the High Roller life. And the Luck perks are some of the best in the game. 

Invest in Luck If…

  • You like to win at the casinos. Luck of 7 or higher is required to win with regularity. 
  • You want full access to options for quests. Some quest options require Luck 9. 
  • You plan a build based around Critical Chance. Who doesn’t want to hit harder more often?

Luck Details:

  • Modifies: All Skills, Critical Chance, Odd of Winning in Casino Games, Some Random Encounters
  • Luck-Related Perks: Better Criticals, Fortune Finder, Junk Rounds, Miss Fortune, Mysterious Stranger, and Scrounger
  • Gain a permanent Luck boost from the Endurance Implant, Intense Training perk, or complete either The Apocalypse or The End quest to choose an attribute to boost. 

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An impetuous gnome artificer in the wilds of Ohio, Amanda maintains there's no problem you can't role play your way out of - and she's proven it. Sometimes, chaotic stupid is an alignment.
Gamer Since: 1990
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Fallout: New Vegas (modded); Assassin's Creed: Valhalla; Resident Evil: Village;
Top 3 Favorite Games:BioShock, Fallout: New Vegas, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

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