Fallout: New Vegas is a daunting game, the sheer amount of quests, contents, secrets and mechanics at play can often overwhelm even the most grizzled wasteland wanderer.
To help you survive and thrive in New Vegas we grabbed Prima Guide writer David SJ Hodgson and forced him to give us a few key tips for Fallout: New Vegas.
Top of the class: When creating your character, stick with an archetype and pour points into your three specialised Skills first. These round out your character once they approach 70-80 points. For the most well-rounded character, it makes one of these three Skills combat-related (Guns, Energy, Melee, Unarmed), one 'living off the land' (Survival, Repair, Medicine) and one around socialising (Barter, Speech).
Bookworm: There's no need to ever raise a skill to 100 points, as Skill Books (which give a small but permanent boost) and Skill Magazines (a temporary, larger boost) can help with the hardest conversations, barters and hacking. You should also carry clothing that offers bonuses to aid in tasks; an outfit for combat, survival and speech means you'll never have to max out one stat.
Sklls for kills: If you're going to spread points about always try to end up with a zero: you'll often require Medical scores of 30 or 50 Lockpicking, for example, so it's no use stopping at 29 or 49! High Speechcraft is absolutely essential, as is Science - especially now key skills are integrated into numerous dialogue options.
Buddy backup: Companions can prove a great complement to your play style. Firstly, you can have up to two; one humanoid (Boone, Cass, Raul or Lily) and one robotic (Rex the dog, ED-E the Eyebot). Each also grants you a free perk when accompanying you. For example, if you're a ranged specialist, pick Veronica (great at close combat).
For a Repair boost, rescue Raul. For a great Companion combo, Boone and ED-E offer excellent Perception perks that provide long-range scanning capabilities - you'll never be ambushed again!
Perked up: If you're in New Vegas for the long haul (and who isn't?) then it's often worth going with 'Intense Training' and 'Swift Learner' rather than the more exciting-sounding 'Math Wrath' or 'Laser Commander' perks. Intense Training is especially ace, because - when used in conjunction with a high Intelligence score - it gives you massive skill points to distribute whenever you level up.
Wild at heart: 'Wild Wasteland' - is it worth it? We'd hazard a boring 'nope'. 'Lady Killer' or 'Confirmed Bachelor' comes in handy. 'Snag Tag!' offers a serious skill point boost. If attempting Hardcore mode, 'Rad Child' is a no-brainer.
CAP'S THE WAY TO DO IT...
Easy money: A good way to make a load of caps is to visit every casino and play Blackjack. Roulette and Slots are chance; Blackjack factors in tactical play and a high Luck skill. Each Casino has a cut-off point to learn - the plan is to take the casinos for just under their payout limit. This way you can enjoy the benefits (food and Combat Armour) and live the life of a high roller.
Caravan man: Get handy at Caravan by buying up as many extra cards from traders as possible to build incredible decks.
Rare wares: Keep an eye out for rare Snow Globes too. They're often worth a small fortune to the right collector, as are blue-star Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps. They're a precious commodity in New Vegas and if you bag a certain number something very interesting happens...