Energy Weapon Laser Build

Energy Weapon Laser Build - Fallout: New Vegas (FNV)

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the best Energy Weapon build for Fallout: New Vegas. I will be going in-depth on the main attributes, skills, and gear. Moreover, for many Fallout players, some roleplaying background is necessary and I will also include that, which is totally optional.

Backstory - Energy Weapon Build

Your name is Atom Thompson, a vault dweller who lived in one of the vaults where energy technology was important and everyone had a scientific background. You worked under the Overseer to test new energy weapons in combat simulations. Everyone knew the day would come when the doors would open. The mystery is - what lies beneath? Is it safe?

energy weapon build backstory fallout new vegas

Unfortunately, this day came, when there was a malfunction and the doors opened. This was a tunnel that was a base for the Raiders. They instantly swarmed the Vault and only a handful of dwellers managed to escape. This includes Atom, who had sufficient combat experience from the simulations

You decided that you want a peaceful life, and that was rewarded - working as a courier. Unfortunately, one day you get the wrong package and you see yourself shot in the head. You wake up at Doc's Mitchell house...

Roleplaying

As Atom you would not start any type of conflict and would try to resolve most of them without combat. However, this would not always work out as he was not really a charismatic person and most of his persuasion would fail.

Atom would of course be an expert in combat with Energy weapons from his simulation training. Energy weapons are perfect to scare away many people in the wasteland as they would not understand their destructive capabilities. He would also understand how to calibrate them for maximum effectiveness. The first Deathclaw he encountered was turned to ashes in two shots

energy weapon build combat fallout new vegas

The computer knowledge allowed him to explore other Vaults and learn their secrets. He was also fascinated with all the REPCONN and HELIOS facilities and what they had to offer. The one thing that was a mystery to him was - the Brotherhood of Steel and Remnants. He heard of them but was not able to find them as he was interested in helping them to work with technologies.

energy weapon build combat fallout new vegas

Generally, Atom was not interested in the conflict between the NCR and Legion, however, he would be happy to get a glimpse at Hoover Dams' generators.

Starting the Game

In this section, I would like to go through some recommendations for the Energy Weapon build. This covers only the start of the game, so read the next section on how you should progress and how the end game build should look like.

SPECIAL

Attribute Value Description
fallout new vegas strength attribute specialStrength 4 Strength is needed for weapon-wearing. Moreover, it allows one to carry more. Generally, this should freely allow us to use any rifle. For Heavy weapons, we would need Weapon Handling perk
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 5 Generally, this stat is not as useful, as it does not give a direct impact on damage. However, it will allow the detection of enemies and unlocks some strong perks.
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 8 Gives more HP and will allow additional implants to boost SPECIAL attributes
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 1 For our build this attribute is not necessary, it mainly boosts companion effectiveness
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 6 We mainly take this to get Educated perk and bonus skills. We do not need many skills so lower intelligence is okay
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 8 Increases the number of Action Points for VATS and improves weapon reload speed.
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 8 This a very important stat for this build. It will increase the critical chance. Moreover, it will make winning the casinos easier allowing them to rage in some bottle caps to buy more energy ammo.

Tag Skills

These are the ones that you choose at the beginning of the game. Here is what I recommend:

Skill Description
energy weapons skill fallout new vegasEnergy Weapons The main skill that improves energy weapon damage and unlocks relevant perks.
science skill fallout new vegasScience unlock science-related perks and can use them to craft some energy ammo.
guns skill fallout new vegasGuns It's either Barter or Guns. You will reach 100 with both of them by the end, but I would probably go with Guns, as you will use them at the start until you can get plenty of energy ammo

Traits

The traits are definitely optional and just recommendations.

  • Skilled - is my favorite trait. although it decreases XP gain, it instantly gives 5 skill points to each skill, which is worth the downside. The XP gain decrease can be counteracted by sleeping in an owned bed with a Well Rested buff.
I suggest avoiding the Wild Wasteland perk. It removes one of the strongest unique energy weapons - YCS/186.

Early game tips

The start of the game is particularly rough for the Energy Weapon build. 

  • Energy weapons and ammo are extremely scarce early in the game. You will get some with the start of DLC. However, that is not enough, but once you reach Novac, things will be better as the vendor there gives some good deals
  • Feel free to use Guns. They should not be avoided as you will put some points as the game progresses into them to unlock good perks.

Progression and Final Energy Build

Now I would like to go through the progression for the build and how it should look once "it is done". I will also share some tips and directions to get the most out of it.

SPECIAL

Here is how your attributes should look like when they are maximized and you obtain most of the stuff in the game.

Attribute Value Description
fallout new vegas strength attribute specialStrength 7
  • +2 - Get Reinforced Spine in Old World Blues DLC
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • If you plan on using Heavy Weapons, you could take Divide Survivor after Lonesome Road or get the Weapon Handling perk. Up to you
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 6
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 9
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 1 Nothing special here, as we do not plan to increase it
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 7
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 10
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • +1 - Divide Survivor, obtained with Lonesome Road.
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 9
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • We will gain one more from the Lucky Shades item (with it Luck - 10). Also, you can take the Intense Training perk, if you will not use the glasses

Skills

In this section, I will go through the skills for the Energy Weapon Build

Core build skills

For skills, I would like to recommend the progression below. This will ensure that you get all the skills that you need for the build. Of course, you can still spend 3-5 points at every level on other choices and this will not create any problems.

Order Skill Description
1 science skill fallout new vegasScience 75 Allows unlocking Hard terminals and learning Vigilant Recycler perk
2 energy weapons skill fallout new vegasEnergy Weapons 90 Increases energy weapon damage and allows unlocking most of the energy weapon-related skills
3 science skill fallout new vegasScience 100 Allows unlocking very hard terminals
4 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 60 Allows taking Concentrated Fire perk
5 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 90 Used for Jury Rigging

After this you are free to put the points however, you want and prioritize the things that you think are needed based on your playstyle.

Perks

Although I list the perk in level order of when you should get them, I recommend assuming that this is a list. Different players will prefer getting different skills first, so some of the perks might be available later/earlier.

Level Perk Details
2 rapid reload fallout new vegasRapid Reload This is a very useful skill throughout the game. It will increase your DPS as you reload weapons faster by 25%
4 educated fallout new vegasEducated This skill should be taken as early as possible (level 4), it will give 2 skill points each level up which accumulate a lot during the game
6 vigilant recycler fallout new vegasVigilant Recycler If you manage to get Science to 70, this skill will help you through the game to recoup the costs of the energy weapon's ammo
8 commando fallout new vegasCommando/Gunslinger Gunslinger works with pistols and Commando with rifles. Overall, I recommend using rifles.
10 finesse fallout new vegasFinesse Gives an additional critical chance for more damage, mandatory for this Energy weapon build
12 math wrath fallout new vegasMath Wrath Reduces the cost of AP usage for each VATS shot. In a sense, this also improves the regeneration rate of action points.
14 sniper fallout new vegasSniper Gives a 25% boost to land a headshot with VATS. I also suggest buying a Perception implant otherwise you need to delay this skill. An alternative could be a Life Giver perk
16 better criticals fallout new vegasBetter Criticals As you will land a lot of critical hits this will increase their damage by 50%. Again, here you should have 6 Perception, so either get an implant or take the next perk
18 jury rigging fallout new vegasJury Rigging If you manage to get 90 repairs at this level the skill makes repairing weapons easier. Now you can reuse a wide variety of weapons to sustain the durability of your energy weapons.
20 meltdown fallout new vegasMeltdown A very powerful skill that creates small explosions for a killed enemy with an energy weapon. These explosions can apply sneak criticals and create more explosions.
22 laser commander fallout new vegasLaser Commander Improves damage and critical chance with laser weapons.
24 light touch fallout new vegasLight Touch Increased critical chance by 5% while wearing light armor. Enemies get lowered critical chance
26 Grim Reaper's Sprint fallout new vegasGrim Reaper's Sprint Restores 20 AP after each kill in VATS. This will make combat easier
28 bloody mess fallout new vegasBloody Mess Gives a flat 5% boost to damage. Also creates more gore.
30 plasma spaz fallout new vegasPlasma Spaz Decreases AP cost of all Plasma Weapons. This means that shots in VATS are cheaper. However, if you do not plan on using something like Multiplas Rifle or Q-35 Matter Modulator, then just skip it
32 Action Boy Action Girl fallout new vegasAction Boy/Action Girl Increases the AP, which allows releasing more shots and allows sprinting longer
34 nerves of steel fallout new vegasNerves of Steel Increases Action Points regeneration. Very valuable perk as you will be using VATS often.
36 concentrated fire fallout new vegasConcentrated Fire Subsequent shots with VATS will have a higher hit chance, to ensure the kill
38 life giver fallout new vegasLife Giver Gives 30 HP, which increases survivability.
40 Action Boy Action Girl fallout new vegasAction Boy/Action Girl (2) The second level of the perk for more action points
42 Toughness fallout new vegasToughness Increases Damage Threshold, allowing to take on more damage.
44 certified tech fallout new vegasCertified Tech Makes you more effective against robots, by getting a higher critical chance. Moreover, they give additional loot to make more caps.
46 Any Perk You can take any preferred perk
48 Any Perk You can take any preferred perk
50 thought you died fallout new vegasThought you Died This skill would be the best option. However, if you cannot take it then go for Just Lucky I'm Alive or Ain't Like That Now

Equipment

This section will cover some gear recommendations for the Energy Weapon Build

Weapons

There are a wide array of choices for this build on Energy Weapons. The unfortunate part is that to use them freely and effectively, you have to collect a lot of ammunition

energy weapon build combat 2 fallout new vegas

To maximize the effectiveness of Energy Weapons you should create upgraded ammo at the Workbench. For example, Max Charge Microfusion Cell gives 1.5x damage and a -10 Damage Threshold for the enemy.
Weapon Description
YCS 186 fallout new vegasYCS/186 Probably the most powerful Energy Weapon in the game. Does one shot per clip and uses 4 Microfusion Cells. Cripples the enemy if it doesn't kill it from the shot.
multiplas rifle fallout new vegasMultiplas Rifle A plasma weapon that has fairly slow-traveling projectiles. Moreover, each shot has a separate critical chance if not in VATS. This makes it a substitute for Shotgun weapons and is perfect for close to mid-range combat.
holorifle fallout new vegasHolorifle A fairly strong rifle that also has a unique hologram effect after each shot. It deals additional damage over time. The weapon offers a unique perspective of gameplay as each shot requires a pump. So it is like a Level-action rifle or shotgun more than an assault rifle.
gatling laser fallout new vegasGatling Laser A heavy weapon variant for Energy Weapons skill. Can easily take out hordes of weaker enemies. Becomes very strong with all modifications. The downside is that it requires 8 strength. So you would need to take the Weapon Handling or Intense Training perk.
Sprtel-Wood 9700 fallout new vegasSprtel-Wood 9700 (GRA) A variation of Gatling Laser. The weapon can shred enemies to pieces, especially weaker ones. Perfect against ghouls and others who attack in groups. It only requires 6 strength to use fully. However, it is quite costly.
tri beam laser rifle fallout new vegasTri-Beam Laser Rifle (GRA) An improved version of Laser Rifle dealing triple the damage. has multiple modifications for even more damage. Be sure to get the GRA version as the normal one cannot be modified
Q-35 Matter Modulator fallout new vegasQ-35 Matter Modulator Although not as powerful as other options it has a fast attack speed and very high durability. Perfect to be used with Max Charge ammo
MF Hyperbreeder alpha fallout new vegasMF Hyperbreeder Alpha (GRA) Has unlimited ammunition, making it perfect for simple encounters as you do not need to waste precious ammo like Microfusion Cells. However, it is quite costly so you may look for a simple Recharger Pistol instead, which is the basic variant.

Armor

Although armor is important, due to how New Vegas works, they can be made redundant. Generally, when dealing damage the minimum amount that will be dealt is 20%. This means that you can reach 85% damage reduction with Med-X, Battle Brew, and Slasher. After this, any Damage Threshold (DT) from your armor is redundant
Armor Description
ulysses duster fallout new vegasUlysse's Duster This is hands down one of the best armors. Gives a 5% Crit Chance and also activates Light Touch.
joshua graham's armor fallout new vegasJoshua Graham's Armor Gives a higher Damage Threshold of 15 and a Crit Chance of 3%
elite riot gear fallout new vegasElite Riot Gear Gives a 5% Crit chance boost, however, you lose the effect of Light Touch. On the other side, you gain a very cool-looking armor with minor DPS loss.
Armor of the 87th Tribe fallout new vegasArmor of the 87th Tribe A bulky heavy armor that also gives a bonus critical chance of 3% and 10 AP. Moreover, it has high Health so it means it won't need repairs as often
Gannon family Tesla armor fallout new vegasGannon family Tesla armor I think it would be a sin to not include this armor. Although it does not give any offensive bonuses (once you have Energy Weapons at 100), it perfectly fits the theme of Laser and Plasma weapons. Moreover, it has the highest Damage Threshold out of Medium and Light armor.
combat armor fallout new vegasCombat armor It is a decent early-mid-game armor. Can be quite expensive but there are multiple ways to obtain it.

Helmets

Helmet Description
1st recon berret fallout new vegas1st Recon Beret This is hands down the best helmet to use for maximum DPS. It is one of three headwear that gives this bonus (and the highest)
salt upon wounds helmet fallout new vegasSalt-Upon-Wounds' Helmet Gives +2 Crit Chance and provides a 4 Damage Threshold. Unfortunately, you cannot wear Lucky Shades with it
Elite Riot Gear Helmet fallout new vegasElite Riot Gear Helmet Take this if you would like to introduce sneaking with a unique Sneak Sight effect. However, you cannot wear Lucky Shades with it.

Other

Armor Description
lucky shades fallout new vegasLucky Shades These are a perfect option if you do not use a helmet that covers the face. It gives +1 Luck which ensures you the maximum amount for the highest Crit Chance.
Atomic-valence tri-radii-oscillator fallout new vegasAtomic-Valence Tri-Radii-Oscillator Can be worn together with any helmet. Gives health regeneration and Endurance +1. Moreover, it provides an additional Damage Threshold. Requires Old World Blues DLC
Valence radii-accentuator fallout new vegasValence Radii-Accentuator Can be worn together with any helmet. Gives health regeneration and Endurance +1. Moreover, it provides an additional Damage Threshold. The weaker version of the Atomic-valence Tri-Radii-Oscillator. Requires Old World Blues DLC

Conclusion

Thank you for reading this post on the Energy Weapon build in Fallout New Vegas. I covered the most important aspects like the start of the game and how to progress with your perks. This should give you a guiding hand not get lost in this huge game

Feel free to leave any questions in the comments

Discussion

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Post author zanuffas avatar zanuffas
Gamestegy Founder. I have been writing game guides and builds for 4 years. I like to push myself to create something wonderful for the readers!