Best Sniper Build

Best Sniper Build - Fallout: New Vegas (FNV)

By zanuffas
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This post will cover the best Sniper build for Fallout: New Vegas. I will be going in-depth on the main attributes, skills, and gear. This should help you take decisions on how to progress through the game in the optimal matter

Sniper Build

A Sniper user is someone who is well-versed in very long-range combat. This means that usually they are outnumbered, but each of their shots is deadly. This requires them to be experts in camouflage so that the enemy would have difficulty finding them.

sniper build combat 2 fallout new vegas

Overall you would not want the enemy to reach you, however, in case this happens you always carry a pistol or a riot shotgun to make them regret their decision.

Starting the Game

In this section, I would like to go through some recommendations for the Sniper 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 It is used to equip better weapons. We start quite low, but with some perks and quest rewards we will get it up to 7
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 5 Although we should have high Perception to better detect enemies, it does not bring any other benefits compared to other attributes. I leave it at 5
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 7 Gives more HP and unlocks implant slots, which we will use to improve SPECIAL attributes
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 1 Overall, not an important stat for us as it only improves companions' stats
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 7 Gives more skill points at every level, allowing to maximize more of them over the course of the game
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 8 Increases reload speed and give more action points for longer sprints. We will not use much of VATS, but it may be useful when enemies get close.
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 8 Very important stat as it will increase the chance of Critical hits.

Tag Skills

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

Skill Description
guns skill fallout new vegasGuns Quite an obvious choice, as we will use various weapons in combat from the start
sneak skill fallout new vegasSneak As a Sniper we want to make every shot count. Taking this skill is necessary in my opinion as it will also give a bonus critical damage multiplier if successfully shot while sneaking

The third one is optional. I prefer Lockpicking, but you can go for Science, Repair, Medicine, etc.

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.
  • Small Frame - Gives +1 to Agility but increases damage to limbs. We will try to avoid damage as much as possible. I would say this one is mandatory as there are no large negatives for long-range character
  • Wild Wasteland - for some unique encounters in the game

Early game tips

  • I suggest obtaining ED-E in Primm early on as it will give Enhanced Sensory perk, that makes it easier to detect enemies.
  • I suggest saving 4000 caps and getting an Intelligence implant as soon as possible

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.

sniper build combat fallout new vegas

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
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 7
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • SPECIAL training perk????
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 8
  • +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 Small Frame trait
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 10
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • +1 - Divide Survivor, obtained with Lonesome Road. One caveat, if you plan on using Lucky Shades, then you can put this point to any other attribute.

Skills

In this section, I will go through the skills for the Sniper Build. 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 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 45 Allows getting Light Touch
2 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 45 Needed to obtain some offensive perks
3 Lockpick/Science/Speech 50 Get to 50 if you wish to use any of these, to start unlocking average doors or terminals
4 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 70 Needed for Hand Loader
5 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 90 Next tier of perks and higher damage with weapons
7 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 90 Allows unlocking Jury Rigging, try to get before level 14
8 sneak skill fallout new vegasSneak 50 Needed for Silent Running
9 Lockpick/Science/Speech 100 Will allow to pass Very Hard checks.
11 survival skill fallout new vegasSurvival 70 You can get Rad Child, which can be used to increase HP regeneration

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 confirmed bachelor fallout new vegasConfirmed Bachelor/Black Widow Pick one based on your gender. The additional damage against
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 hand loader fallout new vegasHand Loader This is a very valuable perk that the earlier you take the more beneficial it is. You have a higher chance to recover ammunition cases.
8 strong back fallout new vegasStrong back Gives 50 more carry weight. This is very useful in my opinion as it helps accumulate more items before going to sell them
10 finesse fallout new vegasFinesse Increases critical chance by 5%.
12 silent running fallout new vegasSilent Running While crouching and walking at normal pace enemies will not hear you. Without this, you would need to use the walk command to slow down the crouch, to be undetected
14 jury rigging fallout new vegasJury Rigging Makes it easier to repair items as you can use similar items rather than the same.
16 better criticals fallout new vegasBetter Criticals 50% critical damage increase, this is huge and will ensure that enemies die easily
18 weapon handling fallout new vegasWeapon Handling You can take Weapon Handling even at level 16 if you are already planning to use the Anti-Materiel Rifle (GRA)
20 chemist fallout new vegasChemist Increases the duration of chem effects, this also works with consumables like alcohol.
22 bloody mess fallout new vegasBloody Mess Bonus 5% damage, and a little more gore? Not a problem
24 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%
26 travel light fallout new vegasTravel Light 10% faster movement speed is useful as it will allow you to run away or change positions in case everything goes south. However, only works with light armor.
28 tunnel runner fallout new vegasTunnel Runner Allows sneaking faster. This is very useful as you can change positions when enemies take note of your presence.
30 rad child fallout new vegasRad Child This is an interesting skill. Just with a minor Radiation poisoning, you get very fast HP regeneration. You can also take it much earlier as it will be useful during Dead Money DLC.
32 light touch fallout new vegasLight Touch Gives a 5% critical chance while wearing light armor. However, you could skip it altogether if you will use Elite Riot Gear
34 chem resistant fallout new vegasChem Resistant Makes you less likely to become addicted to Chems
36 broad daylight fallout new vegasBroad Daylight Now the Pip-Boy light does not affect sneak
38 robotics expert fallout new vegasRobotics Expert Will make Robot killing easier, especially if you can sneak on them and disable
40 fast metabolism fallout new vegasFast Metabolism Increases the amount of HP you heal with Stimpaks.
42 quick draw fallout new vegasQuick Draw In case enemies reach you, you can switch weapons to close range very fast.
44 living anatomy fallout new vegasLiving Anatomy We are interested in a bonus of 5% damage. Of course, this is not a game changer, just a small optimization
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 Sniper Build

Weapons

There are a wide array of choices for this build

Weapon Description
Anti-Materiel Rifle (GRA) fallout new vegasAnti-Materiel Rifle (GRA) The strongest base damage Sniper Rifle. Sadly, it does not come with a suppressor, but with all the perks even the strongest enemies like Deathclaws will die from one shot. However, the ammo can be expensive and scarce
Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle fallout new vegasGobi Campaign Scout Rifle Variation of Sniper Rifle has the highest DPS due to high critical damage. Perfect for the later game, when you have a lot of perks unlocked
Christine's CoS Silencer Rifle fallout new vegasChristine's CoS Silencer Rifle Comes with a silencer and adequate DPS.
ratslayer fallout new vegasRatslayer This is the recommended option early in the game. This has a 5 times crit chance multiplier, allowing it easily to reach 100%. Moreover, it uses a 5.56mm round, that is readily available.

There will be situations where you will enter close-quarter combat. I personally prefer either shotguns or pistols in this case. There are some really powerful options so pick one

sniper build close combat fallout new vegas

Weapon Description
Riot Shotgun fallout new vegasRiot Shotgun This is my preferred option. Very fun to use, has a fast rate of fire, easily reloads, and is deadly at close range. It requires 100 Guns and 7 strength, so take it once you have the Weapon Handling perk.
Li'l Devil fallout new vegasLi'l Devil (GRA) Probably the strongest pistol, but quite costly.
a light shining in darkness fallout new vegasA Light Shining in Darkness Very good pistol, that boasts a fast fire rate
that gun fallout new vegasThat Gun I think this deserves a mention. The ammo is readily available and has a 2.5x critical chance multiplier. However, the above options are better in my opinion

Armor

Armors are important as they provide a bonus damage threshold to reduce damage, give unique bonuses and last but not least provide good looks

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 Has a good Damage Threshold and increases Crit Chance by 3%. Moreover, this will activate Light Touch
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. Generally, the loss of Light Touch is not big, as you already score critical hits from stealth
stealth suit mk 2 fallout new vegasStealth Suit Mk II I think this one is also an interesting option. The fully upgraded version gives bonus Perception, Agility, Sneak, and Movement Speed while crouching. Moreover, it the armor talks and automatically uses Stimpaks
Gannon family Tesla armor fallout new vegasGannon family Tesla armor I think this deserves an honorable mention. This is a medium armor that has the highest Damage threshold. It also looks cool and makes it viable for this build

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.
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.

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 Sniper 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!