Best Revolver Build - The Cowboy

Best Revolver Build - The Cowboy - Fallout: New Vegas (FNV)

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

Revolver Build - The Cowboy

A disclaimer, this is more of a Roleplaying build, where I concentrate on making the cowboy with a revolver feel and do not go for the best options/items. However, once you get enough chems and stimpaks, the game should become considerably easy.

The build idea is to represent a revolver user. And who best describes it throughout history? A Cowboy, although they mainly worked with cattle the media popularized them as righteous persons with a revolver in their holster.

With the Revolver build, my intention is to create a charismatic and pragmatic revolver user, who knows how to handle his weapon in the most difficult situations. All of this came as an inspiration from working on a ranch and reading lots of pre-war novels on cowboys in America

As you lived on a ranch, you also gained the necessary skills to survive - defending the cattle from raiders and animals, sneaking on any intruders, and riding the animals. The weapon that you preferred was a revolver. Nothing feels better than releasing 6 shots with each of them taking out an enemy. This is how true Western cowboys did?

fallout new vegas revolver cowboy build backstory

Strangely... Your shots hit the target in the weakest spot, and you were deadly in every encounter. Is this Luck on your side? And you do not waste that luck, every time there is a chance you run to a casino or play a hand of caravan with a local vendor. Seems like no matter how bad things go you always leave with more caps.

Starting the Game

In this section, I would like to go through some recommendations for the Revolver 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.

revolver build combat vats fallout new vegas

SPECIAL

Attribute Value Description
fallout new vegas strength attribute specialStrength 4 Although you worked a lot of manual labor, you mostly pretended to do it. Being charismatic allowed you easily to persuade others to do the boring things.
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 6 As you had to find enemy weak spots, being perceptive is the thing you learned. Having 6 shots in a barrel need to be effective. Detecting hidden enemies after crazy combat is another consideration.
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 6 Working in the ranches made you very healthy so you have no problems with long work.
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 6 Generally, as a cowboy you are well-liked, you represent an ideal of a person with strong convictions. I think this is an appropriate allocation and leads to your companions being very effective in combat
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 4 Intelligence is not the strong part, but who cares? As long as you have a shiny revolver in your holster.
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 6 As a revolver user, you should be fairly agile, the weapon gives a lot of maneuverability and your cowboy background is also relevant as you have spent much time in the fields on a horse.
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 8 Occasional gambling, lucky shots in a duel, seems like luck doesn't leave you. This allows you to score critical hits and hit the enemy where it hurts the most.

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 Well, Revolver is your main weapon, this is where you train and how you defend the ranch. This skill is the one that decides your damage.
speech fallout new vegasSpeech Being charismatic allows you to persuade people in various situations. Generally, you have no problem getting into forbidden places or helping a person not to make a stupid decision
sneak fallout new vegasSneak Learning to use a revolver, came with downsides... You need to make every shot count and that is easy when you are nimble and can easily place yourself in the best position undetected.

Traits

The traits are definitely optional and just recommendations. Pick up to two of them:

  • Skilled - fairly low intelligence can be counteracted with this trait. it gives +5 to all skills making it a bit easier, getting everything you need. Of course, this reduces XP gain by 10%, but you can counteract this with Well Rested.
  • Wild Wasteland - see unique encounters in the wasteland
  • Trigger Discipline - I think this one fits the theme of the build as you want every shot with Revolver count especially when using VATS. However, I personally did not feel a need for it when making the build. The increase in AP cost may deter you.

I would not recommend Good Natured, we need to level 3 weapon-related skills, so this would only postpone them.

Early game tips

Here I would like to offer some early game tips for the build to make it easier when starting out

Use any weapon that you have on hand

Although we are concentrating on revolvers, the early game can be hard - you do not have caps, no loot, cannot buy ammo, and have low skills. Due to this don't be picky and have whatever weapon you have on hand. The early Courier's Stash DLC provides some good options - Mercenary's Grenade Rifle, Weathered 10mm pistol, etc.

Doing the main quest

Unless you are cheesing some of the game mechanics, and want to experience the game as intended, I recommend doing the main story quest up until you reach Novac. The journey will provide you with two companions (and due to your high charisma they will be very powerful):

  • ED-E - in Primm City, it is a robot that you can revive using some scrap parts. The parts can be found on Lone Wolf Radio.
  • Boone - you will find him in Novac. To join you, you have to do his quest and help him

These companions will help you a lot and make the game more fun and easier. Another thing is that Novac will give you your own room, where you can store loot. This makes scavenging easier throughout the game.

After this, it's your choice what to do

Progression and Final Revolver 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
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 6 None, taken
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 7
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 7
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 5
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 8
  • +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
  • Being a righteous person, you should not join the legion so getting Lucky Shades is impossible

Skills

In this section, I will go through the skills for the Revovler Cowboy Build. I want 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.

I recommend leaving skills at 90 (except science and lockpicks as you may miss some loot) and get the rest 10 points from skill books in Mojave Wasteland

Order Skill Description
1 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 70 Strange choice? However, getting this will allow you to get a very powerful quality of life perk at level 6 - Hand Loader
2 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 50 Enough to improve weapon damage a bit and make combat easier
3 melee weapons fallout new vegasMelee Weapons 45 Unlocks Cowboy perk for a bonus 25% damage with revolvers
4 speech fallout new vegasSpeech 60 Allows persuasion of more than half of the game speech checks.
5 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 70 Enough to improve weapon damage a bit and make combat easier
6 sneak fallout new vegasSneak 50 Improves your sneaking effectiveness
7 speech fallout new vegasSpeech 80 Unlock more Speech checks
8 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 90 Improve weapon handling
9 sneak fallout new vegasSneak 90 You can now unlock The Professional Perk.
10 speech fallout new vegasSpeech 90 The maximum before skill magazines.
11 energy weapons skill fallout new vegasEnergy Weapons 60 Needed to get Concentrated Fire perk
12 survival skill fallout new vegasSurvival 70 If you wish to get something like a Rad Child perk. Otherwise, you can skip it.
13 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 90 Allows crafting the best hand load ammo and getting Jury Rigging perk.

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 Early in the game revolver reloading can be painful, so this skill mitigates it
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 cowboy fallout new vegasCowboy The most fitting perk for this build. It increases revolver damage by 25%
10 gunslinger fallout new vegasGunslinger Increases your accuracy with Revolvers in VATS
12 Terrifying Presence fallout new vegasTerrifying Presence (Optional) The legends of your accurate shots can easily scare even the bravest persons. (this perk is only for roleplaying, it's not as valuable otherwise)
14 black widow fallout new vegasLady Killer/Black Widow/Confirmed Bachelor/Cherechez La Femme Pick the one that you prefer for the type of character you are making. The dialogue options for charismatic characters and bonus damage is worth it.
16 finesse fallout new vegasFinesse +5% Critical chance, for even more precise shots.
18 better criticals fallout new vegasBetter Criticals Increases critical damage with your weapons by 50%
20 mysterious stranger fallout new vegasMysterious Stranger (Optional) Totally optional perk, but I enjoyed taking it with this build as you use VATS, and it explains the exceptional luck of the revolver cowboy
22 the professional fallout new vegasThe Professional Being effective at sneaking, the perk gives 20% with Sneak Attack Criticals using revolvers
24 Grim Reaper's Sprint fallout new vegasGrim Reapers' Sprint After a killed enemy in VATS restore 20 AP. This can allow you to easily take out a large number of weak enemies.
26 light touch fallout new vegasLight Touch When wearing light armor you will get a bonus 5% critical chance
28 bloody mess fallout new vegasBloody Mess Increases damage by 5%.
30 concentrated fire fallout new vegasConcentrated Fire Increases your accuracy in VATS by 5% with each shot
32 living anatomy fallout new vegasLiving Anatomy A bonus of 5% damage against humans and ghouls is a very valuable choice.
34 jury rigging fallout new vegasJury Rigging The perks make it easier to repair items as you can use similar instead of the same ones. This will save a lot of caps.
36 silent running fallout new vegasSilent Running Makes you harder to detect while sneaking, use this to take a perfect position for your revolver shot.
38 Action Boy Action Girl fallout new vegasAction Boy/Action Girl Increases the total amount of action points to use in VATS
40 chemist fallout new vegasChemist Gives a boost to chem duration, at the late game they are very valuable as they can improve your damage resistance, slow time, etc.
42 chem resistant fallout new vegasChem Resistant Decreases the chance that you will get addicted to chems. This is totally optional, as you can easily heal from addiction at any clinic if you have the caps.
44 Action Boy Action Girl fallout new vegasAction Boy/Action Girl (2) Increases the total amount of action points to use in VATS
46 travel light fallout new vegasTravel Light (Optional) More Quality of Life improvement, allows you to move 10% while wearing light or no armor.
48 rad child fallout new vegasRad Child Gives a good health regeneration boost while you have radiation effects. The higher radiation the bigger the bonus.
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

General Tips

At level 15 start Old World Blues DLC

I really recommend starting this DLC. It will give +2 Strength after you finish it. Allowing the build to carry more items and use the best revolvers.

To start the DLC you can go to the Mojave Drive-in and at night initiate the quest. This way you can avoid the Weapon Handling perk and use perk points elsewhere

Equipment

This section will cover some gear recommendations for the Revolver Build

Weapons

There are a wide array of choices for this build

revolver build combat fallout new vegas

Weapon Description
Ranger Sequoia fallout new vegasRanger Sequoia This is the most powerful revolver. However, it is very hard to obtain it in a legit way, as it is usually worn by NCR rangers.
hunting revolver gra fallout new vegasHunting Revolver (GRA) A revolver with a scope that allows you to snipe enemies from afar. Unfortunately, it has low durability, so needs repairs often.
Lucky-357-Magnum-fallout-new-vegasLucky It has a 2.5x crit multiplier and can be obtained fairly early if you have a high lockpick skill. moreover, it has a very low AP cost, great for fighting waves of enemies like Fiends or Raiders via VATS.
mysterious magnum fallout new vegasMysterious Magnum This revolver has the second-highest DPS and with your high Speech, should be easy to obtain.

The ammo can either be bought from vendors or crafted at a reloading bench.

Armor

As this is roleplaying build we are going for something that looks relevant to the cowboy build

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
bounty hunter outfit fallout new vegasBounty Hunter Duster Has the highest Damage Threshold bonus and gives bonuses to guns and Charisma. The higher Charisma will further boost your companion's effectiveness
daniel's outfit fallout new vegasDaniel's Outfit Gives a 2 DT boost and provides a +5 bonus to barter and Medicine.
sheriff's duster fallout new vegasSheriff's Duster Gives bonuses to guns and Charisma. The higher Charisma will further boost your companion's effectiveness. Unfortunately, it does not provide any damage threshold protection.

Helmets

As we go with the revolver cowboy feel, the obvious choice is a Cowboy Hat. There are numerous choices, so pick the one that looks the best for you

Helmet Description
daniel's hat fallout new vegasDaniel's Hat Gives +1 to Perception and +5 to Speech. If you plan on using it, you can level Speech just to 85, as the rest will be filled with skill books.
Any Cowboy Hat Generally, these are available throughout the game from multiple enemies and vendors. You should have no problem obtaining them. They all give the same stats - +1 Perception. Find the one with your preferred looks

Other

Armor Description
lucky shades fallout new vegasLucky Shades This requires you to befriend Legion. So the narrative may not fit the cowboy roleplay. However, I still leave it as it is for you to decide and they provide +1 Luck, which is a huge bonus
Atomic-valence tri-radii-oscillator fallout new vegasAtomic-Valence Tri-Radii-Oscillator Hard to recommend due to roleplaying, but I leave it for you to decide. 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 Hard to recommend due to roleplaying, but I leave it for you to decide. 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 Revolver 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!