NCR Ranger Build

NCR Ranger Build - Fallout: New Vegas (FNV)

By zanuffas
Last updated:

This post will cover the best Pistol 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

NCR Ranger Build

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

First, I would like to give some background and role-playing for this build as I think it is important. It gives an explanation of why and which choices we make for this build. Moreover, it gives another level of immersion, allowing one to enjoy the game to its fullest.

ncr ranger build patrolling fallout new vegas

You were one of the NCR Veteran Rangers, who were renowned throughout the NCR. You excelled at long-range and unarmed combat. This allowed me to handle most of the combat situations - in case enemies got close when you were sniping, with a few jabs you could incapacitate the foe and use your gun to finish them off

ncr ranger build melee combat fallout new vegas

After the first Hoover Dam battle, you decided that the time was to retire. Being a veteran for many years, the whole bloodshed started to seem pointless.

You began working as a courier which at first, seemed like a perfect job. However, after getting involved with the wrong package, you were ambushed by a guy in a checkered suit and some Great Khans. Even though you got shot in the head, thanks to Doc Michel, you managed to survive.

The injury impaired your skills as a ranger and made you lose almost everything you had. However, the Ranger's intuition was still there. So you decided to take on your revenge on this young brat. Of course, this meant that you will have to get involved with NCR again. You knew that they have the best gear there is available.  However, you agree to stay only as long as there is a need to defend the Hoover Dam.

As you search for the guy that shot you, you involve yourself again in NCR and Legion conflict. You despise the Legion as you still uphold republic values in your heart.

ncr ranger build legion combat fallout new vegas

Moreover, as you travel through the wasteland, you see the pointless bloodshed they created. As you regain your skills and senses little by little, you start having fun in making the legionaries pay

Starting the Game

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


Attribute Value Description
fallout new vegas strength attribute specialStrength 6 This is an important attribute as it allows us to use most of the weapons in the game, moreover, we are particularly interested in Anti-Materiel Rifle (GRA) and Ranger Sequoia. Moreover, as a ranger, you are effective at close-range combat and deal sufficient damage with your fists
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 7 Being a sniper required you to spot targets from very long distances. You tried to kill them before they could see you, although you lost some of your touch from the injury
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 8 Having spent countless hours lying in deserts to hit your target, or surviving in detached outposts, your endurance is very good
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 3 Unfortunately, you were not the person to be talkative and persuasive with others. Your comrades would mainly talk about tactics, as small talking was pointless for you
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 5 You did have a decent education in the NCR military. However, it was not good enough to be a clerk, and combat was your calling
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 6 Unfortunately, the injury made you lose some of your agility. It was not a big problem, as you could still handle a weapon with ease
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 5 Who would not call themselves lucky to survive a shot to the head?

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 As NCR Ranger Veteran, you were the most deadly with ranged weapons. Anything that you could use with bullets, was deadly in your hands.
sneak fallout new vegasSneak You understand the importance of stealth. Being able to take down opponents with hands, or reaching the hill to take out enemy generals, was one of the most important things.
unarmed fallout new vegasUnarmed Even if your shots would not succeed, close combat was also where you were trained well. It did not scare you and allowed you to hit the enemy in the weak spot, leaving them paralyzed


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.
  • Built to Destroy - increases weapon damage at the cost of faster weapon decay. If you picked Repair tag skill this should not be a problem as you can easily get your weapon to 100% fast.
  • Wild Wasteland - see new and unique encounters in the wasteland

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 pistols and sniper rifles, 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:

  • 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 Ranger 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.


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 9
  • +2 - Get Reinforced Spine in Old World Blues DLC
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
fallout new vegas preception attribute specialPerception 8
fallout new vegas endurance attribute specialEndurance 9
fallout new vegas charisma attribute specialCharisma 4
fallout new vegas intelligence attribute specialIntelligence 6
fallout new vegas agility attribute specialAgility 10
  • +1 - Purchase the implant from New Vegas Clinic
  • +1 - Divide Survivor, obtained with Lonesome Road.
  • +2 - Intense Training perk
fallout new vegas luck attribute specialLuck 6


In this section, I will go through the skills for the NCR Ranger 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 getting the rest 10 points from skill books in Mojave Wasteland

Order Skill Description
1 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 50 Upgrade a skill a little bit to increase ranged weapon damage.
2 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 70 Allows to get very good perk - Hand Loader
3 sneak fallout new vegasSneak 50 Makes you more effective at sneaking
4 lockpick skill fallout new vegasLockpick 50 Allows unlocking Average difficulty doors and containers
5 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 70 Further, improves weapon damage
6 unarmed fallout new vegasUnarmed 60 Progressing to 70 to unlock some valuable perks
7 sneak fallout new vegasSneak 70 Further, improve sneaking for more effective stealth
8 guns skill fallout new vegasGuns 90 More weapon damage
9 unarmed fallout new vegasUnarmed 70 Now you can get the Paralyzing Palm perk
10 lockpick skill fallout new vegasLockpick 75 Allows unlocking Hard doors and containers
11 sneak fallout new vegasSneak 90 Maximize Sneak
12 repair skill fallout new vegasRepair 90 Enables you to get a Jury Rigging perk and makes general weapon repairs more effective
13 lockpick skill fallout new vegasLockpick 100 Unlock Very Hard doors and containers
14 melee weapons fallout new vegasMelee Weapons 45 This is needed to unlock Super Slam! Moreover, in case you decide to get the Cowboy perk, which improves revolvers' damage, this skill is also needed
15 unarmed fallout new vegasUnarmed 90 Maximize the unarmed skills

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.


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 Allows reloading weapons much faster. Will be useful in the early game, when enemies might take a few shots to kill.
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 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 and bonus damage is worth it.
10 finesse fallout new vegasFinesse +5% Critical chance, for even more precise shots.
12 silent running fallout new vegasSilent Running Makes it harder to detect you while sneaking. Use this to get a better position and take out enemies by surprise
14 Intense Training fallout new vegasIntense Training Getting back on your feet, allows you to improve your base stats. Get +1 Agility
16 sneering imperialist fallout new vegasSneering Imperialist As a long-time NCR Ranger, you just don't understand and hate those raiders and small-time guys wishing to show off.
18 better criticals fallout new vegasBetter Criticals Increases critical damage with your weapons by 50%
20 strong back fallout new vegasStrong Back having served in the military, you understand the value of being able to carry a lot. This allows you to have 50 lbs more loot on the back.
22 paralyzing palm fallout new vegasParalyzing Palm 30% chance to paralyze an enemy when using the attack in VATS. Use it to incapacitate an enemy and finish them off with a few shots in the head.
24 super slam fallout new vegasSuper Slam! Your melee combat hits can easily knock down enemies. You learned that this is the best option to incapacitate poor bastards
26 cowboy fallout new vegasCowboy (optional) Getting back on your feet, allows you to improve your base stats. Get +1 Agility
28 bloody mess fallout new vegasBloody Mess Increases damage by 5%. Moreover, killed enemies splash around, which can be too gory for some
30 light step fallout new vegasLight Step Having your own share of combat, you can easily spot amateurish traps, mines, and other contraptions.
32 tunnel runner fallout new vegasTunnel Runner  It increases the speed at which you move while sneaking
34 jury rigging fallout new vegasJury Rigging Having wide knowledge of weapons, allows you to fix them with roughly similar ones.
36 quick draw fallout new vegasQuick Draw Being able to switch weapons in an instant is what makes the build capable of most encounters
38 slayer fallout new vegasSlayer Your melee attacks are faster, allowing you to take care of enemies faster.
40 Intense Training fallout new vegasIntense Training Slowly you regain your NCR veteran experience. Get +1 Agility, allowing you to better handle all weapons.
42 Grim Reaper's Sprint fallout new vegasGrim Reaper's Sprint Although NCR Ranger does not use VATS with Sniper, it is very effective at close range with fast-moving targets.
44 living anatomy fallout new vegasLiving Anatomy With vast combat experience, you know the weak spots of humans. This allows you to deal 5% more damage.
46 alertness fallout new vegasAlertness This perk increases Perception by 2 when standing still. It is a perfect roleplay option for NCR Ranger
48 Toughness fallout new vegasToughness You are a grizzled veteran and the Mojave Wasteland made you much more resistant to damage
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.

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


This section will cover some gear recommendations for the Ranger Build


There are a wide array of choices for this build

ncr ranger build sniping combat fallout new vegas

Long Range Weapons

Weapon Description
Anti-Materiel Rifle (GRA) fallout new vegasAnti-Materiel Rifle (GRA) The most powerful sniper rifle. Although the ammo is quite expensive, any sneak critical should instantly kill most enemies,
Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle fallout new vegasGobi Campaign Scout Rifle High DPS Sniper Rifle, perfect as a main combat choice when fighting normal grunt enemies.
Christine's CoS Silencer Rifle fallout new vegasChristine's CoS Silencer Rifle A silenced sniper rifle that is good to have in case you want the maximum stealth approach
ratslayer fallout new vegasRatslayer An early game sniper rifle, that is fairly easy to obtain


Weapon Description
Ranger Sequoia fallout new vegasRanger Sequoia The most powerful single-shot pistol. A very fun weapon to use. Moreover, it is wielded by NCR Veteran Rangers as a reward for their loyal service, so it fits the narrative perfectly.
a light shining in darkness fallout new vegasA Light Shining in Darkness I would say this is the best pistol in the game. Although it does not do the most damage, it has the second-highest DPS. Moreover, it can use .45 Super (Hand Load) ammo, which decreases enemy Damage Threshold by 4

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


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
ncr ranger combat armor fallout new vegasNCR Ranger Combat Armor This is the final goal of this build. It is the top-tier NCR armor (excluding the power armor).
elite riot gear fallout new vegasElite Riot Gear I would also like to recommend this armor. Although it does not have an "NCR" faction effect, it looks similar and gives very good stat boosts.
Combat armor, reinforced mark 2 fallout new vegasCombat armor, reinforced mark 2 The reinforced version of basic combat armor provides even more defenses
ncr ranger patrol armor fallout new vegasNCR Ranger Patrol Armor A mid-tier NCR armor. Does not provide any special effects.
combat armor fallout new vegasCombat armor A factionless armor that has a decent damage threshold
ncr trooper armor fallout new vegasNCR Trooper Armor The base NCR armor gives some protection and activates the "NCR" faction.


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). I recommend wearing it while exploring during the day or outside
Elite Riot Gear Helmet fallout new vegasElite Riot Gear Helmet This is a perfect helmet for night operations as it provides sneak sight. This makes it easier to spot enemies.
Combat helmet, reinforced mark 2 fallout new vegasCombat Helmet, Reinforced Mark 2 A normal helmet with high Damage Threshold. A perfect option if you want some more protection or until you get Elite Riot Gear Helmet


Armor Description
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


Thank you for reading this post on the NCR Ranger 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


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!