The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
This page describes the SPECIAL implementation in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • The content is not described in full detail on this page. For details, please see the respective articles.
  • For SPECIAL implementations in other Fallout games, please see "SPECIAL".
  • For an overview of Fallout: New Vegas content, please refer to "Portal:Fallout: New Vegas".

Character creation

The maximum level the player can achieve in Fallout: New Vegas is 30, however, each add-on installed adds an additional 5 levels to the maximum. With all four DLC's, the level is increased to a final level maximum of 50.

Primary statistics

The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system should be familiar to players of the Fallout series. The player's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes default at 5 points per attribute, with an additional 5 points for distribution for a total of 40 points. Individual attributes cannot score lower than 1 or higher than 10, regardless of equipment, chems, or ailments.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stands for:

Each S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute governs one or more skills (excluding Luck):

Strength: Melee Weapons - (Also determines weapon efficiency, inventory carry weight, and melee combat damage).

Perception: Energy Weapons, Lockpick, Explosives - (Also determines compass range).

Endurance: Unarmed, Survival - (Also determines hit points, radiation/poison resistances, and number of implants obtainable).

Charisma: Speech, Barter - (Also determines Companion nerve).

Intelligence: Medicine, Science, Repair - (Also determines Skill points per level).

Agility: Guns, Sneak - (Also determines number of action points and action point regeneration and holstering and drawing speed).

Luck: Luck does not determine any particular skill, but it governs all skills slightly. Luck also affects critical hit chances, enemy mishaps, and gambling.

A point in a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attribute will increase its governed Skills by two. It is however worth noting that it's more efficient to increase the skill itself rather than the attribute if you want to have a high Skill.

S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes may be increased temporarily via chem usage, the Meat of Champions perk, the Claustrophobia or Early Bird traits or particular equipment. Permanent boosts are obtainable via the Intense Training perk, the Small Frame trait and also the implants purchased at the New Vegas Medical Clinic.

Ranks of SPECIAL

Rank Strength Perception Endurance Charisma Intelligence Agility Luck
1 Wet Noodle Deaf Bat Basically Dead Misanthrope Sub-Brick Walking Disaster 13-Pitch Black Cats
2 Beached Jellyfish Senile Mole Crumbly Old Hermit Vegetable Accident Prone Broken Gypsy Mirror
3 Doughy Baby Squinting Newt Do Not Bend Creepy Undertaker Cretin Oaf Sickly Albatross
4 Lightweight Unsuspecting Trout Handle With Care Peevish Librarian Knuckle Head Butterfingers Spilled Salt
5 Average Joe Wary Trout Stain-Resistant Substitute Teacher Knowledgeable Under Control Coin Flip
6 Barrel Chested Alert Coyote Hardy Cheery Salesman Gifted Catlike Stacked Deck
7 Beach Bully Big-Eyed Tiger Tough-as-nails Diplomat Smartypants Knife Thrower Lucky 7
8 Circus Strongman Monocled Falcon Flame Retardant Movie Star Know-It-All Knife Catcher Leprechaun's Foot
9 Doomsday Pecs Sniper Hawk Bullet Proof Casanova Genius Acrobatic Marvel 21 Leaf Clover
10 Hercules' Bigger Cousin Eagle with Telescope Unstoppable Cult Leader Omniscient Walks on Water Two-Headed Coin Flip

Derived statistics

Derived statistics are attributes of a character which are based on (or derived from) the character's primary statistics or attributes which the player cannot influence directly.

The following derived statistics are known to exist in Fallout: New Vegas:


Skills in Fallout: New Vegas determine the player's effectiveness in a variety of situations. As in the previous games, the player chooses three tag skills out of thirteen to be the character's specialties. Tagging a skill grants the player a 15 point bonus to that skill. Your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points affect the amount of skill points your character starts with.

The skills in Fallout: New Vegas are:


Perks are special elements of the level up system which grant special effects and abilities. In Fallout: New Vegas, you gain a perk every two levels. Many perks have an attribute requirement(s), for example the Mysterious Stranger perk, which requires a particular skill to use. Some perks require a high gun skill or a high unarmed skill. Some perks also grant special bonuses. For example, again, the Mysterious Stranger perk. It grants a non-player character from above that comes down to help in combat every once in a while.

For a list of perks, please see Fallout: New Vegas perks.


Traits modify different aspects of gameplay, including (but not limited to): Primary statistics, derived statistics and skills. Traits always have both positive and negative results. For example, the Small Frame trait which grants a +1 to Agility, but your limbs are more easily crippled.

One can choose up to two traits when designing a character (or none at all).

For a list of traits, please see Fallout: New Vegas traits.


Changes from previous Fallout games

Much of the SPECIAL from Fallout 3 remains intact, with very few new features being added in the way of character creation or stats. Weapons now have a minimum Strength requirement to be used effectively, like in Fallout and Fallout 2. Also returning from the first two games are low Intelligence characters, which can be created by setting your Intelligence less than 4. The SPECIAL bobbleheads have been replaced by implants available from the New Vegas Medical Clinic.