This is a guide intended to help you on your way in New Vegas. Below you'll find a collection of tips and tricks that will give you an upper hand and help you figure out the game's nuances and quirks, build a better character from the start, and just enjoy the experience a lot more as a result.
This guide references mods some -- if you're playing the PC version, you can find and install these via our mod guide.
 Character building
- Build your character smartly! Read the manual and learn how each stat affects skills. These have a great impact on gameplay, dialogue, plot outcome, and so on. Also experiment on multiple playthroughs for more fun -- playing a character with very low intelligence for example can provide very humorous results.
- Rounded characters or multi-class builds are not really recommended. It's generally better to have a plan and focus on your tag skills -- this is especially encouraged when using the Arwen's NV Realism Tweaks mod.
- Pick the Swift Learner perk early for maximum experience, and keep picking it until it's maxed out.
- If you decide to pick survival for a tag skill, get the heavy load perk and get ready to carry a ton of stuff. You will need a lot of different items to get much of anything made. It's not a very fun skill -- it's probably better to go with medicine.
- Play on very hard difficulty -- it's actually kind of easy (excepting the first few sections -- but you can persevere by playing smart). Hardcore mode is recommended, too (not actually 'hardcore', it just implements some realistic features like requiring food and drink every so often). For further challenge, check out Arwen's mod.
- Don't take all loot, be selective. This saves you time and weight. Note a lot of loot you find will be useless. Use Better Game Performance and No Clutter Junk mods to get rid of some of it.
- Some armors slow you down, so weigh the pros and cons of speed versus protection, and what you need based on your skills (snipers don't need heavy armor, for example, but melee characters should have medium).
- Don't leave yourself exposed to multiple enemies, especially early on -- try and take on one or two at a time. Run into rooms and around corners, kill quietly, sneak and do critical attacks, use explosives, etc.
- When faced against tough foes and using VATS, don't perform all attacks at once, just one or two, then block and repeat.
 General tips
- Save often (quick and slow saves) and make multiple saves at major plot points. There are likely to be several occasions where you mess up and do something you didn't want to -- multiple saves can save you hours and hours of replaying.
- Explore all options when faced when faced with a decision. Small details can make all the difference. Speak to everyone, hack terminals, explore the environment and look out for suspicious characters and activity, to name a few tips.