Top 10 Best Perks In Fallout New Vegas

Fallout has many different perks and that can be overwhelming. So come and look at our guide to the Top 10 perks in Fallout New Vegas.

New players are presented with a vast skill tree system that is easy to engage with and immerses them. Not all perks are made equal and in this list, you will see some that are definitely more useful than others either at the beginning of the game or near the end, or sometimes all throughout your journey.

Key Takeaways

Here are the 10 perks choices, and what they offer:

  1. Strong Back/Burden To Bear
    • Increase carry capacity.
  2. Cannibal
    • Regenerate health by eating corpses (Level 4).
  3. Black Widow/Lady Killer
    • Deal 10% more damage to the opposite gender (Level 2).
  4. Them’s Good Eatin
    • Earn caps at Level 20 with 55 Survival Skill.
  5. Mysterious Stranger
    • 10% chance for help in VATS (Level 10, 6 Luck).
  6. Rad Resistance
    • Gain 25% rad resistance (Level 8, 5 Endurance, 40 Survival Skill).
  7. Explorer
    • Mark all locations on the map (Level 20).
  8. Light Step
    • Prevent traps from triggering (Level 14, 6 Perception, 6 Agility).
  9. Implant GRX
    • Slow time for precise aiming (Level 30, 8 Endurance).
  10. Jury Rigging
    • Efficient item repairs (Level 14, 90 Repair Skill).

Strong Back/Burden To Bear

Best Perk for Maximizing Loot Potential.

Why did I Choose a Strong Back/Burden To Bear?

I chose this for its immense practicality. These perks help you overcome a core gameplay restriction, letting you fully embrace the RPG’s item collection and scavenging aspects.

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It increases your carry capacity in-game, allowing you the player to truly be the hoarder you were meant to be in this virtual world. These perks, although acting the same, have different requirements to be used.

Carry Weight in Menu

Strong Back requires the player to be Level 8 and have 5 Strength as base requirements, whilst Burden to Bear requires the player to be Level 30, have 6 Strength and 6 Endurance. Due to their benefits, they can be called the best perks.

  • Significantly increases your carrying capacity.
  • Allows you to hoard more valuable items and weapons.

  • Requires higher levels and stats for the upgraded version.


Best Perk for Wasteland Survivalists.

Why did I Choose Cannibal?

I chose this for its grim effectiveness and unique roleplaying potential. Fallout is about tough choices, and this perk is a perfect example: desperation vs. morality.

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Cannibal allows the player to eat corpses to regenerate health. In a game where health is scarce and food even more, this perk comes in handy often when traveling for long periods of time or in the middle of a fight.

Cannibalising Enemy

The only requirement for this perk is that the player is Level 4. It is important to know that when caught using this perk, friendly NPCs will turn hostile, negatively affecting karma.

Karma is a system carried over from the previous Fallout games and has become synonymous with the Fallout series with missions such as “Power of the Atom” in Fallout 3.

Related Article: Fallout New Vegas Best Armor

  • Gives you a free source of health in a pinch.
  • Offers an easy way to heal when supplies are low.

  • Cannibalism will turn some NPCs hostile.
  • Has a negative impact on your Karma.

Black Widow/Lady Killer

Best Perk for Smooth-Talking Charmers.

Why did I Choose Black Widow/Lady Killer?

I chose this for its roleplaying appeal and early game strength. Getting a damage boost and extra dialogue choices right away makes your character feel influential and opens up new ways to approach the wasteland.

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Each of these perks has the same effects but is applied differently based on the gender of the courier you pick at the start of the game. Black Widow applies to female couriers and Lady Killer to male couriers.

Special Dialogue Path with Black Widow

The effect of these perks is 10% more damage to the opposite gender and includes unique dialogue options with them. The only requirement for these perks is to be Level 2.

These can be called the best two perks to start with as they allow you to unlock interesting routes in the early game with the help of dialogue alone.

  • Bonus damage against the opposite sex.
  • Opens up unique dialogue options and quest solutions.

  • Limited to specific character builds.

Them’s Good Eatin

Best Perk for Resourceful Scavengers.

Why did I Choose Them’s Good Eatin’?

I chose this for its passive utility and resource generation. It turns combat into a self-sustaining way to find more healing than you might normally encounter while also giving you extra trade goods.

This is building upon Cannibal on this list as this perk also focuses on healing but without the karma backlash to the player. It allows living enemies a 50% chance to drop healing items, including Blood Sausage and Thin Red Paste.

Giant Cazadors

This requires the player to be Level 20 and have a Survival Skill of 55. This perk comes to shine when the player does not have abundant healing items on them or lots of carrying weight to spare.

It is also valuable if the player is short on caps and can sell these for a decent price of 175 caps for Blood Sausage and 125 caps for Thin Red Paste. This is one of the best ways to passively farm bottlecaps.

  • Enemies have a chance to drop healing items.
  • Great for supplementing your medical supplies.
  • Can be a consistent source of sellable items.

  • Requires mid-game level and survival skill investment.

Mysterious Stranger

Best Perk for Lucky Gunslingers.

Why did I Choose Mysterious Stranger?

I chose this for its iconic status and fun factor. While not always reliable, the Mysterious Stranger is a classic Fallout element that adds a bit of unexpected excitement to battles.

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When you are down to your last bullet in your favorite gun and the Death Claw in front of you is so close to death, you activate VATS to buy yourself some time to think of how to get out of this pickle but nothing comes to mind.

So you fire your last shot aimed at the head of the creature and then suddenly you hear 6 shots being fired at the enemy. It falls to the ground and a lonesome guitar plays in the distance.

You have just been saved by the Mysterious Stranger. That is the situation most of us will find ourselves in and be rescued from with newfound respect in our hearts for our guardian angel.

Mysterious Stranger

A tradition in Fallout games this perk is activated when in VATS. There is a 10% chance that when the player is in VATS the mysterious stranger will appear and fire 6 shots at the targeted enemy. Requirements for this perk are player Level 10 and 6 Luck.

It may seem useless to those who have not been saved by the starter but for those who have, they know that the stranger shows up when it counts the most and always picks up this perk.

  • Offers surprise help during VATS combat.
  • Can save you from tough situations.

  • Unreliable due to random activation chance.

Rad Resistance

Best Perk for Adventurers In Irradiated Zones.

Why did I Choose Rad Resistance?

I chose this for its straightforward and practical radiation protection. The wasteland is full of radiation hazards, and this perk gives you a nice survivability boost in those situations.

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It provides the player with an additional 25% rad resistance on top of whatever resistance they had beforehand. So if that horde of Radroach is giving you annoying rad damage then take perk and feel almost invincible to rads.

Radiation Heavy Area

It requires Level 8 alongside 5 Endurance and 40 Survival Skill. This is quite useful in situations where you need to explore highly irradiated areas or when fighting droves of radioactive ghouls. Combine this with perk with power armor and let that radiation try to affect you, it can’t due to your now insanely tough resistances.

  • Grants additional radiation resistance.
  • Makes exploring highly irradiated areas safer.

  • Doesn’t completely negate the effects of radiation.


Best Perk for Completionists & Explorers.

Why did I Choose Explorer?

I chose this for its time-saving qualities and appeal to players who want to experience everything the game has to offer without wandering aimlessly.

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It marks every location on the player’s map. It is very straightforward but it is quite useful for those who don’t wish to waste their time or for those who wish to make sure they haven’t missed a single sight in the game.

Fallout New Vegas Map

Explorer only requires Level 20 with no additional requirements. That makes this a very good quality-of-life perk for any player who so desires it.

Interesting Article: Fallout 4 Survival Mode Tips

  • Reveals all map locations for easy exploration.

  • Takes away some of the joy of discovery for some players.

Light Step

Best Perk for Sneaky Infiltrators.

Why did I Choose Light Step?

I chose this for its specific but incredibly valuable advantage in stealth-heavy playthroughs. Being able to move silently and bypass those frustrating instant-kill traps is key.

Light Step essentially allows the player to not set off mines and tripwire traps. Very good for a stealth-based playstyle/build and almost essential for Sierra Madre in the game if you don’t want to spend 90% of your time in VATS checking for traps.

Sierra Madre Casino Entrance

The requirements are Level 14, 6 Perception, and 6 Agility. This is not a very flashy perk with many different effects but rather a more subtle and helpful perk for, as previously mentioned, stealth-based playstyles/builds.

  • Prevents you from triggering mines and traps.

  • Very niche benefit, mainly useful for stealth builds.

Implant GRX

Best Perk for Chem-Reliant Sharpshooters.

Why did I Choose Implant GRX?

I chose this to offer a powerful effect in a controlled way. It lets you enjoy the benefits of slowdown chems but without the usual negative consequences.

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This perk mimics the effect of Turbo, a chem that slows down the perception of time in the game for the player. That’s all the utility it offers but it’s great if you like the feeling of being almost untouchable by other humans in the game.

Sniping with Slowed Time

This requires Level 30 and 8 Endurance. When using this perk the player is limited to a few uses per in-game day but it has some great positives when we consider the alternative of just abusing some Turbo.

With the effects, it provides in the hands of the right player this can be utilized to its maximum capabilities and be considered one of the best perks in Fallout New Vegas.

  • Offers the benefits of Turbo without the addiction risk.

  • Limited daily uses.
  • Requires a very high level and Endurance.

Jury Rigging

Best Perk for Resourceful Survivors.

Why did I Choose Jury Rigging?

I chose this for its incredible practicality and financial benefits. Jury Rigging is a fantastic tool for keeping your favorite gear in top condition.

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Jury Rigging is a highly utility-based perk with both short and long-term benefits. This perk allows the player to repair weapons and gear with other similarly tiered weapons and gear.

Jury Rigging Perk

It requires Level 14 and a Repair Skill of 90. This perk is very useful for repairing rare items with much cheaper and common items that the player does not mind expending which also saves the player’s caps.

Judging by how useful this is we can lay claim that this is one of the best perks in Fallout New Vegas.

  • Lets you make repairs with a much wider variety of items.
  • Preserves rare weapons and armor while saving your caps.

  • Requires a high Repair skill to use.

Why Others Were Not Chosen?

  1. Educated: While excellent for skill building, it doesn’t directly impact immediate combat or survival like some other perks. It’s more of a long-term investment.
  2. Finesse: Requires a build specifically focused on critical hits to be truly powerful. For more general playstyles, other perks might offer better overall benefits.
  3. Intense Training: Versatile and helpful, but might be less impactful than perks offering more unique or specialized benefits, depending on your build.
  4. Stonewall: Situational perk that’s great for heavy armor, and focused defense builds, but more dynamic playstyles might gain less benefit.
  5. Travel Light: Useful for exploration and certain combat tactics, but less impactful if you typically wear heavy armor or don’t rely on speed.

What Would I Recommend?

As an experienced Fallout New Vegas player, I’d highly recommend the Strong Back or Burden to Bear perks. Having extra carry weight in Fallout: New Vegas is a game-changer. You can explore freely without worrying about becoming over-encumbered, and sell valuable loot without multiple trips back to vendors. These perks make scavenging and profiteering way easier!

Another fantastic perk is Jury Rigging. Weapon and armor repair in Fallout: New Vegas can drain your caps fast. This perk lets you use common items for repairs, preserving those rare or unique weapons. Plus, it saves you the hassle of constantly hunting down merchants for repairs.

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