How To Create a Perfect Character in Fallout 3

Fallout 3 Perfect Character Guide

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The Fallout Perfect Character Guide

But now, on with the guide -- here's what this guide is all about...

  • The purpose of this guide is a perfect character for Fallout 3 at level 20.
  • "Powerplay" in this guide refers to creating the ultimate all-around character with maxed-out skills and fine-tuned S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats.
  • There's room for customization, so you will end up with *your* Fallout 3 Perfect Character.
  • "Powerlevel as fast as possible" is not in the nature of Fallout 3. So for that, look for other games.
  • How Much You Need To Increase Each Skill To Reach 100 on All Skills
  • How To Maximize the Benefit of the skill books and bobbleheads
  • The Optimal Starting Stats

Warning! If you choose to follow the recommendations in this guide, you will not have the most optimal character for leveling. However, you can do most things with ease while at it. This because, we want to have the best possible character in the end, not at level 7.

For those not familiar with Fallout 3 the game, check out the Vault Fallout Wiki for introduction:
"Fallout 3 is a post-apocalyptic computer and console action role-playing game developed and published by Bethesda Softworks as the third installment in the Fallout series and a sequel to Interplay's Fallout and Fallout 2. It was released on October 28 in North America, on October 31 in Europe and on December 4 in Japan. It is available on the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

The game takes place in the year 2277 on the East Coast of what used to be the United States of America, mostly in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. The gameplay features include real-time combat and first or third person perspective, in contrast to the previous games, which were turn-based and isometric. "

If you do know the game and have played it:

Enjoy this Free Fallout 3 Perfect Character and Powerplay Guide, create *your* Perfect Character in Fallout 3, leave a comment and tell me and others how you liked it..

Quick Links (Jump Straight into the Guide)

The start of the guide

Table of Contents

Fallout 3 Perfect Character S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Stats

Perfect Beginner's Fallout 3 Character

Fallout 3 Perfect Character - Beginning Walkthrough

Read the full guide below...

Fallout 3 Perfect Character Guide

a.k.a. The Fallout 3 Powerplay Guide


"Document Copyright (Zemalf) 2009"
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Game: Fallout 3
System: XBOX360 (Also available for PS3 and PC)
Guide Written By: Zemalf
Feedback, questions, discussion? leave a comment
Version: 1.00

About this guide/FAQ

The info in this guide/FAQ is mostly from the other FAQs at gamefaqs. I don't take any credit for the most of the hints&tips, I simply started putting everything I found useful to one file, thus, this guide was born. So I tried to give the credit where it belongs. Also see CREDITS at the end I did however, do extensive calculations to find the amount of each skill must be raised to reach 100 for each skill, utilizing the available skill books and bobblehead, in addition to the optimum starting stats.

The purpose of this guide is "perfect" character at level 20. What you think is perfect may be very different from what I think so use your judgement on creating the character and playing. There's plenty of hints and tips for all levels of play, so you can get a lot out of this, even if you're not shooting for the Fallout 3 Perfect Character.

SPOILER WARNING. There are spoilers in this guide and the guide is definitely not for anyone who hasn't played Fallout 3 by themselves first. So go buy the game, enjoy it, and then if you feel like pushing your character and yourself to the limit, come back here.

T.O.C - Table of Contents

  • For quick browsing, click the links above in the Table of Contents (and get back here with T.O.C. ^ links)
  • NOTE: To search, hit Ctrl + F and type in what your looking for.
  • If you have any submissions to the guide, please leave a comment

T.O.C. ^


  • This FAQ is for the XBOX360 version (similar to PS3 and PC)
  • It is not allowed to publish the guide elsewhere, but please put a link up on your site if you like
  • To share this guide, please link to the guide as guided below
  • If you have any questions, leave a comment on the blog
  • Use CTRL + F to search for something in the document
  • This guide was created by: Zemalf (Zemalf's Haven)

This document Copyright 2009 (Zemalf). This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a violation of copyright.

However, you can and you should link to this guide, and share it with your friends!

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Version 1.01 ~ Guide Re-Published at zemalf.blogspot.com
2009/08/16 Size: ~1262 lines (~48.5 KB)
Version 1.0 ~ Guide Published
2009/05/25 Size: ~1262 lines (~48.5 KB)
Version 0.2 ~ Content started to take shape
2009/02/13 Size: ~1100 lines (~44 KB)
Version 0.1 ~ Initial version of the guide

T.O.C. ^


If you really need game controls listed in a guide, look for some other guide than this :) Or just read the game manual.

T.O.C. ^


"War. War never changes."

If you're reading this and haven't played Fallout 3 yet, do so as soon as possible. Everything else will fade.
"Endless possibilities"

Wasteland is the big unknown. Explore it as you like. Feel it. Love it. This is but a guide to you, take the tips as recommendations, not what you must do to succeed. Making it on your own will give you more.

T.O.C. ^



The purpose of this guide is "perfect" character at level 20. As mentioned, what you consider Fallout perfect character, might be different from my views, but don't worry, there's plenty of room for customization and choices, so you'll end with your kind of Fallout 3 perfect character.

"Powerplay" in this guide refers to creating the ultimate all-around character with maxed-out skills and fine-tuned S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats.
  • NOTE: If you don't like collecting all the possible Bobbleheads and many Skill Books, just decide what skills you want to max, and raise them as you level For 100 at all skills, however, you need to collect a lot of Skill books.

"Powerlevel as fast as possible" is not in the nature of Fallout 3. So for that, look for other games.

If you choose to follow the recommendations in this guide, you will not have the most optimal character for leveling. However, you can do most things with ease while at it. This because, we want to have the best possible character in the end, not at level 7.
  • NOTE: The best character for leveling would mean increasing certain key skills high at the beginning, leaving some skills lower in the end.

Here are some generic notes. Check the individual sections for details. And for even more detailed info on something spesific, read the other excellent guides out there.


It is not possible to get all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats to maximum (10), but it is possible to get all the relevant ones to 10, with help from perks, items and stat increasing bobbleheads.

Detailed stat guide in [04] POWERPLAY STATS. I present three different builds

1) the "true powerplay" build
  • [04.2] PERFECT S.P.E.C.I.A.L.
  • The Fallout 3 Perfect Character Build
  • This is the one you want for "perfect" stats in the end. Going with minimum Intelligence, and neglecting the most useless one, Charisma, we pump the others to max or close to it.

2) the FPS build (no VATS)
  • If you want to play Fallout 3 as First-Person Shooter, this is for you, although I recommend to take the benefit of the VATS as it is very effective and fun.

3) great beginner build with high-INT
  • The Best Character for Fallout 3 Beginner!
  • This is for someone looking for "easy-mode" build for fun gameplay without too much stress for finding a lot of Skill books and bobbleheads

  • NOTE: If you don't care about maxed out character in the end, but want to enjoy the game while you level and quest, don't go into extremes like the recommendations in this guide. Like said, this is mostly guide for those who want the best possible character in the end.


There is no need to raise all the skills to 100, as there are plenty of items in the game that you can put on to help with non-combat tasks: bartering, speech, repairing, hacking and lockpicking.

If you don't like to carry couple extra items, increase those skills more if you like, but you will have less "extra" Skill Points, which you can distribute as you like like while at it

More about skills in [05] POWERPLAY SKILLS.

Also see the [03.2] Skill books section.


For Perks, I list the most essential ones.


For Quests, I only list the ones with essential/excellent rewards, e.g. skill/stat increases, unique items, etc.

[03.2] Skill books

This is about getting *all* skills to 100, not just couple of them. and for that, you need Skill books, lots and lots of Skill books.

Important note! To reach 100 for every skill you're looking at collecting 7 + 13 Bobbleheads, and something between 180 and 320+ Skill books. This is not for everyone, as if you don't enjoy scavenging and looting, exploring your heart out and basically doing everything possible in the game, just don't. Do what you find fun, not what some stupid guide tells you to :)

If you are not ready to collect almost every skill book in the game, you cannot get all skills to 100, plain and simple.

With minimum INT (3), you must collect at least 260-300 Skill books to reach 100 in *all* the skills. If you want all skills at 100 in the end, with INT 9 you have to collect about 205 Skill books (~40 more if you want skill at 100 without any items).

The difference between INT 3 and INT 9 at start is 114 Skill points. So you can avoid collecting 57 out of ~320 Skill books by going with high INT. Doing so, you'll neglect the other stats, as shown in the next section.

The Educated perk at level 4 (which adds 48 more skill points ~ 24 Skill books) makes the minimum skill books to collect: 181 w/ INT 9 & 233 w/ INT 3
  • NOTE: all calculations assume that +INT Bobblehead is collected as soon as the player exits Vault 101 and starts out, which typical player does not do

If you don't want to collect a lot of them, feel free to take tips from this guide and settle for having excellent character overall, but leaving some skills at lower levels (Barter and combat skills you don't use that much for example)

You can very easily get the most essential skills to 100, just ignoring the ones you don't use, as even with as low as Intelligence of 3, you get 265 Skill points, which is plenty to take couple of skills close to max and finish it strong with just a couple Skill books you happen to come across.

T.O.C. ^



Firstly, all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats increase the skills, but this is not very important as we can raise skills by other means, with the Skill points from Intelligence (and possibly Educated perk) and for the biggeet gains, Skill Books, the most essential part of maxing all the skills.

Secondly, certain level of stat/stats are needed for some perks.

Thirdly, most stats effect derived stats, like how much you can carry or how much action points you have for VATS action.

So, we balance the stats to max out the most important derived stats and to get the perks we want. Skills we get by other means.

[04.2] PERFECT S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

The stats for the Fallout 3 perfect character, starting stats, what stats you will end up with and what perks and items you need to achieve this..

STARTING STATS (Character creation):
  • STR 8
  • PER 6
  • END 8
  • CHR 1
  • INT 3
  • AGL 7
  • LCK 7

  • STR 10
  • PER 8-10
  • END 10
  • CHR 2
  • INT 4
  • AGL 8-10
  • LCK 10

Intense Training +1 STR level 2, +1 END level 3 and +1 AGL level 5. +1 PER from Quest:Those! and all Bobbleheads + the relevant LCK items.

PER and AGL end values depends on using more than 3 Intense Trainings, in expense of other perks you don't necessary need if you don't use certain types of weaponry for example. Using 3 will result with PER 8 and AGL 9 (or the other way around if you add +1 PER instead of +1 AGL)

For Luck, end value of 10 requires to do the Big Town quest, save the town from the Super Mutants and get the Lucky 8 Ball as reward (+1 LCK) and wear Ranger Battle Armor (+1 LCK in addition to the other stats) or use Lucky Shades or other such LCK boosting items.


This means always fighting in real time, and never ever using VATS.

I've understood that some players like to play the game this way, I don't, but here's the best possible values if you do :)
  • NOTE :You will deal a lot more dmg using VATS because of added critical chance and dmg/accuracy boosting perks for VATS

  • COMMENT As far as I know Agility doesn't effect attack/shooting speed outside VATS, but if it does, I'd advice against to use these values then.

STARTING STATS for NON-VATS (Character creation):
  • STR 8
  • PER 7
  • END 8
  • CHR 1
  • INT 5
  • AGL 5
  • LCK 7

  • STR 10
  • PER 10
  • END 10
  • CHR 2
  • INT 6
  • AGL 6
  • LCK 10

Intense Training +1 STR level 2, +1 END level 3 and +1 PER level 5. +1 PER from Quest:Those! and all Bobbleheads + the relevant LCK items.
  • NOTE: The rest of the guide is not done with these values in mind, as you will have a lot more Skill Points to "waste" and
  • the recommendations in the guide are made with the VATS route in mind.


This might be a good build for a beginner, with the high INT you don't have to collect skill books that much and still have great balanced character.

STARTING STATS (Character creation):
  • STR 8
  • PER 5
  • END 7
  • CHR 1
  • INT 9
  • AGL 5
  • LCK 5

  • STR 10
  • PER 7
  • END 9
  • CHR 2
  • INT 10
  • AGL 7
  • LCK 8

Intense Training +1 STR level 2, +1 END level 3 and +1 PER level 5. +1 PER from Quest:Those! and all Bobbleheads + the relevant LCK items.

You'll end up at 7-10 in all but CHR with this build with Bobbleheads and items. If you insist on having higher charisma, you'll have to make a choice to have less health or less carry weight power or something. But you're on your own with that tweaking.

This INT build is just shown for reference in case someone wants to go with higher INT as it makes skill training easier. But this is guide is not for the easy route, as we want to max the relevant stats, so choose the earlier options if you want to push it to the max (again, it won't be easy, but you will have the most powerful stats in the end).


Charisma (CHR) only effects certain skills (Speech and Barter), which we can max otherwise, and certain perks, which are not that great. If you insist on having higher CHR, go for 3-5. Even if you went to speak through challenges, you don't need more that 5. And most enemies in the wasteland don't waste time babbling anyway.

There is absolutely NO REASON to go over 5 with Charisma. If someone says otherwise, I don't know what they're thinking, as Charisma *only* effects a couple of speech/barter (more and less useless) perks and speech and barter skills directly.

Intelligence (INT) effects the amount of Skill Points per level and there are certain perks that we want, which require INT to be high enough. So we balance INT as low as possible, because we have other means to raise skills, but high enough to get the perks we really need (namely, Comprehension to get the full benefit from Skill Books).

INT *must* be at least 3 because comprehension perk requires INT 4 or higher (which we can get with the bobblehead from River City).

VERY IMPORTANT! When starting with INT of 3, you MUST RUN into River City right after you exit Vault 101 or reloaded/created new character

All-in-all, higher INT makes it easier to create powerful, versatile character, but that's about it. Every point added to INT at start nets you 19 Skill Points in total, one Skill Point per level, so think if you really need those extra points. INT 6 or 7 is plenty, even for beginning players. As you can always take Educated perk, worth of 3 INT at level 4 if you want.

However, if you don't want to stress about collecting skill books, but still want to have at least the key skills at high level, INT 7-9 is probably the best way to go + taking Educated perk at level 4 (= as soon as possible).

Strength (STR). How much you can carry and Melee damage. Carrying more is just convenient, so start at 8, max to 10 with Intense Training and Bobblehead from Lucas Simms' House in Megaton.

If you plan on using Power Armor in the end, you could in theory go with 6, as you'll get the last +2 you need from the armor itself (just remember to take bit more AGL to compensate the -2. Personally I just love Ranger Battle Armor too much to ever wear the Power Armor :)

If you set STR very low, like 1-5, you'll probably regret it if you like to scavenge/loot at all (which I assume you do, as that's a big part of fallout, at least for me). It will be a pain to travel and back and sell stuff all the time and only run around with one weapon and only loot ammo. Trust me, you want it at max, it's just that much more fun to be able to loot everything you want, not what you can carry.

Endurance (END). Your Health and Poison & Radiation Resistance. Max to get the most HP and resistances. On the other hand, if you play it safe and fight carefully, you can manage with less health. Resistances are not that important as they can be healed easily. Have at least 5-6 at start, 8 if you want to max it.

Perception (PER). Spotting enemies (how early you see those red marks in the compass). High Perception is great to spot enemies early, but 10 might be overkill. You don't want to go too low, as you'll end running into enemies and miss good opportunities to damage the foes before they dmg you. So take something between 5-7 at start.

Agility (AGL) = Actions Points (AP). More VATS action = more damage. If you blast mostly in FPS mode, AGL is almost irrelevant. Although, there are a lot of perks to benefit VATS action, but no perk to benefit only real-time action. So ignoring VATS totally is giving up on max damage. All-in-all, high agility is nice, but max is not needed as the benefit of just a couple more AP is questionable. Set to 5-7 at the start.

Luck (LCK). Every non-even point in Luck adds 1 Skill Point to all skills = 13 Skill Points. That's ~6.5 Skill Points per point in Luck. Every point in Luck also adds +1% Critical hit chance. Also one of the best perks, Better Criticals, needs 6 LCK.

More criticals means more damage, which is great, and those criticals do A LOT MORE damage if you take the Better Criticals perk, so I recommend maxing this with help from some items, so take something between 5-7 at start (under or over these values is just not good).

T.O.C. ^


Fallout 3 Perfect Character will have all skills at max in the end, here I'll show you how you get'em there..

[05.1] Total Skill Points Available

If you chose the stats recommended in [04.2], and make the run to River City at start for +1 INT Bobble head, you'll have 265 Skill Points in levels 2-20

The total Skill Points you have depends on:
  1. Intelligence at start
  2. How early you get +1 INT Bobblehead from River City
  3. whether or not you take the Educated Perk.
  4. whether of not you use Intense Training for +1 INT (DONT)

[05.2] Total Skill Points for Each Skill

To get all the skills to 100 in the end, the amount you need to train each skill depends on these factors:
  1. your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats -- including how you raise them with perks, items and bobbleheads
  2. skills you tag
  3. whether you utilize items to reach 100 (e.g. Vault Utility Suit)
  4. whether you choose Silent Running Perk
  5. whether you choose Cyborg Perk (you should)
  6. whether you buy the DLC Anchorage and gain the Covert Ops Perk
  7. whether you save Megaton or blow it up, as Science Theme for your House at Megaton or Suite in Tenpenny Tower have different book
  8. amount of skill books and bobbleheads you're willing to collect. this guide assumes you go for most, if not all.
  9. whether or not you WASTE perks for skill-point-only perks (DONT!)

  • NOTE: Some are minor effects, but tuning it to the point, all matter.

[05.3] Extra Skill Points

Free Skill Points are extra points you can freely distribute without fear of finishing short of 100 in some other skill.

The amount of Extra Skill Points depends on the total amount of Skill points available and the total number you need to train each skill.

Any excess points are freely distributable to any skill, and you still have 100 in all skills in the end. Freely distributable points can be saved to the end and raise skills to decrease the need of items and skill books, or you can use them while leveling to essential skills to ease gameplay.

For example, raise lockpicking and/or science for access to locked computers and doors or some combat skill like small guns to give help you survive at lower levels.

Or, you can use the extra/free Skill points to make sure you have high enough a skill to take the perk you want at certain level. Here are the most relevant ones you want/might want to take...

[05.4] Skills needed for the perks

  • Explosives 50+ before level 11 (Demolition Expert)
  • Sneak 60+ before level 13 (Silent Running)
  • Explosives 60+ before level 15 (Pyromaniac)
  • Science 60+ before level 14 (Cyborg)
  • Medicine 60+ before level 14 (Cyborg)
  • Unarmed 70+ before level 18 (Paralyzing Palm)
  • Sneak 80+ before level 20 (Ninja)
  • Melee 80+ before level 20 (Ninja)

  • This is not "recommended perks" list, but a list of needed skills for at least somewhat useful perks
  • (although most of the skills in the list are what we most likely want in the end)

At minimum, you should definately go for the corresponding Bobblehead before the mentioned level. And use the extra Skill points to reach requirements before the level you want to take the perk. The other way is to go for enough skill books in the early levels to reach the level you want before it's the time to take the perk.

[05.4] Skill Point calculations

Calculating all the above "by hand" is not simple, but it's simple to do in spreadsheet, so that's what I did. I will only present the result values, as listing out formulas won't benefit this guide :)

Example set 1
(scroll down a bit, there might be some white space here)
STR 8 10
PER 6 8
END 8 10
CHR 1 2
INT 3 4
AGL 7 8
LCK 7 10

  • using recommended starting stats above, from [04.2]
  • TAG! Science, Repair and Medicine at start (because of low INT)
  • running for +1 INT Bobblehead at level 2 (right at the beginning)
  • taking Silent Running and Cyborg (because both are great)
  • choosing Ant Sight for +1 PER from Quest: Those!
  • choosing to disarm the bomb (good karma) and have house in Megaton
  • using intense training 3 times (levels 2, 3 and 5) for +1 STR/END/AGL
  • collecting all bobbleheads and skill books if needed
  • using items to bump up repair, lockpick, science, barter and speech.
  • using Ranger Battle Armor and Lucky 8 Ball for 2x +1 LCK

The items needed are:
  • Button's Wig and Roving Barter Suit (Barter +10 total)
  • Vault Utility Suit (+5 Lockpick, +5 Repair)
  • Lesko's Lab Coat (+10 Science)
  • Ranger Battle Armor (+1 LCK, +10 Small Guns)
  • Lucky 8 Ball (+1 LCK)
  • Button's Wig and Naughty Nightwear (Speech +20 total)

TOTAL Skill Points : 265
EXTRA Skill Points : 133

Amount of training needed for each skill:
(scroll down a bit, there might be some white space here)
Barter 21
Big Guns 13
Energy Weapons 7
Explosives 17
Lockpick 12
Medicine 10
Melee Weapons 13
Repair 5
Science 2
Small Guns 5
Sneak 5
Speech 9
Unarmed 13

putting more Skill Points to a skill than on the list, will go from the "extra Skill Points pool", which starts at 139 and you can keep track of.

Example set 2

Using the same set as above, but take all skills to 100 without using any items (even that some items you will most likely have on all the time, like +1 LCK from Lucky 8 Ball).

TOTAL Skill Points : 265
EXTRA Skill Points : 60

Amount of training needed for each skill:
(scroll down a bit, there might be some white space here)
Barter 32
Big Guns 14
Energy Weapons 8
Explosives 18
Lockpick 18
Medicine 11
Melee Weapons 14
Repair 11
Science 13
Small Guns 16
Sneak 6
Speech 30
Unarmed 14

putting more Skill Points to a skill than on the list, will go from the "extra Skill Points pool", which starts at 66 and you can keep track of.

T.O.C. ^


Perks this guide concentrates on give benefits to combat or skills in a way that we cannot get by other means. Feel free to choose fun and dialogue centric perks if you like, but in the end the ones listed here are the best overall choices, mainly for combat as non-combat ones are not very good (Fallout 3 is quite a bit about combat after all).

All perks that raise *only* some skill should be avoided, as we get skills to max without these perks, so they are a waste. However, if a perk gives the skill increase in addition to the other, very beneficial boost, we of course take that in.

I don't list all the perks, as other guides/faqs and websites have done it so many times, I just list the relevant ones.


Perks for the Fallout 3 Perfect Character by Absolute Steve (with minor edits by me)

Level 2: Intense Training -> STR +1
Level 3: Intense Training -> END +1
Level 4: Comprehension (Now you can read Skill Books for +2 Points)
Level 5: Intense Training -> AGL +1
Level 6: Toughness
Level 7: Bloody Mess / Intense Training -> AGL or PER +1 **1*
Level 8: Strong Back / Int.Training -> AGL or PER +1 **2*
Level 9: Commando
Level 10: Finesse
Level 11: Demolition Expert / Int.Training -> AGL or PER +1 **3*
Level 12: Sniper
Level 13: Silent Running
Level 14: Cyborg
Level 15: Pyromaniac **4*
Level 16: Action Boy
Level 17: Better Criticals
Level 18: Paralyzing Palm
Level 19: [choice]
Level 20: Grim Reaper's Sprint

**1* 5% more damage from Bloody Mess is great, but if you get bored for the
bloody explosions, skip. If you love/tolerate'em, take :)

**2* If you feel Carry Weight from STR 10 is enough, skip Strong Back. Also
note that you can take Commando at level 8 if you want.

**3* Can take AGL/PER +1 here, it's just +20% dmg to explosives anyway.

**4* If you don't use firebased weapons (e.g. Flamer, Shiskebab), this is
useless. Go for something else instead.



You must take this perk. I repeat, you must take this perk.

You will not have Fallout 3 Perfect Character if you don't take this. And even if you don't want to "perfect it", take this as any player will run into 6-7 skill books without even looking and that alone makes this perk worth it.
  • Comprehension: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: INT >= 4
  • 2 Skill Point instead of 1 when reading a skill book
  • If you don't want to take this, stop reading this guide!
  • just kidding, but seriously, it is the most beneficial perk in the game. period.
  • If you know you won't be running around finding skill books, maybe, just maybe you can consider not taking this (you will run into so many skill books even if you're not looking that this perk raises your skills more than any other)


These are the perks you need too for perfect character in Fallout 3.
  • Intense Training: 10 Ranks
  • Requirements: ---
  • +1 to any STAT
  • At least 3 should be used for STR, END and AGL.
  • Possibly 4 & 5 to PER and AGL.

  • Toughness
  • Requirements: END >= 5
  • +10 Damage Resistance

  • Cyborg: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: Science >= 60, Medicine >= 60
  • Like Toughness, but with added benefits.
  • +10 Damage Resistance (DR), Poison & Radiation Resistance
  • +10 to Energy Weapons skill as a bonus!

  • Better Criticals: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: PER >= 6, LCK >= 6
  • +50% damage of Critical Hits!
  • Take this for insane damage, especially with Finesse + 10 LCK

  • Finesse: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: ---
  • Critical Chance +5%.
  • More criticals, more damage = sweet.

  • Silent Running: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: AGL 6+, Sneak 60+
  • Running no longer factors into a successful sneak attempt
  • Sneak in your Power Armor and Fat Man like a ninja!
  • +10 Sneak skill to boot!

[06.2.3] VATS PERKS

If you don't ever use VATS, but go with more of a FPS route, you are missing a lot of damage and accuracy because of these perks. However, skip these if you always blast in real-time.
  • Commando: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: ---
  • +25% VATS Accuracy for Rifles.
  • Assault Rifle, Chinese Assault Rifle, Hunting Rifle, Sniper Rifle, Laser Rifle, Plasma Rifle, Railway Rifle.

  • Sniper: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: PER >= 6, AGL >= 6
  • +25% VATS Accuracy for headshots
  • Sneak attack to head is very lethal, with this, it's easier.

  • Action Boy/ Action Girl: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: AGL >= 6
  • +25 VATS Action Points ~ additional shot in VATS

  • Paralyzing Palm: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: Unarmed 70+
  • VATS palm strike that paralyzes foe for 30 secs.
  • If you insist on holding on to you gun and refuse to switch to unarmed and back (which might take some time to get used to), skip this.

If you use pistols and such a lot (for some reason), take Gunslinger. If you don't use them all the time, don't. Commando & Rifles = better
  • Gunslinger: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: ---
  • +25% VATS Accuracy for a Small Gun.
  • .32 Pistol, Scoped .44 Magnum, (Silenced) 10mm Pistol, 10mm Submachine Gun, Chinese Pistol, Sawed-Off Shotgun, Dart Gun, Laser Pistol, Plasma Pistol, Alien Blaster, Mesmetron.


  • Educated.
  • +3 Skill Points / level, ~ 48 Skill Points in total
  • By collecting the skill books, you don't need this
  • For beginner/first game, this is highly recommended!
  • If you don't feel like running around for books, must take!
  • If you do take it, take this right away at level 4 (and take comprehension on level 5)

  • Bloody Mess
  • Requirements: ---
  • +5% dmg with any weapon
  • Sometimes blows up the target with blood and limbs all over +dmg is always great, so take it and see how you like it.

  • Strong Back
  • STR >= 5, END >= 5
  • +50 Carry Weight
  • More gear, more loot. Take this.
  • Skip if you don't carry lot of gear, store things in your house and don't mind travel to sell more often.

  • Demolition Expert: 3 Ranks
  • Requirements: Explosives = 50+
  • +20% dmg / rank for Grenades, Mines and Missiles.
  • Good, do you use grenades and lay down mines all the time?

  • Pyromaniac: 1 Rank
  • Requirements: Explosives = 60+
  • +50% fire-based weapon damage
  • Flamer, Nuka-Grenade, Shiskebab, 'Firelance' Alien Blaster and Zhu-Rong v418 Chinese Pistol.
  • If you don't use any of these, this is useless, but if you do melee with Shiskebab, this perk makes it the best weapon in game.

  • Level 20. Ninja or Grim Reaper's Sprint.
  • Ninja makes you melee/unarmed slaughter machine with uber-crits
  • Grim Reaper's Sprint restores your AP on a VATS kill, so you can clear multiple enemies without any sweat.

  • If you don't use VATS, take Ninja.
  • If you only use Melee or Unarmed, take Ninja.
  • If you don't Melee or Unarmed, take Grim Reaper's Sprint.
  • If you use VATS, take Grim Reaper's Sprint.


There are many perks that you can take and try for run, but these should be avoided, as they don't provide anything we get anyway.

Some of the "look good on paper", but remember to consider hard it you really need these. Remember that it is your game, so you're in the control and can do whatever you want :)
  • Daddy's Boy/Girl. +5 Science and +5 Medicine per rank
  • Gun Nut. +5 Small Guns and +5 Repair per rank
  • Little Leager. +5 Melee and +5 Explosives per rank.
  • Thief. +5 Sneak and +5 Lockpick per rank
  • Swift Learner. +10 EXP, no rush to level really
  • Scrounger. More ammo from containers, not so great
  • Size Matters. +15 Big Guns skill per rank.
  • Scoundrel. +5 Speech and +5 Barter per rank.
  • Fortune Finder. More Bottle Caps, sounds good, but isn't
  • Here and Now. Instant level-up, no need
  • Contract Killer/Lawbringer. 5 Caps for killing good/evil. So Bad.
  • Master Trader, items 25% cheaper. Unnecessary
  • Tag! +15 Skill at level 16! No good.
  • Computer Whiz. Reload or re-try hack attempt instead.
  • Infiltrator. Reload or re-try lockpick attempt instead.
  • Explorer. Every Location pinpointed. Only take to save this level 20 to separate save file to load and look at map if you need.

T.O.C. ^


For detailed walkthrough of the quests, check the other guides from Fallout 3 at Gamefaqs.com or such.


Quest: Wasteland Survival Guide
  • Tough: +6 Damage Resistance

  • Do the optional requirements for all 9 parts
  • Always choose END or STR option from answers on turn-in.
  • Boost stats if needed with chems.
  • >>> leads to Tough: +6 Damage Resistance

Other possibilities (avoid Smart or Sly):

Standard: +15 HP
Smart: +6 Medicine, +6 Science
Sly: +6 Sneak, +6 Speech
Snide: +3 Critical Chance

Quest: Those!
  • Ant Might: 1 Rank
  • 25% resistance to fire, +1 in STR.

  • Ant Sight: 1 Rank
  • 25% resistance to fire, +1 in PER

>>> If you choose to follow the stat recommendations on this guide, choose Ant Sight for +1 PER.

QUEST: The Replicated Man
  • Wired Reflexes: 1 Rank
  • Increases VATS accuracy by 10%
  • To get both this, and the weapon. See Vault Fallout Wiki for info.

QUEST: Oasis
  • Barkskin: 1 Rank
  • Damage Resistance is increased by +10
  • No longer has the +1 END as in early Fallout3 build, but Damage Resistance alone makes it worthwhile to this one.


QUEST: The Replicated Man

QUEST: Reilly's Rangers
  • Ranger Battle Armor and/or Eugene the Minigun
  • Choose Ranger Battle Armor,
  • but do note that, if Brick happens to die during the retreat from the hotel, you can loot both Eugene and Ranger Battle Armor, and get one more of the two as quest reward.

T.O.C. ^


These don't weight too much, so can carry these around and switch when needed, e.g. selling stuff, repairing, hacking/lockpicking, etc.

[08.0] Utility Items Summary

  • Button's Wig and Roving Barter Suit (Barter +10 total)
  • Vault Utility Suit (+5 Lockpick, +5 Repair)
  • Lesko's Lab Coat (+10 Science)
  • Ranger Battle Armor (+1 LCK, +10 Small Guns)
  • Lucky 8 Ball (+1 LCK)
  • Button's Wig and Naughty Nightwear (Speech +20 total)

[08.1] Utility Items for +Skill boost when needed

Vault Utility Suit (you get it at childhood part)
+5 Repair and +5 Lockpick.

Vault Lab Uniform (you get it at childhood part)
+5 Science
>>> replace later by Lesko's Lab Coat +10 Science

Dirty Pre-War Businesswear (get from Burke by telling Sheriff about Burke, and killing Burke while at it. Good Karma route only)
+5 Speech
>>> replace later by Naughty Nightwear +10 Speech
>>> add Button's Wig later for +10 Speech more

Roving Trader Outfit +5 Barter
Roving Trader Hat +5 Barter
>>> Button's Wig replaces the hat as duplicate +5 Barter

Any Hat with +1 PER
e.g. Pre-War Baseball Cap, Stormchaser Hat, Pre-War Hat, etc
>>> Use when wandering in Wasteland to spot enemies sooner.

[08.2] Weapons

There are weapon listings in the other guides, and info about how to get the unique ones. So I'll just say what I use: Hunter Rifle for long range, Combat Shotgun for short. Combat Shotgun is my favorite, when enemies get near, they don't live very long, even at start with low small guns skill.

[08.3] Armor

At start, the Armored Vault 101 Jumpsuit is great (get it from Moira by wearing some Vault 101 gear, like the Vault 101 Security Armor, when you talk to her start)

Go with whatever armor you come across, mostly Raider or Talon Armor I'd guess. Probably no need to waste caps on anything at this point.

In the end, Ranger Battle Armor, no question about it. Sick DR/weight ratio, AP+5, LCK+1 and Small Guns +10 on top. Get it, love it. Save all Talon Combat Armors and Combat Armors from your journeys to keep it fixed.

T.O.C. ^


Bobbleheads, Skill Books, Custom Weapon materials, Quest items, etc.

Store them at your House/Suite before you need them.


T.O.C. ^


SPOILER WARNING! If you haven't played Fallout 3 yet, and want to experience it on your own, as I recommend, skip this section.


1) Go through childhood and collect everything you can - Absolute Steve's main FAQ or the Enhanced Fallout 3 Guide is great for this
2) Never ever delete the save file created automatically when you exit, you can always reload it, edit everything and still have all the stuff you collected. And you don't have to go though childhood again.
3) Extra: Check that the time is around 6-8am before you click the door. Wait if needed - this way you'll have daylight at start without waiting on every new start (easier to see where you're going if nothing else).


1) Run to Springvale (to the left road from Vault 101), loot the mailboxes to the left, especially the second mailbox, and lockpick the safe in the ruin where the 2nd mailbox is.
2) Run to Megaton (there might be caravan trader outside, sell unneeded stuff and buy something if you like)
3) Enter Megaton
4) Talk with Sheriff, but don't talk about the bomb yet. Exit dialoque.
5) Put on your 101 Vault Suit for +2 Speech, SAVE to a new save file
6) Talk to Sheriff about the Bomb, pump up the price with speech
RELOAD until succesful (this might take a while with our low speech)
7) SAVE to a new save-file (this is your start point with this char)
8) EXIT (you'll reload this autosave if run to River City goes bad)
9) RUN to River City (You got the location from Sheriff)


You want to run to River City and avoid all fights / take minimal dmg.
We're going for the +1 INT Bobblehead while still at level 2.
  • Equip any +1 PER hat/item you have
  • You should have the baseball cap if nothing else
  • Run more and less directly to South from Megaton (set marker)
  • Stay out of buildings mostly, but feel free to try and get some locations pinned while running (the little green triangles)
  • While running, if you see "reds", hit crouch, stop and/or try to sneak bit to the side, we want to avoid battles or at least getting hit too much.
  • Make a "temporary run save file", and save after a bit if still safe
  • When you reach the border of game area (or close to it),
  • Run east, while staying mostly to south.

If you want to look at a map, like this Fallout 3 Map: For relatively safe route, you can pick up locations like Nuka-Cola Plant and Arlington Library. Flooded Metro has enemies, so go around that from South.
  • When you reach the water, swim to River City (don't mind the rad, we can clear it for free with Wasteland Survival Guide quest when back at Megaton)
  • When you reach River City, make a NEW save file again.
  • Go to the Science Lab (enter the door on left after bridge, take the door on left when in the stairwell, run to the end of the corridor / follow the signs to Science Lab.
  • Get the INT+1 Bobblehead on the table.
  • Don't talk to Dr.Li too much about Dad, as that will skip parts of the main quest (unless you want to for some reason)
  • If the run goes bad, reload and avoid the bad areas.

Now that you have the +1 INT Bobblehead, you can do whatever you want. It's probably an good idea to go back to Megaton thou. But you can do some stuff in River City, like start The Replicated Man quest or such. When done, fast travel to Megaton. SAVE.

[10.4] MEGATON

Do these things in Megaton:
  • Start Wasteland Survival Guide (WSG) quest, do the radiation part (and get cleaned of the rad from swim to River City while at it)
  • Get the STR+1 Bobblehead from Sheriff's house (it's open at times)
  • Talk to Walter about pipe leaks, fix'em, talk to Walter again
  • Talk to Ghoul in the saloon (Speech challenge)
  • Talk to Mr.Burke about the Bomb, get info about Lee's chem stash.

  • If going for good karma, tell Sheriff about Mr.Burke, and then either save Sheriff when things go bad,
  • or let the Sheriff take it, for a nice early weapon.. but not that great, so save the man :)
  • Either way kill Burke while at it (Sneak Attack VATS headshot is good and fast if you want to save the Sheriff)
  • Loot Burke for +5 speech suit and other stuff
  • Get the chem stash key from Lee, speech challenge and help him.
  • Go get the chems
  • Repair bomb (boost explosives to 25 with Mentats if needed) for your own House and nice 500 caps.
  • If Sheriff is dead, his son will give you the reward.
  • Talk to Moriarty
  • get info about Silver, go collect (Speech challenge for 400 caps)
  • hack into Moriarty's computer (pump Science with Vault Lab Uniform and chems if needed. Get info about Dad.

You'll have plenty of caps from the quests alone, so this is a good way to start. Not that you'll run out of caps anyway, but in case you don't want to loot stuff and sell, these early caps will come in handy buying ammo or stimpacks for example.

If you like, go and run a bit Southwest of Tenpenny Tower to "Lucky's" and get Lucky Shades for +1 LCK from mannequin inside.

Now go do whatever you want, continue with the WSG, do the Blood Ties, continue the Main Quest and go after your Dad or whatever. Just remember to follow the Fallout 3 Perfect Character guidelines on perks, items and stat increases and you'll end up good..

Getting Dogmeat!

When you do the Minefield part of the WSG quest, go and get Dogmeat from Scrapyard. As the Scrapyard is right next to Minefield (just need to run couple of steps to South), this is the best time to get the dog.

You'll find some raiders getting whooped by a dog there, be nice to the doggie and it'll will follow you forever, or you can send him to Vault 101
and get it back at any point if you want.

Dogmeat eats Super Mutants and everything else for breakfast and will help you a lot. If nothing else, make it fetch you things from locked containers.


Even that this is a guide for the Fallout 3 Perfect Character, Fallout is about exploring and freedom, so go your way, enjoy the game, play your own Fallout 3 Perfect Game..

You are "on your own" now, go do whatever you please. Have fun in with the Main Story, explore the Wasteland, gather all kinds of items and equipment, etc. Fallout 3 is a great game, so you should enjoy it like you want. Don't forget to take a look at the downloadable contect if you run out of things to do. Just remember to keep a separate save files, so you can start again without doing all things again if you don't want to.

T.O.C. ^


[ ] Strength (Megaton - Lucas Simms' House)
[ ] Perception (Republic of Dave - Museum of Dave)
[ ] Endurance (Deathclaw Sanctuary)
[ ] Charisma (Vault 108 - Cloning Lab)
[ ] Intelligence (Rivet City - Science Lab)
[ ] Agility (Greener Pastures Disposal Site - Office)
[ ] Luck (Arlington House)

[ ] Barter (Evergreen Mills - Market Bazaar)
[ ] Big Guns (Fort Constantine - CO Quarters)
[ ] Energy Weapons (Raven Rock - Sector 2)
[ ] Explosives (WKML Broadcast Station - Sealed Cistern)
[ ] Lockpick (Bethesda Ruins - Bethesda Offices East)
[ ] Medicine (Vault 101 - Living Quarters)
[ ] Melee Weapons (Dunwich Building - Virulent Underchamber)
[ ] Repair (Arefu - Evan King's House)
[ ] Science (Vault 106 - Living Quarters)
[ ] Small Guns (National Guard Depot - National Guard Armory)
[ ] Sneak (Yao Guai Tunnels - Yao Guai De)
[ ] Speech (Paradise Falls - Eulogy's Pad)
[ ] Unarmed (Rockopolis)

[ ] Level 2: Intense Training -> STR +1
[ ] Level 3: Intense Training -> END +1
[ ] Level 4: Comprehension (Now you can read Skill Books for +2 Points)
[ ] Level 5: Intense Training -> AGL +1
[ ] Level 6: Toughness
[ ] Level 7: Bloody Mess / Intense Training -> AGL or PER +1
[ ] Level 8: Strong Back / Int.Training -> AGL or PER +1
[ ] Level 9: Commando
[ ] Level 10: Finesse
[ ] Level 11: Demolition Expert / Int.Training -> AGL or PER +1
[ ] Level 12: Sniper
[ ] Level 13: Silent Running
[ ] Level 14: Cyborg
[ ] Level 15: Pyromaniac **4*
[ ] Level 16: Action Boy
[ ] Level 17: Better Criticals
[ ] Level 18: Paralyzing Palm
[ ] Level 19: [choice]
[ ] Level 20: Grim Reaper's Sprint

[ ] Explosives 50+ before level 11 (Demolition Expert)
[ ] Sneak 60+ before level 13
[ ] Explosives 60+ before level 15 (Pyromaniac)
[ ] Science 60+ before level 14 (Cyborg)
[ ] Medicine 60+ before level 14 (Cyborg)
[ ] Unarmed 70+ before level 18 (Paralyzing Palm)
[ ] Sneak 80+ before level 20 (Ninja)
[ ] Melee 80+ before level 20 (Ninja)

COLLECT AND SAVE/ (To sell for Freeform Quests)
[ ] Scrap Metal
[ ] Pre-War Books
[ ] Fire And Nectar
[ ] Sugar Bombs

SAVE FOR LATER (Custom Weapons)
[ ] Lunchbox
[ ] Cherry Bomb
[ ] Sensor Module
[ ] Paint Gun
[ ] Toy Car
[ ] Surgical Tubing
[ ] Radscorpion Poison Gland
[ ] Wonderglue
[ ] Leather Belt
[ ] Medical Brace
[ ] Deathclaw Hand
[ ] Fission Battery
[ ] Pressure Cooker
[ ] Steam Gauge Assembly

T.O.C. ^



Other Fallout 3 FAQ's (at GameFAQ's)

Other Fallout 3 Fan Websites

The Vault Fallout Wiki

T.O.C. ^

[98] OUTRO

The end of my FAQ

If you enjoyed the guide, please leave a comment and share this guide with your friends by linking to this guide or using the buttons below to bookmark and share the guide in Facebook, Twitter, Digg, etc.

For any Contributions, Compliments, Complaints, Thanks, please leave a comment

If you think level 20 is not enough, buy the Broken Steel downloadable content (or the GOTY edition of the game) and go for the 30!

For more advice, tips, maps and walkthroughs for this wonderful game, I recommend the Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition: Prima Official Game Guide

The Game of the Year (GOTY) Edition of the guide includes the information not only about the original Fallout 3 game, but also about the 5 add-on games that can come with the Fallout 3: Game of The Year Edition or can be downloaded separately.

Those links above (the guide and the game) are affiliate links to Amazon.com so I'll get a small commission from Amazon if you decide to buy'em. You can always find them gaming stores near you or in other online stores as well, if you don't feel like buying it from Amazon or through that link of mine. I haven't bought the Prima Guide myself, as I like to explore things on my own and then write a guide like this to help others out, but if you want a cool book to your shelf and all the information about the game you need and then some, the guide is definitely for you.

T.O.C. ^


+++ The Vault Fallout Wiki
+++ gamefaqs.com
+++ Absolute Steve for great guides and FAQs
+ CrionLord for the Skill Book Guide
+ everyone else in the gamefaqs community

+++ Bethesda Softworks for the greatest game and for resurrecting Fallout back into glory!

+++ Fallout 4 ... pretty please (UPDATE: It's not named "4", but it's coming here!!! - Fallout: New Vegas was released on October 19th 2010)

Document Copyright Zemalf

Fallout 3 Powerplay Guide Copyright (C) 2009-2010



Jesse Rodgers said...

I just wanted to say thanks for all the hard work you put into this. You help me out a lot and im sure you helped many others. My character is going very well thanks to you. I have been looking for a guide like this forever and this one is perfect. I am also a big fan of the Fallout series and its a lot of fun playing with a better character.
Thanks again,

Antti said...

Thanks Jesse for the comment!

At some point I always end up "min-maxing" or "perfecting" my characters in RPGs (I've done it in Morrowind, Oblivion, Final Fantasys, etc.)... But this time I started writing things down as I played and leveled my own Fallout 3 character and in the end it turned out as this guide. I'm happy it's been helpful to you.

Sylar said...

Hey thanks for this awesome guide! I was just wondering about stat increases though. I didn't understand the spreadsheet. Are the numbers how much I raise it by or how much they're supposed to be

Antti said...

@Sylar Yes, the numbers are the amounts you need to increase the skill when you level up in order to reach 100 in the end. The rest comes from skills books, perk bonuses, etc.

Mr. Menagerie said...

Thanks a TON for your insight and work with this. I'm starting a new character in the YOTY Edition and this has and will continue to help me design the type of character I'll enjoy the most :)

Warm Regards!


Antti said...

@Stu - The GOTY Edition does have Broken Steel right? So going for level 30 if I'm not mistaken. This guide works "OK", but for level 30 Absolute Steve's instructions on his MASSIVE FAQ are much better.

With Broken Steel DLC, and level 30, you don't really need to go for all the skill books, you can skip educated and just take INT 9 and INT Bobblehead right away.

In short the perfect fallout character at level 30 is based on the perk "Almost Perfect" you can get at lvl30. It takes all S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats to 9. And by saving STAT Bobbleheads (all but INT) for that, you'll get all stats to 10. For truly perfect, that's the way to go. And to be honest, it's way more enjoyable as you get tons of skills points with INT10 (start 9 + INT bobblehead) and not so much hunting for skill books, which is HELL :)

Check: http://www.gamefaqs.com/xbox360/939933-fallout-3/faqs/54966 - And there, the section: [S6] Creating a Grand, Great All-Round Character (WITH BROKEN STEEL!)

Anonymous said...

Just commenting on the comment in your guide about a relatively low Strength attribute character. I played it through with a 4 STR and had zero trouble looting and was able to carry around plenty of weapons - including a minigun, rocket launcher, fat man, chinese assault rifle, and a plasma rifle simultaneously during battles. The extra 60 lbs you get with a 10 over a 4 doesn't make that big of a difference. I was playing as a scavenger/hoarder to boot.

Antti said...

@Bruneauinfo - I bet you did lot of running back home a lot, if you hoarded stuff like I do :)

I liked the convenience of having STR 8 at start, and +1 with intense training on level 2. STR Bobblehead from Megaton, and you're at 10 on level 2.

Playing with Broken Steel, for perfect at level 30, I started with 6, and that was OK.

Kent Plumbers said...

Thank you for all of your help doing this, this is very helpful. I'm planning on creating a new character soon and have been looking online for the perfect character.

Tyler said...

i know its a jerk move but ill probly just use console commands and add a bunch of each skill book :P

Jenn said...

The Scribd version is not free. they want me to pay to be a member to download it. 

FireBor101 said...

Better Character:

S: 3- how much you can carry
P: 9- believe it or not it slightly increases your accuracy, also you can see enemies from distance.
E: 3- mainly health.
C: 5- speech points(one of the most important things in the game)
I: 9- How many exp points you get after killing an enemy.
A: 5- weapon reload, and switching weapon speed.
L: 6- makes all your skills a bit better but this can be used to gain a special perk called "Mysterious Stranger", which makes a guy show up and finish off your enemies with a 44. magnum in the V.A.T.S mode.

After finding the perception and the intelligence bobble head or using the perk  "Intense Training" and boosting up both perception and inteligence, you will have a character strong with guns and a character who wont go down easily.

But still Your guide is very good.

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