The title explains it all. I've played the entire game "regular" but now I'd like to play hardcore but not try and do every little quest all over again-- just the important ones. What are some tips for a "speed run" through New Vegas on hardcore mode? Thanks!

8 Answers 8


The way of the hardcore is not easy or quick, but you can be the one to conquer it with just a few simple steps.

On water: You should devote as much space as you need to water, both purified and dirty. this will give you the stamina necessary to accomplish your quests with out the bouncing out to drink from the rad free sources convientiently located around the map. The best of these are Good Springs Source, the camp in the far south where you get Rose, and the NCR tenant farm. Also, remember that even an irradated source will reset you to zero so drink when you can to save bottles for when you can't.

On food: You should be able to scavange more than enough food from those you kill through the quests and just laying around to never even need to touch a campfire. Concentrate on things that have a high food to weight value like the squrriel-on-a-stick and the brahmin steak. I would recommend not using food to heal as the hit points aren't worth it on a weight basis, although if your hurt and hungry, they are a nice bonus.

On healing: Med supplies still don't have weight so get those! I also like to use soda but only when I have a ready source of water (irradiated or not). The sunsets are a better option than the nukas but dealers choice. I would save your stimpacks for your companions as they have a tendancy to drop quickly if it ever drops in the pot with things that are over your level. (As your speed running, your level will still be low at the end of the game).

On storage: I wouldn't worry about it. You take what you need along with you and leave the rest behind with out a backward glance. The fallout games make you want to be hoarder, but those guys smell funny and you don't even get be on T.V. so don't do it!

On quests: The trick with the quest is do the main plot and the ones you can do along the way. That's it. You can beat the game by the quickest method at level 24 or 25 as long as you don't do any of the long trek quests. You can also keep all the various factions off you until you have already gotten a bunch of fast travel spots in the strategic spots, which will save you time in the long run. To this end skip the Booted! quest as you don't want to have to run and gun all those assassins.

On companions: Boone and Ed-e, 'Nuff said.

On ammo: Ammo is a great way to make money, it's by far the lightest trade good in the game. I would suggest picking what you are going to use as a weapon and keep only that ammo and sell the rest. This also lets you ignore 3 skills entirely so that you boost your chosen skill even quicker. I would also grab the best gun for your skill even if it makes you go out of your way. That machine is a great choice if you're focusing on guns and there is a great energy gun in the factory just south of new vegas, if you'd rather go that way.

On the end game: This contains some spoilers so don't read it if that's going to upset you, kthxbye

The easiest and quickest path to the end of the game is the Mr. House path. It has the fewest hoops to jump through and least amount of exposure to inevitable pissed off other factions. If you drive to the end along this path you can hit the end at an extremely low level, especially if you invest in a higher speech.

Anyway, hope this helps you get that last little achievement with a quickness :)

  • "those guys smell funny and you don't even get to be on T.V." -- hah! Dec 20, 2010 at 4:38
  • "by the quickest method at level 24 or 25" Seriously? 24 or 25 is a slow leisurely stroll through the game. I beat the game in 8 hours a couple weeks ago. I think I was in the low teens. I'm sure you could do it a lot quicker than that without even using any exploits.
    – DCShannon
    Oct 29, 2015 at 0:12

Bloatfly Slider is very nice for keeping both hunger and dehydration under control. Only 0.5 WG (where as water or food alone is usually 1 WG). Components are very easy to get and only requires 20 survival.

Lead does have weight (even though pipboy claims otherwise) so if you melt lots of ammo hoping to get around ammo weight issue, then be sure to unload Lead somewhere.

Companions are not marked as essential in HC, so save often and avoid using melee types.

There is a nice little place just south east of Primm (in the mountain pass) called Prospector Den. It is overrun by Viper gang, which you can clean out and make it your home (place to drop off junk) until you get a real one.

  • If you wast time on making sliders and establishing a home, you're not doing a speed run.
    – DCShannon
    May 3, 2016 at 23:01

Quickest way to complete in hardcore is stick to the roads to avoid as many potential fights as possible. Having companions are very useful especially is those firefights and will make playing the quests a lot easier. One thing to note if a companion dies in combat they are gone for good, so save frequently and keep an eye on them in hardcore mode.

Always keep stocked up on food, water, stimpacks and doctors bags. You will find dehydration is your biggest problem in hardcore mode.

Ammo has weight in hardcore mode so plan your attacks and conserve your ammo.

Finally, remember to save frequently.

  • Dehydration is not a problem at all if you take advantage of clean water sources like sinks. One sip completely zeros out your thirst meter. Don't carry more than 5 or 6 bottles of water. Maybe let ED-E carry a few extra.
    – DCShannon
    Oct 29, 2015 at 0:14

The record for new game to the ending scene is 32min. The console version is a bit more but not that much, and I started myself a speedrun of New Vegas with all the expansions.

The fact is that you don't need money, water or food if you speed run the game. If you go through the expansion, each start and end restore your HP, water, and food meters. So no need of any of these. Zion is done in usually 8 minutes and the other expansion becomes easy after the divide (Lonesome Road). Don't sweat about the hardcore mode focus more on the pathing you will use and what to do next.


Also try to get a good amount of lockpicking skill,so that you manage to open metal boxes lockers etc. If you have the dlc and have the canteen you won't have to worried about dehydration makes everything easier not to mention they give you one of a kind weapons witch are usefull. One final tip sneaking will help you avoid tough battles on the road


Primm, Nipton, Novac and Boulder City can be bypassed altogether by crossing through the areas containing dangerous enemies to the north and northeast of Goodsprings. This road can let you skip a couple of hours of running going south and then around the mountains to get to New Vegas. Stealth boys help a lot to do this. My own route starts from Sloan, go to Neil's Shack close to Black Mountain, keep following the road up to black mountain until you find a small path on the left side of the road where boulders will roll down if you approach. Go up that slope then turn left just past the first set of cliffs, head through the hills and activate a stealth boy. Set course for Repconn Headquarters and keep an eye out for Death-claws. Keep separate saves in-case you end up being detected by enemies.


Important skills: Speech 100, Guns 50-65, Medicine 60, Science 75, Survival 50-75. Important SPECIAL: Endurance, Strength, Intelligence. Keep to using one weapon for the whole game as it will save on weight, 9mm or 10mm smg or pistol as it is vastly available and Leather/Leather Reinforced or maybe Explorer's Outfit for armor. Follow House storyline as there are less places to go. Biggest challenge for his storyline will be the BOS. Turn their turrets against them before attempting to destroy the bunker so your escape on the first level will be easier with less of them shooting at you. Speech of 100 will be necessary for the Legate during Hoover Dam. Convince him that the battle is won and he'll leave without attacking you. Make sure your inventory is comprised of mostly food and water, Stimpacks, few Doctor's Bags (for areas where a doctor is not around), RadAways, some Weapon Repair Kits (again for areas where weapon repair npc isn't near), limited weapons, ammunition, and items to repair your armor. I suggest don't do any quests that would take you away from the primary area (no DLCs, Vault exploring, Snowglobe hunting).


I completed the game at level 23 but I wasn't doing a speed run and going at my leisure. I reckon you could complete the game by level 20 maybe even earlier if u ignore all side quests and only if you stick to the main story quests and after Ring a Ding Ding, you then opt to join Caeser's legion in the battle for Hoover dam. Make sure the difficulty is on very easy, as it will be very hard to fight the final battle on hardcore mode otherwise. Also, invest in a moderate to high sneak skill for the penultimate mission 'Arizona killer' a high med skill +75 I think (to kill Caesar without being noticed) a very high speech skill (100)(avoids some battles), a high science, repair and barter skill are all time savers. Don't bother with lockpick, unarmed, survival or explosive skills if you're doing a speed run. The other combats skills are according to ur preference. I found a high melee skill took out enemies pretty quickly (chainsaw or ripper fully modded out cut through enemies like butter) without needing to constantly pause game in VATS - and everyone knows u need to use VATS for any type of weapon that requires ammo. This is not a game for FPS fans who like aiming down their sites on the run. Love this game though despite freezes. Save often.

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