I'm curious to know if anyone has tried melee and/or unarmed builds in Fallout: New Vegas. What are the stats, skills, perks, equipment, and tactics that you used to make this a feasible character build?

  • Questions about balance are usually questions that are not based on an actual problem. See "Why did They design it that way, anyway?", and why do we allow or disallow these? for more information... – Tamara Wijsman Aug 16 '11 at 0:57
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    I disagree strongly with Tom. This is not a design question, it's about how specific stats and strategies work in a new game as compared to the old one. The "actual problem" is that a new balance can break old strategies, creating a need to evaluate and develop revised strategies. Balance issues are not touched on at all in that Meta post, and we have a ton of SC2 questions about balance to name one example. – Matthew Read Aug 16 '11 at 16:42
  • @MatthewRead: JavadocMD himself mentioned balance, so there is design involved. Old strategies are too localized as they no longer apply nowadays, hence there is no actual problem. Theory crafting is homework, not something we should do in a not constructive manner. Balance issues are touched by that post, like I have mentioned to you before; the ton of SC2 questions might also face closure. – Tamara Wijsman Aug 16 '11 at 17:46
  • There, it was never really about balance, but now there can be no doubt. – JavadocMD Aug 17 '11 at 17:55

First off: Melee and Unarmed were very viable in Fallout 3, so long as you 1) Also pumped sneak, and 2) used a Shishkebab with the Pyromaniac perk as Melee, or grabbed a Deathclaw gauntlet and Paralyzing Palm for Unarmed.

As for NV, both combat skills are even better. The new Damage Threshhold mechanics actually make Melee/Unarmed extremely potent in the early game, as these weapons often have very high base damage values to punch through armor, leading them to rip through lower armored foes. In addition, the introduction of new 'special attacks' in VATS for both skillsets and perks to support both playstyles helps a lot. That said, there's a tradeoff: Expect to take a lot more damage, and use a lot more chems. But once you get into melee range, things will drop - fast.


Yeah it is very Viable to play a melee character in Fallout New Vegas. I just beat down 15 Deathclaws with "Oh Baby" and some reinforced leather armor.

I kept pumping points into melee and explosives, Creating a monster. Groups are easy, you simply toss a grenade in the middle and pull out your beatstick to finish them off. You use a lot of stimpacks and food but it is VERY worth it.


The best thing to do is get all those perks and traits that synergies together.

What am I talking about? You should have a lot of Endurance for more HP and skill points in Unarmed + for additional implants. Thus you can take Hot Blooded since the negatives does not affect you at all as you don't rely on either Agility or Perception. And with all the Endurance even at half HP you'll be good and the extra 10% (which is actually 15) in damage will prove more and more useful with better weapons and higher skills. And since you go with half HP anyway, you might as well take Ferocious Loyalty too for your companions. And as somebody previously mentioned: chem use will be involved. MedX, Psychos, Turbos and stuff with the latter combined with Slayer perk will allow you to send people flying around you in a blink. So you can get Logan's Loophole too. I'm dead serious. It's just that good. And Implant GRX (since you got 8 END anyway) as it ROCKS. Get Chemist too and the involved chem duration extending achievable perks. Go Light Armor, take Light Touch, Travel Light, Tunnel Runner as these combined grants you enourmous speed when you sneak with Silent Running. It's way better to be light and fast than being a slow heavy tank as what somehow everybody suggests. You're melee, you have to get close as soon as possible and if your target backs off you don't want him to outrun you. But usually if you get within arms reach (using stealth and speed), then you basically won the fight. Go and get the necessary unarmed perks like Super Slam, Stonewall, Piercing Strike, Ninja (use the patch-mod that fixes this perk), Slayer, and Purifyer as they are all essential. Paralyzing Palm is not that much of a help. And of course Better Criticals. You can even toss Finesse too or Educated but the latter can be avoided if you spend your skill points correctly and take perks in a proper sequence (TAG Repair and take Light Touch at lvl 2).

Bottom line, you get a guy with only a handful of necessary skills, and for self defense can only exel unarmed/melee, but in that field you won't be just the average good who can handle himself, but who basically maxed out the potential that this game offers as you will be the PERFECT hand-to-hand combatant possible minimizing weakness and maximizing the advangates even more than what other routes (like ranged or explosives) makes possible. This is very specialized having much more perks that gives benefit than for example a shotgun- or an energy weapon user has. They also have a few perks but never be able to be as specialized and dedicated as the character I summed up. Invisible and lightning-fast while being able to deal crazy damage within a very short time leaving the enemy little or no oppurtunity to hurt you. Basically the perfect ninja. Playing this character is really comforting.

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