GAME GUIDE: Playing Fallout New Vegas on Very Hard Difficulty in Hardcore mode
Games such as Fallout New Vegas are a lot more fun and intense when they’re extra challenging. Playing in hardcore mode really adds to the survival aspect of Fallout, and, in my opinion, makes the game a lot more fun to play.
Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: S.P.E.C.I.A.L: General stats and perks
If you decide to test your Fallout skills in hardcore mode you’ll want to pay special attention to your starting stats. It’s a good idea to create a character with high strength and endurance. Strength will allow you to carry more items for selling and creating explosives and endurance will provide you with more hit points and the ability to get enhancements later on.
Also remember that in hardcore mode ammo weighs you down and it becomes frustrating if you have to constantly drop items when encumbered.
You’ll also want a fairly high intelligence so that you can add more skill points when leveling up. These are the three stats I’d give preference too. Remember that you can always add extra S.P.E.C.I.A.L. points with the Intense Training perk, by collecting bobbleheads (download Fallout New Vegas bobblehead mod here) and by visiting the New Vegas medical center.
Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Skill points
It may make sense to play as staunch, melee character in hardcore mode. Fallout New Vegas has improved melee combat considerably, so this can be a lot of fun.
However, I find it wiser to keep enemies at bay by playing as a gun nut. Killing or injuring enemies before they can get close enough to cripple you may just save your ass.
In the beginning, I generally feed my skill points into Guns, Repair, Explosives, Lockpicking and Survival, and maybe a few in to Medicine and Barter. You need to be able to inflict as much damage as possible early on as well as heal yourself with stimpaks or by cooking gecko steaks at a campfire.
Note that some foodstuffs work just as well as chems by giving you boosts to strength and other skills such as agility. It is also a good idea to keep well fed and hydrated in hardcore mode before leveling up.
Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Finding a home
It is useful to find a place to rest and stash your excess goods early on in the game. Unfortunately you don’t get offered as nice a place as the little shack in Megaton back in Fallout 3, but there are other options.
I chose to settle in Novac – in a rented motel room. You pay peanuts once off and the place is yours! I store extra guns and ammo in the safe, special Nuka Colas and other drinkables in the fridge, extra armour in the cabinet and all miscellaneous goods in the footlocker (for creating items later).
Fallout New Vegas Game Guide: Leveling up
When playing on very hard difficulty in hardcore mode you’ll want to level up as quickly as possible. The best way to achieve this is by completing quests early on. Accept all side quests and odd jobs that come your way and get out and explore.
A good idea is to take the Hunter perk early on which gives a 75% critical hit score against mutated animals and creatures. Once you have that, get out and pot a few geckos and mole rats, but watch out for those killer Cazadors!
I won’t get into perks as there are various strategies involved with picking these, but allocating skill points wisely is vital to surviving the Mojave Wasteland. Don’t spread your skills points too thinly. Rather fuel them into a single stat until it reaches 50. Again I would first focus on Guns, Repair, Lockpicking, Explosives and perhaps Barter and Medicine before anything else.
It sucks coming across a safe or ammunition box that you can’t open because your lock pick skill is too low. You also want to keep your weapons in mint condition so as to inflict as much damage as possible.
- Fallout New Vegas Game Guide part II: weapons, crafting items, making money, combat tips
Related post: Fallout New Vegas Bobblehead Locations
Please feel free to add any game tips or suggestions you may have!