Fallout New Vegas Gunslinger Build: Guide

In the unforgiving wastelands of Fallout: New Vegas, there exists a character archetype known as the Gunslinger Build aka Pistol Build. This character build draws its inspiration from the dusty pages of old Western tales, with a focus on pistols and precision, and offers a unique and thrilling gameplay experience.

The Gunslinger doesn’t rely on brute force but instead prefers to engage with enemies with expertise and accuracy. This build summarizes the essence of the Wild West, making it an appealing choice for players who love sharpshooting.

In this post, we are going to guide you on how you can create a powerful build for your character who will specialize in using pistols in the most effective way.

Character Creation

These S.P.E.C.I.A.L attributes lay the foundation for your Gunslinger’s journey in the Mojave Desert, where every decision and action carries weight and consequence. With these attributes in mind, we can explore the perks and skills that will define your character further and help you become the ultimate Gunslinger of the wasteland.

Strength: When crafting a Gunslinger character, it’s important to recognize that overwhelming physical strength isn’t the primary concern. A moderate value of 4 is sufficient, allowing your character to carry essential gear and weapons without overburdening. This moderate strength frees up precious attribute points to allocate elsewhere, where they’ll have a more significant impact on your playstyle.

Perception: The Gunslinger relies on keen perception to swiftly identify threats and opportunities in the Mojave Desert. A perception attribute of 7 is recommended, ensuring that your character can spot hidden dangers and discover hidden treasures. With this level of perception, you won’t miss any crucial details during your adventures.

Endurance: While the Gunslinger doesn’t seek confrontations, an endurance value of 5 provides a decent foundation of durability. This level of endurance allows you to endure the occasional skirmish without compromising your core attributes. You’ll need to maintain your health, but you won’t be a tank like some other character builds.

Charisma: Charisma holds minimal importance for a Gunslinger. A value of 1 is sufficient, as you’ll rely on wit and agility more than charm. The Mojave Desert can be a harsh and unforgiving place, and your social skills will not be a primary concern.

Intelligence: A Gunslinger must be resourceful and intelligent. An intelligence attribute of 6 is recommended to ensure you gain enough skill points to excel in crucial areas. Your intelligence allows you to adapt, overcome, and survive in a world where only the clever and skilled endure.

Agility: The heart of the Gunslinger build lies in agility. An agility attribute of 7 is crucial, as it enhances your character’s quick-draw abilities and proficiency in the use of pistols. With high agility, you’ll become a deadly force in the wasteland, capable of swiftly dispatching foes in V.A.T.S (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System).

Luck: In the world of Fallout: New Vegas, luck can be the difference between life and death. A luck attribute of 7 is important for the Gunslinger, as it significantly increases your critical hit chances. Additionally, it affects your overall fortune, impacting the outcomes of various in-game events and encounters. As a Gunslinger, you’ll often rely on a stroke of good luck to come out on top in high-stakes situations.

Perks and Skills

These perks and skills are the building blocks of your Gunslinger character. By focusing on these aspects of character development, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the challenges of Fallout: New Vegas with the expertise and precision of a true gunslinging legend.

Essential Perks for the Gunslinger Build

  • Gunslinger (Rank 1, 2, and 3): The Gunslinger perk should be your top priority. This perk not only enhances your accuracy with one-handed weapons but also allows you to disarm your foes by shooting their weapons. At higher ranks, you’ll even have a chance to cripple your opponents’ limbs with your deadly aim.
  • Cowboy (Rank 1 and 2): You can channel your inner gunslinger with the Cowboy perk, which boosts your effectiveness with revolvers and lever-action firearms. With each rank, your damage with these iconic Western weapons increases, making you a force to be reckoned with.
  • Quick Draw: Quick Draw is a must-have for any Gunslinger. It reduces the time it takes to holster or draw your weapon, ensuring that you can engage threats swiftly and without hesitation. This perk also improves your chances in close-quarter combat situations.
  • Action Boy/Girl (Rank 1 and 2): As a Gunslinger, maintaining agility and quick reflexes is essential. Action Boy/Girl increases your Action Points regeneration rate, allowing you to use V.A.T.S more often and giving you a crucial advantage in battles.

Important Skills to Develop

  • Guns: The Guns skill is your bread and butter as a Gunslinger. Focus on improving this skill early which should lead to an increase in your accuracy and damage output with pistols. With a high Guns skill, you’ll be a true marksman in the Mojave.
  • Sneak: Staying hidden and avoiding unnecessary confrontations is what we recommend for a Gunslinger. Invest in the Sneak skill to move quietly and remain unnoticed, so that you can gain the upper hand against enemies who never see you coming.
  • Lockpick: A Gunslinger needs access to valuable loot and shortcuts. Lockpick allows you to open doors, containers, and safes. This will ensure obtaining critical supplies and navigating the wasteland efficiently.
  • Speech: While Charisma may not be a primary attribute, Speech skill is invaluable for negotiating and convincing others in the Mojave. Sometimes, words can be just as effective as bullets, and this skill helps you navigate conversations to your advantage.
  • Repair: The ability to maintain and modify your weapons ensures your firearms remain in peak condition, offering maximum damage and reliability in combat.
  • Survival: In the harsh desert environment, Survival skill allows you to craft items, find valuable ingredients, and make the most of your resources. This skill is especially useful for creating consumables that enhance your survivability in the wasteland.

Gear and Armament

Without the proper gear and armament, it can be a nightmare to survive the wasteland. The following considerations are vital for the Gunslinger build, ensuring you’re well-armed, protected, and ready for action in the unforgiving Mojave wasteland.

Weapon Selection

Pistols: As a Gunslinger, pistols will be your primary means of dealing death to your foes. There are various options available, each with its unique strengths. Some iconic choices include:

  • .357 Magnum Revolver: Known for its stopping power and accuracy.
  • .44 Magnum Revolver: Delivering heavy damage with each shot.
  • 9mm Pistol: A reliable and abundant sidearm for early encounters.
  • Laser Pistol: Offering a sci-fi flair and energy-based damage.
  • Lever-Action Shotgun: When you need close-range firepower.

You can customize your pistols with mods and ammo types to suit different situations and adversaries.

Melee Weapon: While pistols are your primary weapon, carrying a melee weapon, such as a combat knife or machete, can be a lifesaver when you run out of ammo or need to conserve it for tougher enemies. Choose a backup melee weapon that complements your gunslinger style.

Apparel and Armor

  1. Lightweight Apparel: Agility means a lot to a Gunslinger. Equip lightweight clothing like dusters, cowboy hats, or reinforced leather armor to maintain mobility and style. Heavy armor can slow you down and impede your accuracy, so try to avoid them as much as possible.
  2. Headgear: Enhance your combat capabilities with headgear like the 1st Recon Beret or other options that boost your critical hit chance and perception.
  3. Accessories: Don’t forget the little things. Accessories like glasses or bandanas can provide small bonuses to your skills, so choose items that fit your character and offer useful benefits.

Ammunition and Consumables

  1. Ammo Types: It’s highly recommended to match your ammo to your weaponry. Standard, hollow point, and armor-piercing rounds offer different advantages in combat. So, if you carry a variety of ammo, it will be handy in changing circumstances.
  2. Stimpaks and Healing: Ensure you have an ample supply of stimpaks to heal yourself in a pinch. Additionally, food and drink items provide sustenance and can be consumed to recover health. Some of these items can also be crafted with a high Survival skill.
  3. Chems: Be cautious with chems, however, they can offer temporary advantages in tough battles. Psycho, Med-X, and other chems are known to enhance your combat abilities when used strategically.

Companion Choices

  1. Raul Tejada: Raul, a ghoul mechanic, is a suitable companion for a Gunslinger. His unique perk, “Regular Maintenance,” helps maintain your weapons in better condition and his background story also adds depth to the narrative.
  2. Lily Bowen: Lily, a Nightkin grandma, is another interesting companion. Her unique perk, “Stealth Girl,” improves your Sneak skill when she’s with you. So use her insights into the wasteland’s history to add a unique dimension to the game’s story.


Another important aspect of being a great gunslinger is to follow a particular play style. By mastering the following playstyle considerations, you’ll be well on your way to becoming the most feared Gunslinger in the Mojave. So, whether you’re engaging in close-quarters combat or navigating the harsh wasteland you will find overcoming your obstacles easy with these playstyles.

Engaging Targets

When it comes to engaging targets, the Gunslinger build excels in two primary approaches:

  1. Close-quarters combat: Your trusty revolvers are your best friends in close encounters. Clearing out a saloon or facing down a group of raiders will be pretty easy if you use the power and accuracy of your pistols.
  2. V.A.T.S. – Precision shots for critical hits: The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System (V.A.T.S.) is your secret weapon. It allows you to line up shots with pinpoint precision, targeting an enemy’s weak points and maximizing your chances of landing a critical hit.

Exploring the Wasteland

While traversing the vast and unpredictable Mojave Wasteland, Gunslingers must keep a few key priorities in mind:

  1. Scouting for ammo: Ammunition is everything and you should keep your revolvers always ready. Make sure you don’t leave a place to grab as many bullets as possible.
  2. Gathering caps: Caps make the world go round in the Mojave. Look for opportunities like Trading, mercenary work, and treasure hunting to earn and save money.

Factions and Quests

Lastly, to align with factions and choose quests, consider:

  1. Key factions: Some factions in the Mojave are more aligned with the Gunslinger ethos than others. Try to make choices that resonate with your character’s sturdy independence and resourcefulness.
  2. Quests to pursue: Look for quests that allow you to utilize your pistols and stealthy tactics. These missions will help you develop your skills and will further develop your Gunslinger character.


To make a Gunslinger character, think about your strengths, perception, endurance, and agility. Charisma, on the other hand, isn’t your focus, and intelligence should be average. Your luck will help you with critical hits and making some extra caps.

When you’re out there, you should try to get close in combat to use your revolvers effectively. The V.A.T.S. system is your best friend for precision shots and critical hits. Finally, always keep an eye out for ammo, and try to collect as many caps as you can while you explore.


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