This author loves to play the various "Fallout" titles—with "New Vegas" being a particular favorite.
The Marksman Carbine, All-American, Sniper Rifle, La Longue Carabine and Anti-Materiel Rifle are our objectives in this article. We will go on a trek to Vault 34, where we will find three of the sniper rifles available in Fallout: New Vegas, and then onwards to obtain the final two sniper rifles at Camp McCarran and Gun Runners.
The Sniper's Nest
So, you're standing there at the Sniper's Nest. We have the Ratslayer, and we have just released the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle from its imprisonment. Long-range is now your friend and you should be able to deal with pretty much anything coming your way—at a distance. E-DE and its Enhanced Sensors let you know when enemies are letting you know where enemies are long before you can see them, and of course, they are usually dead before they know where you are. Sniping in New Vegas is awesome . . . if you have the right rifles. So let's get 'em.
Note: The level up options I have chosen are best to reach our objectives as quickly as possible. I am not claiming this is the best sniper build out there, just one of many.
Trading Post 188: Prep for Vault 34
When you get to Trading Post 188, you will find a few merchants and a few NCR soldiers milling around. The Weapon Merchant there is worth taking a look at as she sells some sweet weapons, ammo and mods, and it's worth checking in on semi-regularly to see what she's got.
The main reason for stopping by the 188 Trading Post is Veronica. Veronica can (and should) become a companion from here on out—she is primarily a melee fighter with her power fist. in Vault 34, if you set her behaviour to "aggressive", she will charge around and take most of the heat off you, plus her fist is actually quite deadly, so the damage she deals will help you out a lot in Vault 34. There is also no quest to complete in order to enlist her services, which suits us just fine. Just don't tell her that you hate the Brotherhood of Steel and she will join you.
Set Your Sights
Set your sights on Vault 34. You should almost be able to go straight there. I hit level 10 just before entering the vault (level up Instructions are below) which gave me the 80 in Science you will need (along with Programmers Digest Science Skill Magazine for an extra +20 Science skill point bonus). There are plenty of things to kill on the way, and even a Deathclaw nest to the southeast if you want to try your hand with them (I recommend the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle if you do).
The perks you choose from here are really up to you, as the rest of this guide does not rely on any one perk being selected. However, I will still tell you what I chose and why.
- Level 8 (16 Skill Points): Put all points on Science taking it to 62. I put the extra SPECIAL point on Strength to meet the optimal use requirement (Strength 6) for the Gobi Campaign Scout Rifle and most of the other sniper rifles as well.
- Level 9 (15 Skill Points): Put them all on Science, taking it to 77.
- Level 10 (16 Skill Points): 3 points on Science, taking it to 80. From here your skill points are yours to play with, do with them what you will or follow my suggestion. The remaining 13 points I put on Repair, taking it to 45. (The reason I chose Repair is that at level 14, the Jury Rigging Perk becomes available, which requires you have a repair skill of 90. Jury Rigging will let you repair your sniper rifles with many other weapons, making them much easier and much cheaper for you to repair, as well as being able to repair your armour with almost anything similar.)
- Level 11 (15 Skill Points): All on Repair, taking it to 60.
- Level 12 (16 Skill Points): Again, all on Repair, taking it to 76. The perk I took here was Strong Back, to carry an extra 50 pounds means I can carry more stuff to sell, even though I can fill up my 2 companions inventories as well-meaning trips to the merchants are usually very profitable indeed.
- Level 13 (15 Skill Points): 14 to Repair to get it to 90, the extra 1 point is yours to play with; I started working my Guns skill toward 100.
- Level 14 (16 Skill Points): For whatever you like. I took Jury Rigging. This makes keeping your sniper rifles maintained much much easier. It also helps out when repairing various armour. So besides helping your weapons stay as deadly as possible, it means almost any weapon or piece of apparel you sell should be in perfect or near-perfect condition, meaning more caps.
Vault 34: Marksman Carbine / All-American / Sniper Rifle
The Entrance to Vault 34 is surrounded by golden geckos. Kill 'em all and make your way inside. Inside the Vault, you will encounter Vault Dweller and Vault Security ghouls. They can be hard to kill if you aren't prepared. In addition, you will be constantly exposed to varying levels of radiation while in the vault, so make sure you have a good amount of Rad X and Rad Away. A Radiation Suit also helps, although it offers minimal protection against any enemies you encounter.
Vault 34 is something of a 10mm heaven—you will find many 10mm pistols, 10mm SMGs and plenty of 10mm ammo. As such, a 10mm SMG is a handy weapon to walk around with inside the vault.
Terminals scattered around give you a bit of an idea of what's gone on in the vault; however, my focus is getting to the armory. Here is how.
Once in the vault, explore a bit and you will eventually find a room with a window looking at a few ghouls; the door is INACCESSIBLE. Just around the corner from here is a flooded stairwell. I would recommend saving here. You need to do this quick or you will die. You have to do this twice on two separate staircases pretty much exactly the same.
Get in the water around the corner and then slightly left. Then you will see a dead Vault Technician. Loot him for his password card thing, then get straight back to the stairs. Once you get back to the stairs (the first staircase only) you have the Ghouls from the formerly "Inaccessible" room to deal with. Continue until you find the second Flooded Staircase and repeat the process.
Activate Terminal and Unlock Overseer's Office
If you then follow the "Armory" signs, you will come to the armory door, but just before it is the "Utility" room. This room has a Very Hard terminal that needs to be hacked. Read your Programmers Digest (you should have one by now, I had five of them), kicking your science up to 100 and get hacking. Activate the pumps draining the flooded areas. Head back to where the second flooded staircase was, It's now a closed door. Enter and go to Security Station A; you will find some Vault 34 Security Armour which is well worth keeping, and an Overseer's Journal Fragment. Activate the terminal and disengage the lock to the Overseer's office.
Enter the Overseer's Office
You now need to head back up and follow the signs to the Overseer's office. Once you get to the Overseer's Office door, stop. Move to the left side of the hallway and open the door from there. Two Ghouls will come at you from behind you, turn around but don't move into the centre of the hallway because the turrets in the Overseer's office will carve you up. Deal with the ghouls, then back to the Overseer's office. Take care of the turrets (I had a grenade launcher here, so just launched a few grenades into the office which took care of the turrets), then move in on the Overseer. Take him out and access his terminal to unlock the Armory.
Collect Your Rifles From the Armory
You can now follow the Signs back to the Armory. The Armory is pretty much like Christmas morning. You will more than likely leave fully loaded up, as well as your companions being loaded up as well. You will find the Marksman Carbine, the All-American, and a couple of sniper rifles lying around, as well as a Riot Shotgun, Mini-gun, Missile Launcher, C4 and some Assault Carbines. You will also find a Guns n Bullets Skill Book in a room on the armory level as well.
Camp McCarran: La Longue Carabine
If you wish, you could probably complete this part before you go to Vault 34. I put Vault 34 first because you can get three snipers at the same time and place.
La Longue Carabine is the private weapon of Corporal Sterling of the NCR First Recon Sniper Division, based at Camp McCarran, and getting the weapon involves killing him. When you kill him, you automatically fail the quest "I Don't Hurt Anymore". However, if you complete that quest first, his unit is sent to Camp Forlorn Hope where killing him without losing any reputation with the NCR becomes harder. The choice is yours. Me? I took him out at Camp McCarran.
First of all, west of Vault 34 is the NCR Sharecropper Farms, and southwest of there is Camp McCarran. You will most likely run into some Fiends on the way—feel free to kill them.
Stealth-Kill Corporal Sterling
Upon entering camp McCarran, you will see a line of tents. The first recon sniper hangs out in the first tent on the right. Head there and you will find the Corporal Sterling not too far away. You can loot a sniper from one of the top bunks without stealing it, so do that. Now, you must get the La Longue Carabine without losing reputation with NCR. You have to kill Corporal Sterling whilst remaining hidden. A lot of people say it must be done with one shot, but I had to hit him twice and it worked fine. First of all, take your companions to another area, either outside Camp McCarran, or into the terminal building, and tell them to wait there.
Loot Corporal Sterling's Body
You need to find a spot somewhere where you are hidden, so crouch and make sure you are hidden. I also used a stealth boy to be doubly sure. When you can find a place where you are hidden and can get Corporal Sterling in your sights with a silenced weapon (that's the tricky bit) then take him out. Personally, I used the Ratslayer and Stealth Boy when he was in a tent by himself; it took two headshots, which wasn't ideal, but worked nonetheless. No Rep was lost with NCR. Loot his body for La Longue Carabine. Pick up your companions and off you go. Only one left.
The Gun Runners: Anti-Materiel Rifle
This is the crème de la crème of sniper rifles.
There isn't much to say about the Anti-Materiel Rifle. You can loot them from NCR Ranger Veterans who sometimes carry them; however, I generally like the NCR, so avoid this method.
Reach Level 16 and Find Gun Runners
That leaves buying one. The thing is, you can't buy one until you hit a certain level—level 16, to be precise. Head northeast from Camp Mccarran and you will find the Gun Runners. Once the location is found you can fast travel back there at will. You can also purchase one from the Weapons dealer at 188 Trading Post, although its condition will be poorer than one bought from Gun Runners.
And We're Done
At this point, with nothing much else to do, I headed back to Goodsprings and starting pumping through the quests. Of course, you don't have to; you can pick up quests in many of the locations you have already visited so take your pick. For me, though, I've got my sniper rifles and a couple of friends, it was time for me to "start the game", so to speak. Head back to Goodsprings and let the quests begin.
I know that it is not as detailed nor as precise as many guides/walkthroughs you may have seen before, but I truly believe that much of the fun of New Vegas is in the exploration, and I wanted to try to not take that away.
I do hope you have enjoyed this guide, or at least found it useful in one way or another. Please let me know what you think.
Samuel Franklin on October 24, 2014:
I always lean towards a sniping role in the Fallout games, you've covered a few things I hadn't considered before and I'll be sure to use them in my next playthrough!
Vincent on November 01, 2013:
Forgot I had this game on my PC. Decided to start as a sniper and looked all over for some decent builds. Yours, by far is the best. Thanks :D
Pocket on August 04, 2012:
Great guide! After going unarmed in my last play through, this was an excellent aid for a change of pace. Thanks for the help!
mobias from Forest Grove, OR on September 05, 2011:
Thanks for the hub man! I haven't started this one yet, still working through the previous Fallout 3...these games have so much content in them, and you could replay them numerous time I imagine, with a different character! I have a hard enough time with one though! Too much life in the way of games!
SeedyKiwi (author) on March 28, 2011:
Good to know its helping people out, cheers for the comment.
knightocydonia on March 27, 2011:
nice guide, came in handy starting this game out.