Fallout: New Vegas – Melee Weapons Build Guide

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  • How To Play As A Melee Character
  • The Strongest Gear For A Melee Build
  • The Best Stats For A Melee Build

The best build in Fallout: New Vegas will forever be debatable, but there are many advantages of playing a melee build. Not only are there a plethora of melee weapons to collect, but you also don't need any ammo to wield a melee weapon, unlike other weapons such as guns and launchers.

There are a few notable things to consider when starting a melee character for the first time. You'll need to have a powerful weapon, along with the correct SPECIAL stats and perks to unleash the full potential of your build. Below you'll find everything you need to become the best melee user in the Mojave Wasteland.

How To Play As A Melee Character

Melee characters tend to be tankier, so you have more opportunity to get up-close to your enemy, which is essential since you'll be wielding weapons without range. As such, you'll need to attack enemies head-on and dodge by moving side to side during combat.

Generally, stealth doesn't pair well with a melee build. However, if you do choose to incorporate stealth into your build, then you'll need to be extra careful not to be detected when you're directly next to an enemy.

The Strongest Gear For A Melee Build

There are a few options for gear in a melee build. The proper armor is essential since you'll be absorbing a lot of damage during close combat. There are also two weapons you should know about if you want to wield the strongest melee weapons in New Vegas.

The Strongest One-Handed Weapon For A Melee Build

If you want a melee weapon that deals quick damage, then you should consider the Ripper. Rippers are tiny chainsaws, making them perfect for combat with the enemies in New Vegas. This weapon deals quick and consecutive damage, at 50 damage per second. You can obtain a Ripper easily by defeating Fiends in Vault 3.

The Strongest Two-Handed Weapon For A Melee Build

Oh Baby is one of the strongest melee weapons in New Vegas. It's a special variant of the Super Sledge, which is already a strong weapon. Oh Baby deals more damage than a Super Sledge at 80 base damage, in addition to having a unique VATS move that deals 50 percent more damage.

You can acquire Oh Baby in the southwestern area of Charleston Cave.

The Strongest Armor For A Melee Build

The best armor for a melee weapon is any variety of Power Armor since it offers the most protection possible. However, you'll need Power Armor Training, which you can learn all about in this guide. You can easily obtain a suit of T-51b Power Armor on a dead NPC at the Deathclaw Promontory location. This piece of equipment grants 25 damage protection.

The Best Stats For A Melee Build

There are multiple things you need to know to create a strong melee build, especially when it comes to stats and perks. Having the proper set-up after character creation makes all the difference in your character's strength, so here are the best stats you can choose for your character.

The Best SPECIAL Stats For A Melee Build

Each of the seven SPECIAL stats in New Vegas increases the power of your skills. Additionally, some SPECIAL stats have other effects, such as offering you more carry weight or skill points. The most important stat for a melee build is Strength because it increases your damage with melee weapons.

However, Endurance is also important since it increases your maximum HP, which you'll need if you're in close combat with your enemies. Other SPECIAL stats can be useful for a melee build, but those two are primarily important. You'll get 40 total points to allocate at the beginning of a playthrough, so below is a guide to follow for a balanced build.

SPECIAL StatNumber Of Points
Strength10
Perception1
Endurance10
Charisma3
Intelligence5
Agility6
Luck5

The Best Skills For A Melee Build

Skills govern each of your abilities in New Vegas. For example, you'll gain more damage with melee weapons as you increase your Melee Weapons skill. You get to pick three skills to increase by 15 at the beginning of a playthrough. After that, you'll earn ten skills points to allocate freely after each level increase, along with an extra skill point per each point of Intelligence you have.

The Melee Weapons skill is the most essential skill for this build, so it should take top priority. Repair is also a great skill since you can use it to repair your melee weapons. The final skill you should prioritize is Survival since it'll offer you the ability to make many powerful healing items, which is important since you'll be taking a lot of damage with a melee build.

The Best Perks For A Melee Build

You earn one perk every time you level up two times, so there are a lot of opportunities to build on your character using them. Each perk offers a unique ability or stat boost, and although many perks work well regardless of build, there are some that will be useful specifically for a melee build.

PerkRequirementsNumber Of RanksEffect
Super Slam!Level 8, Strength 6, Melee Weapons 451Grants you a 15 percent chance to knock down enemies with a one-handed melee weapon or an unarmed attack and a 30 percent chance with a two-handed melee weapon.
Piercing StrikeLevel 12, Unarmed 701All melee and unarmed attacks will ignore 15 Damage Threshold points.
PurifierLevel 141Grants you a 50 percent damage bonus against Spore Plants, Spore Carriers, Night Stalkers, Centaurs, Deathclaws, and Super Mutants while wielding melee or unarmed weapons.
Unstoppable ForceLevel 12, Strength 7, Melee Weapons 901Grants you four times the damage against enemies that are blocking with all melee and unarmed weapons.
NinjaLevel 20, Sneak 80, Melee Weapons 801Grants you 25 percent more damage with melee and unarmed critical hits, in addition to multiplying your critical hit chance with melee and unarmed weapons by 1.15 percent.
SlayerLevel 24, Strength 7, Agility 7, Unarmed 901All melee and unarmed weapons swing 30 percent faster.

The Best Traits For A Melee Build

Traits offer you advantages that are even better than perks, but each trait also has a disadvantage that you have to deal with. You can pick two traits upon creating a character in New Vegas, but if you don't want to deal with their negative effects, then you can also select only one perk or none altogether.

The best trait for a melee build is Heavy Handed, although it's a major trade-off. You'll now deal 20 percent more damage with melee weapons but 60 less critical hit damage with melee weapons. If you aren't building your character around critical hits, then the Heavy Handed trait is perfect.

Another trait you should consider is Hot Blooded since you'll take a lot of damage while using melee weapons. While below 50 percent health, the Hot Blooded trait will grant you 15 percent extra damage. However, you'll also lose two points of Perception and Agility whenever you're below 50 percent health. Since Perception and Agility aren't particularly useful for a melee build, Hot Blooded is a powerful trait.

The Best Implants For A Melee Build

You can purchase implants from Doctor Usanagi at the New Vegas Medical Clinic. Each implant increases your SPECIAL stats or grants you a unique ability. The Hypertrophy Accelerator and the Nociception Regulator implants each cost 4,000 Caps and offer you an extra point of Strength and Endurance, which is useful for a melee build.

You can also consider the Monocyte Leader for 12,000 Caps. This implant allows you to regenerate one health per ten seconds. Health regeneration is great since you'll lose a lot of health during close combat encounters with melee weapons.

The Best Companion For A Melee Build

Lily Bowen is a Super Mutant you can recruit in Jacobstown by completing the "Guess Who I Saw Today" quest. Lily uses melee weapons, so she's a great choice of a companion for a melee build.

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