The enemies are getting tougher but so are you. These intermediate Perks will help you go further in the game and this guide will help you figure out the best ones for your character.
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Level 8 Perks
Commando [-]: This perk increases your accuracy by 25 percent in VATS when you use any two-handed weapon. Given that two-handed weapons are generally more power than single handed weapons, this is always a great choice for a perk.
Cowboy [Guns 45, Melee 45]: Damage done by hatchets, knives, revolvers, lever-action guns and dynamite is increased by 25 percent. Great if you want to play a themed character and want to compensate for the lower damage done by these weapons compared to more modern gear.
Living Anatomy [Medicine 70]: This perk not only gives you a 5 percent damage bonus to humans and non-feral ghouls, but it also shows you both the Damage Threshold and health of your target. With this, you can always be prepared with not only the right gun for the job, but the right ammo too.
Pack Rat [INT 5, Barter 70]: When you have this perk, anything that has a weight of 2 pounds or less will have its weight cut by half. If you like to carry around a lot of different ammo types and collect bits and pieces along your way, this is a very good perk to get, especially if you’re playing in hardcore mode.
Quick Draw [AGL 5]: When you have Quick Draw, all of your weapons are equipped or put away 50 percent faster. Moving with your weapons drawn causes you to move slower, and if you use a lot of different weapons this perk makes sense. Otherwise something else would be more useful.
Rad Resistance [END 5, Survival 40]: This perk gives you a permanent 25 percent resistance to radiation. While it can be useful in hardcore mode, you could just stock up on medical supplies and get a different perk.
Scrounger [LCK 5]: When you search containers with this perk you will find more ammunition then you normally would. As ammo is worth more than caps, this perk is much better than the Fortune Finder perk. It’s also useful if you take the Hand Loader perk so you have a lot more ammo to break down.
Stonewall [STR 6, END 6]: This is a perk for your melee specialist. You gain an additional 5 Damage Threshold points and cannot be knocked down during combat. This is especially useful if you plan on going toe to toe with Deathclaws.
Strong Back [STR 5, END 5]: When you have a Strong Back you can carry a lot more with you. Especially useful in hardcore mode when you want to carry a lot of extra bits, raising the weight limit by 50 pounds can make a significant difference.
Super Slam [STR 6, Melee Weapons 45]: A very good perk for a melee fighter. Hitting an opponent with any Melee or Unarmed attack, except thrown attacks, will have a chance to knock your opponent down, enabling you to get some extra hits in while they're getting up.
Terrifying Presence [Speech 70]: Although a fun perk, its usefulness is quite limited. During select conversations you will have the option of threatening the person you're speaking to and making them run away for a few moments. As you've just told them you’re going to do very bad things to them, this turns people hostile to you after they've run for cover.
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Level 10 Perks
Animal Friend [CHR 6, Survival 45, 2 Ranks]: This perk encourages all wild animals to welcome your presence. At the first rank, these animals will simply allow you to walk among them as long as you are non-hostile. At the second rank, these animals consider you one of their own and will come to your aid in battle.
Finesse [-]: This perk increases your chance to inflict a critical hit by 5 percent, which is the same as increasing your luck score by 5. This is an independent value however, so you would still benefit from this perk even if you have a Luck of 10.
Here and Now [-]: This perk immediately increases your level by one. Given you only get a perk every two levels, it’s highly recommended that you don't take this perk.
Math Wrath [Science 70]: If you use VATS a lot this is an excellent perk to take. It lowers all the Action Point costs by 10 percent for all weapons.
Miss Fortune [LCK 6]: When you use VATS, you have a 10% chance that Miss Fortune will show up. Although she doesn't lower health, her effect hurts the enemy in at least one way. With a chance of knocking enemies down, knocking their weapon from their hand or crippling a body part, your fights will be much more interesting.
Mister Sandman [Sneak 60]: When in sneak mode you will be able to quietly kill any human or Ghoul if they are asleep. These kills not only earn you bonus experience points, but the kills don't affect your reputation if you remain hidden. While fun, this perk is of limited use considering most enemies will wake up when you get close to them.
Mysterious Stranger [LCK 6]: When you attack an enemy in VATS, if that enemy has less then 150 health left you have a 10 percent chance that the Mysterious Stranger will show up. Although he does always kill the enemy, the amount of times that he shows up makes this perk more for entertainment value than for actual combat usage.
Nerd Rage! [INT 5, Science 50]: Whenever your health drops below the 20 percent mark, your Nerd Rage kicks in. Your Damage Threshold is increased by 15 and your Strength is increased to 10. If you’re overwhelmed by monsters and get low on health, with this perk it might just be worth it to pull out a club and start hitting anything that moves.
Night Person [-]: When the sun goes down at night you suddenly improve both your Intelligence and Perception stats by 2 points. This has no effect on the skill points you get while leveling up, but it can make certain tasks a bit easier to perform at night.
Plasma Spaz [Energy Weapons 70]: This is a perk for the person that loves everything plasma. The Action Point cost for all plasma based weapons are reduced by 10 percent. Keep in mind that this does not include laser weapons.
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Level 12 Perks
Fast Metabolism [-]: When you choose this perk your Stimpacks will increase in effectiveness by 20 percent. If you’re a melee expert this might be a good perk to choose as you'll get into trouble a lot more often and need the added boost.
Ghastly Scavenger [Cannibal Perk]: This perk is exactly like the Cannibal Perk in that you eat enemies, but this perk expands your meal options to the grossly mutated, including Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls. Bon Appétit.
Hit the Deck [Explosives 70]: If you like to toss a lot of explosives around and aren't too careful where they land, this is a good perk for you as it increases your Damage Threshold by 50 percent against all explosives. If you’re a little more careful with your explosives you should choose something else.
Life Giver [END 6]: This perk gives you a straight up 30 hit point bonus immediately. Do not take this perk however. If you need the extra HP, take Intensive Training instead and get an extra point of Endurance. You'll get 20 extra HP out of the deal, and have a few other bonuses with a higher END.
Long Haul [END 6, Barter 70]: Do you find yourself constantly being weighed down by more than what you and your followers can carry? Then this is the perk for you. Even though you'll be forced to walk slower in the short term, you'll be able to fast travel. This will let you offload a bunch of your collection to your safe house and avoid preforming extreme inventory management.
Piercing Strike [Unarmed 70]: If you’re a melee fighter then this is an essential perk. It makes all of your Unarmed and Melee weapons ignore 15 points of an enemy’s Damage Threshold. This is a godsend when you’re forced up close and personal with heavy hitters.
Pyromaniac [Explosives 60]: This is a very style specific perk. If you enjoy using flame-based weapons then this will give you a 50 percent damage boost. If you are fond of any other type of weapon then skip this perk.
Robotics Expert [Science 50]: Robots will no longer be a problem with this perk, as you'll start doing an additional 25 percent damage to them with all of your attacks. If you sneak up on one you can also shut it down permanently. Although there aren't many, there are additional quest and conversation trees that this perk will influence as well.
Silent Running [AGL 6, Sneak 50]: Movement is no longer a factor in how well you’re sneaking when you have this perk. Unless they see you, you'll be able to get a lot closer and have a lot more freedom to preform sneak attacks.
Sniper [AGL 6, PER 6]: This perk enables you to hit the head of an enemy much better in VATS, increasing your accuracy by 25 percent. Given that it’s a lot easier to kill an enemy by taking out its head, this is a great perk to take especially if you combine it with Commando and/or Gunslinger.
Splash Damage [Explosives 70]: This perk causes all of your explosives to have an increased range by 25 percent. This may be a good and a bad thing, as you could get caught in your explosions more often. If that really becomes a problem, Hit The Deck becomes a lot more viable.
Unstoppable Force [STR 7, Melee Weapons 90]: If you’re sick and tired of watching an enemy block your attacks over and over again when you’re a melee specialist, then this is the perk for you. Your attacks will deliver a lot more damage through their blocks and allow you to take them down a lot faster.
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Level 14 Perks
Adamantium Skeleton [-]: With this perk your limbs will take 50 percent less damage from all sources. This doesn't actually affect the total damage you take, it simply increases the damage required to cripple your limb.
Center of Mass [Guns 70]: If you find yourself wanting to go for the highest percentage shot in VATS, you’re shooting for the main body. With this perk you will do an additional 15 percent damage when you hit an enemy’s main body through VATS.
Chemist [Medicine 60]: This perk allows you to experience the effects of drugs you take twice as long. If you find you like to take on tougher foes and that you're going through Med-X too quickly, this might be a good perk to look at.
Jury Rigging [Repair 90]: If you like to repair your own things then this is one of the best skills you can get. Instead of fixing something with an identical or very similar item, you can fix it with something only in the same ballpark. This can be vital in repairing unique armors as you normally can't find anything close enough to fix them with.
Light Step [PER 6, AGL 6]: There are plenty of times when you're just not quite careful enough and you suddenly hear the 'beep-beep-beep' that means you’re in trouble. You can avoid all that with this perk as you'll never set off floor based traps again. The same can't be said for your companions though, so keep that in mind.
Purifier [-]: If you've chosen to go the up close and personal route in your attacks, then this is a great perk to get. You do an additional 50 percent damage to abominations. This includes Nightstalkers, Deathclaws, Aliens, Centaurs, Spore Carriers and more.
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Looking for More?
This is part of a series detailing all of the Fallout: New Vegas perks. If this isn't the level range you're looking for, please click on one of the other articles in this series to take you to where you want to go.
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All information and screenshots from Fallout: New Vegas
This series details the full list of Fallout New Vegas Perks. This series is split up into the beginning, medium, and advanced perks as well as the challenge, companion, and implant perks. Although some DLC is not out yet, this series also includes all the available Fallout New Vegas DLC Perks.