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Now, see those sarsaparilla bottles on that fence there? Take this and try to hit a couple of 'em.Sunny Smiles

Back in the Saddle is a tutorial quest in Fallout: New Vegas.


After being cleared as stable by Doc Mitchell, he urges the Courier to talk to Goodsprings local ranger Sunny Smiles who can teach them how to fend for themselves in the wasteland and not get shot in the head again.

Quick walkthrough

Tutorial Quest: Back in the Saddle
Talk to Sunny Smiles at the Prospector Saloon.
Follow her outside and shoot three empty bottles. She will provide you with a varmint rifle and ammunition.
Accompany Sunny to Goodsprings source, clearing three wells of geckos along the way.
Choose to end the tutorial without finishing the rest of the available quest.
Leads to: They Went That-a-Way
Reward: Talk to Sunny for 50 XP and 50 bottle caps.
Leads to: By a Campfire on the Trail

Detailed walkthrough

After setting up the Courier via the small tutorial inside Doc Mitchell's house, he will direct them to the Prospector Saloon, stating that a woman named Sunny Smiles will be able to help the player character with their dilemma. When they enter, the player character will be greeted by Cheyenne, Sunny's dog, and Sunny herself. She tells the player character that the Doc informed her of their coming and to meet her out back. Follow her, and upon reaching her outside, she will give the player character a varmint rifle and 60 5.56mm rounds.

NOTE: dropping all 5.56 ammunition and talking to Sunny will result in 30 more rounds.

A shooting tutorial ensues, teaching the Courier about aiming down the sights and crouching. After shooting 3 of the Sunset Sarsaparilla bottles, Sunny Smiles will then ask the player character if they would like to tag along on a little job. At this point, the player character can choose to continue or end the tutorial, the latter ending in the forfeit of several rewards.

The player character will receive 60 5.56mm rounds upon agreeing to help and then run southeast, towards the Goodsprings source. Once the player character gets close to the first well, Sunny will tell them to sneak, by crouching, to surprise the geckos.

Once the geckos are dead, speak to Sunny and continue on to the next two wells. Unlike at the first well, Sunny and Cheyenne will also run along and try to kill geckos.

After killing the three at the second well, the player character should look for red pips on the HUD for the next group of geckos and move to engage those.

Should the Goodsprings settler being attacked by the geckos survive, she will give the player character 3 bottles of purified water and their reputation in Goodsprings will improve. If the Goodsprings settler dies, the player character won't receive the reputation boost or the purified water, but can loot her body for a cleaver, field hand outfit and a handful of caps.

Talk to Sunny afterwards to receive 50 XP, get paid 50 caps and have the opportunity to start By a Campfire on the Trail (and lament the settler's death in dialogue, if appropriate).

Save first, since going too far in some directions the quest ends at triggers the menus for redoing the Courier's specs.

Quest stages

3 Talk to Sunny Smiles in the Prospector Saloon.
4 Meet Sunny Smiles behind the Prospector Saloon.
10Quest finishedShoot 3 sarsaparilla bottles outside the Prospector Saloon.
20 Follow Sunny.
30 Kill the geckos at the well.
40Quest finishedTalk to Sunny Smiles.
50 Kill the geckos at the other wells.
60Quest finishedTalk to Sunny about your reward.


  • If Cheyenne is killed during the gecko fight, Sunny will appear distraught in the next conversation, then apologize to the Courier for her display of emotion.
  • During the quest, one can finish it by talking to Sunny Smiles at three different points:
1. After shooting the bottles.
2. After killing the geckos at the first well.
3. After killing the geckos at the two other wells.
  • The bottles will not appear until the Courier follows Sunny Smiles to the back of the building.
  • The bottles that appear here cannot be picked up or taken.
  • The bottles can be shot down by the player with any ranged weapon.
  • A bark scorpion that hangs around Goodsprings Cemetery may randomly wander near the saloon.
  • There is a small chance of a Powder Ganger walking through the hunting area. The player character can kill him which may cause a second Ganger to attack later. Finally, a third Powder Ganger may attack while on the road leaving Goodsprings.
  • It's almost impossible to save the settler if you just run behind Sunny. After killing the geckos at the second well you should just go as fast as possible towards the third well.

Behind the scenes

The title of the quest is a reference to the song "Back in the Saddle Again" by Gene Autry.


  • PCPC If you already have a varmint rifle, you will lose it and any mods it was equipped with, and it will be exchanged for the default one you are handed as part of the quest, even if the one in your inventory is not equipped. To preclude this, drop yours on the ground, wait for her to hand you a varmint rifle and tell you to shoot the bottles, then pick yours up again without incident. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 There is a bug that may happen if you finish the tutorial after the shooting lesson, and then fail the quests Run Goodsprings Run and Ghost Town Gunfight before you talk to Trudy, the option that ends the quest may not work and the quest may never end. [verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible for the mission to not continue automatically. If a random critter appears outside the saloon when you follow Sunny and she moves to attack she will not give you the rifle or the mission unless you push her back to where she was standing when you come out of the saloon. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 If you already own the varmint rifle she gives you, you may auto equip the one you already have instead of receiving a new one. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Sometimes, the distressed settler will not talk to you after saving her and she will just back away towards Goodsprings, knife drawn and crouching. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Once the settler is saved and out of harm's way she may continue to yell for help when interacted with [verified]
  • PCPC Making a healing powder at a campfire and then starting the quest by talking to Sunny will cause her to immediately end the quest as though you had gone through it normally. The sarsaparilla bottles, geckos, and Goodsprings Settler never appear, and she does not give you a varmint rifle or ammunition. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Sunny will sometimes move to the chairs outside the front door of the saloon. If asked for training there, she will not walk to the backyard. Entering and exiting the bar again will teleport her there and fixes this.
Main quests
Act 1Ain't That a Kick in the Head · Back in the Saddle · By a Campfire on the Trail · They Went That-a-Way · Ring-a-Ding-Ding!
Act 2Wild Card (Wild Card: Ace in the Hole, Change in Management, You and What Army?, Side Bets, Finishing Touches) · The House Always Wins (I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII) · Render Unto Caesar · Et Tumor, Brute? · Things That Go Boom · Kings' Gambit · For the Republic, Part 2 · You'll Know It When It Happens/Arizona Killer
Act 3No Gods, No Masters · All or Nothing · Veni, Vidi, Vici · Eureka!
Side quests
New California RepublicAnywhere I Wander · Back in Your Own Backyard · Bitter Springs Infirmary Blues · Boulder City Showdown · Can You Find it in Your Heart? · Climb Ev'ry Mountain · Don't Tread on the Bear! · Emergency Radio · Eye for an Eye · Flags of Our Foul-Ups · Hard Luck Blues · I Don't Hurt Anymore · I Put a Spell on You · Keep Your Eyes on the Prize · Medical Mystery · No, Not Much · Pressing Matters · Restoring Hope · Return to Sender · That Lucky Old Sun · The White Wash · There Stands the Grass · Three-Card Bounty · We Will All Go Together · You Can Depend on Me
Caesar's LegionBeware the Wrath of Caesar! · Caesar's Favor · Caesar's Foe · Caesar's Hire · Cold, Cold Heart · I Hear You Knocking · The Finger of Suspicion · We Are Legion
The StripBeyond the Beef · Bye Bye Love · Classic Inspiration · How Little We Know · Pheeble Will · Talent Pool · The House Has Gone Bust! · The Moon Comes Over the Tower
Freeside & Outer VegasBirds of a Feather · Bleed Me Dry · Debt Collector · G.I. Blues · High Times · Someone to Watch Over Me · The Coyotes · Wang Dang Atomic Tango
BoomersAnt Misbehavin' · Sunshine Boogie · Volare! · Young Hearts
Great KhansAba Daba Honeymoon · Cry Me a River · Don't Make a Beggar of Me · Oh My Papa
Powder GangBooted · I Fought the Law · Run Goodsprings Run · Why Can't We Be Friends?
Brotherhood of SteelEyesight to the Blind · Still in the Dark · Tend to Your Business
OtherCome Fly With Me · Crazy, Crazy, Crazy · Ghost Town Gunfight · Guess Who I Saw Today · Left My Heart · My Kind of Town · The Legend of the Star and A Valuable Lesson · Unfriendly Persuasion · Wheel of Fortune
Companion questsED-E My Love · For Auld Lang Syne · Heartache by the Number · I Could Make You Care · I Forgot to Remember to Forget · Nothin' But a Hound Dog · One for My Baby
Unmarked questsA Bit of Slap and Tickle · A Final Plan for Esteban · Access Powers · All Fired Up! · An Ear to the Ground · Andy and Charlie · Arachnophobia · Arizona Scavenger · Barton the Fink · Bear Necessities · Big Winner (Atomic Wrangler, The Gomorrah, The Tops, Ultra-Luxe, Vikki & Vance) · Bounty Killer (I, II) · Brotherhood Bond (I, II) · Caching in at the Cove · Cajoling a Cudgel · Claws Mended · Claws Out · Dealing with Contreras · Defacing the Humble Stone · Democracy Inaction · Don't Poke at the Bear! · Eddie's Emissary · Exhumin' Nature · Fight Night · Flogging a Dead Corpse · Friend of the Followers · Gland for Some Home Cooking · Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger · Hat's Entertainment · Help for Halford · Hidden Valley computer virus · Highway to the Danger Zone (I, II) · Honorary Rocketeer · I Love Bananas · Iron and Stealing · Keith's Caravan Charade · Laurifer Gladiator · Lenk's Bad Debts · Lily and Leo · Long-Term Care · Malleable Mini Boomer Minds · Maud's Muggers · Meeting an Equal · Missing a Few Missiles · Most Wanted · Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans · Old School Ghoul · A Pair of Dead Desperados (I, II) · Papers, Please · Pistol Packing · Playing on the Old Joana · Poor Meat Never Makes Good Soup · Powder to the People · Power to the People · Razzle Dazzle! · Reach for the Sky, Mister! · Rest and Resupply · Ringo's Caravan Rules · Rotface's Loose Lips · Saving (or Savaging) Sergeant Teddy · The Screams of Brahmin · Silus Treatment · Short-Term Treatment · Smooth-Talking Criminal · The Star Showdown · Strategic Nuclear Moose · Straus Calls · Strip Search · Suits You, Sarah · Tags of Our Fallen · A Team of Moronic Mercenaries · Thought for the Day · Tourist Traipse · Trudy's Radio Repair · A Trusted Aide · Useless Baubles or Fancy Trinkets? · We Must Stop Beating Like This · We Must Stop Meeting Like This · Wind-Brahmin Wrangler · You Gotta Break Out a Few Eggs · You Make Me Feel Like a Woman
Add-on quests
Dead MoneySierra Madre Grand Opening! · Find Collars (8: "Dog", 12: Christine, 14: Dean Domino) · Fires in the Sky · Strike Up the Band · Mixed Signals · Trigger the Gala Event · Put the Beast Down · Last Luxuries · Curtain Call at the Tampico · Heist of the Centuries · Big Winner, Sierra Madre
Honest HeartsA Family Affair · Arrival at Zion · Bighorners of the Eastern Virgin · Chaos in Zion · Civilized Man's Burden · Crush the White Legs · Deliverer of Sorrows  · Departing Paradise · Flight from Zion · Gathering Storms · Gone Fishin' · Happy Trails Expedition · Prisoners of War · Retake the Bridge · River Monsters · Rite of Passage · Roadside Attraction · Sanctity of the Dead · The Advance Scouts  · The Treacherous Road · The Grand Staircase · Tourist Trap
Old World BluesAll My Friends Have Off Switches · A Brain's Best Friend · Coming Out of Her Shell · Field Research · He Came... And Went · Influencing People · Midnight Science Fiction Feature! · Old World Blues · On the Same Wavelength · Picking Your Brains · Project X-13 · Sonic Emitter Upgrade · Welcome to the Big Empty · What's in a Name? · When Visitors Attack! · X-2: Strange Transmissions! · X-8 Data Retrieval Test · X-8: High School Horror! · X-13: Attack of the Infiltrator!
Lonesome RoadThe Reunion · The Silo · The Job · The Launch · The Tunnelers · The Divide · The Courier · The End · The Apocalypse