The Barter skill is primarily used in the buying and selling of items, such as trading with a merchant or scavenger. In general, purchase prices will be lowered and selling price will be higher. It is the primary factor in price determination, and is also offset by the Barter skill of the non-player character in question. The skill is also used in certain dialogue options with non-player characters, where certain responses require Barter checks.
- 1 Fallout
- 2 Fallout 2
- 3 Fallout Tactics
- 4 Fallout 3
- 5 Fallout: New Vegas
- 6 Van Buren
- 7 Notable Barter experts
- 8 References
Like Fallout 2, the skill only affects the price for which merchants offer an item. The player character's offer prices to the merchant are always the same as the base value of the item, regardless of Barter skill level.
Barter can more effective in Fallout compared to Fallout 3 and later, due to a low number of caps located in-game. However, this is often offset by ease at which caps can be generated using the Gambling skill.
Depending the level of Barter skill, item prices may be as high as 10x the value of an object, eg. Rad-X has a base value of 300 caps but may be purchased for as much as 3,000 caps, or combat armor has a base value of 6,500 caps and may be purchased for as much as 65,000 caps. Generally, the higher the Barter skill, the lower the purchase price will be.
Ways to modify Barter
- Gifted trait: -10% to all skills
- Good Natured trait: +15% to all skills
- Tagging Barter skill (at character creation or with Tag! perk): +20% Barter skill
- Leveling up: +1/+2% for each non-tagged/tagged skill per skill point assigned
- Master Trader perk: +25% Barter skill, hidden 
- Singing with Patrick the Celt: +1 Charisma (up to +2% Barter skill)
- Consuming a dose of Mentats:
- Other Modifiers
- Difficulty Level: +20/+0/-10% to non-weapon skills for Easy/Normal/Hard difficulty
- Reputation (aka. Karma for Fallout): -25/+0/+50% to Barter skill for Bad/Neutral/Good reputation, hidden 
Like Fallout, the skill only affects the prices for the vendor's items; the player character's items are always worth the same.
The initial level for Barter is still governed by Charisma, but usually starts out lower than Barter in Fallout.
Barter also determines how much things can be sold for in Tactics, whereas selling prices were always static in the previous Fallout games.
- The final value is rounded to the nearest integer at the end of the calculation.
- The item value is the rated value of the item present in their Pip-Boy menu description.
- The modifier is defaulted to 1 (or 100%), and it will change in accordance to other discounts or price increases coming from the specific vendor you're buying or selling from. For example, the 10% discount you get in Moriarty's Saloon for treating Gob kindly.
|Barter||Sell %||Buy %|
A high Barter skill is a good choice for characters lacking Strength, since they do not have much room to carry many items and, subsequently, have less things to sell. However, having a companion partially negates this, since they can be given around 200 pounds of weight.
Barter based perks
|Master Trader||60||14||Charisma 6|
- Master Trader - 25% discount with every trader in the game.
- Craterside Supply - 30% discount upon receiving the Dream Crusher perk.
- Moriarty's Saloon - 10% discount with Gob if he is treated nicely when initially meet.
- Rivet City - 10% discount with all merchants in the city upon completing research into Rivet City's history.
- Rivet City Supply - 10% discount depending on Lone Wanderer's choice during the quest Council Seat.
- Potomac Attire - 10% discount depending on Wanderer's choice during the quest Council Seat.
- Lock and Load - 20% discount upon completion of Economics of Violence.
- Federalist Lounge - 10% or 50% discount by hacking the nearby terminal.
Interactions that require Barter skill
A number of dialog based trading can be altered with sufficient Barter:
- 50 Barter is needed to obtain a 1,000 caps discount from the initial price of 2,000 when buying Charon's contract from Ahzrukhal during the unmarked quest Hired Help.
- 50 Barter is needed to obtain a 500 caps rebate on the 1,000 caps price to buy Clover from Eulogy Jones in Paradise Falls.
- 30, 50, or 70 are thresholds which, once crossed, can each provide a better level of reward in the unmarked quest Zip's Nuka Fix in Little Lamplight.
- 75 Barter will give a much better bargain when trading cave fungus for strange meat during the unmarked quest Fungus Deal in Little Lamplight.
- An unknown amount of Barter is required to obtain a better deal from Abraham Washington when selling Lincoln's artifacts during the unmarked quest Lincoln's Profit Margins.
- 70 Barter is needed to obtain Sergeant RL-3 from Tinker Joe for 500 caps instead of 1,000.
Ways to increase Barter
- Leveling up (10+INT (+3 with Educated perk))
- Bobblehead - Barter (+10)
- Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (+1 or +2 with Comprehension)
- Scoundrel (+5 with each rank)
- Tag! (+15)
- Ant queen pheromones (+2-6 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will not see any benefit)
- Grape Mentats (+2-10 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will not see any benefit)
- Button's wig (+5)
- Roving trader outfit and hat (+5)
- The Lone Wanderer will eventually have more bottle caps than is possible to spend, so deciding whether or not to put points into Barter during character development is a strategic decision. Barter is best taken early on, to more effectively sell loot or acquire better equipment.
Fallout: New Vegas
Barter affects the prices gotten when trading with merchants. There are also many Barter skill checks in the game that can help advancing in quests by displaying a good sense with money, talking down costs, and talking up rewards. The Barter skill is governed by the Charisma attribute.
General price (before application of reputational fees or discounts) is counted with the same formula as in Fallout 3. Note that reputation does not affect prices unless that particular merchant is scripted to modify worth based on the Courier's reputation. For example, Chet will only use the PC's barter skill value to determine prices even if they are Idolized with Goodsprings, but with a mixed reputation (regardless of how good or bad it is), he will offer at 1:1 prices.
|Barter||Sell %||Buy %|
Barter in quests and exploration
While hard to tell in the abstract from the following list, in many cases Barter is offered as an alternative dialogue skill check to Speech (though generally involving paying money) or other skill checks. This may be to help compensate for the fact that Barter on its own may not be as useful as other skills.
- 20 to convince Trudy for an additional 25 caps for repairing her radio.
- 20 to convince Major Knight to send a squad of NCR troops to Primm in order to protect the town and its trade route.
- 25 to convince Chet to assist in the quest Ghost Town Gunfight or Run Goodsprings Run.
- 25 to convince Dr. Klein to have Dr. 0 give 250 bottle caps to the Courier instead of 50.
- 30 to convince Johnson Nash to give up information about the NCR attack on NCR Correctional Facility for just 50 caps in the quest I Fought the Law.
- 35 to convince Beatrix Russell in Wang Dang Atomic Tango.
- 35 to convince Tyrone to give up the chemical ingredients in the quest Don't Make a Beggar of Me.
- 35 to convince Aurelius of Phoenix to allow trade with Decanus Severus. (NCR Dog-tags for food, ammunition, explosives, firearms or armor.)
- 35 to convince Crandon to allow the start of the quest Someone to Watch Over Me.
- 40 to convince George outside the Boomers minefield to sell the secrets of navigating the minefield for 200 instead of 300.
- 40 to get medical supplies from Emily Ortal during The Moon Comes Over the Tower.
- 45 to trick Max into giving you Euclid's C-Finder for only 20 caps.
- 45 to convince Squatter Bill (and the other Squatters) to leave for 50 caps in the quest Someone to Watch Over Me.
- 45 to convince Big Sal to release Troike from his contract in How Little We Know
- 45 to convince Private Renolds to give a monetary "encouragement" in the quest Anywhere I Wander.
- 50 to convince Mr. House to pay an additional 250 caps for the platinum chip, bringing the Courier's final payment to 1250 caps.
- 50 to convince Old Lady Gibson to give the Courier the thrust controllers for 250 caps instead of 500 for the quest Come Fly With Me.
- 50 to extort 300 caps from Orris in G.I. Blues after an Intelligence check of 6.
- 50 to convince Dr. Hildern for an additional 600 caps from in There Stands the Grass.
- 50 to convince The Lonesome Drifter to give up the Mysterious Magnum during the quest Talent Pool.
- 50 to convince Ralph to craft a counterfeit passport for The Strip at a reduced price of 375 caps (originally 500).
- 50 to convince Red Lucy for an additional 100 caps after bringing her mantis eggs in the Bleed Me Dry.
- 50 to convince Tommy Torini to give the Courier a 5% cut in Talent Pool.
- 50 to more easily convince Dean Domino to cooperate in Find Collar 14: Dean Domino.
- 50 to convince Dr. Klein to have Dr. 0 give an additional 250 caps to the Courier.
- 50 to convince Greasy Johnny (and the other greasers) to stop causing trouble for 50 caps in the quest Someone to Watch Over Me.
- 50 to convince Jack to start creating medicinal chems in Aba Daba Honeymoon.
- 55 to get Cachino's room key from the receptionist for 200 caps instead of 300 in How Little We Know.
- 60 to convince Red Lucy for an additional 100 caps after bringing her radscorpion eggs in the Bleed Me Dry.
- 60 to convince various merchants to sell food at a discount to Farber in the Camp McCarran concourse.
- 60 to earn 200 caps and Cachino's "friendship" after confronting him about his journal in How Little We Know.
- 65 to convince Alice McLafferty to let Janet get out of debt in Young Hearts, explaining to her the possible profit from future trade possibilities with the Boomers.
- 70 to convince Red Lucy for an additional 200 caps after bringing her fire gecko eggs in the side quest, Bleed Me Dry.
- 70 to convince Old Lady Gibson to obtain Rey's brain for free in Nothin' But a Hound Dog.
- 75 to convince Dr. Klein to have Dr. 0 give an additional 250 bottle caps to the player.
- 80 to convince Red Lucy for an additional 300 caps after bringing her nightstalker eggs in the side quest, Bleed Me Dry.
- 80 to bribe the missionary involved with the quest G.I. Blues.
- 90 to convince Red Lucy for an additional 500 caps after bringing her cazador eggs in Bleed Me Dry.
- 90 to convince Dr. Klein to give the Courier: Fixin' Things, Programmer's Digest, Patriot's Cookbook, 250 additional bottle caps, 2 doctor's bag, 3 stimpaks and one super stimpak.
- 100 to convince Legate Lanius to leave during Eureka!, All or Nothing, or No Gods, No Masters.
- Goodsprings: Trudy will give the Courier a discount for saving the Goodsprings settler during Back in the Saddle, repairing her radio or helping the town during Ghost Town Gunfight. The discount is tied to becoming "Accepted" in the town, not any one specific act. The discount will be lost upon gaining infamy.
- Goodsprings: Chet will give a discount with a mixed reputation in Goodsprings, but doing so will void the discount with Trudy. However, Chet has a much wider inventory and more caps than Trudy, making him arguably better for trading.
- Goodsprings: Chet will give a discount after passing a Barter check of 25 if accepted the offer to help Joe Cobb take over the town.
- Primm: Johnson Nash will give the Courier a discount for making Meyers sheriff.
- Novac: Cliff Briscoe will give the Courier a discount only after speaking to Jeannie May Crawford about the Dino Bite gift shop and then telling him she sent the [Courier]. The discount will not be lost even if he finds out they helped kill her.
- Old Mormon Fort: Julie Farkas will give the Courier a discount when they become "Accepted" with the Followers of the Apocalypse, further discounts resulting in 1:1 ratio when they join the Followers.
- New Vegas medical clinic: 1:1 ratio when the Courier joins or becomes "Accepted" by the Followers.
- Great Khan armory: the Great Khan armorer will give a 1:1 price ratio when Great Khan reputation becomes "Accepted."
- Camp McCarran concourse: Dr. Kemp will give the Courier a discount if they help during A Final Plan for Esteban. The discount will be bigger if Christina is not asked for a reward.
- Camp McCarran concourse: William Farber will offer the Courier a discount after repairing the food processor during Not Worth a Hill of Corn and Beans.
- Hidden Valley bunker: When the Courier's reputation with the Mojave Brotherhood becomes Mixed, a paladin should approach them and inform them of a discount. This is currently bugged, however, so only the reputation discount is available.
Ways to increase Barter
- Leveling up (up to +15 or +17 with Educated)
- Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor (+3 or 4 with Comprehension)
- Empathy Synthesizer (+2 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will see no benefit.)
- Tag! (+15)
- Good Natured (+5)
- Skilled (+5)
- Salesman Weekly (+10 or 20 with Comprehension)
- Mentats (+2 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will see no benefit.)
- Party Time Mentats (+2-10 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will see no benefit, can be stacked with Mentats.)
- Absinthe/Beer/Irradiated beer/Irradiated whiskey/Jake Juice/Scotch/Wine (+2 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will see no benefit.)
- Moonshine (+2-4 depending on current Charisma, a perfect Charisma of 10 will no benefit, can be stacked with other alcohol.)
- Benny's suit (+5)
- Roving trader hat (+5, earliest acquisition is from Malcolm Holmes.)
- Roving trader outfit (+5, earliest acquisition is from Malcolm Holmes.)
- Vera's outfit from Dead Money (+5 and another +2 depending on current Charisma.)
- Daniel's outfit from Honest Hearts (+5)
- "Mood Light" (+5-9 (depending on current Charisma) for 12 hours or until the player uses the "Smart Lights")
|Pack Rat||70||8||Intelligence 5|
|Long Haul||70||12||Endurance 6|
In Van Buren, as in Fallout and Fallout 2, Barter did indeed have an effect on store prices. However, it also represented a certain level of knowledge about the caravan houses and trading in general, giving it a small role in dialogue. The intended depth to Barter development came in the perks available at higher skill ranks.
Notable Barter experts
- Mister Burke (77) - Allistair Tenpenny's right-hand man, asks the Lone Wanderer to detonate the atomic bomb in Megaton.
- Leroy Walker (68) - Leader of 6-man squad of slavers who have occupied the Lincoln Memorial.
- Victoria Watts (63) - The Railroad member, asking your help in protecting escaped android Harkness.
Fallout: New Vegas
- Elizabeth Kieran (98) - NCR Major providing aid to NCR squatters living in Freeside.
- Lady Jane (98) - a caravan merchant living in Freeside.