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How to Max. Intelligence before hitting level 2

Okay so I started my second full play-through yesterday and decided I was going to try to maximize skill points by getting 10 intelligence as quickly as possible without putting all my SPECIAL into it as I was planning on getting all the SPECIAL implants. I decided to put 4 SPECIAL points into intelligence instead leaving me with the ability to buff something else slightly (leaving me with an intelligence stat of 9).

Now after discovering that I would hit level 2 at 200exp and that just for completing character creation I am rewarded with 20 exp I had to figure out how to get to the other side of Vegas and make 4000 caps while still making less then 180exp. After a few hours of trial I figured out how to do it (THIS WAS DONE ON NORMAL DIFFICULTY). The steps are as follows:

Step 1) Go talk to Sunny Smiles and get the "Back in the Saddle" quest. Now you have 2 options here depending on weather or not you want to do the optional quests for the Goodsprings rep or not. The first is to shoot the bottles, end the tutorial and talk to Trudy. The second is quite difficult and requires periodic saves to make sure you don't get too much exp. You are allowed to kill a maximum of one Gecko (depending on difficulty) or this guide will no longer be useful, so you may want to save it for one of the geckos attacking the woman from Goodsprings at the end of the 3 water sources (however you can injure them, making them easier to finish off by NPC's). After rescuing the her talk to Sunny and end the tutorial, then go talk to Trudy. (Loot All Geckos fully)

Step 2) Talking to Trudy will give you 50 exp giving you a total of 70-75 depending on how you did step 1. Tell her you would like to help Ringo and get the key to his hideout. Loot as much as you can from the area of Goodsprings (without stealing) and sell it all to Chet.Go to Ringo and choose the "I'm just looking around" allowing you to ask him about caravan. Once you have the caravan deck make a save then play Ringo at caravan making a deck with all 4s, 6s, 7s, 8s, 9s, 10s, Queens and Kings (This will allow you 2 easy 3 card combos and a backup 4 card combo 1)7, 9, 10=26 2)10+K, 6=26 3)4, 6, 8+K=26) Make sure you always have at least 2 combos and another number card in your hand before you place anything (do this by discarding any unwanted cards). Get any one caravan to 26 as quickly as possible then the second as quickly as possible (this will usually win straight off but may require a third caravan sometimes).

Step 3) Win no more than 4 games saving between each victory in case you lose. After you win 3 games you will be given a bonus 100 exp (don't worry its been factored in) giving you 170-175 exp total.

Step 4) Leave Goodsprings heading south along the road and taking care not to discover any locations or kill anything. If you are attacked ignore them and keep running (jumping over rocks if u can) until you are close to Primm, at this point head east (or east-south-east depending where you turned) and head around the back of prim over the hill to the east of it, then head south until you get to the salt flats (where you head southeast to Nipton) make sure you cut past Nipton just north of the bighorners and the follow the tracks to the road on the other side of Nipton. Follow this road east and then north until you get to Novac (making sure not to discover locations along the way.

Step 5) Discover Novac and head in to town (discovering Novac will give you 10 exp giving you a total of 180-185 exp). Find No-Bark and play him at caravan until you hit at least 4000 caps.

Step 6) Once done leave Novac heading north along the road (taking care not to discover any locations) until you can see the strip and then head in that general direction (continuing not to discover any locations) until you get close to the Medical Center (east of Freeside and the Crimson Caravan Headquarters). Once you discover the Medical Center you will be on 190-195 exp. If the door is locked just wait until early morning when it should be unlocked. Go inside and buy the intelligence implant. You are now max Intelligence and are free to fast travel back to Goodsprings and continue the game.

Enjoy! --Ninjipples

Or you could just wait until level 2....Carter o51 23:44, November 9, 2010 (UTC)

Very nice, I've done something similar but different when I made my "perfect character". You get 0.5 skill points per intelligence each level that are rounded up so getting to level 2 is actually no problem. ;) The 4.5 Skill points becomes 5 and next level you get 5 anyway from having 10 intelligence. You safe a lot of trouble that way lol.

I finished the tutorial and think I found 2 stealth boys in the safe in the school. I had 2 when I was done running around looting everything in Goodsprings anyway. A second might have been in the gas station or something. I used those 2 to head north and sneak past the cazadors, a few fire geckos, 1 or 2 deathclaws around vault 19 entrance and a small group of powder gangers after that. Duration was just enough if you combine sneaking and running while evading them all by hugging the walls.

From there I ran to the rock crushing factory where my stealth boy ran out, there are 4 land mines on the road there to disarm for cash. There are no enemies attacking you in between that place all the way to New Vegas clinic if you run past McCarran and through scarecropper fields.

After discovering the clinic I ran around camp mcCarren for more scripted fiend attacks and dragged extra to the NCR troopers south and west to drop RCW laser rifles and such, looting everything I possibly could. (Aggro fiend with varmint and run at NCR like a sissy) I took every piece of maise on the scarecropper farm on top of that and went to 2-3 buildings I knew were deserted for random loot. I completely emptied all 1000 caps from the McCarren supply shack merchant and Gun Runners merchant twice in total for just over 4000 caps. Bought my intelligence implant for 10 intel and continued playing my game like normal. :)

All that done in a short amount of time on Very Hard + Hardcore difficulty without problems. --PvtNiss 17:24, November 7, 2010 (UTC)

Yeah I thought about that 4.5 skill points carrying over (meaning you don't need to get 10 intelligence until almost level 3), but then I realized that you only get 14 skill points at level 1 if you do that, and then 15 at level 2 (14.5 is rounded down at level 1 and you only get a point for each WHOLE number)... my way you get 15 at both.

So yeah... you have to decide if that one skill point is worth the effort to you personally. I have gone over this setup multiple times (improving it each time) in testing and so its not really a problem for me. Also the last time I did it I got heaps of decent gear by watching the Legion attack a caravan on the road northeast of Nipton (near the bridge) and then looting the bodies, I sold what I didn't want to the caravan merchants and kept the rest. I then followed them north and watched them get attacked again by vipers and then looted that stuff too. I ended up with some reinforced leather armour at level 1 and about 1600 caps before I hit Novac. --Ninjipples

There are no skill points at level 1. All you get is 2 base in each skill, SPECIAL added, traits and 3 tag skills. You only gain them when you go up in level, so 29 times 10+intelligence+educated. Meaning getting the Intelligence Implant at level 2 results in the same skill points as having 10 intelligence from level 1. In the very end the only difference is 1 level up so 0.5 skill points which results in the exact same total due to rounding up.

As for having awesome gear, damn straight. Sunny taught me how to use the campfire while I owned the YCS/186 with the mercs Reinforced Combat Armor + Helmet Mark 1 aswell as a whole lot of other guns/ammos/armors and caps. ;) Involved a Sneak Attack critical from the unique BB gun, all my .308 ammo from the sniper in 1st Recon's tent on a bed in camp McCarran aswell as a whole lot of RCW clips. I started my journey with stealth boys after visiting the graveyard for one out of 2 Healing powder ingredients. Starting like this is pretty much cheating, but killing that merc took a whole lot of effort. :D --PvtNiss 23:32, November 7, 2010 (UTC)

Sorry... I meant level 2 (my bad), so whatever I said above replace 'level 1' with level 2 and 'level 2' with level 3. As far as I'm aware there are no skill points earned at character creation and therefore none to carry over. I base this on the fact that in every instance I have made a character (for which I didn't use the above method... round about 3 or 4 times), I got 14 skill points to spend on my first level up (15 on second with carry over). Sorry for the confusion.--Ninjipples

That's strange because I made a character for the sole purpose of seeing if I got 14 or 15 skill points when I made my Excel chart. I leveled from 1 to 2 and it was 15 with 9 Intelligence then 15 again going to 3 because I had 10 Intelligence. Then on the 2 actual real characters both of them got 15 aswell each level. I'm playing on the PC. --PvtNiss 02:06, November 8, 2010 (UTC)

I just made a new character and tested it out. Turns out you are correct. Either the game was bugging out before or I'm just a little crazy and thought it was 14 (It's probably the second one). Still, knowing what I know now the only thing I'd do differently is stopping to kill the geckos in the tutorial quest, and maybe stopping to kill enemies that pissed me off. Other than that I'd do it the same, as I don't want to start too overpowered by getting all the good items early, I prefer to earn them gradually. --Ninjipples

DualRifle 05:00, November 8, 2010 (UTC) What I did was, make a character with 9 int, go straight to Moe Get those 2 Power Armor from Fallen BOS. Then go to Repconn HQ to 3rd floor get another 2 Power Armor, sell them to Vendor, go to Atomic Wrangler, got lucky and win 32k Caps on 3rd tries. Then everything start to become easy. --DualRifle

Call me crazy, but I just clicked the "+" button next to my Intelligence score five times, and it magically became 10! Schneidend 02:58, November 10, 2010 (UTC)

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