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For an overview of Karma in the Fallout universe, see Karma.

Karma is the reflection of all good and evil choices made by the Courier during the game and how they are perceived by the inhabitants of the wasteland.

Overviews[edit | edit source]

Karma does not have as much of an effect on gameplay as in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout 3, since reputation has a more important place.

However, it does still exist and if someone catches the player character performing an action that causes negative Karma against their faction one will often lose reputation with that faction; for example, stealing something from the Silver Rush where a Van Graff can see the player character. They may also become openly hostile despite one's reputation with them not being lowered enough for the player character to be considered hated, where they will attack the Courier.

Karma's basic mechanics work similarly to the way they do in Fallout 3 (a 2000-point linear scale with -1000 being the most Evil, 0 Neutral, and +1000 the most Good). Unlike reputation, where one can only gain fame or infamy (with a single, scripted exception), Karma can be both gained and lost.

Karma also no longer determines which companions can be recruited. However, when opening a conversation with Cass after she has joined the player character and when they have substantially negative Karma (-100) she will complain about their behavior. The player chracter will get a second warning when their Karma is even lower (-150). After that, she will not complain anymore, as long as the player character stays neutral. Upon continue on the path to "the dark side" and talking to her again while having evil Karma (-250) she will leave for good. Note that Cass does not grant the player character any grace period to improve their Karma, making it possible to alienate her in the space of minutes by making three attempts in a row to converse with her. Even though she will agree to accompany an evil character, the first attempt to talk with her (which one will need to do in order to tell her to travel with them) will result in her telling the player character that they "can be a real asshole sometimes" and the first of three strikes will be used up on the spot.

If one faces Legate Lanius at the battle of Hoover Dam and the speech or barter checks cannot be passed, or the wrong dialogue is selected at the near-end or the beginning, he will prepare to engage combat, and the player character will have a unique "good" Karma dialogue option that will convince him to fight them alone, "honorably," regardless of whether the player character has followers with them.

The values for Karma gain may be bugged; currently killing very evil NPCs (such as Vulpes Inculta) gains the player character only two Karma, yet killing some Fiends and Feral Ghouls grants 100 Karma.

Some ending narration in the game's epilogue will also depend upon the player character's Karma. (See Fallout: New Vegas endings for details.)

Getting positive Karma points in FO3 and FNV Getting negative Karma points in FO3 and FNV
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Karma levels[edit | edit source]

Karma levels in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas

One begins the game with a value of zero, which increases or decreases based on the player character's actions. There are 5 levels of Karma:

  • Very good: +750 to +1000.
  • Good: +250 to +749.
  • Neutral: -249 to +249.
  • Evil: -749 to -250.
  • Very evil: -1000 to -750.

Karma titles[edit | edit source]

One's Karma status is defined by a "Karma title", depending on one's Karma points level. The base level cap is 30 and the add-ons raise this cap for five levels each, but titles do not change past level 30.

Level Good Karma Neutral Karma Bad Karma
1 Samaritan Drifter Grifter
2 Martyr Renegade Outlaw
3 Sentinel Seeker Opportunist
4 Defender Wanderer Plunderer
5 Dignitary Citizen Fat Cat
6 Peacekeeper Adventurer Marauder
7 Ranger of the Wastes Vagabond of the Wastes Pirate of the Wastes
8 Protector Mercenary Betrayer
9 Desert Avenger Desert Scavenger Desert Terror
10 Exemplar Observer Ne'er-do-well
11 Vegas Crusader Vegas Councilor Vegas Crime lord
12 Paladin Keeper Defiler
13 Mojave Legend Mojave Myth Mojave Boogeyman
14 Shield of Hope Pinnacle of Survival Sword of Despair
15 Vegas Legend Vegas Myth Vegas Boogeyman
16 Hero of the Wastes Strider of the Wastes Villain of the Wastes
17 Paragon Beholder Fiend
18 Wasteland Savior Wasteland Watcher Wasteland Destroyer
19 Saint Super-Human Evil Incarnate
20 Guardian of the Wastes Renegade of the Wastes Scourge of the Wastes
21 Restorer of Faith Soldier of Fortune Architect of Doom
22 Model of Selflessness Profiteer Bringer of Sorrow
23 Shepherd Egocentric Deceiver
24 Friend of the People Loner Consort of Discord
25 Champion of Justice Hero for Hire Stuff of Nightmares
26 Symbol of Order Model of Apathy Agent of Chaos
27 Herald of Tranquility Person of Refinement Instrument of Ruin
28 Last, Best Hope of Humanity Moneygrubber Soultaker
29 Savior of the Damned Gray Stranger Demon's Spawn
30+ Messiah True Mortal Devil

Obtaining Karma Points[edit | edit source]

Positive[edit | edit source]

Maintaining Neutral Karma[edit | edit source]

Negative[edit | edit source]

Companions and Karma[edit | edit source]

The recruitment of companions does not affect one's Karma. However, Cass will permanently leave one's party if she is spoken to too many times with evil Karma.

Notes[edit | edit source]

  • Since one can never get to see their Karmic value, one can use the console command player.getav Karma to get their current Karma points.
  • When attempting to steal drained energy cells, casings or any type of ammunition ingredients from non-player characters, there is no risk of failure, no Karma loss and the NPC will not react to the Courier even if detected when taking them. This could be due to the drained cells and casings having no monetary value, much the same way vendors will let the player character take such objects for free from their shops.
  • Even if one's reputation is "Vilified", stealing any items from NCR or Legion containers, or lockpicking their doors, will result in a loss of Karma. This occurs whether one is seen or not. However, no Karma is gained or lost if the player character steals from containers belonging to criminal groups, such as the Powder Gangers, so long as their reputation with said group is "Vilified".
  • The player character will only lose Karma for killing a non-Evil creature or NPC if they are assigned to a faction that is programmed to give the player character a Karma penalty for killing its members; by default, no Karma is lost for killing Good/Very Good characters. The same is true for Evil and Very Evil characters.

Bugs[edit | edit source]

  • Playstation 3Icon ps3.png There is a random glitch where the Karma title remains at "Guardian of the Wastes" or "Scourge of the Wastes" even when the player character is well past level 20. This occurs with Good, Neutral and Evil Karma.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc.png Playstation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When reaching higher levels, the game may "forget" one's karma at random times, then it will return without warning.[verified]
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