Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

We've had reports of violence against NCR citizens in a neighborhood just to the northeast called Freeside. Ever been there?Dennis Crocker

Kings' Gambit is a main quest in Fallout: New Vegas.


Ambassador Crocker is concerned that the New California Republic is merely tolerated in New Vegas; there have been issues between NCR citizens and Freeside locals, and the ambassador seeks an end to it.

Quick walkthrough

Main Quest: Kings' Gambit
Talk The King into ceasing hostilities with the NCR or kill Pacer in such a way that does not implicate the NCR.
Reward: 1300 XP, 600 caps, NCR Fame
Leads to: For the Republic, Part 2

Detailed walkthrough

Once the player has completed the quest Things That Go Boom, speak to Ambassador Crocker, who will assign Kings' Gambit. Crocker tells the Courier about all the violence in Freeside being caused by the Kings. He gives the Courier two options: solve the problem diplomatically, or kill Pacer, the main person responsible for the violence.

Option: Kill Pacer

If the player character has already talked to the ghoul Rotface, he may have given them tips, two of which include the fact that Pacer has a heart problem and too many drugs will kill him. Another tip states that he has a feud with the Van Graff family. If the Courier has not talked to Rotface, this option can also be opened by stealing Pacer's treatment records from Julie Farkas' filing cabinet in the Old Mormon Fort. This will add two optional objectives to the quest, one to kill Pacer by adding Psycho to his Jet (requires 60 Medicine) and the other is to kill Pacer in a way that implicates the Van Graff family. One must to do this before his stash appears.

Method: Frame the Van Graff family (Jean-Baptiste Cutting's note)

  1. Examine Pacer's stash of Jet which is disguised as a carton of cigarettes under his bed (then try to take it, a prompt will appear stating that one should obtain a note to pin the blame on someone else), then return to Ambassador Crocker.
  2. Talk to Ralph at Mick & Ralph's and ask him to forge a handwritten note written to Pacer from Jean-Baptiste Cutting (he will only do this if the player character has a high enough Speech skill [50] or if the Kings have accepted them, and if Rotface tipped the player character about the feud between Pacer and the Van Graffs).
  3. Go to Pacer's room (first room on the left, third floor of the King's School of Impersonation).
  4. Replace Pacer's stash of Jet with the handwritten note.
  5. When Pacer checks his stash, he will immediately run over to the Silver Rush and get himself killed.

This method works even if the player character killed everyone in the Silver Rush building earlier. Just follow Pacer there after planting the note in his room and kill him with a plasma or laser weapon to frame the Van Graffs.

It is important to talk to The King before returning to Ambassador Crocker.

If the Courier does not see any progress on this quest after leaving the note, head to Silver Rush and watch Pacer get killed.

Method: Frame the Van Graff family (working as a guard)

  1. Start the quest Birds of a Feather.
  2. While working as a guard, when Pacer comes and talks to the player character, pick a fight with him by using hostile dialogue options such as the third option in the first dialogue and "Care to back that up?" in the second. This will make him hostile.
  3. Kill him with the energy weapon given by the Van Graffs.

Doing this will not make the Kings hostile and will make the Courier successfully complete both Kings' Gambit (since the player character killed him with an energy weapon while working for the Van Graffs) and Birds of a Feather (killing him doesn't make the player character fail this quest).

However, killing Pacer will break the quest line G.I. Blues, therefore it is recommended finishing that quest first.

Method: Frame the Van Graff family (planting energy weapon)

  1. Wait in or around Pacer's room until night time.
  2. Sneak into his room and pick his pocket, planting a plasma grenade or mine on him.
  3. Back up REALLY quickly.

Doing this will off Pacer in a way to frame the Van Graffs, so the player character will still get the rewards from the ambassador, and the Kings will not suspect them.

Note: The player character must first go back and talk to the ambassador (after they speak with Rotface) before planting the plasma grenade/mine. Otherwise, Pacer will never go to sleep in his room.

Method: Spike the Jet with Psycho

To complete this method, either speak to Rotface and give him caps until he tells the Courier about Pacer's addiction or check the filing cabinet in Julie Farkas' wing of the Old Mormon Fort. One must also first speak with Ambassador Crocker and tell him their plan, which requires a [60] Medicine check. It will then add an optional quest to kill Pacer using his Jet. Follow these steps:

  1. Go to Pacer's room (the first room to the left on the third floor of the King's School of Impersonation)
  2. Add the Psycho to the stash of Jet under his bed (roughly between 8A.M. and 9P.M.). The stash is disguised as a carton of cigarettes, but it will only appear AFTER speaking with Rotface or looking through Julie Farkas's files (see above).
  3. Pacer will die by checking his stash in his room during the night (the earliest time he can be found in his room is about 7P.M.)
  4. Pacer will die immediately when he checks his stash.

Note: killing Pacer in any way will immediately fail the quest G.I. Blues, so if one wants a favor from The King, they need to finish G.I. Blues before killing him.

Method: Just kill Pacer

Using an energy weapon to kill Pacer will allow one to accomplish this quest, however using any conventional weapons will result in failing the quest. If the latter is the case, the player character will still get a reward (if they apologize) and are still allowed to move onto the next quest. If the player character wishes to easily regain fame with Freeside, go to the Atomic Wrangler and talk to James Garret regarding spreading positive rumors about the Courier in Freeside. One will have to pay more caps depending on how infamous they are.

Option: Solve diplomatically

If the favor from G.I. Blues has not yet been used, the Courier can ask The King to stop the violence and turn the quest in. However, if it has already been used, The King will say no and one must return to Ambassador Crocker to tell him that The King will not stop the violence. Crocker will then propose two options (on top of the option to kill Pacer): Talk to Colonel Moore at the Hoover Dam or talk to Colonel Hsu at Camp McCarran.

Method: Colonel Moore

  1. Head to Hoover Dam and talk to Colonel Moore, who asks the Courier to tell the Kings to stand down or be destroyed. She also offers to send a squad for backup.
  2. Anything said to The King in this option will cause him to refuse and a fight will break out. The quest will fail when Crocker is told what happened. However, no Freeside infamy will be gained if one lets the troopers do all the shooting. The King's unique suit can be obtained in this path, as well as a reward of 300 caps from Crocker if one apologizes and gets to move onto the next quest. If Rex has not been obtained as a companion at this time, he may be killed by the NCR.

Method: Colonel Hsu

  1. Go to Colonel Hsu at Camp McCarran and tell him about the situation in Freeside and he will tell the Courier to offer The King support from the NCR.
  2. Upon returning to The King, tell him the NCR have offered their support. If one is rude to him, his gang will open fire and the quest will fail. He will also open fire if one just tells him to calm down, taking it as a challenge. Like with Colonel Moore, The King's unique suit can be obtained here, as well as a reward of 300 caps from Crocker if one apologizes and gets to move onto the next quest.
  3. If the Courier is polite, The King agrees to peace with the NCR, but Pacer will become angry and will attempt to stage a coup within the Kings, and he and a few Kings gang members will start a gunfight with the NCR troopers, The King, and the Kings loyal to him. Pacer and the men who side with him are killed and The King goes ahead with peace between the Kings and the NCR.

After this, return to Crocker.

Note: If one attacks Pacer or any other Kings, even after they turn hostile and open fire, it may result in a gain of infamy with Freeside and both groups of Kings as well as The King himself turning hostile. The best way to avoid this is to let the NCR troopers and any companions do the shooting, which results in no infamy gained for the player. Pacer and his men are heavily outnumbered by the NCR troopers alone, meaning there is little chance The King will die in the gunfight.


The player will be rewarded with 1300 XP, 600 caps and NCR fame. With 60 Barter, another 200 caps can be gained. In addition, the quest For the Republic, Part 2 will begin.

  • Received 1200 XP and had an option (with a Barter skill of 60) to ask for more caps (200). Diplomatic solution, using a favor from The King.
  • Received 1200 XP, received 600 caps and had an option (with a Barter skill of 60) to ask for more caps (200). Spike the Jet with Psycho solution.

The player character will get neither of these if Pacer is merely murdered.

Quest stages

10 Kill Pacer in a way that implicates someone other than the NCR, or talk The King into ceasing hostilities with the NCR
11 (Optional) Kill Pacer in a way that implicates the Van Graff family.
12 (Optional) Kill Pacer by adding Psycho to his Jet.
13 {Optional) Perform tasks for the King in order to get on his good side
20Quest failedReturn to Ambassador Crocker with news of Pacer's death.
40Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker with the news that the King has agreed to cease hostilities.
41 Return to Ambassador Crocker with the news that the King will not curb the violence in Freeside.
50 Speak with Colonel Moore at the Hoover Dam for further instructions regarding the situation in Freeside.
51 (Optional) Speak with Colonel Hsu in Camp McCarran for further instructions regarding the situation in Freeside.
60 Go to the Kings' School of Impersonation and deliver an ultimatum to the King, backed by a squad of NCR troopers.
65 Help the NCR Troopers kill all the Kings.
70 Go to the Kings' School of Impersonation and offer the King official NCR support if he ceases hostilities.
75 Stop Pacer from ruining the deal between the King and the NCR.
80Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the King has agreed to the ultimatum and will cease hostilities.
81Quest failedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the Kings have been wiped out.
90Quest finishedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the King has accepted Colonel Hsu's pledge of NCR support.
91Quest failedReturn to Ambassador Crocker and report that the Kings have been wiped out.


  • If one has completed Birds of a Feather, the option to imply Pacer's killing by the Van Graffs is already available.
  • Choosing to kill Pacer will have repercussions on the quest Birds of a Feather.
  • If one chooses to go the diplomatic route and get Colonel Hsu to help resolve the issue, be aware that shooting Pacer and his entourage may cause the Courier to lose considerable fame with Freeside, and/or turn the rest of the Kings against them.
  • If one chooses to go the diplomatic route and get Colonel Hsu to help resolve the issue, the NCR troopers sent to the King's School of Impersonation will remain there for the rest of the game, and will help the Kings fight Freeside thugs.
  • If the Courier leaves the forged note in Pacer's stash but does not witness him die, and then goes on to complete the diplomatic solution via Colonel Hsu, nothing will happen when talking to The King and he accepts their offer for peace, because Pacer will not be in the room. If one waits for a few minutes, there will be gunfire and several Kings will be dead. The Courier will still have the option to stop Pacer. One must then walk to the Van Graffs and witness Pacer being killed. Upon returning to the ambassador, both Speech options to complete the quest will be available (diplomatic and killing Pacer/framing the Van Graffs).
  • If The King has died prior to the start of this quest, this quest cannot be done. It will not even appear in the Pip-Boy. One must return to the ambassador and tell him The King is dead. He will give the Courier three hundred caps if they apologize, and they will move on to the next quest.
  • Originally, if the diplomacy option was chosen with Hsu bringing the soldiers into the King's School of Impersonation, when Pacer protests towards The King about refusing to work with the NCR, he would not have instantly gone hostile and tried to kill everyone, instead he would face the Courier and begin criticize them about their deal. The Courier could have at this point talked Pacer down with a Speech check of 75, or kill him playing out the same way in the final game. If the player talks Pacer down, he would be disabled for the rest of the game.[1]

Behind the scenes

  • In chess, the Kings' Gambit is an opening strategy where a pawn is sacrificed in exchange for rapid development and control of the center.
  • It was believed that Elvis Presley died of a drug-induced heart attack due to underlying heart problems, much like how Pacer dies if his drug stash is tampered with.


  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Ambassador Crocker may not give you a reward when you complete the quest, yet will oddly give you a 300 cap reward when you fail it and apologize. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Ambassador Crocker doesn't continue with the conversation when you give him the update from Freeside after Pacer's death. [verified]
  • PCPC When attempting to lace the stash with Psycho, the dialogue won't allow it, saying "You could lace it... if only you had some Psycho" despite having numerous Psychos in inventory. [verified]
    • Possible fix: Though it might be no bug, after discovering the stash (and The King refusing your request) try talking to the ambassador first. With a Medicine skill of 60 or higher you can suggest poisoning the Jet, which activates the option.
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 No Jet stash under Pacer's bed (you must get the rumor tidbit from Rotface for the stash of Jet to spawn.) On the Xbox 360 sometimes whether or not you get the rumor tidbit the stash still doesn't appear under his bed. [verified]
    • PCPC Possible bug fix: Type the following into the console: prid 001205BC, enable. This should cause the stash of Jet to spawn under Pacer's bed.
    • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Talking to Rotface and stealing Julie Farkas's files may cause the Jet stash to spawn.
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 It is possible that if the player does try doing the "Kings' Gambit" quest before completing the "G.I. Blues" quest that the quest will be impossible to turn in to the NCR ambassador after you have completed everything for the quest. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 After completing Kings' Gambit the Courier may be locked out of the Strip (you no longer have the key). There are several remedies to this bug: [verified]
    • Go to Camp McCarran and use the monorail to get to the Strip. It is recommend that the player be on good terms with the NCR and have NCR armor. Otherwise, use a Stealth Boy (you may need to leave companions behind if you use a Stealth Boy).
    • Take the key from one of the robots. To do this make sure you are [HIDDEN] and snipe the robot from a distance.
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 After accepting the quest you may be approached by an NCR MP who will accuse you of an unidentified crime on the Strip and attack you. Re-loading a previous (auto)save just before accepting the quest seems to reset the environment and prevents it from happening a second time, but won't always work. Another choice is to wait outside before going in to talk with Ambassador Crocker, and the NCR MP will come to you, asking for a bribe (200 caps) rather than just attacking on sight. If you are inside, he will not ask for a bribe and will just attack. On PC, this seems not to work. [verified]
    • Other possible fixes: Just leave the Embassy before the MP approaches you. Outside goes the dialogue in normal way without the accusation and attacking. As an alternative, if the game was saved after taking the quest or you don't have enough time to get out of the building, use a "Stealth Boy" as soon as possible (only works with PC). For Xbox. let the MP come to you and give his speech then turn hostile. Let your companion(s) kill him and he might die without everyone else in the room turning hostile.
  • PCPC After talking to Colonel Hsu about NCR help, the option to talk to The King about finishing the quest will be unavailable. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The marker that is pointing to Pacer's location after the NCR arrive at the King's School of impersonation, Pacer may not be standing there at all, even if he hasn't been killed in previous missions, and he will not go check his stash. But if you talk to The King he will talk as if the situation has been dissolved. [verified]
    • If you have the patch installed, delete it and load a previous save. Pacer will be by the Kings' side.
  • PCPC After killing Pacer using spiked Jet, conversation with Crocker stops. No options in conversation with either Col Moore or Col Hsu to finish quest either. To solve the problem enter the following reset command using the console: resetquest 0011f95b. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 If you start the quest Birds of a Feather before going back to Crocker to notify him the diplomatic approached failed, access to the NCR Embassy may crash the game. This is a game crippling bug and there does not seem to be any way around it. [verified]
  • PCPC If you follow the story line to create a deal, even after Pacer becomes hostile, The King and all the other Kings will become hostile if you shoot or kill him. A fix is to stand still and let the NCR deal with him and the rogue Kings. [verified]
  • PCPC Initiating Kings' Gambit after getting all the gossip from Rotface and killing all of the Van Graffs may cause the framing the Van Graffs option to become unavailable (only the one where you need to forge a letter with the help of Ralph; using an energy weapon and killing Pacer when no one's looking still seems to work). [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 When going to tell Crocker that The King has refused to stop the violence, Crocker may not be in his chair and he may not appear again. No amount of waiting will make him appear in his spot again. [verified]


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