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Up close and personal, that's how you like it. Your Sneak Attack Criticals with pistols, revolvers, and submachine guns, whether Guns or Energy Weapons, all inflict an additional 20% damage.— In-game description

The Professional is a perk in Fallout: New Vegas.


The Professional adds an additional 20% to extra damage granted by critical hits when using any pistols, revolvers, or submachine guns from either the Guns or Energy Weapons skills.

Affected weapons


  • It will significantly increase the player character's ability to make stealth kills in close quarters, making silenced pistols and SMGs more useful. Additionally, despite the perk description, out-of-stealth critical hits are also affected, so fighting in general with pistols, revolvers and SMGs is also improved. This is especially important in holdout situations which haven't been or cannot be circumvented.
  • Although this perk significantly improves the effectiveness of stealth kills with close-range weapons, rifle-type weapons of the same caliber will still deal more single-shot Sneak Attack Critical damage, especially given any possible bonuses from other perks such as Cowboy. At moderate range and beyond, rifles are superior for one-shot kills. However, no rifles are considered holdout weapons, which makes this perk useful for any combat done inside weapon-free areas such as the Strip casinos or Fortification Hill.
  • Better Criticals also increases sneak attack critical damage, providing a further critical damage boost.

Behind the scenes

The Professional is a reference to the French movie Léon: The Professional.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 The portion of this perk meant to confine the bonus to apply only to sneak attack criticals is set up incorrectly: rather than checking if the target has detected the player, the perk mistakenly checks if the player has detected the player. Additionally, there is no check in place to ensure that the target has not been alerted without overt detection of the player, nor is there any check to ensure that the player is currently sneaking. Due to these issues, the perk applies to all critical hits the player inflicts. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Despite being one-handed revolvers, That Gun and Police pistol are not affected by this perk. [verified]