Reading a skill book permanently raises the corresponding skill by three points (four with the Comprehension perk). With a few exceptions, the skill books are identical to the books from Fallout 3. The newly added Survival skill uses the Wasteland Survival Guide as a skill book. U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes from Fallout 3 has been removed, since the Big Guns skill has been dissolved into other skills.
There are, on average, four copies of every skill book in the base game. Dead Money adds an additional copy of each skill book type, with the exception of Wasteland Survival Guide. Honest Hearts introduces the workbench crate, a container with random loot that has a chance of containing various skill books, but no static book locations. Old World Blues adds two copies of Chinese Army: Spec Ops Training Manual and a copy of Big Book of Science, in addition to a new mechanic enabling the player to create a single copy of each book at a workbench using 25 blank books, two tubes of wonderglue and the appropriate recipe. Finally, Lonesome Road adds an additional copy of each skill book.
The first number in parentheses indicates the total number of skill books with all add-ons included. The second number in parentheses is the total number of skills books with Old World Blues skill book crafting mechanic included.
|Name||Skill||# Locations||Base ID|
|Tales of a Junktown Jerky Vendor||Barter||4 (6/7)||00034042|
|Nikola Tesla and You||Energy Weapons||4 (6/7)||00034041|
|Duck and Cover!||Explosives||4 (6/7)||0006a80c|
|Guns and Bullets||Guns||4 (6/7)||0003403e|
|Tumblers Today||Lockpick||4 (6/7)||00034046|
|D.C. Journal of Internal Medicine||Medicine||4 (6/7)||00034043|
|Grognak the Barbarian||Melee Weapons||4 (6/7)||00034040|
|Dean's Electronics||Repair||3 (6/7)||0003403d|
|Big Book of Science||Science||5 (8/9)||0003403c|
|Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual||Sneak||4 (8/9)||00034045|
|Lying, Congressional Style||Speech||4 (6/7)||00034044|
|Wasteland Survival Guide||Survival||4 (5/6)||00160227|
|Pugilism Illustrated||Unarmed||4 (6/7)||0003403f|
|Workbench crate (Can hold random skill books)||Random||0 (16)||0000e928|
- See Also: The locations of the recipes used to create additional skill books possible with the Old World Blues DLC.
- With the total amount of skill points earned from reading every obtainable skill book (not counting the ones found as random loot in Honest Hearts), and with the Comprehension perk, the PC will have gained a total of 376 skill points (282 without it). The Workbench crate skill books found in Honest Hearts can make up an additional 64 skill points with Comprehension (48 without it), assuming the maximum of 4 skill books per crate, for a total of 440 skill points with Comprehension (330 without it).
- Although it is possible to obtain the maximum of 16 (non combat related) skill books, the likelihood is extremely low (see the Workbench crate page; the chance of four skill books is only 0.16%, or 2/1125. One will need, on average, 390 reloads to have a better than 50% chance of having produced 4 skill books from a crate). Far more realistic is 8 total skill books. Theoretically, approximately 1 out of 5 save/reload trials (before entering the caves), or using the console, selecting it, and typing resetinventory, should result in 2 random skill books. If the player has the Comprehension perk, it still should be enough to max out all skills.
- It is possible to use skill books to raise skill levels past 100. The value is not shown, and no skill will have any benefits past 100 points, except for the purposes of counteracting SPECIAL stat penalties. For example, if a character has a natural Endurance of 4, and then raises the Survival skill to 100 through level-ups, and then at some point suffers from minor radiation poisoning (-1 Endurance) and minor dehydration (-1 Endurance), resulting in a total negative Endurance score of 2, the Survival skill will consequentially be reduced to 96. If the character has read a "Wasteland Survival Guide" Skill book after the Survival skill was already raised to 100 through level-ups, then, even with the SPECIAL point penalties, the Survival skill will display as 99 or 100 (with Comprehension).