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Character Build: The Steel Guardian (FNV)

Tags: #Character Build Unarmed  #Character Build Power Armor  #Character Build Sharpshooter  #Fallout NV Build 
  • Member
    July 24, 2015

    "No one knew his real name, but my men had a lot of nicknames for that guy. Bear-Hunter, Nemesis, Steel Guardian. He would often ambush squads of NCR soldiers by himself, decimating them and leaving nothing but their charred remains. The bastard already cost us hundreds of our men and we can't even put a dent on him, damn power armor. In 2276, we managed to corner him and his Brotherhood friends at Helios One. Victory was achieved that day, but what bothered me was that there was no sign of him on that battlefield. Did he perish like most of his brothers? Did he somehow manage to survive and escape? Hell, I hope it's the former. I don't want to send more of my troops to their deaths to hunt that son of a b***h."

    -Colonel Cassandra Moore



    The Steel Guardian is a battle-hardened Paladin of the Brotherhood of Steel. Clad in heavy power armor and wielding his Laser Rifle and Displacer Gloves, he roams the wastes, neutralizing threats to the Brotherhood and hoping to restore his organization to its former glory. Besides his combat prowess, the Steel Guardian is also an expert mechanic and hacker. He is also adept in survival tactics, lockpicking and has an extensive knowledge of medicine.


    Energy Weapons – The bread and butter of any Brotherhood Paladin. Whether carrying side-arms such as Plasma Pistols or the heavy hitters like the Tesla Cannon, no Paladin goes out on a mission without their signature weaponry. The Steel Guardian will use the common yet effective Laser Rifle for this playthrough.

    Repair - How can you use your weapon or suit up your armor if it's constantly broken? Repair guarantees your gear stays in top condition and won't jam at the most critical situations.  Jury Rigging is icing on the cake, allowing you to repair your Power Armor with Metal and Marked Men armor variants.

    Science - On top of hacking terminals, Science is important in acquiring the Vigilant Recycler perk. Improving the recycling ratio of drained MF cells is good, but the real reason you should grab this perk is that it allows the creation of Optimized ammo. It's better in all ways versus the Overcharged variant and should be your mainstay ammunition for the rest of your playthrough.


    Unarmed - Your secondary source of damage. Some enemies will inevitably close the distance so having a weapon to deal with them is essential if you want to survive.

    Lockpick - This skill ensures all those caps and other goodies locked within strongboxes or the other side of the door are never out of your reach. It also complements the Science skill very well, as some safes and storage rooms are secured by either a terminal or an old school lock.

    Medicine - The Mojave is a harsh wasteland, always full of things trying to kill you. You will undoubtedly suffer broken bones and radiation sickness even with the protection of your power armor. Medicine guarantees you can shrug off those ailments and get the most out of every Stimpak, RadAway and other medicinal items you use.

    Survival – A very essential skill when playing Hardcore. This improves the effect of food items you consume and will allow you to unlock additional recipes at a campfire. Now you won't need to stop every 3 minutes just to chow down some grub.

    Explosives - If you prefer playing Softcore, you can replace Survival with this skill instead. With no perks invested in Explosives, it won't have the killing power of your Laser Rifle or Pushy and will merely be a support skill. Thrown explosives are my personal choice as they are abundant and light enough to carry more than 10 at a time. (credits to Tim)



    Strength and Charisma are kept to a minimum. Unarmed damage is NOT affected by strength, and your weapons have low strength requirements anyway. Charisma is fairly useless in this build unless you want to be a suave talker, and this guy prefers his weapons to do the talking.

    Intelligence and Perception are just at a right level. Even with only 6 Intelligence, you can maximize all but one of your needed skills with the help of the Educated perk and skill books. Perception is also kept at 6 to unlock the Better Criticals perk and will add an additional 12 points to Energy Weapons as well.

    Endurance, Agility and Luck are the most important and are pumped to high levels. More health, extra slots for implants, additional action points, and the increased chance of scoring critical hits greatly benefit this build.

    A third of your perks and the Fast Shot trait improve the efficiency of VATS, enabling you to land more shots and increasing the regeneration rate of action points. We also took perks that boost the overall effectiveness of your Laser Rifle and ensure your punches are devastating even at higher levels.

    Logan's Loophole is what makes this build shine even if the Guardian is locked at level 30. Aside from doubling the duration of your consumables, you will never have to worry again about any negative effects chems might inflict on your character. Just pop them like a junkie and rush to battle (more on that later).



    The Guardian's main weapon is the fully modded Laser Rifle. Not the Tri-beam Laser Rifle but the regular variety. It boasts high damage thanks to its beam splitter and focus optics mods. Its low AP cost and high critical multiplier makes it a very powerful weapon to use in VATS. Other advantages of the weapon include respectable durability, early availability, only 1 MF cell per shot, and better aiming at far distances thanks to its scope mod.

    For close range combat, the unique displacer glove Pushy is the best weapon for the job. Its high DPS and powerful knockback effect will give you some breathing space especially if you are swarmed by cazadores or night stalkers.

    Although inferior than both the Gannon Family and Scorched Sierra, the T-51b is the earliest available out of the three options, and should be your first power armor. Your second choice is the Gannon Family Tesla Armor. It is classified as medium armor, allowing it to be repaired with much more common medium-weight apparel. Its +10 boost to Energy Weapons is also nothing to sneeze at. Finally, you have the Scorched Sierra Power Armor. It may be the most difficult to acquire but its effects are nothing but spectacular, especially the health regeneration. In addition, nothing beats that armor in the looks department, just look at that bear head pauldron!

    As for companions, the only ones I recommend are ED-E and a melee oriented humanoid to tank up hits. ED-E is the perfect match for this character especially after unlocking the Camarader-E perk. Portable workbench, once a day production of MF cells, increased DT and a damage boost for your laser rifle are just some of the awesome things this little robot offers. Acquiring a humanoid companion is not necessary in my opinion but if you can't live without them, Lily and Veronica are the best candidates for the job. Both of them are perfect as meat shields and can deal decent damage as well. Either of them will serve perfectly for that purpose.


    Gameplay with this dude is fairly simple. You will have no problem taking down enemies at range because the Laser Rifle has excellent zoom and a tolerable weapon spread even with the penalty from Fast Shot. If you cannot stand the weapon swing, pop some Steady and you're all set. Unleash a barrage of lasers until only the smoking ashes of your foes remain.

    For fast approaching enemies, activate VATS and cripple the legs or wings to slow them down. For massive damage, aim for the head or torso. In case of hard hitting enemies, crippling their arms to decrease accuracy or blasting their weapon to render it useless are both viable tactics.

    If you are forced into melee range, pull out your Pushy, use VATS and start punching things. Pushy's knockback effect is enough to give you a short respite, enabling you to finish enemies off with a well timed Legion Assault or another fusillade from your laser rifle.

    If you ever find yourself in deep trouble or having the urge to clear out areas with high level enemies (Quarry Junction, Deathclaw Promontory), you can use my aptly-called "7 Deadly Sins", a powerful cocktail of Psycho, Med-X, Slasher, Buffout, Ultrajet, Rebound and Steady. Near invulnerability, monstrous damage, almost limitless action points and perfect accuracy with virtually no chance of addiction. Now you won't miss the extra health and perks level 50 builds provide. Just use this cocktail sparingly or your game will be very, very boring.


    Eyesight to the Blind/Tend to your Business - Assisting the Brotherhood and acquiring Power Armor Training in the process, what's not to like? You will also be rewarded with a T-45d and the much superior T-51b Power Armor along with other minor loot for accomplishing this quest.

    For Auld Lang Syne - The other option that provides Power Armor Training. It may not be roleplay friendly for a Brotherhood of Steel member to aid the Enclave, but the rewards are worth it. The quest also yields the Remnants Power Armor and Gannon Family Tesla Armor (by choosing the right dialogue choices with Arcade), two of the best power armors in the game.

    Old World Blues - Aside from being my favorite DLC in terms of story, Old World Blues also provides a slew of new perks and implants that greatly benefit the Guardian. The best of the bunch is the Heartless perk, which completely removes poison damage. This turns those cazadores from being major, formidable threats to pathetic nuisances.

    Lonesome Road - If you want the full power of ED-E's Camarader-E perk, braving the unforgiving environment of the Divide is necessary. Not the best DLC in my opinion, but the aforementioned perk is just too good to pass up. The Scorched Sierra Armor is also only available upon finishing this questline.

    I hope you enjoyed my very first build posted here. I'm pretty much excited for Fallout 4 just like everyone else so I condition myself by playing New Vegas. Credits to deviantart for the awesome images. Constructive criticism is welcome! Cheers.

    Head on to MY PAGE for more Fallout builds!

  • July 24, 2015
    Presentation wise this may be the best FO build yet. Nice work.
  • Member
    July 24, 2015

    Thanks for the praise man. I tried to follow Ponty's presentation style as I thought it was simple and neat.

  • Member
    July 24, 2015
    Lovin' this! Hopefully Mason keeps the NV/3 builds around.
  • Member
    July 25, 2015
    Thank you Borommakot!
  • Mr.
    July 28, 2015

    Very good. I agree with Curse, the presentation in this is great, likely the best we have in the group right now. I hope we get more builds from you.

  • Member
    July 29, 2015

    Thank you. I do have another build in mind but will probably post it after I have done some playtesting. For now, I am back to playing Skyrim again. 

  • Member
    July 31, 2015

    This is actually surprisngly close to the type of character I'd like to play in F4, with a few tweaks, of course. Very aesthetically pleasing.

    Good job!

  • Member
    August 1, 2015

    Yes mix-matching armors in FO3 and FNV is kind of hard but hopefully FO4's layered armor system will solve that problem. Anyway try matching the Scorched Sierra Power Armor with the Remnants or Gannon Family Helmet, the combination looks bad-ass! 

    Thank you for the like QWARTEN!

  • Member
    August 17, 2015

    Just reached level 30 and finished the Old World Blues and Lonesome Road stories. What a bad-ass build.

    The Steel Guardian feels like a silent and ever moving juggernaut. This is the FO version of Mason's Obsidian Sentinel. You've synergized the perks so well that I felt I always had a tool to deal with problems. Ammo was plenty thanks to ED-E, locks and computers were rarely a barrier, and healing was abundant.

    I highly recommend this build for those that want to tear through hardcore/very-hard difficulty.