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Character Build: The Commando (FNV)

Tags: #Albino Fallout Build  #Character Build Sharpshooter  #Fallout NV Build  #Character Build Commando  #Character Build VATS 
  • Member
    September 7, 2016

    The Commando

    And now for something completely different. While I already have a few completed Fallout 4 builds under my belt, this project actually predates all of them. After the site changed its name and began incorporating greater amounts of Fallout content, I decided it was high time to give the Fallout series a try in preparation for Fallout 4, so I played through New Vegas and then Fallout 3. This character was my New Vegas playthrough, and I was originally planning on posting it as a build in the months leading up to Fallout 4, but even though I finished both the playtesting and the writeup I ended up losing interest in the project and shelved it. Seeing as the build was already more or less complete, however, simply letting it sit on my hard drive and collect dust always felt rather wasteful to me, so I’ve finally returned to finish the build I should have completed a year ago.


    The Commando’s playstyle is best exemplified by the two guns he uses, so I’m going to do something a little unusual and start talking about equipment first. His primary weapon is the All-American, used for mid to long range combat. A nice, well-rounded weapon, its primary use is for taking down enemies via headshots in VATS. Since it has a low AP cost and the Commando has a high critical hit chance, pretty much every round of VATS will produce at least one critical.

    While the Commando works best engaging enemies at mid-range, sometimes they get too close for comfort and that’s when the 12.7mm SMG comes out. Boasting some of the highest DPS in the game, this thing will absolutely tear up anyone who gets close to the Commando. If you have Gun Runner’s Arsenal, I recommend the GRA version of the gun since unlike the regular version; it can not only mount a Silencer, but a Laser Sight and Stacked Magazine as well. Unfortunately, it can’t use any armor-piercing ammunition, so you’ll have to stick with the All-American for taking down armored targets. Until you can get these two guns, I recommend the Service Rifle and a fully automatic weapon of your choosing.

    While I’m on the subject of equipment, I recommend using a 1st Recon Beret and Ulysses’ Duster. Having a high critical hit chance is key to the Commando’s offense, and both of those items are among the few items in the game that boost it. I also wore Sunglasses for the sake of looking cool. If you don’t have the Lonesome Road DLC and thus can’t get Ulysses’ Duster then I recommend Joshua Graham’s Armor, or barring that, whatever light armor you can find with the highest damage threshold.


    STR:5     PER:5     END:8     CHA:1     INT:6     AGI:6     LCK:9

    While having extra health is always nice, Endurance’s real usefulness to the Commando comes from all the implants it enables us to use. With eight Endurance, we can use every implant in the game except one, the Charisma implant in the Commando’s case. It isn’t a particularly useful stat for this build, hence why it’s at the absolute minimum. Strength and Perception will both be at six with the relevant implants, meaning that we’ll hit the minimum strength requirements for our guns and the minimum perception requirements for a couple of key perks. Luck is boosted all the way to nine for a nice all-around boost to skills and critical hit chance. Finally, Intelligence and Agility are both at six to allow for a decent number of skill points and action points, respectively. Be sure to get the Intelligence implant ASAP.

    Primary Skills

    These are skills that you’ll be relying on regularly. Focus on boosting them to the recommended levels before moving on to other skills. I also recommend tagging all of them except Lockpick.

    Guns: No surprise here, you’ll obviously want to be good with the weapons that you use. You’ll want to get this one up all the way to 100.

    Repair: Keeping your weapons in good condition is essential for any character. You’ll want to get this to at least 90 for Jury Rigging, though you can max it out if you want.

    Science: Aside from being necessary for hacking terminals, there are quite a few Science skill checks in the game, some of which require the skill to be rather high. Leave this one at 90; you can always use a Programmer’s Digest for very hard terminals.

    Lockpick: Like Science, I took this skill so that I wouldn’t be locked out of anything. As with Science, you’ll want to leave this one at 90, using a Locksmith’s Reader for very hard locks.

    Secondary Skills

    With the exception of Speech, these skills are only used in order to meet certain perk prerequisites. They are listed in order of priority.

    Speech: Passing Speech skill checks opens up a lot of doors so you’ll accordingly want to be a proficient speaker. Ideally you’ll want to get this up to 90 and simply use a Meeting People for skill checks that require a Speech skill above that.

    Medicine: Living Anatomy isn’t an absolutely essential perk to have, but it’s definitely useful, so I recommend getting this skill up to 70 so you can pick it up. Being able to use Stimpacks, RadAway and the like more effectively is a nice bonus too.

    Energy Weapons: Just get this up to 60 for the Concentrated Fire perk, simple as that.

    Traits and Perks

    For traits, I recommend Built to Destroy and Skilled. Like I said earlier, we’ll be aiming for a high critical hit chance, and BtD helps with that. Skilled just provides a nice all-around boost for a negligible (in my opinion) penalty. If you don’t have the Old World Blues DLC and therefore don’t have access to Skilled, then I recommend using Small Frame instead; it’s another nice trait with a negligible downside. Perks are listed below.

    Light Touch: The Commando uses light armor, so picking this up for the extra critical hit chance is a no-brainer.

    Rapid Reload: While the 12.7mm SMG kills things quickly, it also doesn’t take long before it needs to reload, especially without the stacked magazine. This perk will help you get back to business more quickly.

    Educated: Extra skill points are always helpful.

    Bloody Mess: The damage boost is small, but the fact that it applies to everything makes it useful.

    Hand Loader: Lets you recover more cases and craft more types of ammo; what’s not to like?

    Commando: While this is primarily important for the All-American, this perk will improve VATS accuracy for the 12.7mm SMG as well.

    Grunt: Useful for the Commando as it boosts the damage of the All-American, and before you get that, the Service Rifle.

    Living Anatomy: You’ll be fighting plenty of humans and some non-feral ghouls, so the damage boost against them is useful, while being able to see their damage threshold is good for determining whether or not to use armor-piercing ammunition. Being able to see their health is nice as well.

    Finesse: Extra critical hit chance is always appreciated.

    Math Wrath: Brings down the All-American’s already low AP cost even further, enabling you to take even more shots in VATS.

    Sniper: You’ll almost always want to target the head in VATS with this build, making this perk essential.

    Jury Rigging: Makes repairing your equipment a lot easier, something that’s particularly important when using the Built to Destroy trait.

    Better Criticals: Quite possibly one of the best perks in the game, it’s hard to turn down the massive damage boost that this provides.

    Concentrated Fire: The All-American’s low AP cost enables you to maximize the effectiveness of this perk, making it easier to land repeated headshots in VATS.

    Grim Reaper’s Sprint: The 20 AP this perk restores might not seem like a lot, but between the All-American’s low AP cost and the Math Wrath perk you can get a lot of mileage out of it.

    The perks listed above will take you to level 30. Beyond that, VATS enhancing perks like Action Boy/Girl and Nerves of Steel or defensive perks like Toughness and Life Giver are good choices.


    As the Commando is primarily a ranged fighter, companions good at melee combat are ideal for keeping enemies off of you. To that end I recommend keeping Veronica around.  Be sure to have her listen to Elijah’s Holomessage if you have the Dead Money DLC and complete her companion quest; I convinced her to stay with the Brotherhood since completing the quest the other way yields a less than pleasant outcome.

    For your non-humanoid companion, I recommend Rex so Veronica has someone else to help her in melee combat. Your choice as to which brain you want to give him. However, if you have the Lonesome Road DLC, go with ED-E instead for the Camarader-E perk. I also recommend taking him to the Followers for his companion quest.

    To wrap things up, I’d like to talk about roleplay a bit. As this was my first New Vegas playthrough I initially didn’t have a whole lot of ideas for roleplaying; I ended up playing my character as a humanitarian who did his best to improve the lives of the people of the Mojave. While he was generally supportive of the NCR and went with them for the Main Quest he wasn't beholden to them, and would occasionally subvert their objectives in favor of ones he found more equitable. For example, he completed That Lucky Old Sun in favor of the Followers of the Apocalypse rather than the NCR.

    That’s it for my first New Vegas build! I’d like to thank Henson for coming up with the name; I’m terrible at that sort of thing myself. While I doubt I’ll make more New Vegas builds in the future, I still have more planned for Fallout 4. If you liked this, then be sure to check out my other Fallout builds!

  • Member
    December 27, 2016

    Pretty cool that you had this one in storage AL! Thanks for adding to the Archives :)

  • Member
    December 28, 2016

    Thanks Motty, glad you like it.