Hardcore achievement in Fallout: New Vegas


Play the game from start to finish in Hardcore Mode.

7 guidesOffline Game ModeSingle PlayerMissable

How to unlock the Hardcore achievement

  • SuperDanbotMkIISuperDanbotMkII139,436
    15 Jan 2011 15 Jan 2011 31 Jan 2011
    619 10 174
    With this method you can get the achievement within just 2 hours. I did it last night- It's absolute genius! Credit goes to ThermalStone over at Gamefaqs. Here's a link to the forum thread: http://www.gamefaqs.com/boards/959557-fallout-new-vegas/5723...


    Sex: Female (for the Black Widow Perk)

    Strength: 3
    Perception: 4
    Endurance: 10 (You'll need the hitpoints)
    Charisma: 1 (I've never seen any kind of serious build recommendation that didn't have a charisma of 1)
    Intelligence: 10 (You'll need the skill points)
    Agility: 10 (For running faster)
    Luck: 2

    Tag Skills: Barter, Speech, Survival

    Skills scores needed as you level up:
    Survival: 45 by level 6
    Speech: 95 by the Hoover Dam mission
    Medicine: Put any extra points into this.
    {{EDITOR'S NOTE-- I put all my points into survival first and concentrated on sinking the rest into speech once survival hit 45.}}

    Good Natured
    Second Slot: Empty

    Level 2: Black Widow (to deal with Benny quickly)
    Level 4: Educated (for the skill points)
    Level 6: Travel Light (for running even faster)
    Level 8 and above: Doesn't matter

    1. Get as many stimpaks as you can from Doc Mitchell's house, as well as the doctor's bag and some food and water, then leave. Set the game's difficulty to Very Easy and choose Hardcore mode when prompted.

    2. Head Southeast out of Goodsprings towards Jean Sky Diving. From there, turn north.

    3. You'll come upon a trailer with some powder gangers and dead caravaners around it. Head east along the road towards Hidden Valley, running away from the powder gangers. Enter Hidden Valley. Any powder gangers still chasing you should turn away.

    4. Go to the eastern fence of Hidden Valley and run along it until you see a gap. Head Southeast to Scorpion Gulch, then East to the backside of Helios One. You can easily outrun or even jump over all the scorpions you will encounter.

    5. Go north until you discover the El Dorado Substation. You'll need it for fast travel later.

    6. From the El Dorado Substation, go Northeast to the 188 Trading Post. Talk to Veronica there and recruit her as a companion. (Do not let Veronica die until after you go back to Hidden Valley later on!)

    7. From 188, follow the road north for a long ways until it becomes elevated. There are no enemies here. Then look for a rusty water pipe and keep following that north until you see a wooden bridge. In the center of the bridge is Durable Dunn's Sacked Caravan. Strip the two dead Van Graff thugs of their combat armor.

    8. From the caravan, go northwest to discover the New Vegas Medical Clinic and the Crimson Caravan.

    9. Enter the Crimson Caravan and sell one of the combat armors. Exit out the west gate of the Crimson Caravan and head south to the Gun Runners.

    10. Sell your other combat armor to the Gun Runners. You will now have the 2000 caps necessary to get into the Strip. With any extra caps, purchase some good light armor and a helmet for yourself. If you started the game with the armor from the Classic or Caravan pack, you don’t need anything better. Sell any non Aid items you have in your possession, including your weapons and ammo, if you need more caps.

    11. Go north to the Freeside East Entrance and enter Freeside. Go through the blue door next to the Mick and Ralph's crier and head south. Pass the credit check and enter the Strip.

    12. Go straight to the Tops and enter. When you see Benny, you'll gain so much experience that you'll jump from level 1 to 4. Level up as suggested above, taking the Black Widow Perk, then talk to Benny.

    13. Choose the Black Widow conversation options and convince Benny to go upstairs with you. Follow him to his hotel room, have sex with him, then kill him in his sleep. Take everything off his body and grab his suit off the floor.

    14. Go the door at the back of the room and find the Yes Man. Talk to the Yes Man and you’ll get a few quests. Make sure you ask him about the tribes you need to discover. Go downstairs and exit the Tops.

    15. Cross the strip to the Ultra Luxe and go through the casino to the reception desk in the back of the Hotel. Talk to Mortimer and ask him about his organization. This takes care of contacting the White Glove Society. Exit the Ultra Luxe.

    16. Enter the Monorail Terminal, the building directly to your right. Go upstairs and through the double doors. The NCR guards will start shooting at you. Run past them and get on the monorail to Camp McCarran. (Once you’re in Camp McCarran, no one will care that you illegally got on the monorail.)

    17. Exit the McCarran Terminal then cross the parking lot to the west to find the main gate. Exit Camp McCarran.

    {{EDITOR'S NOTE-- If you have some trouble keeping Veronica alive through step 18, do step 19 first and then fast travel back to Camp McCarren to do step 18. After getting into the Brotherhood's base Veronica will no longer be required.}}

    18. Head directly west from Camp McCarran to Red Rock Canyon. You may want to head northwest after you cross the first bridge to avoid several powerful groups of fiends. When you reach the hills, head south, outrunning any enemies, until you reach Red Rock Canyon. Take the uphill path on the right towards the group of huts and you’ll get credit for contacting the Great Khans without actually speaking to anyone.

    19. Open your World Map and fast travel to Hidden Valley. (Aren’t you glad you went the long way round in the beginning of the game?) Enter the Brotherhood’s bunker northwest of the hollow rock and let Veronica get you in quickly. Go down the steps and talk to Ramos for credit contacting the Brotherhood of Steel.

    20. Fast travel to the New Vegas Medical Clinic and run northeast to Nellis Air Force Base. Save the game after you talk to George and make a run for the gate. Stay to the left and use the houses for cover until you reach the fenceline, then run left to the gate. Make the wager with George and read his notes if you want more details.

    21. The Boomers will take you to Pearl. Finish the conversation with her for credit contacting the Boomers. Then exit her house and fast travel to the New Vegas Medical Clinic first for treatment if you were severely injured by the artillery, then to the Strip.

    22. Enter the Lucky 38, and go the penthouse. Stand in front of Mr. House’s big screen, and look under the stairs just to the left. Use the terminal to open the antechamber, then run past the robots and use the second terminal to unlock the elevator. Take it down and Unseal the chamber, then kill Mr. House.

    23. Exit the Lucky 38 and cross the street to Gomorrah. Just entering and talking to the guy who takes your weapons gives you credit for contacting the Omertas. Exit and go back to the Yes Man at the Tops.

    24. Ask the Yes Man about the tribes, then tell him to ignore each one. Then tell him that you’re ready to meet him at the Lucky 38.

    25. Go back to the Lucky 38, and watch the Yes Man install himself on the mainframe, then he’ll take you to the basement for a little demonstration.

    26. Talk to the Yes Man again, and when prompted tell him you don’t care what happens to President Kimball, skipping the assassination quest.

    27. The Yes Man will then send you to the El Dorado Substation. Fast travel there, enter the substation and activate the terminal to install the override. (Again, aren’t you glad you took the long way to discover this location before?) The guards will shoot at you but you can just run back outside and fast travel back to the Strip before they follow you outside.

    28. Return to the Yes Man and tell him you are ready to begin the Hoover Dam battle.

    29. Just run past every enemy and follow the waypoint markers to your goals. There’s no reason to fight anyone because you’ll have plenty of speed, hitpoints, and armor to survive on Very Easy. If you take damage, use stimpaks.

    30. When you reach the NCR heavy troopers guarding the control room, pass the speech check to fool them into abandoning their post. Then enter and install the override. Keep following waypoints to your goals until you exit back to the top of the dam.

    31. Run past the legion troops and securitrons battling it out and enter Lanius’s camp.

    32. Run past the praetorian guards and head for Lanius. You should be at level seven by now with a speech of 95-100. Put on Benny’s Suit (+5 to speech) if needed to reach 100, then talk to Lanius. Choose the prompt about listening to reason, then pass a long series of speech challenges to convince him to withdraw the Legion.

    33. Turn around and run back to the gates. As you get close, they will explode and General Oliver of the NCR will enter and talk to you. Choose options that steer the conversation towards non violence until you see a 100 Speech Challenge option. Chose that and Oliver will be convinced to withdraw the NCR, leaving you in command of Vegas. End the conversation with a peaceful option.

    34. Talk to the Yes Man to finish the game.

    There, you just beat the game on hardcore in about two hours, probably without ever:

    Entering VATS
    Killing anything (except Mr. House and Benny)
    Eating or drinking more then once
    Picking a lock
    Hacking a terminal
    Repairing any equipment
    Crafting any item
    Reaching level 9

    Guide not helping? View 6 more guides for this achievement.

    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Ryuukishi634Great solution, took me about two hours total. I opted for Toughness at level 6 instead of Travel Light, didn't make much difference either way. Thanks!!
    Posted by Ryuukishi634 on 01 Nov 20 at 16:35
    Sgt StrixThis method was great, I did it in about an hour and a half, only thing that I struggled with was getting to Red Rock Canyon with Veronica because I went to close to the fiends and they started following me and after that some geckos attacked me as well while travelling south, I used Maria from Benny to take care of them though to avoid Veronica's death. I never had enough H20 throughout the playthrough for some reason but it only brought my endurance down by 1 and didn't really affect me. I had the DLC so I started with some extra gear which was a plus and I never really needed to mess with armor or weapons the whole time. If you want to, after discovering the NV medical clinic you can run up Field's Shack right next to the Nellis Air Force Base to get another fast travel point but it doesn't make too much of a difference since you will have to do it at some point anyways but it makes the segment of meeting with the factions happen a little quicker. I would definitely spend the caps to heal at the clinic after the Nellis sequence if needed to save on stimpaks for the Hoover Dam battle. I also waited to mention the factions to Yes Man until after I installed him in the Lucky 38, there shouldn't be any amount of time saved but I just wanted to get in and out of the Tops as quickly as possible. Instead of keeping Benny's Suit I would just get your speech to 100 as you will most likely have plenty of skill points to do it and the 5 point decrease to the medicine skill is negligible in my opinion and you should have plenty of stimpaks and good enough armor to not take so much damage that you run out of them.
    Posted by Sgt Strix on 23 Jan at 09:03
    Shadow XBLperfect guide. Only part where I had trouble was the scorpions. They decimated me many many times.
    Posted by Shadow XBL on 12 Apr at 07:11
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  • Chicago AJChicago AJ531,045
    27 Oct 2010 28 Oct 2010 26 Dec 2010
    129 55 114
    How to get the achievement in less than 4 hours.

    1) Clear your cache and play offline.

    2) Once you're able to get out of Goodsprings, immediately make your way to HELIOS 1 (you will need a speech of 30 to lie your way into the building or an NCR uniform), start the That Lucky Old Sun quest by talking to Fantastic/Ignacio down there. When you're diverting power, choose the 5th dialog option.

    3) Turn the quest into Ignacio (not Fantastic) and say I overloaded the plant, blah blah blah... You'll get 350xp, 3 stimpacks and 2 doctors bags and you'll be able to turn that quest in over and over until you get to level 30.


    Level your Science, Speech, Barter, Medicine to 100 (everything else do what you want with). Perks do not matter either.

    Skurkitty has some great points in his comment below, here it is copy pasted.

    Starting zone, finish out all the quests in Goodsprings and get to atleast level 2 or 3.
    You DO need either 35 repair to fix the wiring yourself or 45 science to activate the robot to fix the wiring.
    (I found this out the hard way and had to restart)
    When running into the power grid you will see a door straight across, go in there (watch for mines, there are four) and hack the computer turning off the turrets. (Hacking requires 25 science...but you should have 45 already so no big deal)
    After the turrets are offline, ignore killing the robots, you're a low level guy with no much firepower and it just won't happen. Run past them, jumping down ledges if you need to, to make it to the final room.
    Activate the robot with 45 science (up stairs) or repair it yourself with 35 repair.
    When given the option you will see Send Power Everywhere, and then another one as the fourth option to overhaul the power, pick that one and you're good to go!

    4) Once you're level 30 save the game and quit to main menu.

    5) Download the patch and resume play (online). Make your way to the vegas strip and walk into the Lucky 38 and kill House.

    6) Make your way to The Tops, find Benny, take him to the Presidential Suite, kill him. Get the platinum chip and make your way to his room in The Tops and talk to Yes Man.

    7) Follow the Yes Man ending and when you get to Hoover Dam run to the Legate's Camp and speech him into leaving.

    My total playtime was 3 hours and 31 minutes from start to finish on hardcore mode. I did not need to eat, sleep or drink once.

    Don't forget that once you pop the achievement you can turn hardcore mode off in the gameplay options. If you saved before the final mission at Hoover Dam you can still play the game as a level 30 with 100's of stimpacks and doctor's bags.
    Showing most recent comments. View all comments.
    Chicago AJAwesome! Glad people are still using it.
    Posted by Chicago AJ on 23 Jan 13 at 06:39
    Silent iz loudpositive vote
    Posted by Silent iz loud on 28 Feb 13 at 18:21
    Eds Killerbox 7Lol, reading these comments/solutions out of interest a decade later. Some pple seem to have forgot ..this is an achievement site ...which means guides to pop the achievements as quickly and easily as possible are required. This isn't a place for moralising or anti cheat posts. Over the years there's been some real neat solutions that have saved people many hours ..that's what the site is for...making this a great post.
    Posted by Eds Killerbox 7 on 22 Mar at 11:44
  • KretheanKrethean117,790
    09 Nov 2010 11 Nov 2010 12 Nov 2010
    29 1 2
    Hardcore does bring a decent challenge to this game, but as mentioned, you can do this on any difficulty. That being said it can still be somewhat difficult if you don't know what you are doing.

    Biggest tips I can give are:

    1) Keep a note of places that you can restore your gauges without having to rely on items (like Goodsprings Source for water, or the Kings for both water and beds, with a food vendor reasonably close by). Doing this before you set off for your quests will help since you don't need to use up as much of your food, water and Atomic Cocktails, that you could be using mid quest.

    2) Stock up on Atomic Cocktails. These are very useful and if you have plenty of Dirty or Purified water (or rehydrating foods), you can afford the +44 H20 it inflicts, as it will remove a lot of fatigue from you (I also found it temporarily disables the gauge if you have less than about 120 SLP, until the SLP ticks past that amount, but it's probably a glitch anyway).

    3) Use Stims often. Regardless of damage taken, use one stim after any engagement that you took damage on. There are plenty of stims in the game, and since it takes time to heal, it's best to use them when you're not getting shot at.

    4) Play Caravan. There's a LOT of caps to be made by winning this game, and those can easily afford you munitions, supplies, better weapons, armour, and implants. Another thing is that caps can be handy as a backup in case your skills aren't very high.

    5) Have high Luck. The reasons for this are twofold: 1, you can score Critical Hits more easily and with Finesse added, you'll be dealing heavy damage often which will be useful against armoured enemies. The second reason is the casinos on the Strip. If you get The Courier Who Broke The Bank Achievement (which is made incredibly easy with a high Luck rating and playing Blackjack), you'll be pretty much set with well over 30k caps. Throw in earnings from Caravan, selling spare stuff and looting from bodies and objects, you'll easily be able to afford anything you want. A Luck of 8 or higher is generally pretty good. Go for 10 if you don't plan on getting improvements later on (Luck Implants and such).

    6) Companions. Keep them in peak condition and they will definitely help you out, depending on the situation (like E-DE and Boone for traversing the Mojave Wasteland.). This might prove to be difficult if your Charisma is low, since their effectiveness is influenced by it.

    7) Weapons. While I'm not exactly an expert on this game, I found sticking with one type of weapon is a good idea. Spare ammo and guns can be sold for caps, plus you can achieve higher skill levels much sooner, which kills things faster. If you manage to find the unique weapons to your preferred weapon + Jury Rigging perk, you're pretty much set. Weapons like Gauss Cannons can be useful, especially at the endgame. 100 Science and Lockpick will help you immensely with this too (well... with almost everything really).

    8) Challenges. If possible, complete challenges. Some can prove to be very beneficial as those do give perks (Lord Death, ... And Not a Drop to Drink etc.) which improve The Courier beyond the level based perks you usually get. You get exp as well, so it's a good idea to do them anyway.

    Lastly: Speech and Barter. Unlike Fallout 3, these have more use in this game, especially with speech challenges. A number of these (as well as other skill based speech challenges) can either make things easier, or let you bypass things altogether. Charisma can help, but if you have a high enough Int, you can get those skills up higher without much of a problem.

    It's basically similar to what's been said before, but I have experienced some things that can make things easier in Hardcore mode.
    Showing both comments.
    MUTANDlSIf you get any DLC before getting this achievement will you have to complete the DLC in addition to the main story?
    Posted by MUTANDlS on 05 Oct 11 at 05:08
    KretheanI would say it's main story only. The game itself "ends" with the endgame achievements at Hoover Dam, and that's where the achievement pops. The DLC are pretty much side-quests.
    Posted by Krethean on 07 Oct 11 at 15:20
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