How to earn money fast in Fallout New Vegas in the early-game sections

In this article, let’s learn how to earn money fast in Fallout New Vegas in the early-game sections using advanced trading methods (that’s an exaggeration) and careful scavenging. At the start of the game, you will only have a handful of Bottlecaps with you. But with some luck and a lot of hard work, you’ll be able to afford many things even before reaching New Vegas. In this guide, let’s see how to earn as much as possible in the early-game sections. In the future, I will write more articles that will help you become the richest person in the Mojave Wasteland.

If you have more points in your Barter Skill at the start of the game, the easier it’ll be for you to be rich. But for this guide, we’ll not rely on your starter stats. Instead, let’s work towards upgrading your character and laying the foundations to earn more and more in the future.

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We will try to be as clean as possible with earning money. That means, we’ll try and refrain from stealing and killing to be rich. But if you’re okay with getting your hands dirty, break into houses and steal their belongings. You can also kill lone prospectors and scavengers for their money and belongings. But this dishonorable way will cause your Karma to be low. The dishonorable criminal way of earning money is best for an evil playthrough.

Searching Mail Boxes

In towns like Goodsprings, Primm and Novac, there are mailboxes in front of almost every house. Looting the items from these mailboxes doesn’t count as stealing, so have at it. What you’ll be finding here won’t be money. But instead, you will find many skill magazines. What you’re mainly searching for are the Salesman Weekly magazines. They increase your Barter skill by a whopping 10 points temporarily (for 60 seconds and 180 seconds if you have the Retention Perk). You will be using these magazines when you’re selling the items you scavenge, or when you’re buying items. I highly advise using magazines when you have a lot of items to sell. Don’t waste magazines on selling a small set of items.


After stepping out of Doc Mitchell’s house into the great open world, you will have to talk with Sunny Smiles. She’s a good person who’ll happily teach you about shooting, hunting, and crafting. You will get the chance to hunt Geckos with her. Loot all the Geckos you kill and sell the hides and meat to Chet in the town’s general store. There are a lot of Geckos in this region and they’re really easy to kill. Kill everyone you find and sell the loot to Chet. Be sure to use the Barter skill magazines when selling, if you have them.

An extra tip from Sunny Smiles

When talking with Sunny, you will also gain the chance to know about the abandoned schoolhouse of Goodsprings. She will gift you a lockpicking magazine and some lockpicks (bobby pins). Sunny tells that there’s a locked safe in the schoolhouse and that you should attempt to crack it. This isn’t related to a quest, but doing so grants additional loot you can sell.

Talk to NPCs

This is a very obvious tip. Talking to NPCs and taking on quests is one of the best ways to earn money in the game. If there’s an option to haggle with them into paying you more, do that without hesitation. This is a wasteland and you need all the caps you can get. Many of the NPCs will agree to pay you more when you pass Speech checks. That brings us to the Speech skill. When you level up, be sure to invest points in Speech as well as Barter. Both of these stats are important for a trader.

Let’s take an example of earning good money by haggling with NPCs. Talking to Judy in Goodsprings’ saloon allows you to fix her radio. After fixing it, pass a Speech check to convince her to give you more caps. She’ll happily do so if you have the required level of Speech.

Loot Ammunition

I’m sure any item hoarder loots weapons to sell or keep for themselves. That’s indeed a good tactic to earn money fast. Looting ammo is an exceedingly useful way to earn a lot of caps. At the start of the game, you will be choosing a build path. Let’s say, for example, that you’re going to use Guns (revolvers, rifles, and the like excluding energy weapons). But you should still collect Energy Weapons and their ammunition. Selling the ammo you don’t use grants you a lot of caps. Why this is so useful because ammo weighs nothing in the game (if you’re in Hardcore Mode, they will weigh). Even rockets and Fat Man nukes weigh practically nothing. So, collect ammunition and sell them!

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How to earn money fast in Fallout New Vegas in the early-game sections

A good way to get a lot of ammo and weapons in the early-game sections is by visiting the NCR Correctional Facility. If you visit the place before starting the Ghost Town Gunfight quest, you will be able to enter the facility by passing a Speech check or giving some money to the Powder Ganger guard at the door. In this place, there’s a character who gives you a few quests. You can earn a fair bit by completing these quests. After finishing their quests, go back to Goodsprings and either help the town defend itself against the Powder Gangers or help the Powder Gangers take over the village. If you chose the latter, you can then head to the NCR Correctional Facility again to kill all the Powder Gangers there and loot them. There will be a lot of Dynamite and other weapons/armor for you to sell, along with a lot of ammunition.


How to earn money fast in Fallout New Vegas in the early-game sections

There are a lot of locations in the Mojave Wasteland which are abandoned. Some are marked on the map and others are not. Search every square inch of these locations to find pretty good loot, including rare weapons. As you’d expect from a post-apocalyptic game, scavenging is one of the best ways to earn money.

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