My favourite feature of Fallout New Vegas is that you can build unique classes and roleplay as characters in New Vegas.
As of 2022, I am currently roleplaying as a modern-day cowboy. Below are the details for The Cowboy Build (or cowgirl)
It is important that you chose the right stats at the start. For a Cowboy build (cowgirl, I’ll be using cowboy as a non-gendered term), you need to be quick with weapons and able to master the wilderness. I’ve also made them to have a silver tongue as well. But before we get into the skills here are the S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats:
This part of character creation is optional. However, to make your life easier, I would recommend the below trait:
|Trigger Discipline||Guns fire 20% more accurately, with the cost of speed and AP points.|
Tag skills receive an automatic boost of 15 points. For your cowboy build, you need to focus on Guns, Melee Weapons and Speech. While levelling up your character, put all your points into guns and melee weapons up to 45 points by level 8. This gives you the opportunity to pick up a useful perk. For the remaining levels, dump your skill points into your three tag skills. Then choose either Lockpick or Science.
They’re are a huge number of perks available to select from. Below are the Perks I would select:
|Cowboy||Level 8, Guns & Melee Weapons at 45 points||This perk gives you a damage bonus to all the weapons your typical cowboy would use. When planning your skill points, make sure to prioritize this.|
|Black Widow/Lady Killer||Level 2||Provides unique dialog options when talking with females. Also provides 10% damage bonus to attacking them.|
|Cherchez La Femme/Confirmed Bachelor||Level 2||Provides unique dialog options when talking with males. Also provides 10% damage bonus to attacking them.|
|Educated||Level 4, int 4||Provides 2 extra skill points for each level up. Does not retroactively affect previous levels.|
|Gunslinger||Level 6||25% increase in accuracy in V.A.T.S. when using one-handed guns. Very effective when paired with revolvers.|
|Shotgun Surgeon||Level 6, Guns 45||When using shotguns, your attacks ignore 5 points of Damage Threshold.|
|Commando||Level 8||25% increase in accuracy in V.A.T.S. when using two-handed guns. For the cowboy this is useful for no scope rifles and shotguns.|
|Sniper||Level 12, Per 6, Agi 6||25% more likely to hit the head in V.A.T.S. You’ll become deadly in V.A.T.S when combined with Gunslinger and Commando|
|Center of Mass||Level 14, Guns 70||15% extra damage when hitting an enemy in the torso using V.A.T.S. If you can’t hit them in the head, this can make you formidable.|
|Action Boy/Action Girl||Level 16, AGI 6||+15 action points, for more attacked in V.A.T.S.|
|Better Criticals||Level 16, Per 6, Luc 6||+50% damage when you get a critical.|
|Concentrated Fire (Optional)||Level 18, Energy Weapons & Guns 60||+5% accuracy for concurrent shots on a single limb in V.A.T.S.|
|Grim Reaper’s Sprint||Level 20||Restores 20AP when you kill an enemy. Giving you the chance to take on the next enemy.|
|Nerves of Steel||Level 26||Increases AP regeneration by 20%. Allows you to go back to V.A.T.S a lot faster.|
Cowboy is the only perk I would consider optional. The rest of the perks assist you in using in V.A.T.S. Concentrated Fire will be more difficult to get unless you dump all your skill points into Energy weapons before level 18. The rest of the perks will unlock once you hit the required level.
For your humanoid companion, I would recommend Raul Alfonso Tejada. With the Old Vaquero he becomes far more effective with revolver and lever-action weapons. His other perk is the Regular Maintenance, which reduces the wear and tear on your weapons. What better companion than one that uses cowboy weapons?
For your non-humanoid companion, choose ED-E. You can then repair your weapons. Another perk is that you can spot enemies on the radar from much further away. Equivalent to having 10 points in Perception.
The cowboy it should use revolvers and other lever-action weapons. Using V.A.T.S is where its true strength lies especially at longer ranges. For apparel bounty hunter duster is the best outfit. This can be acquired by killing Caleb McCaffery during the Debt Collector quest. Then pairing it with his cowboy hat. Though a better option is to kill Beatrix Russell and take her hat and duster.
For storyline purposes, the cowboy is morally neutral but siding more to being a good person. Their ideals early game will mirror that of the NCR. However, towards the end of the game will side with Mr House to keep the Mojave Wasteland independent from any organisation. Even so, they would prefer not to kill the leaders of the NCR and Caesar’s Legion. But if pushed, will do what is necessary.