When I first saw Fallout: New Vegas on the shelves of my local GameStop back in 2010, I made the assumption that it was an insignificant detour from the main lineage of games. But the Black Friday price was just too good for me not to give it a chance, and boy oh boy was I so glad that I did.
Although Fallout 3 was my introduction into the highly praised series, New Vegas just felt like a game that pushed the franchise to the next level; the dialogue was smarter, the quests felt more dynamic, and the tunes jingled and jangled.
Obsidian Entertainment, the studio behind the game, set a new bar for Fallout games and Bethesda-styled RPGs in general. Hopefully, this November, when we finally get to explore Vault 76 and the world of a post-apocalyptic West Virginia, we'll see that bar pushed again; because let's face it, Fallout 4 might've been good but it was seriously lacking in ambition.
In the meantime, a list like this gives me a great excuse to revisit one of the series' best entries so that we can talk about the best and most secretive quests that New Vegas has to offer. These include side quests, unmarked objectives, and even some main storylines that are only available if you complete certain criteria or team up with specific sides throughout the game.
Through this list, you'll not only realize that New Vegas has some of the best side quests in any Fallout game, but also some of the strangest. Bizarre run-ins with grandmas wielding rolling pins are really just the tip of the iceberg, so let's jump right into it.
25 Wang Dang Atomic Tango
Only right to start this list off with a quest that is not only one of the funniest in New Vegas, but probably one of the weirdest too. “Wang Dang Atomic Tango” can be started at the Atomic Wrangler.
These customers are into some pretty weird things, and I’m talking weird even for Fallout.
You’ll be required to find a suave talker, a ghoul that dresses like a cowboy, and a robot designed for something weird. Yeah, it’s weird, but so unbelievably funny that you just can’t skip it.
24 Alien Ship Encounter
A lot of the quests on this list are only going to be available to those with the “Wild Wasteland” perk offered at the start of the game, so we’re going to recommend you take it as some of the best moments in New Vegas result from that perk. One of the moments is the alien ship encounter.
Head north of Horowitz farmstead to encounter the bug-eyed extraterrestrials and pick yourself up one of the best weapons in the game. Unfortunately, the aliens aren’t as fleshed out as in Fallout 3, but we’re happy they’re here anyway.
23 The Story Of Vault 11
Regarded as one of the best vaults in the series, this is one place I refuse to miss every time I return to New Vegas. As with most vaults, Vault 11 was a part of a sadistic social experiment. This particular one required dwellers to sacrifice one human every year; fail to do so and they all get put down.
The worst part was it was all a lie, and if the dwellers stopped sacrificing each other a message was to be played. And that message actually commended the dwellers for valuing human life instead of blindly following orders.
22 Red Lucy & The Thorn
This is an interesting place, as it’s quite hidden yet pretty popular for the reward you receive at the end. The Thorn is located on the outskirts of Freeside (west of New Vegas) and it’s a place where warriors battle the strongest creatures.
There you’ll meet Red Lucy, and she’ll have you go out and slay some of the strongest creatures in New Vegas.
What do you get for doing all of this, you might wonder? Well, you get a good amount of caps, but my money's on most gamers seeking that extra reward that Red Lucy also gives (no spoilers).
21 Helping Boone Get His Revenge
Throughout New Vegas, you’ll have opportunities to recruit companions along your journey. One of my favorites in New Vegas is the sniper you’ll meet in Novac.
As you grow closer to any companion, you’ll be able to complete a side quest revealing more about their character. Boone’s quest is truly one of the sadder ones across the series, as he took his wife with his very rifle to prevent her from being forced into slavery within Caesar's legion. Trust us, it only gets more depressing from there.
20 "What Is It, Boy?" Finding Little Jimmy
You gotta love the “Wild Wasteland” perk. While its quests may be insignificant to the overall story at hand, the quests themselves offer some of the best fun I had in New Vegas.
Enter the quest “What is it, boy?”, a quest that is only possible to attain if you have Rex as your companion. At some point, Rex will bark at you, and you’ll come to the actualization that a child named Little Jimmy is trapped in a well. I don’t think anyone saw another Lassie reference coming in a Fallout game, but we love it and this quest.
19 Becoming Idolized In Goodsprings
The faction/reputation system in New Vegas was one of the biggest reasons why I loved the game. Helping out one group might lead them to love you, but it’ll make their enemies hate you even more.
For every group, it’s possible to be idolized or absolutely hated, and your reputation even matters in the town you start in. In order to be completely loved by everyone in Goodsprings, you must help defend against a Powder Gang attack. In turn, you’ll get some great early game rewards.
18 Permanently Taking Care Of Mr. House
Throughout my first few playthroughs of New Vegas, I had never really liked the Strip’s kingpin, Mr. House. While I respected what he did in protecting and running New Vegas, taking side with him for Hoover Dam never really appealed to me.
So you can imagine my excitement when I found out you could take Mr. House out of the picture.
Go up to his tower and unlock a terminal on his wall to gain access to the real, 200+ years old Mr. House. Oh, and get ready for a brawl up there.
17 Curing Caesar's Illness
Caesar is one of the reasons I love New Vegas, or I really should say the choices you're given on how to handle Caesar. Even if you storm his fortress and take care of him and all of his fighters, you’ll still have to deal with the Legion after and their puppet master the Legate.
But saving Caesar from his terminal sickness is where this plotline gets really interesting. If you’ve invested skill points in medicine you can heal him yourself, but you can actually sell one of your companions, Arcade Gannon, into slavery for Caesar’s sake.
16 The White Glove Society And The Secret Of The Ultra Luxe
This is the quest where some pretty gross stuff comes into play. The Ultra-Luxe Casino is one of the most bougie on the strip, yet the classy establishment hides the fact that they have a special dining option catered for savages. Now, this quest is really long and there are many ways to approach it, so we’ll leave the fun part for you. Just know that it gets messy real quick when you decide to get involved in this one.
15 Artistic Inspiration On The Strip
This is another quest that is insignificant to the main story at hand, but it’s a quest that is missed so often we just had to include it. Head to the end of the strip and on the right, you’ll see a raggedy old warehouse labeled “Michael Angelo’s Workshop.”
Here you’ll meet the artist himself, or the post-apocalyptic version of the famous artist. He’ll actually give you a full-functioning camera and ask you to take pictures of various landmarks across the wasteland. Personally, I just keep the camera and run.
14 ED-E's “Special Mission”
ED-E is another one of those companions that is a must add to my group. He is found in the post office at Primm. There you can repair him where he’ll likely be your first companion to the game.
With ED-E being Enclave tech, its true mission to the Mojave Wasteland can be revealed when certain keywords or sentences are uttered. ED-E is from the east coast and was traveling to an Enclave base in San Francisco to deliver information. You can give that information to The Brotherhood or The Followers to complete his quest.
13 Vikki And Vance Casino's Missing Gun
Believe it or not, you can actually restore the casino located in Primm and have it up and running again. After you clear out the town, the casino gets up and running after three in-game days.
But something we’ll be missing from the casino, a centerpiece if you would, is Vikki and Vance’s unique gun.
You can find the bandits who stole it in the north part of the map located in a shack. Take the gun back with persuasion, or force and return it to its rightful display case (or keep it).
12 The Wild Wasteland Perk
Since we can’t really include every quest and random encounter that results from the “Wild Wasteland” perk, we decided to just give the perk it’s very own entry.
Some of my favorite encounters are having a run-in with Maud’s Muggers, a group of elderly women picking a fight with you. And I love the onslaught of references from Indiana Jones to CSI: Miami. Very few of these occurrences result in a full quest, but it’s always worth it to take this perk if you plan on playing New Vegas.
11 "Birds Of A Feather," Aiding The Silver Rush
I have a ritual that I’ve been doing ever since my first playthroughs of New Vegas. The ritual begins right before I enter the New Vegas Strip, and it includes taking care of every side quest in Freeside and always, ALWAYS taking out the entire Van Graff family.
In case you’re not familiar, the Van Graffs run the Silver Rush, a gun store that primarily sells energy weapons in Freeside. The reason I always take them down is if you follow their quest “Birds of a Feather” you’ll have to eventually bring your companion Cass to them just so they can execute her and destroy her business.
10 "Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog" (Finding Rex A New Brain)
Rex is another companion that is simply a delight to bring along for your adventures. Instead of throwing in another edition of Dogmeat, Obsidian decided to chop up that formula and give us a cyborg-styled dog.
Now, for Rex’s quest, you actually have to go out and find him a new brain to replace his old one.
Pretty straightforward, except you’re given a myriad of choices and each brain upgrades Rex in a different way and also alters his end cutscene. Choose wisely, unless you want a seriously messed up and very feral dog.
9 Helping The Boomers Regain Their Former Glory
Now that we’ve entered the top ten, it’s time to bring up some hidden plot lines that hold a lot of weight in the main storyline. The first being “Volare!”, a quest that has you dealing with The Boomers and restoring their glory.
For this quest, you’ll have to find a crashed B-29 bomber plane and find a way to get it to the Boomers.
The crazy part is that if you complete the quest you’ll actually be able to see the plane fly over the Hoover Dam in the final battle.
8 Becoming An Assassin For Caesar's Legion
Sometimes taking the bad route is just so much more fun. Especially in a franchise like Fallout, where these choices can quickly spiral out of control (i.e. Megaton’s nuke problem).
Supposing you side with Caesar’s Legion, you’ll actually be able to end the president of the NCR.
Once you go through with this quest, they’ll be no turning back as you’ll permanently damage your relationship with the NCR. But if you’re going for a bad playthrough, this quest is undoubtedly one of the most fun in the game.
7 The Secret Of Black Mountain And Tabitha
Truly one of the weirder, and more mysterious places you’ll visit in New Vegas. Black Mountain is a location, and a radio station controlled by nightkin, super mutants, and their leader Tabitha.
On the radio waves, you’ll hear Tabitha invite other super mutants and nightkin to the mountain, as it’s a safe haven for them where she’ll handle all the thinking. Tabitha's story is actually quite interesting, and if you head up the mountain you’ll be able to save Raul, a possible companion.
6 Tommy Torini's Talent Pool
This quest always felt like a mashup of Michael Angelo’s quest and the “Wang Dang Atomic Tango” quest you get at the Atomic Wrangler. For this one, you have to meet Tommy Torini at the Tops Casino and he’ll have you go out and recruit new talent for the joint.
You’ll have to go out into the wasteland to find a singer, comedian, and a musician. Can’t be too hard, right?
It’s fun just finding these characters, as it fleshes out the world and shows that the Mojave Wasteland is much different than the wastelands in Fallout 4 and 3.
5 The Followers Of The Apocalypse
Well if you’re really trying to be the second coming of Christ for the Mojave Wasteland, then this side quest is basically a must. As you may have figured out from the title, this quest involves chems, and getting two men off them that reside in Freeside.
You’ll have to find two addicts and try to get them to quit their habits and seek refuge with the Followers of the Apocalypse. And we hope your speech skills are proficient by this point, because you’ll have to even convince their supplier to stop selling to them.
4 "Heartaches By The Number"
Well if you’re looking to take care of the Van Graffs in the form of a quest, then this is the way to do it. Find Cass at the Mojave Outpost and after completing her quest offer to buy her caravan off her hands.
Eventually, she’ll want to pay respects at her fallen caravan and find some evidence leading her to believe the Silver Rush and Crimson Caravan are taking out the competition. She’ll ask you to take care of the leaders of both companies, but prepared for a long-winded fight.
3 "The Legend Of The Star"
I know I probably said it more than a few times throughout this article, but this, this is one of the quests that still brings me back to New Vegas. This is a quest that took the Nuka-Cola Quantum challenge and dialed it up to 100.
Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps with the blue star underneath are fought for by many characters throughout the game. It’s hilarious to spend so much time on this quest only to get one of the most ironic endings in the history of the franchise.
2 Reuniting Star Crossed Lovers
Gomorrah is a casino that I tend to stay away from unless I “absolutely” have to. Okay, we’ve all probably spent more time in this casino then we’re willing to admit, but that’s because we’re doing quests and stuff, right, RIGHT?!
Well, either way, one of my favorite quests is located in the casino where you reunite these two lost lovers. You’ll have to sneak one of the girls out of the casino and once you reunite her with her partner, she’ll tell you all the deets about Gomorrah.
1 "Come Fly With Me"
Often regarded as one of the best side quests in any Fallout game, this is just one that you can’t afford to miss. The quest starts so simple as you’re tasked to find a way to get rid of the influx of ghouls surrounding Novac.
But this quest quickly spirals out.
You’ll meet a whole faction of ghouls, and from there you’ll have a myriad of options in dealing with them. But the most popular is helping them in their quest to escape the Mojave Wasteland in rocket ships. Fallout: New Vegas is weird, ain’t it?