Fallout New Vegas DLC Order – Release & Level Requirement

Last Updated on January 2, 2024 by Samuel Franklin

What is the best Fallout New Vegas DLC order for your playthrough? This guide details the release order, level requirements, DLC rewards and the recommended level to face the new threats of these content bites. Following the initial 2010 release Fallout New Vegas (FNV) expanded the world with 4 DLC items and 2 item packs that added a new maximum level of 50 (+5 per DLC), several perks and equipment for an enhanced adventure across the Mojave Wasteland.

After multiple playthroughs across this wasteland I’ve developed my personal recommendations for the ideal DLC play order of Honest Hearts > Dead Money > Old World Blues > Lonesome Road. While this varies slightly from the release order this maximises rewards, prevents difficulty spikes and maintains story coherence which is detailed further on this page. The below content contains minor story and information spoilers for New Vegas and the respective DLCs.

Table of Contents:
Fallout New Vegas DLC Order (Release Dates)
Fallout New Vegas DLC Recommended Order
Dead Money Summary
Honest Hearts Summary
Old World Blues Summary
Lonesome Road Summary

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Fallout New Vegas DLC Order (Release Dates)

The Fallout New Vegas addons were released in the following release order:

DLC Release Date
Dead Money December 2010
Honest Hearts May 2011
Old World Blues July 2011
Lonesome Road September 2011
Courier’s Stash Item Pack September 2011
Gun Runners’ Arsenal Item Pack September 2011

Fallout New Vegas DLC Recommended order

While the release order above might appear as the intended order for players to complete the DLC content and is a viable default option many in the community have developed their own preferred Fallout New Vegas DLC chronological order for various reasons as when to do DLC is completely your own choice. With each DLC serving as a stand alone story with only minor subtle references between each other and broader core storyline events many in the community including me recommend this play order:

  1. Honest Hearts (Recommended Level 10+)
  2. Dead Money (Recommended Level 20+)
  3. Old World Blues (Recommended Level 20+)
  4. Lonesome Road (Recommended Level 30+)

The factors for this FNV DLC order are:

  • Honest Hearts is an easy DLC compared to the others options and provides useful gear to help you with your broader storyline progression. It also has a story that is disconnected from the other DLCs so can be completed at any point in your progression without significant impact on your role playing experience. Completing this first is often a good way to give your character a foundation of gear and levels although can be skipped for later if you don’t want to utilise this gear boost.
  • While Dead Money is the second hardest DLC in Fallout New Vegas (Lonesome Road being the most difficult) playing it before Old World Blues is still recommended. This is particularly the case for story based and completion focused players as if you do play Old World Blues before Dead Money it will remove some of the character mystery and their motives which is core to the DLC atmosphere. This also seems to have been the intended order of the developer given the order of release dates. If you aren’t someone that cares to explore the story in detail or are already familiar with the story of the DLC then swapping the order of Old World Blues before Dead Money can make for a less difficult playthrough order.
  • Lonesome Road serves as the capstone to the Fallout New Vegas universe and is also the toughest of the DLC options so is best reserved for last when you’ve finished the majority of other content you want to explore. As a result this content also has the highest DLC recommended level and while this isn’t a level requirement enforced by the game players will have difficultly facing it at lower levels.

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Dead Money Summary

  • Accessed By: Visiting the Abandoned Brotherhood of Steel Bunker on the eastern side of the Mojave Wasteland.
  • Recommended Level: 20+
  • Notable Rewards: Unlocks a player bunker that includes a vending machine that can provide consumable items regularly.

The Dead Money story brings players to the Sierra Madre which is a casino resort although it was never opened due to the nuclear war taking place prior to the grand opening event. With a high tech security system the location is mostly untouched although players realise they are not alone after you discover a strange toxin.

Dead Money offers players a challenging DLC so you’ll want a foundation of perks and skill levels from the broader New Vegas content before adventuring into Dead Money as you won’t be allowed to bring any equipment. A minimum level of 20 is recommended for Dead Money although melee builds with high speech and medicine skills can tackle it earlier as they thrive here.

For those that can defeat the challenges within Dead Money you’ll earn not only a healthy number of caps through the gold bars you manage to walk away with but also gain access to a personalised bunker. Within this bunker you’ll be able to access a vending machine similar to that in the Sierra Madre Casino itself where you can purchase Rad-X, Rad-Away, Stimpacks and other consumable items. The currency for the vending machine (Sierra Madre chip) are found during the DLC, given to players regularly after beating the DLC and can be crafted with scrap metal and fission batteries.

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Honest Hearts Summary

  • Accessed By: Northern Passage map location in the centre northern side of the map.
  • Recommended Level: 10+
  • Notable Rewards: Provides useful weapon and armour options with the Desert Ranger combat armour and the Survivalist’s rifle.

The location for this DLC is the Zion National Park where players team up with Joshua Graham known as the Burned Man. While joining a caravan expedition players are ambushed by the raiding tribe of White Legs which places you in the middle of a tribal war with you in control of the ultimate fate of the Zion area.

Serving as a stand alone adventure far away from your main Fallout New Vegas story Honest Hearts is also the easiest DLC option that makes it a popular starting DLC. While it can be difficult to make the trek behind New Vegas itself to the Northern Passage location that starts this DLC this exploration can be worth it as the Honest Hearts DLC provides an abundance of options for armour and weapons that can help in your upcoming adventures. Notably these rewards include the Desert Ranger combat armour, the Survivalist’s rifle and some equipment from Joshua himself that are equally effective.

Importantly Honest Hearts imposes its own weight limit so clear your inventory beforehand as you’ll want to complete everything Honest Hearts has to offer before leaving. While you can return to the location after completing the main quest the NPCs will have moved effectively rendering the location useless for quests and trading.

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Old World Blues Summary

  • Accessed By: Visiting the Mojave Drive-in in the southern part of the map at midnight.
  • Recommended Level: 20+
  • Notable Rewards: Several special perks and the Sink Auto-Doc which provides various services and implants.

Starting from the Mojave Drive-in at midnight you’ll be able to watch a unique viewing on the big screen from a nearby fallen satellite. Focused around a group of scientists known as the Think Tank that have since removed their need for physical bodies and replaced them with machines this DLC gives players the ability to acquire implants and body related perks. Fighting their way to the rogue scientist known as Dr. Mobius through new and familiar enemies players will decide the ultimate fate of the Think Tank.

Old World Blues is on the easier side of Fallout New Vegas DLCs although is generally recommended to be played after Dead Money due to the story links between them. I would complete Old World Blues before level 30 though as the enemy scaling can make this a tedious adventure full of enemies that feel like bullet sponges. This DLC allows players to keep their gear so coming prepared is your best bet and players can replenish your consumables at the included vendor regularly. Old World Blues offers some unique perk rewards based on body parts with players also having access to implants through the Sink Auto-Doc, healing for free, a reset to your traits and character haircuts on completion.


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Lonesome Road Summary

  • Accessed By: Visit the Canyon Wreckage that is located west of Primm.
  • Recommended Level: 30+
  • Notable Rewards: Various late game perks available when installed, late game equipment and a SPECIAL point upon completion.

The pinnacle DLC content in Fallout New Vegas that provides end game equipment and special perks based on the actions you take and who you have sided with in the main story so far. For Lonesome Road even experienced players should be at least level 30 or ideally 35+ with the best equipment available and sufficient consumable items. This DLC does allow you to leave and return as necessary if you find you’ve underestimated the difficultly level as a fallback option if you still have vanilla Fallout New Vegas locations to explore.

Given Lonesome Road is intended as a late game piece of content you should generally complete this right before you wrap up the core New Vegas storyline at Hoover Dam where you receive your faction ending. Interestingly completing this content will reward players with an additional SPECIAL point and one of the best melee weapons in the game despite being the end of your journey.

For further Fallout add-on content recommended orders and information refer to our Fallout 3 DLC and Fallout 4 DLC overview pages.

Written by
Samuel Franklin
Samuel Franklin is the founder and lead editor of the Games Finder team and enjoys video games across all genres and platforms.

Sam enjoys the modern adventures in the Fallout franchise for their large open world settings of choice which blend RPG and FPS mechanics. He is a seasoned Wasteland wanderer where he often crafts karma driven heroes who cleanse the irradiated landscapes with traditional guns and Pip-Boy in hand. Whether it’s a highly modded rifle for use in V.A.T.S. or charging into the enemy with shotgun blasts Sam strives to not just survive the Wasteland but shape it for the better.

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