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Fallout New Vegas DLC Order – Release & Recommended Levels
What is the best Fallout New Vegas DLC order for your playthrough of this classic role playing title? In this guide to additional content we will detail the recommended level, release order and other DLC information to determine the ideal DLC play order for you. While the best Fallout New Vegas DLC varies based on your preferences this article ensures you have all the information and guidance necessary to decide what order and when to do DLC in the Mojave Wasteland.
Released in 2010 Fallout New Vegas (or FNV) expanded on this core story with 4 pieces of downloadable content and 2 item packs that give players exclusive starting equipment and add weapon options throughout the broader storyline. All of this content was packed and sold as the Fallout New Vegas Ultimate Edition from 2012 onwards and not only provides new content but also gives players an additional 5 maximum character levels for each DLC (for a total of 50) and new perks to help your desired character build. When you’re done with exploring the New Vegas wasteland to its fullest be sure to explore our games like Fallout New Vegas page to uncover the next RPG journey. We also have a Fallout 3 DLC order and Fallout 4 DLC order guide for other games in the franchise.
Be aware that the below content contains minor story and other information spoilers for New Vegas and the respective DLCs.
Fallout New Vegas DLC Order Release Dates
The below details the Fallout New Vegas DLC release order based on Xbox 360 release dates as this was the first platform of release for DLCs where there was a staggered release on game platforms. While this 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 that are explored below.
Note that players are free to play the new Vegas DLC in order of your own choice with each serves mostly as a stand alone story with minor subtle references between each other and broader core storyline events. The Fallout New Vegas addons were released in the following release order:
- 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)
Despite the Fallout New Vegas DLC release order dates above the recommended order to complete the order to play New Vegas DLC that many in the community recommend is:
- Honest Hearts
- Dead Money
- Old World Blues
- Lonesome Road
The factors to consider for this FNV DLC order recommendation are:
- Honest Hearts is a relatively 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 most disconnected from the other DLCs so can be completed at any point in your progression without significant impact on your story 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 often 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 noted above. That being said if you aren’t someone that cares to explore the story in detail usually or are already familiar with the story of the DLC swapping the order of Old World Blues before Dead Money can make for a significantly easier 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.
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 serves as a casino resort although it was never actually opened due to the war taking place prior to the grand opening event. With a high tech security system the location is mostly untouched as players uncover the location although quickly realise they are not alone which is further complicated by 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 content (note that equipment does not matter as Dead Money will be sending players in without any of their gear). While a minimum of level 25 is preferred depending on your build you can go slightly earlier or delay it further based on your own character build. A melee focused build with high speech and medicine for example will do well in the content of Dead Money while other builds may wish to wait until they are a little stronger to buff these skills that might be secondary objectives to their core build. 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 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 whenever you like. 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 so it is not difficult to amass a large amount.
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 known as the 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 compared to the other DLCs that have greater connection to each other or your main Fallout New Vegas adventure. Given this and the fact that Honest Hearts is one of the easiest of the DLC options many players opt to complete it first with the only difficulty making the trek behind New Vegas itself to the Northern Passage location that starts this DLC. This exploration can be worth it though as the Honest Hearts DLC provides an abundance of mid game options for armour and weapons that can help in your upcoming adventures. Notably this includes the Desert Ranger combat armour and the Survivalist’s rifle and some items from Joshua himself that are equally effective. Honest Hearts imposes its own weight limit so clear your inventory out 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 on effectively rendering the location useless for quests and trading.
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 unlocks the Sink Auto-Doc which provides various services and implants.
Starting from the Mojave Drive-in where at midnight you’ll be able to watch a unique viewing on the big screen from a nearby fallen satellite. Focused around the Think Tank which is a group of scientists 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 in the Big Mountain area.
Old World Blues is on the easier side of the Fallout New Vegas DLCs although as noted above is generally recommended to be played after Dead Money due to the links between them. This does create an interesting balance and timing though as if you attempt Old World Blues too late (30 or higher) the enemy scaling can be quite frustrating as it pushes them into becoming simply bullet sponges that make your adventure tedious. Timing aside Old World Blues allows players to keep their gear so coming prepared is your best bet although you can replenish your consumables at the included vendor when necessary. Old World Blues offers some unique perks based on body parts and players also having access to implants through the Sink Auto-Doc, healing for free, a reset to your traits and character haircuts.
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 piece of DLC content in Fallout New Vegas that provides a host of end game equipment and special perks based on the actions you take and who you have sided with in the main story so far. In order to defeat this content you’ll want to be at least level 30 for experienced players although ideally a level of 35+ with the best equipment available and sufficient consumable items as you’ll be able to use these when completing the DLC. 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. Completing this content will reward players with an additional SPECIAL point to spend on the best SPECIAL stats for their specific build and one of the best melee weapons in the game.