Juggling Landmines: The Easiest and Most Consistent XP Exploit in Fallout: New Vegas
Posted: Posted April 3rd
Edited April 3rd by nullfather

I don't know why, but I've never seen anyone else talking about this. It has no build requirements and can be done at the beginning of the game with only minor equipment requirements. The little information that I can find regarding the mechanics that make this possible are incorrectly reported, so here's a full explanation:

Explosive traps like powder charges and frag mines have three states: disarmed, armed and activated. When they are disarmed (i.e. after being dropped by the player by right-clicking them in the inventory screen), they will not explode unless damaged. When armed (i.e. after being placed by the player by equipping them and then left-clicking), the sensor is turned on and it becomes a viable weapon. When an appropriate target comes within range of the sensor, the weapon will become activated. After a short, continuous period of activation (marked by an electronic chirping noise and a flashing indicator light on the weapon), the weapon will explode.

If the player uses the Use key on an activated explosive trap, they will deactivate it and receive 5 XP for their daring maneuver (plus 50 XP for every 25 disarms, for the repeatable Disarming Personality challenge).

When a player places an explosive trap, the appropriate targets are different from those that are appropriate for an explosive trap placed by an NPC (or, more accurately, placed by the world). The player will not activate a trap placed by themselves. This prevents a player from simply placing and disarming a trap repeatedly for unlimited XP. As there is no danger involved in that feat, no XP should be awarded.

However, the trap will activate if it is placed next to an NPC. The proximity of the player and their relationship with the NPC will not exclude that NPC from being an appropriate target for the trap. In this situation, the trap becomes activated and the player may deactivate the dangerous trap for 5 XP. If the player has two of these traps (in order to avoid having to re-quip one after every use), they can continually place an explosive trap next to an NPC and then disarm it for unlimited XP.

On the road between Goodsprings and Primm, there is a Powder Ganger camp with several powder charges. If two are recovered, they can be brought to a mostly-stationary NPC in Goodsprings (such as Easy Pete) and be used for this exploit. Given patience, you can level up to whatever point you wish before even getting to Primm.

This is not addressed by any official patch, community patch or rebalance mod that I am aware of. It's not listed on any XP exploit list that I have read. For all appearances, this has gone completely under the radar for eight years.

There are 5 Replies

I haven't played New Vegas much but how much is 5xp in the grand scheme of things? Like can you make significant progress with leveling via this as opposed to just going out and shooting a few people?

Posted April 3rd by Moonray

It would be really tedious to max out (or even get to 20) with this, but it is good for a few levels early on before it gets boring. I mainly find it interesting because no-one seems to know about it and it's readily available.

Posted April 3rd by nullfather

I was just wondering if maybe people do know but don't think it's worth mentioning because of how tedious it would be?

Posted April 3rd by Moonray

That wouldn't make any sense. Not only is it decidedly less tedious than other documented XP exploits (like tipping brahmin for the Knocked Up repeatable challenge, which is vastly less efficient), it's also general policy to document all exploits, glitches and such on community sites. But no-one I've seen has mentioned it, even in passing, much less as an exploit more viable than other documented exploits.

Posted April 3rd by nullfather

Perhaps you discovered it then?

Posted April 5th by I killed Mufasa
I killed Mufasa
long live the king
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