How to get the 1st Recon Beret in Fallout: New Vegas

The 1st Recon Beret is a rare headgear that grants the wearer a +1 bonus to Perception as well as a +5% Higher Crit Chance. This unique combination of bonuses makes it the best piece of headgear for all players other than those who cannot live with the DT loss due to not being able to wear a helmet. There is a limited number of them in the game, so if you somehow lose them all, they will no longer be obtainable.

Tips before getting the beret:

  • Multiple ways to acquire. Due to the beret not being unique, there are several copies that the player can find throughout the wasteland. However, there is only a finite number of them so once they’re all found/acquired, there is no other way to obtain them.
  • The beret is unbreakable. The beret is coded to not take any damage from attacks or explosions, making it unbreakable.
  • It can be lost by repairing with it. If you accidentally use the 1st Recon Beret to repair a regular beret or another headgear through the Jury Rigging perk, the beret will be lost and a different one will have to be acquired. Be careful.

Acquiring the Beret, Method 1: One For My Baby Quest

This is the best way to acquire the beret as it doesn’t involve using any items or performing any difficult skill checks while also not leading to any faction reputation or karma loss.

Navigate your way to Novac, a town located south of the 188 trading post and north-east of Ranger Station Charlie.

Novac Location. | Fallout: New Vegas
Novac Location.

Once you’re there, wait until about 8:30-9PM. During this time, the snipers on watch will switch duties. Manny Vargas leaves and Craig Boone replaces him. Craig Boone is who we need to talk to.

Head into the Dino Bite gift shop located inside the giant replica dinosaur. Take a left and go up the stairs. If Manny Vargas is still there, wait for another hour or so and Boone will eventually appear.

Entrance to the main area. | Fallout: New Vegas
Entrance to the main area.
Entrance to the dinosaur. | Fallout: New Vegas
Entrance to the dinosaur.
Entrance to the sniper watch location. | Fallout: New Vegas
Entrance to the sniper watch location.

Once Boone is in his spot, talk to him and go through his dialogue tree. Eventually, he’ll say that he has a job offer for you that you need to accept.

Craig Boone. | Fallout: New Vegas
Craig Boone.

Next, head to the Dino Dee-lite front desk. The entrance is located right outside the chain link gate that you used to enter the town’s main area.

Once inside, you’ll find Jeanie May during the store’s business hours. If it’s too late in the evening, wait until the following day. She should be sitting right next to a floor safe. You can pick the lock with a Lockpick skill of at least 25 or you can crouch behind her and try to pickpocket the key from her. Quick Save/Load before doing this to ensure you don’t fail it and make her hostile.

The floor Safe containing the Bill of Sale. | Fallout: New Vegas
The Floor Safe containing the Bill of Sale.
Bill of Sale. | Fallout: New Vegas
Bill of Sale.

Once you’re in the safe, take the Bill of Sale and speak to Jeanie May. If she’s not at the front desk, she has most likely gone to her home located at the far edge of the town, by the road that leads to the Repconn Test Site.

Correct dialogue option. | Fallout: New Vegas
Correct dialogue option.

Once you’ve spoken to Jeanie May, tell her that there is something you need to show her in front of the dinosaur.

Open your inventory and equip the apparel item “Boone’s Beret”, which you received at the start of the quest from Boone, and follow Jeanie May until Boone finishes the quest.

Boone's Beret. | Fallout: New Vegas
Boone’s Beret.

Make your way back to Boone and talk to him. He’ll ask you how you knew. Hand him the bill of sale and he’ll give you the 1st Recon Beret.

TIP: From here, you may also recruit Boone as a companion. Just ask him what he wants to do from now on and eventually you’ll get the dialogue option to ask him to come with you. As long as you don’t imply that you want to be friendly with the Legion, he’ll join you. While this makes all Legion soldiers hostile to you, Boone is one of the most powerful companions in the game, dealing high damage in single, accurate shots. 

Acquiring the Beret, Method 2: Stealing

If you can’t talk to Boone for some reason or have locked yourself out of the quest line (supporting the Legion, killing Jeanie May prior to the quest completion, making Boone hostile), you may also get the 1st Recon Beret from any NPC that wears it. 

You can do this by either killing the wearer and looting the beret from their corpse or you can  reverse-pickpocket the wearer by putting a headgear that has a DT of 1 or more into their inventory. This will eventually cause them to equip the new headgear and put the beret into their inventory which you can then pickpocket from them. 

They can be found in the following locations:

  • Novac, in the mouth of the dinosaur (Manny Vargas during the day, Craig Boone at night).
  • Camp McCarran, in the 1st Recon squad tent (The entire 1st Recon squad is located in this area)
  • Camp Forlorn Hope, around the barracks, Command Tent and Mess Hall. (This is the same squad as the one in Camp McCarran. They move here after the player finishes the “Three Card Bounty” quest.
Location of Camp McCarran. | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of Camp McCarran.
Location of the correct tent on the local map. | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of the correct tent on the local map.
Correct tent + McCarran entrance. | Fallout: New Vegas
Correct tent + McCarran entrance.