How to get the Paciencia Hunting Rifle in Fallout: New Vegas

Paciencia is a unique hunting rifle that was introduced with the Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC. It can deal tremendous damage with the right build with the potential to deal the highest single shot damage of any ranged weapon in the game, out-damaging even an Anti-Material rifle loaded with High Explosive Ammunition.

Tips before going to get the Paciencia rifle:

  • Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC required. You must own the Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC to get this weapon.
  • Paciencia is expensive. Just like all other Gun Runners’ Arsenal weapons, this weapon’s base cost is very high. Depending on your barter skill, you can expect to pay between 12,000 to 18,600 caps. 
  • Keep Cliff Briscoe alive after installing DLC. Cliff is the NPC that sells you Paciencia. If he dies after you install the Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC, Paciencia will no longer be obtainable. If he dies before you install the DLC, the Vendotron at the Gun Runners will sell it instead.

Acquiring Paciencia

To get this rifle, you must first make your way to Novac, 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, go to the Novac Motel Lobby. The entrance is located next to a chain link gate.

Location of the motel lobby. | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of the motel lobby.

Inside, there is an old woman named Jeanie May. Speak to her and ask her if there is any place to trade. She’ll tell you to visit the gift shop, which is located inside the large replica dinosaur.

Jeanie May sitting by her desk. |  Fallout: New Vegas
Jeanie May sitting by her desk.

Head inside the gift shop and speak to the merchant there, Cliff Briscoe, and tell him that Jeanie may sent you. This will give you a discount on his entire stock, including the expensive rifle.

Location of Cliff Briscoe's gift shop. | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of Cliff Briscoe’s gift shop. 
Cliff Briscoe in his shop. | Fallout: New Vegas
Cliff Briscoe in his shop.

Now that you have that done, ask Cliff to trade, and you’ll see Paciencia on sale.

Note: If Cliff Briscoe dies before you install the Gun Runners’ Arsenal DLC, the Vendotron at the Gun Runners will be selling the gun instead. If Cliff Briscoe is killed after the DLC is installed, the weapon will become unobtainable.

Paciencia in Cliff Briscoe's merchant inventory. | Fallout: New Vegas
 Paciencia in Cliff Briscoe’s merchant inventory.

Differences between Paciencia and the Hunting Rifle

Comparing Paciencia to its base model almost feels disingenuous as the rifles seem like completely different categories of weapon. Here are all of their differences.

  • Paciencia’s magazine holds 2 fewer rounds, or 7 fewer rounds when compared to an upgraded hunting rifle.
  • Paciencias base damage is slightly higher (55 damage vs 53 damage)
  • Its fire rate is higher than the base hunting rifle, and about equal to an upgraded hunting rifle. (1.2 shots/second vs 0.9 shots/second vs 1.26 shots/second)
  • While its critical hit chance multiplier is the same (2x), its critical hit damage is substantially higher (110 damage vs 53 damage). This damage is the exact same as the critical hit damage of an anti-materiel rifle, which only has a critical hit chance multiplier of 1x.
  • It costs 5 fewer AP to fire in V.A.T.S.. This is important, as it means that you can use V.A.T.S. more often, and V.A.T.S. gives you a bonus 5% chance to critically hit. 
  • Its durability is about 17% higher.

Tips for using Paciencia effectively

For general use, using a critical hit build will almost always be ideal for sniping weapons. However there are a few caveats when using Paciencia specifically.

  • The weapon’s iron sights are not correct. The weapon actually fires lower and to the left of the iron sight. You can check where exactly this is by going into 3rd person, aiming down sights and going back to 1st person, while still holding down the key to aim down sights. To get around this, just aim where the left corner of the front notch is, rather than the front sight post (see image).
Showcase of the misaligned iron sights. | Fallout: New Vegas
Showcase of the misaligned iron sights. 
  • The Better Criticals perk will increase the critical hit damage of the weapon by 50%. 
  • The Light Touch perk will increase your critical chance by 5% while wearing Light or no armor (Dead Money DLC required). 
  • The Finesse perk will increase your chance to critically hit by 5%. 
  • The Built to Destroy trait will increase the gun’s chance to critically hit by 3%. 
  • The 1st Recon Beret and Ulysses’ Duster (Lonesome Road DLC required) each increase the gun’s chance to critically hit by an additional 5%. 
  • A Luck SPECIAL stat of 10 will increase your critical hit chance by 10%. 
  • While using V.A.T.S., the player has a 5% higher critical hit chance.
  • The Sniper perk grants a higher chance to hit the opponent’s head in V.A.T.S.. If you want to use V.A.T.S., using it is highly recommended.
  • The Hand Loader perk allows you to make .308 JSP ammunition, which increases your base damage by 30%. Due to JSP ammo having the same ingredients as regular .308, you can break your regular ammo down and use the parts to make JSP ammo
  • The Fast Shot trait will increase the weapon’s otherwise lackluster fire rate by 20%. The accuracy penalty is pretty much meaningless as the base bullet spread of the weapon is so low that the 20% spread increase is negligible.

How to get 4000 damage per shot out of Paciencia

While it isn’t practical, it’s possible to get as high as 4000 damage per shot against certain enemies with this weapon if you can meet certain requirements. Note that you’ll only get this absurd damage if the attacked enemy is an animal like a Gecko or Radscorpion. Although high numbers are still possible against other enemies, it’s even less practical as you will be in a low HP, crippled state and larger, more intelligent enemies will fight back and/or be in groups.

The following is a fun side build you can try if you want to see the biggest numbers from a weapon you’ve ever seen:

  • Get the following perks:  Eye for an Eye, Bloody Mess, Hunter, Better Criticals and Just Lucky I’m Alive (Lonesome Road DLC required).
  • Get the Hot Blooded trait.
  • Keep killing animals until you get the Animal Control perk at its highest rank of 3.
  • Keep killing anything and everything until you get the Lord Death perk at its highest rank of 3.
  • Recruit Lily (located in Jacobstown) to get her companion perk- Stealth Girl.
  • Get to below 50% of your max HP and break all of your limbs.
  • Take a dose of Psycho and Yao Guai meat (Honest Hearts DLC required).
  • Load your rifle with Hollow Point rounds.

Once all of this setup is done, crouch when far away from an enemy to make sure that they can’t see you (you’ll know that they can’t when you see the [HIDDEN] at the top of your screen to get the sneak damage bonus.

If the enemy is an animal (which is why you need Animal Control and Hunter), you’ll deal nearly 4000 damage in a single shot.