How To Reverse Pickpocket In Fallout: New Vegas
How To Reverse Pickpocket In Fallout: New Vegas

Reverse pickpocketing is a way of obtaining equipped items from the inventories of NPCs without killing them. This guide will explain precisely how to do it.

Quick tips before you read the rest of the guide:

  • Higher Sneak skill helps. The higher your Sneak skill is, the easier it will be to pickpocket the items you want.
  • Stealth boys can help. In case your Sneak skill is too low, you can use a Stealth Boy to improve your chances of pickpocketing the item.
  • It can be done to any human NPC. With the exception of Ulysses, this technique can be done to any human NPC.

Performing The Technique

There are two ways of performing the technique, and they depend entirely on the item you need to get from the NPC.

Reverse Pickpocketing Armor/Melee Weapons

Due to the way armor and melee weapons work, you need to give the NPC a weapon with higher damage (in the case of melee/unarmed weapons), or armor with higher DT (in the case of armor).

First, find the NPC you want to reverse pickpocket. I’m using this Goodsprings Settler as an example.

Give them the armor/weapon that will replace their original. I’m giving them a set of Leather Armor.

Giving Leather Armor to the NPC | Fallout: New Vegas
Giving Leather Armor to the NPC

If they don’t equip it right away, fast travel to a far away area and wait for 2-3 days in-game days. The NPC should switch out their armor/weapon for the new one.

Waiting far away from the NPC | Fallout: New Vegas
Waiting far away from the NPC

Now you can pickpocket the armor/weapon from their inventory.

The NPC now wearing the armor | Fallout: New Vegas
The NPC now wearing the armor
The NPCs armor in their inventory | Fallout: New Vegas
The NPCs armor in their inventory

Reverse Pickpocketing Guns/Energy Weapons

If you want to pickpocket any weapon that uses ammunition from an NPC, then the process is a little easier. This is thanks to a quirk with the AI that makes the NPC put their gun away into their inventory if they are out of ammo.

First, find the NPC you want to reverse pickpocket. I’m using this Goodsprings Settler as an example.

Find the ammo in their inventory and pickpocket it.

Ammo in the NPC’s inventory | Fallout: New Vegas
Ammo in the NPC’s inventory

Fast travel away and wait for 2-3 in-game days. The NPC should have put their gun away by now.

Now you can go back and pickpocket their gun from them.

The gun in the NPC’s inventory | Fallout: New Vegas
The gun in the NPC’s inventory