How to get the unique “YCS/186” Gauss Rifle in Fallout: New Vegas
How to get the unique “YCS/186” Gauss Rifle in Fallout: New Vegas

The YCS/186 is a unique Gauss Rifle that can be found carried by a mercenary at an unmarked camp north of Horowitz Farmstead.

Quick tips before we get into the guide.

  • No Wild Wasteland Trait required. To get the gun, you CANNOT have the Wild Wasteland trait before you ever approach the location. If you visit this same location with the trait, you will find a group of aliens here instead, one of whom will have the Alien Blaster Pistol (guide for the Alien Blaster Pistol here).
  • Bring explosives. The mercenaries spawn standing in a small circle. This means that if you sneak up to them and use an explosive, you can easily hit all 5 mercenaries and potentially kill most, perhaps even all, of them.

Acquisition of the YCS/186

To get the YCS/186, you must first go to the Horowitz farmstead, which is located by the road that leads north from Vegas.

Location of Horowitz Farmstead on the world map | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of Horowitz Farmstead on the world map

After that, head directly north. You should eventually spot a group of 5 mercenaries standing in a circle. One of them is going to be carrying the YCS/186. Luckily, they will not be using it against you.

Location of the mercenary camp on the world map | Fallout: New Vegas
Location of the mercenary camp on the world map
Mercenaries in the camp | Fallout: New Vegas
Mercenaries in the camp

Comparison of the YCS/186 to the Gauss Rifle

  • The YCS/186 deals more damage per shot (140 vs 120)
  • The YCS/186 deals more critical hit damage (70 vs 60)
  • The YCS/186 consumes 1 less Microfusion Cell per shot (4 vs 5)

Tips for using the YCS/186

  • The YCS/186 is one of the most powerful weapons in the game when it comes to per-shot damage. With a base damage of 140, you can kill many of the weaker enemies in the game with a single shot. Using Max Charge ammunition and all of the related perks, as well as a maxed-out Energy Weapons skill will allow you to deal approximately 240 damage a shot.
  • The Rapid Reload perk allows the player to fire this weapon much more quickly, as the fire rate is dictated by how quickly you can reload the weapon.
  • It’s recommended to use this weapon at range, as using it when in close proximity to enemies usually leads to being overwhelmed due to this weapon’s slow reload speed and the inability to shoot more than once with a single reload.