This guide will cover the Action Points or AP derived statistic in Fallout: New Vegas. Derived statistics are a second set of values based on your characters primary S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes. There are additional ways of modifying these statistics beyond just increasing your primary attributes and these ways will be covered here, along with information on everything you need to know about Action Points or AP. These attributes such as AP are noticed more often in the mechanics of the game, usually having large impacts on how the game is played.
Action Points are a pool of regenerating points that determines how often you can literally perform actions. Every action taken in Fallout: New Vegas reduces your AP pool by a set amount, whether or not in VATS mode. Running out of AP is never an issue outside of VATS, however inside of VATS your subsequent actions are limited by your remaining pool of AP. AP is primarily effected by your Agility statistic, rank 1 starting at 68 AP and increasing by 3 until reaching 95 at level 10.
Shooting or attacking in VATS has several advantages over using free aim exclusively. First off, all of your attacks in VATS are hitting with a 15% increased chance of scoring a critical hit, meaning higher average damage in VATS, not to mention with the several perks that increase the effectiveness of VATS attacks. In addition, these VATS shots allow targeting of body parts more efficiently, such as shooting a weapon out of an enemies hand, since the shot relies on hitting solely based upon your stats, instead of adding human error into the factor.
Action Point Modifiers
Perks (permanent): Math Wrath, Plasma Spaz, Beautiful Beatdown
Food (temporary, AP boost in brackets): Irradiated Sugar Bombs (+15), Mississippi Quantum Pie (+20), Mushroom Cloud (+9), Nukalurk Meat (+30), Nuka-Cola Quantum (+20), Nuka-Cola Victory (+30), Sugar Bombs (+15), Trail Mix (+15)
Chem (temporary, AP boost in brackets): Jet (+15), Dixon’s Jet (+10), Rocket (+30), Ultrajet (+40)
Radiation Sickness (temporary, AP reduction in brackets): 400 Rads (-2), 600 Rads (-4), 800 Rads (-4)