You are given this level as a freebee just after leaving the vault. Focus on skills that are going to help you get through the next few levels (such as Repair, Explosives, Lockpick, Science, and your primary combat skill).
Note: If you want to disarm the bomb in Megaton, you'll need an Explosives skill of 25.
While some of the more interesting perks may seem like the best choice, I recommend choosing Intense Training for your first two level increases. If you’re Intelligence is below 9, increase that. Otherwise, focus on a different weakness.
Note: At least early on, always ignore perks which only offer Skill increases. An extra 5 points to your Sneak skill is not nearly as valuable as one extra Agility point.
Walk to Megaton and visit Moria at Craterside Supply. Help her with the prologue to her book to receive the armored vault suit, then sell any junk you accumulated in Vault 101 and stock up on ammo. Talk to Moriarty and use your speech skills, hack his console, or pay him to get the info you need about your dad. The next step is up to you - you can do Mister Burke’s bidding, disarm the bomb, or agree to Burke’s plan and then rat him out.
Before you do anything else – a couple of tips:
1. Moriarty tells you about this if you don’t have enough caps to pay him for information about your dad, but if you had the money or got the information some other way, head over to Springvale (the small town you passed on the way to Megaton). Inside the only intact house in the town you’ll find a woman who supposedly owes Moriarty some caps. Convince her to give you the caps and there’s some free money for you. She says she gave you everything she has, but if you kill her you’ll find more caps on her body (at the cost of Karma). What a liar.
2. The Strength Bobblehead is inside Simms' house. To get in, you either need to have a high Lockpick skill, pickpocket Simms and steal the key, or take the key off of Simms' body. It’s up to you. I managed to pick his pocket with a sneak skill of 40. Just be sure to save right before you do it, in case you’re caught.
Whichever path you choose (disarm or detonate), you’ll get enough experience for completing it to advance to Level 3.
On the next page: Levels 3 and 4...