Bobbleheads are only encountered within the Capital Wasteland and The Commonwealth and not, for example, in any of the other Vaults of the West Coast. This may suggest that the Vault-Tec bobblehead range was an exclusive item to the East Coast and not a line of permanent Vault-Tec merchandise. The idea of the bobbleheads being a piece of exclusive Vault-Tec merchandise is supported by a computer terminal found within Vault-Tec HQ. The computer provides a list of 'orderable' merchandise such as clothing and lunchboxes, but when a bobblehead is requested the terminal reports that they are only available to executive staff. However, a letter from Vault-Tec (addressed to the Gomez Family who also appears within Vault 101) can be found in a mailbox in Springvale that says "Be sure to present this letter to your Vault-Tec representative to receive your special, commemorative Vault Boy bobble-head toy!".
Twenty bobbleheads can be found in the Capital Wasteland. Once found, the bobbleheads can be stored on a Bobblehead collector's stand in the Megaton house or in the Tenpenny Tower suite. Typically, Bobbleheads acquired through console commands cannot be put on the bobblehead stand, and do not count towards any of the bobblehead-related achievements. However, bobbleheads created via "player.placeatme" console command could be picked with a related achievement and could be put on a bobblehead stand. Bobbleheads from TestQAItems cannot be put on a bobblehead stand.
Each of the Vault-Tec bobbleheads in Fallout 3 permanently increases one of the 7 S.P.E.C.I.A.L. statistics by 1 point, or one of the 13 skills of the player character by 10 points. The bobbleheads will not increase a statistic beyond the maximum of 10 (S.P.E.C.I.A.L.) or 100 (skills). Keep that in mind when planning a character, or their bonuses may be wasted. It is inadvisable to max out any S.P.E.C.I.A.L.s before collecting the bobbleheads, as any that are collected afterwards will have the bonuses wasted.
Two of the Fallout 3 achievements and trophies involve collecting Vault Boy bobbleheads. The first achievement or trophy is named Yes, I Play with Dolls and is awarded for collecting 10 of them, players then earn the second achievement/trophy called Vault-Tec C.E.O. for finding all 20 of them.
Bobbleheads, as indicated below with an asterisk (*), can become unobtainable. Please refer to the respective articles for detailed information.
|Bobblehead - Strength *||Megaton: Lucas Simms' house, on the desk in the bedroom (the door to your immediate left at the top of stairs) on the second floor. His house is directly to the right when you enter Megaton.||00038832|
|Bobblehead - Perception||Republic of Dave: In the Museum of Dave, on a bookshelf to the right of the room.||00038833|
|Bobblehead - Endurance||Deathclaw Sanctuary: Inside entrance, down the ramp, on a small platform next to the rotting brahmin corpse.||00038834|
|Bobblehead - Charisma||Vault 108: Cloning Lab, in the middle of that map, on top of a table in a large room with four beds in the central room, south of the clinic room.||00038850|
|Bobblehead - Intelligence||Rivet City: Science lab, downstairs on one of the tables in the center of the lab, next to the lockers. The science lab can be reached through the midship deck or upper deck.||0003885c|
|Bobblehead - Agility||Greener Pastures Disposal Site: In the office, on the desk next to an Average locked terminal.||000388e5|
|Bobblehead - Luck||Arlington Cemetery North: In the Arlington House on a hill near the center of the cemetery. It is on a shelf in the basement.||000388e6|
|Bobblehead - Barter||Evergreen Mills: Bazaar, in a dark cave/nook in the corner of the room to the right of Smiling Jack. Jump over the work bench, it's on the right-most shelves.||000388f3|
|Bobblehead - Big Guns||Fort Constantine: CO Quarters (little bungalow), in the basement. It is in an open safe along with some caps, and the ICBM launchcode.||00038906|
|Bobblehead - Energy Weapons *||Raven Rock: On the right desk in Colonel Autumn's bedroom: after you pass the huge door from section 2B to 2C, when two Enclave soldiers come out of the right door, take the left door.||0003892f|
|Bobblehead - Explosives||WKML Broadcast Station: Sealed Cistern, the sewer (manhole cover) behind the station. The manhole cover is tucked into the rocks. (See page for image)||00038930|
|Bobblehead - Lockpick||Bethesda ruins: Bethesda Offices East, second floor: on a desk under a safe, with an active lamp.||00038931|
|Bobblehead - Medicine *||Vault 101: Before you take your G.O.A.T. or during Escape!, it can be found on your dad's medical desk. During Trouble on the Homefront, it is in the clinic's back room on a cart.||00038950|
|Bobblehead - Melee Weapons||Dunwich Building: Go through the Dunwich Building to get to the Forsaken Dunwich Ruins which lead to the Virulent Underchambers. It will be in the center of a room near the exit to Dunwich Building mixed in with some cans and bottles.||00038951|
|Bobblehead - Repair *||Arefu: Evan King's house (requires 50 Lockpick, no Karma cost). As soon as you enter, look to your left. It is on the white table.||00038952|
|Bobblehead - Science||Vault 106: After entering the Vault, move downstairs and enter the Living Quarters. Once in the Living Quarters take a left, cross the small bridge in the atrium, then take a right and enter the second door on your left. Follow this hall all the way to the end, kill the insane survivor and cross the room to where the Bobblehead is located.||00038953|
|Bobblehead - Small Guns||National Guard depot: National Guard Armory, sitting on a shelf in the sealed storage room in the basement. The switch for the utility door to access the armory is found on the 3rd floor that can only be reached by going through the Depot Training Wing and Depot Offices.||00038954|
|Bobblehead - Sneak||Yao guai tunnels: Yao guai den, on top of a metal box north east of the big pool of water.||00038955|
|Bobblehead - Speech||Paradise Falls: Eulogy's Pad, on the table right next to the terminal.||00038956|
|Bobblehead - Unarmed||Rockopolis: An unmarked location due west of Smith Casey's Garage, and due north of Girdershade. The entrance (a large boulder) is below a party banner that is lit up at night. The bobblehead is next to Argyle's body.||00038958|
With the addition of the new Almost Perfect perk that becomes available when level 30 is reached, (Broken Steel add-on required) it is tempting for advanced players to wait until they can use this perk, then collect all bobbleheads. This is because Almost Perfect raises all of the PC's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. to 9, so collecting all bobbleheads after taking the perk makes all stats raise to 10. This requires waiting until level 30, however, which could handicap one for most of the game. One should weigh the benefits of higher stats now (more skill points from high Intelligence, access to various perks) against having a "perfect score" later on.
In the Point Lookout add-on, several "fake" bobbleheads appear (called Schmault-Tec bubbleheads) during a hallucination sequence as part of the main questline (after getting sprayed with the Mother Punga fumes). These are identical in appearance to normal bobbleheads but are larger in size. They cannot be added to inventory but give taunting, sarcastic messages. For instance, when finding the Luck Bubblehead, it says, "Dead mother, life in a post-nuclear Wasteland and not a friend in it. Yeah, you aren't exactly blessed," When finding the Charisma Bubblehead, there are birthday balloons, and a skeleton on an operating table labeled "Mom." There is a Schmault-Tec Bubblehead for every S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat, but none for skills. See the gallery for all seven images and their messages.
As in Fallout 3, each bobblehead increases a corresponding S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat permanently by one. Bobbleheads that previously increased a skill, now grant a permanent unique perk. Refer to the respective articles for more detailed information.
Taking a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. bobblehead while your stat is at 10 allows that stat to increase to 11. As the Bobblehead counts as a stat gain, if you were below 10 before picking it up, you can't level that stat to above ten via normal methods.
|Name||Location||Location description||Base ID|
|Strength bobblehead||Mass Fusion building||On the metal wall sculpture high above the lobby desk.||00178b63|
|Perception bobblehead||Museum of Freedom||On the room where you first meet Preston Garvey; on a desk next to a broken terminal.||00178b5d|
|Endurance bobblehead||Poseidon Energy||On the metal desk with a magazine, near steamer trunk, central metal catwalk.||00178b55|
|Charisma bobblehead||Parsons State Insane Asylum||On Jack Cabot's office desk, close to elevator, administration area.||00178b54|
|Intelligence bobblehead||Boston Public Library||On the computer bank, mechanical room, northwest corner of library.||00178b58|
|Agility bobblehead||Wreck of the FMS Northern Star||On the edge of the bow of the ship, wooden platform.||00178b51|
|Luck bobblehead||Spectacle Island||In the 2nd deck pilot house of a green tugboat located at the southern end of Spectacle Island, on a locker shelf near the steamer trunk.||00178b5a|
|Name||Effect||Location||Location description||Base ID|
|Barter bobblehead||+5% Better prices||Longneck Lukowski's Cannery||Inside the metal catwalk hut, northwest upper area of the main cannery room.||00178b52|
|Big guns bobblehead||+25% Critical damage with heavy weapons||Vault 95||In the living quarters area, north-most room, on a radio.||00178b53|
|Energy weapons bobblehead||+25% Critical damage with energy weapons||Fort Hagen||In the Command Center, southwest kitchens, on a small table between two fridges. (Accessible only during/after the main quest Reunions)||00178b56|
|Explosives bobblehead||+15% explosive damage||Saugus Ironworks||In the Blast Furnace on the second level catwalk behind Slag's spawn and next to a steamer trunk.||00178b57|
|Lock picking bobblehead||Easier lockpicking||Pickman Gallery||Last tunnel chamber where you see Pickman; On the ground between brick pillars and a bin fireplace.||00178b59|
|Medicine bobblehead||+10% Stimpak healing||Vault 81||In Curie's office, southeast corner of the Vault.||00178b5b|
|Melee bobblehead||+25% Critical damage with melee weapons||Trinity Tower||On a table in the cage where Rex Goodman and Strong are being held.||00178b5c|
|Repair bobblehead||+10% Fusion core duration||Corvega assembly plant||On the very end of the top exterior ganty (blue ballon), southwest roof section of the plant building.||00178b5e|
|Science bobblehead||+1 Guess hacking||Malden Middle School (Vault 75)||On the desk overlooking the subterranean "Training" area, within the science labs.||00178b5f|
|Small guns bobblehead||+25% Critical damage with ballistic guns||Gunners plaza||On the broadcast desk in the on-air room, ground floor, west side of the building.||00178b60|
|Sneak bobblehead||+10% Harder to detect||Dunwich Borers||On a small metal table by a lantern, right next to the metal post terminal area #4.||00178b61|
|Speech bobblehead||+100 Vendor caps||Park Street station (Vault 114)||In the Overseer's office.||00178b62|
|Unarmed bobblehead||+25% Critical damage with unarmed attacks||Atom Cats garage||On the hood of the rusty car in the main warehouse.||00178b64|
- In Fallout 3, regardless of where the bobbleheads are found, they all wear Vault 101 jumpsuits. In Fallout 4, they wear Vault 111 jumpsuits.
- Although bobbleheads do not appear in Fallout New Vegas, the snow globes serve as the game's collectibles, just as the bobbleheads do in Fallout 3.
- In Fallout 3, at the Vault-Tec headquarters, there is a terminal at which employees before the war could get bobbleheads for a deduction from their paycheck. However, by 2277, the bobbleheads have run out of stock. Furthermore, the terminal also says that bobbleheads can only be bought by executives.
- The Charisma bobblehead is seen in a workshop in the first trailer for Fallout 4.
Behind the scenes
- The bobbleheads were also used as a Fallout 3 promotional item by Bethesda Softworks and are included in the Collector's Edition of the game. They are similar to the ones in-game, but are shorter and in a generic standing-with-arms-folded pose.
- Bobbleheads are also used as a promotional item for pre-orders of Fallout 4, this time all the different poses are available, although only one, random bobblehead is issued per pre-order.
- In the video game RAGE, it is possible to acquire a Vault Boy bobblehead, signifying the company's relationship with Bethesda being the publisher of RAGE.
- Various bobbleheads are available on the Bethesda store.
- An exclusive bobblehead was released in Loot Crate's November 2015 box, posed with his hands on his hips and his shoulders back.
- In the video game Rocket League, it is possible to acquire a Vault Boy bobblehead antenna.