The base must be accessed by taking the metro train in the Presidential metro, which can only be done after starting the quest Who Dares Wins. The train is also used to visit the base after the completion of the quest, as it is a separate area outside of the Capital Wasteland, and fast travel to the location is not possible.
A former Pre-War Air Force base, Adams AFB could be joined directly through the Presidential metro. At some point after the Great War, the Enclave occupied it. They built amenities such as new defense walls and deathclaw cages, and made use of the mobile base crawler. After their defeat at the D.C. Purifier and the loss of Raven Rock, the Enclave retreated there with its Vertibird fleet. The Brotherhood of Steel eventually launched an assault there in order to sweep away the remnants of the Enclave.
- Adams storage facility - The Adams storage facility is a warehouse that the Enclave uses to store surplus supplies. It's situated in the southeastern portion of the base.
- Air control tower - The air control tower is in the far northcentral area of the base. It's responsible for aiding vertibird pilots with landing and taking off.
- Mobile base crawler - The mobile base crawler is the main attraction of the base, located in the northeast part. It holds many of the Enclave's active troops as well as many scientists who conduct experiments and research on wasteland creatures.
- Barracks - Consist of a fenced-in area with evenly spaced residences for soldiers. The gates to the compound are shut, leaving visitors able to only look at them from a distance. The only accessible part of this section of the base is a baseball court, near the entryway into the hangars.
- There is a mini nuke located in a nook above an awning that is reachable from the roof via a walkway covered in steel-colored pipes. During the quest Who Dares Wins, this roof will overlook a large number of vertibirds. When coming from the Presidential metro, keep moving right, and up some stairs. They are on a green tin awning at the far side of this roof. From the metal housing (with the computer and first aid boxes), look to the right, towards the vertibirds (some may have first aid boxes).
- There is a holotape regarding flamer fuel that can be found on an Enclave scientist in the southeast research hangar. The fuel is found directly west of the air traffic control tower behind a building with no doors. It is in an Enclave crate locked by a key and contains 400 flamer fuel (without perks).
- There is a mini nuke on the double-stacked large crates in Hangar 2B (the one with the covered catwalk patrolled by the sentry bot). Hop onto the roof while walking up the south end of the covered catwalk, enter through the northwest hole in the roof and make a running jump (while standing) from the top of the cage to the stacked crates.
- Two mini nukes in a corridor of the aircraft hangar with three derelict jet planes inside (along the western edge of the map, near the center). One is hidden under a desk in the southeast corner; the other is hidden behind a filing cabinet.
- Enclave soldier log #1 - Located on a small platform behind a large machine, in the alley directly west of the rooftop where the Sector artillery notes are located. When in the alley and looking northward, turn left (west) and enter the opening between the walls. Following the alley, then climbing the stairs, there is a large machine. A dead Enclave soldier is behind the machine, with the holotape on his body.
- Rapid-torch flamer - At the Adams storage facility, around the corner on the right after entering, on a long table with an assortment of weapons and goods.
- Two mini nukes and a Nuka-Cola Quantum can be found at the Adams storage facility, on the same table of the rapid-torch flamer.
After the end of "Who Dares Wins"
- Two Tesla cannons and 73x (roughly 100-115 with Scrounger) electron charge packs in a resupply crate on the back of a truck in front of the gates to the inaccessible area.
- Two Tesla cannons and 74x (roughly 100-115 with Scrounger) electron charge packs in a resupply crate in front of the fortification by hangar 4A.
- Two Tesla cannons and 74x (roughly 100-115 with Scrounger) electron charge packs in a resupply crate on the west side of the green crates outside the south end of hangar 2B.
- Two Tesla cannons and 74x (roughly 100-115 with Scrounger) electron charge packs in a resupply crate southeast of the air control tower, surrounded by a semicircle of sandbags.
- Who Dares Wins: The Lone Wanderer is sent to wipe out the remaining Enclave soldiers in the Capital Wasteland at Adams Air Force Base. The base contains a mass of Enclave soldiers, as well as standard defenses such as sentry bots and automated turrets.
- There is an unowned bed in Hangar 2B.
- There are numerous deathclaw cages, but only some of the deathclaws inside have Enclave transmitters on their heads, meaning they will be hostile to both the player character and the Enclave if released. When using the deathclaw control scrambler, it may be a good idea to see if a deathclaw has a transmitter before releasing it.
- After the Who Dares Wins quest, if the Citadel was not targeted after activating the launch terminal, the Brotherhood of Steel will occupy the base with 7-20 soldiers, making it the largest BoS base in the game besides the Citadel and Project Purity.
- If the Galaxy News Radio quest is not complete, there is a brief window where the GNR signal can be picked up.
- ED-E, a companion in Fallout: New Vegas, was created at this base by an Enclave scientist named Whitley.
- Adams Air Force Base has its own world map.
Adams Air Force Base appears only in the Fallout 3 add-on Broken Steel. It is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and indirectly in its add-on Lonesome Road as the place where ED-E was created and sent from. It is also mentioned in Fallout 4 by Paladin Danse and Lancer Captain Kells.
- Sometimes wrecked vertibird pieces hang in midair, then drop out of the sky when approached. [verified]
- Sometimes after saving and exiting outside of the mobile base crawler, upon reloading, the Enclave and BoS soldiers previously killed will come back to life wearing nothing. Killing and searching these soldiers will get you more armor and weapons. [verified]
- The deathclaw cages can be lock-picked (hard), then relocked using the attached deathclaw pen door terminal (needs to be hacked) multiple times, giving a lot of XP (NOTE: Breaking the lock will also disable the terminal option to open the door). [verified]
- Captain Kells: "She was constructed at Adam's Air Force Base just outside of Washington D.C. There was a vast amount of scrap metal and salvageable components there after we defeated the Enclave. We spent the first two years alone gathering the parts. The rest was spent assembling."
(Captain Kells' dialogue)
- Arcade Gannon: "Wow. That thing is definitely carrying around a bunch of Enclave intel. Adams is on the eastern seaboard of the country. Which means this little 'Duraframe' sucker somehow managed to survive for over miles. ."
(Arcade Gannon dialogue)