The only services available here are from Ken Ewers, who will repair items once the Blood Ties quest has been completed, and Evan King, who will give the player character various items at daily intervals, also once Blood Ties is completed.
Arefu once had more inhabitants than it does in the year 2277, but the population has decreased drastically due to the inhabitants either dying or leaving to safer settlements like Megaton because of creatures, raiders and slaver attacks. Through unknown means, the residents split the highway in two to better protect the town from slaver attacks, leaving the south end of the highway as the only approach to the town.
Arefu has recently become the target of attacks from the Family. Originally, the town had 30 settlers, but by 2277 its population has dwindled to seven people, and just before the Lone Wanderer shows up, it drops to four as a result of Davis and Matilda West being killed, with Ian West's disappearance. However, the player character can increase the population to six if the Blood Ties quest is completed so that Ian West returns and Alan stays to trade blood packs for The Family.
Arefu's four houses sit atop a defensible section of the remains of a bridge running across the Potomac River. Part of the overpass has collapsed, making it impossible to enter the settlement from the north. It is one of the stopping points on the trading caravan circuit, and sandbags are also deployed near its entrance to help the inhabitants fend off attackers.
* Only if the Lone Wanderer agreed to trade blood packs for protection during Blood Ties.
* denotes deceased inhabitants.
- Bobblehead - Repair on the downstairs table inside Evan King's house.
- Nuka-Cola Quantum: look for a dock on the water just southeast of Arefu. Facing the dock, the Nuka-Cola Quantum is to the left on top of some poles in the water.
- Pugilism Illustrated on a table in the abandoned residence, which is by the brahmin pen nearest the entrance to Arefu. This house is only accessible after negotiating the protection of Arefu by The Family and informing both sides of the agreement. The book must be stolen.
- An Enclave outpost can be seen after the player character completes The Waters of Life, on the other section of the overpass, visible to them, looking out from the highest drop-off point. These soldiers can shoot at the player character across the gap as well as be shot at themselves. However, the people in Arefu will not attempt to eliminate the outpost themselves.
- There is loot to be found in the lake under Arefu. If one looks east out into the lake while standing next to King's outpost, a dock extending from the south shore with a footlocker and a first aid box on it will be visible. Jump down (into the water, to avoid damage) and swim over to the boat with the front part visible outside the water, it contains a first aid box, then swim to the platform. Stand on the platform and jump in the water. Swim to the bottom and out away from the platform before reaching an old car at the bottom. Next to the car is a skeleton with two cinder blocks tied to its feet. There is a silenced 10mm pistol and an ammunition box lying next to him as well. This is most likely a reference to the gangster style killing and dumping of a body. Then swim to the east and you'll find a boat at the bottom of the lake with a first aid box and a safe.
- Upon the first arrival at Arefu, the Lone Wanderer is greeted by a scripted grenade thrown by its "sheriff," Evan King, and he comments on how he nearly blew them up, however, the grenade does not damage the player character's HP.
- One can pick Evan King's lock without a Karma penalty, even though it is considered trespassing.
- After the quest Blood Ties, Evan King will leave his post and walk around, and the residents will come out of their houses and walk around.
- Often a robot or some other Wasteland creature will spawn at the entrance, attacking the brahmin in front of the guard shack or the merchant caravans if they are present. Additionally, a creature may spawn inside the town itself after entering and exiting one of the buildings.
- The Lone Wanderer can discover Arefu and avoid the scripted event.
- If the Lone Wanderer kills people in Arefu (or if one of them dies while the Lone Wanderer is there) the others will turn hostile, but apart from Evan King they won't attack, they will simply run away from the Lone Wanderer. After killing Evan King, The Family in Meresti Metro station will no longer speak to the Lone Wanderer, but they won't be hostile. Note that it will no longer be possible to trade with Karl after killing King. The only person who seems oblivious to all this is Ian West, who will remain friendly and keep the same dialogue options as before (at least if he is brought back to Arefu in the Blood Ties quest, unverified otherwise).
- If one has completed the Blood Ties quest in favor of the residents of Arefu by giving blood packs to The Family, killing any member of The Family will turn the residents of Arefu and The Family hostile.
- The West residence, located at the north end of town, can be used as player housing.
- If the Lone Wanderer kills anyone in Arefu, everyone else there will turn hostile. Unlike other settlements, the people of Arefu will stay hostile indefinitely.
Arefu appears only in Fallout 3.
Behind the scenes
- Just above the entrance (where the highway leaves the ground), one can see a damaged traffic sign that reads, "EXIT 150A / AREFU / NEXT EXIT / MILES". It is possible that the sign may have been intended to read "CAREFUL," but on which the 'C' and 'L' have faded away to display "AREFU". A similar town-naming technique is used for Novac in Fallout: New Vegas, and Far Harbor in Fallout 4's add-on Far Harbor. Alternatively, it is possible that Exit 150A really was for a place called Arefu before the War, which would fit with the pre-War presence of Meresti Station nearby (named after another Romanian location that fits with the vampire theme).
- Arefu is a small village in Romania, best known for its proximity to the former castle of Vlad III, the prince of Wallachia, who is also known as "Dracula" and "Vlad the Impaler."
- Sometimes, upon discovering Arefu, the map marker will not register the fact that it has been discovered. [verified]
- Sometimes, Evan King will not enter his house, even if Blood Ties has been completed. [verified]
- Sometimes mirelurks will spawn in Arefu on the overpass, killing Evan King and other residents if Blood Ties has been completed. [verified]
- Upon returning to Arefu after Blood Ties has been completed, the residents may randomly become hostile even if a peaceful resolution to Blood Ties was reached. This is due to NPCs accidentally falling from the bridge where Arefu is settled or due to a resident being killed by a random enemy. [verified]
- Prima Official Game Guide