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For a overview of currency in all Fallout games, see Currency.
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This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.
Gameplay articles
FalloutBottle cap
Fallout 2Bottle cap
Fallout 3Bottle cap
Fallout: New VegasBottle cap
Counterfeit bottle cap
Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap
Fallout 4Bottlecap
Fallout 76Bottlecap
Fallout: BoSBottle cap
Bawls bottle cap
Fallout ShelterBottle cap
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Bottle caps, also referred to as caps for short, are the standard currency in Fallout, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, Fallout 76, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and Fallout Shelter. Fallout 2 is the exception with bottle caps being an archaic currency supplanted by the NCR minted dollar.

BackgroundEdit

In New California, the relative scarcity of bottle caps made them a perfect currency for Hub merchants to adopt in the 22nd century, leading to the nickname "Hubbucks" and "Hubscript." Backed by the value of water, the Hub merchants supported bottle caps because the technology to manufacture them and paint their surfaces had been mostly lost in the Great War, which limited any counterfeiting efforts.[1] Secondly, there are a limited number of bottle caps, which preserve their value against inflation to some degree.[2] These factors led to their adoption by Hub merchants in New California as common unit of exchange, backed by water.[3] The adoption took place rapidly, as within ten years of Hub's founding in 2093,[4] caps became the standard currency of the wasteland.[5]

For similar reasons the East Coast merchants also recognize bottle caps as a currency. Their earliest recorded use by survivors originates in Appalachia as of 2096. An advertising campaign the Nuka-Cola Corporation was testing out allowed exchange of bottle caps with robotic vendors at the Whitespring Resort due to the release of Nuka-Cola Quantum.[6][7]

While becoming the standard currency for Hub merchants in the 22nd century, by the mid-23rd century bottle caps were replaced by New California Republic (NCR) dollars, which were backed by gold.[8] Caps would once again become a regularly-used currency after the destruction of NCR's gold reserves by the Brotherhood of Steel destabilized the value of the dollar.

By the late-23rd century, the presence of Caesar's Legion (who have their own currency) and the low value of the NCR dollar caused bottle caps to re-emerge as the standard currency of the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. Nevertheless, NCR and Legion currency are both considered legal tender by the various caravan companies and on the New Vegas Strip. Mojave merchants also accept nonstandard variants, such as Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle caps.

However, based on the relative prices of items on the East Coast and West Coast, the bottle cap currency is used in larger amounts in the former.

VariantsEdit

Alcohol bottle capEdit

Bottlecap fo4
Gameplay article: Fallout 4

In the Commonwealth, Nuka-Cola bottle caps aren't the only type accepted by merchants. Certain alcoholic beverages, like beer, which use crimp caps similar to Nuka-Cola, are also used.

Nuka-Cola bottle capEdit

Botlcaps

Standard Nuka-Cola bottle caps featuring 21 crimps and ridges, used as the basic form of currency throughout many of the American wastes. Their value differs throughout the games; in Fallout: New Vegas, they don't appear to be worth as much as they are in Fallout 3.

Counterfeit Nuka-Cola bottle capEdit

Bottlecap
Gameplay article: Fallout: New Vegas

Physically they appear identical to standard Nuka-Cola bottle caps and are presumably intended to be used for trading in place of actual bottle caps. They are produced by unknown persons, have no trade value, and cannot be used for any monetary purpose.

Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle capEdit

SunsetSarsaparillaBottlecap
Gameplay article: Fallout: New Vegas

This nonstandard variant, taken off Sunset Sarsaparilla bottles, is used in the Mojave Wasteland alongside Nuka-Cola caps.

Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle capEdit

Starbottlecap
Gameplay article: Fallout: New Vegas

A rare variant of the Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle cap, featuring a blue star on the underside of the cap. These can be traded in to Festus at the Sunset Sarsaparilla headquarters for a reward.

Vim bottle capEdit

Gameplay article: Far Harbor

This nonstandard variant, taken off Vim bottles, is used on The Island alongside Nuka-Cola caps.

Bawls bottle capEdit

FOBoSLogoThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Bawls is a real-world energy drink with a guarana flavor that replaced Nuka-Cola as the main post-nuclear soft drink of choice in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel. This special type of bottle cap is valued as 100 times that of a Nuka-Cola bottle cap.

FOBoSLogoEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Courier: "What makes a bottle cap genuine?"
    Alice McLafferty: "Lots of little things - the paint on the label, the machining, the type of metal it's made from. I know there's counterfeit caps floating around, of course. Fortunately, they're very time-consuming to make, so the numbers are small."
    (AliceMcLafferty.txt)
  2. Pressing Matters
  3. The Vault Dweller: "{134}{}{Tell me more about bartering.}"
    Katrina: "{139}{}{Bartering is the exchange of goods. You give me some items, and I give you items in trade. Since you initiated the barter, I will let you pick and choose what you want. But the deal must be one that I think I will like, so you will probably want to give me more valuable goods that you don't need in exchange for less expensive things that you want. And if you don't have enough items to trade, there are always caps. Bottle caps are the only common money found out here. The caps are backed by the merchants of the Hub, so you can trade them anywhere.}"
    (SSGUIDE.MSG)
  4. Fallout Bible 0: "2093 The Hub is founded by a man named Angus, who sets up camp around a filthy oasis in the desert, and he proceeds to begin trading with other settlements."
  5. Fallout Bible 0: "2102 May 22 Increasing mutant attacks on Harold's caravans cause Harold to get so pissed he finances one of the first adventuring parties of Fallout to try and find out where these dagnab mutants are coming from. Consulting with a scientist and doctor at the Hub, a man by the name of Grey, the two of them decide to join forces."
    "2102 June 23 Richard Grey's Expedition [including Harold] finds the Mariposa Military Base and the Expedition is scattered and defeated by mutants at the base. Grey is knocked into one of the vats of FEV by a robotic arm, and Harold is knocked unconscious, only to awaken later out in the wasteland."
    "2102 June 27 Harold, already mutating, is found by traders and taken back to the Hub. His former caravan partners and employees, horrified by his condition, abandon him and he is soon left without even two bottlecaps to rub together."
  6. The Whitespring Resort terminal entries#Staff Bulletin, October 2077
  7. Whitespring Concierge: "To celebrate the release of Nuka-Cola Quantum, The Whitespring has partnered with the Nuka-Cola Corporation to accept bottlecaps at all of our shops. For a limited time, you can take advantage of some truly amazing deals if you have the caps."
  8. Fallout 2
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