Icon disambig.svg
For the location titled "Brotherhood" in Fallout, see Lost Hills.
For the game, see Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.

The only salvation this tortured planet and its people have. Without us, humanity is sure to perish.Vree
Semper Invicta (Always Invincible)

The Brotherhood of Steel is a quasi-religious technological organization operating across the ruins of post-war North America, with its roots stemming from the United States Armed Forces and the government-sponsored scientific community from before the Great War.



The Brotherhood of Steel was founded by Roger Maxson, a captain in the United States Army. Led by Colonel Robert Spindel, Maxson was part of a team sent on January 3, 2076 to monitor progress at a West-Tek facility in California, which was conducting research on behalf of the American government. On January 7, 2077, all West-Tek research and personnel – Maxson and his team included – were relocated to the newly constructed Mariposa Military Base in an effort to enhance security.

On October 10, 2077, Captain Maxson and his men discovered, to their horror, that the West-Tek scientists at Mariposa were using military prisoners as unwilling test subjects for their genetically engineered Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.). Morale in the base quickly collapsed and Colonel Spindel suffered a mental breakdown, eventually committing suicide five days later. In the midst of the crisis, Maxson's men turned to him for leadership. Captain Maxson proceeded to interrogate Robert Anderson, the chief scientist of the West-Tek research team stationed at Mariposa, learning the extent of their experiments. Anderson, along with most of his research team, were subsequently executed for their crimes.

Maxson, now in control of the base, declared his desertion from the United States Army via radio on October 20. To his confusion, he received no response from the chain-of-command, as the U.S. Army was currently focused on escalating conflicts with the Chinese. Three days later on October 23, both nations launched their entire nuclear arsenals. Within two hours, the Great War had ended and much of the Earth was reduced to a radioactive wasteland. On October 21 Maxson ordered that the families, including his, be brought inside the base to protect them.[1] The Mariposa Military Base survived the onslaught, its numerous safety protocols protecting the soldiers within from the radiation and the F.E.V., which had been accidentally released and was now seeping into the newborn Wasteland. Two days after the attack, on October 25, Captain Maxson sent one of his men, Platner, outside in protective power armor to scout the area and gather readings on the atmosphere. Platner reported no significant amounts of radiation in the surrounding area.

After burying the bodies of Anderson and his executed staff members, Captain Maxson and his men raided the base for various supplies and weapons schematics before sealing Mariposa and venturing off into the desert. The following weeks of travel inflicted casualties on the party at the hands of various raider gangs and the harsh conditions of the Wasteland. In November 2077, Captain Maxson eventually led his band of survivors to the safety of Lost Hills, a government fallout shelter. This journey came to be immortalized in Brotherhood lore as “the Exodus”.

In time, Captain Maxson set the bunker as the headquarters for his new organization, the Brotherhood of Steel. As the Brotherhood's first High Elder, Maxson sought to use Lost Hills' resources to help rebuild civilization – no matter the cost.

Early Years

Relatively little is known about the early years of the Brotherhood of Steel. In 2134, an emerging faction of the Brotherhood, led by Sergeant Dennis Allen, petitioned the Council of Elders for permission to explore the remnants of the West-Tek research facility in search of technological artifacts. In the wake of the Great War, the facility was left a highly irradiated ruin referred to by locals as “the Glow”. The Elders thus denied Sergeant Allen's request, prompting him and his followers to splinter from the Brotherhood, taking some advanced weapons and technology with them. Despite this incident, the Brotherhood of Steel continued to grow in strength under the guidance of Elder Maxson, further refining their technology and gradually forming the orders of Knights, Scribes, and Paladins that are known today. That following year, Roger Maxson died of cancer. His son, Maxson II, succeeded him as High Elder.

In the 2150's, the Brotherhood began extending their influence out into the surrounding areas, quickly asserting their place as one of the major powers of New California of the post-War West Coast. The early 50's saw the emergence of a prominent raider group known as the Vipers, who quickly established a base of operations in the badlands to the south of Lost Hills. Driven by a near-religious frenzy, the Vipers' raids become bolder and more frequent over time, eventually attracting the attention of the Brotherhood of Steel.


In 2155, the Brotherhood sent a handful of squads out into the Wasteland to track the Vipers down. To the Elders, this seemed a glorified training exercise, as they were convinced that a small detachment of Brotherhood troops in power armor would be sufficient to deal with a band of raiders, no matter how large. One Brotherhood squad, led by High Elder Maxson II himself, located the Vipers. Expecting the raiders to break and run at the sight of such a heavily armed force, Maxson did not take into account the Vipers' zeal and ferocity... or their poisoned weapons. A single arrow nicked the High Elder while he had his helmet off, leading to his death a few hours later. John Maxson, grandson of Roger, took up the role of High Elder.

In the wake of this incident, the newly appointed Head Paladin Rhombus launched a full-scale campaign against the Vipers, hunting them down and driving them to near-extinction over the course of a month. The few remaining Vipers managed to scatter north and east to the Sierra Madre mountain range. It was towards the end of this campaign that the Brotherhood sent a handful of scouts and emissaries to the Hub in order to track down these runaway Vipers. It was from these beginnings that the Hub and the Brotherhood of Steel opened full trade relations. (Caravans had delivered to the Brotherhood in the past, but in the wake of the Vipers' destruction, caravan trains now ran directly from the Hub to the Brotherhood's headquarters at Lost Hills on a regular basis.)

The Super Mutants

Scribe Vree

Several years after the Viper campaign, the Brotherhood of Steel encountered an enemy far more formidable than any band of raiders. In October of 2161, a Brotherhood patrol stumbled upon the corpse of a super mutant. The remains were transported back to Lost Hills for study by Head Scribe Vree.

In 2162, the Vault-Dweller arrived at the Lost Hills bunker, seeking entry into the Brotherhood. His request was not taken seriously and he was tasked with retrieving the records of Sergeant Dennis Allen's expedition from the hazardous ruins of the Glow, a fool's errand commonly used to deter would-be Brotherhood members. To the Brotherhood's surprise, not only did the Vault-Dweller return from the West-Tek facility alive, but he had also succeeded in his fool's errand and recovered a holodisk recording of Allen's doomed expedition. As a result, the Vault-Dweller became the first outsider in decades to be accepted into the Brotherhood of Steel, despite the protests of a few members.

It was from the Vault-Dweller that the Brotherhood subsequently learned of the Master's mutant army and its plans to forcibly convert the surviving human population into Super Mutants. With the support of High Elder John Maxson, the Vault-Dweller was able to convince the Council of Elders to deploy a squad of Paladins to Mariposa, where the Master's F.E.V. vats were located. With the assistance of the Brotherhood, the Vault-Dweller managed to defeat the Master and disrupt his mutant army. They also helped drive some mutants away from other human outposts.[2] At this point in time, the Brotherhood of Steel stood as the most technologically advanced faction in New California. Although the remaining super mutants and the nascent Gun Runners had access to comparably advanced weaponry, the Brotherhood had a monopoly on power armor, supercomputers, and advanced medical technologies, such as cybernetics. With this technology slowly being introduced into New California, the Brotherhood of Steel became a major research and development house.[2]


In the wake of the Master's defeat, the Brotherhood of Steel began arguing amongst itself over the need for new recruits versus their secrecy as an organization. In the end, most of the Elders ruled against the sharing of their technology with outsiders, confident that their organization could survive on their traditional principles. The minority who opposed this ruling were sent eastward to track down the last remnants of the Master's army via a small fleet of airships. When these airships crash-landed near the ruins of Chicago, the surviving individuals founded the Midwestern chapter of the Brotherhood. In the following years, the Brotherhood continued to expand somewhat, establishing small outposts throughout California, as well as launching expeditions to regions such as Washington, D.C., and the Mojave.

In addition, the end of the Master was accompanied by the birth of the New California Republic (NCR). What began in the small farming community of Shady Sands quickly blossomed into a spirited effort to reclaim what was lost in the Great War. As the young NCR expanded, the Lost Hills region was incorporated into the growing nation in the form of the newly founded state of Maxson. While the bunker itself still remained under the control of the Brotherhood, the NCR held jurisdiction over the lands outside. Though tensions simmered between the two factions, peaceful relations remained.

The Enclave

At the San Francisco outpost, Matt assigns an important task to the Chosen One.

By 2242, the Brotherhood of Steel were but a fraction of the power they had been once before. With the emergence of the Enclave, the Brotherhood found that they were no longer the most advanced faction in the Wasteland. Intimidated and lacking the resources to deal with this new foe, the best the Brotherhood could manage was just to keep an eye on the newcomers. To this end, several previously-dormant bunkers and outposts in areas of Enclave activity were reactivated.

Eventually, the Brotherhood learned of the Enclave's Vertibird technology. Lacking any similar technology of their own, the Brotherhood saw itself as vulnerable to a possible Enclave invasion. In light of this possibility, Matthew, an operative stationed in the San Francisco outpost, was requested to enlist the aid of the Chosen One to steal a set of Vertibird schematics from a major Enclave outpost at Navarro.

Although the Chosen One was successful in his mission, it is unknown if the Vertibird plans ever reached the High Council, as Operative Matthew was killed by Agent Frank Horrigan a short time after the mission's completion. However, with the destruction of their oil rig base and NCR forces subsequently hunting down remaining members, the Enclave ceased to pose a threat on the West Coast.

War with the NCR

Main article: NCR-Brotherhood War
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

By 2231, Jeremy Maxson had assumed the position of High Elder. Vocal in his ideas of pushing Brotherhood operations eastward, Maxson was also notably aggressive in his “hoarding” of pre-War technology. The High Elder sought to restore the Brotherhood of Steel to power by wresting any and all advanced technology from the hands of “lesser people” by any means necessary. Naturally, this led to disputes with the New California Republic, which had always been in favor of utilizing advanced technology for the benefit of society. Not long after the destruction of the Enclave, conflict erupted between the Brotherhood and the NCR.

Elder McNamara in 2281.

With their superior technology, the Brotherhood managed to hold out against the NCR, even coming close to achieving total victory and avoiding a protracted conflict altogether, However, the Lost Hills Brotherhood's technological advantage was gradually outmatched by the sheer size of the NCR military; no matter how many troops the NCR lost, they always seemed to have more. Meanwhile, the Brotherhood, a selective and isolationist group, lacked sorely in numbers. This discrepancy in troop numbers caused major issues for the Brotherhood, fundamental weakness that has been constant until recently as the Brotherhood has started recruiting from the outside. The Brotherhood was forced to retreat into their bunkers, where they remained in hiding. However according to terminals on the Prydwen, the Brotherhood has been able to come out of hiding in the west and is operating on the surface again once more.

Gametitle-VB.pngEnd of information based on Van Buren.
Due to disagreements over how technology should be controlled in the Wasteland, the Brotherhood of Steel waged a long and bloody war against the NCR. Despite superior equipment and training, the Brotherhood went into retreat.Loading screen

The Mojave chapter of the Brotherhood would still be fighting the NCR in 2274. After establishing a base at the HELIOS One solar plant, the Mojave Brotherhood soon found itself at odds with the NCR and its growing power in the region. Eventually, the NCR sought to control HELIOS One and the Brotherhood. Under orders from their Elder, (against the will of his Paladins) the Brotherhood refused to leave. This led to a confrontation between the two and while the Brotherhood's superior technology and training was able to inflict outstanding losses on the NCR, eventually the NCR's superior numbers prevailed, eventually forcing the Brotherhood to retreat. With nearly half the chapter dead, the Mojave Brotherhood retreated to Hidden Valley, where Paladin McNamara, in light of the disappearance of Elder Elijah following the battle, took the role of Elder upon himself and placed the complex under lockdown. The Brotherhoods loss can be put down to its indefensible location, its low manpower, and its poor leadership in Elder Elijah. Colonel Moore states that had the Brotherhood not suffered from such poor leadership, and had been able to utilize its training, then despite their numerical advantage, the NCR would still have lost. Since then, the Brotherhood's presence in the Mojave Wasteland has been restricted to only a few scouting missions, a point of major controversy within the chapter. The Courier however may prove to the elder that the NCR is no where near as strong as he thinks it is, causing Elder McNamara to lift the lockdown, allowing patrols into the wastes once more.

Operations in the East

In the year 2254, the Brotherhood sent a large contingent under the leadership of Owyn Lyons eastward. Their primary goal was to make contact with the lost Midwestern Brotherhood chapter, who had previously been sent east to hunt down the remnants of the Master's army. The contingent failed to make contact with the Midwestern Brotherhood and ended up overshooting their target, marching all the way to Pittsburgh. Upon arrival, it became obvious to Elder Lyons that the East Coast was in far worse condition than the West, and thus he made radical changes to the Brotherhood doctrine. The first step was to eradicate the slavers of the Pitt, after which the contingent continued on to the nation's capitol. Once there, the Brotherhood worked tirelessly to eradicate the Super Mutant threat and help the people of the Capital Wasteland. A new threat soon challenged them in the form of a resurgent Enclave, which had relocated to Raven Rock and silently rebuilt itself into an effective fighting force. In the end, the conflict came down to a fight over Project Purity.

By 2287, the Brotherhood is still engaged in the ongoing conflict with the NCR, but in the East they saw a significant resurgence led by Arthur Maxson. After establishing themselves in the Capital Wasteland, they moved northward in a mission to locate and destroy the Institute. To facilitate this, they, over a period of six years, constructed a pre-war style airship known as the Prydwen to transport a large contingent of troops to the Commonwealth in order to destroy The Institute and salvage what tech remained once they finished. Notably, Arthur Maxson himself has led numerous changes to Brotherhood policy. The Brotherhood hearkens back to its traditional methods of technology collecting, although it remains reasonably trustful of human outsiders and is still willing to accept wastelanders into their ranks. There is evidence The West Coast may have also followed suit, due to their overwhelming acceptance and reverence for Elder Maxson in light of his ideals and namesake. The Brotherhood also has a hardline stance against abominations since Maxson took charge, notably wishing to eradicate Synths, Super Mutants and Feral Ghouls. Ghouls are treated with suspicion, but far more leniency. It is clear that from the sheer amount of troops and advanced weaponry that the Brotherhood were victorious against the Enclave in D.C. They have a vast supply of Vertibird aircraft to facilitate the transport of Brotherhood forces across the Commonwealth. However, there have been some changes to Brotherhood equipment. The Brotherhood no longer equips all of its troops in power armor, that right is reserved only for the rank of Knight and above, Initiates are denied this right until they pass training. However their power armor is far more advanced than their previous standard issue model, they now equip their forces with the more advanced T-60 power armor instead of the older T-51 or T-45s.


The Brotherhood of Steel is a neo-knightly order that rose from the ashes of the United States military in the years following the Great War of 2077. The organization's tenets include the eradication of mutants and the veneration of technology. In recent years the Brotherhood has broken its trend of reluctancy in sharing advanced technology with their fellow Wastelanders. They generally consider them too irresponsible and unpredictable to be trusted with such technology, however the Brotherhood has recently been more trustful of wastelanders, and has established relationships with settlements and traders on the east coast akin to their early relationships with factions on the west coast, where they had been known to trade their technology with frontier communities and the NCR.


Although the Brotherhood has always been portrayed as aloof, as time went on more negative aspects of their beliefs have been increasingly emphasized as their power has decreased. Originally they stood for relatively benign goals of preservation. Indeed, in one of the possible endings in Fallout; they voluntarily reintroduce technology, engage in novel research, and actively assist those inhabiting the wasteland. Later, in Fallout Tactics, the Midwestern faction eventually would go on to become a near-fascist state, but only if a specific ending is chosen in which this faction assumes the new leadership of a prejudiced General Barnaky. A different ending involves the Midwestern Brotherhood working together with the humans and non-humans of the Midwestern wasteland for the greater good, and create a post-apocalyptic utopia (however, it should be noted that none of the endings of Fallout Tactics has yet been assumed as canon, and so is open to speculation). By the time of Van Buren/New Vegas the main Brotherhood is strongly paranoid, it not only seeks to preserve technology, but actively remove it from outsiders, is disinterested in nonmilitary assets, and engages in little if any work to actually improve their tech. Much of the Brotherhood's belief system is enshrined in a document known as the Codex, which acts as an important source of information on regulations and rules that members must adhere to. The East Coast Brotherhood is different from the West Coast, seeming to want to help others instead of collect vital technology, but this created a faction focused entirely on collecting tech in the east, the Brotherhood of Steel Outcasts.

Symbolism of the insignia

Brotherhood of Steel insignia

In the Brotherhood symbol, the gears represent their engineering knowledge, the sword is their will to defend themselves, the wings represent the uplifting hope that the acquisition of lost technology represents for mankind's salvation following the devastation of the Great War, and the circle represents the fraternal unity that makes the organization a true brotherhood.[3]

Another interpretation is that the Brotherhood's symbol represents each of the organizations different orders. The sword represents the Paladins, the wings represent the Elders (the "wings" control the movement of the sword), the large gear represents the Knights, and the two smaller gears represent the Scribes and the Initiates, whose services keep the Knights supplied with the information and the manpower required to get their jobs done.[4] This interpretation could also be supported by looking at the Outcast's insignia, which is absent of wings & shows that they do not need Elders or their equivalents.

Mini-FOT Logo.pngThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

While both the original Brotherhood of Steel in New California and the East Coast faction of the Brotherhood use different colors for different elements of the symbol (blue for the wings, gray for the sword and black for the gears), the Midwestern Brotherhood uses several mono color variations. A blue version is used by the Midwestern Brotherhood's Knights and Paladins, a black one by the Scribes and an orange one by the Elders. The golden/yellow variant seems to symbolize the Midwestern Brotherhood as a whole. The Midwestern version of the Brotherhood symbol is also reversed horizontally - the large gear is to the right of the smaller ones, not to the left as in the original.

Mini-FOT Logo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.


The Brotherhood is mostly composed of the descendants of those military officers, soldiers, and scientists, but aside from some outsiders among their ranks, the Brotherhood is as close to pure-strain humanity (prime normals) that may be found outside of a Vault or the Enclave. A notable exception is the Midwestern Brotherhood who were known to recruit ghouls and other mutants into their ranks.

The ranks of the Brotherhood of Steel are generally recognized as being composed of the best and the brightest remaining to humanity, which means the BoS is a relatively small organization, at least compared to the New California Republic. They make up for this with their intimidating arsenal of pre-and-post-Great War technology: they have laser and plasma weapons, power armor, surgical cybernetic enhancements, combat implants, and Brotherhood Paladins have the ability to erase an entire town from the map without a scratch. The vast majority of BoS members are born into the Brotherhood - they very rarely accept outsiders into their ranks. While not an official policy, many members believe that in order to survive, all members are obligated to procreate. This results in a lack of tolerance for same-sex relationships, at least when the proponents of the aforementioned stance are concerned. Those born in the Brotherhood that want to be neither Scribes, Knights nor Paladins are free to leave - the Brotherhood does not believe in forcing anyone to serve them against their will. Although, members who decide to leave the Brotherhood will face the punishment of death for sharing any medical or scientific knowledge they have acquired with any outside faction.

While they have great reverence for technology, most of the Brotherhood members have little regard for non-technical fields of knowledge (and even for non-combat-related technology). Even most of the Scribes do not care about history, and some Brotherhood of Steel Initiates do not even know who Roger Maxson, the founder of the Brotherhood, was.

Divisions and locations

West Coast Brotherhood (Founding Chapter)

Concept art of the Lost Hills bunker.

The headquarters of the Brotherhood is the Lost Hills bunker in California, the seat of the Brotherhood's High Elder and its ruling council, and the place where the organization was founded. It is also the center of their research and military activities. However, by 2242, the Brotherhood was spread across the wastes of California in small bunkers and installations hidden from the eyes of common folk, and finding them all and wiping them out would be a difficult and dangerous task.

Their installations include bunkers in the Den, San Francisco, and Shady Sands (capital of the New California Republic). All Brotherhood outposts are formally subject to the Lost Hills' ruling council's authority, even if they sometimes tend to act independently, especially if they are located far from California and contact with the headquarters is rare. The Lost Hills bunker is surrounded by the town of Maxson, which, while named after the founder of the Brotherhood, is officially outside Brotherhood rule and is a state of the New California Republic. The later conflict between the Republic and the Brotherhood most likely resulted in the destruction of many of the Brotherhood's bunkers in New California.

Mojave Chapter

Though their power in the west has diminished greatly over the years, the Brotherhood of Steel still maintains hidden, heavily fortified bunkers throughout the Mojave.Loading screen

The Brotherhood's bunker is located in Hidden Valley, directly east of the settlement of Goodsprings in the Mojave Wasteland. It is surrounded by powerful underground fans that serve as a high-tech defense system, creating artificial sandstorms which allow the inhabitants to travel to and from the bunker under cover. It also serves as a kind of electronic disturbance to any and all outside factions' targeting sensors, therefore rendering the bunker safe from detection.

Prior to 2276 the Mojave Brotherhood had been very active in the region before their crippling defeat at HELIOS One by NCR Forces and were forced underground on the orders of their new leader Elder McNamara. Due to a complete lockdown ordered to preserve what remaining soldiers he had, McNamara relies solely on teams that were trapped outside of the bunker for intel and trusted undercover operatives to bring food and supplies back to those trapped inside.

Despite their seclusion from the outside world they still are regarded as a powerful faction in the region, this is shown in Mr. House's calculations as they painted the Brotherhood insurgency to be the greatest threat to his reign in the Mojave Wasteland in the long-term.

East Coast Brotherhood

The Citadel

On the East Coast, the East Coast division of the Brotherhood established a base called the Citadel, built into and beneath the ruins of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. This faction was led by the idealistic Elder Owyn Lyons who decided to make the protection of the human inhabitants of the Capital Wasteland from super mutants and other threats his top priority, instead of the acquisition and preservation of technology. While Lyons was officially recognized by the ruling council at Lost Hills as the leader of a Brotherhood faction, because of his changed priorities he received no support from California and his faction, for all intents and purposes, was independent. Without reinforcements from the West Coast, Lyons was forced to recruit locally, but, as most new wastelander conscripts are overeager, unskilled, or both, the survival rate of these local members was atrocious. Elder Lyons’ daughter Sarah commanded her own elite squad, Lyons' Pride. These soldiers help preserve the Capital Wasteland by holding back the super mutants, who tend to remain in the urban ruins of Washington, D.C.

As the war with the super mutants intensified, the Enclave returns in the flesh after relocating from New California several years prior. Their radio broadcasts had been heard for years on Wasteland radios. In a bold first move they seized the Jefferson Memorial's "Project Purity" (a project intended to provide clean water to the wasteland), and subsequently consolidated their power throughout the Capital Wasteland. At first favoring caution, Elder Lyons soon changed his mind, engaging the Enclave in a full-scale battle after the Enclave acquires possession of Vault 87's G.E.C.K. and nearly activating Project Purity. With the aid of Liberty Prime, the Enclave was ousted from the Jefferson Memorial and into uncertain disarray. After the events of Broken Steel, the East Coast chapter had become as powerful and well-equipped as their fellow chapters back west, possibly even more so.

There are members of Lyons' expeditionary force to the East Coast who preferred to stay faithful to the Brotherhood's original goals of locating and preserving technology and knowledge. These members of the Brotherhood left the Citadel to take up residence in Fort Independence, and stylized themselves as the Brotherhood Outcasts.[5] In addition to carrying out Lyon's original orders, the Outcasts are also trying to re-establish contact with the western Elders, and have Lyons placed in front of a firing squad.

Between 2277 and 2287, Elder Lyons died and, after a series of other Elders, the chapter came under the leadership of Elder Arthur Maxson. They spent years developing the Prydwen, a large airship to act as a mobile base, and acquired large quantities of Vertibirds and T-60 power armor, as well as energy weapons. They also spent years sending recon teams, such as Recon Squad Gladius, to the Commonwealth to investigate the region. Some time later, the rest of the Brotherhood's main force arrived in the Commonwealth aboard the Prydwen, and began their offensive against the Institute. Once they arrived, the Brotherhood conducted an air assault on the feral ghouls occupying Boston Airport, and established their main base of operations there. They are capable of and frequently conduct air assault operations, especially when inserting patrol teams and assaulting objectives such as Bunker Hill.

Midwestern Brotherhood power armor

Mini-FOT Logo.pngThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.

Midwest Brotherhood

The Midwestern branch, a splinter faction which lost contact with the Brotherhood leadership at Lost Hills has been an independent organization since the 2160s, when the airships of its founders crashed near Chicago. Unlike the original, isolationist Brotherhood, this faction rules over a large part of the area between the former states of Illinois and Kansas and drafts tribals from villages under Brotherhood protection into its ranks. While more open to the outside world, this faction of the Brotherhood is by no means altruistic - the villagers under Brotherhood rule, while protected from raiders and mutants, live in fear of the infamous Brotherhood Inquisitors. The Midwestern Brotherhood main bases were bunkers that were probably pre-Great War military bunkers that were found, taken, and rebuilt. In accordance with the Brotherhood's military roots, they were renamed Bunkers Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta and Epsilon. The Midwestern Brotherhood power armor is very similar to the advanced power armor Mk II, and may be a variant of it.

Mini-FOT Logo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Texas expedition symbol

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

Texas Brotherhood

After the death of John Maxson, Rhombus, the head of the Brotherhood's Paladins, became the new High Elder. After the death of the Master, the Brotherhood of Steel helped the other human outposts of New California drive the mutant armies away with minimal loss of life on both sides of the conflict. However, a super mutant faction under the leadership of Attis moved east and attempted to recreate the mutant army in Texas using the Secret Vault. Rhombus, despite some criticism from the ruling council of the West Coast Brotherhood of Steel, started a crusade against the still existent threat of the super mutant army, now led by Attis. They traveled eastward to Texas. There, he discovered a prototype Vault which was abandoned and installed the Brotherhood's main base of operation in this area. Their principal mission was to eradicate the menace of all super mutants. For this reason, they created a new Texas Brotherhood icon, which featured a pair of wings, topped by dual pistols, all of a red color.

FOBoSLogo.pngEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.
Gametitle-VB.pngThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Colorado Detachment

While not necessarily a separate chapter, a fairly large group of Brotherhood soldiers and staff were sent to the Maxson Bunker in southern Colorado.

In the year 2231, High Elder Jeremy Maxson decided that it was time to expand Brotherhood operations into the east, and he sent an expeditionary force composed of five Paladins to confirm the location of pre-war Senator Todd Peterson's bunker. The expedition leader, Andrea Brixley, discovered the bunker, disabled its security, and opened it for habitation. For over a decade, she and her fellow Paladins explored the east, and forged relationships with many of the local tribes that inhabited the area.

In the year 2242, Jeremy Maxson renamed the bunker after his famous ancestor, Roger Maxson, and later sent a full complement of troops for occupation there. Andrea Brixley was promoted to Elder, given the rank of General, and was placed in charge of the bunker. The remainder of her exploratory team were given the title of Elder as well. It was not long afterward that the war with the New California Republic was announced, and the bunker was re-suited for war.

Gametitle-VB.pngEnd of information based on Van Buren.

Montana Brotherhood

A bunker exists in Montana and is at some point the home of Elder Patrocolus.


The Brotherhood of Steel has characteristics similar to that of today's military such as standard armor (T-45d power armor, T-51b power armor, or T-60 power armor), standard weapons (laser rifle and the laser pistol), standard ammunition (microfusion cells, small energy cells and electron charge packs). They also have training equal to that of pre-war US military training and trade training, have a chain of command, various bases, supply their own troops and have distinct branches/trades (i.e. Paladins and Scribes) that cover combat and support roles within the organization.


The Brotherhood of Steel is organized into different ranks: Initiates are trainees who are expected to perform well enough in the training process to be promoted to Senior Initiates, and later to Apprentices. After proving themselves, Apprentices are promoted to the rank of Journeyman Knights or Scribes. The next rank is Knight Sergeant/Senior Scribe, Knight Captain, and finally the leader of each of these orders is the Paladin and the Head Scribe.

Brotherhood Scribes are responsible for investigating and reverse-engineering the ancient technologies, maintaining the current technology of the Brotherhood and even experimenting with new weapons and other useful devices. Scribes rarely leave the safety of the Brotherhood's bunkers and outposts, but they are sometimes called into the field to examine a piece of technology or perform a task beyond the skills of the Brotherhood's soldiers.

Brotherhood Knights are responsible for manufacturing the weapons and other pieces of technology used by the Brotherhood, although they also take part in combat activities. After many years of service and experience, the best Knights are promoted to Paladins - the pinnacle rank of the Brotherhood military. Paladins are in charge of all security and outside activities. The Paladin ranks are Junior Paladin, Paladin, Senior Paladin, Star Paladin and Head Paladin. Paladins who survive to their later years become Elders, and they make up the Brotherhood's ruling council. Among this branch of the Brotherhood an additional rank, Sentinel, exists between Paladin and Elder. The leader of the council and the Brotherhood itself is the High Elder, usually descended from the Maxson family.

Relations with the outside

Brotherhood Paladins fighting super mutants and raiders.

While they are generally not hostile to others without a good reason, members of the Brotherhood are not interested in justice for the obviously weaker and less fortunate wastelanders around them. They largely focus on keeping their secrecy and preserving and developing technology, which they often put above human life since technology is irreplaceable in the post-nuclear wastelands—lives are not. Their motives are often unclear, and Brotherhood members are not people to be trifled with. It is safe to say, however, that if a group of Brotherhood Paladins appears to be helping outsiders, their motives are not altruistic.

The Brotherhood does not like to share their choicest technological bits with others, despite the obvious benefits their technology could bring to the Wasteland. It is a commonly accepted truth within the Brotherhood that the people of the Wasteland are not responsible enough to use (and maintain) all of the technology they have at their disposal. They are known for trading some of their technologies with frontier communities and the states of the New California Republic in exchange for food and other resources, but they keep the more sensitive and advanced technologies to themselves.

Attitude towards mutants

The Brotherhood's attitude towards mutants ranges from dislike (e.g. in the case of ghouls) to outright hostility (in the case of super mutants). Early contact with the Master's super mutants was mostly hostile, and the BoS helped drive the majority of the mutant armies away from California. The Brotherhood grew angry when various salvaging operations began in the Glow, a location which the Brotherhood came to regard highly both for their fallen comrades and the pre-Great War technology located there, with Dayglow ghouls at the forefront. Most Brotherhood members came to see ghouls as filthy scavengers. In the years after the Master's defeat in New California, many super mutants settled peacefully among humans and the Brotherhood was no longer hostile to them.


Military technology is the Brotherhood's main priority, and their efforts over the centuries have equipped them with a powerful array of power armor, energy weapons, defense turrets, combat implants, and computers. Their devotion to the cause of collecting technology is such that they are willing to go to war in order to obtain it, even against much larger organizations such as the NCR.

Although less advanced than the Enclave, Brotherhood soldiers are generally equipped with energy weaponry and suits of power armor, usually either the T-60, T-51b or T-45d models, all three of them were designed before the Great War. Recon armor and combat armor is also widely used, primarily by scouts, knights, and initiates. In addition, the Brotherhood has access to some of the best medical technology available in the post-war world, and other technologies such as cybernetics and surgical implants.

The Brotherhood also has access to advanced computers which they have found in various military bases and Vault-Tec Vaults such as the Lost Hills bunker, the ruins of the Pentagon, Bunkers Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Hidden Valley and the Vault prototype.

They also possess heavy duty combat robots that have assisted them in battle, like the intimidating sentry bots, and even a 40-foot Communist-hating metal giant in the hands of the East Coast detachment.


  • Despite being relatively small in numbers (compared to groups such as the NCR), the Brotherhood is probably the most widely spread faction in post-war America.
  • They are the only group outside of the Enclave (and some raider leaders in the Commonwealth) that uses power armor (and that can train others to use it). Some NCR soldiers in the Mojave Wasteland, however, wear non-functioning power armor.
  • Most members of the Brotherhood are usually gruff in dealing with outsiders and usually extremely rude towards mutated creatures such as ghouls or super mutants.
  • The Brotherhood is extremely territorial when it comes to technology and will defend any technological relic to the death. In Fallout: New Vegas it is mentioned that an elder was severely punished for destroying a piece of unknown technology.
  • Despite revering pre-war technology, the Brotherhood has no interest in medical technology like prosthetic organs or Auto-Docs.
  • According to the Citadel terminal entries, the Brotherhood in Lost Hill began protecting Maxson in the NCR before or by 2277. It also mentions an internal conflict, possibly a civil war, in the Brotherhood of Steel on the West Coast. This conflict forced Arthur Maxson to live in the Citadel.
  • Although Rhombus isn't specified as a Maxson, he is assumed to be a Maxson or be an exception until the next of-age Maxson can be an elder. He is the only known high elder unspecified as a Maxson.
  • The West Coast Division of the Brotherhood is struggling and facing extreme casualties and defeats in their war against the NCR, while the East Coast, particularly the Current Division led by Elder Arthur Maxson, is possibly at its highest peak. With a force of tens of thousands BoS members in its army and their ability to acquire more members, a huge arsenal of Laser Weaponry and T-60 Power Armor (far superior to the West Coast Standard Issue T-51B Power Armor) which became the standard issue armor for BoS Knights in the East Coast, with the ability to manufacture many more according to Paladin Danse, a vast supply of Vertibirds acquired from their war against the Enclave, and a new and improved Liberty Prime, they are able to project their power and influence throughout all of the eastern seaboard. With the destruction of the Enclave, the East Coast Division of the BoS is currently the most powerful and technologically advanced military force in the Post-War America.


The Brotherhood of Steel were based on a completely hostile faction known as the Guardians in the 1987 game Wasteland which is known to be the predecessor to Fallout.


The Brotherhood of Steel appears in all Fallout games to date.



This article is based mostly on the description of the Brotherhood from Chris Avellone's Fallout Bible #6 (which was partly based on Chris Taylor's Fallout: Warfare background), updates in subsequent issues of the Bible, and information taken from holodisks and dialogue in Fallout and Fallout 2. Some information is taken from Fallout Tactics (mostly from the intro), Van Buren, and even from Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel background, but in all instances it is marked as such.

Holodisks about the Brotherhood of Steel


Fallout Tactics


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