Fallout Wiki


Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Frequently Asked Questions about Fallout 3 by Bethesda Softworks.


Production and release details


What is Fallout 3?

Fallout 3 is a futuristic post-apocalyptic CRPG set in an alternate universe based on 50s sci-fi pulp fiction, as if the world had stopped in the optimistic 50s and found itself on a dystopian post-apocalyptic reality. It is a sequel to the games Fallout and Fallout 2.

Who made and published Fallout 3?

Fallout 3 was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.[1]

Who publishes/distributes the game outside the United States and Canada?

The foreign publishers are:

  • Australia - Red Ant
  • Czech Republic - Cenega
  • Estonia - 1c
  • Latvia - 1c
  • Lithuania - 1c
  • Poland - Cenega
  • Russia - 1c
  • Slovakia - Cenega
  • Ukraine - 1c
  • Japan - Bethesda Softworks
  • United Kingdom - Bethesda Softworks

What is Fallout 3 rated?

Fallout 3 has been rated M (Mature) by the ESRB in the United States.

In Europe, the game received the PEGI 18+ rating. In Germany, only a censored version is distributed which contains much less gore.

In the UK, the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) gave Fallout 3 the 18 rating.

In Australia, the game was initially refused classification, but was eventually rated MA15+ after the real-world drug morphine was renamed to Med-X.

In Japan, the game has been rated Z (strictly 18+) by CERO.

Release date(s)

When was it released?

The game came out on October 28, 2008, in North America; October 31, 2008, in Europe[2] and was released on December 4, 2008 in Japan.

For how long was it in development?

From 2004 to 2008.

Wasn't a demo already leaked?

No, you may be thinking of the pre-alpha tech demo of Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 developed by Black Isle Studios.


What platforms was it released for?

The game was released for the PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.[3]

Was the game ported from consoles to PC or vice versa?

Fallout 3 was concurrently developed from the ground up for all 3 platforms.

Will there be a Mac or Linux version?

A Mac version is possible if a Mac or Linux game publisher will be interested in porting the game. According to Lindsay Muller, a representative of Bethesda's marketing department:

It could happen if there is a large enough demand and if we are approached by a Mac games publisher such as Macsoft or Aspyr. Bethesda Softworks would not port it. So if you want to see Fallout 3 or any of our other games ported to Mac, contact either or both Mac publishers and request it.[4]

It is also possible to run Fallout 3 using the Wine compatibility layer under OS X, with little noticeable performance penalty.

What are the PC system requirements?

Minimum requirements:

  • Windows XP/Vista
  • 1GB System RAM (XP)/ 2GB System RAM (Vista)
  • 2.4 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or equivalent processor (Runs fine on 2.2 GHz AMD athlon or equivalent processor)
  • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 256MB RAM (NVIDIA 6800 or better/ATI X850 or better)

Recommended requirements:

  • Intel Core 2 Duo processor
  • 2 GB System RAM
  • Direct X 9.0c compliant video card with 512MB RAM (NVIDIA 8800 series, ATI 3800 series)

The back of the box lists the game as "Enhanced for multi-core".

Supported video card chipsets:

  • NVIDIA GeForce 200 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9800 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 9600 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8800 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8600 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8500 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 8400 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7900 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7800 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7600 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 7300 series
  • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series
  • ATI HD 4800 series
  • ATI HD 4600 series
  • ATI HD 3800 series
  • ATI HD 3600 series
  • ATI HD 3400 series
  • ATI HD 2900 series
  • ATI HD 2600 series
  • ATI HD 2400 series
  • ATI X1900 series
  • ATI X1800 series
  • ATI X1600 series
  • ATI X1300 series
  • ATI X850 series

Not supported but can run and tested (Integrated GPU's):

  • ATI Radeon Xpress 200 series (not confirmed)
  • ATI X800 series

What Games for Windows features does the game support?

The game supports the Live service, which means it shares friends lists, achievements, messages, and chat between you and anyone else playing a Live game, be it a Games for Windows - Live title or an Xbox 360 title. You can sign in with your Xbox Live Gamertag. The game uses the Live Dashboard, which is invoked by default by pressing the Home key.

The Live service is optional, as the game can be played without ever using the Live code that comes in the box, but without it Live services will not be available.

Despite being a requirement for the Games for Windows logo, Fallout 3 does not support Alt+Tab switching, and also reveals no options when right clicking on its task-bar icon.

Does it require Windows Vista?

No, Fallout 3 officially supports Windows XP as well as Windows Vista.

What about later versions of Windows

Although not officially supported,[5] it is possible to get the games to work on later editions.

Development team

Was it made by people who made previous Fallouts?

No, Fallout 3 was made by Bethesda Game Studios, the creators of Oblivion, while previous Fallout games were made by Interplay and Black Isle Studios. None of the Fallout and Fallout 2 developers were involved in the making of Fallout 3.

Who developed Fallout 3?

Main article: Fallout 3 developers

The project was headed by executive producer Todd Howard. Other producers included Ashley Cheng, Gavin Carter and Jeff Gardiner. The lead designer was Emil Pagliarulo who previously worked on Thief games as well as the Dark Brotherhood quests in Oblivion. Lead level designer was Joel Burgess. Other leads were lead artist Istvan Pely and lead programmer Steve Meister. PR and marketing for the game is coordinated by Pete Hines.

See: Fallout 3 developers for a full list of known developers.


Will an editor be available?

The official editor for Fallout 3, called the G.E.C.K. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit), is available for free download.

The release of the G.E.C.K. provides the community with tools that will allow players to expand the game. Users can create, modify, and edit any data for use with Fallout 3, from building landscapes, towns, and locations to writing dialogue, creating characters, weapons, creatures, and more.

The G.E.C.K. has an interface similar to The Elder Scrolls Construction Set, which is useful to those who are familiar with it.

See: Fallout 3 modding FAQ

Is there any downloadable content?

Main article: Fallout 3 add-ons

Five downloadable content packs (DLC's) are currently available for the Xbox 360 and Games for Windows Live which add new quests, items, and content to Fallout 3. Operation: Anchorage was released January 27, 2009, The Pitt was released on March 25, Broken Steel was released on May 5, Point Lookout was released on June 23 and Mothership Zeta, the final Fallout 3 DLC, was released August 3, 2009. All the content has later been ported onto PS3, and the DLC has been packed alongside Fallout 3 in the Game of the Year Edition.



Is the SPECIAL character system used in the game?

Yes, SPECIAL is used in the game.

How does character creation look?

The first part of the game is part character creation, part role-playing. It starts with the character's birth, assisted by dad as the resident doctor, in which you pick your basic look based on a computer simulation model of "what will this baby look like when he's older" which also influences your father's appearance. At one, in your infancy, you get a "You're SPECIAL!" book and you can modify your Primary statistics. At 10, during your birthday party, you get a PIP-boy from the Overseer and your dad gives you a BB gun for practicing shooting. At 16, you take the G.O.A.T. (Generalized Occupational Aptitude Test), which determines your Tag skills based on your answers to some questions (It is possible to change the tagged skills to whatever skills you want after turning in the test). It is possible to review and change anything about your character when you leave the vault.[6]

What are the main stats?

The main statistics are the same, since otherwise it couldn't be named SPECIAL (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck). You have 40 character points to divide among your stats (all 7 stats start at 5 and you have 5 more points to distribute). They can't be lower than 1 nor higher than 10.

What are the skills in Fallout 3?

There are 13 skills in Fallout 3 (as compared to 18 in Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics). They are:

Gambling and Outdoorsman skills were completely removed.

What about perks?

For a list of known perks, see: Fallout 3 perks.

How about traits?

Unlike previous games, traits that gave you both bonuses and penalties at the same time are no longer in the game. Instead, some of them were changed into perks.

Is there a level limit?

Yes, the maximum level is 20 although the DLC package Broken Steel raised the level cap to 30.[3]

There are workaround available for the PC version such as using the console command: "player.setlevel <value>" (for example: "player.setlevel 19") to set the player's character level lower, allowing level 20 to be reached again and collecting the perks and skill points. There is an issue that when too many skill points are awarded the player may become stuck at the point allocation screen however this can be worked around by lowering stats using the console command: "player.setav <skill name> <value>" (e.g.: "player.setav sneak 85").
The game will also crash if the player's character has evil Karma when reaching level 21 or higher. Good and neutral characters are playable, but the rank title is reset. All console commands should be entered without quotation marks.

The below commands can also be used:

setgs iMaxCharacterLevel ### Sets the maximum level that your character can reach through experience gain. Replace the ### with the desired maximum level.

Does the game have an ending?

Yes, once you have completed the main quest line, you will have concluded the game. However, the Broken Steel add-on adds a further quest line, allowing the game to be played past the normal end-game eternally, with no gameplay ending.


Is the combat turn-based or real-time?

Unlike Fallout and Fallout 2, which were turn-based, and unlike Fallout Tactics, which let you choose between turn-based combat or real-time combat without an active pause, Fallout 3 uses a real-time with pause system.

There are two combat modes; real-time FPS and V.A.T.S. (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System). Real-time FPS takes into account factors such as weapon condition and a character's skill level in that weapon category, but accuracy depends greatly on the player's skill in aiming the targeting reticule. Players can attack in either 3rd or 1st person perspective, leading some to suggest the term 'TPS' (third person shooter) would be at least as appropriate as FPS, while others consider that to be overly pedantic.

The V.A.T.S. mode uses AP (Action Points), of which a character has a limited supply, depending on a number of factors, and weapons require different quantities of AP per use in V.A.T.S. mode. There are two phases in V.A.T.S. mode; targeting and execution. In the targeting phase, time freezes and the player can choose which enemy to target, than which body part to target (except in the case of melee or unarmed attacks), with all targets displaying a percentage 'chance to hit' based solely on the weapon's attributes and the character's skill level, while the impact of a player's skill is seen only in the assessment of tactical options, i.e. which enemy or body part to target. Players can target as many different enemies and/or body parts as they wish, as long as there are sufficient AP.

Once the player commits to a choice of targets, the execution phase begins. In slow motion cinematic mode the player witnesses the results of their choices in the targeting phase. During this phase enemies may continue to move and attack, though in slow motion, so they may avoid attacks by moving behind an obstruction or attack the character. Although successful attacks on the character during this phase do considerably less damage than usual, it's possible to sustain a crippling injury that will have a detrimental effect on subsequent attacks in the execution queue.

When all the actions the player chose in the targeting phase have been executed, time returns to normal, and any AP spent begin to regenerate.

What is V.A.T.S.?

The Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System, or V.A.T.S. is the active pause system. While using V.A.T.S., the otherwise real-time combat is paused. Various actions cost Action Points, and both the player and enemies can target specific body areas for attacks, inflicting specific injuries.

Are the attacks in real-time combat affected by your skills?

Yes, all combat is governed by dice rolls, so even if you aim perfectly, you might still fail a roll and miss the target.[7]

Does Armor Class reduce the to-hit chance?

Armor no longer has an Armor Class that helps you dodge a hit. Armor will only reduce the amount of inflicted damage.[7]

What are the available weapons and armors?

For a list of known Fallout 3 weapons and armors, see:

Are the enemies scaled to your level?

A variation of level scaling is used to control the difficulty of the main quest, but enemies in areas that are not essential to the main quest will not be scaled to your level. Some places will be adjusted to your level when you first enter them, but they will not level up when you return - unlike Oblivion, you won't find raiders in power armor.


What about stealth?

Stealth in Fallout 3 is a little different from Oblivion. Oblivion has an eye but Fallout 3 says on your HUD (while crouching) Hidden, detected, caution, or danger. This can be much more useful than the eye.

Mechanics behind it is ideally the same though. Lighting matters so hide in dark places, armor you wear makes different noises, and running/walking makes a difference. Lastly, enemy's abilities to detect is also accounted for.

What factors make you more visible?

In Fallout 3, the light reflecting off you, your weight, your Pip-Boy 3000 light, the light from weapons or armor, and how fast you move (unless you have the Silent Running perk) can affect sneaking.


What influences your dialogue options?

The dialogue options are influenced mainly by both the Speech skill and Charisma, but other skills will also give you access to additional options - e.g. Science or Repair can allow you to give a scientific or technical explanation and to use that knowledge in dialogue.[7] Two perks available to the player, Black Widow and Lady Killer, can be gotten by the player (Black Widow is available only to female character and Lady Killer is for males) that will cause the player to do 10% more damage to the opposite sex and sometimes have special dialogue available when speaking with the opposite sex. Another perk available to the player, Child at Heart adds special dialog options for interactions with children. Because Little Lamplight is completely populated with children, the perk can be used quite a bit there.

Are there special dialogue options for dumb characters?

Yes, there are some dialogue options available only to low Intelligence characters. In Fallout 3, characters with low Intelligence speak as intelligibly as the intelligent ones, however certain situations will arise that give extra options, with positive or negative outcomes. It is up to the player to decide to use those options.

Are PC responses limited to 38 characters like in Oblivion?



Will I be able to play it on the PC with a controller?

Yes, as a Games for Windows Live (xbox live) title the game supports the Xbox 360 controller.[8]

Do the console versions support mouse and keyboard?

No, keyboard and mouse support will not be available on consoles.[9]

Other gameplay questions

Is there a multiplayer mode?

There is no multiplayer mode, like in Fallout and Fallout 2 and unlike Fallout Tactics and Van Buren.[10] A multiplayer Fallout game is in the works at Interplay, codenamed Project V13.

Are drugs in the game?

There are various drugs, and each has its own positive effects and side-effects if you get addicted to them.[11] Initially, the real-world drug morphine was included in the game, but because it caused the Australian rating board to refuse classification of the game, morphine was renamed to Med-X.

Are there any mini-games?

Yes, there are mini-games. There is a hacking mini-game and a lockpicking mini-game. The hacking mini-game is used to gain control of computer terminals, which can provide access to anything from information to security bots to locked doors. In this mini-game the player must guess the correct password from a list of passwords, and, after a choice is made, feedback is given on how many letters from the chosen password are in the real password. It is similar to the board game "Mastermind". The other mini-game is lock picking, in which the player uses a screw driver and bobby pins, a delicate sense of touch to get in boxes/crates, and behind doors. There are also a few mini-games hidden all over the Wasteland, such as a computer with a tiny fantasy text adventure game.

Is first or third perspective used?

While the default view is first person, you can toggle the view with the press of a button/key to an over-the-shoulder view which you can zoom in/out on your character. Both views are available throughout the entire game.[10] Both views are usable in combat, the only time third-person is "removed" is when you enter V.A.T.S. it zooms in on the target so your character doesn't block the view.

Are there trophies/achievements?

Yes. The 360, PC, and PS3 versions all support trophies/achievements. (A recent software update added trophies for the PS3 version). Xbox 360 and PC both use the xbox.com/GFWL live service for achievements and saves.

Can gore and profanity be toned down or disabled?

Bethesda states that unlike previous Fallout games, there are no in-game settings to tone down language/violence. Only the German edition of the game will have violence toned down by default.[12] However, there is a configuration file that can be modified with a text editor to enable or disable gore.[13]

How do I repair weapons and armor?

Many non-player character's, Shopkeepers and caravan merchants will offer an option in dialogue to repair damaged equipment (often at a fairly hefty price, depending on the kind of item and its condition). Their skill levels are usually low to medium, though for caravan merchants this can be improved by investment (see Uncle Roe in Canterbury Commons). In addition, Moira Brown will significantly increase her repair skill (from 52% to 72%) if you convince her to give up on the Wasteland Survival Guide (see Dream Crusher Perk). Crazy Wolfgang's repair can be increased to 85% with an investment given to Uncle Roe

To perform your own repairs you must have at least two of a single item type (e.g. two 10mm pistols or two sets of combat armor). However, in some cases only very similar items suffice. For instance, while you can repair Ranger battle armor with combat armor or Talon combat armor, you can only repair the unique Xuanlong assault rifle with Chinese assault rifles, not ordinary assault rifles.

Select the item to be repaired by highlighting it in your Pip-Boy menu and press "R" on PC, "Y" on Xbox 360, or "Triangle" on PS3. If there are no compatible items in your inventory, the option to repair will not be selectable. In the repair menu you will then be asked to select an item to repair with from a list of similar or identical items, sorted from best to worst condition, as if you were using parts from this item to repair the other. The item that is "stripped for parts" will be removed from your inventory and the repaired item will gain a number of condition points based on the condition of the item used for repairs and your character's repair skill.



When is Fallout 3 set? How long after the previous games?

The game is set in 2277, exactly 200 years after the Great War, 116 years after Fallout and 36 years after Fallout 2.[3]

What is the main quest?

The main quest centers around your father mysteriously disappearing from Vault 101 one day, and your quest to find him and find out why he left and where he is/has gone.[14]

Where is the game set?

Fallout 3 is set on the East Coast of the former United States, mainly in Washington, D.C. and its surroundings in Virginia and Maryland.[3]

During his or her journey, the young inhabitant of Vault 101 will see some ancient monuments from before the Great War, like the Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial or the battered remains of the Washington Monument in the ruins of Downtown DC, surrounded by the desolate Capital Wasteland. The central hub of civilization in the ruins of the former capital is Rivet City, based in and around the remains of a crashed aircraft carrier.[3] Other settlements include the towns of Megaton, Tenpenny Tower, Paradise Falls,[15] Big Town, the Republic of Dave, and Arefu. Some parts of Washington are blocked by rubble and can only be accessed via the Washington Metro tunnels.

Does the story pick up where Fallout 2 ended?

No, the Fallout 3 story is not directly connected to any of the story lines of previous games.[10] Knowledge of previous titles in the series is not required to play Fallout 3. The only known connections are that the "original" Dogmeat is an ancestor of the new Dogmeat and that Harold has settled somewhere in the Wasteland.

Can I continue playing after finishing the main quest?

No, like in Fallout 1 the game has a definitive ending. The Broken Steel DLC retcons the ending and introduces a new ending which allows the player to continue playing beyond the end of the main quest.


Are Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel treated as canon?

Bethesda does not treat the events of Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel as canon.[16]

Is Van Buren treated as canon?

It is unknown whether Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios is treated as fully canon, but some references to Van Buren were made in Fallout 3 and its DLC.

Did Bethesda use any Van Buren materials?

No, they prefer to start fresh.

Super mutants

Are super mutants going to be in Fallout 3?

Super mutants that are invading the world and are in a constant battle to push humans out will be the player's biggest foes in the game.[17]

But they're so different! Why don't they look like the old ones?

Indeed, the Fallout 3 super mutants don't look much like the ones from the first two Fallout games. The ones shown so far lack the hunched posture, cancerous tissue overgrowth, and are generally less bulky than their counterparts from earlier games. It should be noted that super mutants in Fallout Tactics also had many differences to the ones from Fallout and Fallout 2. But in Fallout 3, there is a reason behind their different appearance.

Why are there super mutants on the East Coast? Shouldn't they all be in California?

Super mutants are being created independently from Mariposa Military Base and the Master at the Los Angeles Vault, and at Vault 87 and have been since the Great War.


Do ghouls appear in Fallout 3?

Yes, ghouls definitely make many appearances.[11]

Are the ghouls non-player characters that you can interact with or just monsters?

Both, actually. Most are used as non-player characters you talk and interact with, but there are also other ghouls, the feral ghouls, these are more “creature” like, and are aggressive.[11]

Brotherhood of Steel

Is the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 3?

Yes, it is, in the form of the Brotherhood of Steel led by Elder Owyn Lyons.[18]

How and why did the Brotherhood get to the East Coast?

The Brotherhood's ruling council decided to send a contingent of soldiers to the East Coast, to recover any and all advanced technology from Washington, DC and to investigate the reports of super mutant activity in the area. And so a small but hardened contingent of Brotherhood soldiers, led by Paladin Owyn Lyons set out from the Lost Hills Bunker in California, and began the long trek east to what was once Washington D.C.[18]

The Enclave

Does the Enclave appear in Fallout 3?

Yes, the Enclave appears in Fallout 3, led by the mysterious new president, John Henry Eden.

Aren't they all supposed to be dead after Fallout 2?

While the Oil Rig was blown up, Navarro and/or some other Enclave outposts might have survived and used Vertibirds to get to the East Coast.

Other factions

What other factions are in the game?

Aside from the Brotherhood of Steel, Brotherhood Outcasts, the Enclave and the super mutant army, other factions include Slavers at Paradise Falls, Talon Company mercenaries, Reilly's Rangers, the residents of Tenpenny Towers and The Family (vampire family).


Main article: Fallout 3 creatures

Does Ammunition/Enemies Respawn?

Ammunition Ammunition won't respawn at all. Once you have picked it up from a container, it will never respawn again. This occurs both inside and outside. Although you can always take ammunition from your enemies/allies corpses once they have died. Furthermore, ammunition that you can buy from shopkeepers will respawn after every 3 game days.

Enemies Generic ("raider", "deathclaw", "Megaton settler","Enclave soldier, etc.) non-player characters and creatures usually respawn after every 3 game days, but specific ("Moira Brown", "Smiling Jack", "Atom's Champion", etc.) ones seldom ever respawn.

What new creatures are going to appear in the game?

New creatures include the mirelurks (mutant crabs), yao guai (mutated bears) and bloatflies.


Do any characters from previous games return?

Harold appears again, just like in both previous games. Also, one of Dogmeat's descendants is making an appearance.

External links