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Fallout Wiki

Fallout Shelter is a free-to-play installment in the Fallout series for iOS, Android, Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Windows, and Tesla Arcade, which was announced at Bethesda's E3 2015 press conference on June 14, 2015. The game was released on the iOS App Store the same day, after the conference ended. The game allows the player to create their own vault and thereby become an overseer of its inhabitants. It is the seventh overall game in the Fallout series.

On October 11, 2022, as part of the Fallout 25th Anniversary, the mobile version of the game received a content update for the first time in over four years. The content update has a new quest line featuring new enemies, more weapons and Dwellers, and a new celebration room theme. There are no announcements for this content update to be added to the other versions.

An online sequel, Fallout Shelter Online, was released in 2019 for select markets.


Fallout Shelter is a simulation game in which the player runs a Vault-Tec Corporation vault as the overseer. As the overseer, one controls all of the vault's functions including: power, food, water and the number of vault dwellers. To advance through the simulation one needs to increase the size of the vault by adding and upgrading new rooms, each with their own function and then adding dwellers to run each room.

Vault rooms[]

Living quarter 1 T1

Single Level 1 living room

Living quarter 3 T3

Triple Level 3 living room

Main article: Fallout Shelter rooms

Fallout Shelter contains 23 buildable rooms that are unlocked by increasing the number of vault dwellers. All rooms can have a limited number of dwellers assigned to it and each production room requires at least one dweller to run it. Each room built begins at tier one and can be upgraded with caps as far as tier three.

Each room requires a specific SPECIAL skill to run at its maximum efficiency. With production rooms, such as a power generator, it will produce and hold more power when upgraded but will take longer to produce unless more efficient dwellers are assigned there. Rooms can also be merged by placing an identical room next to it.

Merged rooms are larger and take longer to produce supplies and cost more to upgrade, but are also more efficient. Rooms must also be of the same tier level to merge and will merge automatically when built next to each other.


Main article: Vault dwellers

Vault dwellers are an essential part of the game and are required for: operating production rooms, reproducing, protecting the vault from raider and deathclaw attacks and scavenging the wasteland. To increase the vault dweller population, one can wait for them to show up at random, mate two dwellers, get them from lunchboxes, or produce a radio studio.

Each dweller will spawn with only a vault jumpsuit and their fists for a weapon. Basic dwellers start at Level 1 and can be upgraded up to Level 50 through working, preventing hazards and scavenging. Whenever a dweller levels up a number of caps are gained equal to their new level. All dwellers have their own individual S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes and are most commonly set between 1 and 3. SPECIAL attributes can also be boosted with SPECIAL rooms such as classrooms or armories.

Vault dwellers can also be acquired with additional levels, attributes, outfits and weapons if acquired through lunchboxes or exploring the wasteland. Many of the dwellers, weapons, outfits, and pets are featured from other Fallout games, most noticeably Fallout 3 and Fallout 4.

Putting two dwellers with the same surname in the living rooms or any of its upgrades will trigger a conversation between the characters citing "Nothing like hanging out at home with my family." Automated surnames of children are of their parent of the opposite gender, female offspring will follow the last name of the father, male offspring will follow the last name of the mother.



The Vault door

One can send up to 25 dwellers to explore the wasteland to obtain extra armor, outfits, weapons, recipes and caps. Dwellers will come across locations from Fallout 4 seen in the explorer's update logs. One can direct a dweller through the building to fight, explore and collect items to bring back to the vault. After returning, one can collect all the things discovered by the dweller in the wasteland. One can equip the dweller with stimpaks and RadAway from one's stock at the start of exploration. Also, a dweller will automatically return to the vault if they have collected 100 items. Dead dwellers can be revived, at the cost of caps.


Main article: Lunchbox

Lunchboxes are awarded upon completion of certain game objectives and are also available for purchase via micropayments. Each lunchbox allows the player to attain five cards, each card then allows players to attain either dwellers, weapons, outfits or resources. Though the in-game description states that "Each lunchbox is guaranteed to either have a dweller or a rare item and a guaranteed junk," +500 caps are also categorized as a rare item. Players could also obtain Common, Rare and/or Legendary dwellers through lunchboxes.

Item crafting[]

Junks and recipes can be collected from the wasteland or from lunchboxes, which can be used for crafting weapons and outfits via a weapon workshop and outfit workshop. By paying caps and junk, one can assemble items in the workshop. The duration of crafting varies. Some weapons and outfits can only be obtained via crafting. Each item will require different pieces of junk of varying rarity. Recipes may also need to be found to make certain items and better equipment requires rarer junk.


Once the player has at least 18 dwellers in their vault, they can build the Overseer's office, costing 1000 caps, and begin to send their dwellers out on specific quests with unique encounters and dialogue. These quests can range from simple one-offs, to multi-quest story lines. The game also offers seasonal quests related to holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Mysterious Stranger[]

FoS Mysterious Stranger

Occasionally, the Fallout 4 Mysterious Stranger jingle will play to signify that the Mysterious Stranger has appeared somewhere in the vault. Clicking on him within the short amount of time he is visible for results in a random amount of caps being given, sometimes a very large amount (possibly up to 5286). The vanishing jingle plays when he leaves. If the vibrations are turned on, a double vibration will indicate his arrival and a single vibration will indicate his departure.

If the sound is on, the tone will increase in volume as the screen centers on the Mysterious Stranger. If during the jingle, the player scans across the vault, it's possible to home in on his location via 'sonar'. If the player zooms all the way out with HD Zoom Out turned off, all dwellers, pets, and the Mysterious Stranger will be in front of all walls and/or obstacles, making it much easier to find him.

Development history[]

During development, the game was codenamed "Underground."[5] According to lead developer Todd Howard, several early designs had been pitched and rejected.[6] On November 5, 2009, John Carmack of Id Software said that, while it was nothing official yet, he had an internal proof of concept made for a Fallout iPhone game. Both Carmack and Bethesda's Todd Howard are fans of the platform and any iPhone game based on Bethesda's IP will likely be made as a joint project between id and Bethesda.[7] Carmack said that he will likely be personally involved in making the game, although currently he is too overloaded with work on other games. "At the very least I'm going to be providing code," he said.[8]

The game was a surprise release on June 14, 2015, during Bethesda's first E3 conference. It was announced at QuakeCon 2015 that the Android version would be released on August 13, 2015.[1] It featured new game updates, including the Mister Handy robot as an all new premium reward. Mister Handy can collect resources, be sent into the wasteland to collect loot, and serve as a defender of the vault against creatures and disasters, including all new deathclaw and mole rat infestations.

The game was made available for PC on July 14, 2016, and at first required the Bethesda.net launcher[9] to play.[10] The game was also made available for Xbox One on February 7, 2017, with cross-platform compatibility between Windows 10 and Xbox One. The biggest new feature for the game was the introduction of achievements, which can be obtained through completing the requirements for the achievement.

The game was released on Steam on March 29, 2017, with the same achievements as the ones that can be found on the Xbox version. Fallout Shelter surpassed 100 million users across phones, tablets, PC and Xbox One on September 14, 2017.[11]

Todd Howard announced at E3 on June 10, 2018, that the game had just been released for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch,[3] making it available on all major consoles at the time. As of June 2019, the game has grossed over $100,000,000.00 in revenue.[12] On June 11, 2018, Fallout Shelter was released on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch, and on May 20, 2020, Fallout Shelter was released on Tesla in-car entertainment system. In 2019, Bethesda announced plans for a "Fallout Shelter Online," which went on a beta testing period limited only to China. The game released further outside China to other Asian and Oceanic nations in 2020.


Fallout Shelter received a Metacritic rating of 63/100 on PC, 61/100 on Nintendo Switch, and 71/100 on iOS.[13][14][15] The game was awarded the 2016 D.I.C.E. Mobile Game of the Year and was nominated for the 2016 D.I.C.E. Strategy/Simulation Game of the Year.[16] The game was nominated for 2015 Best of E3 Handheld/Mobile Game as well as nominated for the 2016 NAVGTR Award for Best Game, Simulation.[16]

In 2018, Bethesda Softworks sued Behaviour Interactive and Warner Bros for copyright infringement and breach of contract, claiming that Warner Bros had released a similar Westworld themed game based on pre-release Fallout Shelter code.[5] This copyright infringement included the released Westworld product expressing bugs that were removed prior to Fallout Shelter's release and cite similarities in mechanics, animation and user design.


Other media[]

Behind the scenes[]

Developer quotes[]

[Fallout Shelter] was done by an outside studio [Behaviour Interactive] that did all the mechanics of it, and what they asked for from us was a series of questlets that Fallout Shelter would do and we wrote some extremely minimal dialogue. And... it wasn't actually dialogue, just little text pieces that would come up in the game. And put together some simple quest flow. And everybody in the department was asked to contribute a bunch of these and I was one of them. And so we would submit these and then they would implement them at the site.Bruce Nesmith[17]


Update 1.4[]

Update 1.6[]

Update 1.7[]

Update 1.8[]

2016 Thanksgiving[]

Windows 10/Xbox Platform release[]


Steam release[]

Intro slides[]


Official links[]