Characters within the game range from enemies to your own citizens. Vault citizens are known as dwellers and players have taken to calling enemies invaders.
Rare and legendary dwellers are found in lunchboxes. Legendary dwellers arrive wearing a legendary outfit and a rare weapon. Rare and Legendary dwellers keep their outfit when entering the vault, rather than immediately switching to a vault suit.
There are 20 rare dwellers and 23 legendary dwellers to collect. Legendary dwellers are named after characters from Fallout 3 and Fallout 4. Legendary dwellers are found randomly through opening lunchboxes. Rare dwellers have a total sum of 29 SPECIAL points, with the exception of 3. Legendary dwellers have a total sum of 40 SPECIAL points.
Rare and legendary dwellers are not unique. A vault can have multiple rare and legendary dwellers of the same name. All rare and legendary dweller cards are equally likely to be found in a lunchbox, regardless of whether any rare and legendary dwellers are already in the vault.
Some legendary dwellers, such as Sarah Lyons, Three Dog and Preston Garvey, can be obtained by completing their respective quests from the Overseer's office.
Abraham Washington initially has an outfit that has no name and provides no bonuses. Despite the fact that the in-game Washington is wearing a blue shirt with a green pullover, the outfit's icon is the same white, long-sleeve, button-down shirt icon that a new dweller has before he is brought into the vault. This icon only appears in Abraham Washington's infobox; the outfit selection pane shows no icon, name, or bonus. If this outfit is replaced, it does not enter your inventory, and thus cannot be given to any dweller; Washington cannot return to this outfit once changed. UPDATE: This changed with the 1.5 release. Abraham Washington now comes equipped with Abraham's relaxedwear. If you previously changed his outfit, the relaxedwear appears in your inventory.
Characters' SPECIAL stats differentiate from their counterparts in other Fallout games. Characters may also be using referenced weapons that they normally wouldn't be using in their other respective appearances.
The original twenty legendary dwellers available in Fallout Shelter version 1.0 are based on characters from Fallout 3. Dwellers added through updates are either based on the Fallout series in general or Fallout 4. Mr. Handy and Preston Garvey were added in version 1.1, and the Mysterious Stranger and Piper were added in version 1.2. Old Longfellow was added in version 1.5, for a limited time you could obtain him in a special event started May 12th, plus 5 lunchboxes, but only in a single vault that you opened first when this event was launched.
The Mysterious Stranger only appears in the vault for a few seconds and will disappear after this time has passed or the player selects him to collect caps.
Bottle and Cappy may appear after being rescued from Raiders. They will increase happiness, and provide a few caps or Nuka-Cola Quantum when clicked on.