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The Jackals are no more than a handful of scarred and tattooed reprobates, scraping out a living by preying on anything weaker than them.Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide p.44

The Jackals are a raider tribe with a profoundly savage and cannibalistic nature. The faction is active in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281.


A group of raiders that emerged from Vault 15 during the spring of 2141, the Jackals were commonly considered insane, with everything subjugated to one rule - survival.[1] Gray paragraphs are based on Van Buren and were not confirmed by primary sources The Jackals earned their reputation following a particularly bad winter storm that trapped the tribe and forced them to eat their own to survive. The cannibalism would become a defining trait of the tribe. Curiously, the Jackals never ate mutants. Allegedly, they found them unpalatable.[2] In the winter of that same year, three of these groups became roving gangs of raiders: the Jackals, the Vipers, and the Khans[3] The Jackals' founder and first leader is unknown; however, after their creation they began to raid Shady Sands.[4]

Although they remained a problem for years, the Jackals fled New California around 2155 after the Khans and NCR defeated and brutalized them.[1][5]

Gray paragraphs are based on Van Buren and were not confirmed by primary sources Around 2250, a small band of Jackals under the leadership of Banshee attacked the Boulder Dome, but were driven away.[2] Gray paragraphs are based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and were not confirmed by primary sources However, they managed to secure weapons and armor. Joining forces with Miles Reese, they fought against the Brotherhood of Steel in Texas. However, Banshee's death at Fort Worth dispersed the tribe, marking an end to their perhaps most glorious period in history.[6]

Isolated groups of the Jackals held out on the fringes of the NCR, though by 2281, the constant skirmishing with a militarily superior force reduced them to disorganized bands of petty bandits and highwaymen.[7] Their largest stronghold is the former Nevada Highway Patrol station, while small Jackal camps dot the landscape.[8]


The Jackals are a cannibalistic, savage raider tribe.[9] The Jackals commonly use group tactics to overwhelm their enemies, but due to a lack of coordination and cowardice, they will instantly retreat whenever they doubt they can win. Their bands shelter in various hideaways and fighting over spoils is not uncommon.[1]

Gray paragraphs are based on Van Buren and were not confirmed by primary sources Jackals tend to file their teeth and turn them into canines. Another marked trait of their tribe is cannibalism, imposed by their experiences. Many Jackals are desperate to find food, leading them to feigning death or retreating temporarily from combat, just to be able to claim the bodies afterwards. As mentioned, they hate mutants, because they cannot eat them.

By 2281, they lost most unique aspects of their culture. Jackals are disorganized, banding into small groups under a strong leader. They salvage what they can, but their lack of skills in anything but combat leads to their being a violent, short life.[8]

Outside relations[]

Being raiders, the Jackals have few positive relations. Although they come from the same Vault, their hate for the Khans and Vipers is particularly strong. Jackals find Khans less tolerable than the Vipers, but hatred was not a substitute for combat prowess, culminating in their defeat at the hands of the Khans around 2125.[10] The Jackals failed to form any positive relationship with the NCR. Brutalized and pushed deep into the hostile deserts of the Mojave, the raider tribe became a motley band of petty bandits, hostile to all but themselves.[7]


Little is known about the Jackals' technological level while they operated in New California. However, by 2281, the remnants of the raider tribe are pure scavengers, relying on whatever firearms and armor they can lay their hands on. Whatever gear they have is usually in a state of disrepair, matching the owners' dirty, disheveled looks.[8]

They generally use unarmed and melee weapons, but some members will occasionally use basic firearms such as 10mm pistols and cowboy repeaters. Most members will wear regular clothes with little or no armoring, while group leaders wear metal armor. Other items such as foodstuffs and chems can be looted off of dead Jackals.


The Jackals appear only in Fallout: New Vegas. They were initially meant to be included in Fallout, but were eventually cut, and are only mentioned by Ian.[4] They were also to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle Studios, as well as in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2.

Behind the scenes[]

The Jackals were even less-developed [than the Vipers], so named because they were scavengers: Not just tech scavengers looking for bits of useful trash from the old world, but scavenging remains, trash, discards from other tribes or communities, including sometimes people who were exiled or lost.Jesse Heinig on Twitter



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Fallout Bible 6 Raiders in general: "The Jackals: The first clan, the Jackals, is your typical group of crazies. They have no morals except one: survival. They use group tactics to overmatch their enemies. They are craven cowards, though, and will not attack unless they know they can win. They band together in their hideaway and fight over the spoils."
    "All of these raider groups officially exist in the Fallout universe, though only the Khans are in southern California at the start of Fallout 1. The handful of Vipers that survived Rhombus' campaign of extermination in 2155 fled North and East, following the same path the Jackals took after they had their asses handed to them by the Khans thirty years before."
  2. 2.0 2.1 Boulder design document, Van Buren
  3. Fallout Bible 3 Timeline repair: Second strike: "2141 Winter Raiders begin to form in the region as food supplies run low. The Khans and the Vipers begin terrorizing local settlements."
    Note: The date presented by Chris Avellone in the timeline draft is incorrect. Shady Sands is specifically stated to have been founded by Aradesh's ancestor in the game. If it was founded in 2141, then Aradesh would be the founder. There is also no mention of the people of Shady Sands coming out of a Vault, which is inconsistent with the relatively recent founding date. Finally, as the Vipers, Jackals, and Khans emerged out of Vault 15 together, it's impossible for them to raid the Hub in 2125, sixteen years before their emergence. The date is based on the Fallout Bible 6: "64 years ago [in 2097], a man named Jonathan Faust led his group of about 200 people from the overcrowded Vault into the wastes of the outside. It was there that his small band came to a small oasis in the middle of the desert. In the middle of this oasis was a large pit, almost like a crater. While resting and setting up camp, Faust decided to look into the pit. Darkness greeted him.
    When a member of the band called out to him, Faust turned, startled, and slipped into the Pit. He slid down twenty feet and then fell another 20 and broke his leg in the process. As he lay there dazed, a half dozen gigantic Pit Vipers slithered toward him. Not knowing what these things were, Faust was terrified. The group above heard one loud scream and then nothing. Three others went to look for him, but never came out.
    The small band, leaderless and stuck in the desert with no food and water, decided to stay at the oasis, at least for a little while. They covered the pit with a tarp and nailed spikes around it to keep whatever horror lived there encased there. They then set up their camp as far from the Pit as possible. Whatever was down in the Pit never bothered them. Days passed. The more influential of the group argued about what they were to do. There was talk of joining up with others from the Vault. There was talk about going back to the Vault."
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Vault Dweller: "{116}{}{Can you tell me about the bandits?}"
    Ian: "{120}{}{There are several. They come from various groups. They steal our food and occasionally shoot a few people. Seth organized the guards to help fight them off.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{122}{}{There are different groups? Who are they all?}"
    Ian: "{128}{}{There are three groups: the Khans, the Vipers, and the Jackals. They pretty much hate each other, but they all raid Shady Sands.}"
  5. The Courier: "Colonel Moore's "way"?"
    Hanlon: "The colonel is an effective commander - one of the best - but she sharpened her claws on the Vipers and the old Jackals. Did four tours against the Brotherhood, too. She used to be ranger until an injury took her out of action. Happens to a lot of us, unfortunately. She's better at making graves than making friends. Bring in Moore and the earth will be razed. Fields will be salted."
    (Hanlon's dialogue)
  6. Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2 design document
  7. 7.0 7.1 Fallout: New Vegas loading screens: "Brutalized by the NCR, the once-legendary Vipers and Jackals gangs have become little more than opportunistic, petty raiders."
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Fallout: New Vegas
  9. "The Origins of Fallout", page 8 by Scott Campbell
  10. Fallout Bible 6: "Animosity: Both the Khans and the Jackals hate the Vipers, but the Khans and Jackals hate each other more than the Vipers, so there is a nice little hatred pecking order going on."