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Welcome to Megaton. The bomb is perfectly safe. We promise.Deputy Weld

Megaton is a fortified settlement in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. This shantytown is built around a crater with an undetonated megaton class atomic bomb at its center, after which the town is named. The town of Megaton is protected by large metal walls made from various scavenged materials, primarily the scraps of old pre-War airplanes, which were assembled and reforged together several decades ago by the founders of Megaton in an effort to make the town safer. With 28 named inhabitants, ten unnamed Megaton settlers, and four Children of the Atom, it is surpassed only by Rivet City in terms of population.[Non-game 1]



Megaton's crater was first settled by a large group of people who either worshiped the undetonated bomb or sought shelter in Vault 101, but was denied access because the vault dwellers were not allowed to leave or let anyone in as part of the vault's experiment. Locked out of the vault, these settlers, including Manya Vargas' grandfather, simply settled into the crater for protection against dust storms. After the storms died down, some people began to wander the wastes but would return to the crater to trade their scavenged goods. A generation later, the crater had turned into a full-on trade hub.[1] Vargas' father became wealthy on these caravan routes and eventually convinced others to build the scrap metal wall surrounding the town to repel raiders.[1]

Construction on the wall started in 2241. Early that year, raiders attacked the town, resulting in the death of the 14-year-old Colin Moriarty's father. After the raid, Moriarty inherited his father's wealth and his bar, Moriarty's Saloon.[Non-game 2][2]

Over the course of a couple of months, the residents of the town built the walls out of necessity; aircraft debris from an air station a few miles from the crater was the only material that remained and was readily available.[3][4][5] The creation of Megaton came at the expense of this old airport where now nothing else remains and most wastelanders are unaware that anything was once there to begin with. The bomb in the center of the crater remained there; when the wall was being erected, the settlement needed as much manpower as it could get and removing the bomb would have upset those that worshiped it, pushing them away. That is not to say a lot of other people felt it was best to not disturb it; it was not hurting anything and it could have adverse effects if transferred to another location.[6] The two factions ultimately struck an agreement to leave the bomb intact, and the Children of Atom were largely seen by the rest of Megaton's inhabitants as a harmless and eccentric cult who were free to worship and preach in the town.

First contact with Vault 101[]

In February 2241, an expeditionary party of Vault 101, led by Anne Palmer and sent by the overseer of the vault, made contact with the residents of Megaton. Initially, the locals were cautious of the strangers before eventually accepting and welcoming them into their settlement. Palmer appointed two vault residents, Agnes Taylor and Lewis, as vault ambassadors to Megaton.[7]

By the time of the expedition, the front gate of Megaton had been completed.[8]

Present day[]

In 2277, space is limited in the town, forcing many residents to live in the common house, a building that would usually be reserved for meetings and voting.[9] Lucas Simms is the self-appointed town sheriff and does not hesitate to throw anyone out if they cause trouble.[10][11] On the subject of trouble, Colin Moriarty runs the town saloon and has a less than decent reputation, keeping the drunks drunk and his employees in servitude. Moriarty has a line on everything that happens in Megaton and it all eventually gets back to him.[10][12]

In early 2277, a gang of raiders occupied nearby Springvale Elementary School, intending to tunnel from the school basement into Vault 101. A group, led by Boppo, staged a raid on Megaton, but the attack was foiled when Boppo was shot in the head and killed by Lucas Simms. The raiders did not leave the area, though, choosing to remain at the Springvale school in order to dig a tunnel into Vault 101. Their mining operation stopped when they opened a nest of giant ants.[13][14]

The same year, Vault 101 would open, and the Lone Wanderer would stop in Megaton in search of their father James, who himself earlier had come through the town during his own exodus. During their time here, the Lone Wanderer would meet Moira Brown, and start working with her to write the Wasteland Survival Guide.

Project Purity's activation[]

Gray paragraphs are based on the Fallout 3 guide epilogue and have not been confirmed by primary sources In the years following Lyons' Brotherhood's victory over the Enclave and recapture of Project Purity, Megaton prospered immensely. Following the death of Sheriff Lucas Simms, his son Harden took on the role. Moira Brown published and distributed her Wasteland Survival Guide across the expanse of the American wasteland by way of traveling caravans. By October 10, 2297, Brown was working on a new book, a compilation of "the best and most useful tales of the Lone Wanderer for the next generation."[15]


Megaton is split between the Children of Atom who largely congregate by their church in front of the unexploded bomb, and the rest of the residents who are otherwise typical wastelanders. Despite disagreements over religion, the two sides get along well, with the Megaton residents seeing the Children of Atom as an eccentric but harmless cult. The exception is Lucas Simms, who harbors reservations that the bomb might still go off.

Megaton's economy is based on being a major stop for the Capital Wasteland's merchant caravans, as it is a relatively safe and defensible location in the otherwise extremely hostile wasteland around DC. Thanks to the irradiated soil, Megaton trades for most of its food, though they do keep a single brahmin within the walls. They also have power and a functional water purifier, with pipes stretching around the town to provide clean water.

Megaton does not have a formal leadership. Instead, by the time the Lone Wanderer arrives it is down to two large personalities, that of the self-appointed Sheriff Lucas Simms, and the owner of a local saloon, Colin Moriarty. They do not have a group of dedicated guards, but Lucas Simms, Stockholm, Deputy Weld and Deputy Steel will defend the town.


The residents of Megaton feel safe behind their metal walls. Ironic, considering their proximity to a live atomic bomb.Fallout 3 loading screen

The city of Megaton has been built in a steep-walled crater around an undetonated atomic bomb, which rests in a small pond of radioactive water at the bottom of the depression. This gives the city two roughly circular levels centered on the bomb. The main gate consists of two old aircraft wings and is powered by a jet engine, which can be opened and closed to protect the town's only entrance/exit.

Following the entry path to the bottom of the depression, the Megaton clinic will be on the right and The Brass Lantern on the left. Just past the bomb to the right is the Children of Atom building and past it to the left lies Mister Burke's house. Confessor Cromwell will be found here standing in the puddle and sermonizing to random Megaton settlers.

Turning right immediately upon entering and following the lip of the crater counter-clockwise will lead past Lucas Simms' house, around the water processing plant, down to Craterside Supply, then back up to the men's restroom, Moriarty's Saloon and Billy Creel's house. Going down the ramp from there will lead around Nathan and Manya's house (a blue bus) and to the women's restroom. Craterside Supply can also be easily reached by taking the ramp directly to the right of the Megaton clinic.

Turning left instead of right at the upper lip will lead to a locked house (which is a reward from Lucas Simms for deactivating the central atomic bomb and will subsequently be renamed My Megaton house), followed by Jericho's house. From there, going down will lead to Lucy West's house while going around to the left will lead to the end of the righthand path.

The Megaton armory, only accessible by either picking the very hard lock or with Lucas Simm's key, can be reached by going up the ramp and around the Church of the Children of Atom to the right or by going down the hill starting from the back door of Moriarty's Saloon. Inside, the player character will face a strong opponent, Deputy Steel, a unique Mister Gutsy.

The common house can be reached by going around the women's restroom to the right or passing behind Moriarty's Saloon rather than going around the front past the entrance to the men's restroom. Just look for the couch sitting outside.

In front of the city, outside the walls, is a caravan stop; Micky the water beggar; and Deputy Weld. Behind the city, near the southwest corner, between a group of three scorched trees is the hollowed-out rock.

Megaton ruins[]

Revisiting Megaton's ruins after blowing it up in The Power of the Atom, the Lone Wanderer will find Deputy Weld's head with an orange (or purple) eye nearby, sticking out of a pile of debris. He says, ironically, "Welcome to Megaton. The bomb is perfectly safe. We promise. Please hold," in a garbled voice that sounds broken. The town will be completely inaccessible, as a high wall surrounds it. The sky will be green.

If the Wasteland Survival Guide quest has been started, Moira Brown will survive as a ghoul and show up to mention that she is relocating to Underworld. If the quest is not started, Moira can still be found in Underworld. If Jericho was hired and is following the player character at the time of the detonation, he will linger around the ruins for later recruitment. Detonating the bomb before retrieving the Strength Bobblehead will render it unobtainable. The area around Megaton will contain progressively higher levels of radiation closer to the town's ruins, up to 11 rads per second. Ground zero (only reachable using tcl) will count 26 rad/s.



Former residents
* Potentially, depending on quests completed.
** 0-1 prior ordinarily, 3-4 after completion of Holy Water, if Modified FEV was used during Take it Back! Broken Steel

Notable loot[]

Related quests[]


  • This is likely the first settlement the Lone Wanderer will encounter, due to Megaton's proximity to Vault 101 and the fact that Following in His Footsteps, which starts upon exiting the vault, begins with a directive to investigate the town.
  • The Strength bobblehead must be obtained before blowing up the town in the Power of the Atom quest, as the explosion will destroy Lucas Simms' house, rendering the bobblehead inaccessible.
  • If the player character has very good Karma, a Megaton settler will approach each day the Lone Wanderer is in Megaton (after around 8 AM) and provide a random item of loot, saying a randomized quote, including but not limited to, "I wish there were more people like you in the world." The gift can range from ammunition (around 10 to 20 of any standard type) to medical supplies (stimpaks, Rad-X, etc.) to packaged food. She will sprint from wherever she happens to be in town in order to approach; occasionally this action will not be triggered, but finding and talking to her will produce the appropriate dialogue. With very bad Karma, the same settler will approach and mutter insults instead of providing something.
  • Despite the completion of the Power of the Atom side-quest with the outcome of defusing the live atomic bomb, Megaton Settlers will still be rude to the Lone Wanderer if they attempt to speak to them. Karma does not affect their speech.
  • Wearing a Vault 101 jumpsuit when entering Megaton for the first time will lead Lucas Simms and the other named settlers to comment on it during the initial greeting. This special greeting does not occur when wearing the vault security, utility jumpsuit, or vault scientist coat.
  • Megaton will occasionally be attacked by various enemies when the Lone Wanderer approaches or leaves it. These are usually one or two raiders or giant ants but can be more dangerous enemies such as giant radscorpions. Usually, Deputy Weld can easily kill them, with the help of Stockholm and any merchant caravan that may happen to be in front of Megaton when the fight happens.
  • After The Waters of Life quest is complete, an Enclave vertibird may drop off some Enclave soldiers south of Megaton.
  • Looking up during Megaton's daytime will show a flock of birds circling the settlement.
  • If Megaton is blown up, the fast travel point will be renamed "Megaton Ruins."
  • Viewing Megaton Ruins, an eerie green glow will surround the wreckage, which will still be evident from places like Super-Duper Mart.
  • Megaton cannot be entered after it is destroyed, and getting very close will result in a significant dose of radiation.
  • The player character will likely encounter Megaton refugees after destroying Megaton; they are hostile on sight.
  • The first time the Lone Wanderer comes to Megaton, the gate is closed, but it opens upon approach. The gate never closes again after this.
  • Even after gaining access to the empty Megaton house, performing various tasks for the locals, and spending a significant amount of time in Megaton, the Lone Wanderer is still considered an outsider by the settlers in their conversations. In fact, nobody besides the Simms' family and Moira comments on anything remotely related to the fact that the Lone Wanderer has a permanent house there.
  • Megaton is an open environment, so fast travel is available into and out of town without going through the town gate.
  • There are additional unused sniper towers seen on the inside perimeter of the town, although they cannot be seen from the outside and there is no visible way to enter them.
  • It is possible to get to Stockholm by entering Lucas Simms' house, going through the trapdoor on the second floor, jumping on the fence on the roof, running along the fence, getting on top of the plane, running along the left side of the plane, and making a jump at the perfect time to land on the city walls. From here, carefully walk along the edge to his platform. Once up, it is possible to talk to him, and he will say he needs to keep his eyes open and wonder how the Lone Wanderer got up there.
  • In the Megaton clinic is a holotape that will start the Replicated Man quest. One can also talk to Doc Church and Moira Brown after listening to the holotape to complete the next steps in the quest.
  • A note found near the Museum of Witchcraft in Fallout 4 mentions Megaton, containing the vague statement of "looks like history repeats itself."
  • The sheriff's duster appears in Fallout: New Vegas and has a sheriff's star with the inscription Megaton.
  • The Atom sculpture on top of the Children of Atom building was built with materials scavenged from a Red Rocket establishment.[Non-game 3]


Megaton appears in Fallout 3 and is mentioned in Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4. In Fallout Shelter, it is mentioned in the description for sheriff's duster and as a question in the weekly quest Game Show Gauntlet.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In the Japanese version of Fallout 3, Burke is completely gone, and therefore, the quest to blow up Megaton has been completely removed due to its parallels to real historic events,[16] referring to the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
  • A "megaton" is a unit used to measure the force of an explosion, equivalent to that of a million tons of TNT.
  • In Fallout: Wasteland Warfare, it is mentioned that a bomber crash is what caused the crater and supplied some of the first materials for Megaton's wall,[Non-game 1] comporting with Manya's claims.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 After Broken Steel is installed, if you pick up the note from your door, after completing the quest Holy Water, the note will respawn every day. This can be very annoying, and it is recommended to receive the note from a settler. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Occasionally, the player will be shot at by the settlers of Megaton upon first entering, which can be rather troublesome for a low level character. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Rarely, after you fast travel to Megaton, a Brotherhood soldier may appear in the entrance of the city, a few seconds later he will leave the city. [verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes after you blow up Megaton, Harden Simms will still be walking around the outside of the ruins, and if you speak to him, he'll talk to you like nothing has happened. [verified]
  • PCPC Sometimes Megaton settlers refuse to sleep at night, rendering the Mister Sandman perk useless in the city. [verified]


Sign texture files[]

External links[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 The Lone Wanderer: "How did the town start?"
    Manya Vargas: "Well, originally, it started as a hole in the ground. My papi talked about how his father and the original settlers just hid in this crater. It was enough to keep them safe from the dust storms. When things cooled down and people started wandering into the Wastes, some stayed behind. The wanderers started coming back here to trade their stuff. By the time my papi was born, the town was a full on trading center. Papi got rich on the caravan routes and eventually convinced the others to build the walls to hold off the Raiders."
    The Lone Wanderer: "So it was just a collection of traders in the beginning?"
    Manya Vargas: "Not at first. It was a collection of people trying to get into the vault, people worshipping the bomb, and a few other refugees. Then the traders came. Now the caravans take care of most of the trading, but before they were set up, it was all Megaton. I worked on the caravans with my father for a while. That's how I met that worthless bag of liver spots I call a husband."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  2. Moriarty was born in 2227. 2227+14 + 2241. Combine this with the presence of the completed Megaton gate in the Vault 101 scouting reports later that year, and construction had to have begun in early 2241.
  3. The Lone Wanderer: "There are a lot of parts here for just one machine."
    Manya Vargas: "Good eye. You're right honey, there are. There was an air station a couple of miles from here. It'd been stripped of everything except the planes. My daddy got a bunch of people together to go out there, break apart the machines and drag back what we could use. It took 'em a couple of months. You can't even tell where the air station was anymore. The Wasteland just took it back."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  4. The Lone Wanderer: "What's this place made of?"
    Manya Vargas: "Long ago, before the war, there used to be machines they were like buses, but they flew through the sky, taking people anywhere they wanted to go. You didn't have to walk, you just went to the air station, bought a ticket, and took to the skies. Anywhere in the world, you just up and flew there. When the war happened, the machines started dropping from the sky. Everyone around here thinks that the bomb made the crater, but it didn't. The crater provided good cover from the dust storms and when my daddy and the rest of the town decided to build the walls, they used what they had."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  5. The Lone Wanderer: "Why build the walls out of some old flying machine?"
    Manya Vargas: "It's a hell of a lot easier than trying to find enough parts to build walls and houses from nothing. The scrap was there, why not use it? Besides, it's sturdy. It keeps the Raiders and the dust storms out. Not all of us had the luck to be born in a vault, you know."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  6. The Lone Wanderer: "So why didn't they move the bomb?"
    Manya Vargas: "Some of us wanted to. But the Church of Atom was just getting its start then. We needed their help to build the walls and clear the wreckage. If we'd have tried to move the bomb, they would have refused to help. Besides, a lot of people just wanted to leave it alone. It didn't seem to be hurting anything and who knows what would happen if we messed with it."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  7. Vault 101 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Report 2241-02-10
  8. Vault 101 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, 2241-02-10 Exhibit B
  9. The Lone Wanderer: "So anyone can live in Megaton?"
    Manya Vargas: "No. Space is limited these days. You see all of these people wandering around here? They live up in the common house and aren't really citizens. Most people around here keep one eye open around strangers, but me, I can spot a Raider spy at 100 meters. I'm not worried about it at all. But if having meetings and pretending to vote on things makes the others feel safer, so be it."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  10. 10.0 10.1 The Lone Wanderer: "Who's in charge around here?"
    Manya Vargas: "Well, technically, no one. But you can't put two people in a room together without one of them trying to govern the other. But it depends on who you ask. Lucas Simms appointed himself the Sheriff. He throws anyone out who causes too much trouble. But Colin Moriarty runs just about everything else. Not much happens here that he doesn't know about. Or plan."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  11. The Lone Wanderer: "Tell me about Lucas Simms."
    Manya Vargas: "That man tries to bring law to this place. Lost cause if you ask me, but I respect his trying. He does seem to keep people in line though. Other than that weird cowboy thing of his, I don't have much to complain about."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  12. The Lone Wanderer: "Tell me about Colin Moriarty."
    Manya Vargas: "That man is the scum of the Earth. He keeps the drunks around here soaking in liquor and that poor Nova, that girl deserves better. And don't even get me started on how he treats Gob. Just because the boy looks dead doesn't mean that he should be treated like that. That man has his fingers in everything around here. Just watch what you say about him, it'll always get back."
    (Manya Vargas' dialogue)
  13. Springvale raider mining log
  14. Springvale school terminal entries; Terminal
  15. Afterward
  16. Official Xbox Magazine


  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout: Wasteland Warfare location description (Notable Settlements): "Megaton
    Megaton is one of the largest cities in the Capital Wasteland. It was built around a Megaton bomb that failed to detonate. The city exists in the crater made when a bomber plane crashed, and is mostly built from parts salvaged from that aircraft in the early days. That Megaton bomb itself is still active and could go off at any time. The people of Megaton have made peace with that and there are some that even worship the bomb."
    (FOWW Notable Settlements section.png)
  2. Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition p.66: "Colin Moriarty
    Moriarty, 50, has been here nearly his entire life. He claims that his grandfather helped found the original settlement a few years after the war. His father used the nearby trade routes to amass wealth, which is used to help secure Megaton. Colin inherited this wealth when his father was killed during a Raider attack when Colin was 14. Colin's first move was to build a fence around the town. Since then, the people have looked to Colin as a benefactor despite his running drinks, Chems, girls, and games out of his saloon. Simms turns a blind eye to Moriarty's activities, because he is acutely aware that the town needs Colin's support and resources."
    (Fallout 3 Official Game Guide Game of the Year Edition Wasteland Census)
  3. "The ubiquity of Red Rocket and their brand imagery has given it something of a mythic influence over people of the wasteland, turning it into an icon of the safety and prosperity of a vanished age. In Megaton, for example, the Church of the Atom building is topped with a Red Rocket sign scrounged from one station or another. Rumors also circulate of a massive vault, Vaultopolis, built beneath the company's headquarters building some time before the War."
    (Fallout 2d20 Core Rulebook)