The Nellis Air Force Base, also known as the Nellis homeland, is a prominent location northeast of New Vegas in the Mojave Wasteland in 2281. A pre-War United States Air Force base that was once the United States Air Force warfare center, after the Great War it became the home of the Boomers, a xenophobic group who were originally inhabitants of Vault 34.
Originally called the Las Vegas Air Force Base, it was renamed the Nellis Air Force Base on April 30, 1950, in honor of William Harrell Nellis, a United States Air Force fighter pilot and Nevada native. In 2077, during the Great War, Nellis was struck by several atomic warheads (most of the only warheads to hit the Mojave Wasteland), killing all of the inhabitants and leaving the base highly radioactive. Over the following decades, wastelanders avoided Nellis by habit due to the radiation levels, leaving it empty and desolate.
In 2231, the Boomers, who had departed from Vault 34 and walked the wastes seeking a new refuge, came across the Nellis Air Force Base and settled there. Their Pip-Boy Geiger counters indicated that the base was still somewhat radioactive, but not dangerously so, as enough time had passed for many of the isotopes to have effectively degraded. They began using the base's remaining defensive structures and their own stockpile of heavy arms, retrieved from Area 2, to keep any strangers from setting foot anywhere nearby ever since.
The base is mostly self-sufficient, growing its own crops using water pumped from Lake Mead, with basic nourishment provided by grains and green vegetables, while protein is provided by soy and legumes. Maize is also used to produce fuel in its biodiesel refinery, while power is provided by the Nellis solar array and its generator. Boomers also receive a rudimentary education, covering farming and combat, and have access to the base's medical facilities.
Boomers use pre-War virtual reality (VR) pilot training stations to train themselves for the day when they will take to the skies, as their fascination with aerial combat grew during their time at the base. This dream stems from Loyal's finding of a file concerning the crashed B-29 bomber in Lake Mead, which the Boomers plan to recover and use for their growth as a people and culture.
Nellis' location is discreet and well-defended, most accessible by a cracked and cratered road littered with signs suggesting that entrance into the area is strictly forbidden to all outsiders. The front gate is vigilantly guarded day and night by a howitzer team, meaning that Nellis' main entrance can only be approached from two different locations, with the most notable one being via the old road leading east from the Fields' shack. When approaching from the old road, the Courier may encounter George, who provides the Nellis artillery timing details note. The second approach can be accessed by an unmarked train tunnel (with two Very Hard locks) located east of Raul's shack.
Upon entering the base, the most obvious structures are the control tower and the hangars to the west. Two runways stretch parallel to the east, occupying the majority of the base's territory. The Boomers have made good use of the land between them, converting a parcel into an irrigated farm plot, and just north of the farm, is the Nellis array, which provides power for the entire facility via solar panels. Along the northeast corner of the fencing is a graveyard that cannot be looted.
One hangar houses the remaining parts of a B-29 bomber, while the other is used to house the virtual reality terminals, used to train pilots, and doubling as a mess hall and storage area.
Quonset huts and shacks on the west side of the base provide living quarters, as well as medical and educational facilities. Pearl and Loyal have their own separate homes, while the rest of the Boomers make do with segregated barracks. The Nellis Boomer museum is also located among the eastern Quonset huts, with a nearby biodiesel storage hut near the crane and tracks.
- Nellis Air Force Base snow globe - Inside of the Nellis Boomer museum
- Howitzer firing mechanism - In one of the gun cabinets inside of the Nellis workshop
- Duck and Cover! - Can be stolen from inside Pearl's barracks, among the books on the hanging bookshelf behind the sofa
- Dean's Electronics - Can be stolen from inside Loyal's house on the table
- A Fat Man and three mini nukes - Carried by a Boomer near one of three tents southeast of the mess hall & munitions storage hangar. Two mini nukes can be found on the bottom floor of the Nellis array on the shelves, while another mini nuke can be stolen from the Boomers' munition store, inside of a wooden box on the top shelf
- Thump-Thump - Can be found in the Nellis array generator building bottom floor next to a skeleton and to the left of the ant mound, along with 12 rounds of 40mm grenade ammo
- The base's biodiesel refinery has 102 maize inside - Located north-northeast of the Nellis Boomer museum
- Two Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps - Found on a table in the mess hall among other bottle caps
- A key to a Very Hard locked gun case for the Vault 34 armory, used to open the pulse gun's gun case - Located in a filing cabinet within Pearl's barracks
- Rebreather - Made by Jack during Volare!
- Ant Misbehavin'
- I Could Make You Care
- I Hear You Knocking
- Render Unto Caesar
- Still in the Dark
- Sunshine Boogie
- The House Always Wins, III
- Things That Go Boom
- Wild Card: Side Bets
- Young Hearts
- Bear Necessities
- Highway to the Danger Zone
- Iron and Stealing
- Malleable Mini Boomer Minds
- Missing a Few Missiles
- Old School Ghoul
- Suits You, Sarah
- On the way to Nellis by the old road (before the bombardment), a man named George will approach the Courier and make a wager of 300 caps should they survive the bombardment. If a Barter check of 40 is passed, he will only need to be given 200 caps, although the new wager nets fewer caps upon completion (600 vs 400).
- Optionally, upon returning back after the bombardment, if a Speech check of 60 is passed, the Courier may threaten to have the Boomers change their target trajectory, causing George to add an additional 100 caps to the wager.
- If the Courier bets 300 caps, returns to George from Nellis, and has a speech check of 60 without the use of a skill magazine, the Courier may convince George to front 1,000 caps, a profit of 700 caps.
- There are several ways to safely get past the artillery, see Highway to the Danger Zone.
- If Jack is given scrap metal, it will increase fame with Nellis. Should enough be given (about fifty units), an instant Idolized status with the Boomers will be gained.
- If the Boomer with the Fat Man is killed, they will eventually re-spawn, acting as a source of infinite Fat Men and mini nukes.
- There are two Brotherhood of Steel paladins in the ruins of the town, who will have been shelled to death by the time the Courier reaches them. They play a part in the Still in the Dark quest; one of them carries a mission statement that Elder McNamara wants.
- With Veronica as a companion during Pete's narration of the Boomers' history, she will comment on the similarities between them and the Brotherhood, with the Boomers recognizing her affiliation with the group.
- If the Courier boasts to the front gate guard that they safely ran through the artillery field, the Boomers will comment on it.
- With Cass as a companion, Boomers will walk up to her and say, "Whatever you're selling, we have plenty of it."
- With ED-E as a companion, both Boomers and the Mister Gutsies in the base will comment "I can take care of your robot problem. Just saying."
- Nellis has by far the most children in the game, with a total of eight.
The Nellis Air Force Base appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- The Nellis Air Force Base is based on the real world location of Nellis Air Force base, located in northeast Las Vegas, Nevada. Many aspects of the in-game equivalent match those seen in real life, including a museum, large mural, style of barracks and hangars, solar array, entrance signage, and traffic control tower.
- The posters found for Nellis Air Force Base show an aircraft that bears a similarity to post World War II bombers such as the B-45 Tornado.
The guard that opens the gate may stand with his back turned and will not interact with the player character. [verified]
- To work around this, the player character can first provoke the Boomers by shooting the pacing guard and try to lure the guard that normally triggers the Boomer dialogue near the gate. If done quickly enough, the player character may then put away their weapon and be forgiven by the Boomer guards, and afterward talk to the guard near the fence to trigger the dialogue and proceed normally.
- This can be fixed by opening the console (~), selecting the gate by left-clicking it and typing unlock into the console. This will unlock the gate and allow the player character to walk in and initiate a conversation with the guard, then proceed normally from there.
- Artillery shelling may continue when near the Nellis fence and just inside the base. [verified]
- The script for artillery shelling may become bugged. Shelling will begin without a warning sound shortly after passing George near Fields' shack, and aside from brief reloading periods, will not end even when reaching the gate guard at Nellis. Fast travelling to Nellis thereafter will always result in shelling. [verification needed]
- At times, the textures and layout maps fail to load correctly, leaving any character or robot that wanders into the afflicted area stuck in the ground if it reverts to normal. [verified]
- There is a greenhouse that has planks nailed to the main door. It may be activated, but nothing will happen. [verified]
- If the gate to the entrance of the base is left open, some of the Mini Boomers may walk out and be attacked by the mortars. They will not die or even be affected by the missiles and will keep walking and never return. When the player character walks with them the mortars do not fire, but if 2-5 steps are taken away from them, the mortars will begin firing again. This can lead to the mortars firing huge distances, potentially all the way to the outer walls of New Vegas and beyond. [verified]
- At times, the guards at the front gate or in the guard towers will randomly attack, even at accepted status. [verified]
- Boomers will pile up just inside the west entrance/exit door of the mess hall & munitions storage, vibrating and stuttering off of each other. Companions will be "lodged" inside the cluster upon entrance, and it takes several minutes for them to work free. Sometimes upon exiting, the Boomers will all "burst free" and exit at the same time as the player character and their companions, to then roam the base normally. [verified]
- Heartache by the Number, and choosing to kill Alice McLafferty, which in turn can turn Janet from the Young Hearts quest (if she was brought to Nellis) hostile and force the Boomers to put her down at the player character's expense. [verified] Sometimes, after completing most or all of the quests for the Boomers and then making a trip back to the base, a random infamy gain will be incurred with the Boomers for no reason. None of the Boomers will be hostile, and no evidence or bodies of what could have happened can be found. It could possibly be caused by the completion of
- By going near the base, discovering it, and leaving it without approaching the Boomer who was firing the missiles, Raquel will appear later at some point (usually after fast traveling) and ask the player character to meet Mother Pearl. They will then be forced to go back to the base with her to see Mother Pearl. [verified]
- Female Boomers at Nellis may have facial hair, despite being female. [verified]
- Sometimes, nobody will ever come to the gate, leaving the rail tunnel as the only viable entrance. [verified]
- Raquel: "I'm Raquel, Master-At-Arms for the Nellis homeland. Mother Pearl, our Eldest, wishes to speak to you."
- The Courier: "I'm surprised Nellis was empty when your people found it."
Pete: "Several atomic warheads detonated here hundreds of years ago, leaving the base highly radioactive. The savages of the wastes, ignoramuses, all avoided Nellis by habit."
- The Courier: "What are howitzers doing at an Air Force Base?"
Pete: "You're right, they weren't here when we discovered Nellis! We found the guns at a huge weapon depot called Area 2, many miles from here! It took many weeks to drag the guns and their ammunition back to Nellis - and it was the last time any of us set foot beyond our homeland!"
- The Courier: " "
Pete: "[SUCCEEDED] Indeed we do! Very impressive."
- The Courier: "I guess poor nutrition could explain a lot of your behavior."
Pete: "Our nutrition is not deficient! We supplement our diet of grains and vegetables with soy and legumes for protein."
- The Courier: " "
Pete: "[FAILED] We are certainly not cannibals! We're not savages, like some people! We supplement grains and green vegetables with soy and legumes - that's how we get our protein!"
- The Courier: "What happens when they come of age?"
Boomer teacher: "All of us are trained in combat and farming from a very early age. When we reach adulthood, we serve in whatever capacity we are best suited."
(Nellis teacher's dialogue)
- The Courier: "How do you survive, totally cut off from the world?"
Pete: "Nellis is a completely self-sufficient community! We draw water from Lake Mead, solar arrays provide power, and we grow our own crops!"
- The Courier: "How has Nellis taught your people to fly?"
Pete: "Once we restored power, we learned that some elaborate chairs we'd been sleeping in were actually virtual reality simulators. Before you ask, I'm afraid there's no way you can be allowed to use the simulators. They are for our use only. Sorry."
- The Courier: "How did you learn where to find an old bomber?"
Pete: "Loyal found a file somewhere on the base, with magazine articles, photographs, a map, even. It seems that a bomber, apparently the 29th of its kind, crashed in Lake Mead on July 21st, 1948. Just imagine - that's over 300 years ago! The photographs showed that it was basically intact, and the map tells us exactly where to find it. Except we haven't left Nellis in decades."