Nellis Air Force Base is a location northeast of New Vegas in the Mojave Wasteland. It is a pre-War air force base that was once the United States Air Force Warfare Center and, after the war, became the home of the Boomers, a xenophobic group who were former occupants of Vault 34.
In 2077, during the Great War, Nellis was struck by several atomic warheads, killing all the inhabitants and leaving the base highly radioactive. Over the following decades, wastelanders avoided Nellis because of their fear of the radiation.
In 2231, the Boomers came across Nellis Air Force Base and settled there after sojourning the wastes looking for a new home. Their Pip-Boy Geiger counters indicated that the base was radioactive, but no longer dangerously so, unbeknownst to the wastelanders. Since settling, they have been 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.
Nellis' location is discreet and well-defended, most accessible by a cracked and cratered road littered with signs suggesting that entrance in to the area is strictly forbidden to all outsiders. The front gate is vigilantly guarded day and night by a howitzer team. Nellis Air Force Base's main entrance can be approached from two different locations, with the most notable one being via the old road leading east from Fields' shack. When approaching from the old road, the player character will encounter George, who provides the Nellis artillery timing details. The second approach can be accessed by the unmarked train tunnel (with a very hard lock) located east of Raul's Shack which avoids the dangerous artillery range entirely.
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 bases' territory. The Boomers have made good use of the land between them, converting a parcel into an irrigated farm plot. The pipes are connected to an inaccessible shack, implying they have access to reclamation facilities. 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 an unlootable graveyard.
One hangar houses the remaining parts of a B-29 bomber, while the other is used to house the VR terminals, used to train pilots. The building also serves as a mess hall and storage area. During the day, several important members of the Boomers can be found gathered here.
Quonset huts and shacks provide living quarters, medical, and educational facilities on the west side of the base. Pearl and Loyal have their own homes, while the rest of the Boomers make do with segregated barracks. Also, the Boomer Museum is located amongst the eastern Quonset huts. Of note is a bio-diesel storage hut near the crane and tracks, showing the Boomers' capabilities, despite their isolation.
- Nellis Air Force Base snow globe - inside the Nellis Boomer museum
- Howitzer firing mechanism - in one of the gun cabinets inside the Nellis workshop
- Duck and Cover! inside Pearl's barracks among the books on the hanging bookshelf behind the sofa; must be stolen
- Dean's Electronics inside Loyal's house on the table; must be stolen
- A Fat Man and three mini nukes - can be pick-pocketed from a Boomer while sleeping in one of three tents south-east of the Mess hall & munitions storage hangar. Alternatively, the Boomer can be stealthily killed (without loss of reputation) for the weapon. Two more mini nukes can be found on the bottom floor of the Nellis array on the shelves. Another mini nuke can be stolen from the Boomers' munition store. It is inside 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 bio-diesel refinery has 102 maize inside. Located north-north-east of the Nellis Boomer museum. Must be stolen.
- Two Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle caps - found on the south-eastern most table in the mess hall among other bottle caps
- A key to a locked gun case (very hard) in the armory of Vault 34 that can open the gun case for the pulse gun that can be found in a filing cabinet in Pearl's barracks.
- Several suits of combat armor can be stolen from the hangar where Loyal is found during the day. They are in metal boxes marked as armor case.
- There are at least nine skill magazines on the base, including six in the Nellis schoolhouse (three on the teacher's desk and three more in the desk). Copies of ¡La Fantoma!, Patriot's Cookbook, and Tæles of Chivalrie can be found in the Boomer museum.
- On the way there (before the bombardment), a man named George will make a wager on the player character getting back alive. His wager is 300 caps. If a Barter check of 40 is passed, he will only need to be given 200 caps. However, passing the Barter check actually nets less caps on the wager (600 vs 400).
- Optionally, upon returning back after the bombardment, if a Speech check of 60 is passed, the Courier may threaten /lie/ to have the Boomers change their target trajectory, forcing 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 1000 caps, a profit of 700 caps. If the courier uses Meeting People to increase their speech, the courier will only be able to double their money at whatever they waged earlier.
There are several methods of getting past the artillery:
- The artillery will always fire on the player character, regardless of Sneak skill or Stealth Boys, so run at all times.
- On Hardcore mode, companions are likely to die if they follow the player character. Having them wait outside the perimeter until making it through is the best course of action.
- When getting to Nellis AFB, the ideal way is to closely follow the rock wall on the left after going into the artillery field, and to not stop moving. When approaching the corner where the fence meets the rock wall, the shelling will stop. From there, the fence should be followed to the entrance.
- Turbo can be used as well, in order to move faster than the artillery shells. The downside is that the player character will need to have several hits of Turbo, and of course, there is the risk of addiction.
- Another way to easily get through is to hug the right rock wall while entering from the road, and running as fast as possible towards the locked railroad doors (very hard). Once the railroad doors are reached, turn around and continue hugging the right rock wall up the railroad tracks. This will eventually lead to the fence. Turn left and hug the fence until reaching the main gate.
- The aforementioned railroad doors come from some underground tracks which can be accessed from an entrance south-east of Raul's shack (Lockpick 100).
- Another simpler (yet more expensive) way is possible if one has a high enough DT or HP. This involves stocking up on stimpaks and using the hotkey wheel for easy access. Start by sprinting straight towards the fence upon leaving the small canyon, and use the stimpaks whenever hit. A high-level character can do this without expending many stimpaks.
- Wait out the bombardment method: A recess along the left side wall of rock cannot be hit by the shells. Run straight to it while staying close to the wall, then crouch and wait till the bombardment finishes. (Although the Boomer guard at the gate says he has the courier zeroed in all the time, the shells actually come from the north).
- If Jack is given scrap metal, it will increase fame with Nellis. If the player character gives enough (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 respawn, possibly being a source of infinite Fat Men and mini nukes. The respawn sequence takes about 3-5 in-game days.
- 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 Still in the Dark; one of them carries a statement that McNamara wants.
- In the far north east corner of the base is a makeshift graveyard. As with all graves, barely audible whispering can be heard while standing above them without the radio on.
- Although they will not bomb the player character once they have introduced themselves, or anybody wearing a Boomer flight/jumpsuit, Mini Boomers can occasionally be seen leaving or returning to the base while bombs rain down.
- The VR simulators in the second hangar cannot be used.
- With Veronica Santangelo as a companion during Pete's narration of the Boomers' history, she will comment on the similarities between them and the Brotherhood. The Boomers recognize her affiliation to the group.
- If the player character tells the guard that they ran through the artillery field, people 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.
- There are patrolling Mister Gutsy units around the base.
Nellis Air Force Base appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.
Behind the scenes
- Nellis Air Force Base was named in honor of Republic P-47 Thunderbolt Pilot 1st Lieutenant William Harrell Nellis, who was killed in WWII during the famous Battle of the Bulge after flying 70 missions and being shot down twice before.
- The real world Nellis Air Force Base, like the in-game version, has a large solar panel array allowing it to be almost completely self-sufficient in terms of electricity.
- 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. This is in keeping with the style of the game.
- PC The guard that opens the gate may stand with his back turned and will not interact with the player character.[verified]
- PC 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 conversation with the guard, then proceed normally from there.
- PC Shelling may continue when near the Nellis fence and just inside the base.[verified]
- Playstation 3 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]
- PC There is a greenhouse that has planks nailed to the main door. It may be activated, but nothing will happen.[verified]
- PC If the gate to the entrance of the air 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]
- PC At times, the guards at the front gate or in the guard towers will randomly attack, even at accepted status.[verified]
- Playstation 3 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]
- Xbox 360 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 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]
- Playstation 3 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]
- PC Female Boomers at Nellis may have facial hair, despite being female.[verified]
- Xbox 360 Sometimes, nobody will ever come to the gate, leaving the rail tunnel as the only viable entrance.[verified]
- Xbox 360 There is a howitzer near Raquel that sometimes when jumped on or walked over can send the player character flying into the sky, although it is enough height that when the Courier comes back down they will die.