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"City of the Dead"
Nipton was a wicked place, debased and corrupt. It served all comers, so long as they paid. Profligate troops, Powder Gangers, men of the Legion such as myself - the people here didn't care. It was a town of whores. For a pittance, the town agreed to lead those it had sheltered into a trap. Only when I sprang it did they realize they were caught inside it, too.Vulpes Inculta

Nipton is a small town located in southern Mojave Wasteland, attacked by Caesar's Legion.


A town near the state line of Nevada and California, transected by north-south bound railroad tracks. The town hosted a lottery before the war, offering those who purchased tickets a chance at a jackpot worth millions of dollars.

After the Great War, it was led by Mayor Joseph B. Steyn.[1] Following the NCR Correctional Facility prison break, Steyn extended a hand to the Powder Gangers letting them know Nipton was open for trade.[2] Steyn was able to arrange peace by extending invitations to NCR soldiers at night and Powder Gangers in the day to keep the two separated.[2] Steyn arranged a deal with Caesar's Legion to turn over both NCR soldiers and Powder Gangers to Vulpes Inculta in return for 8,000 caps.[3]

Instead, Vulpes and the Legion forces rounded up the residents and aforementioned groups including the mayor, subjecting them to a lottery.[4] Using lottery tickets, the fate of those gathered was decided, and what followed was a massacre.[5] The lottery tickets determined who was decapitated, crucified, or enslaved.[4] The runner-up ticket resulted in crippling for Boxcars, and the winner Oliver Swanick was granted his freedom.[4][6] Mayor Steyn was burned to death on a pile of tires after his ticket was called.[7] In the aftermath, the lack of intervention on the part of the New California Republic communicated to the local Brotherhood of Steel chapter that the NCR was unwilling or unable to respond.[8]


By approaching from either direction along Nevada 164, the player character may be greeted by Oliver Swanick, an ex-Powder Ganger. Swanick won the lottery, resulting in the Legion sparing his life. As the player character approaches the town hall, Vulpes Inculta (or alternatively Gabban if Vulpes is killed before the player character enters Nipton) either greets them or becomes hostile if they are wearing an outfit that aligns them with the NCR. Venturing through the settlement, the player character will see multiple crosses with the remains of the lottery's losers. The rest of the town is in ruins and actively burning.

Outside of Nipton Hall are several crucifixes, along with skulls on a post, and a pyre. Behind the hall are a water tower and a water pump which causes minor radiation damage. Vulpes Inculta meets the Courier outside of the hall and tells them to spread the word of Caesar's Legion's atrocities.[Non-game 1][Non-game 2] After speaking to him, the quest Cold, Cold Heart begins. Alternatively, if the Courier is clothed in NCR faction armor, Vulpes and the other legionaries will be hostile and attack.


  • Nipton General Store: Located close to the western side of town. A man named Boxcars sits inside and will speak about what happened, opening up the quest Booted.
  • Nipton Town Hall: Inside the hall itself, one will find many Legion mongrels. They are automatically hostile if the player character does not have the Animal Friend perk, even if dressed as a member of Caesar's Legion. Killing the mongrels does not give the player character Legion Infamy.
  • Nipton Hotel: To the left of the town hall, a small building with four NCR trooper corpses dumped inside.
  • Nipton house: Several houses available for the player character to explore.
  • Good Luck trailer park: A small trailer park in the southeastern part of town.

Notable loot

  • Worn key - Upon entering Nipton Town Hall, directly to the right, behind the counter. There is a mine behind the counter. The key unlocks the first door on the right down the hall, which leads to a basement.
  • Big Book of Science - On the town hall's third floor, in the mayor's office on the desk.
  • Nuka-Cola Victory - Behind the Average locked door in the mayor's office on a shelf.
  • Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap - On the main road to the east of Nipton, across the train tracks, inside a wrecked truck with a Sunset Sarsaparilla case. The star bottle cap is laying on top. The traffic cones here are booby-trapped with mines.

Related quests


  • The Courier cannot free the crucified people without killing them unless they use the Ranger Takedown. Killing them will not incur a loss or gain of Karma, nor will it affect their reputation. The only individuals seen on crosses are members of the Powder Gangers. If the Ranger Takedown is used, their only dialogue with the Courier is "I have to get going."
  • Some companions will comment on the crucified townsfolk. Cass, for example, will ask, "Should we cut the people down?"
  • The Mister Gutsy robot respawns after about three hours of in-game time. This can be an issue if the Courier is using the house as storage.
  • The background music is City of the Dead which had been originally used for Necropolis in Fallout and Navarro or Vault 15 in Fallout 2.
  • A bark scorpion may randomly spawn upon returning via fast travel. If the crucified Powder Gangers are alive, it may approach each one of them, and sting them by attacking the post. The Powder Ganger will then fall to the ground.
  • Legion mongrels may respawn but will be friendly.
  • The Courier can walk through the flames in town without suffering damage.
  • In spite of Vulpes Inculta's claim that the townsfolk were passive and cowardly, there are signs in one of the houses and in the trailer park area that at least some of the citizens fought back and killed several legionaries. Such examples consist of one deceased citizen who wielded a laser rifle with an ash pile in front of him bearing the remains of a legionary recruit.
  • Even though both of Boxcars' legs are crippled from the lottery, he will stand up and engage in combat if attacked but moves with a limp.


Nipton appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

  • Nipton is a real world town of the same name in California.
  • The two state line roadsigns directly outside of Nipton exist in the real world but are located at the south end of the real world Primm along I-15. Until 2021, the signs resembled the in-game versions.
  • The Declaration of Vital Essence may be a tongue-in-cheek reference to the film Dr. Strangelove, in which the character of Gen. Jack Ripper is highly and vocally paranoid about guarding his "precious bodily fluids" and "Purity of Essence." Admittedly, in the film, he spoke of his essence as though he were referring to his own vigor "in the bedroom."
  • Wild Wasteland With the Wild Wasteland trait, in front of a destroyed building near the eastern entrance of the town, the charred skeletal remains of two people named, respectively, Owen and Beru can be found. This is a reference to a famous scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, in which Luke Skywalker returns home to find that his uncle and aunt of the same names have been incinerated in a similar fashion by stormtroopers.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 There is a glitch that prevents the player character from being able to speak with Vulpes Inculta, even when he triggers the conversation. The camera will zoom in on him as it would usually do when initiating conversation, but will then quickly retract, bringing the player character back into control. Reloading doesn't seem to fix this issue. To fix this issue, an earlier save must be loaded.[verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes, when fast traveling to Nipton, the player character may find a crucified prospector instead of a Powder Ganger. He can't be removed from the cross but he can be interacted with. He will most likely be killed by the bark scorpions by the next time the player character travels there. [verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Standing near the entrance of the town hall may trigger an attack from a Jackal gang member. It is unknown whether or not this attack was scripted, or if the member had simply walked close enough to detect the player character. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 The crucified victims can be removed from them in the event that the player character enters and suddenly exits the town hall. They will not move, instead standing still in front of the crosses. Some can be interacted with and some can be pickpocketed. [verified]
  • PCPC A generalized version of the above can be experienced, with the game freezing or crashing upon leaving Nipton in any direction, either on foot or by fast traveling. This tends to happen after a prolonged period of play.[verified]



  1. The Courier: "What exactly happened here?"
    Vulpes Inculta: "Nipton was a wicked place, debased and corrupt. It served all comers, so long as they paid. Profligate troops, Powder Gangers, men of the Legion such as myself - the people here didn't care. It was a town of whores. For a pittance, the town agreed to lead those it had sheltered into a trap. Only when I sprang it did they realize they were caught inside it, too."
    (Vulpes Inculta's dialogue)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Nipton terminal entries, Mayor Steyn's terminal, prison break
  3. Nipton terminal entries, Mayor Steyn's terminal, high roller
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Courier: "How'd your plan go wrong?"
    Boxcars: "We get in position and next thing we know, we're surrounded by those fucking Legion freaks.They dragged us and everybody else into the center of town. And that asshole with a dog on his head, he starts talking about how we're bad people! He said we needed to be punished for what we did, not all of us, but some of us. And then he gives everyone a fucking lottery ticket..."
    The Courier: "What happened after everyone got lottery tickets?"
    Boxcars: "What do you think? He started drawing tickets, and that's how people got punished. First up was the "lucky losers." They got decapitated - guess that's "lucky" because it's pretty quick. Then came the crucifixions. Goddamn but those went on and on and on... Third-place runners-up got enslaved. I got the fuck beat out of my legs, and the winner they let go free."
    (Boxcars' dialogue)
  5. Caesar: "You spread word of the massacre of Nipton, just like Vulpes asked you."
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  6. Courier: "How did you survive?"
    Boxcars: "Luck, that's how! I'm just that fucking lucky! You're looking at the second place winner of the Nipton lottery! That asshole Swanick took first place, so him they let walk!"
    (Boxcars' dialogue)
  7. The Courier: "What happened to the mayor?"
    Boxcars: "Him? When his ticket came up, they burned him alive on a pile of tires."
    (Boxcars' dialogue)
  8. Brotherhood scout report


  1. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 391-393: "Nipton
    "Forces of Caesar's Legion, under the command of Vulpes Inculta, have swept around the poorly defended Camp Searchlight [6.16] to sack Nipton and kill every living creature within. Ironically, this camp had previously been terrorized by Powder Gangers, who were routing the regular population before they fell to the Machetes and bloodlust. The signs of devastation are obvious from outside this settlement; black smoke rises from the town, corpses are strewn on pyres, and victims crucified to telephone poles."
  2. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p. 393: Nipton Town Hall
    "This structure is where Vulpes Inculta and his Legionaries are camped, although they're about to move back to The Fort."