"City of the Dead"
Nipton was a wicked place, debased and corrupt. It served all comers, as 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, ravaged by Caesar's Legion in 2281.

Ranger Ghost, an NCR sniper found on the roof of the compound at the Mojave Outpost, will ask the Courier to investigate the lack of traffic from the town, noting the visible smoke from the town's direction.


A town in San Bernardino County, California, Nipton was originally founded on February 9, 1905, as a stop on the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad. Originally called "Nippeno Camp" following a nearby discovery of gold, the name was changed to Nipton when the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad merged with the Union Pacific Railroad around 1910. In addition to being a cattle-loading station for several local ranches, the town and depot also supplied numerous mines in the area, becoming a social center for the sparse population of the region.[1] It eventually became a tourist destination, offering hikers and travelers a place to restock, park their RVs and set up their tents. Those willing to test their luck could partake in the California state lottery and potentially win a jackpot worth millions of dollars.

It would remain a small town even after the Great War, wholly due to Robert House's defense of Las Vegas. In the 23rd century, it gained a seedy reputation under the leadership of Mayor Joseph B. Steyn, where prostitution and thievery thrived under the dubious leadership of the one-time Hub crook. Following the NCR Correctional Facility prison break, Steyn extended a hand to the Powder Gangers letting them know Nipton was open for trade. Steyn was able to arrange servicing NCR soldiers in the night and Powder Gangers in the day and keep the two separated.[2] The town's undoing came when 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 used his small Legion force to round up the residents along with the aforementioned groups, including the mayor. What followed was a massacre. Those who resisted were shot. Those that did not were subjected to a lottery. Using lottery tickets, the fate of those gathered was decided. The lucky losers were decapitated, followed by crucifixions, enslavement for third place winners, crippling for the runner-up, Boxcars, and freedom for Oliver Swanick, the sole winner.[4][5] The mayor was burned to death on a pile of tires after his ticket was called.[6] The lack of intervention or response on the part of the New California Republic communicates to the local Brotherhood of Steel chapter that the NCR is unwilling or unable to do so.[7]


By approaching from either direction along Nevada State Route 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. 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 on sight.

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.

The Nipton General Store is 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. To the left of the town hall, one will find the Nipton Hotel, a small building with four NCR trooper corpses dumped unceremoniously inside.

There are several houses available for the player character to explore. The house with the sandbags in front of it is heavily booby-trapped. Inside, one can find are frag mines in the corner of the living room, kitchen, and bathroom. Both doorways conceal shotgun traps. There is a cage with three bark scorpions directly inside the house. There is an Easy locked safe with a grenade rifle inside, but if the pressure plate to the front of it is triggered, the scorpions will be released. The Average locked cabinet in the kitchen contains some provisions, as well as a dead Legion recruit with a machete, armor, and helmet. A campfire can be found in the Good Luck trailer park, located on the southmost end of town.

In the house to the southeast of the town hall, a prototype Mister Gutsy can be found. The terminal in the house states that the previous owner had two, but only one is found. The house contains a few damaged weapons, including two .357 Magnum revolvers, a plasma pistol, a laser rifle. The house also has various metal/electronic parts and items needed for weapon repair kits, including wrenches, scrap metal, wonderglue, and duct tape.


Notable loot

Nipton Town Hall

Main article: Nipton Town Hall
  • 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.

Other locations

  • A note titled Declaration of Vital Essence - Inside the heavily booby-trapped Nipton home with sandbags lined up in front of it, directly east of Nipton General Store. This note can be found in the tool cabinet in the kitchen.
  • Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap - In the wooden house directly south of Nipton General Store, on the bookshelf next to the Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle in the bedroom.
  • 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.
  • A larger than usual red plate - On the table right after entering one of the Nipton Houses. Taking the plate and dropping it once will keep it the same unusual size, but picking it up and dropping it again will cause it to become a normal-sized red plate.

Related quests


  • The Courier can't 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 has a limp.


Nipton appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

  • Nipton is based on the real world location of Nipton, California. Similar to the in-game equivalent, it is located near the state line. In addition, many physical features bear a resemblance, including the proximity to railroad tracks, trailer park, general store, hotel, and signage.
  • 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.
  • The real world State of Nevada has never had a state lottery. A provision in the original 1864 state constitution prohibits state-run lotteries. This statute has remained in effect due to the state's gambling industry lobbying against such a lottery due to fears of competition. However, as the real world town of Nipton straddles the state line of Nevada and California, to the current day, the town experiences a large influx of individuals each time a large lottery drawing approaches.[8]
  • 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.


  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png There's 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 much be loaded.[verified]
  • Icon pc.png Icon xbox360.png 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]
  • Icon ps3.png 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]
  • Icon pc.png Icon ps3.png The people on the crosses 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]
  • Icon pc.png 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. Nipton, California on Wikipedia
  2. Nipton terminal entries, Mayor Steyn's terminal, prison break
  3. Nipton terminal entries, Mayor Steyn's terminal, high roller
  4. 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. The 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)
  6. 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)
  7. Brotherhood scout report
  8. Nipton, California tourism
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