Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Unauthorized access of secure transport container. Starting self-destruct countdown under Dropkick protocol. Detonation in five minutes unless valid cancellation code received.— Automated system voice of secure transport container

The nuclear keycard is a miscellaneous item in Fallout 76.


A crucial part of the automated nuclear missile silo network in Appalachia, nuclear keycards are required to unlock access to the launch console so that the launch code could be input. The receptacle in the missile control rooms would destroy the keycard regardless of whether the correct code was entered or not. This limitation was intended to limit the amount of nuclear weapons any single officer had at their disposal and the supply of keycards in case of escalation would be delivered by automated couriers of the Strategic Air Command.[1]

Convoys were set by the SAC to occur should the automated system monitoring Appalachia deem it necessary, based on the aggregate DEFCON rating. The Enclave under President Thomas Eckhart deliberately released various horrors upon Appalachia to trick the system into raising the DEFCON rating, starting with Chinese Liberators and ending with scorchbeasts.[2]


Nuclear keycards can only be found in secure transport containers carried by SAC cargobots. Locations for these cargobots can be found through the repeatable Hide and Seek and Destroy quest obtained at The Whitespring bunker. However, the cargobot will be protected by up to three SAC vertibots, so they will have to be destroyed to ensure safe destruction of the cargobot to attain the nuclear keycard. The cargobot also has the intent of flying around haphazardly, making it difficult to hit, but if its thrusters are damaged, its movement is severely impeded. The container is also booby-trapped with a self-destruct mechanism once the lock is picked, set to detonate within five minutes. Player characters need to grab the nuclear keycard and other cargo and get clear of the container before it blows, as the explosion carries the force of a mini nuke, similar to a sentry bot or car exploding. Luckily, the container carries an audio countdown to warn how long is left before it blows, counting down the last 10 seconds before self-destructing.


  • Though picking the lock on the cargo box containing the keycard is considered stealing, those who loot from this container will not receive a bounty, unlike when picking a lock owned by a player.
  • The loot in the container is instanced and can be looted by multiple players.


See also


  1. The Whitespring bunker nuclear training: "Greeting, general. Welcome to your nuclear launch training session. Over the course of the next four posters, you'll be taught everything you need to know about utilizing the Appalachian Automated Launch system. During your briefing, you should've been issued a Nuclear Keycard. During an actual launch, you will need to insert the card into the designated slot before entering your launch code, at which point the keycard will be consumed. Additional card drops will be brought in by automated convoy should the DEFCON rating continue to worsen. You may speak to your logistics officer as to the location of the pick-up for your additional cards, should the circumstances arise."
  2. The Whitespring bunker terminal entries; Tricking_DEFCON