|For the Vault-Tec mascot called "Pip-Boy" in Fallout Tactics, see Vault Boy.|
|This is an overview article which contains background information and cross-game comparisons. For game-specific information and stats, see the articles linked on the right.|
The RobCo PIP-Boy (Personal Information Processor) is an electronic device manufactured by RobCo Industries.
Background[edit | edit source]
Pip-Boys were standard equipment issued to all Vault-Tec Corporation Vaults. To register for such a device, residents would take part in an orientation seminar given by the Vault's Overseer to explain the functions and daily life enhancements provided by the Pip-Boy, along with filling out personal information in the Personal Information Processor Responsibility Form regarding such things as hand dominance, personal preferences, arm circumference, and vault jumpsuit measurements. Some Vaults received newer models of the device, while others were issued older versions.
Characteristics[edit | edit source]
Using ultra-modern, super-deluxe resolution graphics in conjunction with its capability to store and transfer large amounts of information makes it the obvious choice for the wandering explorer, whether it be the out-on-his-own newbie or the all-around survivalist expert. Versions released outside of Vault circulation were an incredibly handy tool, so useful they even earned a reputation among specific circles as a crutch to lean on that no true expert in travel or survival would ever use.
Variants[edit | edit source]
Pip-Boy 1.0[edit | edit source]
The Pip-Boy 1.0 featured a small display screen, a 16-button keyboard, a toggle switch, multiple indicator lights, and a dial with at least three settings. The components that made up the device were attached to a rudimentary metallic frame that surrounded a forearm-length cuff. Protruding cords and the overall bulkiness of the device may have precluded the addition of a protective outer casing as is found on newer Pip-Boy models. An archived photo of technical engineers working on the Pip-Boy 1.0 in the RobCo development laboratory sheds light on the prototype stages.
Pip-Boy 2000[edit | edit source]
The Pip-Boy 2000 displays information on a black, 5" x 3", monochrome screen.
It can record sound and video footage for later playback. Using a simple but elegant form of sonar and satellite tracking (where available), this model can map out areas where its user travels. Though input is slow, a user can also hand-enter and edit text messages on their Pip-Boy 2000s. The Pip-Boy 2000 was worn on the user's wrist. These models were, among others, owned by the Vault Dweller and Chosen One. A modified model stamped with B.E. was used by the Warrior.
Pip-Boy 2000 Mark VI[edit | edit source]
The Pip-Boy Mark VI represents a step forward in the development of more ergonomic versions of RobCo's flagship personal computing product. Each Vault Dweller leaving Vault 76 was issued a Mark VI to assist in their goal of rebuilding Appalachia 25 years after the Great War.
The Mark VI maps operate differently than previous versions of the Pip-Boy 2000, utilizing a stylized paper map that lacks local area overview options. Instead of these map features, the Pip-Boy has user status tracking functionality. It is capable of tracking the wearer's status and any active or completed quests and also organizes the wearer's inventory. An overlay of the data is also available. In addition, the device features a radio upgrade module, Geiger counter, an advanced compass that displays discovered locations and nearby persons and creatures, and lighting functionality. A holotape player is mounted beneath the display.
Pip-Boy 3000[edit | edit source]
The 3000 model, like the 2000 model, displays its information on a black, monochrome screen. Like the 2000 model, it is capable of keeping tabs on the users health condition, mapping out areas, and taking and storing notes. Unlike its predecessor though, it also comes with added features, such a built-in radio, Geiger counter and Pip-Boy light, used to illuminate dark areas. There are several models of Pip-Boy 3000 that are designated by letter, i.e. Pip-Boy 3000A. which keep a similar appearance but contain different hardware. The major difference from the 2000 model is its need to be worn as a gauntlet, which seals with a biometric lock the 3000A is locked with bolts and can be removed wholesale, replaced, or temporarily displaced to allow for clothing to pass under it.
Pimp-Boy 3 Billion[edit | edit source]
A hand-crafted modification of the standard Pip-Boy 3000A, the extravagant Pimp-Boy 3 Billion is solid gold and encrusted with diamonds. It can be obtained from Mick at Mick & Ralph's in Freeside as a reward for persuading the Omertas to return to Mick for their weapon needs. Mick will switch the user's Pip-Boy between the 3000A and the 3 Billion upon request. The Wild Wasteland trait causes disco music to play each time it is equipped.
Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV[edit | edit source]
The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV is the fourth iteration of the Pip-Boy 3000 line and includes a number of design enhancements. The control dials were moved from the left side of the device to the right to improve accessibility and the biometric lock and glove were replaced by a simple latch, allowing for quick and easy removal. The Mark IV also utilized a revamped display interface with animated images and was capable of playing the latest video games, such as Atomic Command and Red Menace. The Mark IV, unlike their predecessors, are able to manually unlock the main vault door entrances.
The Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV was distributed to vaults near Boston, including Vault 75, Vault 81, Vault 95, Vault 111 and Vault 114. Vault-Tec staff did not grant Pip-Boys to the residents of Vault 111 due to their placement in cryogenic stasis; the Sole Survivor of the vault was able to claim a Pip-Boy from the corpse of a long-dead Vault-Tec scientist.
Lil' Pip 3000[edit | edit source]
|The following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.|
The 'Lil' Pip 3000 provides all of the functionality of the Pip-Boy 2000 Plus, but boasts a greatly reduced size made possible by the use of integrated circuits. Despite its advantages, the Lil' Pip remained less popular than its more durable predecessor.
Super Pip-Boy[edit | edit source]
The Super Pip-Boy is a unique Pip-Boy model worn by Victor Presper. It has a built-in health monitor, motion sensor, and a program creation and editing tool.
|End of information based on Van Buren.|
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Every NPC in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas who wears a Pip-Boy 3000 has it set on the Stats/Status/CND screen.
- In the classic Macintosh version of Fallout, the Pip-Boy 2000's menu uses PlainTalk to say "Welcome to the RobCo Pip-Boy 2000" upon opening it, as well as reciting the menus you've opened.
- Vault Boy, the company mascot who shows in images which illustrate all of the characteristics of the SPECIAL character system is referred to as "Pipboy" in Fallout Tactics.
- In Fallout Shelter, dwellers exploring the wasteland are equipped with a Pip-Boy.
Appearances[edit | edit source]
Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]
- The Pip-Boy is included as a promotional item for the Engineer in Team Fortress 2. A Pip-Boy appears in Valve Software's multiplayer FPS Team Fortress 2 as a promotional miscellaneous cosmetic item for the Engineer class. When equipped, it will change the Engineer's construction PDA display to a green-and-black display, and adds an image of the Engineer in the style of the Vault Boy art.
|The following is based on unverified behind the scenes information and is speculative and may not be accurate.|
- Van Buren characters such as the Prisoner, Symm, other Tibbets prisoners and Dr. Presper's party (Coleridge, Briggs, Davidson and Pierce) were also planned to be equipped with Pip-Boys.
|End of information based on unverified behind the scenes information.|
Gallery[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Vault-Tec Workshop loading screens: "In the years before the war, RobCo and Vault-Tec forged a powerful corporate alliance. Residents of Vault-Tec's Vaults would each be provided with a RobCo Pip-Boy personal computer, a device which made extensive use of the popular "Vault Boy" mascot."
- Pip-Boy Operational Instructions
- The Courier: "What do you mean?"
Elijah: "That thing on your wrist - it's a convenience. It tells you where to go, what to do, dulls your brain. It may have helped you find the Sierra Madre broadcast, but it's just as much a crutch today as it was in the Old World."
- Pip-Boy Operational Instructions pp. 4-5: "Archive photo of technical engineers hard at work on an early Pip-Boy prototype in the RobCo development laboratory."
- Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.4–20—4–21: "ROBCO PIPBOY 2000
To help Vault Dwellers record information (and information is extremely valuable, in fact, it might be the most valuable weapon we have against the end of civilization, so pay attention!), Vault-Tec has selected the RobCo Industries RobCo PIPBoy 2000 as the Personal Information Processor of choice for its Vault Dwellers.
The RobCo PIPBoy 2000 (hereafter called the PIPBoy), is a handy device that you wear on your wrist. It’s small, especially by today’s standards, and it will store a goodly amount of information for you. And using modern super-deluxe resolution graphics to boot!"
- Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI FM Radio Module, Bethesda gear store
- Fallout 4 loading screens: "Press and hold the Pip-Boy button to turn on its light and illuminate dark areas."
- The Lone Wanderer: "Wally said my Pip-Boy was a piece of junk!"
Stanley Armstrong: " Solid as a vault, they are. And I fixed her up myself. Shouldn't need to open her up again for a decade or two."
The Lone Wanderer: "It's all right. Seems kind of old, though."
Stanley Armstrong: " That one I've been saving just for you, though. The A series is a bit heavier than some of the fancier models, but it won't let you down. "
(Stanley Armstrong's dialogue)
- The Lone Wanderer: "I hate it. How do I get it off?"
Stanley Armstrong: " "
(Stanley Armstrong's dialogue)
- The Art of Fallout 3 p. 14: "Pip-Boy:
The Pip-Boy was one of the first three iconic elements we wanted to nail-down in terms of look and feel, the other two being the Vault suit and Brotherhood of Steel power armor. This was a good exercise in determining the approach we would take with all industrial design in the game; a blend of classic 50's aesthetics with a futuristic twist. This is a delicate balance; swing too far towards the retro and you end up with something campy and unrealistic, but too far with the futurism and you risk a generic look.
After much iteration the design was eventually narrowed down to a basic look. Once Adam's drawings all start looking too similar we know we've honed in on the most likely design. The overall design isn't too over-styled, as this is meant as a tough piece of field equipment. The device clamps on the user's arm, fastened via bolts (which implies that it doesn't come off very often). It prominently features a bulky mini-CRT display, hooded to prevent glare from the hot wasteland sun. There are various buttons and knobs, slightly oversized to facilitate handling with a gloved hand. The grill indicates that the circuitry within can get pretty hot, and proper ventilation is required. Also note the gloved hand with a control-box mounted on the back, it has a large knob and coiled wire connecting with the main unit. That knob is the primary controller for the user to manipulate the on-screen cursor. It's only years later that I realized that we should have put the knobs and control on the right side of the screen as opposed to the left, this would have been considerably more ergonomic. Oh well, ergonomics were never a priority in design for this era."
- However, this portrayal is inconsistent, as clothing in Fallout 3 is depicted as fitting under the Pip-Boy, with sleeves coming out on the other sides, while in New Vegas this issue is not mentioned at all. The Courier receives Doc Mitchell's old Pip-Boy and can freely switch between the regular and the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion version; the 3 Billion also appears loose on the player's arm. Ricky in Honest Hearts wears a Pip-Boy 3000 that he claims to have found, though he doesn't mention the biometric lock though his Pip-Boy is revealed to be broken. Notably, the intro for the Pip-Boy concept art section in The Art of Fallout 3 says that the 3000 model is fastened with bolts rather than a biometric lock.