The Pip-Boy 3000 is a pre-War electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas manufactured by RobCo Industries, and acts as a database for the player character's personal information and inventory, as well as generating the heads-up display (HUD) in each respective game. An updated version of the Pip-Boy 3000A is the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV.
The player character is equipped with the Pip-Boy 3000A; it is indicated that there are other models in the 3000 line, with A being one of the oldest. The Pip-Boy 3000A is worn on the character's left forearm. This multifunction device has been programmed by Pip-Boy developers to display the wearer's stats, area maps, inventory and item properties. It also includes a Geiger counter and a radio. Its screen doubles as a flashlight for fixing visibility issues in dark or obscured areas (enabled by holding down the Pip-Boy button). A user can set their color preference for the display. The four colors available are amber, blue, green and white. The display color must be changed through the pause menu rather than the Pip-Boy itself.
Functions (Fallout 3)
- Status - Displays the user's condition, radiation levels and any effects that are currently active.
- CND - Status of limbs, number of stimpaks, and enables directional application of stimpaks to crippled areas or to the body as a whole.
- RAD - Precise reading of user's radiation level using internal Geiger counter and options to administer Rad-X and RadAway as necessary.
- EFF - Displays effects of currently equipped clothing, radiation level, chemicals the user has ingested, the well-rested function, any addictions the user may have as well as any crippled limbs.
- S.P.E.C.I.A.L - Displays the user's S.P.E.C.I.A.L. information as well as indicating positive(+) or negative(-) effects on these levels.
- Skills - Displays the user's skill levels as well as indicating positive(+) or negative(-) effects on them.
- Perks - Displays a comprehensive list of the user's perks.
- General - Gives a rough indication of the user's Karma level and gives various interesting pieces of information about the user and their actions.
|Quests Completed||1 point per Main or Side Quest successfully completed.|
|Locations Discovered||1 point per World Map location discovered.|
|People Killed||1 point per human or non-feral ghoul killed.|
|Creatures Killed||1 point per animal, insect, or feral ghoul killed.|
|Locks Picked||1 point per lock successfully picked.|
|Computers Hacked||1 point per computer successfully hacked.|
|Stimpaks Taken||1 point per stimpak used on yourself.|
|Rad-X Taken||1 point per Rad-X used on yourself.|
|RadAway Taken||1 point per RadAway used on yourself.|
|Chems Taken||1 point per drug used on yourself.||Drugs counting towards this statistic are: Jet (ultrajet), Buffout, Mentats (Berry Mentats, Grape Mentats, Orange Mentats), Med-X, Psycho, beer, wine, whiskey, Scotch, vodka, moonshine and Nuka-Cola Quantum.|
|Times Addicted||1 point per addiction.|
|Mines Disarmed||1 point per disarmed mine (excluding your own).|
|Speech Successes||1 point per successful Speech challenge.|
|Pockets Picked||1 point per successful attempt.|
|Pants Exploded||1 point per successful planting of a mine or grenade during pickpocketing.|
|Books Read||1 point per Skill book used.|
|Bobbleheads Collected||1 point per bobblehead acquired.|
|Weapons Forged||1 point per custom-built weapon you have created.|
|People Mezzed||1 point per person or non-feral ghoul successfully mezzed with the Mesmetron.|
|Captives Rescued||1 point per super mutant captive freed.|
|Sandman Kills||1 point per person killed using the Mister Sandman perk.|
|Paralyzing Punches||1 point per punch landed using the Paralyzing Palm perk.|
|Robots Disabled||1 point per robot deactivated using the Robotics Expert perk.|
|Contracts Completed||1 point per ear turned in with the Contract Killer perk. (points are not given for ears not sold to Daniel Littlehorn)|
|Corpses Eaten||1 point per corpse eaten using the Cannibal perk.|
|Mysterious Stranger Visits||1 point per visit of the Mysterious Stranger.|
- Weapons - Lists all weapons that the user is carrying, and allows them to repair.
- Apparel - Lists the clothing the user is carrying and, similar to weapons, gives the option to repair them.
- Aid - Shows any food or medical items the user is carrying.
- Misc - Shows any items that do not fall into any of the above categories.
- Ammo - Gives details on the types and amounts of ammunition that the user is carrying.
- Weight - Shows how much weight the user is carrying/the maximum that the user can carry without over-encumberment at any time.
- HP - How many Hit Points the user has/the maximum Hit Points the user can have.
- AP - How many Action Points the user has/the maximum Action Points the user has.
- XP - How many Experience points the user has to level up.
- Bottle caps - The number of bottle caps carried by the user.
- Local Map - Shows a detailed map of the user's local area. The map will only show areas that the player character has already explored.
- World Map - Shows a map of the area. Locations already discovered are marked, and new locations are automatically added when discovered. Discovered areas can be fast-traveled to by clicking on them in the map. The Explorer perk will automatically show all undiscovered locations on the map, but they may not be fast-traveled to until discovered. The world map also features a quest-linked map marker which appears on the Pip-Boy HUD as a large, solid arrow and guides the user to their current quest destination. There is a secondary, user-selectable marker that can be positioned anywhere on the map, which provides the same real-time guidance. This marker appears on the Pip-Boy HUD as a large, unfilled arrow. The world map can also show the location of one's current companions. They will appear as small open triangles.
- Quests - Shows any quests the user has been given as well as a record of those completed. Selecting a quest will make it active, and markers for the quest will now be found on the local and world maps.
- Notes - The notes section keeps a record of all notes that the user has discovered. Paper notes can be read here, and holotapes can be played.
- Radio - A built-in radio receiver that can tune into local radio stations that have been discovered. The radio does not affect sneaking.
The display of the Pip-Boy 3000 can be set to an over-bright mode and used to illuminate an area immediately around the user, acting as a makeshift flashlight in darkened areas. The user's color preference will not affect the color of the light, and even though the display is located on the person's arm, and is usually facing away from them while not in use, it still provides 360 degree, three-dimensional lighting.
To activate the Pip-Boy light, hold down the Pip-Boy access button. The default Pip-Boy access buttons are the <Tab> key on PC, the circle button on PS3, and B on Xbox 360. The Pip-Boy light can be deactivated the same way.
Functions (Fallout: New Vegas)
- The default interface color is set to amber instead of green.
- The stats menu includes a page showing the Courier's reputation with different factions, if they have achieved one with them.
- The weapons display now includes a weapon mod option along with the repair option. This is used to add any mods possessed to the weapon they are intended for.
- The world map will display reputation with the faction associated with any location highlighted.
- In Hardcore mode, the "stats" page also has tabs for dehydration, starvation and sleep deprivation, which are only enabled in hardcore mode. The Hardcore mode factors are as follows:
- H2O - Shows a number between 0-1000 representing how dehydrated the user is, and any stat reductions due to dehydration.
- FOD - Shows a number between 0-1000 that represents how much food the user has eaten lately, and any effects caused by hunger.
- SLP - Shows a number between 0-1000 that tells the user how much rest their body needs to function well, along with any effects caused by sleep deprivation.
Pimp-Boy 3 Billion
The Pimp-Boy 3 Billion can be obtained from Mick, the arms dealer located in Freeside at Mick & Ralph's. In order to get this item, the Courier must first inquire as to why the Omertas stopped buying arms from them. They can find the Omertas in the Gomorrah Casino on the New Vegas Strip. When the head boss of the Omertas is spoken to during the quest How Little We Know, he must be asked why they no longer buy arms from Mick & Ralph's. Get them to continue to buy arms from them and return to their shop.
Even if the Omertas are killed, one can still get the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion. Mick will comment about the death of the Omertas but still gives the option to tell him they will buy from him again. He will then give the Pimp-Boy 3 Billion. One can switch back to the regular Pip-Boy by simply asking Mick to switch it back and vice versa.
The Pip-Boy glove is a separate item, with a weight of 0, a health of 100,000, an armor rating of 0, and a value of 30. However, the item is marked as "unplayable," and therefore cannot be removed and sold normally. It only fits over the left hand.
- A message about the upkeep of a Pip-Boy is broadcast through the Vault radio: "Remember - your Pip-Boy is not a toy. Proper cleaning and maintenance will ensure its operation for this and future generations."
- Non-player characters' Pip-Boys all show the Status page in the stats tab but never change when they are wounded.
- It is not possible to save while viewing the Pip-Boy on any system in either game. The same applies to the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV in Fallout 4.
- The Pip-Boy can act as a "pause screen." If viewing the Pip-Boy, time will not pass in-game, making this an excellent secondary pause feature.
- Files can be transferred from some terminals to the Pip-Boy.
- The fact that the buttons and knobs of the device are positioned on the left side, while it is also worn on the left arm, might lead to the user having to cover the screen with their hand in order to reach them. It was revealed in The Art of Fallout 3 included with the Fallout 3 Collector's Edition: "It's only years later that I realized 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."
- Stanley Armstrong comments that the Pip-Boy 3000 is so durable that he guesses one could drop a bomb on it and it would still work. He then adds "In fact, I know you could." This turns out to be true as, should the player character be attacked/attack themselves with a Fat Man and survive, the Pip-Boy will still be completely functioning and undamaged.
- According to Stanley Armstrong, biometric seals prevent the device from being removed, and Gary 23 in the Outcast outpost had his arm cut off because the Outcasts needed his Pip-Boy to unlock a weapons vault in the add-on Operation: Anchorage. However, this portrayal is notoriously inconsistent, as clothing in Fallout 3 is depicted as fitting under the Pip-Boy, with sleeves coming out on the other side, 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 Courier's arm. Ricky in Honest Hearts wears a Pip-Boy he claims to have found, though he makes no mention of the biometric lock.
- Despite their devastating effects on electronics, pulse grenades and other EMP-based weaponry don't seem to affect the Pip-Boy, despite it being an electronic device.
- Christine Royce indicates the Pip-Boy contains a fission battery when describing the process of making Sierra Madre chip "slugs" with the Coin Operator perk.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, the Pip-Boy reserves the up-directional/number key 2 space for changing ammunition types, leaving only 7 hotkeys available instead of the 8 available in Fallout 3.
- In the PC version of the game, the key for changing ammo can be rebound to a key other than 2. Doing so will not open up an 8th hotkey, however, and the 2 key will become unusable.
- In Fallout 3 and New Vegas, the Pip-Boy will not display bottle cap amounts over one million (1,000,000+), however the buy/sell screen at a trader will display amounts higher than this.
- When using a Stealth Boy and looking at the Pip-Boy, only the screen will be visible. This is due to the Stealth Boy's effect on the character.
- Even if the color of the Pip-Boy screen is changed, in third-person mode it always stays green. This also applies to the one worn by NPCs.
- Father Elijah refers to the Pip-Boy as a "piece of Rob-Co trash," though he wears one himself.
- When swimming or diving the Pip-Boy does not short-circuit or malfunction in water, which points to the device being waterproof.
- It is known that the map for the Pip-Boy is moved with a small device on the left side of the screen, along with the control on the glove portion of the device.
- It seems that depending on which vault the Pip-Boy comes from, the numbers on the Vault Boy's jumpsuit change accordingly.
- In early concept art (see below), the Pip-Boy was named "Pit-Boy."
- Eagle-eyed players can see a fingerprint on the Pip-Boy screen near the bottom right side, it is most easily seen on the Status screen or the weapon selection screen.
- The Pip-Boy appears to be equipped with a motion sensor and compass, as it feeds real-time directions via the HUD.
Behind the scenes
- It would appear that at one time or another, the Pip-Boy 3000 was going to have a tunable radio (possibly for hidden radio stations in certain locations), a far more GPS-like map feature and a more digital font, judging by concept art found in the textures archive under interfaces/shared (shown below).
- In Valve Software's game Team Fortress 2, if a player had purchased Fallout: New Vegas before August 8, 2011, on Steam, they received a free Pip-Boy 3000 as a Store Promotional Item. It can be equipped for the Engineer class. For players who didn't purchase the game at that time, they can purchase the Pip-Boy from the in-game shop called the Mann Co. Store. The special hud also features a Vault Boy-style Engineer giving Vault Boy's signature thumbs up.
- When viewing in Third-Person mode, the Pip-Boy 3000 glows green. It has been known to stay glowing as you bring it up to your face, rendering it almost impossible to read it. Usually, you can just exit the menu and turn it off for it to work, if not restarting the game. The easiest way of removing the green light is to turn on your Pip-Boy light which usually gets rid of the green light. If not, enter a house, and load the autosave, at which point the green light should be gone. [verified]
- There is a bug where the top of the Pip-Boy screen is cut off. It usually happens when viewing the Pip-boy while getting shot at. This may be due to using the Chinese stealth armor. [verified]
- When viewing the maps section of the Pip-Boy and then pausing for a period of time the background will disappear, easily fixed by lowering and raising it again. [verified]
- Occasionally, if one steps out of a building and directly views the Pip-Boy, the screen will be extremely bright, causing the screen to be almost unreadable. To fix this, load a previous (auto)save or turn on the light of the Pip-Boy itself. [verified]
- Usually when you zoom all the way in on a location and try to place marker it will not mark, this can be solved by zooming out a little bit and placing. [verified]
- Fallout: New Vegas the Pip-Boy glove can sometimes disappear and not enable to take it back often due to the use of the space suit. [verified] In
- Sometimes when set on fire the Pip-Boy will stay on fire until you restart the game, loading doesn't fix the bug and can be seen in third person. [verified]
- In Fallout: New Vegas the Pip-Boy will sometimes randomly move up the screen and be cut off from the player's view. It will continue to slowly move up the screen (regardless of reloading or sleeping) until you unequip all items. [verified]
- Sometimes the Pip-Boy glove disappears and is replaced with the right hand or just the left hand without glove. [verified]
- Having a lot of items in the inventory can slow down load times, causing a delay when opening the Pip-Boy. [verified]
- Rarely when opening the Pip-Boy, it will fly right, and all that can be seen is a blurred vision and the character's fingers. [verified]
- Fallout 3, sometimes when using the auto axe then opening the Pip-Boy menu, only the screen will appear. The frame will be invisible. This can be fixed by unequipping the auto axe and then equipping it again. [verified] In
- Sometimes when first receiving the Pimp-Boy 3 billion, the PC's arm will turn sideways. There is no known way to fix this. [verified]
- There have been reports of some bugs which cause the Pip-Boy glove to end up unequipped. If this happens and one wants the glove back, use the console command: “player.equipitem 25b83”. [verified]
- In Fallout: New Vegas, sometimes removing the marker on the Pip-Boy map can make the map itself disappear, however the map markers will still be available. This can be fixed by simply exiting and re-opening the Pip-Boy. [verified]
- Pimp-Boy 3 Billion, there are times it will not change back to the 3000 model. Loading a previous (auto)save fixes the issue. [verified] If wishing to re-equip the Pip-Boy 3000 while using the
- There is a bug when removing a marker on the world map, where the background map will appear completely blank but leave all icons visible. This can happen when changing tabs from 'DATA' to 'ITEMS' or 'STATS', or switching from 'World Map' to 'Local Map' or 'Quests'. Can be fixed by closing and opening the Pip-Boy. [verified]
- Another real-world PIP-Boy 3000 introduced as the LH HX2