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For an overview of prospector uses throughout the Fallout series of games, see prospector.
Icon prospector outfit

Prospector outfit Pip-Boy icon

A prospector is a person who travels the wastes seeking valuable resources. Because the availability and value of different resources vary by time and place, the precise definition of "prospector" also depends on where and when you are.

New CaliforniaEdit


Circa 2241, the town of Redding was experiencing a gold rush. Although the bulk of the organized mining operations was concentrated in the town itself, groups of fortune-seekers — called "prospectors" — also sought to locate and exploit new veins of gold in the surrounding area — though this was not always without danger. Indeed, it was a testament to their success in locating gold nuggets that many prospectors took to carrying fearsome weapons such as the Pancor Jackhammer in order to fend off "claim-jumpers," who sought to steal the prospectors' hard-earned fortune.[1][2][3][4][5]

California and the Mojave WastelandEdit

In both the New California Republic and Mojave Wasteland, prior to 2241[6] and up to 2281, the term "prospector" is a polite way to refer to the humble scavenger. It describes someone who makes their living on scavenging from buildings for pre-War technology, chems, weapons and even the occasional Vault.[7][8]

In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier will encounter many prospectors, dead and alive, when exploring the Mojave. The first (retired) prospector the player character will most likely see is Easy Pete. This encounter makes it clear that the Courier is familiar with the older, mineral-based definition of "prospector," but that Mojave residents solely use the new definition.[9]


The term "prospector" appears in Fallout 2 to refer to gold prospectors and scavengers and in Fallout: New Vegas to just refer to scavengers.


  1. Fallout 2 random encounters[clarification needed]
  2. Ecprospe.msg[clarification needed]
  3. ECCLMJMP.MSG[clarification needed]
  4. Complete brahmin drive
  5. BHRNDDST.MSG[clarification needed]
  6. The Chosen One: "{126}{}{I'm looking for Vault 13. Ever hear of it?}"
    Slave overseer: "{135}{}{Everybody's heard of Vault 13. When I was a kid, me and my friends used to go prospecting for it. Supposed to be east of here, so we searched everything but never did find it.}"
  7. The Chosen One: "{124}{}{I'm searching for Vault 13.}"
    Gunther: "{127}{}{Madam President no longer grants interviews regarding Vault 13. I'm sorry. She's too busy to see every prospector who comes through.}"
  8. Fallout: New Vegas loading screen hints: ""Prospector" is a polite word for "scavenger". Prospectors can be found all over the Mojave Wasteland, usually looking for the rare unopened safe at the bottom of an irradiated mineshaft."
  9. The Courier: "You were a prospector - like digging for gold and silver?"
    Easy Pete: "Nah, nah - means I poked through old buildings looking for working tech and such. Some folks just call it "salvaging," but never liked the term. Way I see it, salvage means it's broken, near-worthless. Me, I looked for the good stuff - guns, chems, spare parts. Good money in it."
    (Easy Pete's dialogue)
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