The residents of Vault 76, also referred to as the Ressies, are the player characters in Fallout 76. On October 23, 2102, twenty-five years to the day since the Great War, they emerged from their vault for Reclamation Day and began exploring and recolonizing Appalachia, eventually reclaiming the region.
The residents are people from Appalachia and various parts of the United States with different ethnicities, religions and sets of unique skills.
Those individuals who were selected to enter Vault 76 represented the "cream of the crop" of the United States' citizens. Compared to the other inhabitants of America, the residents were highly accomplished and intelligent and possessed competitive personalities. Each was chosen for their unique skills and temperament, making them the "country's best and brightest," including aerospace engineers and nuclear engineers, Nobel Prize winners, university lecturers, lawyers and professors, physicists, war veterans, businessmen and women, high donor graduates, mathematicians and athletes. This made managing them a challenge for the vault's staff. The residents gave out a number of awards in the vault, evident by the display case in the quarters for various different achievements. These include volunteering for the canned mystery meat experiment when no one else would eat it, the isolation program, the vault hall monitor award, Best Hair award and vault dweller of the year award. They also trained for when they would emerge using the educational vault films such as Let's Work With Others, The Power of the Atom, Laying the Cornerstones and Atomics for Peace. As part of their wasteland survival, they learned to use the C.A.M.P. They spent their lives in the vault using their skills for the "betterment of the vault." Many residents were also golf and instrument players, as well as avid readers, board game players and skiers.
After 25 years in Vault 76, the overseer would receive the activation notice to open the vault and release all the residents into Appalachia as part of Reclamation Day. Before release, residents would be equipped and trained in the operation of the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform device (or C.A.M.P.) for settling uninhabited areas, given a map to accurately explore their surroundings, allowed to leave with their Pip-Boy 2000 Mark VI. As per procedure (and against the wishes of the security team), the residents would not be armed and only lightly provisioned exiting Vault 76. Besides the equipment given to them to settle Appalachia, they would need to procure weapons and other resources from scavenging.
- The residents are the first player characters to be known to have the ability to play a musical instrument.
- The residents and the Lone Wanderer are the only protagonists in the main Fallout series who are not shown to have had any children, or for it to even be suggested. Depending on certain perks and choices in games, the Chosen One and Courier can potentially have children, though with the Courier it is only suggested. The Vault Dweller and Sole Survivor both canonically had children.
- In the Whitespring bunker, the residents can take a membership quiz in which they can choose their former occupation and belief system.
- Along with the Sole Survivor, the residents are the second protagonists to have lived before the Great War. With the Sole Survivor, their pre-War birth is canonical, while it is possible for a resident to be born before or after the Great War.
- The residents are the first characters to be an ensemble of protagonists, as there is more than one player character in Appalachia.
Vault 76 residents appear only in Fallout 76.