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The Institute is a location in the Commonwealth in 2287.


The Institute is the hidden headquarters of the organization known as the Institute, located deep underground. The Institute was built upon the ruins of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology.[1] While the college itself lay in ruins for more than two centuries, at the time of the Great War, those present took refuge underground.[1]

The Institute was formally founded by the children of the original survivors from the C.I.T., who dug into the earth and built increasingly sophisticated residential facilities and laboratories, starting an ongoing process of infrastructure expansion.[2]

Due to the absence of sunlight, the Institute is perpetually illuminated by artificial means. A quiet time running from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. has been established for the well-being of the inhabitants.[3] The Institute has its own day and night cycle system, as the window lights on the ceiling will close when it is considered night. The shutters also have holes or small lights in them which mimic stars.


The Institute[]

Main article: Institute concourse

The main hub of the Institute, the concourse is a large cylindrical subterranean structure with four floors. Hallways wrap around the outside of the cylinder, with the central open atrium featuring trees, fountains, and a helix-shaped elevator to the surface levels where the teleporter is located. The four main divisions of the Institute (Advanced Systems, BioScience, Robotics, and Synth Retention) are along the perimeter of the concourse, as are residential areas and both traders.

Advanced Systems[]


The Advanced Systems division specializes in applied physics, including plasma weaponry and teleportation, as well as other special projects, such as the Institute reactor. Evan Watson, who gives the quest Appropriation, is here. Young Shaun can also be found here following the first meeting with Father. The division's head is Madison Li. The area consists of a small central lab with multiple workstations, connected to which are a firing range used to test new weaponry, Madison Li's office, and the forcefield-blocked entrance to the Institute reactor (an old C.I.T. experimental nuclear reactor), only accessible during the quests The Nuclear Option or Powering Up.


Main article: Institute BioScience

The Bioscience division specializes in botany, genetics, and medicine, and is the primary supplier of water and edible foodstuffs for the Institute. It cultivates highly specialized breeds of flora for use in food and medicine, and has started experimenting with creating synthetic animals, such as gorillas. Isaac Karlin, who gives the quest Building a Better Crop, and Clayton Holdren, who gives the quest Hypothesis, are here. The division's head is Clayton Holdren. The area consists of a large central lab with a series of connected adjacent workshops and storerooms. The area consists of a large central lab with a series of connected adjacent workshops and storerooms, as well as two entrances to the FEV lab: a Master-locked terminal to deactivate a laser grid on the north side of the central lab, and a Novice-locked door in the back hallways to the east.

FEV lab[]

Institute FEV Lab
Main article: FEV lab

The FEV lab is an abandoned section of the facility where the Institute tried to unlock the secrets of the FEV, and is the source of most of the super mutants in the Commonwealth.[4]. The experimental serum that Virgil asks the player character to retrieve to cure his mutation is found here. The two entrances to the FEV lab, one via a Master-locked terminal and the other via a Novice-locked door, are in the BioScience division.

Old Robotics[]

Old Robotics
Main article: Old Robotics

Old Robotics is a sealed, dilapidated section of the facility, only accessible during the quest The Nuclear Option. It's inhabited by many hostile synths and four laser turrets, which can be deactivated using a terminal. On the main floor, there is a sentry bot which can be activated using the robotics terminal; it will fight the synths on the assembly floor, but will also be hostile to the player character. The exit is through a circular hatch in the back of the main assembly floor, which will lead to the BioScience division.

Public works[]

4n1m4L's test logs

The public works are accessed from an underwater pipe due south of Ticonderoga, which leads into a small flooded underground room. The rest of the sewer system is only accessible during the quest The Nuclear Option on behalf of the Minutemen.


Main article: Institute reactor

The reactor room is only accessible through the Advanced Systems division during the quest The Nuclear Option, or after completing the quest Mass Fusion for the Institute. Upon entering, a long sloped hallway leads to a larger room with the reactor in the middle, accessible by a catwalk. Depending on which faction the Sole Survivor chooses, the events that take place here will vary.


Fo4 Institute Robotics
Main article: Institute Robotics

The Robotics division specializes in the construction of third-generation synths. Alan Binet, who gives the quest Pest Control, is here, and is the division's head. The area consists of a single large room containing the Institute's massive synth assembler. A constant stream of synths are assembled in a central pool, then climb out and walk into the inaccessible processing section.

Sublevel 21-D[]

Institute Storage

Sublevel 21-D is a very small area accessible only by an elevator in the concourse. It contains a storage room and heavy construction equipment being used to expand the Institute's infrastructure.

Synth Retention[]

Main article: Institute SRB

The Synth Retention division specializes in the recovery and rehabilitation of escaped synths. The division is the command and research space of the Synth Retention Bureau. Justin Ayo, who eventually gives the quest Political Leanings, and Alana Secord, who gives the quest Reclamation, are here. X6-88 can also be found here if the Sole Survivor did not recruit him as a companion. The division's head is Justin Ayo. The area consists of a command center, armory, lobby, and reclamation chamber featuring a reclamation chair.

Notable loot[]

Loot will become unavailable if banished from the Institute, or after completing The Nuclear Option for any of the three factions. See the section articles linked below for lists of items.

Related quests[]


  • Fast traveling to or from this location only passes one minute of in-game time regardless of the distance traveled. In addition, a teleport effect will be visible after arrival.
    • This can be used to fast travel anywhere on the map with only two minutes passing in-game by going to the Institute before then teleporting to one's actual destination.
    • Teleportation works differently in Survival mode: the player can fast travel out of the Institute, but only to the C.I.T. ruins. However, they can teleport to the Institute no matter where they are.
    • Fast traveling will still be unavailable if the player is Encumbered.
  • Companions will not be able to travel to the Institute, with the exception of X6-88.
  • If the Institute is destroyed, the radio station Classical Radio will be shut down and become unavailable. However, songs from that station can still be played on any jukebox at any owned settlement.
  • Each resident's name is on the corresponding door, visible when the doors are closed.
  • Father will remain in the area where he is initially found.
  • Based on the player's decisions, Institute scientists will have varying dialogue.
  • If one completes the Institute ending, upon returning to the Institute, there will be a memorial of Shaun in front of the Robotics section which the player character can interact with.


The Institute appears in Fallout 4 and Fallout Shelter Online. The location is mentioned several times in Fallout 3 and in Mr. House's obituary in Fallout: New Vegas.


  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One Before and even after the player character has become the director, if they are caught using Madison Li's terminal, all the Institute NPCs will become hostile, including X6-88.[verified]
  • PCPC A standalone elevator car may spawn in front of the stairs that are supposed to lead up to the reactor during The Nuclear Option, preventing access to the reactor without using a jetpack or jump trick.
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Silver Shroud Radio can be received in the old Robotics section if the radio station is active during The Nuclear Option.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One X6-88 will on occasion be bugged, and may not travel back to the Institute with the player character, instead staying on the shores of Libertalia.[verified]



  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout 4 loading screens: "According to local history, the Institute formed from the remains of C.I.T., the Commonwealth Institute of Technology. But the college itself has lain in ruins for more than two centuries."
  2. Sole Survivor: "Who built this place, originally? Has it been here long?"
    Allie Filmore: "The construction of the Institute is the work of generations of scientists. The original survivors of the war, our progenitors, took refuge in the basement of the old Commonwealth Institute of Technology. Over time, their sons and daughters dug deeper into the earth and built increasingly sophisticated habitats and laboratories. It's a process that's still going on today. Even now, we're digging out tunnels for new facilities and infrastructure. Just think what this place will look like a hundred years from now. I hope I'm there to see it."
    (Allie Filmore's dialogue)
  3. Evan Watson: "In case anyone didn't mention it, quiet time runs from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m."
    (Evan Watson's dialogue)
  4. FEV research notes
Institute flag
Fo4 Institute Seal