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Search Hornwright Industries for a way to bust into the vault.

Trade Secrets is a main quest in the Fallout 76 update Wastelanders.


In order to break into Vault 79, Paige requires a massive drill to bypass RobCo's defense grid entirely by drilling straight into the vault itself. The problem is that Foundation does not have this kind of heavy construction equipment, since the caravan had to travel light. In order to find a solution, the Vault Dwellers are asked to seek out the remains of Hornwright Industrial and find a way to provide the settlers with the means for carrying out the heist.

Quick walkthrough

Wastelanders main quest: Trade Secrets
Complete "The Motherlode".
Activate the debug sequence on the Motherlode terminal.
Use the elevator to the Hornwright Estate safe room.
(Optional) Find a Hornwright Estate access keycard.
Reward: 250 XP.
Find the correct password for Penny Hornwright's terminal.
[12+ LCK]
Guess the terminal password.
Print a safe room access keycard and enter the safe room.
Talk to Penelope Hornwright.
Reward: 250 XP.
Obtain the Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI kit and experimental Pip-Boy schematic.
Return to Penelope.
Reward: 250 XP.
Agree to get the parts.
[8+ INT]
Suggest to clean the corrosion.
Obtain the altimeter chip.
Find an Eyebot sensor module.
(Optional) Check the Eyebot in Penelope's lab for a sensor module.
Find a Robobrain interpolator.
Return the parts to Penelope.
Talk to Paige.
Reward: 100 caps, 900 XP, Plan: Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VII paint, positive Settlers reputation, random quest reward item(s).
Leads to: Invisible Ties

Detailed walkthrough

The quest requires the player character to first travel to Hornwright Industrial Headquarters to search for the tool. The first part of the quest requires completing The Motherlode first and gaining access to the underground laboratory where Daniel Hornwright worked on the mining robot. Once access is granted, the player character has to access the control console overlooking the Motherlode's egress pit and activate the debug routine.

The Motherlode will engage its emergency routines and travel to the Hornwright safe room, in search of the late CEO. The safe room is at the Hornwright Estate, but while the elevator goes all the way down to it, entry is barred by a laser grid. The player character needs to head all the way to the top of the Mega-Mansion and use Penelope Hornwright's computer in her chamber at the western end of the mansion to print a keycard.

The computer is locked down with a keycode, however, and short of randomly guessing it, the player character has to locate three clues across the mansion to figure it out:

Once they are gathered, it's a simple matter of trying the combinations out until one sticks. The keycard will be printed on the printer next to the computer and has to be collected separately.

At the safe room, the player character will find Penelope Hornwright herself and the Motherlode, which will emerge and upon being informed of Daniel's passing, transfer control to Penelope. Penny will be surprised at meeting the player character and skeptical of the plan to use it for a heist, but will decide to go with the plan if the overseer's envisioned new nation would have a place for ghouls like her (Charisma 12+ allows for pitching the project to her much more efficiently).

However, since the Motherlode requires beacons to home in on, she will ask the player character to retrieve two items: A Pip-Boy construction kit and experimental schematics that she can use to create a portable beacon (the player character's Pip-Boy won't do, because the nature of her work will strip out some vital functionality out of the device).

The construction kit is located in the maintenance section of the Vault-Tec University simulation Vault, the same accessed as part of Overseer, Overseen, except this time the player character has to navigate the path around the maintenance room all the way to the end (and defeating an Assaultron that spawns from the robot constructor at the end).

The schematics are at a VTU professor's home at Summersville. The home is located near the spawn point, at the northern end of the town, with the schematics pinned to a board in the basement (accessible down a flight of stairs in the kitchen).

With both in inventory, the player character simply has to return to the Hornwright Estate's saferoom. Penny will have installed the integrated voice module already and the player character will find her in the middle of a test (concluding that she not only speaks, but is also full of her father's jokes).

Once the player character drops off the items, Penny explains that she will require more items to make sure the Motherlode is up to the task. 26 years of zero maintenance have not been kind to the machine and she will require a better interpolator to accelerate the Motherlode's data processing, and a new sensor module and altimeter to replace ones damaged by corrosion.

Several stat checks are available. Charisma 4+ will jog Penny's memory and remind her of the eyebot upstairs, in the workroom on the middle level of the mansion, that she worked on and which can be salvaged. Intelligence 8+ will bypass the trip to the Stingray by suggesting Abraxo and toothbrush to clean the corrosion up.

Once all of these parts are collected, the quest is complete and all the player character has to do is report back to Paige. Penny will make her own way there, disguising herself with a gas mask to reach Paige without getting shot. By the time the player character arrives, she is already arranging for bringing her gear down. The next step is disabling the laser grids, accompanied by Jen, one of the younger members of Foundation.

Quest stages

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
? Search Hornwright Industrial HQHornwright Industrial's Motherlode would be an ideal way to breach the vault. If only I could find a better way to control it...
? Complete "The Motherlode"
? Use the Motherlode control terminalThere should be a terminal in this lab that can contact the Motherlode. I should look around.
? Go to the Hornwright EstateMotherlode wants me to meet her at a safe room located at the Hornwright Estate, where a failsafe transponder was recently detected. I need to find the entrance to that safe room.
? (Optional) Find a Hornwright Estate keycard
? Enter the Hornwright Estate safe roomI should look around at the Hornwright Estate to see if I can find what caused the recent signal. It came from a safe room, according to the Motherlode.
? Get an access keycard for the safe room gateAfter entering the basement, I noticed another access keycard is required in order to get past a gate and laser grid. I should see if I can get one upstairs.
I should look around the Hornwright Estate to see if I can find the passcode that will let me print an access keycard. The code is a significant date, so I should look around for any dates that might've been important to Daniel Hornwright.
I need to guess the passcode to print an access keycard. I found a bunch of clues: The code is a significant date. Penny's birthday is 3/04/48. Evelyn died on 8/23/76, and Penny started at the family company on 5/01/73.
? (Optional) Look for clues to the passcode
? Possible code: Penny Hornwright's Birthday - 30448
? Possible code: Day of Evelyn Hornwright's Death - 82376
? Possible code: Penny Hornwright's first day at Hornwright Industries - 50173
? Use the access keycard printerI entered the correct code and can now print an access keycard for the safe room in the Hornwright Estate basement.
? Get past the safe room gateI printed an access keycard for the safe room in the Hornwright Estate basement. I should go see what's down there.
? Meet the safe room occupantsI should investigate the level that the keycard allows me to access. Maybe there's something there that the Motherlode wanted me to see.
? Talk to PenelopeThe Motherlode emerged from the ground in the same room, and declared the person here to be none other than Doctor Penelope Hornwright. I should talk to her about using the Motherlode for the vault job.
? Collect the Pip-Boy construction kitDoctor Hornwright needs me to go find a Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI Construction Kit from Vault-Tec University, and the experimental Pip-Boy upgrade schematic that's in Summersville. I should return when I have both.
? Obtain the schematic
? Return to PenelopeNow that I've got the Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI Construction Kit and the experimental schematic, I should head back to Doctor Hornwright to see what else what In-game spelling might be needed for the vault job.
? Talk to Penelope
? Find an Eyebot sensor moduleDoctor Hornwright said that the Motherlode will need a bunch of parts, which I can collect from robots. I should return when I have them all.
? (Optional) Check the Eyebot upstairs in the estate
? Find a Robobrain interpolator
? Get the altimeter chip
? Bring the parts to PenelopeI've taken care of all the parts that Doctor Hornwright wanted me to obtain. I should head back to deliver them and check on her progress with the Pip-Boy.
? Return to PaigeThe Motherlode's field test went successfully, but did not go unnoticed. I need to head to Foundation to meet up with Paige and Doctor Hornwright.


Trade Secrets is known for being a buggy mission for many players due to two major bugs:

  • Can't get through laser grid: The grid acts as if it is an invisible wall. One possible solution is to join a new world and not open the elevator door and instead, wait for it to open by itself. Slowly walk to the card reader and the grid may be passable.
  • Key card difficulties: The key card may no longer spawn, may not be allowed to be picked up from a table or disappear from the player's inventory, preventing elevator access. One workaround is to find another player who can open the elevator door. Players may also need to pick up a new copy of the Hornwright Estate Access Keycard; go up the elevator and it's on a desk in the room to the right.