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For a list of canonical Vaults, see List of Vaults.
For Vaults in other sources, including non-canonical ones, see List of Vaults in other sources.

F76 Vault 76 Main Door.png

The Vault series of survival shelters are installations designed by Vault-Tec Corporation on contract with the U.S. government to protect a portion of the United States population in case of nuclear war.[1]


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The origins of the Vault network date back to the early 2050s, when the Euro-Middle Eastern War, the New Plague, and the collapse of the United Nations resulted in a nation-wide scare. In response, the government set Project Safehouse in motion in 2054. This massive national defense endeavor was intended to create shelters that would protect the population in the event of a nuclear war or plague. Breakthroughs in construction techniques allow for these gargantuan bunkers to be constructed at a rapid pace.[Non-canon 1] The impoverished government is forced to finance the project with junk bonds and even then, only commissions well over 100 of these shelters nationwide,[2] allowing less than 0.1% of the population to save their life in the event of the holocaust. The sheer costs of a single Vault are staggering. The intended budget for Vault 13 was $400 billion dollars, and by the end of its construction, the total costs reached $645 billion, well over 150% of the initial figure.[Non-canon 2] As a crucial element of national defense, much of the project was classified and protected under the New Amended Espionage Act, encouraging embezzlement and corruption.[Non-canon 3] Installations built as part of the Vault-Tec Societal Preservation Program commonly claimed to have a chance to fail equal to 1,763,497 to 1; however, the reality was a far cry from this bold claim.[3]

The building of the shelters proceeded rapidly and most were completed by 2063. The construction of several Vaults was delayed, particularly Vault 13 (which only started construction in August 2063) and the network surrounding Washington, D.C..[Non-canon 4] Some were delayed due to work stoppage.[4] Ongoing drills in completed shelters were mandatory, with some Vaults having up to five drills a week, including nightly tests.[5] The drills were known as "Beta Alert" days, as indicated by the Vault-Tec early warning system, but residents would start being admitted only in the events of an actual "Alpha Alert" when the war was detected as right about to start.[6] These repeated drills however slowly created a "cry wolf" effect. Turnouts for the drills fell as the years went on, further limiting the Vaults' role in ensuring the survival of humanity.[Non-canon 4]

Additional problems were caused by consistent mismanagement, corruption, and embezzlement that seemed to define Project Safehouse before the war. Yet for all these problems, Vault-Tec was able to create a number of miracle technologies and develop shelters that really protected the inhabitants, as long as they worked properly.[Non-canon 5] Vault-Tec even advertised Vaults in newly annexed Canada, though these were in the early stages of completion.[7] The company sponsored an exhibit at the Museum of Technology in the capital, designed to promote their shelters and explain their functionality.[8] Promotional tours and awarding of prizes like the Pressed Vault Suit Award were also used to promote a positive image of the company.[9]


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Vault construction timetable
Number Construction begins Construction ends
Vault 13 August 2063 March 2069
Vault 76 2065 2069 (planned)
2076 (actual)
Vault 87 May 2066 May 2071
Vault 92 May 2062 May 2068
Vault 106 May 2064 December 2069
Vault 108 March 2061 December 2069
Vault 112 November 2068 June 2074

Great War

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On October 23, 2077, the Great War came. The Vault-Tec air raid sirens blared, but the "cry wolf" effect results in few people going into the shelters. They were sealed and the experiments entered their decisive phase. The control Vaults functioned as intended and protected their populations. Others were not so lucky.[Non-canon 6][10]

Within the next few decades, many shelters would fail as a result of their experiments. The few that did survive would often prosper. In 2091, after receiving the all-clear signal, Vault 8 opened and Vault City was founded.[Non-canon 7] A year later, the demonstration Vault in the ruins of Los Angeles opened. The inhabitants founded Adytum in what became known as the Boneyard.[Non-canon 8] Years later, Vault 15 opened.[Non-canon 9][11] While a large portion of the Vault inhabitants that left the overcrowded Vault would band into raider tribes as the winter of 2097 [clarification needed][Non-canon 10][Non-canon 11] came (marking the beginning of the Khans, Vipers, and Jackals),[Non-canon 11] the remaining Vault dwellers would found Shady Sands in the spring of 2122. The town used its G.E.C.K. well.[12] No one expected that these humble beginning would eventually culminate in the formation of the mighty New California Republic.[Non-canon 12]

As protective as they were, they would also ensure that the population within would be kept put for whatever purpose someone with less-than-ethical intentions might have for them. Such was the case in 2155, when the Master's forces captured a caravan of Vault dwellers from the L.A. Vault. He learned the location of the Vault and moved his base of operations there. Learning of other Vaults in the area, he realized their occupants were perfect subjects for his project. The super mutants began to scour the region for the Vaults, boosting the output of the Mariposa vats tremendously.[Non-canon 13][Non-canon 14]

Eighty years later, Vaults would serve another nefarious purpose, as the Enclave, the architects of the original experimentation program, raided Vault 13 on March 16, 2242; the inhabitants were taken to the oil rig, so that the inoculation rendering humans immune to the FEV-based toxin could be tested.[Non-canon 15][13]

By 2287, almost no functional Vault-series shelters remain. The only known Vault that continues to function in its intended capacity (at least, as far as the dwellers are concerned) is Vault 81. After two centuries of use, it is in a state of advanced disrepair in spite of the maintenance efforts by its inhabitants.[14][15]


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Designed to last generations,[16] a typical Vault is built deep underground in a geologically stable area (typical choices include mountain ranges[17] and remote areas away from population centers),[18] but such shelters have also been built below the foundations of modern cities[19] in order to survive the effects of a nuclear blast.[Non-canon 16] Vault-Tec's method was patented as the Triple-S Technology (Safety, Survivability and Sanitation),[20] to provide a maximum of comfort to the inhabitants without compromising their safety. Vaults were typically built using reinforced concrete and solid metal sheeting to ensure the durability and longevity of the shelter construction.[21] The primary protection came in the sheer amount of earth covering: Vault 13 was shielded by 3 200 000 tons of soil, at 200 feet (60m) of thickness,[Non-canon 2] while Vault 88 was sheltered by granite deposits common to Quincy.[22]

The precise method of constructing Vaults evolved greatly as Vault-Tec accumulated experience in constructing these vast underground shelters. The first shelters were built using contemporary technologies, combining prefabricated elements with poured concrete and modular machines and electronics.[23] The demonstration Vault built in Los Angeles set the standard for this first generation of Vaults built in California, which used the same kind of technology used for military and industrial construction, such as nuclear reactors, military bunkers, or corporate research facilities.[24] Vault-Tec quickly started implementing its own, purpose-built technologies. Vaults started becoming more and more modular, using entire prefabricated sections built to spec on the factory floor and assembled on site. Many second-generation shelters exhibited a combination of both old and new technologies, with the only fully next-generation Vaults built on the East Coast, in Boston and Appalachia.[25] These were built entirely using prefabricated sections complete with all the necessary infrastructure, fixtures, and fittings, greatly reducing construction times.[26]

By 2077, Vault-Tec could rapidly construct Vaults, especially in areas where natural or artificial features such as stable cave networks or underground tunnels permitted it. For example, the stability of Quincy's granite quarries and the ground allowed extensive excavation operations, creating a network of natural and artificial caves. After reinforcement, these caves were connected to a temporary railroad that rapidly delivered all the necessary prefabricates, construction equipment, and other necessities.[27]


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In order to power the entire installation, Vaults were provided with a variety of power sources, depending on local geology and the actual size of the Vault (with the average being approximately 220 dwellers).[28] The largest of them, like Vault 13, required nearly 3.98 MWh/day for continued operations for its 1000 occupants. In order to meet the demand, the shelter used a geothermal power plant as a primary source, with General Atomics nuclear power as backup.[Non-canon 2] Infrastructure is designed for durability, but also for convenience. Critical elements are usually hidden behind wall panels so as to keep them out of harm's way.

The usual go-to solution was geothermal power, in areas where it was practical. If not, the usual fallback option was the aforementioned General Atomics nuclear power plant, often used as the primary power source due to its reliability and scalability. Concrete, steel reinforcements, and SimuSun lighting were also utilized. Vaults are known to use the systems listed below.


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Vault Number of occupants Primary power supply Secondary power supply
Vault 8 Unknown Nuclear reactor[29] None
Vault 13[Non-canon 2] 500 Geothermal General Atomics nuclear power
Vault 51 52 (at sealing)[30] Vault Star super-reactor[31] None
Vault 75[32] 88 Unknown Unknown
Vault 76[33] 500, later reduced to 88[34] LightLife geothermal,[33] later replaced by dual Vault Star super reactors[35] General Atomics nuclear power
Vault 81[36] 96 (plus unknown number of researchers) Nuclear reactor None
Vault 87[37] Unknown General Atomics nuclear power Versicorps fusion power
Vault 88 Construction unfinished, none given Vault-Tec super reactor None
Vault 92[38] 245 General Atomics nuclear power None
Vault 94[39] Unknown Class-VI fusion reactor Class-VIb fusion reactor

Two Class-VIII reactors servicing G.E.C.K. containment and control

Vault 95[40] 72 Unknown Unknown
Vault 106[41] 107 Rok-Solid Brand geothermal General Atomics nuclear power
Vault 108[4] 475 General Atomics nuclear power (designed to fail after 240 months or 20 years) Steam Whistle mini geothermal
Vault 112[42] 85 Sure Power geothermal X-Tra Sure Power geothermal
Vault 114[43] 120 Unknown Unknown

All of that power was necessary to power the facilities necessary to sustain the people living within. Apart from air filtration systems required to keep the air breathable, Vaults also included hydro-agricultural farms and food synthesizers to provide sustenance,[44] water purification systems (able to take even sewer waste and convert it into up to 15,000 gallons of drinkable water each day with no loss of output for 250,000 hours of operation),[9] and other necessary amenities, like a Vault-wide intranet allowing instant access to any entertainment, social, and educational files from any terminal in the Vault.[45] Vaults were also equipped with incinerators for disposal of the dead and likely other waste products.[46] Security was provided by hydraulic duty doors an extensive network of Eye-On-You surveillance cameras.[47] The entire Vault was typically managed by a single, centralized computer system, the most advanced of which is the ZAX series of supercomputers, currently known to have only been used in Vault 51.[citation needed] Brands were Brainpower and Think Machine.[48][Non-canon 2]

All of the systems were reported to function without failure for nearly 900 years,[49] though the uneven quality of components would prove this claim untrue. For example, the water chips were manufactured by a low-bid contractor, resulting in poor quality and a high failure rate. Such was the case with Vault 13 in 2161, exacerbated by the fact that the process was too complicated for a workaround system.[50] For the resettlement of the surface, the shelters were provided with complete construction equipment[Non-canon 2] and preselected installations received one or two G.E.C.K.s, intended to help the inhabitants create a viable civilization in the post-nuclear world after the "all clear" signal is sent.[51][52]

Vault dwellers

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The total number of inhabitants could be as high as 500 in installations like Vault 13[Non-canon 2] and Vault 76[33] and as low as 100.[41] As the government only commissioned 122 Vaults as part of Project Safehouse, only a fraction of the 400 million U.S. citizens would actually be accepted into the Vaults.[Non-canon 17] The duration of stay varied. Some shelters were only intended to stay sealed for ten years (Vault 13, though this directive was overridden),[Non-canon 18] while others were designed for 38 years and more, like Vault 108.[4]

The Enclave eventually abandoned their goal of settling on another planet and decided to resettle the one they already had. Vault monitoring and research continued as the Vault Behavioral Project.[44] In order to monitor the populations being experimented upon, the Enclave's oil rig possessed a great deal of equipment that allowed them to observe and control the vaults. For example, the Enclave sent the all clear signal to Vault 8 shortly after the war, prompting them to leave the shelter and build their city. These monitoring tools also let the Enclave see that the population of Vault 13 was largely intact, although this wouldn't become important until much later.[Non-canon 19][53]

Pre-selected segments of the population accepted into Vault-Tec's shelters would enjoy a very high quality of life, though it would be completely different from the free market capitalist consumerism experienced on the surface - a planned socialist utopia underground (giving China the last laugh). As a closed system, the Vaults were designed to recycle and reuse[54][55] as much as possible and implement a completely planned economy that would maintain the system for the planned duration of the Vault. Every inhabitant would be registered with a unique 11 digit Vault identification number called VID,[56] and provided with clothing, bedding, and other accommodations necessary for their life within the vault.[57]

The only exception was food and water, as these could only be procured with the proper ration coupons (at least in some Vaults).[58] Luxury, non-essential goods were available for purchase in exchange for work credits, a form of currency earned through performing work for the Vault. The aforementioned ration coupons would sometimes also be used as a form of currency.[59] Nourishment would be provided by a combination of food grown in hydroponic farms, like in Vault 13, or food synthesizers, capable of creating a variety of foodstuffs. Water would be provided by purifying liquid drawn from the local water table.[Non-canon 2]

It is important to note that Vault dwellers would be unable to use their own clothing in the long term. While dwellers could arrange to have their belongings sent to their quarters in advance, there was a strict policy disallowing bringing baggage along in case of an emergency entrance.[57] The uniform Vault jumpsuit would replace regular clothes. Manufactured inside the Vault, it was designed for utility and comfort. Enterprising dwellers could, however, customize theirs to add a bit of individuality to the generally conformist design.[60] Planning and conformity also extended to other areas. For example, trash disposal would only be permitted in designated receptacles on pre-set trash burning days. These receptacles would also be used for the disposal of corpses, as there was no space for proper burial in the confined environment of the Vault.[61] Preteen dwellers would also potentially be assigned work duties,[62] with Vault 101 tasks starting to be given the day after their tenth birthday.[63]

In exchange for these sacrifices in lifestyle, dwellers would receive private quarters provided with the latest in home appliances, including Floorsuck Autocleaner Systems to minimize sweeping,[64] Culinator 3000 Kitchen Systems for cooking,[65] and access to complete libraries of social and entertainment files[Non-canon 2] together with the public Entertainotron room.[66] A standardized education would be received by all Vault dwellers, including schooling in arithmetic, chemistry, biology, history, and other sciences.[67] Tertiary education would also be provided and Vault-trained specialists would be highly sought after the apocalypse and count on a stable career in their chosen field, like Doc Mitchell from Vault 21, who opened a practice in Goodsprings after the Vault was opened.[68]

Their health would be assured by well-educated doctors with access to the latest in medical technologies. Auto-Docs capable of performing a broad variety of procedures and manufacturing medical drugs[69] were the standard issue of the Emergency Medical Labs (which were equipped well enough to rival clinics).[70] Some Vaults were also equipped with facilities for cloning replacement tissue and organs.[71] To avoid the development of medical problems, shelters were lit using a Simu-Sun lighting system simulating natural sunlight.[72] It was estimated that living in a properly maintained Vault would result in an average lifespan of 92.3 years.[73] Of course, prolonged isolation, even in generations born after entry, took its toll. Vault depressive syndrome was a common problem, manifesting as intense depression that could be debilitating. The usual recourse was to prescribe and treat it with anti-anxiety medication.[74] Furthermore, those who exited successful Vaults seem to have a heightened chance of suffering from xenophobia (fear of strangers) and/or agoraphobia (fear of open places).[75]

Security inside the Vault was provided by its dedicated security force, usually hand-picked by the overseer. A typical Vault was provided with enough firearms and armor to arm ten men.[Non-canon 2] Surface monitors and communications systems were designed to facilitate connecting with other Vaults,[Non-canon 2] though this functionality was either never implemented or failed soon afterward.[Non-canon 18][Non-canon 20]



A vault was designed to provide protection from nuclear fallout, constructed with blast doors.[76] The doors had a projected 2% failure rate in case of a direct hit by an atomic bomb.[77][78] Different variants included the Seal-N-Safe model No. 343 that measured four feet in thickness, constructed with steel, and contained twelve cogs, used in the demonstration vault.[79][80] Specific access codes are necessary to operate some doors, while other panels require connection to a Pip-Boy to access the door controls.[81] The Vault City doors are built with power couplings.[82]

Other variants have nine cogs instead of twelve, opening to a retractable catwalk leading into the vault. The external door reads the vault's number, along with a warning that tampering may lead to loss of life, and an additional warning to stand 10 meters back during the initial purge bell.[83] The door is labeled as pressurized, and not to approach until all clear. To the left of the number, a Societal Preservation Program label is found.[84]

The Vault 94 door controls were linked to the vault's external radiation sensors, causing it to automatically close once radiation outside reached levels consistent with a nuclear event.[85] The Vault-Tec Security Manual outlined complete operating instructions, but specific procedures unique to Vault 94 superseded general paragraphs.[85] The Vault 94 Community Council was charged with answering inquires regarding access except in cases of emergency, in which case the vault door controls were overridden by the vault's Emergency Management System.[86][87]

The interior doors are labeled with warnings stating they utilize hydraulic locks, the pressure scale varying between 3300 and 9900 lbs of pressure.[88] The doors vary in function and color, some swinging open and others sliding.[89] Select vaults utilized hidden doors, some are utilized in Enclave facilities such as the Whitespring bunker and a large vault door is on display in the lobby of Morgantown's Vault-Tec University.

The doors have a power box that glows green when unlocked and red when locked. A caution zone is marked by yellow lines on the floor. Others are painted with a vertical band with a stop sign and the words "No Access - Authorized Personnel Only." There are downward pointing arrows above and below the text. Maintenance room doors swing open as opposed to sliding. On one side of the door, there are two circular indicators that display OPEN and STAND BACK when opening.

Vault door gallery

Renders and concept art

Living quarters

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Living quarters were typically located deeper into the Vault and their design varied by the installation. A standard level had 20,000 square feet of usable area.[90][91] The standard approach was to provide discrete apartments to Vault couples, provided with a private sanitary compartment, terminal, and a bed, on top of any additional amenities they may require.[92]

Different philosophies were implemented depending on the designer and the intended purpose. Some did away with apartments in favor of separate dormitories for genders,[93] where multiple dwellers would occupy the same room, or for apartment blocks composed of a bedroom and living space, with common lavatories accessible in the corridors.[94] Other facilities typically located in living quarters include diners, classrooms, and even cigar lounges.[94]

Emergency medical lab

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Typically found on the entrance level, the EML is one of the most important places in the shelter. Despite its name, a typical EML is a fully-featured medical clinic allowing dwellers to undergo medical procedures in a safe and sterile environment. A medic is expected to be present on site 24 hours a day, to respond to any emergencies immediately.[95] The EML typically varies in size between vaults. Some installations abandon the moniker entirely and simply refer to it as the clinic.

Command center

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The command center is the nexus of Vault activity, where all the computers necessary to maintain the Vault's various functions. Centered around the overseer's office, it typically incorporates the security station, armory, computer core, meeting room, and library, although many variations of the layout have been developed.[96]

The oldest Vault designs usually dedicated an entire floor of the Vault for these purposes, owing to the multiple functions it was supposed to fulfill. One wing of the level would incorporate the overseer's office, a vaulted chamber with a command post equipped with a pair of CZ-53 5mm miniguns designed to defend the overseer, connected to the main processing computers (including the water purification controls)[97] and the security post with the Vault's main armory. The workplace of the overseer would typically be located in an area overlooking the atrium - the center of activity within the Vault, where dwellers would spend their leisure time, socialize, and even engage in sports such as soccer, baseball, and other games.[citation needed]


  • Vault 51 was outfitted with a ZAX AI, which sought out an overseer.
  • Vault 12 had its overseer's room sealed due to the fact that the main door never closed.
  • East Coast and Mojave Vaults lack storage rooms in the overseer's office, they are instead located near the atrium.
  • Vault 81 has an entire wing that is cut off from the rest of the Vault.
  • Vault 111 and Vault 118 both have an elevator exit leading to the surface just outside the airlock.
  • There have been at least three known demonstration vaults, including the Los Angeles Vault, an exhibit built into the Washington, D.C. Museum of Technology, and Vault-Tec: Among the Stars in Nuka-World Amusement Park.


Behind the scenes

Behind the scenes
  • Vault 0 Fallout Tactics and the Secret Vault Fallout Brotherhood of Steel had an entirely different layout than other Vaults.
  • The Vault experiment was an idea created by Tim Cain and Leonard Boyarsky during the initial stages of Fallout 2 development.[Non-canon 21]
  • The developers intended for the player to first encounter information about the Vault experiment as they read the Vault 8 records in Fallout 2. They could discover a classified file (opened with a successful Science skill roll) explaining the purpose of Vault 8 was to be a "control Vault," designed to hold 1000 people and open at a designated time. This file was intended to foreshadow the discovery of the true and sinister purpose of the Vaults.
  • In Fallout 2, the player character was intended to apply their Science skill to the central computer in Vault 13 to obtain a history of Vault 13, the overseer's involvement in the Vault Dweller's expulsion, and even worse, the true purposes of the Vaults. The overseer was conscious of the true purpose of the Vaults as social experiments on a grand scale, and consequently drove out the Vault Dweller because of fear they would ruin the experiment or uncover it.[Non-canon 22][Non-canon 23]
  • Vault 29 and Vault 70 were to appear in Van Buren, the canceled Fallout 3 project by Black Isle Studios.
  • A Vault 69 advertisement appears in Van Buren concept art.
  • According to Chris Taylor, following the success of Vault-Tec Corporation's demonstration Vault built near their headquarters in Los Angeles, the company won the bid for constructing the shelters.[Non-canon 24]



  1. Vault-Tec University terminal entries; Introduction 3
  2. Newscaster: "Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honor of America's Tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country."
  3. Vault 101 PA System: "Did you know - the odds of a Vault-Tec shelter failing are 1,763,497… to 1?"
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 108
  5. Vault 81 terminal entries; old overseer's terminal, overseer's private logs, Drills, Drills, Drills
  6. Vault 81 terminal entries; old overseer's terminal, Admission Protocol
  7. Rejected letter from Vault-Tec: "For a full list of Vault-Tec facilities with available accommodations, in exciting locales such as Oklahoma and newly-annexed Canada, contact your local Vault-Tec representative!"
  8. Museum of Technology Vault tour
  9. 9.0 9.1 Vault locations v34.129
  10. Fallout 4 loading screens: "In the year 2077, the world was destroyed by nuclear fire. Very few managed to escape to the safety of the Vaults."
  11. The Vault Dweller: "{108}{}{Tell me a bit about the town.}"
    Jarvis: "{111}{}{Well, Shady Sands was founded by a great ancestor of our current leader, Aradesh. He could tell you more of the story. We have a well and irrigation, so we do well for ourselves.}"
  12. The Chosen One: "{117}{}{Do you have a GECK?}"
    Mikey Frazier: "{119}{}{A GECK? Well, that's old history, so what the hell. You mean the old Garden of Eden Kit. We had one - I mean our grandparents had one. Used it when they came out of Vault 15. Got this place started, they say. It's all used up now.}"
  13. The Chosen One: "{141}{}{That sounds nasty. Why are they using your people for a test?}"
    Martin Frobisher: "{142}{}{They took us all from our Vault because they wanted test subjects for the antidote. They needed people from outside the Enclave, and who were still pure-strain-humans. So they took us.}"
  14. Vault 81 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Repairs, Repairs, Repairs
  15. The Sole Survivor: "So there's a lot of upkeep going on right now."
    Calvin Whitaker: "Hell, you can say that again. Old 81 here, she's a straight up wreck. Pretty solid for a while. Easy enough to keep up with her needs, but in the last few years or so? Damn she got feisty."
    (Calvin Whitaker's dialogue)
  16. Vault Dweller: "[Intelligence 4+] The structural integrity of a Vault is designed to last generations. It won't be easy to get in."
    Vault 76 overseer: "I think that's part of what's fueled the wild stories about it. A box you can't open just makes you want to see what's inside even more. But whatever it is, it can wait. We need to make sure the newcomers don't get infected."
  17. Vault 13
  18. Vault 106
  19. Vault 12
  20. Museum of Technology Vault system tour: "Triple-S Technology is Vault-Tec's convergence of the three most important parts of apocalyptic endurance: Safety, Survivability and Sanitation!"
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  21. Vault appearance in the games.
  22. Location of Vault 88.
  23. Damaged sections of Vaults clearly show rebar used to reinforce concrete.
  24. Assets used to depict the Vaults in Fallout and Fallout 2 are also used to depict the Glow, Mariposa military base, the Sierra Army depot, toxic caves bunker, and Navarro.
  25. The evolution of Vault technologies between Fallout and Fallout 4 follows a path of technological progression and refinement.
  26. Vault-Tec Workshop components.
  27. Vault 88's construction site demonstrates late model Vault construction in practice, see this image.
  28. Average calculated from known Vault dweller sizes.[clarification needed]
  29. The Chosen One: "{221}{}{Broken Hills? Where are those?}"
    Lumpy: "{230}{}{Broken Hills is where we get all the uranium that we need for the atomic reactor from. From what I understand, the uranium is mined by mutants down there. But they have humans trade the stuff for them.}"
    The Chosen One: "{231}{}{Why do they have humans trade the stuff for them?}"
    Lumpy: "{250}{}{Well, because they trade uranium to Vault City, too. Vault City treats anyone that’s not a pure strain human just like lepers. So, Broken Hills uses human traders. Some guy named Chad, I think.}"
  30. Vault 51 terminal entries; Front desk terminal, Personnel List
  31. Visible from reactor room
  32. Vault 75 Survey data
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 76
  34. Construction plans
  35. Super reactors visible in the Vault's reactor room
  36. Vault 81 Survey data
  37. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 87
  38. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 92
  39. Vault 94 terminal entries
  40. Vault 95 Survey data
  41. 41.0 41.1 Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 106
  42. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 112
  43. Vault 114 Survey data
  44. 44.0 44.1 The Chosen One: "{221}{}{What do you mean?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{222}{prs35}{We had a number of sanctuaries that would enable the glorious American civilization to endure. These facilities - the vaults - were part of the great plan.}"
    The Chosen One: "{223}{}{Those damn Vaults didn't work the way they were supposed to. A lot of people in them died.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{224}{prs36}{Actually, they worked almost exactly the way they were supposed to. You might call it a social experiment on a grand scale. }"
    The Chosen One: "{225}{}{An experiment?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{226}{prs36a}{The Vaults were set up to test humanity. Some had not enough food synthesizers, others had only men in them, yet others were designed to open after only 6 months. They each had a unique set of circumstances designed to test the occupants.}"
  45. Vault networks are referred to in Fallout and other games.
  46. A birthday poem
  47. Museum of Technology Vault system tour: "Concerns about security? Our Eye-On-You Cameras enable the Vault's leader to watch your every move. You'll never be alone again!"
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  48. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal
  49. Vault 101 PA System: ""Did you know - Vault-Tec water and life support systems can sustain a vault for over 900 years, without failure?""
  50. The Vault Dweller: "{105}{}{Do you have a water chip?}"
    Paul: "{134}{}{A Water Chip? The ones from the old Vault-Tec shelters?}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{135}{}{Yes!.. Do you have one?}"
    "{136}{}{No. Those things were junk, they were prone to failure. We don’t deal with purifying our own water here. We have water delivered by caravans from the Hub.}"
  51. Vault City central computer: "{238}{}{According to the archives, there is no GECK currently in stock at Vault City's Amenities Office. The people of Vault City seem to have used the only one they had to help establish the place when they came to the surface.}"
    "{239}{}{Scroll through the remaining information.}"
    "{240}{}{From what you can make out in the archives, two GECKs were part of every Vault's standard inventory package. Only one was shipped to Vault 8, however.}"
    "{241}{}{Cross-reference the GECK shipment information.}"
    "{244}{}{Due to a shipping error, it appears Vault 8 received a box of surplus water chips intended for another Vault. The other Vault most likely received Vault 8's second GECK.}"
  52. Vault 101 terminal entries; overseer's terminal, Letter from Doctor Stanislaus Braun
  53. PoseidoNet in Fallout 2 identifies the Oil Rig as "Control Station Enclave" along with many other sites named "Enclave".
  54. Vault 101 PA System: “Remember - Your Pip-Boy is not a toy. Proper cleaning and maintenance will ensure the device's operation for this, and future, generations.
  55. The Lone Wanderer: "It's all right. Seems kind of old, though."
    Stanley Armstrong: "Of course it is. Just like everybody else's. They don't make 'em any more now, do they?|with a laugh at your naivete}} That one I've been saving just for you, though. The A series is a bit heavier than some of the fancier models, but it won't let you down. I bet you could drop a bomb on one and it would still work. As a matter of fact, I know you could."
    (Stanley Armstrong's dialogue)
  56. Character selection screen for Albert Cole, Max Stone, and Natalia Dubrovhsky.
  57. 57.0 57.1 Letter from Vault-Tec: “Vault-Tec provides all clothing, bedding, and accommodations for residents. Personal belongings must be reviewed and approved of by an authorized Vault-Tec hermetics technician before such belongings can be delivered to your reserved quarters within the Vault. In the event of an emergency entrance to the Vault, no personal belongings will be permitted beyond the main door of the facility.
  58. The Lone Wanderer: "You do look hungry. What, your mom drank up all the ration coupons again?"
    Butch DeLoria: "Don't you talk about my mom, you little punk!"
    (Butch DeLoria's dialogue)
  59. Vault 92 terminal entries; supply shop, intra-Vault mail 000482
  60. Vault jumpsuit appearances.
  61. Vault 101 PA System: "Remember - A clean Vault is a healthy Vault. Please place all trash into the appropriate incineration receptacle on your scheduled burning day."
  62. Vault-Tec University terminal entries#VTU-PDM401
  63. Alphonse Almodovar: "Congratulations, young man/lady! I don’t have to tell you how special this day is, do I? Down here in Vault 101, when you turn 10, well, you’re ready to take on your first official Vault responsibilities. So here you are. As Overseer, I hereby present to you your very own Pip-Boy 3000! Get used to it. You’ll be getting your first work assignment tomorrow. Ha ha ha ha ha!"
    (Alphonse Almodovar's dialogue)
  64. Museum of Technology automated Vault system tour: "The living sections make use of our revolutionary Floorsuck Autocleaner System for those darned messy kids. Never sweep again!"
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  65. Museum of Technology Vault system tour: "Moms will love how our Culinator 3000 Kitchen System makes cooking a breeze. Mmmmm, I can smell the muffins baking now!"
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  66. Museum of Technology automated Vault system tour: "Bored? Don't be! Step into our Entertainotron Room and watch the latest holotapes or perhaps listen to a symphony. Another Vault-Tec innovation!"
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  67. Future Imperfect
  68. The Courier: "Tell me about yourself, Doc."
    Doc Mitchell: "Well, I already told you I came from a Vault. After that, was a traveling doctor for a spell. Seemed like a good idea at the time. Most folks out here ain't educated, so people with medical knowhow are hard to come by. Found that I could help a lot of people with what I knew, and that was all right with me. Eventually, I went back and married my childhood sweetheart and that was the end of my traveling days. Didn't miss it none then. Still don't."
    (Doc Mitchell's dialogue)
  69. The Chosen One: "{209}{}{I think endorphine blockers could be used to neutralize Jet once it's in someone's system. I can't test it without some endorphine blockers, though.}"
    Troy: "{212}{}{We don't have endorphine blockers here, but I could program the Autodoc to manufacture some. Would you care to explain to me your theory?}"
    The Chosen One: "{213}{}{Well, you see Jet's chemical addiction is probably the hardest thing to shake, so I was thinking that if we introduced endorphine blockers into the body we could...}"
  70. The Courier: "Where would I find a diagnostic scanning module?"
    Caesar: "It's been said that Auto-Docs were standard equipment in the underground Vaults where mankind survived when the bombs fell centuries ago. You can search the Vaults, but every Auto-Doc my Legion has run across has been stripped for parts long before we found it. Some of my scouts did report an abandoned Vault near Nellis Air Force Base. Overrun by ghouls, they said. Maybe the infestation has been there long enough to keep scavengers out. Why don't you go and see?"
    (Caesar's dialogue)
  71. The Chosen One: "{290}{}{You mentioned before you were a doctor... I'm something of a doctor myself.}"
    Troy: "{124}{}{You are? It's a pleasure to meet you. If you have the time, perhaps we could compare notes? It is not often that I get the chance to speak to another physician.}"
    The Chosen One: "{125}{}{Absolutely. I'd love to learn some of the medical techniques you Citizens use.}"
    Troy: "{128}{}{Excellent! Well, first, let me take you on a tour. Over here, we have the monitoring systems...}"
    "{130}{}{... and that is how we can clone cells to make replacement limbs. We have to be careful that the tissue cultures don't get contaminated, but... in any event, I think I've talked enough... hope it was informative.}"
    The Chosen One: "{132}{}{Thanks for the tour, Doctor Troy. It's been very educational.}"
  72. Museum of Technology Vault system tour: "Being underground got you down? Smile! Our SimuSun Lighting mimics the feeling of being outside with only a fraction of the sunburn potential."
    (Vault-Tec exhibit messages)
  73. Vault 101 PA System: "Did you know - the average life expectancy of a resident in a properly maintained Vault is 92.3 years?"
  74. Vault 101 terminal entries; Vault 101 medical data system, Freddie Gomez
  75. Examples include Michael Angelo, who doesn't dare leave his workshop even for inspiration, the Boomers who shoot artillery at anything that comes close to them, and the Vault 101 security, who still don't exit the Vault even after the Lone Wanderer opens its door. (Escape!)
  76. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: "The simulation will now start. After a briefing by the Vault Overseer as to your immediate task, you will appear outside the Vault Blast Door."
  77. Museum of Technology Vault-Tec exhibit messages: "Sleep in quiet comfort knowing that our impenetrable vault doors can withstand a direct hit by an atomic bomb with only a projected 2% failure rate."
  78. Vault 87 terminal entries; Vault 87 overseer's terminal, Mission Suspended
  79. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.2: "Important Vault Statistics: Door thickness, 4 yards, steel"
  80. Saltbeef Bob: "It was a great big door, like them kinds you see in the old video flics. Big and made o' steel. An on it was carved a great, big 13!"
    (Saltbeef Bob's dialogue)
  81. Fallout item description: "{17100}{}{Door Entry Computer} {17101}{}{This computer controls the large Vault door. You have to enter a specific access code for the computer to work.}"
    (PRO SCEN.MSG (Fallout))
  82. VIVLTDOR.MSG: "This is a typical Vault door. It looks like its power couplings are stuck."
  83. Vault 79 door render
  84. Vault 51 door render
  85. 85.0 85.1 Vault 94 terminal entries; Vault Door Control, Vault Door Control Instructions
  86. Vault 94 terminal entries; Vault Door Control, Close Vault Door
  87. Vault 94 terminal entries; Vault Door Control, Open Vault Door
  88. Interior door label blue
  89. Interior door label white
  90. Fallout manual
  91. Vault 15 worldmap
  92. Fallout and Fallout 2 Vault design
  93. Vault 11
  94. 94.0 94.1 Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas Vault designs
  95. Fallout, upon entering the Vault 13 EML for the first time
  96. Variations in Vault design across the series
  97. Location of the water chip at Vault 12


  1. Fallout Bible p.19: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2054: In light of the Euro-Middle-Eastern conflict and the plague scare, the United States sets Project Safehouse in motion. The project, financed by junk bonds, is designed to create shelters, called Vaults, for the populace in the event of a nuclear war or deadly plague. Construction begins late in 2054 and proceeds rapidly due to advances in construction technology"
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide; Important Vault statistics
  3. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide title page: "NOTICE.––This document contains information affecting the national defense of the United States within the meaning of the New Amended Espionage Act, 50 U.S.C., 31 and 32. Its transmission or the revelation of its contents in any manner to an unauthorized person is prohibited by the law."
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fallout Bible p.20: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2063 August: The construction of most Vaults completed, except for Vault 13, whose construction finally gets off the ground... heralding a development cycle that seems plagued with problems. Drills begin in the other cities with completed Vaults, but the increasing frequency of the drills has a "cry wolf" effect, and the turnouts for drills trickle off as the years go on."
  5. Fallout Bible p.107-108: "LIFE WITH THE GECK"
    "1b. What may be suitable for planting in the present may not be suitable in 20 yrs. This is esp true I would think in the FO universe with its rather unstable ecosystem. I mean if one really wanted to be certain that what one was panting would grow the best thing to do would be to collect the seeds, spores etc from already growing food sources - these have a guaranteed fertilization rate. After all those corn seeds that were put in the GECK 50 yrs ago now have not sufficiently mutated to endure the new Wasteland (even in a "normal" ecosystem, the only strains of plant that survive are those that mutate)."
    "You're absolutely right. The GECK builders had no idea what the post-nuclear world would be like, and they had no real way to anticipate it, despite their "thorough tests" (it's doubtful they gave it much thought, to be honest, considering how badly organized the Safehouse project alone was, not to mention the experimental nature of the Vaults) - still, it seems as if the seeds present in the GECK were viable for Vault 8."
  6. Fallout Bible p.22: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2077 October 23: Great War: Bombs are launched; who struck first is unknown... and it is not even known if the bombs came from China or America. Air raid sirens sound, but very few people go into vaults, thinking it is a false alarm. The Vaults are sealed."
  7. Fallout Bible p.23: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2091: Vault 8 opens, and they use their GECK to create fertile ground for their city. This eventually becomes Vault City."
  8. Fallout Bible p.23: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2092: LA Vault opens, the Boneyard is founded and attracts survivors."
  9. Fallout Bible p.25: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2141 Spring: Vault 15 opened."
  10. Fallout Bible p.82: "THE VIPERS"
    "So there you are - all I could dig up on the Vipers. Officially, they exist in the Fallout universe, but they'll differ from the description above in the following ways:
    • The Vipers are from Vault 15."
  11. 11.0 11.1 Fallout Bible p.25: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2141 Winter: Raiders begin to form in the region as food supplies run low. The Khans and the Vipers begin terrorizing local settlements."
  12. Fallout Bible p.25: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2142 Spring: Shady Sands founded, wall erected against the raiders."
  13. Fallout Bible p.20: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2162 March 3: After capturing a caravan of strange-garbed travelers (vault dwellers), Master learns the location of the Boneyard Vault, the future site of the Cathedral. He conquers the inhabitants and sets up operations there, and the human cultists begin to use the Vault as their powerbase. Within the Vault, the Master learns of other Vaults, and realizing their human occupants are ripe for transformation, begins to send out patrols to Vault locations in search of these other Vaults."
  14. Fallout Bible p.50: "QUESTIONS"
    "2155-1256In-game spelling: After capturing a caravan of vault dwellers, Master learns the location of the Boneyard Vault, the future site of the Cathedral. He conquers the inhabitants and sets up operations there, and the human cultists begin to use the Vault as their powerbase. Within the Vault, the Master begins to send out patrols to Vault locations in search of these other Vaults."
  15. Fallout Bible p.25: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2242 May 16: Less than a day later, Vault 13 is opened, only to be greeted by two Enclave verti-assault squads. The squads kill three of the citizens who were "resisting capture," and storm the Vault, kidnapping all the inhabitants."
  16. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.1–2: "Vault-13 is designed to provide protection from the effects of a nuclear blast. To better understand the protection provided, we have included a section from the High Energy Weapons FAQ that explains how a nuclear blast causes damage."
  17. Fallout Bible p.10: "VAULT SYSTEM"
    "Basically, the Vaults were never intended to save the population of the United States. With a population of almost 400 million by 2077, the U.S. would need nearly 400,000 Vaults the size of Vault 13, and Vault-Tec was commissioned to build only 122 such Vaults. The real reason for these Vaults was to study pre-selected segments of the population to see how they react to the stresses of isolationism and how successfully they re-colonize after the Vault opens. Some of the experiments include:"
  18. 18.0 18.1 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.5–14: "'EQUIPMENT
    Vault-13 comes prepared with the latest in survival equipment. The items in your storage containers will last 1,000 people over 10 years in comfortable and modern surroundings. When it is time to leave the Vault, and return to rebuild America, your friends at VaultTec have provided you with everything that you will need. We have ensured that all of your rebuilding needs will be covered"
    "Yeah, right. Who wrote this? What budget did they get? We already used most of the equipment on failed attempts to contact an outside civilization. And we’ve been in here a lot longer than ten years. We have little left to give you, but we will give you what we can."
    "undergone extensive testing to make sure the equipment is reliable."
  19. Fallout Bible p.11: "VAULT SYSTEM"
    "Vault 13: Intended to stay closed for 200 years as a study of prolonged isolation, the broken water chip forced the Overseer to improvise and use the Vault Dweller as a pawn. Later study of the Vault 13 records by the Enclave led them to their current plan to end the war."
  20. Fallout Bible p.34: "QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS"
    "7. When the bombs dropped, all communication between the vaults where severed, so if their was no way to communicate with the vaults how did the Enclave send a massage to Vault 13 telling the people its time to go?"
    "Communication between Vaults was never in place (it might ruin the experiments), but communication with the government/Enclave/Vault-Tec was a different story... they needed some way of monitoring the vaults.

    The Enclave, having access to the Vault-Tec construction plans (not too surprising, considering the fact that the Vaults were funded by the government) had a way of monitoring events taking place within the Vaults... not only could they access their computers and systems remotely, (including PIPBoys and the personal logs of the Vault Dwellers), but the early Overseers of most of the Vaults knew of the ties to the government, and it was part of their duties to download information on the citizens and the Vault into an computer archive that the government could easily access.

    Their tie to the Vault computers also gave the Enclave the ability to override any Vault locking mechanism and send an "all-clear" signal to sealed Vaults, coaxing the inhabitants to come outside.

    Again, almost no Vault Dwellers were ever aware of this."
  21. RPG Codex interview with Leonard Boyarsky
  22. Fallout Bible p.11: "VAULT SYSTEM"
    The player was also intended to apply his Science skill to the central computer in Vault 13 to obtain a history of Vault 13, the Overseer's involvement in the Vault Dweller's expulsion, and even worse, the true purposes of the Vaults. The Overseer was conscious of the true purpose of the Vaults as social experiments on a grand scale, and he drove out the Vault Dweller because he was afraid that he would ruin the experiment... or uncover it. Of course, the Overseer himself caused problems not long after this, according to Martin Frobisher, the leader of Vault 13 in Fallout 2:"
  23. Fallout Bible: "1e. Vault doors were in the tanker in San Fran, from which vault are they, and who brought them onto the ship?"
    Chris Avellone: "They are unmarked models, planned for shipment somewhere up or down the West Coast. The "Vault Doors" were used for more than just Vaults, however, so the door may have been intended for some other facility. It's most likely just there because of designer caveat/designer privilege/game logic - the designer probably just needed something to fill up space in the tanker, and the door looked like good junk."
  24. Chris Taylor interview for Vault13.net:
    Saint Proverbius (SP): "Which Vault number was the Master's base?"
    Chris Taylor (CT): "The Master was in the Vault-Tec private Vault. This was the demonstration model built for the federal government, it was also very close to the Vault-Tec headquarters."
Vault-Tec Vaults