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Revolutionizing safety for an uncertain future.— Vault-Tec Corporation slogan

Vault-Tec Corporation[14] (also referred to as Vault-Tec Industries)[4][15][16][17] was a pre-War defense corporation[18][19] which won the federal government contract to design and implement a network of bunkers designed to protect the population of the United States from nuclear holocaust, known as the Vaults.

The company is sometimes referred to as Vault-Tek, Vault-Tech, VaulTek, and Vaultex. Vault-Tec is the correct spelling, consistently used since Fallout 3.[20][21]

History[edit | edit source]

Origins and rise to power[edit | edit source]

The origins of America's preeminent nuclear defense corporation are shrouded in mystery. It has existed as early as 2031, when it acquired and re-branded Morgantown's local college as Vault-Tec University, with some of their top executives and scientists either teaching or graduating from there.[22] This investment in cadre would pay off in 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, 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. Vault-Tec was prepared for such an eventuality. Following the success of its demonstration Vault, built near their headquarters in Los Angeles at the time, the company won the bid for the construction of the shelters.[23] The tremendous success of the company allowed it to build a new headquarters in Washington, D.C..[23][24]

The impoverished government financed the project with junk bonds and even then, only commissioned 122 of these shelters nationwide, allowing less than 0.1% of the population to save their life in the event of the holocaust.[25] The reason was simple: Sheer cost. Vault 13's budget was $400 billion dollars, and by the end of its construction the total costs reached $645 billion, well over 150% of the initial figure.[26] The staggering cost was further increased by the circumstances: As crucial elements of national defense, much of the project was classified and protected under the New Amended Espionage Act, which encouraged embezzlement and corruption.[27] 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 miraculous technologies and develop shelters that legitimately protected the inhabitants, as long as they worked properly, of course.[28]

Some of these miracles manifested as breakthroughs in construction technology, allowing for these gargantuan bunkers to be constructed at a rapid pace.[29] Most were completed by 2063, although the construction of several Vaults was delayed, particularly Vault 13 (which only started construction in August 2063) and the network surrounding Washington, D.C.[30] Some Vault construction was delayed due to work stoppage.[31] Despite these problems, Vault-Tec began advertising Vaults in newly annexed Canada, though these were in the early stages of completion.[9]

Regardless of nuclear war, Vault-Tec had its own plans for Vaults. The company decided to use them as test environments to create technologies that could be used to redefine society. For this purpose, an entire Vault was set aside to act as proving grounds intended to test a variety of prototype devices with the aim of rolling them out through the rest of the Vaults. Once Vault 88 was fully operational, the company expected to roll out new devices every fiscal quarter. Unlike other Vaults, Vault-Tec would send test subjects before any disaster scenario, starting in early 2078. Human lives were considered irrelevant, with quick iteration time given a priority.[32] The prototypes were meant to convert "useless" exercise into a socially-useful activity, manipulate the moods of the dwellers or even develop crude forms of mind control.[33] Ethical concerns were dismissed as counter-productive and close-minded.[34]

Nuclear war[edit | edit source]

Main article: Vault

Ongoing drills in completed Vaults slowly created a Cry Wolf effect: Turnouts for the drills fell as the years went on, limiting the Vaults' future role in ensuring the survival of humanity.[30] However, even if they didn't, the shadow government decided against Vaults being shelters for preserving humanity.[35] After establishing control over Project Safehouse, they subverted it to their own ends. Rather than act to save humanity, Vaults were built to test their population as part of the Societal Preservation Program.[36][37] Only 17 of the Vaults were designed to work properly as control Vaults.[38] The 105 other Vaults featured a variety of scenarios, ranging from annoying to downright lethal, to gauge how humans acted in these scenarios for their own, nefarious purposes.[39] Some were not provided with enough food synthesizer for their population, others had only men in them, or were designed to open prematurely. The purpose of this experiment was to gather data for the Enclave's own projects, the exact purpose of which is unclear.[40]

When October 23, 2077, came and the Great War took place, the Vault-Tec air raid sirens blared, but the Cry Wolf effect resulted in just a fraction of people going into the Vaults. They were sealed and the experiments entered their decisive phase. The control Vaults functioned as intended and protected their populations. Others, however, were not so lucky.[41] Within the next few decades, many Vaults 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.[42] A year later, the demonstration Vault in the ruins of LA opened. The inhabitants founded Adytum in what became known as the Boneyard.[43]

Businesses[edit | edit source]

Vault-Tec corporate building

The primary focus of Vault-Tec was the development of a line of nuclear war defense installations and the technology necessary for their construction. Although their most recognizable product remains the venerable Vault, the company has also developed cheaper alternatives, like the Series 1000 shelter,[16] and contracted its technologies out to other entities requiring a reliable, proven pipeline for constructing subterranean bunkers.[44] Vault-Tec's technology is generally reliable and of very high quality, and a testament to the corporation's capabilities at its best. Its proprietary inventions, designed to improve the quality of life of a Vault dweller, include SimuSun Lighting, Floorsuck Autocleaner Systems, Culinator 3000 Kitchen Systems, Entertainotron Rooms and Eye-On-You Cameras.[45]

Apart from heavy construction and technologies necessary for sustaining a population underground, Vault-Tec has also developed nuclear reactors,[46] medical devices, such as the organ extractor,[47] motion sensors based on Wattz Electronics' designs,[48] and even the SimTek 5000 virtual reality simulation suite for accustoming Vault dwellers with the outside[49] and the Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System for facing any threats.[1]

Future-Tec[edit | edit source]

A division of Vault-Tec, tasked with developing cutting edge technologies to allow Vault dwellers to brave the horrors of a post-nuclear world. Their crown achievement is, of course, the Garden of Eden Creation Kit.[50]

Corporate affairs[edit | edit source]

Vault-Tec was a coin with two sides. To the casual observer, it was the very example of corporate America at its very best: A large exposition at the Museum of Technology in the capital was designed to promote their shelters and explain their functionality,[45] while promotional tours and awarding of prizes like the Pressed Vault Suit Award were also used to promote a positive image of the company.[51] An attraction at Nuka-World also highlighted an idealistic public image of what Vaults could do for mankind off-world. A massive merchandise line developed to promote Vaults and the company was also a part of their efforts and included baseball caps, lunchboxes, T-shirts, leather bomber jackets, golf tees, drink cozys, Vault-Tec bobbleheads (and the matching Bobblehead collector's stand), as well as Limited Edition snow globes showcasing landmarks around the nation.[52]

However, the reality for Vault-Tec employees was completely different. Employees received the Vault-Tec employee handbook, a monumental publication which outlined everything about the company and its procedures, down to bathroom breaks. The regulations were nothing less than draconian and oppressive: Vault-Tec's human resources and administration division considered 2.25 minutes (135 seconds) to be the reasonable length of a bathroom break. Exploitative and abusive labor practices seemed to be the norm.[53][54] Worse yet, as a strategic defense contractor for the government, Vault-Tec's affairs and all related publications (including, for example, the Vault Dweller's Survival Guide) were protected by the New Amended Espionage Act and any whistle blowing attempts would likely hurt the whistle blower more than the corporation.[27]

Vault-Tec was authorized to carry out drills for citizens selected for inclusion in the Vaults and operated its own alert system. Beta alert drills were carried out at regular intervals (sometimes as many as five a week) to test admission protocols and prepare the future Vault dwellers for an orderly admission into the Vault, in case of an Alpha Alert. Members of the experimentation staff were expected to participate in the drills each time.[55] Compliance and secrecy were accomplished simply by providing the scientists (frequently graduates or even students) with a hefty paycheck, supplanted by the implied threat of force should they decide to blow the whistle.[56]

Known products[edit | edit source]


Known locations[edit | edit source]

Notes[edit | edit source]

Vault-Tec's phone number was 1-888-482-858-832 (1-888-4VAULT-TEC).

Appearances[edit | edit source]

Vault-Tec Vaults and technology appear in all of the Fallout games.

Behind the scenes[edit | edit source]

  • The Vault experiment was an idea created by Tim Cain during the initial stages of Fallout 2 development.[23][39]
  • The player character was intended to discover Vault-Tec's complicity in the grand social experiment by unearthing files hidden in the computers at Vault 8 and Vault 13, describing the purposes of the respective Vaults and their history.[25]
  • The Vault-Tec building seen in the Fallout 2 intro is a still from the 1990 classic noir film, Dick Tracy, resized and slightly modified.[59]
  • Outside of the Fallout series, the Vault-Tec logo also appeared in the 2016 reboot of Doom (published by Bethesda Softworks) on certain doors in the UAC facility on Mars. Vault-Tec is also mentioned in RAGE.[60]

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Visual identity[edit | edit source]

Other depictions[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Prepare for the Future, Channel 3: Tomorrow's Technology Today #37:
  2. Vault-Tec Channel 9
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: Pocket Reference Edition p.39, front and back cover.
  5. Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 Pip-Boy minigames
  6. Fallout 4 site image
  7. Fallout 4 site image
  8. Fallout 4 site images
  9. 9.0 9.1 Rejected letter from Vault-Tec
  10. 10.0 10.1 Fallout 4 site image
  11. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: Pocket Reference Edition p.3
  12. Vault 94 terminal entries#Security Log - 10/21/77
  13. Vault-Tec Corporation#Gallery
  14. Vault entrances in Fallout 4 bill the corporation as Vault-Tec Corporation
  15. Vault-Tec Workshop loading screen hints: "Before the Great War, it had been widely publicized that Vault-Tec Industries had won the government contract to provide underground fallout shelters to the U.S. population. But the sinister social experiments? Those remained a secret..."
  16. 16.0 16.1 Vault 15 map from Fallout 2 is signed as Vault-Tec Series 10001-0649 Vault-Tec Industries.
  17. Fallout 2 Vault-Tec Industries billboard loading screen.
  18. Museum of Technology terminal entries; museum information terminal, Vault-Tec's Vault of Tomorrow
  19. Vault 92 terminal entries; Richard Rubin's terminal, personal entry 000897398
  20. The Chosen One: "{323}{}{Did Vic ever have anything that was labeled ‘Vault-Tek’?}"
    Jenny: "{390}{}{Vault-tek? He might have had something like that. I’m not sure. I know he did have a lot of really old stuff.}"
    QITURTRM.MSG, MIS 25 Speech.txt, Maxson Bunker design document/1, Nursery design document/1
  21. Fallout ending, The invasion of Vault 13
  22. Fallout 76 loading screens: "In 2031, Vault-Tec re-branded Morgantown's local college as Vault-Tec University, and some of their top executives and scientists either taught or graduated from there. Go Fighting Wendigos! "
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 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."
  24. Vault-Tec headquarters in Fallout 3.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Fallout Bible 0, Vault system
  26. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.1—1-1—2: "Important Vault statistics
    Vault Number: 13
    Starting construction date :August 2063
    Ending construction date: March 2069
    Starting Budget: $400,000,000,000
    Final Budget, with interest: $645,000,000,000
    Total number of occupants: 1,000 (at capacity)
    Total duration: 10 years (at capacity)
    Number of living quarters: 100 (hot bunking required if at maximum capacity)
    Door thickness: 4 yards, steel
    Earth coverage: 3,200,000 tons of soil, at 200 feet
    Computer control system: Think machine
    Primary power supply: Geo-thermal
    Secondary power supply: General Atomics Nuclear Power backup systems
    Power requirements: 3.98mkw/day
    Stores: Complete construction equipment, hydro-agricultural farms, water purification from underground river, defensive weaponry to equip 10 men, communication, social and entertainment files (for total duration)"
  27. 27.0 27.1 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide inner cover: "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."
  28. Fallout Bible 6, 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 theFO 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."
  29. Fallout Bible 0: "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."
  30. 30.0 30.1 Fallout Bible 0: "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."
  31. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 108
  32. Vault 88 terminal entries; Vault 88 Overseer's desk (self-build), Prime Directive
  33. Valery Barstow: "Well. At least that's over. Let's continue. I tried digging my way to the entrance. With that Control Board, I could've changed everything. But there was simply too much rubble for the equipment to handle. But my work, my work kept me going. Here. Among these papers is my life's work. I'd like to share it with you. Doctor Braun tasked me with something vital. A series of prototypes and their related... well, experiments, that could redefine society. But as you can see things did not go according to plan."
    (Valery Barstow's dialogue)
  34. The Sole Survivor: "So these experiments can be run ethically?"
    Valery Barstow: "If you insist on hobbling the prototypes' potential, yes, you could abide by as many ethical standards you'd like. I suggest being more open-minded, but the choice will be ultimately yours."
    (Valery Barstow's dialogue)
  35. One Man, and a Crate of Puppets, panel 1: "The Vault
    Experiments were never designed to rescue the people that lived inside them. They were a vast social experiment designed to study pre-selected segments of the population."
  36. Bloomfield Space Center design document/1: "In November, 2076, the Enclave seized control of Bloomfield Space Center. They knew nuclear war was just around the corner, so they tried to refit the Hermes-13 and convert it into a vehicle that would take selected personnel (mainly themselves) off-planet, destination yet to be determined."
  37. Reactor Maintenance and Repair Robot control terminal: "{360}{}{Active PoseidoNet Stations: Atomic Powerplant #5, Navarro Refinery, Control Station ENCLAVE, ENCLAVE Vault-Research Control…AccessDenied}"
  38. Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 76
  39. 39.0 39.1 Fallout Bible 0, #More questions, questions:
    "The Vault experiments were an idea created by Tim Cain, and I don't really know the reason behind them, but I can offer some speculation."
    "First off, thematically, it's pretty creepy, and we all know that developers will pull all sorts of crazy shit to try and mess with players' heads. It's possible that Tim had just finished watching an X-Files episode and had conspiracy theories swimming around in his subconscious. As to your comment about the experiments being a bit over the top, well, yeah. We're guilty as charged."
  40. Dick Richardson: "{218}{prs33}{Well, no it didn't. But at least it knocked the damn Red menace back into the stone age.}"
    The Chosen One: "{219}{}{And us with it.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{220}{prs34}{Well, no. No... not quite. You see, we had planned ahead. We were ready. }"
    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.}"
    The Chosen One: "{227}{}{What about Vault 13? What was it's purpose?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{228}{prs37}{Ahh. Vault 13 was a special case. It was supposed to remain closed until the subjects were needed. Vault 13 was, in scientific parlance, a control group.}"
    The Chosen One: "{229}{}{But they would all have died if my ancestor didn't get them a replacement water chip. That doesn't seem to fit in with your plan.}"
    Dick Richardson: "{230}{prs38}{An unfortunate, and unforeseen, accident. However, as it turns out, a rather fortuitous one.}"
    The Chosen One: "{231}{}{What do you mean?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{232}{prs39}{As it turns out we needed test subjects from untainted, pre-war, human stock - your ancestors in Vault 13 - and some freshly mutated stock - the villagers from Arroyo.}"
    The Chosen One: "{233}{}{Why?}"
    Dick Richardson: "{234}{prs39a}{For the Project. It's almost ready. Humanity's salvation is almost at hand and the United States of America will be the progenitor of that rebirth.}"
    The Chosen One: "{235}{}{Rebirth? What do you mean?}"
  41. Fallout Bible 0: "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."
  42. Fallout Bible 0: "2091 Vault 8 opens, and they use their GECK to create fertile ground for their city. This eventually becomes Vault City."
  43. Fallout Bible 0: "2092 LA Vault opens, the Boneyard is founded and attracts survivors."
  44. Appearance of non-Vault installations in the games, including the Securitron Vault.
  45. 45.0 45.1 Museum of Technology Vault tour
  46. 46.0 46.1 Power plant operations
  47. Computer terminal: "{103}{}{Welcome to Vault-Tec's state-of-the-art organ extraction apparatus. To operate, please place donor in operating room, turn dial to appropriate species, and select organ to be extracted.}"
  48. The Chosen One: "{349}{}{What is it?}"
    Stark: "{350}{}{It's a Vault-Tec Motion sensor. We were going to strip it for parts, since it's too old for our Pip Boys, but it looks like it's compatible with your model.}"
    The Chosen One: "{351}{}{How does it work?}"
    Stark: "{352}{}{Keep it in your hand and it IDs hostiles in your immediate area when you use it. Or you can call up the Pip Boy automap as normal, then just click the "scanner" button and they're lit up like a neon sign.}"
  49. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.2—1: "SIMTEK OPERATIONS
    The Vault-Tec Research Group has determined that after a long period of security, many Vault-Dwellers will feel “uncomfortable” with the idea of returning to the outside world. The SimTek 5000 will provide a safe and reassuring return to life on the outside world. This chapter will give you a brief walk-through of the operation of the SimTek 5000."
  50. Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.5—34:
  51. Vault locations v34.129
  52. Vault-Tec headquarters terminal entries; Vault-Tec employee terminal
  53. Vault-Tec headquarters terminal entries; Vault-Tec employee terminal, Message 0101C Bathroom Breaks
  54. Vault-Tec headquarters terminal entries; Vault-Tec employee terminal, Message 0099D Vending Machines
  55. Vault 81 terminal entries; Old Overseers terminal, Admission Protocol
  56. Vault 81 terminal entries; Old Overseers terminal, Drills, Drills, Drills
  57. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Collector's Edition p.384: "[6.19] Suffolk County Charter School
    The student base of this school consisted mostly of lower-income and disadvantaged students. These children were lucky enough to be chosen for trials of a new food substitute paste developed by Vault-Tec in conjunction with the U.S. government. The paste was intended to provide all necessary nutrition and have a shelf life of over 100 years. Despite some minor side effects, the paste is both nutritious and delicious. Why not try some yourself? You’ll be in the pink!"
    (Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Map)
  58. File:FNV-CE-PlayingCard-Vault21.png
  59. The Vault Fallout Facebook.
  60. Fallout in other media
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