(Canon vaults)
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* [[Vault 88]] appears in the ''Fallout 4'' add-on ''[[Vault-Tec Workshop]]''.
* [[Vault 88]] appears in the ''Fallout 4'' add-on ''[[Vault-Tec Workshop]]''.
* [[Vault 76]] will appear in ''[[Fallout 76]]''. It was previously mentioned in a [[Citadel]] terminal in ''Fallout 3'', and also in its [[Fallout 3 add-ons|add-on]] ''[[Mothership Zeta (add-on)|Mothership Zeta]]'' in an [[alien captive recorded log]], as well as at the very beginning of ''[[Fallout 4]]'' by the [[newscaster]].
* [[Vault 76]] will appear in ''[[Fallout 76]]''. It was previously mentioned in a [[Citadel]] terminal in ''Fallout 3'', and also in its [[Fallout 3 add-ons|add-on]] ''[[Mothership Zeta (add-on)|Mothership Zeta]]'' in an [[alien captive recorded log]], as well as at the very beginning of ''[[Fallout 4]]'' by the [[newscaster]].
* [[Vault 63]] will also appear in ''Fallout 76''.
* [[Vault 63]], [[Vault 94]] and [[Vault 96]] will also appear in ''Fallout 76''.
* [[Vault 0]] appears in ''[[Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel|Fallout Tactics]]''.
* [[Vault 0]] appears in ''[[Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel|Fallout Tactics]]''.
* The [[Secret Vault]] and the [[Vault prototype]] appear in ''[[Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel]]''.
* The [[Secret Vault]] and the [[Vault prototype]] appear in ''[[Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel]]''.

Revision as of 23:15, October 27, 2018

Gametitle-FO1Gametitle-FO2Gametitle-FO3Gametitle-FNVGametitle-FO4Gametitle-FO76Gametitle-FOTGametitle-FOBOSGametitle-FOSGametitle-FBGGametitle-VBGametitle-FBPenny Arcade

Vault-Tec advert and in-game town map of Vault 13


A pre-War Vault-Tec advertisement

Vault 101

Inside Vault 101


The vault door opening to Vault 111

A vault is a type of subterranean installation initially designed by the Vault-Tec Corporation, later constructed in collaboration with RobCo Industries.[1] Officially, they were designed for the sole purpose of sheltering up to one thousand citizens each in the event of a nuclear holocaust; however, in reality, they were a series of secret experiments orchestrated by the United States government.


Commissioned by the U.S. government in 2054 as part of "Project: Safehouse," also known as the "Societal Preservation Program," the Vault-Tec Corporation constructed 122 vaults across the country.[2] However, at the onset of the Great War in 2077, most vaults were sealed without many of their intended inhabitants, a result of the “cry wolf effect"[3] that previous training drills had on the populace.

The first vault was constructed beneath Los Angeles, and was intended to demonstrate the viability of such a facility. Unlike subsequent installations, this demonstration vault was not part of the ulterior experiments behind Project: Safehouse. By 2063, most of the vaults had finished construction, with the exceptions of 13, 76, 114, 118 and 88. Vault 112 is the last known construction on record, completed in June of 2074.


The vaults were some of the most expensive shelters in the pre-War world. According to the Vault Dweller's Survival Guide for Vault 13 (otherwise known as the Fallout manual), the intended budget for that particular installation was 400 billion dollars, and by the end of its construction reached $645 billion (although it should be mentioned that prices in the Fallout setting are highly inflated; in Fallout Tactics there are gas station signs listing regular gas at $1450.99, and there are advertisements for vehicles in Fallout 3 loading screen slides for "Only $1,000,000."). The vaults were located in various locations, and little information is available as to why those particular sites were chosen.

Each vault was designed to hold one thousand occupants at any given time, although hot-bunking was required at maximum capacity, and equipped with all facilities and supplies needed by them to survive in isolation for the designated time. According to the Vault 101 PA System, the life support system could work for over 900 years without failure, and the odds of a vault failing were 1,763,497 to 1. In addition, the PA system also stated that the average life expectancy in a properly maintained vault is 92.3 years.[4] The facilities and supplies for Vault 13 included complete construction equipment, hydro-agricultural farms, a water purification system, defensive weaponry to equip 10 people, communication systems and surface monitors, social, and entertainment files (for total duration). Waste management was conducted by burning trash on scheduled "burning days." Larger incinerator receptacles were used for the destruction of human corpses. In addition, some vaults 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.

Different types of power sources were utilized for the vaults. Vault 13 relied primarily on geothermal energy, with backup power available from a General Atomics nuclear power generator, enough to sustain the vault for two hundred years. Vault 8 on the other hand, relied on an inefficient nuclear reactor,[5] which, while enough for Vault City to emerge, could only support a relatively small, highly advanced settlement, and in 2241 was nearing its capacity, after which further growth would be impossible.

All vault dwellers wear blue-and-yellow jumpsuits, although the design varied between different vaults.

Needless to say, most vaults in the experiment failed and had results completely different than those advertised. Many who exited successful vaults seem to suffer from xenophobia (fear of strangers) and/or agoraphobia (fear of open places); notable examples would be Michael Angelo, who doesn't dare leave the Strip even for inspiration, the Boomers who shoot artillery at anything that comes close to them, the Vault 101 citizens, who still don't exit the vault even after the Lone Wanderer opens its door, and most of the Vault 81 citizens, who are wary of outsiders after Overseer McNamara opened the vault to trade with wastelanders. Notable exceptions would be the Vault Dweller, the Lone Wanderer, Butch DeLoria, Doc Mitchell, Rylee, Susie Mack (In the Out of the Vault random encounter) and the Sole Survivor.


The vaults are all very similar in their basic functions, but sometimes were constructed according to different designs. The vaults of the New California area differ from those constructed in the vicinity of Washington, DC, the Commonwealth, and the Mojave area.

Due to scaling, the size of vaults in games shouldn't be taken at face value. None of the explorable vaults in the games have enough space or facilities to actually house 1000 people (or rather 500, as hot-bunking is used at maximum capacity). However, many doors within in-game vaults are inaccessible, which allows for the possibility that the vault is far larger than the areas the player can access.


The entrance houses the vault's only connection to the outside world - the airlock (with the exception of Vault 19, Vault 87, Vault 88 and Vault 118).


A vault computer

It is closed from the inside by a reinforced high-security door and from the outside by a massive, gear-shaped, four-foot thick vault door, which Three Dog claims "weighs, like, thirteen tons." For most vaults this is the only means of entering or leaving. Most vaults have consoles located on both the inside and outside, both of which require a security code to open the outer door. These codes are usually only known to a handful of people within the facility so as to prevent unauthorized exits.

The automated narrator in Washington DC's Museum of Technology states that the vault doors had a projected 2% failure rate in case of a direct hit by a nuclear missile. The only known vault to have been hit by a nuclear weapon is Vault 87, and according to the logs of its overseer, that blast damaged the door beyond repair. This could have been merely a "lucky shot" falling within the 2% failure, but it seems more likely that Vault-Tec's strength projections were incorrect or defined failure as allowing the inside of the vault to be damaged or irradiated.

Fo1 Vault 15 Townmap

Vault 15 townmap

Most vaults use a Seal-N-Safe Vault door Model No. 343[6] to secure the airlock. Some older vaults, such as Vault 101, use a different, cruder blast door model. Vault 8, the control vault, had also a second, much larger, blast door built, securing the entry hallway leading to the entrance to the vault. Vault 111 and Vault 118 are the only known vaults to feature an elevator leading to an underground area where the gear shaped door is located already secure in the hill it was built in.

The entrance level also houses the Emergency Medical Lab complete with an Auto-Doc. A vault medic was required to be present at the EML 24 hours a day. The lab had the equipment to treat nearly all injuries and illnesses, ranging from simple bruises to radiation poisoning.

Living Quarters

Standard pre-War design of the living quarters was that of a single room with a sanitary annex. Vault 13 had one hundred living quarters, and at maximum capacity, ten people would be assigned to a single living quarter, in a hot-bunking system. A standard level had 20,000 square feet of usable area.

The lights in the vaults used Simu-Sun technology, making it feel just like the outdoors, with only a fraction of a sunburn risk. The lights in Vault 101 were kept on all the time to prevent a radroach infestation.

New Entertainertrons were used to play holotapes and used as a slide projector in the classroom of Vault 101.

Command Center

Overseer lower levels

Vault 13 Overseer Command Post

Command PostFOBOS

A Secret Vault Command Post

At the heart of the vault, the command center was where the overseer's seat was located. The operations center, apart from the seat of power, included the computer lab, where the water purification system was located, and an armory, where the vault's weapons, ammunition and armor was stockpiled. A security guard was posted in the command center at all times, to ensure that the armaments were properly secured and handed out only to people possessing the proper clearance from the overseer. The overseer is also able to see anyone inside the vault with the Eye-on-You cameras.

Apart from that, the level also contained the computer core (with the vault's AI monitoring the shelter 24/7), housing data processing units, a library playing an important role in educating vault dwellers, a common meeting room, and the primary store room, where the most important supplies would be stored.

Equipped with dual 5.56mm miniguns in some vaults, the overseer's command post can be considered the last line of defense in case vault security is breached.

In the Secret Vault, there are several command posts for the various sections. The command posts mainly contain buttons to control things like locking of doors and laser protection.


  • Vault 29 (Van Buren) was outfitted with a ZAX AI, which replaced the overseer.
  • Vault 12 had its overseer's room sealed due to the fact that the main door of the vault was doomed never to close.
  • East Coast vaults and Mojave vaults (3, 11, 19, 21, 22, 34, 75, 81, 87, 88, 92, 95, 101, 106, 108, 111, 112, 114, 118) use a different door mechanism. These vaults employ an opening mechanism that is contained entirely within the vault itself, pulling the door inwards and simply rolling it to one side. The doors seen on West Coast vaults, however, pull the seal outwards and use an external clamp to slide it aside.
  • East Coast and Mojave vaults lack storage rooms in the overseer's office; they are instead located near the Atrium.
  • Vault 0 and the Secret Vault had an entirely different layout than other vaults.
  • Vault 75 is found in the basement of a school.
  • 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.
  • Vault 114 can be found inside Park Street station.
  • Vault 118 has a parking garage and is under Cliff's Edge Hotel.
  • The Commonwealth and Maine vaults are painted in a yellow and blue shade, while East Coast and Mojave vaults are dull and gray. Also, the Commonwealth and Maine vaults' hue is the same as the traditional vault jumpsuit.

True purpose

Officially, the vaults were nuclear shelters designed to protect the American population from nuclear holocaust. However, with a population of almost 400 million by 2077, the U.S. would need nearly 400,000 vaults the size of Vault 13, while Vault-Tec was commissioned to build only 122 such vaults. The government, and Vault-Tec, never really believed an actual nuclear war would occur; the real reason for the existence of these vaults was to run social experiments on pre-selected segments of the population to see how they react to the stresses of isolation and how successfully they recolonize Earth after the vault opens.

Gametitle-VBThe following is based on Van Buren and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

The Enclave, responsible for the experiment (officially known as the "Societal Preservation Program"), considered themselves prime candidates for recolonizing the world after a nuclear holocaust and to this end commissioned the construction of their own shelters, isolated from the vault network. The purpose of the vault experiments was to help prepare the Enclave for either re-colonizing Earth or colonizing another planet if Earth turned out to be uninhabitable.

Gametitle-VBEnd of information based on Van Buren.

The total number of vaults is a government secret and has been lost; there were the aforementioned "public" vaults, which numbered 122 and an undisclosed number of "private" vaults. Information on whether Vault-Tec was an international corporation or strictly U.S. based, cannot be released due to Vault-Tec and United States federal regulations.[7] That said, Vault-Tec seems to have constructed some vaults in Canada. In a letter sent to a rejected DC citizen the company offered to provide a list of "Vault-Tec facilities with available accommodations, in exciting locales such as Oklahoma and newly-annexed Canada."

Of the 122 known public vaults, only 17 were control, meaning that only 17 were made to public expectations. All others were designed to include a social experiment, sometimes with a select few of the inhabitants observing the occupants.

While some vaults had 'noble' goals, such as to eradicate disease (Vault 81) or improve the human genome (Vault 75), they had incredibly unethical methods of doing so, often exposing their inhabitants - often fatally - to some danger specific to certain vaults to research the effects.

The few vaults that survived intact for more than 80 years came to serve another, unanticipated purpose: they were an excellent source of pure human stock, uncontaminated by the mutated airborne strain of FEV and prime candidates for conversion into super mutants.

The true nature of the vaults epitomized the insidious nature of the government at its most callous, a running theme in Fallout that the American government was unconcerned with the wellbeing of its people even in absolute crisis. The innumerable loss of life caused by making so few vaults, and their intended use as social experiments, and toying with what little remained of the American population highlights this. Worse, if the Enclave met setbacks, failed or were rendered incapable of recolonizing the world, it appears there was no backup plan to utilize the vaults to replenish humanity.


In terms of providing safety and security for their inhabitants, most of the vaults were complete failures. However, as noted in the Penny Arcade comic, the vaults were never truly intended to ‘save’ anyone; there was simply not enough time, money or resources to build enough shelters to house more than a fraction of the population. While the “control vaults” did function as advertised and opened on schedule, most of the vaults were actually intended to explore and observe how societies succeeded or failed to adapt in response to various challenges and restrictions. These social experiments were conducted on live, (largely) unaware subjects, monitored by Vault-Tec researchers in several separate facilities, and undertaken at the behest of the future Enclave as part of a massive feasibility study of how to best resettle a devastated Earth or, if necessary, colonize another planet.

Most of the vaults seen in the games were non-viable 200 or even a mere 80 years after the War. While Vault 13 might have lasted until its scheduled opening date of 2277, the unplanned failure of the water chip forced the overseer's hand and set subsequent events in motion. If Vault 101 was truly intended to stay closed "forever," its failure was inevitable; the only question was how long, and what form the change or disaster would take. Many other vaults were abandoned because of unlivable conditions, or saw the residents driven violently insane by the procedures inflicted on them. Some of these continue to pose a hazard to the unwary who wander in from outside, looking for loot or a place of safety.

Out of all the vaults, only the control vaults were a success, with all experimental vaults failing in one way or another. There are however exceptions; Vault 101 while an experimental vault technically failed as it was never meant to open; Vault 3 is another exception as technically a control vault, it failed as all the residents were massacred by the Fiends; Vault 81 is the last exception, as its experiment was sabotaged from the start by the overseer, so it instead acted like a control vault.

Despite all of this, the experiment may be considered a success in terms of the data collected - data that was much more important to the Vault-Tec and Enclave scientists than a few hundred thousand lives, most of whom would have died anyway if not for the vaults. However, it is unknown if this data was recovered/used, as there is no reference in the Fallout universe of the Enclave receiving/collecting the data or Vault-Tec existing in the post-war world.

List of known vaults

Canon vaults

Designation Description/Fate Location Appearances
Los Angeles Vault A Vault-Tec demonstration vault. It was not part of the experiment, and was the Master's vault under the Cathedral in Fallout. Los Angeles (Cathedral), Southern California/New California Fallout
Unfinished Vault A fenced construction area in a small cave north of Vaults 13 and 15. It may have been the first location of Vault 13 before its relocation. Northern California/New California Fallout 2
Vault-Tec: Among the Stars A Vault-Tec demonstration vault, located in the Galactic Zone of Nuka-World. It tested a few things on the visitors: brainwave disruption, subliminal suggestion, airborne toxins, and theta-band radiation. These tests were performed not only on the subjects, but on the people working there as well. When the bombs dropped, one of the employees, R. Langston, ran inside to shut the vault doors (which do open and close correctly, but may or may not have been able to withstand the explosion). After this occurred, another employee, C. Grunner, driven mad by the experiments, shot Langston and himself. Galactic Zone, Nuka-World Nuka-World
Vault-Tec University a test vault built to run experiments testing the thesis papers of university graduate students. Morgantown, Appalachia Fallout 76
Vault 3 A control vault designed to open after 20 years, but kept closed longer due to the wishes of the vault inhabitants. However, an unplanned water leak forced the occupants to open in hopes of trading with the outside. Unfortunately, all of the vault's residents were massacred by a group of raiders known as the Fiends shortly after they opened the vault door. West of Las Vegas, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 8 A control vault, intended to open and recolonize the surface after 10 years and is equipped with a GECK. Vault City is the result. Northern Nevada
(Vault City)
Fallout 2
Vault 11 This vault was a social experiment testing human nature, most specifically the ability to sacrifice oneself for others, and the ability to place ideals above one's own life. After the vault doors were closed, it was revealed to the residents that they were required to sacrifice one person each year. Eventually, an overseer made the selection process random instead of a vote and a huge riot ensued. The survivors decided to face the punishment of not selecting a person to sacrifice: death. However, they were merely congratulated for not killing anybody. All except one person committed suicide. Southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 12 In order to study the effects of radiation on the selected population, the vault door was designed not to close properly. This is the Necropolis vault and a large population of ghouls was the result. Bakersfield
(Necropolis), California/New California
Vault 13 Intended to stay closed for 200 years as a study of prolonged isolation, the broken water chip forced Overseer Jacoren 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. Mt. Whitney, Southern California/New California Fallout
Fallout 2
Vault 15 Intended to stay closed for 50 years and include people of radically diverse ideologies. Gathered from what Aradesh says in Fallout, he has quite a bit of multicultural flavoring to his speech. The birthplace of three raider groups and Shady Sands (later to become the NCR). Southern California/New California Fallout
Fallout 2
Vault 17 The vault was raided in 2154 and its inhabitants taken prisoner by the Master's Army. They were subsequently turned into super mutants. It is unknown what this vault's experiment was, or if it was one of the seventeen control vaults. Unknown Fallout: New Vegas (mentioned only)
Vault 19 The vault was segregated into two groups, Red and Blue. The groups lived in separate sections of the vault and the inhabitants may have been chosen due to pre-existing paranoia. Red Rock Canyon, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 21 This vault's purpose was gambling, reinforced by having only compulsive gamblers admitted as vault residents and with all conflicts within the vault to be resolved through gambling. It is one of the few non-control vaults that didn't end in failure. When opened, its residents successfully integrated into the societies around them, and the lower levels of the vault were collapsed by Robert House. Las Vegas, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 22 Apparently a vault designed to develop advanced agricultural technologies. Successful experiments were executed, creating strains of plants that could grow under artificial light. However, an experiment on pest control involving a genetically-manufactured spore annihilated or transformed the vault's inhabitants. West of Las Vegas, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 34 The armory was overstocked with weapons and ammunition and not provided with a lock. The Boomers, the weapon-crazy inhabitants of Nellis Air Force Base, descend from the inhabitants of this vault. East of Las Vegas, Nevada/New Vegas, Mojave Wasteland Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Fallout: New Vegas
Vault 43 Populated by twenty men, ten women, and one panther. Unknown Penny Arcade[8]
Vault 63 Unknown. Ash Heap, Appalachia/West Virginia Fallout 76
Vault 69 As Vault 68's counterpart, the vault had one thousand people maximum and is populated by nine hundred and ninety nine women and one man. Unknown Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Penny Arcade
Van Buren concept art
and possibly in conversation with President Richardson.
Vault 75 This vault's purpose was the refinement of human genetics. Excluding vault staff, all residents were under the age of 18 at the time of vault activation; parents were quietly separated from their children and later executed by vault security. The children were subjected to various methods of torture and harsh tests by vault staff, with the hope of making them capable of surviving the wastes. The experiment went well for several generations, but the archives were destroyed and most if not all of the progress made was lost. As of 2287, the vault is occupied by Gunners. Malden, The Commonwealth/Massachusetts Fallout 4
Vault 76 This vault was designed as a control group for the vault experiment, like Vault 3 and Vault 8, but had a number of unique characteristics. It was exclusively populated by only the best and brightest of America's citizens, it was opened after 25 years to allow its residents to re-colonize the surface rather than the 20 years mandated for other control vaults, and its overseer was under secret orders to secure three nearby nuclear missile silos for Vault-Tec at all costs. The vault itself was also designed to cease functioning and become inhospitable 24 hours after opening to prevent its residents from becoming dependent on it. Vault 76 was unveiled by Vault-Tec in 2076 in celebration of the United States' tercentenary. The Forest, Appalachia/West Virginia Fallout 3 (first mentioned)
Fallout 4 (mentioned only)
Fallout 76
Vault 77 Populated by one man and a crate full of puppets. The Lone Inhabitant of the vault went insane from lack of human contact and eventually abandoned the vault after "murdering" one of the puppets. Unknown Penny Arcade
Fallout 3 (mentioned only)
Vault 81 Intended to develop a single cure for all human diseases through testing on unaware human subjects. The vault had two sections: the residents lived in one section, while Vault-Tec scientists secretly observed them and worked in the other. Unexpectedly, the original overseer disabled the equipment the scientists were to use to expose the residents to diseases. As of 2287, the vault's residents are alive and well, and regularly trade with the outside world. Boston, The Commonwealth/Massachusetts Fallout 4
Vault 87 A Forced Evolutionary Virus (F.E.V.) research and testing facility. The residents were exposed to the FEV in locked chambers where scientists would observe their changes. In two weeks, the subjects underwent changes that gave birth to super mutants and centaurs. Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 88 Intended to test various prototype devices with the aim of rolling them out to the rest of the vaults; this vault was never fully constructed; only the entrance and a few interior rooms were finished before the Great War began. With the assistance of the vault's intended overseer, Valery Barstow, the Sole Survivor can build this vault however they like, and run various experiments of their choosing on the dwellers.[9] Boston, The Commonwealth/Massachusetts Vault-Tec Workshop
Vault 92 Populated largely by renowned musicians, this vault was a test bed for a white noise-based system for implanting combat-oriented posthypnotic suggestions. Nearby Old Olney, Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 94 This vault was "founded on the principles of faith, nonviolence, and communal life in harmony with nature," and was led by a figure known as the Pastor. Inhabitants professed a willingness to share their abundant resources with outsiders, though entrance required a Vault Access Code, which could be acquired from a Vault Ambassador. The Mire, Appalachia Fallout 76
Vault 95 Populated solely with drug addicts, with the exception of a single vault-tec employee undercover. The vault residents would elect an overseer regularly and hold therapy sessions as part of a rehab program. The rehab proved to be a success. Five years after the vault was sealed, a hidden stash of drugs was unlocked. Within a few days, all of the vault residents but one fell back into addiction or killed each other. As of 2287, the vault is occupied by Gunners. The Commonwealth/Massachusetts Fallout 3 cut content (first mentioned)
Fallout 4
Vault 96 Unknown Savage Divide, Appalachia Fallout 76
Vault 101 The vault was created to evaluate the performance of an omnipotent, dictatorial overseer in a closed community, adopting a policy of "isolationism." Supplied with equipment that was needed to function for many years, this vault was never intended to open to the outside world. Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 106 As an experiment, the overseer instructed the vault to be filled with colorless psychoactive drugs into the air filtration system exactly 10 days after the door was sealed. The drugs caused hallucinations which led to all of the vault residents' insanity. Capital Wasteland Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Fallout 3
Vault 108 Intended to test conflicts in leadership, the vault's overseer was expected to die of cancer after 40 months. In addition, the vault had a power supply that was to malfunction after 240 months, an insufficient backup, an overstocked armory, and no entertainment tapes. The vault also housed a cloning lab and all (surviving) residents are clones of one man called Gary. Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 111 Tested the long-term effects of cryogenic suspension on unaware individuals. The vault's staff were assigned to observe the residents and protect the vault for 180 days. Dwindling supplies drove the security personnel to mutiny against the scientists and leave. Over a century after activation, a mercenary broke into the vault in order to kidnap an infant resident. In the process, he killed all but one of the vault's frozen residents. Sanctuary Hills, The Commonwealth/Massachusetts Fallout 4
Vault 112 All residents were placed in suspended animation and connected to a virtual reality simulator, where they thought they would live a "perfect" virtual life indefinitely. Unfortunately, Dr. Stanislaus Braun held absolute control of the simulation and used it to torture the residents for his own pleasure. Capital Wasteland Fallout 3
Vault 114 Intended to test the stress of living in impoverished, disenfranchised conditions by those previously accustomed to extreme wealth and power. Residents were to be exclusively politicians and Boston's wealthy elite, with the exception of the overseer. Construction was never completed. As of 2287, the vault is occupied by Triggermen. Boston, The Commonwealth Fallout 4
Vault 118 The vault was intended to encompass two wings under one overseer, each one to house exclusively members of the highest class of society (Hollywood actors, business tycoons, scientists, artists, etc.) or the lower classes. The second wing was never finished and while the vault was used as a fallout shelter, the vault experiment never started. Mount Desert Island/The Island, Maine Far Harbor

Semi-canon and non-canon vaults

Designation Description/Fate Location Appearances
Burkittsville Vault An unnamed vault near Burkittsville mentioned in the Hamilton's hideaway terminal entries. Outside of the vault, cannibals wait to ambush those seeking refuge in the vault. Burkittsville, Maryland Fallout 3 cut content
Secret Vault A secret vault dedicated to protect high-members of Vault-Tec and used to research the latest technologies (like electrical laser weapons and instant regeneration) and the Forced Evolutionary Virus. Los Ybanez, Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Vault prototype A small Vault-Tec facility used as the base of operations by the Brotherhood of Steel Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel
Vault 0 A special vault designed to "monitor and control" other vaults, maintain the geniuses of the pre-War United States in cryogenic stasis and improve the future wasteland conditions with a robot army. Cheyenne Mountain (Colorado) Fallout Tactics
Vault 1 An unnamed vault that a US Army soldier named Corporal Armstrong escorts the player character to, with Frank the Underseer running the facility until the overseer arrives. Great Midwest Commonwealth Van Buren tech demo
Vault 6 The vault's original purpose in the Vault Experiment was that it allowed small doses of radiation to leak into the vault once a day, resulting in the population turning into an aggressive pack of extremely irradiated feral ghouls. Mount St. Helens, Washington Fallout Extreme
Vault 24 Unknown, any information in existence is based on cut content for a vault suit. Unknown
(Mojave Wasteland?)
Fallout: New Vegas cut content
Vault 27 This vault would be overcrowded deliberately. 2000 people would be assigned to enter, double the total sustainable amount. Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 29 No one in this vault was over the age of 15 when they entered. Parents were intentionally redirected to other vaults. Harold is believed to have come from this vault. Colorado Fallout Bible (first mentioned)
Van Buren
Vault 36 The food extruders were designed to produce only a thin, watery gruel. Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 39 The original purpose of Vault 39 is unknown, but due to Mile Reese experimenting with the G.E.C.K., it became a jungle with hostile plant life, similar to Vault 22. Abilene, Texas Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel 2
Vault 42 No light bulbs of more than 40 watts were provided. Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 44 Upcoming vault in the Fallout: The Board Game add-on New California. Unknown Fallout: The Board Game add-on New California
Vault 53 Most of the equipment was designed to break down every few months. While repairable, the breakdowns were intended to stress the inhabitants unduly. Unknown Fallout Bible and possibly on Vault-Tec east coast computers
Vault 55 All entertainment tapes were removed. Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 56 All entertainment tapes were removed except those of one particularly bad comic actor. Sociologists predicted failure before Vault 55. Unknown Fallout Bible only
Vault 68 Of the one thousand people who entered, there was only one woman. Unknown Fallout Bible
and possibly in conversation with President Richardson.
Vault 70 All jumpsuit extruders fail after 6 months. Most of the inhabitants were Mormons. The city of New Canaan was founded by the vault dwellers after they left the vault. Salt Lake City, Utah Fallout Bible 0
Van Buren
Vault 74 Unknown. In the tutorial, it is a very small vault consisting only of the overseer's office, atrium, clinic, and quarters (blocked). Unknown
(Capital Wasteland?)
Fallout 3 modding tutorial[10]
Vault 84 Elections held every year to exile one citizen for being a "traitor." Capital Wasteland, Commonwealth, The Pitt, and/or Far Harbor Fallout: The Board Game
Vault 100 Unknown Mentioned in Fallout 3 game files with an unused Vault 100 jumpsuit icon. Fallout 3 cut content
Vault 109 The vault included very high end fashion and products from Mary May, Ticknor and Fields and Fallon's. It is currently irradiated for unknown reasons. Capital Wasteland, Commonwealth, The Pitt, and/or Far Harbor Fallout: The Board Game
Vault 113 Unknown Mentioned in Fallout 4 game files and The Art of Fallout 4. Fallout 4 cut content
Vault 117 Unknown, shown on a map north of Jamaica Plain before being cut sometime during the development of Fallout 4. The Commonwealth Fallout 4 cut content
The History of Bethesda Game Studios
Vault 120 Unknown Mentioned in Fallout 4's Creation Engine files for the cut quest 20 Leagues Under the Sea. Fallout 4 cut content
Vault 121 Unknown, shown on a map where Vault 95 exists in-game before being cut sometime during the development of Fallout 4. The Commonwealth Fallout 4 cut content
The History of Bethesda Game Studios
Vault 000 - Vault 999 The player has the role of overseer. With no vault experiment to speak of, all vaults act as control vaults and their fates are left in the hands of the player. These vaults function more like settlements than vaults. Residents of the post-war wasteland are welcome to move in and work. The overseer (player) has absolute power over his or her dwellers, being able to kick them out of the vault, pick their partner and even send them on Vault-Tec issued quests. Player-created vaults Fallout Shelter

Other installations using Vault-Tec technology


  • In the Vault-Tec Headquarters, a vault door can be seen hanging from the ceiling to the right of the lobby. It is a copy of the Vault 101 door, right down to the number on the center.
  • There is another vault exhibit in Washington D.C. inside the Museum of Technology. The number on the door is 106. This one however, though containing the same materials for walls and lighting is only one corridor with vault doors at either side always kept open for the museum visitors to take the tour. Just like Vaults 87, 92, and 108 the metal walls have rusted over time.
  • In Fallout 3, a Vault 77 jumpsuit is acquirable at Paradise Falls along with a holodisk detailing its disturbing nature.


Behind the scenes

The vault experiment was an idea created by Tim Cain during the initial stages of Fallout 2 development.

Icon cut contentThe following is based on Fallout 2 cut content and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Vault control room

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.

The player was also intended[2] 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 consequently drove out the Vault Dweller because of fear he would ruin the experiment... or uncover it.

Icon cut contentEnd of information based on Fallout 2 cut content.



Most of the above comes from:


  1. Vault 101 PA System: "Did you know that the Vault-Tec/RobCo partnership is considered the most successful venture in the history of American industry?"
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fallout Bible #0
  3. The Boy Who Cried Wolf
  4. Vault 101 Announcement system: "Did you know - the average life expectancy of a resident in a properly maintained vault is 92.3 years?"
  5. Dialogue with Liz, the Tap House bartender, who mentions that Vault City gets the uranium for their reactor from Broken Hills
  6. From Fallout
  7. Interview with Chris Taylor at Vault
  8. Note that this comic, while official and created in cooperation with Emil Pagliarulo, has not been stated to be canon (nor non-canon).
  9. Fallout 4 - Vault-Tec Workshop Gameplay Debut (July 12, 2016).
  10. Vault 74 tutorial in the GECK wiki. The location of this vault and its layout is likely not canon.
Vault-Tec vaults
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