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Heard about some of these places before, but never been in one. Seems nice and clean... a little too clean for my taste.Ian

Vault 13 is a Vault-Tec Vault located in southern California. Its precise location is west of Shady Sands and Vault 15, and east of Mariposa Military Base. It is the starting and ending location of Fallout, and the birthplace of the Vault Dweller.


Main article: Vault 13

Sometime prior to December 5, 2161, Vault 13's water purification chip began to malfunction. The overseer began to send out Vault 13 dwellers into the wasteland to find a replacement chip. Talius was sent out to search for a replacement chip, but was captured by nightkin at Necropolis and later dipped, only to mutate into a ghoul-like mutant like Harold. He wound up with the Followers of the Apocalypse, far away from the Vault.[1][2] The final dweller selected by the overseer for the mission was the future hero simply called Vault Dweller. On December 5, 2161 at 07:21, they left the Vault with a 10mm pistol, some supplies, and the location of Vault 15. The water chip finally failed at that point, leaving the Vault with just 150 days worth of water reserves. After braving the dangers of New California, the Dweller finally returned with the chip in February 2162, recovering it from Vault 12 beneath Necropolis succeeding where Talius failed.[Non-game 1]

The overseer was pleased, in particular because of the rebel faction rising in the Vault, demanding to leave.[3] Upon reviewing the Vault Dweller's report, in particular the mutants at Necropolis, he calculated that the mutant population was far too uniform to be the result of random chance, and concluded that there had to be a factory producing them at a startling rate. Determining it was a threat to the Vault, the Overseer once more sent the Dweller into the wasteland as 13's most capable agent. The Vault Dweller succeeded, locating and assassinating the leader of the mutant army, the Master, and destroying his command center, the Cathedral, in March 2162.[Non-game 2] On April 20, 2162, the Vault Dweller completed his mission, killing the Lieutenant and destroying the Mariposa Military Base containing the FEV vats used to create the mutants.[Non-game 3]

The Vault Dweller returned to Vault 13 on May 10, 2162. The Overseer met them outside the Vault blast door, and rather than let them back inside as a hero, banished them into the wasteland. He was convinced that the Dweller's presence would convince his fellow dwellers to seek their fortune in the wasteland and abandon the Vault (endangering the control group). He believed that he was saving the Vault.[Non-game 4] However, the Vault 13 population was disgusted by the Overseer's decision. A faction under Theresa and Lyle rebelled against him. Many left the Vault in protest. Those who remained believed that those who left perished in the wastes, and arrested the Overseer. He was tried and sentenced to death, and the position was abolished.[4][Note 1]


Cavern entrance[]

The link between Vault 13 and outer world. Remains of Ed are a good warning. There are 20 rats in the cave.



The link between Vault 13 and the outside. Here Vault Dwellers can find medical treatment.


Living quarters[]

The Vault Dwellers sleep here (around 19:00 to 8:00). Also, some are using the rooms for private meetings, like the rebel faction.

Command center[]

The command center where the overseer is located, as well as the Vault library. It is where the overseer maintains the Vault. Nearby is the library, armory, and water supplies room. However, the water guard gives the supplies because there is a thief who steals water. One can "spend some time researching important information" using the Science skill on the westernmost computer and another in the southwest near the entrance.






Related quests[]



Fo2 Guardian of Forever Vault 13

Vault 13 command center before 2161, seen in the Guardian of Forever special encounter (Fallout 2)

  • The Vault will be inaccessible when starting the game. However, it can be entered after one day has elapsed in-game.
  • A random, special encounter in Fallout 2 - find a strange giant time stone portal named the Guardian of Forever. After passing through it, they arrive in Vault 13's command center and break the water purification chip in 2161 before returning to the world map screen.
  • The background music "The Vault of the Future" is re-used for Vault 22 in Fallout: New Vegas.
  • If the Chosen One leaves a companion inside the Vault, leaves, allows the deathclaw massacre to occur, then returns, said companion will still be alive.
  • The Vault-Tec elevator decal has a spelling mistake, saying Vaul Tek.


Vault 13 appears in Fallout.


Concept art
Vault 13
A GURPS Post-Nuclear Role Playing Game

See also[]


  1. The Vault Dweller: "{138}{}{Where were you from originally?}"
    Talius: "{140}{}{Some time ago, I lived in a place far to the north of here. They were having a problem with the water supply and sought out people to find a way to fix it.}"
    (Talius' dialogue)
  2. The Vault Dweller: "{166}{}{What was the name of this Vault?}"
    Talius: "{184}{}{My vault had no name. It was merely numbered 13.}"
    (Talius' dialogue)
  3. Calm rebel faction
  4. The Chosen One: "{129}{}{Are you the Overseer?}"
    Martin Frobisher: "{172}{}{We don't use that term anymore. There used to be an overseer, many years ago, but he did a bad thing and many of our people left the vault - only to die in the wastes, I'm sure. He was tried and sentenced to death for his crime. We haven't used the title since.}"
    (Martin Frobisher's dialogue)


  1. Fallout Bible 4: "9. Do YOU guys know what that ending of the Hub with ghouls and humans uniting is all about? It says Harold and the VD unite the ghouls and humans of the Hub. Anybody seen more ghouls than Harold in the Hub? Can't be about Necropolis, because it's the ONLY good ending for the Hub."
    Although there weren't any ghouls shown in the Hub in Fallout 1, there may have been a handful wandering around in Old Town (kind of like Talius the ghoul in the Boneyard). The ending is more appropriate if you just mentally change the word "ghouls" to "skags." Basically, peace and harmony reign supreme. It's possible several ghouls traveled to the Hub during the Migration after they formed their engineering development house in Necropolis."
  2. Fallout Bible p.26: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2162 March 3: Vault Dweller kicks the Master’s ass."
  3. Fallout Bible p.26: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2162 April 20: Vault Dweller destroys the Military Base. Dogmeat dies defending his master."
  4. Fallout Bible p.26: "TIMELINE REPAIR: SECOND STRIKE"
    "2162 May 10: Fallout 1 Ends: Vault Dweller returns to Vault 13, only to be told "you're a hero, and you have to leave." Some members of the Vault (led by Lydia, the head of the "return to the surface" faction, and including her supporters, Theresa and Lyle) follow soon afterwards."


  1. The overseer may be killed following the goodbye speech if the player has the Bloody Mess trait or enters combat by hitting A.
Vault 13