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Some of the computers still work, but the only files are diaries and garbage. Typical vault.Samuel Cooke on Vault 19

Vault 19 is one of the Vault-Tec Vaults in the Mojave Wasteland. By 2281, the Vault has been abandoned by its original inhabitants, and is currently occupied by Powder Gangers founder Samuel Cooke and his escaped convict followers.


The inhabitants of Vault 19 were segregated into two different colored sectors, red and blue, with limited contact between them. Vault 19 was unique in that it had two overseers, one for the Red Sector, one for the Blue Sector.[Non-canon 1]

The main purpose of the Vault's experiment was to induce paranoia through non-chemical and non-violent means.[1] Subliminal messaging may have been a factor, as a child states on his terminal that he was hearing high-pitched noises, and so were his friends.[2] Many journal entries indicate levels of paranoia, blaming the other faction for Vault malfunctions, and the doctor for drugging them.[3] There were also notes hearing noises,[4] feeling unusual drafts of air from vents,[5] and seeing the lights blinking patterns like some sort of code.[6] Both factions blamed this on the other, unaware that the true culprits were the overseers, at the direction of Vault-Tec. Some inhabitants suspected that the doctor may also have been involved. Patient notes in the clinic indicated that many patients were experiencing psychosis or aggression, but the notes give no indication that the doctor is aware of the cause.[3][7][8][9] In any case, when the convicts who escaped from the NCR Correctional Facility led by Samuel Cooke discovered the Vault, it was completely abandoned.[Non-canon 1]


This Vault is located in an abandoned parking lot alongside Nevada 159 between Bonnie Springs and Whittaker farmstead, northeast of Goodsprings. The entrance is concealed by a sewer grate inside the parking lot attendant's booth. There is an alternate entrance directly into the sulfur caves northwest of Whittaker farmstead. The top floor is mostly intact but most of the lower levels have been cut off by collapsed corridors.

Main area

A ladder leads down from the sewer grate into a small room containing the Vault door and its control panel. Passing through the main entrance into a hallway, to the left and right of the entrance are the two overseers' offices. On the left from the entrance is the cafeteria, where many escaped convicts sit idly. There is a first aid box under the counter, a Nuka-Cola vending machine and a Sunset Sarsaparilla vending machine in a corner.

Continuing through the cafeteria into the hallway, one will find two restrooms, both with first aid boxes on the wall near the sinks and the clinic. The clinic has a waiting room and an examination room with a large supply of chems and surgical instruments, two doctor's bags, and a copy of Today's Physician. There are five patient logs in the clinic, two under the desk in the examination room, one on top of that desk, one in the east corner of the room beneath the shelving unit, and one on the western wall, behind the privacy screen and underneath the medical trolley.

Blue sector living quarters

This can be accessed with a blue sector key card, which Philip Lem will give to the Courier if they offer to help him. One can also find a blue sector keycard near a terminal in a room inside the red sector. Alternatively, one may wait for one of the convicts to open the door and take a keycard from a desk in one of the rooms. The keycards can be found on almost any table in either sector next to a terminal. The blue sector keycard can also be pick-pocketed from Lem if there is no other alternative. This sector is a horseshoe-shaped hallway with many rooms on the sides occupied by convicts. A great deal of bottle caps and Vault 19 jumpsuits can be found in the dressers. At the end of the hallway is the elevator to the fire gecko infested common areas.

Red sector living quarters

This section can only be accessed with a red sector key card, which will be given to the Courier when they offer to help Samuel Cooke (note that this will not affect Philip Lem or vice versa, it only opens up a new objective). This is a small "L" shaped hallway, and is much smaller than the blue sector, with similar loot in the dressers and lockers.

Blue sector

The common areas can be accessed through elevators in either the red or blue sectors or through the sulfur caves. If the Courier comes down from the blue sector, the room on the left in the collapsed hallway opens onto an apartment with a large hole in the ceiling and one or more fire geckos. Further down the elevator hall is a small room with double beds, a floor safe, two dressers, and a single Vault 19 jumpsuit on one of the dressers. This jumpsuit will not disappear when picked up. This room also has a Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap on the desk near the terminal. Finally, there is a large room with many beds and lockers at the end of the hallway. The atrium must be opened with a blue sector keycard. The atrium itself contains more fire geckos and the entrance to the sulfur caves on the floor. The upper level can be reached by crouching under the doorway, but there is little of value there. There is one first aid box behind the bar.

Red sector

The red sector is also reached by elevator. It is smaller than the blue sector, with only one collapsed room and the elevator. This is guarded by one fire gecko. The hallway leads to the shared atrium where the sulfur cave entrance is found.

Sulfur caves

The sulfur caves can be accessed directly from the Mojave Wasteland by a cave northeast of the Vault 19 map marker and through a hole in the floor of the recreation room (with several pool tables) on the living quarters level. There is also a secret elevator connecting the caves to the overseer's office that only becomes accessible by picking a Hard locked door in the caves. This leads to the secret area beneath the overseer's desk and hacking an Average locked terminal in this area that opens up the floor of the office.

The cave level of the Vault is the most damaged and is comprised mainly of yellow caves made entirely of sulfur, and the Vault's operations, reactor, and utility rooms. It is also infested with many fire geckos and night stalkers.

The cave itself is separate from the Vault. Entering the cave will lead to the Vault's operations room. In order to block off the sulfur caves for Lem's optional part of the quest Why Can't We Be Friends?, follow the path to the right into a large cave. To the left is a large yellow rock formation peppered with lumps of gray rock. This is the “microcline rock.” When activated, it is revealed that it contains enough potassium to create an explosion large enough to block the caves or destroy the Vault. An Explosives level of at least 50 and five blocks of C-4 are required to set up the explosion which will destroy both the cave and the Vault; an Explosives level of at least 60 and three blocks of C-4 are required to destroy the cave only.

Beyond this cave is a larger cave with access via a staircase back into the operations center of the Vault. There is also a ladder to the Mojave Wasteland, which will lead outside, exiting northwest of the Whittaker farmstead.

Following the staircase leads to a common room with more vending machines. Exiting this room and going down the stairs will lead to a utility room. Going left will pass another entrance to the operations room. Past the blocked reactor entrance is the systems room, which has no loot whatsoever but may contain a fire gecko. If exiting the common room and progressing right (north), there is a short passage that leads to a Hard locked elevator. This can be used to access a tunnel beneath the desk in the overseer's office where Lem is located. The password to this computer may be gained from the terminal in the office itself, or it can be hacked with an Average Science skill.


Notable loot

Related quests


  • Samuel Cooke's men are labeled as escaped convicts, rather than Powder Gangers. They do not wear Powder Ganger apparel and are not considered part of that faction.
  • If the quest Why Can't We Be Friends? is failed by killing Papa Khan, all the occupants of this Vault will become hostile.
  • The utility door that serves as the elevator to Philip Lem's overseer's office is too small for the frame in the sulfur caves, and slivers of the untextured exterior can be seen around the sides of it.
  • On the desk in the room where the Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap is found, there is terminal with a log entry about a bottle cap. The writer thinks he's going insane, as he sees a star on the bottle cap and states that "no matter how long he closes his eyes it doesn't go away." It can be found on the living quarters level in the far left room, not on the first floor.
  • Companions can become easily cut off from the player character when exploring the Vault as the doors that require keys will close after the Courier travels through them.
  • Journal entry 65 on a terminal in the Red Sector of the first floor, accuses the "Reds" as having sabotaged the water filter, even though it is located in Red territory, and all the other Red terminals were accusatory of the Blues.


Vault 19 appears in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

Sydney Wolfram was responsible for the concept and implementation of Vault 19.[Non-canon 2]


  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes, the floor safe in the blue section of the living quarters may not appear. However, you may still open it. The safe will reappear after opening it.[verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3 Sometimes when firing the missile launcher in the Vault's main area, all convicts might disappear, making the quest Why Can't We Be Friends? impossible to complete.[verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 A Vault 19 jumpsuit found on top of a dresser in the last room on the second floor of the Blue Sector, when looted, will not disappear. You will have the item in your inventory, and it will make the picking up sound, but the item appears to be still on the dresser. It cannot be looted again. This is unresolved as of the 1.07 patch (still broken in 1.40.525).[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 When killing all the geckos before Cooke gives you the quest, you can't retrieve the red access card.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes, the proper speech dialogue with Lem does not occur, leaving the Courier no other option but to obtain the blue key card by other means (i.e., pickpocketing Lem, waiting for another resident to open their room door, etc.)[verified]
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes when loading a save from within the Vault the game will be corrupt and unable to load the previous save.[verified]
  • PCPC Upon entering living quarters, the player occasionally falls through the floor after immediately turning left.[verified]
  • PCPC If the Vault itself is first entered via the cave system, by first picking the lock on the elevator to the overseer's office and then hacking a terminal to lift the overseer's desk over the access tunnel, the way forward into Philip Lem's office might be blocked by an invisible wall. Reloading a save does not resolve this, however, entering the location through any other door can help.[verified]




  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp. 299-300: "[1.21] Vault 19
    Vault 19's "social experiment" involved the segregation of the dwellers into two different colored sections, with minimal contact. After the sulfur from the cave system beneath the vault unexpectedly began to leak through the ventilation system, a sense of paranoia grew, and the place became abandoned, although records are pretty sketchy. The vault has two entrances: via a parking lot, or the caves themselves [1.S27]. The Great Khans avoided the place (as historically, they haven't had the best of times squatting in vaults) as they moved north. No other group has been aggressive enough to attempt to displace the Fire Geckos from the vault. Powder Gangers, searching for a place to turn into a base, explored the upper floor of Vault 19 and found that it was "mostly clear." Now they wait, with a fragmented leadership."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  2. Joshua Sawyer: I wrote the basic concepts for F:NV's vaults but individual designers fully fleshed the concepts out and implemented them. Vault 3: Akil Hooper, Vault 11: Eric Fenstermaker, Vault 19: Sydney Wolfram. Vault 21: Jorge Salgado. Vault 22: Jesse Farrell, Vault 34: Sydney Wolfram.
    (Joshua Sawyer on Formspring)