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These headlines were brought to you by Vault 21. Vault 21. Everything's better when you experience it in a vault.Mr. New Vegas, Fallout: New Vegas

Vault 21, formally called the Vault 21 Hotel and Shop[2] is an unmarked location within the New Vegas Strip in the Mojave Wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas.


The Gambler's Vault[]

One of five vaults constructed in the broader Mojave region assigned to house a civilian population, along with Vault 3, Vault 11, Vault 19, and Vault 34, as well as one of two vaults situated in downtown Las Vegas, Nevada along with Vault 3, Vault 21 was constructed under the streets with its surface access situated near several of the Strip's casinos including the Lucky 38. Vault 21 was one of the few vaults incorporated with a social experiment that also managed to successfully protect its inhabitants from the destruction of the Great War; a similar case with different circumstances can be found in Vault 81 near Boston, Massachusetts.

In Vault 21, all inhabitants were equal in a social sense, the structural design was created with a perfectly symmetrical layout, and all conflicts and problems were solved through gambling.[3] Chosen representatives of all parties gambled against each other in the main atrium and the winner earned the right to settle the dispute as wished by the collective.[3][4] Vault-born resident Sarah Weintraub describes the Vault's culture as "pure New Vegas" as "everyone has a chance and lady luck smiles if you play your odds right."[4]

Change of management[]

In 2274, Vault 21's then-current residents were contacted by Mr. House and given an offer to restore interaction with the surface world as part of his city-state of New Vegas. While most of the Vault dwellers wanted to refuse the offer, some residents were in favor of it. Per the rules of the Vault, residents in favor of Mr. House's offer challenged each level's representative who was in favor of staying isolated. After a game of Blackjack that lasted for many hours, those in favor of opening to the outside won in "an extremely risky move." Soon after, Mr. House took ownership of the Vault and ordered it to be stripped of all useful technology and filled with concrete, sealing it off permanently.[5][6] However, Sarah and her brother Sheldon Weintraub negotiated with House to keep the Vault open. House agreed, and so one half of the upper levels were left intact, the rest filled with concrete as originally planned, and Sarah remodeled the Vault's accessible areas into a functioning hotel, which became another source of income for Vegas' growing economy.[6][Non-game 1]

After most of them were forcefully evicted into the post-War wasteland by House's takeover, the former vault dwellers drifted off in different directions, with some finding new homes such as Doc Mitchell and his wife moving south of Vegas to live in Goodsprings.


Vault 21 exterior

Situated on the west side of the southernmost section of the Strip, across from the NCR Embassy, the surface-level gift shop is placed below a glowing neon "Vault 21" sign on the right just after passing through the gate. The building contains a lobby serving as a gift shop where Sarah Weintraub typically resides to greet patrons, selling knick-knacks and offering tours of her former home.[7] Behind a bulkhead door at the back of the gift shop are stairs leading down to the Vault's entrance. It is notable in being one of the few Vaults that lacks the signature gear-shaped blast door as its entrance.

Inside the Vault, there is a central atrium with two Blackjack tables, a hallway with living quarters, including Sarah's room and a guest room that the player character can rent. Another door leads to the cafeteria/diner. The lower levels were filled with concrete by Mr. House and are inaccessible except for the maintenance level, which is accessible from the basement of The Tops.[6] This level consists of a long hallway with a few small rooms branching off of it. The elevator in Benny's suite leading to it is locked unless he is attacked in the Tops presidential suite, and the tunnel ends in another locked door. The tunnel runs under the outer wall of the Strip.[Non-game 2]


Notable loot[]

Related quests[]


  • The background music that plays in the Vault is Serenity, which was originally used for Modoc in Fallout 2.
  • If The Finger of Suspicion has been started, then there will be three Omerta thugs threatening Martina Groesbeck in one of the rooms.
  • The Tops houses an elevator that goes down to the basement and connects via a blown open wall to the service areas of Vault 21. This elevator is normally locked and unable to be picked, but is automatically unlocked if Benny is given the chance to flee when confronting him at The Tops. There is a locked door at the end of a hallway in the Vault that can be unlocked using console commands. An invisible part of the Vault will appear by walking a little forward. There are no lights and this part ends with two staircases leading to nowhere.
  • The doormat at the main entrance of the gift shop is the same as seen in Vault 112, located in front of Stanislaus Braun's Tranquility Lounger and in front of the houses in the Tranquility Lane simulation, in Fallout 3.
  • None of the doors in the Vault feature a gold stripe and the number 21, but instead are all marked "No Access," a trait shared with Vault 3.
  • A picture showing James and Catherine (the parents of the Lone Wanderer from Fallout 3) can be found beside a bed in Sarah Weintraub's room.
  • The lights in the Vault are the same model as those seen in ruined Vaults, such as Vault 34.
  • The eastern billiards room contains a jukebox named "Jukey The Jukebox." Other than the name, it is not unique.
  • If the player character leaves items in the locker of the room and later gets the reputation of "Wild Child" for the Strip, then the room cannot be rented and the items cannot be retrieved.
  • The guest room can be used as player housing after renting it from Sarah for the first time.
  • Looking to the right when entering, bulletins found in Vault 101 in Fallout 3 can be seen on the wall with only a couple of changes made to them, such as the Vault 101 bake off ad being changed to Vault 21.
  • The guest room that the player character can rent has an interactive, working light switch.
  • The sub-basement hallway tunnel appears incomplete when seen in the GECK, there's also a door that supposedly leads to the hallway, but it's blocked by a large piece of rubble.
  • There is a slightly undersized terminal in the gift shop.
  • In the Dead Money add-on, Elijah mentions Vault 21 when stating his belief that the Courier acquired theirs by stealing it from a former resident.[8]


Vault 21 appears only in Fallout: New Vegas and is mentioned in its add-on Dead Money.

Behind the scenes[]

  • Vault 21 was designed by Jorge Salgado.
  • The in-game Vault 21 is geographically located near the former location of the real-world Las Vegas Hilton, now Westgate Las Vegas, which contained a municipal fallout shelter in real life.[Non-game 3]
  • Joshua Sawyer stated that House filled Vault 21 with cement to prevent its former residents from retaking it, only allowing the remaining accessible areas to be used as a limited tourist attraction and small-scale residence after Sarah's request.[Non-game 4]
  • The in-lore event of Vault 21's lower levels being filled with concrete is a subtle reference to the Silver Slipper Casino, as it was rumored that the mechanized slipper at the front of the casino was filled with concrete by Howard Hughes, who inspired the character of Mr. House.
  • James Garcia created the 3D model of the gift shop's neon sign letters.[Non-game 5]
  • The computer in Sarah's's room contains an email from a Charlene Tann who mentions her husband Biff Tann,[9] which serves as a reference to the Back to the Future trilogy, in which the antagonist is named Biff Tannen.
  • The Vault guest terminal advertises pool sets in the gift shop with the line "Hustle it like Minnesota Fats!" This is a reference to the novel The Hustler by Walter Tevis and its 1961 film adaptation, starring Jackie Gleason as Fats.
  • The vault's number, theme of using gambling for problem-solving, and being located near multiple gambling casinos on the Strip are a reference to the gambling card game Twenty-One, formerly known as Vingt-Un.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 If you take the tour with Sarah Weintraub, your companions may disappear and not reappear when you exit the Vault.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sarah may not recognize Vault 21 jumpsuits as Vault gear, but will trade for them normally at the usual price.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Sometimes when you take the tour with Sarah Weintraub, she will walk with you out of the gift shop and then stay still above the stairs leading to the hotel part of Vault 21 and will be unable to talk to.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Vault 21 has a high probability of causing the game to freeze during loading screens.[verified]



  1. The Courier: "Are you the owner of this hotel and shop?"
    Sarah Weintraub: "Well... it is my vault, all right. I mean, yeah. That is, no. I take care of it but I suppose you could say that it belongs to Mr. House."
    (Sarah Weintraub's dialogue)
  2. Vault 21 terminal entries; Vault 21 reception terminal
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sarah Weintraub: "All right! Please, follow me. We'll head into the vault right away. This bunker protects the entrance to the vault - solid stone outside and thick steel on the inside! Above us there's the control center for this level of the vault's life-support systems, electric grid, radioactive shields and all that jazz. Don't get lost! My vault has many corridors and rooms - although it is no longer symmetrical, after Mr. House threw us out. This is the main game-hall. Here we settled the big disputes among the vault's levels. Chosen representatives gambled against each other here. The winner earned the right to settle the dispute as wished by the collective. We used to have such parties in this diner! A bitch to clean later... but well worth it! This hall leads to our guest rooms. You can use the first room on our left. But no snooping next door! That's my room, always was. Down there is the game room! Each side of the vault had one... but the other is filled with concrete now. Okay, that wraps it up. I'll see you soon!"
    (Sarah Weintraub's dialogue)
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Courier: "What is so special about this vault?"
    Sarah Weintraub: "My vault is pure New Vegas. Everyone has a chance and lady luck smiles if you play your odds right!... Okay, it was like that before we had to leave. Vault 21 had very smart ways to help people get along. All arguments and fights got solved through gambling. I'll give you a quick tour of my home! Oh, yeah, if you like."
    (Sarah Weintraub's dialogue)
  5. Vault 21 terminal entries; Vault 21 guest terminal, History of Vault 21
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 The Courier: "What does Mr. House have to do with Vault 21?"
    Sarah Weintraub: "Mr. House has everything to do with Vault 21. He tried to get us out before he filled it with concrete. I almost went ape! So, we convinced him - okay, Sheldon and I, right? We convinced him to leave the top level mostly intact!"
    (Sarah Weintraub's dialogue)
  7. Vault 21 terminal entries; Vault 21 Guest terminal, Mail Messaging
  8. 743.00Hz ULF radio signal: "Good thing the new recruit had a Pip-Boy, too, probably stole it from a Vault 21 dweller. Still, a thief's just what I need for this."
  9. Vault 21 terminal entries; Vault 21 reception terminal, Our Influential Friends.


  1. Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition pp.349-350: "[2D.06] Vault 21
    A vault where its dwellers used to settle their differences via games of chance, is now hotel and gift shop. The top floor is just the gift shop and front desk for the hotel. Visitors can buy Vault 21 jumpsuits, toasters, and other souvenir items, and view displays and read authentic details about the history of Vault 21. The vault itself is in pristine condition, aside from the subterranean eastern section, which was sealed by Mr. House; much to the annoyance of the last remaining residents Sarah (and her brother Michael) Weintraub. Aside from the ostentatious signage, the initial kiosk welcoming visitors to the vault lacks the spectacular nature of The Strip's other venues. But step inside, and you're transported back in time."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  2. E. Sawyer on Formspring May 11, 2012: "How does a tunnel to Vault 21 help Benny not be seen by Mr. House when the Vault 21 isn't near the exit, does he climb the wall?
    The tunnel runs under the outer wall of the Strip."
  3. Clark County Nevada Fallout Shelters
  4. Formspring January 2, 2012:Why in the world would House cement in that Vault? It makes no sense.
    Joshua Sawyer: He doesn't want it to be able to return to a fully-functional vault because he doesn't want its former residents to attempt to retake it. I.e. he wants to motivate the Vault 21 dwellers to leave the area. If he had simply sealed off areas or electronically locked portions of it, enterprising smarties like ex-vaulters might attempt to work against him and eventually restore it. With the majority of the vault filled with cement, it can only function as a tourist attraction and small-scale residence.
    (Josh Sawyer Formspring answers)
  5. James Garcia's portfolio