"Underground Troubles"
That Vault is a hornet's nest. If you have second thoughts, no one would think less of you for it.Colonel Hsu

Vault 3 is one of the Vault-Tec vaults in the Mojave Wasteland. Except for some flooding in the lower levels, the vault is still mainly intact in 2281 and is now occupied by the Fiends, who killed the vault's original residents.


Vault 3 is one of three vaults in the Mojave with human inhabitants, the others being Vault 21 and Vault 19. This vault was one of the few control vaults that had no experiment connected with it, and it functioned almost exactly to the residents' expectations. Control vaults were designed to open after 20 years, but the residents of Vault 3 decided to keep it sealed far longer, out of concern for the possible dangers they might face outside the vault. All was going well until an accidental water leak occurred, forcing the residents to open the vault to find help. The original Vault 3 inhabitants opened their doors and began to trade with people outside the vault. For a time, it went well and the inhabitants made a good living. However, this also brought the vault to the attention of the Fiends. The inhabitants hadn't set up any security, so the Fiends found little difficulty in raiding and taking the vault.

In many ways, Vault 3 was the ideal post-apocalyptic community that had all too often evaded Vault-Tec's many experiments. The vault’s isolation didn’t affect the residents. They maintained an orderly, democratic society, and, unlike other vaults (Vault 101 in particular), the overseer wasn't a dictator or a megalomaniac. Once again though, as with so many other Vault-Tec designs, the water pipes failed, and by necessity the community was forced into contact with the Mojave's savage population which was ultimately their undoing.


The vault is located under a building in the South Vegas ruins and is the base of operations for a gang known as the Fiends. Its location can be gained from the colonel at Camp McCarran after volunteering to help with the gang problem, from Elder McNamara of the Brotherhood of Steel during the quest Still in the Dark, from Diane during the quest Aba Daba Honeymoon or from Private Ortega in the barracks at the NCR Sharecropper Farms.

The vault door, which is opened by the adjacent control panel, is connected directly to the South Vegas ruins and therefore provides no loading point for the vault interior. This explains the lack of a door opening sequence.


Inside, the entrance is guarded by a female fiend, who will question you about what you are doing there. If you enter using a Speech check (64) or wearing Great Khan armor, you can navigate the vault without being attacked. You can remove the armor after the initial dialogue with the guard Fiend. If she becomes hostile, note that she levels with the player, giving her an abnormally high amount of hit points at higher levels (a maximum of 260 at level 30 player).

The walls of the vault are covered with graffiti, presumably done by the occupying Fiends. Much of the graffiti in the vault is the same as that which can be found on the Brotherhood's bunkers in Hidden Valley. In one of the toilets, there is graffiti on the wall of a stick man and woman. It's an enlarged version of the one in Hidden Valley.

Overall there are about 5 hackable terminals inside the vault, which contain information about the vault’s history.

Vault 3 consists of 3 areas:

  • Recreation area
  • Living quarters
  • Maintenance wing

Recreation areaEdit

Vault 3 seems to have a much larger recreational area than the other vaults. The recreation area also includes several pool tables and some minor loot. There is a locked door containing multiple Nuka-Cola bottles and one Nuka-Cola Quartz and one Nuka-Cola Victory. Within the recreation area there is a locked door leading to the maintenance wing.

Living quartersEdit

On the main floor of the living quarters there is a cage holding 3 captives: Rick Lancer, Rachael and Dennis. The cage also holds the body of the fourth captive, Carter, who managed to escape to search the vault for weapons before being caught and was subsequently killed.

Daniel, the Fiend who holds the key to the cage can be found in one of the southernmost rooms of the living quarters (see the unmarked quest I Love Bananas). Alternatively, the cage door can be picked without Karma loss, and no fiends will become hostile.

Two of the rooms in the living quarters each have a deceased fiend on a bed, surrounded by empty syringes, Jet and Psycho.

Around the southern part of the living quarters is a bedroom containing a terminal with an administrator "Billy boy" and a function called "Compose Automated Blast Message". However this does nothing, stating that the system is offline.

The flooded areas are long and difficult to swim through with enough time to return for air before taking drowning damage. In addition, the water is irradiated at 1 rad/sec. The rebreather or turbo will aid in searching these areas.

Maintenance wingEdit

The leader of the Fiends in the vault, Motor-Runner can be found in his throne room in the northern part of the maintenance wing along with his two guard dogs, BoneGnash and GhashBone.


Previous Vault dwellersEdit

Notable lootEdit

If the Fiends are non-hostile, looting will not make them hostile, nor will it cost Karma.

Recreation areaEdit

Vault 3 recreation area loc map

Recreation Area

Living quartersEdit

Vault 3 living quarters map

Living Quarters

  • A Chinese Army: Special Ops Training Manual on the bookshelf, in the large bedroom behind an average terminal locked door immediately opposite the entrance to the living quarters from the recreation area. The book is on a shelf immediately to the right as you enter.
  • Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap on a desk in a room next to a bottle of Sunset Sarsaparilla in a south room of the living quarters one floor up from the flooded area. It's in the room across the hall from the room with a terminal that says "Hello Billy boy!" when you open it.
  • A pair of binoculars are on the bookshelf outside the overseer's office. Another pair are on the shelf next to the observation window in the overseer's office.
  • There's a 25% chance of finding a Vault 3 utility jumpsuit in the 25 lockers spread throughout the living quarters and maintenance wing.

Maintenance wingEdit

Vault 3 maintenance wing map

Maintenance Wing

Related questsEdit


  • If you stand outside the vault door with Veronica as a companion, it triggers a point for her companion quest.
  • If you enter the cafeteria area of this vault with Lily Bowen, she will comment about herself when she was a small girl and will reminisce about her first kiss.
  • Because of the many bugs associated with the quest Aba Daba Honeymoon, including quest outcomes which conflict with related quests Still in the Dark, Bounty Killer, and I Love Bananas; it is highly recommended that the courier does not interact with Motor-Runner prior to starting Aba Daba Honeymoon. When entering the room that Motor-Runner is in for the first time, he will automatically engage in dialogue with the Courier. This is the player's only time to engage in direct dialogue with him, as once that conversation is finished the courier cannot engage in dialogue with him again. If the player wishes to complete all related quests successfully it is recommended to use the following progression:
    1. Aba Daba Honeymoon - Progress to the point of ready to deliver Motor-Runners package.
    2. Still in the Dark - Progress to the point of ready to enter Vault 3.
    3. Bounty Killer - Progress to the point of sending the Ranger back to Camp McCarran.
    4. I Love Bananas - Progress to the point of secretly freeing the hostages.
    5. Complete Aba Daba Honeymoon, then complete Bounty Killer, then complete Still in the Dark.
  • Once Aba Daba Honeymoon is complete, you may return to the vault and the Fiends inside won't be hostile. This makes it possible to stealth kill Motor-Runner and not have to fight all the Fiends.
  • If you kill Motor-Runner before finding the Ranger Bryce Anders, you will meet him back at Camp McCarran. The dialogue will be the same as if you had met him in the vault.
  • If you talk to the ranger, tell him to stay put, and then leave the Vault, Anders sometimes triggers his own mine boobytraps and dies on the stairs leading to his hiding place.
  • If you search Mick & Ralph's in Freeside you will find that their dressers, located in the upper portion of the complex contain several vault 3 jumpsuits.
  • This is one of the few vaults with humans still living in it.
  • None of the doors feature a gold stripe and a number; instead all are marked "No Access". This is also true of Vault 21.
  • If you stealthily kill a Fiend, when they are non-hostile, and aren't detected, the other Fiends comment on how someone is targeting them.
  • It would appear the Fiends tried but failed to access some of the restricted areas of Vault 3, as many bobby pins are dumped together in large clusters near the doors that require lockpicking.
  • It is not possible to enter the flooded rooms and return without drowning, unless the player has breathing apparatus such as the rebreather.


Vault 3 appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • Vault 3 was designed by Akil Hooper.
  • Vault 3 is geographically situated in the same real world location as the former First National Bank in Las Vegas, Nevada, which contained a municipal fallout shelter in real life.[1]
  • One of the rooms in the vault contains graffiti of the name "Germaine" crossed out with the name "Bret" written above. This may be a reference to the musical comedy act "The Flight of Conchords", whose band members' names are Bret and Jemaine.
  • Vault 3 is likely an allusion to Vault 13. In addition to the similarity of their numbers, both are indefinitely-sealed vaults that find themselves confronted by a malfunction of the vault water system. Water rationing is implemented, and, because no replacement parts are available, the vault dwellers choose to open the door and engage with the outside world for the first time. Where the two narrative diverge is that, whereas Vault 13's overseer acts with an excess of caution in engaging the outside world (much to the chagrin of Vault 13's dissidents), Vault 3's overseer acts with an excess of recklessness (again, over the objections of Vault 3's dissidents). In this way, Vault 3 functions to demonstrate how things in Fallout might have been, had things gone just a bit differently. The emotional force of this demonstration is enhanced by the Vault Dweller's conviction (likely shared by the player), that Vault 13's overseer was too cautious: an assessment that the downfall of Vault 3 calls into question.


  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 When entering the Vault the Fiend will talk to you. If you pass the speech check or are wearing Great Khan clothing, she will tell the other fiends not to attack . Regardless of that happening (even on previous visits) the fiends may still randomly become hostile and attack. This appears to be due to the companion code still highlighting some Fiends as enemies, and happens even if you tell them to wait outside the vault. Instead, send them back to the Lucky 38 and go on completely alone. Note that killing the attacking fiends in the vault does not always cause other fiends to attack you. Usually, the fiends in the entrance room of the vault will never attack if you passed the speech check and you don't attack them. Motor-Runner will also never become hostile unless you attack him.[verified]
    • Running to access living quarters and fast-access the door many times, the recreation area fiends will become friendly again, and exit Vault 3 will fix this bug.
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Occasionally when you save inside the Vault, the save files will spontaneously become inaccessible, leaving them useless. [verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 The entry on the Overseer's terminal that unlocks the two submerged storerooms doesn't always work, and sometimes leaves both doors locked with a Hard lock.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360 If you go to the jail cells, look in the cell, and press 'sit bench' you will appear inside the locked cell. To get out either pick the lock or do the same thing on the bench outside the cell.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Sometimes the ghoul Dennis will spawn outside of his cell and move freely throughout the vault, or a Fiend will spawn inside the cell with the prisoners.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360 After finding Bryce Anders' body and hacking the computer to open the door, Capt. Curtis walks in the vault and starts talking to you as if you were still in Camp McCarran.[verified]
  • PCIcon pc If you pass the speech check to enter Vault 3 and immediately go to talk to Motor-Runner, sometimes if you go to look for Bryce Anders afterwards, he will not be there and the secret door will be open. If you return to Capt. Curtis he will talk to the player as if Anders had been rescued.[verified]
  • Playstation 3Icon ps3 Sometimes when inside the Living Quarters, Great Khans will appear, or "pop in" and will bug your character and make them seem like they are floating, leaving the crosshairs slightly up from where they should be and 3rd person mode will result in a slight zoom, as if transitioning to this mode, but will not complete the full transition. This seems to resolve itself once all the Great Khans have loaded.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360 At the bottom of Vault 3, there is a door that is too low for ED-E to go through. Sometimes ED-E goes further into the Vault, but cannot get back through the door and is therefore stuck. Loading a new game and telling ED-E to wait on one side of the door fixes it. [verified]



Vault 3
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.