Vault 76 is a Vault-Tec vault located in the Forest region of Appalachia in 2102. It is located north of Flatwoods, West Virginia, and was designated as the "Official Vault of the Tricentennial" by Vault-Tec, under the tagline "Vault-Tec Salutes America."
Vault 76 was one of 17 control vaults, part of the overarching vault experiment. The maximum capacity was stated to be 500 occupants, though a construction blueprint gives a much smaller number of 88 occupants. The vault was programmed to open to the outside world 20 years after a nuclear war so that the residents within could emerge to recolonize Appalachia.
Its overseer was instructed to ignore standard operating procedures, as Vault 76 was deemed a special project essential to rebuilding the United States in the wake of the nuclear holocaust, and as such, the well-being and livelihood of its denizens were given an absolute priority. The occupants were some of America's finest, including students from Vault-Tec University, military members and a former White House Chief of Staff.
Construction of Vault 76 began in February 2065 and ended in October 2069, under the supervision of the Vault-Tec official Giles Wolstencroft. The vault had LightLife geothermal for its primary power supply, and General Atomics nuclear generator as a secondary power supply. Its computer control system was Brainpower 4. At some point during construction, Wolstencroft was abducted by extraterrestrials while inspecting the site.
Over the course of the project, the vault received numerous upgrades, including replacing the power supply with a pair of Vault Star super-reactors and as such resulted in a major increase to the standard of life. Instead of the standard and generally spartan living quarters, each denizen of the vault was furnished with a fully-featured apartment including a discrete bedroom, living room and bathroom, color television sets and general quality of life far superior to that experienced by those assigned to other vaults. Vault 76 debuted in 2076, seven years after its construction ended, in honor of the United States' Tercentenary.
The vault was successfully sealed on October 23, 2077, aided by special detachments from the U.S. Army that established a security perimeter around the vault and shuttling the designated residents in using buses. The Vault-Tec security team ensured compliance and defended the residents as they entered the vault, authorized and encouraged to use lethal force to ensure authorized residents would make it into the vault. Everyone else was considered an enemy combatant. They succeeded in their mission and the vault door was sealed for the next quarter of a century.
This was only the beginning of the project. The occupants were a diverse group selected from every walk of life, and apart from the vault staff, all were highly accomplished before the war and possessed competitive personalities. As such, Vault-Tec expected the residents to present unique challenges in maintaining order. As a last resort, the overseer was granted the ability to lock down each domicile and imprison the resident for any duration deemed appropriate, with the note to account for the fact that enforced solitary confinement can lead to psychological issues. Furthermore, the security team was provided with less-than-lethal devices to ensure compliance. Firearms and other munitions were stowed after the amended entry period.
For the next 25 years, Vault 76 continued to operate as planned. The overseer found order easy to maintain, though the impressive pedigree of the residents and their competence led to the aforementioned unique challenges, most often challenging her authority. To provide the residents with an outlet for their competitiveness, the overseer instituted a number of awards for the residents to obtain, as award ceremonies were a great way to placate even the most hardened egos (altercations aside; one resident lost a tooth fighting over the Best Dental Hygiene award). The high point of the program was the Vault 76 World Cup, even if it nearly broke the jukebox. The overseer credited the success to the "exemplary" service of her "loyal and dependable" senior staff.
However, Vault 76 also had another objective: the vault's overseer was ordered to find and secure three nuclear silos all on her own after its opening. If these sites were still nuclear-capable, she was to ensure no one except Vault-Tec can access or launch nuclear ordnance. Any other authorities, government, militia or otherwise, were to be ignored, to ensure that Vault-Tec alone controlled these silos and could deny their use to any third parties. However, Vault-Tec may have known that the task was impossible for her to accomplish on her own, especially since they purposefully picked someone young and inexperienced for an overseer.
As the vault neared the end of its duration and the Reclamation Day, the situation started to slowly deteriorate. In 2100, the vault was over capacity, with hydroponics struggling to keep up with the demand and mandatory rationing instituted by the overseer. Six residents had to be placed under disciplinary lockdown (up from four at the end of the previous year), with the morale officer tasked with pacifying rumors about Appalachia around the clock. Nobody wanted to emerge into Appalachia to fight cannibal mutants and brave burning rain. Regardless, tensions were running high, especially with some of the residents being quite difficult to handle.
One infamous resident, Jake, was detested by the security team so much that only one officer could be trusted to be sent down and not strangle him. Furthermore, the ressies, as the security team called them, started hacking into terminals to learn more about the Reclamation and the Activation Notices. Although the security team made a token effort to curtail unauthorized access, they all knew trying to keep geniuses out of the files was a lost cause.
As a result of these mounting concerns, 2102 and Reclamation Day was met with relief from all parties; some were so relieved they even broke into the stores to enjoy it early. The overseer mandated a Reclamation Day party the day before the Activation Notice, opening up restricted alcohol stashes and the remaining food supplies. The happiness and cheering in the atrium as the overseer counted down to midnight were second only to the time when the first vault child was born. The party continued well into the night when the overseer called lights out and had security help stragglers into their beds. Then, she and her team went through the final checklists. Standees and supplies were placed along the exit route to the vault door to provide a last refresher course for the ressies, while the security team went through their duties with record speed: Wiping logs, securing non-essential gear and acquiring Reclamation Packages for themselves.
The residents, ultimately, had no other choice as the vault itself was designed to cease functioning and be rendered inhospitable 24 hours after opening, a feature intended to force the residents to commit to reclaiming the outside world and prevent them from becoming dependent on the vault's amenities. Studies showed that Vault-Tec residents quickly developed such a dependency, so the killswitch was established and set to kick in after the All-Clear message was received after the aforementioned delay. Air circulation would shut down last, giving residents enough time to leave the vault, but rendering it hazardous for habitation. Only robotic stewards would remain to preserve the remains, while the Vault 76 residents focused on rebuilding America.
Vault 76 successfully opened on October 23, 2102, 25 years after the Great War and five years after the intended date, in a much-celebrated event known as Reclamation Day. The vault opened and the residents emerged into an unknown world, transformed by nuclear war and a quarter-century of the ensuing chaos. Nobody knew what to expect, as the bombs knocked out all of Vault 76's external sensors except for the Geiger counters. Some on the security team were less concerned about threats from without than those within. The competitive Vault 76 residents were already making alliances and pacts before exiting and anything could happen without some sort of guiding force. The team feared that the ressies could go off the rails, breaking the respectable record of 25 years without casualties. Although some argued for arming the residents before they leave the vault, using the surplus stocks, the overseer denied the request. They received the standard survival packages and were told to run fast and far away from Vault 76 and complete their mission.
Vault 76 is the game's starting and tutorial area, providing a direct route to the exit with few branches. The player character awakes in their apartment and has the opportunity to explore their surroundings and collect the Nuka Tapper game holotape from their personal terminal. They are only allowed to exit the apartment once they collect the Pip-Boy 2000 Mark VI, entering the atrium area with traces of the last day's party. The atrium is large, complete with tables, a diner, and a soccer pitch in the middle of the vault. There is a note that cannot be taken sitting on one of the tables in the diner on the upper level of the atrium, called the love note. The upstairs levels of the atrium contain accommodation for the residents, complete with beds and color TVs.
Several Mister Handies are positioned throughout the vault on the route to the exit and man stations at which the player character can acquire their C.A.M.P. and a few other basic necessities as they prepare to leave. The aforementioned standees are found on the way out of the vault and provide some basic tips on survival, together with slowly-repeated instructions from the Mister Handies. More importantly, each standee offers the player character the chance to collect some gear, including:
- Black-rim glasses.
- A party hat.
- A perk package, giving a free level up and perk card.
- Five stimpaks and five bottles of purified water.
- Crafting supplies.
As the vault is in the process of shutting down, side routes are sealed off and inaccessible. However, the player character can access a few areas and terminals, including the personnel files (in the room with the projector and perk pack) and the security office just by the entrance. The overseer's office is also accessible via going slightly off route while following the trail of equipment stations. Once the resident exits the vault, the game starts.
To ensure that all residents leave the vault, the vault's main systems, including life support, were to be shut down shortly after Reclamation Day. Unlike other vaults that have a security checkpoint, blast door, and elevator to head deeper into the vault, Vault 76 has its blast door level with many of the vault's more critical rooms. After leaving Vault 76, no one can return into it, however, new characters created will always start in the vault.
- Vault 76 residents - The player characters.
- Vault 76 overseer - The vault's overseer, left the shelter early on a secret mission from Vault-Tec.
- Orders from Maria Chavez - Note, outside, on a Responder corpse down the stairs from the Vault.
- Overseer's log - Vault 76 - Holotape, inserted into the overseer's terminal in her office, or obtained from Pennington outside the vault.
- Scouts' Life issue #01
- Nuka Tapper - Holotape game, inserted into the terminal in the player character's domicile (fixed spawn and is otherwise not obtainable outside of randomized magazine spawns).
- The vault is mislabeled as a D.C. area vault in certain Vault-Tec records.
- Vault 76 is one of the many locations that cannot be nuked in the quest I Am Become Death.
Vault 76 appears in Fallout 76. It is mentioned in a terminal entry found in the Citadel in Fallout 3, an alien log in the Mothership Zeta add-on, by a newscaster at the start of Fallout 4 and by the ZAX unit in Vault 51.
Behind the scenesEdit
When reaching the first checkpoint, the "celebration" music from Fallout Shelter plays.
- ↑ Vault 76 promotional materials
- ↑ Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p. 286: "01. VAULT 76
Welcome to Vault 76! We hope you had a wonderful Reclamation Day shindig, but it's now time to leave. Follow the onscreen instructions, visiting each of the locations on the map, before heading out into the Appalachian wilderness. Remember you can return to the (relative) protection of the Vault entrance when using Fast-Travel without having to spend any Caps. Usually, though, you should gather all items you can before leaving."
(Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide Atlas of Appalachia)
- ↑ Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 76
- ↑ Construction plans
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Vault 76 parameters
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Alien captive recorded log 13
- ↑ Citadel terminal entries; Vault-Tec terminal, Vault 76, Equipment Issuances
- ↑ Interior of the vault apartment during Reclamation Day
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Newscaster: "Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honor of America's Tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country."
- ↑ The bus parking at the base of the vault includes military infantry fighting vehicles, a tank at the entrance, and other remnants of military presence
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, VAULT 76 SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Day to Day Duties
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Annual Review: 2100
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Vault-Tec Report
- ↑ 15.0 15.1 Reclamation Day
- ↑ Overseer's log - Nuke launch: "I had a directive from Vault-Tec: secure the region's three nuclear missile silos. I... WE... had to make sure they didn't fall into the wrong hands. I knew I couldn't do it alone, so I asked you -- my Vault 76 family -- for help."
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Assault Investigated
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Theft Investigated
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Unauthorized Access Investigation
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Drunk and Disorderly
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Reclamation Day Has Arrived
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Rundown Complete
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Mandatory Shut Down
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Keeping a lid on it
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Security terminal, Final entry
- ↑ Vault 76 terminal entries; Overseer's terminal, Survival First
- ↑ Citadel terminals; Vault-Tec terminal, DC Area Vault Listings