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Vault 81 is a side quest in Fallout 4.

Quick walkthrough

Side quest: Vault 81
Find 3 fusion cores.
Use the Vault 81 intercom to report progress.
Talk to Overseer McNamara.
Deliver the fusion cores to Overseer McNamara.
Reward: 75 XP
100 caps
Access to Vault 81
Leads to: Here Kitty, Kitty

Detailed walkthrough

When the Sole Survivor arrives at Vault 81, proceed to connect their Pip-Boy to the entrance button in an attempt to open the Vault doors; however, the door will not open and instead Scott Edwards will respond to the activation attempt through the intercom system. Overseer Gwen McNamara will dismiss him and take over the conversation.

McNamara will advise the player character that if they want to enter the Vault, they need to bring three fusion cores as a means of payment. Alternatively, the Survivor may pass a Hard speech check. If the choice is made to part with the cores, they will be compensated with 100 bottlecaps by the overseer. Full access to the Vault will be granted regardless. Overseer McNamara will welcome them and they may trade and interact with the residents of Vault 81.

Quest stages

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
15 Initial greet scene with Edwards
50 Succeeded speech check to enter
55 Open vault door
100 Find fusion coresI discovered a potentially functional Vault called Vault 81. Their Overseer offered a tradeoff: I can enter the Vault if I bring them Fusion Cores.
200 Deliver fusion cores to Overseer McNamaraI was able to obtain the Fusion Cores that the Overseer asked for. I should return to the Vault door console and let them know. Hopefully, they'll open their doors after this.
300 Talk to Overseer McNamaraNow that I've gained access to Vault 81, I need to speak to the Overseer to give her the Fusion Cores she asked for.
1000Quest finishedQuest complete


  • Used cores will fulfill the requirement just as well as fresh cores. If entering the Vault early in the game, when cores are not widely available, this should mitigate the relatively high cost of admission while still getting some use out of power armor. However, if one has both used and unused cores, the game may prioritize the unused cores when removing from your inventory, so be sure to store them, drop them, or hand them to a companion if you only want to give up used cores.
  • If the Survivor has any companions currently in their service, Vault security officer Scott Edwards will express his concern to Overseer McNamara, but she allows the companion to remain in the Vault without incident.
  • If wearing power armor, the overseer will advise that some of the residents will be uneasy.
  • Upon entering the Vault, dropping ones stock of fusion cores once the overseer begins to talk will allow them to enter the inner Vault without losing any fusion cores, and still get the 100 caps compensation.
  • The door leading further into the Vault is marked 'Inaccessible' until the conversation with McNamara has been completed.


  • Playstation 4Playstation 4 Xbox OneXbox One When you pass the persuasion check there is a chance that the door used to head deeper into the Vault will not open and remain inaccessible. There is no currently found fix for the issue.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 4Playstation 4 When you enter the Vault, McNamara will finish her conversation with Calvin and then just look at you. If you try to interact with her she will just stare at you. Saving and reloading the game does not appear to solve this issue. It may be caused by dropping your cores after entering the Vault but before talking to McNamara; picking them up again resolves the issue in this case. [verified]