Icon disambig
For a list of player characters in the Fallout series of games, see character.
For the memoirs of the Vault Dweller, see Vault Dweller's memoirs.
For the vault dwellers in Fallout Shelter, see Vault dwellers (Fallout Shelter).
None could stand in my way. I had a mission. I had a goal. I had a really large gun.Vault Dweller's memoirs

In a general sense, a vault dweller is any person who lives in one of the Vault-Tec vaults.

When capitalized as a proper noun, the Vault Dweller is the player character in Fallout, most famous for defeating the Master and his super mutant army, helping Shady Sands grow into the New California Republic, founding the small village of Arroyo and fathering its elder (who too would bear a child; "the Chosen One").


Regardless of which gender is chosen and how old the Vault Dweller is chosen to be on a scale of 16 to 35 (making the Vault Dweller born around 2126 to 2145), the Vault Dweller is canonically male as shown in the Book of the Elders, and is implied to canonically be Albert Cole due to Interplay's concept-art for the Vault Dweller and his appearance in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, suggesting that the Vault Dweller is twenty-seven years old at the beginning of Fallout 1 (making the Vault Dweller born in 2134).

The MissionEdit


Face of the Vault Dweller in 2161. Note the resemblance to Albert Cole.

Vault 13's overseer, Jacoren, sent the Vault Dweller out on a mission to find a replacement for the vault's broken water chip. After striking a deal with the Water Merchants of the Hub and obtaining a water chip from Vault 12 in the ruins of Bakersfield, the overseer told him that the amount of super mutants located in the area did not match up with natural rates of mutation.

Believing that someone must be artificially creating the super mutants and fearing for the safety of the vault, he ordered the Vault Dweller to find and destroy the source of the mutants. The Vault Dweller soon found an old military base where humans were being dunked into vats of Forced Evolutionary Virus in order to be converted into super mutants. He destroyed both this base and the Master of the super mutants beneath the Cathedral in the Boneyard before returning to the vault, only to be told that he saved the lives of the vault and maybe even the human race but is forced out because of Jacoren's fear that everyone in the vault would want to leave.

In ExileEdit

I'm sorry. You're a hero, and you have to leave.Jacoren

After leaving the vault for a final time, the Vault Dweller wandered the desert, but never moved far from the mountains that shielded the vault from the rest of the world. Some other members of the vault, upon hearing of what happened, decided to leave the vault and join the Vault Dweller, following him soon afterwards. The Vault Dweller eventually found and rejoined this small group of former vault dwellers. Knowing little of the outside world, the group would almost certainly have died had it not been for the Vault Dweller's assistance.

Two months later, the Vault Dweller headed north, to the great canyons, with a small group of vault dwellers and wastelanders and founded a small village. Initially, they would send scouts back towards the vault, to help others who thought like themselves, but that slowly came to an end. The Vault Dweller taught the others the skills they would need to survive and grow strong. Hunting, farming and other skills to feed them, engineering and science to build their homes, fighting to protect what was theirs. Slowly, they took the knowledge that the Vault Dweller had learned on his adventure and together, they learned to thrive. Over time, their rag-tag group had turned into a tribe. The Vault Dweller fell in love with one of them, named Pat, and they raised a family, like all of their tribespeople. The construction of Arroyo was completed on August 18, 2167.

The Vault Dweller and Pat led the tribe which grew larger and stronger. In 2188, their daughter, who would later become the village elder, was born. Eventually, she and the other children became the leaders of the community.


On January 16, 2208, several years after Pat's death, the Vault Dweller wrote his memoirs. Soon after that, he vanished from Arroyo and was presumed dead. The Vault Dweller left the vault suit behind, folded on the bed, later to be placed inside the Temple of Trials. Some say the Vault Dweller was taken by the sky spirits, others say that the Vault Dweller felt it was time to move on and leave the elders to guide Arroyo to its destiny. After the One-Moon (Month) Cycle of mourning for the Vault Dweller ended, activity in Arroyo began to return to normal. Years later, the Vault Dweller's grandchild, later called the Chosen One, was born.

FOBoSLogoThe following is based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and has not been confirmed by canon sources.
Vault Dweller FoBoS

Appearance of the Vault Dweller in 2208.

After leaving Arroyo the only known place where he was spotted was the town of Carbon, where he is known simply as the Wasteland Stranger. There, he helped some of the people to hide from raiders and also helped the Initiate trace the remnants of the Master's army and some Brotherhood of Steel paladins, directing him to Los. What became of him afterwards is unknown, but it is certain he left Carbon and continued his travel in the Wasteland.

Interactions with the Wasteland Stranger during his stay in Carbon can result in the Initiate receiving from him a Red Ryder BB gun. Additionally, the Initiate may find a Vault 13 flask in the Carbon Mill, at which the Wasteland Stranger remarks at being a "sentimental old fool" and offers a trade for it.

FOBoSLogoEnd of information based on Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.


FO2 Vault Dweller statue

Vault Dweller's statue

Besides Arroyo and the Chosen One, the Vault Dweller's journey lived on to the extent that he is still revered by a fair portion of the people in the Wasteland. His statue is prominently displayed in the New California Republic capital, Shady Sands.

He is remembered under several names, including "the Vault Dweller" and "the Stranger" (used by those who - while believing in his greatness - doubt he ever could have come from a vault). He refers to himself as "the Wanderer" at the end of his memoirs. Children who heard of his story would often play at finding Vault 13, some of these children even grew into adults obsessed with proving the Vault Dweller's former home existed. For a time, President Tandi would even sponsor such adventurers, until giving up after many years of failure.

Even 120 years after the Vault Dweller walked the wasteland, his actions are still felt throughout places as far as the Mojave Wasteland. Super mutants such as Marcus, who had been a companion of his grandson, recount how the Vault Dweller defeated the Master.


  • While in Fallout the Vault Dweller could be either male or female, the canon Dweller, as established by Fallout 2 (in the opening movie, among other places), was male.
  • The Vault Dweller's age can be set at the start of Fallout, but only between 16 and 35.
  • In Fallout 3, when Butch DeLoria is trying to think of a name for his gang at the Lone Wanderer's birthday party, Paul Hannon Jr. suggests the name "Vault Dwellers," but Butch dismisses it as stupid. He then says, "Who wants to be going around being called a 'Vault Dweller'?" in a mocking voice.
  • In the Classic Pack pre-order bonus for Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier receives an armored Vault 13 jumpsuit, a weathered 10mm pistol and a Vault 13 canteen. This is a reference to Fallout and the Vault Dweller's adventures.
  • Although it is also possible in Fallout to join the Master or simply detonate the bomb in the Los Angeles Vault, the canon Vault Dweller in Fallout killed the Master.
  • In a nod to the Vault Dweller, the Lone Wanderer is kicked out of Vault 101 as well after helping its residents in the quest Trouble on the Homefront in Fallout 3; should certain actions be taken, Amata Almodovar will say things such as "You saved us," "that makes the rest of this even harder" and "I'm sorry... you're a hero, and you have to leave." to the Lone Wanderer, which are all parts of the speech Jacoren says to the Vault Dweller at the end of Fallout. However, the dialogue appears only if the overseer is killed as a solution. Resolving the problem diplomatically results in a different dialogue that does not reference the first Fallout.
  • In the early stages of the development of Fallout 2, it was planned that the main character would again be the Vault Dweller. However, this idea was quickly abandoned, since it was difficult for developers to explain the loss of equipment and skills of the hero of the original game. Therefore, the developers decided to create a new character who turned out to be a descendant of the Vault Dweller[1].


The Vault Dweller is the player character in Fallout. Aside from the original game, he also makes a cameo appearance in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel as an unlockable player character.

Although he only personally appears in two games out of the Fallout series, the Vault Dweller has been mentioned in every other Fallout game up to date, except for Fallout 4 and Fallout 76.

Mini-FOT LogoThe following is based on Fallout Tactics and some details might contradict canon.
Mini-FOT LogoEnd of information based on Fallout Tactics.

Behind the scenesEdit

He was also to appear in the canceled Fallout movie (referred to as "Hero" in the story treatment), accompanied by three other people from Vault 13 - the Female Officer, Techy and Scholar.

I always thought of Fallout's story of drawing straws was something the Overseer thought of. "Look, someone has to go outside, and they may die out there, so let's draw straws". Someone, probably not the Overseer since he wouldn't have gone outside no matter what, demanded that EVERYONE draw a straw in order to be truly fair. But to be honest, the vault dwellers were simply terrified of going outside, and terrified people do not always make the wisest decisions.

Anyway, when big dumb Larry drew the straw, maybe the Overseer saw a way to rid their limited gene pool of some really bad alleles.
Tim Cain[3]



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