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The Vault Dweller's Survival Guide (VDSG) is the game manual for Fallout. In the original release, it was present in the game box, printed in A5 format with a soft cover and either spiral- (North American release) or glue-bound (European release) edge.[Meta 1]

The manual was written by Chris Taylor, with Ed Rubin handling design and layout, and Tramell Ray Isaac, Jason Anderson, Leonard Boyarsky, and Scott Rodenhizer providing art assets.


The VDSG is an official handbook for Vault dwellers, issued by the Vault-Tec Documentation Department in January 2077. Under United States law, it was considered a document with information affecting the national defense of the nation (as per the New Amended Espionage Act), and any revelation of its contents to unauthorized persons was prohibited. VTB-001 focused on the events following a global nuclear war.[1]

It was one of several handbooks issued by Vault-Tec to help dwellers prepare with various end of the world scenarios, identified by the serial number VTB-001. An abridged version of the VDSG was available, focusing on Limited Scale Nuclear War end of world scenario and identified as VTB-002. Other publications were Coping With Mr. Virus! (Disease), How to Eat Rat (Starvation), Flotation Homes and Seaweed (Flooding), and How to Dodge Falling Rocks (Meteor).[1]

The information it provided was extensive and included detailed statistics on Vault 13, nuclear blast effects, a breakdown of SimTek 5000 functionality, a simulation system designed to familiarize Vault dwellers with the outside world after a long period of sheltering (an explanation for the interface), personnel records (character creation and game system), instrumentation (interface in detail) with a breakdown of the features of the RobCo Pip-Boy 2000, combat resolution with a non-exhaustive item list, complete perk list, and other information, including a GECK advertisement, and seven appendices, including two recipes by Tim Cain: Mushroom Clouds and Desert Salad.[1]


Behind the scenes[]

  • The manual contains a wealth of information, and several parts of it are commented out with a rendered strip of tape, with handwritten comments by the Vault 13 overseer. These contain additional explanations or are juxtaposed with the overly optimistic Vault-Tec statements. There is text below them to give the appearance of an actual body of text beneath, however, when present it's a nonsensical variant of lorem ipsum:
Progressive trailers mostly noisily perused umpteen botulisms. One chrysanthemum extremely annoyingly marries quixotic Klingons. Five putrid Macintoshes gossips, because two televisions grew up. One irascible sheep easily sacrificed five Klingons, and the trailers perused Tokyo. Poisons grew up. Five televisions gossips. Umpteen partly putrid elephants tastes one almost silly sheep, because chrysanthemums abused five very quixotic botulisms, and Quark incinerated two tickets, even though one orifice partly lamely towed pawnbrokers, yet Santa Claus you can
Doom Eternal Fallout Reference

The Slayer's collection of books, VDSG is near the bottom.


The Survival Guide in the TV series

  • Pages from the Survival Guide appear in the Fallout TV series episode "The End" on the Vault 33 governing council bulletin board. They include the G.E.C.K. advertisement and the mushroom cloud and desert salad recipes, along with the Vault Boy version of Tim Cain.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Manual contents.