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Vault dwellers are the inhabitants of the player's Vault and as such are a very valuable resource. They are the ones who do the work, making the power, water and food that the Vault requires to survive. They are also sent out into the wasteland to explore for supplies. Ensuring their happiness and safety should be one of the overseer's primary concerns.

Vault dweller statistics[]

All dwellers have their own set of SPECIAL statistics, thus assisting in determining their ideal job posting. Each of these need to be considered to help achieve peak output in the production rooms. For example, if a person with a Perception of 1 is posted in the water treatment room instead of a person with a Perception of 6, production will be poor and minimal. Also, placing the right dwellers in the right places helps fulfill objectives. One can always modify a Vault dweller's SPECIAL stats by equipping an outfit that modifies SPECIAL to achieve the desired effect.

A dweller's level increases their health, based on their current Endurance when leveling.

Acquiring and losing Vault dwellers[]

Players begin with 12 Vault dwellers, all of which start at Level 1 (level 5 in survival mode).


Players can acquire new Vault dwellers by:

  • Mating an adult male and an adult female dweller in the living rooms, as detailed below. Related Vault dwellers cannot mate (with the below exceptions).
    • The procedure that a couple will follow is: Meet, talk, dance, mate. If couples have been in the same room for a while (but talking or dancing with other dwellers), they may have missed a step.
    • Living rooms follow the same space rules as other rooms - a single room can hold 2 adults, a double holds 4, and a triple holds 6. Placing more than one couple in a suitably sized room may result in mixing and matching of the couples as they decide which is their best mate.
    • The surname of the child is, by default, determined by their sex. If the child is a boy they take their mother's surname and if a girl then their father's surname. One can change the child's name as they would change anyone other dweller's name, by clicking on the name at the top of their Statistics and editing it.
    • Dwellers sharing a parent cannot mate, nor can they mate their own parent or grandparent. One will see the "Hanging out with the family" message when they meet in the living rooms.
    • Cousins can mate with each other, as can aunts and nephews, as well as uncles and nieces.
    • Children have a 50% chance of inheriting the 'proficiency' (highest SPECIAL attribute) of either parent. If both parents have maxed stats, the inherited 'proficiency' will always be Intelligence. This proficiency determines which SPECIAL stat will be the highest.
    • A couple of dwellers with maxed S.P.E.C.I.A.L. (10) has chance to produce children with a higher amount of distributed SPECIAL points.
      • There is a 13.3% chance to have a 'genius' child with a 28 SPECIAL points, like Rare dwellers.
      • There is a 6.6% chance to be a 'prodigy' with 40 SPECIAL points, like Legendary dwellers.
      • +SPECIAL pets can be used to increase these initial stats even further by giving them to a mother before they give birth.
      • +Twins Chance pets increase the chances when mothers mate while having one assigned to them.
      • Children are always "Common" rarity, even if they have the distributed stats of Rare and Legendary dwellers.
  • Enticing a wanderer with the radio broadcasts from the radio studio.
  • Obtaining a Legendary dweller or rare Vault dweller from a lunchbox.
  • Once the Overseer's office is built, dwellers exploring the wasteland can discover locations. Sometimes when exploring this discovered location, dwellers will meet survivors. The dweller will invite the survivor to the Vault. This survivor will run to the Vault door when collecting the dweller that found them. These survivors are rare dwellers and will have increased stats. They also may come with rare weapons and/or outfits.
  • Certain quests can have a recruitable, sometimes legendary, dweller.

If the player's Vault has no room for a new dweller (either because insufficient living rooms have been built, or the Vault has a maximum of 200 dwellers), pregnant women will not give birth and new arrivals will not enter the Vault.

Dwellers that have been sent out to explore the wasteland still count against the total capacity of the Vault.


Dwellers come in 4 rarities: Common, Normal, Rare and Legendary.

  • Children are given the Common rarity.
  • Dwellers recruited via the Radio studio are mostly Normal, getting rare or legendary dweller this way is extremely rare, but not impossible.
  • Dwellers recruited via quests and random encounters are mostly Rare, but a few are Legendary.


Players can reduce the number of dwellers by death or expulsion. Death can happen inside the Vault during incidents or outside the Vault by running out of stimpaks while exploring or getting killed on a quest.

  • Dwellers who die inside the Vault may be resurrected (unless playing in survival mode) or the bodies may be removed. Leaving a dead body inside the Vault lowers the happiness of any nearby living dwellers.
  • Dwellers who die while exploring may be resurrected (unless playing in survival mode) or have their bodies removed. If they are removed, any resources they may have collected on their travels are lost, although if they had a pet, it will return without them.

Moving Vault dwellers[]

When a dweller is dragged into a room, they will commence whichever activity is appropriate for that room: for instance, a dweller dragged into a power plant will activate its power-producing abilities. A dweller dragged into a training room will begin training in that SPECIAL ability.

If a dweller is dragged into a room that is already full, they will take the place of the person there with the lowest (random if many) applicable SPECIAL statistic. For instance, if a dweller on coffee break is dragged into a 2-room power plant that already has 4 dwellers in it, the dweller with the lowest Strength score (including outfit boost) will leave and will go on a coffee break. The stats which are not applicable to that room are not taken into account, so if two dwellers in a power plant have the same strength, but one has higher agility, which one gets replaced is randomly chosen as their agility is irrelevant.

A dweller dragged into crafting or production room will gain levels as they produce the appropriate resource. The speed at which they gain this is determined by the size of the room, the number and level of other dwellers in with them, and how often the room is rushed successfully. Children, however, cannot be moved to any room and will aimlessly walk around the Vault and interact with the other residents. After three hours from a Vault dweller's birth, they will become an adult and thus be assignable.

If a dweller is dragged into a room while an incident is occurring, they will run back to their previous location or role once the incident is over. This can be useful for putting two heavily armed Vault dwellers in the Vault entrance to meet raiders, knowing that they will return to their day jobs once the excitement is over. Moving dwellers for other reasons during an incident will have the same result. Separating a dancing couple during a fire to stop mating from occurring, for example, will be ineffective, as they will return to the mating process once the fire has ended.

Improving Vault dwellers[]

Common dwellers who arrive at or are born into the Vault start at Level 1. Those who are born from parents with high S.P.E.C.I.A.L. statistics and level have a chance that their own statistics may be greater than 1.

  • Common Vault dwellers start with 12-13 SPECIAL points randomly distributed
  • Rare Vault dwellers start with 28 SPECIAL points randomly distributed
  • Legendary Vault dwellers start with 40 SPECIAL points[1] (max level/max SPECIAL parents can produce legendary children)

Dwellers in a training room will increase the appropriate SPECIAL statistic for that room. For instance, a dweller in an armory will increase their Perception skill. When they have gained a point, they will show a small icon over their head, which must be cleared for the next level of training to begin. While they are training, they will show the time remaining until the next point gain under their feet. One must zoom in all the way in order to see the time remaining under each training dweller.

Dwellers in training can only improve each SPECIAL statistic to 10. A dweller that has reached 10 in that specific statistic (e.g. a dweller in the armory who has reached a Perception score of 10) will then show "Max Level Reached" under their feet, instead of the time until the next upgrade.


Main article: Happiness

Happiness is an important factor in keeping a Vault functioning at peak efficiency. There are several ways of keeping Vault dwellers happy:

  • Keep them healthy. A lack of food, water, or power will bring down their mood.
  • Assign them to the correct job. Just like in real life, people hate doing jobs they just are not cut out for.
  • Give them some time with the opposite sex. It will lift their spirits and make them happy.
  • If they are sick, a little RadAway and/or stimpaks never hurt anyone.
  • Sometimes they just get bored. Assign them to the training rooms for some training.
  • Successfully rushing the production room they're in will raise their happiness by 10%.

Notable quotes[]

  • "Cheese."
  • "Best. Job. EVER."
  • "What a great day!"
  • "I want to draw a picture later. Any requests?"
  • "With me working here, maximum efficiency is guaranteed!"
  • "You're like cholesterol, always messin' with my heart."
  • "I'm just so happy I could burst! But don't worry... I won't."
  • "Are we in a vertibird? 'Cause my heart's taking off."
  • "I've been thinking about making a cake for everyone. What flavor would be best?"


See also[]