Icon disambig
For other uses of the term, see Wasteland Survival Guide.
Leave me out of that girl's crazy experiments, I don't get paid enough for that.Moira's mercenary

Wasteland Survival Guide is a multi-part quest in Fallout 3. It is also an achievement/trophy.

Quick walkthroughEdit

Side Quest: Wasteland Survival Guide
Speak to Moira Brown about writing her book.
Complete the three parts for chapter 1.
Find food in the Super-Duper Mart.
Contract at least 200 Rads.
Travel to the playground in Minefield.
Find medicine as well.
Contract 600 Rads.
Acquire a frag mine for Moira.
Reward: Food sanitizer
Reward: Rad Regeneration perk
Reward: Bottlecap mine schematics
Reward: Iguana bits
Reward: RadAway and Rad-X
Reward: Frag grenades
Reward: 100 XP and Stimpaks
Complete the three parts for chapter 2.
Use the repellent stick on 3 mole rats.
Place an observer unit in the Anchorage Memorial.
Return with less than 50% health.
Use it on another 7 mole rats.
Don't kill any mirelurks in the process.
Cripple a limb as well.
Reward: Keep the repellent stick
Reward: Shady hat
Reward: Environment suit
Reward: Jet and Psycho
Reward: Stealth Boys
Reward: Med-X
Reward: 100 XP and ammunition
Complete the three parts for chapter 3.
Learn Rivet City's history from Bannon.
Install the processor widget in the RobCo facility.
Access the card catalog in Arlington Library.
Learn the true history from Horace Pinkerton.
Hack RobCo's mainframe.
Retrieve the complete archive.
Reward: Discount in Rivet City
Reward: Big Book of Science
Reward: Lying, Congressional Style
Reward: Mentats
Reward: Pulse grenades
Reward: Bottle caps
Convince Moira to give up.
Reward: 100 XP, a mini nuke, copy of the Wasteland Survival Guide and the Survival Expert perk
Reward: XP, discount at Craterside Supply and the Dream Crusher perk

Detailed walkthroughEdit

Moira Brown, the owner of Craterside Supply in Megaton, wants someone to do some dangerous research for a book she is writing entitled The Wasteland Survival Guide. Though each chapter is generally a unique quest, they all share common attributes for their rewards. All non-unique item rewards are given in a quantity proportionate to the Lone Wanderer's level, meaning the player character will receive more of some items at higher levels. The player character is also given dialogue options based on which of their SPECIAL stats are at least 7: the more stats at 7 or higher, the more dialogue options. The player character's dialogue options affect both the style of the book and the specific rewards at the end of the quest. A well-made (all options completed) book will increase your overall survival skills versus a standard (some to no options) book and becomes its own unique perk rather than a simple overall bonus.

  • Standard replies are always available and produce a straightforward and no-nonsense book, and the player character endures a lot of pain to get through alive. The effects from this style increase overall HP, likely from taking so much punishment.
  • Snide replies are always available and produce a clearly cynical book, albeit one that is snappy and amusing. The effects from this style increase Critical Hit Chance, likely from trying to find more creative and sadistic ways to hack and blast things into a fine red mist.
  • To make a smart reply, the player character's Intelligence or Perception (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A smart book presents an intelligent and thorough treatment of the subject. The effects from this style increase Science and Medicine skill levels.
  • To make a tough reply, the player character's Strength or Endurance (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A tough book focuses on personal reliance and determination. The effects from this style increase Damage Resistance.
  • To make a sly reply, the player character's Charisma or Agility (the specific stat differs for each segment) must be at least 7. A sly book is formed from an engaging and personal presentation: a veritable Wanderer's Manifesto. The effects from this style increase Sneak and Speech skill levels.

The player can also lie to Moira to skip portions of the quest, which negatively affects the outcome.

Each portion of the chapter can be done in any order. Only optional quest tasks affect the overall outcome.

If the player chooses to destroy Megaton during The Power of the Atom while the Survival Guide quest is active, the latter will not be affected at all, as Moira survives as a ghoul and continues to give quest updates as normal. She is to be found at the ruins of Megaton initially, but will then move to Underworld after the first conversation with her. Or, if enough time passes, she will eventually move on her own. If Moira dies, when the player character approaches Megaton, a message will appear saying "Moira Brown has been killed and the Wasteland Survival Guide will never be written." At the same time, a quest message will appear announcing that the quest has been failed.

Chapter 1Edit

Chapter 1 focuses on the basics: finding food and medicine, dealing with radiation, and dealing with pain.

Find food at the Super-Duper MartEdit

Main Objective: Find food in the Super-Duper Mart.
Optional Objective: Find medicine in the Super-Duper Mart.

Moira wants the Lone Wanderer to look for food and possibly medicine at the nearby Super-Duper Mart. Moira will mark it on the player character's map. The mart is filled with raiders. For more information, see the Super-Duper Mart page.

Inside, at the front of the mart, opening the refrigerator will fulfill the first part of the quest. After this, the player can venture further inside to finish the optional objective. There is a first aid box labeled "Pharmacy Supplies" in the back room (next to the mini nuke and protectron), in the left-hand corner of the store. Looting it will fulfill the optional objective, but will also summon several more raiders. The intercom will transmit their voices as a warning.

Moira will reward the Lone Wanderer with iguana bits if they only complete the required objective or successfully lie to her, and a food sanitizer in addition to the iguana bits if the player character completes the optional objective.

If the player character already visited the Super-Duper Mart and picked up food and medicine there prior to initiating the Wasteland Survival Guide quest with Moira, when they speak to her, they will instead recount their experiences, which effectively completes this portion of Chapter 1 without having to do it again.

Iguana bits vs Level
Level 1 4 7 10 13 17 20
Iguana bits 3 5 7 9 11 13 15

After completing the quest and the optional objective, the player character can get special conversation paths if his or her Endurance, Intelligence or Charisma is above 7; Strength, Agility or Intelligence apply if the player character didn't. The standard or snide responses are available by default.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
smart "I encountered some raiders, but they were easily outsmarted." Int 7 No
tough "I got the food and dealt with those pansy raiders. They couldn't stop me." Str 7 No
snide "That place was a death trap. It was crawling with raiders." nothing No
standard "It's got a lot more food than most places, but I wasn't the only one there." nothing No
sly "Those big, shadowy stores can be great for hiding out." Agi 7 No

smart "The raiders were using the pharmacy as a place to store their best gear." Int 7 yes
snide "I had a fun party with some raiders. Then a guard robot jumped out of a cake." nothing yes
standard "I found raiders and a robot. It was hardly a safe place to scavenge." nothing yes
tough "Those raiders must've shot me twenty times. But who's counting?" End 7 yes
sly "It's very hard to talk my way past that many people shooting at me..." Cha 7 yes

Contract radiation sicknessEdit

Main Objective: Contract 200 Rads
Optional Objective: Contract 600 Rads

Moira wants the Lone Wanderer to contract radiation sickness in order to study the effects of radiation poisoning on a person, as well as to test her radiation sickness remedy on the player character. 200 rads is considered the minimum, while 600 is necessary for the optional objective. Moira will completely heal all of the player character's radiation at the end of the quest.

There are any number of highly irradiated areas which will easily fulfill the objective. The closest option is the nuclear bomb right in the middle of town. The quickest way to fulfill the radiation requirements is to drink from the radioactive water surrounding the atomic bomb. Other high radiation areas include the White House, the surface entrance of Vault 87, Nuka-Cola plant, the crashed Delta IX rocket near the Statesman Hotel, and the Wheaton Armory interior. Another is just behind Springvale Elementary, where there is a fenced-in dump containing radioactive barrels.

After the mission is completed, the Lone Wanderer's rad count is reduced to 0. Moira will give the player character some Rad-X and RadAway, and she will also start selling them. If the optional objective is complete, Moira remarks that the player character now has a "teeny, tiny, um, mutation" after curing them, which manifests in the form of the Rad Regeneration perk. Alternatively, should the Lone Wanderer have a high enough Science skill (at least 50), they will be given the option of simply explaining the effects of radiation poisoning. The optional objective counts as complete towards the quality of the final reward perk. However, the player character does not get the optional objective perk this way. Note that this is a "smart" response.

RadAway vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
RadAway 1 2 3 4 5
Rad-X vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Rad-X 3 4 5 6 7

After completing the quest and optional objective, the Lone Wanderer can get special conversation paths if their Endurance, Perception or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Intelligence or Agility. Note that the player character is suffering the effects of Critical Radiation Poisoning (-1 STR, -3 END, -2 AGL), which may affect their ability to choose the Endurance option. Using a Buffout before speaking to Moira will allow for the Lone Wanderer to select the "tough" option, provided their base Endurance is seven or greater, as it counteracts the -3 Endurance penalty from the radiation poisoning.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
sly "I like to think of it as adding to my glowing personality." Cha 7 no
smart "The headaches certainly make it hard to focus properly." Int 7 no
standard "Itchiness, sores, and so forth. I've had worse, but still not fun." nothing no
tough "I can barely feel it. Radiation sickness is for the weak." End 7 no
smart "Fear not! With my vast scientific knowledge, I explain this one myself." Science yes
snide "Why don't you drink a tall glass of wastewater and find out for yourself?" nothing no

Standard "Just do your examination and fix me up please." nothing yes
smart "If I listen closely, I can hear my genes crying." Per 7 yes
snide "I feel about as bad as you look." Ghoul Moira yes
snide "Too... tired... to be... snide." nothing yes
tough "Well, it itches a little, but I can walk it off." End 7 yes
sly "Oh, I feel fine! <cough> Never better! <cough> No problem at all! <wheeze>" Cha 7 yes

Traversing a mine fieldEdit

Main Objective: Travel to the playground in the center of Minefield.
Optional Objective: Retrieve and return a frag mine to Moira.

Moira wants the player character to reach the playground in the center of Minefield, which is appropriately named, as the streets have many frag mines planted on them. She would also like for the Lone Wanderer to retrieve a mine, if they are able to do so. The player character must bring her a mine; simply disarming one and then going to talk to her will not give you the credit for the optional objective.

Minefield is far northeast of Megaton. Minefield is also home to the sniper, Arkansas, who adds to the challenge of this quest by shooting at the player and surrounding cars.

As frag mines are quite prevalent in the game, it is possible to lie to Moira about visiting Minefield and still complete the optional objective to complete the quest. If the Lone Wanderer already visited Minefield before doing this task, they can inform Moira of this but will not be able to complete the optional objective.

Moira will reward the Lone Wanderer with frag grenades upon completion of the quest, and will add bottlecap mine schematics if they completed the optional objective.

Frag grenades vs Level
Level 1 4 7 10 13 17 20
Frag grenades 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

After completing the quest and optional objective, the player character can choose special conversation paths with an Endurance, Perception or Agility attribute of seven or higher. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Intelligence or Charisma.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "No, but it was a close call. Moving slow and staying off the dirt helped." nothing no
smart "Technically, it's the landmines that blow up, not me. And no, I didn't." Int 7 no
tough "I get blown up a lot. I get better. You got to be hard." End 7 no
sly "I've got the grace of a cat. No landmine's going to stop me." Agi 7 no
snide "Yes, I blew up and died. Now I'm haunting you because of that stupid book. Boo." nothing no
nothing "I got through Minefield alive, and I even brought you a present." nothing no

smart "Watch the details and look for broken patterns. That's where the traps are." Per 7 yes
snide "Oh, disarming it's real easy. Just jump up and down on it. You go first." nothing yes
standard "That whole place is a deathtrap." nothing yes
standard "That whole town is a trap. There was a sniper out there, just waiting for me." nothing yes
tough "There may have been an explosion or two. Oh, and a sniper. No big deal." End 7 yes
sly "Fast hands and faster wits can get you an awful lot. Including landmines." Agi 7 yes


Once all three quest objectives are completed, the first chapter will be done. Moira will reward the Lone Wanderer with some stimpaks and 100 experience points for finishing the first chapter of The Wasteland Survival Guide.

Stimpaks vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Stimpaks 3 4 5 6 7

Chapter 2Edit

Chapter 2 of the guide centers on dealing with some of the many dangerous creatures that are known to inhabit the wastelands, and also how to handle injuries.

Test the repellent on mole ratsEdit

Main Objective:Test the mole rat repellent on 3 mole rats.
Optional Objective: Test the repellent on 7 more mole rats (10 total with the first 3).

Moira wants the Lone Wanderer to test out her new mole rat repellent, which she has placed on the end of a stick, on some mole rats. Three is enough to finish the quest, while ten is preferred for a more thorough test of the repellent. Contrary to the name, the mole rat repellent does not repel mole rats. Instead, it causes their heads to explode. One hit causes a delay of a few seconds, while two hits kills them instantly. Moira is not happy when she finds out.

Moira will direct the player character to the Tepid Sewers, located near the Anchorage Memorial, which will have enough mole rats for both objectives (though finding enough for the optional objective in this location alone will involve getting around raiders, a turret, some explosive gases, and maybe a few frag mines), but any mole rats, which are plentiful throughout the wastes, count toward completion of the quest.

The closest location with mole rats is actually just outside Megaton. Towards the back of Megaton, several (anywhere from three to five) will spawn.

If Lone Wanderer is having trouble finding mole rats in any of these areas, Jury St. station is full of mole rats, as well as several raiders, although no more raiders than in the Tepid Sewers. At the end of the train tracks, there are two doors on either wall that lead into the Jury St. tunnels, granting the player character access to the mole rats.

The reward for this quest is some doses of jet and psycho. If the optional objective is complete, the player character gets to keep the repellent stick. If not, Moira will take it back and the Lone Wanderer must buy it if they wish to keep using it or steal it from Moira's hard-locked desk upstairs.

Jet & Psycho vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Jet & Psycho 1 2 3 4 5

After completing the quest and optional objective, the player character can get special conversation paths if their Endurance, Intelligence or Charisma is seven or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "I don't think it works like you hoped. The mole rats all died." nothing no
smart "You added too much chemical stimulant. The result was rather explosive." Int 7 no
tough "Those dumb mole rats just blew up! You should have seen the guts!" Str 7 no
sly "Well, at least it's non-lethal for people. For mole rats... not so much." Cha 7 no
snide "It repelled their limbs from their body. Can you make one that works on people?" nothing no
nothing "I tested it out, and it works just fine. <Lie.>" Speech negative

smart "It appears that mole rats have a most fatal allergy to it. Explosively so." Int 7 yes
snide "It's like explosive whack-a-mole rat. Can I get it in bullet form? For people?" nothing yes
standard "Sorry, Moira, but your 'Repellent' is fatal to mole rats." nothing yes
tough "It gives them quite a kick, like too much jet or something." End 7 yes
sly "I don't believe this is as non-lethal as you had expected. To put it lightly." Cha 7 yes

Place an observer unit inside a mirelurk nestEdit

Main Objective: Place an observer unit (provided by Moira) inside a mirelurk egg clutch in the Anchorage Memorial.
Optional Objective: Complete the main objective without killing a mirelurk.

Moira wants the player character to gather data on mirelurk behavior by placing an observer inside the mirelurk nest at the Anchorage Memorial, specifically inside an egg clutch. So as not to upset her data gathering, she would prefer for the Lone Wanderer to do this without killing any of them. This optional objective only applies to mirelurks killed during the quest, and only those inside the memorial itself. The game will not fault the player character for killing any mirelurks anywhere else, nor will it matter if any are killed inside the memorial before starting the mission. Any mirelurks killed by followers will not be counted against the Lone Wanderer.

The entrance to the Anchorage Memorial Facility Bay, where the player character needs to go to place the observer, is located on the same level as the monument itself down a small set of stairs to the Southwest. The egg clutches are at the lower level of the Bay. Alternatively, there is a side door to the southeast leading to the service entrance, a side door to the northwest that leads to the Anchorage Memorial Facility and a back entrance to the large egg hatchery at the bottom of the Memorial Facility Offices can be found underwater to the south of the memorial. Each alternative entrance will lead to the Facility Bay.

Unlike most other optional objectives, this optional objective will be completed only upon talking to Moira, and telling her that the mirelurks are "none the wiser." (Side Note: Going to the Memorial and killing all the mirelurks before doing the quest won't interfere with the option of not killing them during the quest.)

For completing the quest, Moira will give the player character some Stealth Boys, depending on your level. If the player completes the quest with the optional objective, they'll also receive the shady hat.

Stealth Boys vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Stealth Boys 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest, the Lone Wanderer can get special conversation paths if their Strength, Intelligence or Charisma is seven or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "They're pretty much crab-based humanoids." nothing no
smart "Their lairs are partially aquatic, so the radiation must not bother them." Per 7 no
tough "Between shells and scales, they're pretty tough. But not tough enough." Str 7 no
sly "They're savages with big claws and absolutely no interest in small talk." Cha 7 no
snide "What's to say? They're crabs. They're delicious and nutritious." nothing no

smart "They descended from local crabs. I'd call them 'Scylla Serrata Horrendus.'" Int 7 yes
snide "They've got a little, bubbling castle and they spend all day circling it. <Lie>" nothing yes
standard "They're definitely vicious and highly territorial." nothing yes
tough "They don't seem to fight each other. So no struggle for leadership." Str 7 yes
sly "They seem mostly independent. I don't think there's any sort of 'society' there." Cha 7 yes

Return to Moira with injuries equaling more than 50% of your healthEdit

I'm going to hate myself for this, but what do you mean about handling injury?Lone Wanderer
Main Objective: Return to Moira with less than 50% of your total health.
Optional Objective: Return to Moira with a crippled body part.

Moira wants to see the Lone Wanderer when they are badly injured, so she can see how people deal with various injuries. She would prefer that the Lone Wanderer has at least one crippled limb before returning. Any injuries, self-inflicted or otherwise, count toward completing the quest. Moira will heal all injuries upon completion.

A good way to complete this quest, including the optional portion, is for the player character to walk outside of Craterside Supply and simply jump over the railing onto the ground below, behind the atomic bomb. At level 5 with five Endurance and no armor on, it should take the Lone Wanderer down to about 1/3 of their health and break one of their legs. If the player character is not at full health before jumping, it is possible that they could die from the jump.

With a Medicine skill of 70+, the player character is considered "a good enough doctor to just explain" about injuries, and receive credit for the quest but not the optional objective. This qualifies as a "smart" response that may have an effect on the perk received upon completion of the quest as a whole.

The reward for the quest is some doses of Med-X, and the environment suit if the optional objective is completed.

Med-X vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Med-X 1 2 3 4 5

After completing the quest and optional objective, the player character gets special conversation paths if their Endurance, Intelligence or Charisma is seven or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "It feels like a dozen super mutants did a dance on my spine in steel boots." nothing no
sly "Pardon me if I bleed profusely while thinking how best to describe this pain." Cha 7 no
smart "Acute physical trauma and severe lacerations. It's hardly pleasant." Int 7 no
tough "What, these little scratches? Hardly the worst scrape I've been in." End 7 no
snide "On a scale of one to ten, I'd say it's a "shut the fuck up and fix me." nothing no
smart "Why get myself hurt? I'm a good enough doctor to explain this part for you." Medicine


smart "Pain's an abstract. I stay focused on the definable things, like survival." Int 7 yes
snide "My only solace is thinking about inflicting this pain on people like you." nothing yes
standard "The adrenaline helps. So does the fear of death. There's a lot of both." nothing yes
tough "I hardly even feel pain anymore, honestly." End 7 yes
sly "Despite my glossary of expletives, nothing properly sums up this pain." Cha 7 yes


Once all three quests are completed, the Lone Wanderer is awarded 100 XP and some ammunition, the exact quantities depending on Luck. If the player is between levels 12 and 15, they will have a chance of receiving various quantities of any of the small arms bullet types. As Moira puts it, "just lots and lots of ammunition."

Ammunition vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Ammunition 10mm .32 5.56 Various 5mm
Rough Qty 40+ 20+ 70+ Varies 320+

Chapter 3Edit

Chapter 3 revolves around how towns and cities came to be after the Great War and also deals with pre-War technology.

Research Rivet City's historyEdit

Main Objective: Find out the history about Rivet City.
Optional Objective: Find out Rivet City's true history.

Moira would like to know the history of Rivet City, preferably as accurate as possible.

Almost every citizen of Rivet City is unfamiliar with its history. Most will point the Lone Wanderer in the right direction, however. Bannon is the first person people will point to (alternatively, the player can speak to Vera Weatherly, making the same quest progress). He claims that he helped found the city. Note that when the quest objective is first started, the optional objective does not appear. It appears only after the player character talks to a citizen of Rivet City. Upon speaking to any citizen about the history of Rivet City, the Lone Wanderer completes the main objective and the optional objective will appear. The player character can return to Moira at this point for normal completion, or fact-check this story for optional completion.

Fact-checking this information requires meeting with Pinkerton. Belle Bonny in The Muddy Rudder bar will point the Lone Wanderer to his home in the broken bow of the ship. They may also receive information about Pinkerton by talking to Vera Weatherly, who mentions that Seagrave Holmes has lived in the city since he was a boy. Talking to him will tell the player character that Pinkerton may have left information in the bow. The security officers also make thinly veiled references to his location while dismissing him as dead.

To get to Pinkerton, the player character has to exit Rivet City and travel to the other, "uninhabited" half of the ship, where there is a walkway leading to a door. It is a Very Hard lock (level 100 Lockpick), and if the Lone Wanderer is unable to pick it, they must jump into the water to the left of the door and swim to the broken middle of the ship, where they will find a door underwater. An alternative to swimming around the corner is to jump off the ship from the marketplace entrance and take a short swim to the underwater doorway. It's much shorter and results in less radiation exposure. Upon entering the broken half of the ship and surfacing, you will encounter two mirelurks (type depends on level; they will be kings at worst) that reside in the shallow area if the player character chooses the second or third path. Pinkerton's living space is on the upper level, accessed through a staircase past the mirelurks. If the player character took the underwater route to get to Pinkerton, they can walk out the Very Hard-locked door by activating a switch right next to it (from inside). The corridor to the lab is filled with flammable gas and several booby traps set by Pinkerton. At the end of the corridor will be a locked door, which will display the message: "This door is activated elsewhere." The terminal is in fact a trap, and the switch operating the door is on the opposite wall.

If the player tries to engage Pinkerton in conversation about Rivet City's history before talking to Belle, he will claim to have been one of the founders, but the Lone Wanderer won't complete the optional part of the quest, as he does not care enough to give you proof. However, he will allow the player character to access his terminal which will contain information to complete the optional part of the quest. The dialogue option "Bannon claims to have founded the city" is required for him to give you the proof directly. Even if the player character hasn't spoken to Bannon, using his terminal is enough to finish the quest, though the Lone Wanderer must get the password for it from Pinkerton.

At the end of the quest, Moira will reward the player character with some Mentats, as well as a permanent 10% discount with Rivet City's merchants (if they achieved the optional conditions). They can also, as a joke, tell Moira that Rivet City was originally an underwater city. She will then talk about how it might have been part of Atlantis. The player character then receives Mentats and bad Karma but won't receive the 10% discount. This option will also worsen the guide, eliminating the chance to get the Guru level perk.

Mentats vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Mentats 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest and optional objective, the player character can get special conversation paths if their Strength, Intelligence or Charisma is seven or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception or Agility.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "According to them, it was all set up by one upper deck resident." nothing no
smart "There's simply too many stories, and not enough evidence to support any of them." Per 7 no
tough "Those tough upper deck folk built the whole place from the ground up!" Str 7 no
sly "None of them agree on a story. So let's just say I set the whole place up." Cha 7 negative
snide "I guess I heard one story that was plausible enough. Let's go with it..." nothing no
nothing "Rivet City is actually the remains of an ancient, underwater civilization. <Lie.>" Speech negative

smart "It began as a research station, which is why it's still a scientific haven." Int 7 yes
snide "Some old coot says he took these notes. They seem reasonable enough." nothing yes
standard "It began as a successful science station, and traders settled in around it." nothing yes
tough "They cleared out the mirelurks. Then science folks and the rest moved in." Str 7 yes
sly "It had success as a science station, and people flock to success." Cha 7 yes

RobCo Production Facility MainframeEdit

Main Objective: Install the processor widget in the RobCo production facility mainframe.
Optional Objective: Hack the RobCo production facility mainframe. Unlike in other parts of the quest this optional objective doesn't show up in the Pip-Boy after talking to Moira.

Moira would like to study robotics technology at the RobCo factory. Ideally, she would also like to examine how the robots are controlled. Special humorous dialog options appear when taking this quest, if you previously obtained the Mechanist's costume and have it equipped.

To complete this quest, you must travel to the RobCo facility and install the processor widget in the mainframe. The mainframe is on the very top level.

Upon reaching the mainframe and installing the widget, every robot in the facility will activate and become hostile. To complete the optional objective, you need a Science skill of at least 50 to hack the mainframe. Once unlocked, the mainframe provides three toggle options to control the robots. The first protocol ("Pest Extermination") makes the robots hostile to the radroaches and mole rats. The second ("Total Liquidation"), active at start, makes them hostile to you and anyone who is friendly towards you. Finally, the third protocol ("Stress Testing") makes them hostile to each other. Toggling any of the three completes the optional objective; turning "Pest Extermination" ON and "Total Liquidation" OFF is the best setting, as they'll attack the radroaches and mole rats for you but leave you alone.

Alternatively, if you have the Robotics Expert perk, you get the option to just tell Moira about the technology in question, successfully completing the quest and the optional objective immediately; however, this will only work if you have the perk when you start the quest. Note that this will automatically count as a "smart" response.

Moira will reward you with some pulse grenades if you complete the quest, and a Big Book of Science if you complete the optional objective. Note that if the optional objective is not completed, there will be an increased number of hostile robots throughout the Wasteland.

Pulse grenades vs Level
Level 1 4 8 12 16
Pulse grenades 2 3 4 5 6

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Strength, Intelligence or Charisma is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Endurance, Perception or Agility. Also note that the "snide" response is considered negative if the bonus objective is not completed, thereby reducing the quality of the final perk.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "It was easy enough to attach the unit. The mainframe took care of the rest." nothing no
smart "Installation was much easier than reaching the mainframe in the first place." Int 7 no
tough "The unit went in the computer. Then the robots woke up. Pretty straightforward." Str 7 no
sly "Make the right connection, and robots do what you want. Just like people." Cha 7 no
snide "I didn't even need that tele-thingy unit. I was just that good. <Lie.>" nothing negative

sly "Like a charm. I only wish it were always that easy to manipulate people." Cha 7 yes
smart "Even after reprogramming, the robots were of questionable value as allies." Int 7 yes
snide "It was robotic carnage. But I caused it, so it was the okay sort of carnage." nothing yes
standard "Once I adjusted their programming, the robots were no problem." nothing yes
tough "I just hacked the mainframe so the robots would be a challenge." Str 7 yes
smart "I could just write that section for you. Trust me -- I'm an expert."

Arlington Public LibraryEdit

Main Objective: Access the card catalog at the Arlington Public Library.
Optional Objective: Retrieve complete Library Archive.

Moira would like you to retrieve library data from the Arlington Library. Retrieving the card catalog is enough, but also finding the library archive tape would be a bonus.

The Brotherhood of Steel is guarding the library, so the player will have to be nice to Scribe Yearling in order to be let through, or you can sneak past her. The terminal at the front desk has the card catalog holotape; Yearling will give the player a key if asked; otherwise, it must be hacked. In order to get the optional objective, you have to reach the archive terminal. Raiders and radroaches are plentiful, but two Brotherhood of Steel soldiers will help in cleaning up the enemies. The terminal used to download the archives can be found on the third floor of the Library Media Archive, in a room just off of a short hallway which can be accessed from the room containing a ceiling turret.

Moira will pay you bottlecaps for completing the quest, and will give you a Lying, Congressional Style if the optional objective is completed.

Bottle caps vs Level
Level 1 5 8 10 15 16
Bottle caps 50 75 200 250 300 450

After completing the quest and optional objective, you can get special conversation paths if your Endurance, Intelligence or Agility is 7 or better. There are no conversation paths for high Strength, Perception or Charisma.

Possible replies
type answer require bonus
standard "Yeah, it's still there. The Brotherhood's even trying to clear out the place." nothing no
smart "The building is there, but the books are all ruined." Per 7 no
tough "Most of the books would make better burning than reading." End 7 no
sly "Oh, it's still there, but it's full of raiders. The place is a death trap." Cha 7 no
snide "I may have been able to recover more, but it said to be quiet, so screw that." nothing no
standard "I went to the site of the library, but the building was destroyed. <Lie.>" time negative

sly "The place was a death trap. But I got in and out as quick as I could." Agi 7 yes
smart "This is an entire library's archives. You know how valuable that is, right?" Int 7 yes
snide "The librarian's on duty. I'd have brought you a present, but I forgot my card." nothing yes
standard "The archive was probably the most useful information in there." nothing yes
tough "Now you can protect and catalog all of the information it once had." End 7 yes

Final rewardEdit

Completing the third chapter is considered the completion of the entire quest. You are rewarded with 100 XP, a mini nuke (Moira comments how she planned to use it to dig a well, but it actually just made her nervous), a copy of The Wasteland Survival Guide and the Survival Expert perk. The perk will vary depending on your conversation choices with Moira. See the perk page for more details.

The number of optional objectives you complete not only affects the benefits gained but the overall usefulness of the guide. The actual description depends on any optional objectives completed as well as end of objective responses given. It can range from being a joke book to a necessity. At its best, Moira lists your character as the main author.

Resultant special encounterEdit

After completion of this quest, you may randomly encounter a wastelander who has read the book. The following encounters can occur depending on the perk obtained at the end of the quest:

  • Junior Survivor: You will find a poorly armed wastelander fighting a mole rat. If the wastelander survives, they will give you the book and tell you that it is "good for a laugh."
  • Survival Expert: You will find a wastelander fighting a mole rat.They will survive and ask if you are the author. If you reply yes, they will give you a word of thanks.
  • Survival Guru: You will find a well-equipped wastelander finishing off a wounded mirelurk, radscorpion or a raider. When they are done, they will ask you if you wrote the book. If you say yes, the wastelander will give you a word of thanks, plus a sum of 10-25 caps, depending on your Barter skill.

Resultant Three Dog commentaryEdit

If minimal research is done on the book, Three Dog will announce to "Steer clear of the book" and say that the player's "Research methods suck," claiming "It will get you killed quicker than you can say 'Hug a deathclaw.'" But if you do well, he will claim "It's a must-have while exploring."

Alternative solutionEdit

Instead of completing the chapters of the book, you can persuade her into not writing the book at all, should you have a high enough Speech skill. As a reward, you will get the Dream Crusher perk, a variable amount of XP (depending on how many chapters have been completed; essentially, the quest gives the same amount of reward XP whichever course the player chooses), 30% lower prices at the Craterside Supply, and Moira's Repair skill will increase to 54 (+5 from her jumpsuit) from the standard 24. This allows her to repair up to 72% condition, as long as she wears the repairman jumpsuit. Doing this rewards negative Karma and permanently dampens the mood of the normally cheerful Moira. This branch of the quest is most likely non-canon, due to the presence of the survival guide in Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4.

Quest stagesEdit

2 Ask Moira Brown about her book.
5 Help Moira with Chapter 1.
10 Find Food in the Super-Duper Mart.
12 Find medicine in the Super-Duper Mart. (Optional)
16 Return to Moira.
20 Contract radiation sickness (200 rads).
24 Contract more severe radiation sickness (600 rads). (Optional)
26 Return to Moira.
30 Travel to the playground in Minefield.
34 Bring a landmine to Moira. (Optional)
36 Return to Moira.
38 Help Moira with Chapter 2.
40 Test the repellent on three Mole Rats.
44 Test Stick on seven more Mole Rats. (Optional)
46 Return to Moira.
50 Place the Observer in a spawning pod in the Anchorage War Memorial.
54 Do not kill any Mirelurks in the Anchorage War Memorial. (Optional)
56 Return to Moira.
60 Become seriously injured (50% health or less).
64 Receive a crippling injury. (Optional)
66 Return to Moira with your injuries.
68 Help Moira with the last chapter.
70 Learn the history of Rivet City.
74 Check other sources to confirm Rivet City's History. (Optional)
76 Uncover Rivet City's true history. (Optional)
78 Return to Moira.
80 Install the Processor Widget in the RobCo Production Facility mainframe.
84 Reprogram the RobCo facility mainframe. (Optional)
88 Return to Moira.
90 Access the card catalog in the Arlington Public Library.
94 Retrieve complete library archives. (Optional)
98Icon checkReturn to Moira.


  • If the player character has negative Karma, there will be an extra speech option when asking Moira about the book at the beginning.
  • Three of the objectives can be completed without being on that stage of the quest:
    • Visiting the Super-Duper Mart and opening the fridge, then the Pharmacy Supplies will allow for the Lone Wanderer to complete this part of the quest with a dialogue option while still getting credit for the optional objective.
    • Should the player character be irradiated above 600 rads when asking about "contracting radiation sickness," they are able to complete this part of the quest with a dialogue option then and there and still get credit for the optional objective.
    • If the player character has already visited Minefield and gone through the entire town, then they are given the option to tell Moira that they've already been there.
    • If the player character is already injured, then they can go to Moira and are still given credit for receiving an injury.
  • Completing The Replicated Man will sometimes not allow the Lone Wanderer to complete "research Rivet City's history" with a dialogue option even if the player character read the relevant entry in Pinkerton's terminal. Instead, the player needs to return to the broken bow and access the terminal again.
  • Copies of the book are found in Fallout: New Vegas, in the Mojave Wasteland, four years after the events of Fallout 3 and in the Commonwealth in 2287, ten years after the events of Fallout 3.
  • The player character is given the option of talking to Pinkerton about where James went, even if the player has been to the GNR Radio Station, when talking to him about the history of Rivet City.
  • If the Lone Wanderer chooses to blow up Megaton, Moira Brown survives the explosion but ends up ghoulified. She then moves on to the Underworld, where the Survival Guide quest is still able be completed, and a copy of the book is able to be obtained afterwards.
  • If Moira is killed, a message will appear saying, "Moira has been killed, and her book will never be written." This results in the failure of this quest.
  • If the player character chooses not to make a foreword for the Wasteland Survival Guide while wearing the Vault 101 jumpsuit, Vault 101 security armor or Vault 101 utility jumpsuit, Moira's dialog changes by adding a part telling the Lone Wanderer that they might "want to stop wearing a suit with their number written across their back."

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The Wasteland Survival Guide was the name of the hint and walkthrough book for the game Wasteland, considered the inspiration for the first Fallout game.
  • This guide is also included as a booklet with at least some of the retail versions of the game.
  • At the end of the quest, the player can snidely remark that Moira likely wants them to go print and distribute the guide, but reassures them that it's not necessary. This was a cut part of the Survival Guide quest involving going to Hubris Comics and doing this task.


  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Sometimes, when choosing the options when talking to her (Tough, Smart, etc.,), you will not receive the option for the one you want to choose. This can be fixed by reloading a save and trying again before talking to her. [verified]
  • PCIcon pc It's possible to create a bug after completing the Rivet City history part of the quest whereby Moira will keep asking you about it despite having completed it earlier and returning from one of the other Moira quests e.g. Arlington Library. Even if you inform her about Rivet City's history a second time, you are left with only one speech option which is to "Take a break" from the research. Talking to her again doesn't do anything as she simply asks about Rivet City's history again and you can tell her about it again. This happens if you revisit Pinkerton's computer in Pinkerton's Lab within the Broken Bow of Rivet city and download Rivet City's history a second time after completing the Rivet city quest earlier—usually because you return to Pinkerton, and his computer, for the quest The Replicated Man. Avoiding the Rivet City history download a second time solves this; however, if one is stuck with Moira asking you about Rivet City despite having completed that quest, simply go into your console and enter set "00014e96".ms03c1 to 4 (include the quotes). After entering the above command into the console, talking to Moira should make it so that she doesn't ask about Rivet city again and instead asks about the Moira quest that is currently active. [verified]
  • PCIcon pc Playstation 3Icon ps3 Xbox 360Icon xbox360 Sometimes, when attempting to install the processor widget, you will not get the option to do so. Reloading a save from before entering the factory seems to fix this. [verified]
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