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Wastelanders are humans and ghouls living in the Capital Wasteland in 2277. They are not affiliated with any other groups.


Wastelanders make a subsistence living off the land, trade with local settlements, and try not to be ravaged by the abundant (and usually hostile) wildlife, or bands of roaming raider gangs or slavers. Most are not aggressive, but will defend themselves if attacked.

Some of them do not want to open dialogue and tend to be rude, while others are pleasant and friendly towards the Lone Wanderer. Most are encountered in random encounters. These wastelanders are usually fleeing from anything from mole rats to a deathclaw, others may fight against these creatures, and some unlucky wastelanders are encountered already dead.

Interactions with the player character

Interactions overview

Icon severed ear color.png
This character drops an ear upon death (Contract Killer).
Severed.finger colored.png
This character drops a finger upon death (Lawbringer).
Mesmetron icon.png
This character can be enslaved with the Mesmetron.


Wastelanders not involved in random encounters can be found in fixed locations:

  • A wastelander being chased by a raider with a flamethrower will appear just outside the Calverton chapel.
  • A wastelander wired with a bomb will appear outside the canyon leading to Evergreen Mills after the completion of The Waters of Life if Broken Steel is installed.
  • Two hostile ghoul wastelanders live inside the pylon shack, Sometimes, they can be dead when reached.
  • Three hostile ghoul wastelanders occupy the ghoul outpost.
  • Four hostile ghoul wastelanders occupy the wasteland gypsy village.
  • One wastelander is the unlucky target of the claw aboard Mothership Zeta.
  • One can be found dead near a wasteland captive. She can be found down the highway near Friendship Heights. She has a unique model, unused by any other NPC. Nearby, near the fire behind the steel walls set up by super mutants, lies another dead wastelander with a unique model. These wastelanders may be found alive.
  • One can be found fighting a super mutant in the back of a blue truck just outside of Pennsylvania Avenue. If he or she survives, they will wander around the Brotherhood checkpoint.
  • One can be found dead just across from an entrance to Metro Central and down the street from the Brotherhood checkpoint in Pennsylvania Avenue, secluded behind sandbags and car.
  • Two can be found in the wastelander campsite, usually sitting near the fire.
  • Two dead wastelanders can be found at the sewer exit, close to the Riverboat landing.

Random encounters

Although a majority of wastelanders offer little dialogue or are encountered dead by the player character, there are a number of wastelanders in random encounters that offer some unique interactions. The following is a list of these wastelanders:

Character Race Karma SPECIAL HP Inventory Related Encounter Description Other interactions
Grayditch wastelander Human Neutral
5 ST, 5 PE, 5 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
70 Wasteland apparel Escape from Grayditch When encountered, he will run up to the Lone Wanderer and tell them that he is fleeing from "those things" that burned down Grayditch. This will mark Grayditch on the player character's Pip-Boy if it isn't already marked. The player character can attempt to calm him down or demand that he "make sense," but all dialogue options will result in the wastelander ending the conversation and continuing to flee. Can be mezzed
Oasis wastelanders Human Neutral
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
25 Merc outfit
Randomized weapon
Random caps, food, or liquor
Oasis Raiders Encountered in a small group, these wastelanders are plotting to raid Oasis. If the player character question them about what they're doing, they will divulge to the player character their plan before attacking. They will not attack if the player character does not inquire about what they're doing. Can be mezzed
Deathclaw wastelanders Human Neutral
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
90 → 110 → 135 (Broken Steel only)
Generic wastelander inventory Deathclaw Chase These three wastelanders, two men and one woman, are encountered fleeing from a deathclaw. If they escape from the deathclaw or if it is killed, they will present the player character with a map to Rock Creek Caverns. The wastelander that gives this to the player character will explain that they were headed there, but were dissuaded after encountering the deathclaw. Can be mezzed
Radscorpion wastelanders Human Neutral
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
25 Generic wastelander inventory (Only a wastelander outfit for the male) Radscorpion Guarding Refrigerator This pair of wastelanders is seen having encountered a radscorpion while attempting to retrieve water from a refrigerator. The man will immediately flee, but the woman will attempt to attack the radscorpion. If it is killed, the wastelanders (if they're still alive) will allow the player character to take some water, and the two will then drink some of the water themselves. Can be mezzed
Frag mine wastelanders Human Neutral
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
25 Generic wastelander inventory Minefield Dismantling These two wastelanders are seen standing near a few frag mines. One will say to the other that he's going to "pull this hunk of metal out of the ground", referring to the frag mine. The second wastelander expresses doubt over the other's ability to grab the mine safely and asks, "what if it's armed?" The other then accidentally detonates the mine, killing them both. Can be mezzed
Sam Warrick's victim Human Neutral
5 ST, 5 PE, 1 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
1 Generic wastelander inventory Going Camping This wastelander is encountered fleeing from Sam Warrick, a hostile wanderer, who is seen firing at the wastelander, their low health making them highly vulnerable. Can be mezzed
Hunters' victim Human Neutral
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
80 Generic wastelander inventory Hunting the Most Delicious Flesh of All and following encounters with the hunters This wastelander is seen running from a group of three hunters, all of whom are firing at the wastelander. If they are killed, their corpse is considered owned by the hunters, and these hunters will turn hostile to the player if the wastelander's corpse is looted. Can be mezzed


* 25% chance of spawning headgear.
** 20% chance of spawning a frag grenade.

Notable wastelanders

  • The Preacher - A crazed inhabitant of Seward Square. His hostage, who offers some unique dialogue, is also called "wastelander."
  • John - An inhabitant of the wasteland killed by a pack of vicious dogs.

Notable quotes


Wastelanders appear in Fallout 3.


Concept art