Strategy Guide by Chris Taylor and Tim Cain
These hints and tips should make post-nuclear life a little easier. Some of this
information could spoil your enjoyment of the game by giving away too much.
These spoilers are marked with three asterisks "(***)" and should be used with
The best place to start is by creating your own character. The three pre-made
characters can finish the game, but they are not the best choices. By fine-
tuning your own character to match your playing style, you stand a much better
chance of success.
Start with the statistics. No stat should be lowered to four or less. All of the
statistics have a reason to be increased, but some are more deserving of those
extra character points than others.
Strength: The major use of Strength in the game is your inventory carry weight.
Unless you are playing an unarmed or melee based character, a Strength of 5 or 6
will do you for all weapons except one. If you lower your Strength, and take the
Small Frame trait, you will have a lot of difficultly carrying the necessary
Perception: The ability to use weapons effectively at long distances is critical
to any ranged weapon-using character. A high Perception will drastically
increase your chance to hit with guns at a distance. You should spend at least a
point or two in Perception if you plan on using guns (which is highly suggested
for beginning characters.)
Endurance: This stat mostly affects your hit points. Unfortunately, there are
many really big weapons in the game that will be used against you that don't
really care about the number of hit points that you have. If you do want to
increase Endurance, you get the best results if you raise it to 6, 8 or 10.
Charisma: As in many games, Charisma is usually the lame duck statistic. Unless
you plan on playing a Speech based or Bartering character, you should not spend
any points in Charisma. It is acceptable to lower this stat by a point or two,
but dropping below 4 can hurt some of your dialogue choices.
Intelligence: This is probably the most critical stat if you want to talk to
people in Fallout. Your intelligence number will determine what choices you can
say when talking. If you lower it below 4, you will only be able baby-talk.
Raising it a point or two will help dialogue, and increase the number of skill
points you get every level.
Agility: Agility is the determining factor in the number of action points you
get every turn in combat. Beginning characters will want a good Agility.
Luck: Luck is a weird statistic. You should not plan on increasing it unless you
want to go big. Stay with a 5 or 4, or increase it up to 9 or 10. It is possible
to drop your Luck all the way to 1 or 2, but you will miss out on some special
encounters. Besides increasing your chance of causing critical hit, Luck will
determine how often you get a special random encounter. (***) These special
random encounters often contain special items that will give you a major
advantage at the beginning of the game.
Traits to Take
Gifted is a good all-around trait to take. You really cannot go wrong,
especially if you also take a high Intelligence to make up for the lowered skill
points every level.
If you are taking a character that is planning on causing a lot of critical
hits, then take Finesse. Starting out will be rough, but as soon as you make a
level and can increase your weapon skills, you'll be on a happy road.
To maximize the number of character points that you start the game with, you can
also take Small Frame or Bruiser and move those free points to another
statistic. Both of these traits have very restrictive downsides, and should be
chosen with care.
Fast Shot sounds wonderful, but you lose the ability to make targeted shots. At
higher levels, this will restrict the number of critical hits you can make.
(***) One tactic is to take Fast Shot, and then take it away later with the
Mutate Perk. But there are other Perks that will also increase the number of
attacks you can make. Refer to the Perks section of the manual as you create
your character, to make sure that you have the proper statistics.
Skills that need to be Tagged
Choosing the proper tag skill is probably the most important character design
decision that you can make. High skills are essential to successfully complete
the game, and the skills that you choose to tag will increase the fastest. This
will determine the difficultly level of the early game, when you have few
Small Guns is always a good choice. It covers the widest variety of firearms,
and all the early guns that you will find. Tag this skill, and it will pay off
big for the first part of the game.
Energy Weapons is a good tag skill, but it will only really help later in the
For most characters, using two of your three tag skills on these two combat
skills is a good idea.
If you're making a hand-to-hand character, then you will want Unarmed or Melee
Thief characters will want Sneak and Lockpick or Steal.
Diplomacy characters will definately want Speech, with perhaps Barter or
(***) Probably the easiest character to take is a Lucky, Perceptive Sniper.
Shoot people from a distance. Make targeted shots when you have the skill and
you will cause critical hits. Good stats for this character: ST 6, PE 9, EN 5,
CH 4, IN 7, AG 8, LK 8. Take Finesse and Gifted. Tag Small Guns, Energy Guns and
either Speech, Barter or Lockpick. Pump the skill points from your first couple
levels into Small Guns and use targeted shots.
No matter what you do, at some point it will require a good gun or a sharp knife
to solve a problem. Combat is also a good source for experience, but not the
only way to gain levels. The best method is to try and solve every problem
without resorting to violence, but to always keep your gun ready.
Speaking of keeping your gun ready, some guards will get mighty upset if you
have a drawn weapon. If someone tells you to put it away, they usually mean it.
The best thing to do is keep your primary weapon in your hand, but switch the
active item away to hide it. It costs nothing to switch active items in combat,
but it takes a lot of time to reach into your inventory and grab your gun.
The easiest weapons to use are ranged weapons, especially against unarmed
critters. If you can attack them at a distance, and they have to move up to you,
then you want to attack and move away. Let them come to you.
Your chance to hit is modified by the distance between you and the target. If
you want to get the best possible chance to hit, use the reserve action points
key (hold down Control when you click the mouse button to move) and move as
close to your opponent as possible. Reserving your action points this way will
lower the range modifier, giving you a better chance to hit but ensuring that
you will have enough AP left to fire.
If you can, find some cover. Then at the start of your turn, pop around the
corner, attack and move back. This works against opponents that have ranged
weapons as well.
Anytime you have some extra action points, reload your weapon.
Anytime you need to reload and heal yourself, just open Inventory and perform as
many actions as you need. Use your Stimpaks from Inventory to save action
points, if you need to use more than one Stimpak and you don't have one in your
hand. Stimpaks can be used from an active item slot, but they work much better
Armor is important. Always wear the best possible armor. Note that some armors
have better defensive values against different types of attacks. You might need
to switch armor to battle opponents armed with energy weapons, for example,
especially later in the game.
Don't be afraid to switch between different types of weapons, as well. Many of
the ranged weapons use different ammo. You may need to switch weapons when you
run low on one type of ammo. Always keep a backup weapon or two in your
inventory, in case you lose a weapon or run out of it's ammo.
When you start advancing in levels, you will be given the opportunity to select
Perks. These Perks are based on your character's statistics, skills and level.
Different characters will get to choose from different Perks.
When you are creating your own character, read the Perk list in the back of the
manual. Make sure that you have high enough statistics to select the Perks that
are interesting and that you plan on selecting. There are very few ways in the
game to increase Statistics once you start playing.
For example, Awareness requires a Perception of 5 or better and it is available
at Level 3. This is a very good Perk to have (since it tells you how many hit
points critters have left and what weapon they are carrying, even down to the
ammo they have loaded and the number of shots left.) You don't want to start
with a character that has a PE of 4 or less if you want to take Awareness.
A list of good Perks: Awareness, Bonus Move, Bonus Rate of Fire, Action Boy.
These will make combat much easier.
Of course, the best Perk to choose will be one that fits your character. Pick a
Perk that will add something to your character and the way you play, or remove
something that is slowing you down (like not enough action points in combat.)
The super high level Perks are very hard to get. Any Perk that has a level
requirement of 15 or 18 is going to be out of your reach for a long time.
NPC Team Members
There are five non-player characters that can join your team. Adding them will
help in combat and make it easier to get through some areas. There are two areas
that having a large team will hurt.
Talk to your team members to find out what weapons they can use. Use Barter or
Steal to give them improved weapons, ammo and Stimpaks. NPCs cannot use armor.
If an NPC is not using the weapon you want him to, make sure he has the proper
ammo and tell him to use his best weapon in the next combat. They will put their
current weapon away, and you can Steal that off of them. With an NPC, the Steal
command acts as a trasnfer command. It is always successful and they do not
Tandi is the daughter of Aradesh in Shady Sands. (***) After she is kidnapped,
she can be rescued from the Raiders. If you don't bring her immediately back to
Shady Sands, she will stay with you during your adventures. Return to her home,
and she leaves permanently.
Ian can be found in Shady Sands. Offer him $100 or, if your Speech skill is good
enough, a piece of the action. Ian works well with big pistols. He sometimes
goes crazy with a burst weapon, so be careful about giving him the SMG.
Tycho is found in Junktown, in the Skum Pitt. Meet him in the evening, and talk
to him twice.
Dogmeat is also found in Junktown. He can be bribed into joining your group.
(***) Give him a Iguana-on-a-stick or be wearing the Leather Jacket.
Katja is located in the Boneyard. She is in the entrance to the Followers. She
will easily join your group.
NPCs will attack the nearest threat in combat.
Finding the replacement water-chip for your Vault is your first pressing quest.
You have 150 days to find the chip and return it to the Vault before everyone
there dies from thirst. There are ways of extending this time, but it is not
suggested. (***) There are some water merchants in the Hub. For $2000, they will
send water caravans to your Vault, extending the time limit by 100 days. This
makes it more likely your Vault will be noticed and invaded before you finish
your final quests.
The location of the water-chip is in another Vault. You should search for as
many cities as possible, talk to people about their water supply. Eventually,
you will hear of a city that does not get their water from any outside source.
Many people will warn you not to go to this city.
If you keep your overland travel to a minimum, you should have plenty of time
remaining when you return the water-chip. Then the real adventure begins...
There are reasons to visit every location and talk to every person in Fallout,
but it is not necessary to do so in order to finish the game. Here are some good
things to do, or solutions to problems that you might encounter.
Strip the bones next to your starting location.
There are a couple of adventure seeds that you can solve, if you return to
Vault-13 before finding the water-chip.
(***) One of your fellow vault-dwellers is stealing water from the storeroom on
Level 3 at midnight. Stop him for some easy experience.
When you do return the water-chip, give it to the Overseer. Then talk to him
again after you fill out your report. He will give you another task.
Stop at Shady Sands before going to Vault-13.
Talk to Katrina, Seth, Aradesh and others for some information and experience.
(***) Seth has a rope that you can Steal or Barter for. You will need this rope
(***) If you have a good Science skill (40% or more), talk to Curtis in the
gardens in East Shady Sands. He could use some advice, and you can use the XP.
If you get hurt, talk to Razlo in the south part of West Shady.
There is a person named Ian. He can be talked into joining your side. This is a
good thing to do as soon as possible.
(***) Once you talk to Aradesh, have Seth take you and Ian to the radscorpion
caves. Kill all the scorpions for practice. Alternatively, you can use some
explosives by the weak cave walls near the entrance. This will block the cavern
and trap the radscorpions.
(***) Tandi will get kidnapped if you return to Shady Sands two days or more
after taking care of the radscorpion problem.
(***) You will need a rope to get past the first level of this vault.
The darkness makes it difficult to attack the mutated creatures here unless you
are very close to them. Let the critters walk up to you before you shoot.
Search all the walls and floors for some valuable goodies.
The goal of this area is to find the command center. (***) Once you get to the
third level, go to the south-east corner of this map. You will see a message
stating that the water-chip cannot be recovered from here. You will get an
exploration bonus when you discover this.
The Raiders aren't too much of a problem, unless you go charging in through the
If Tandi has been kidnapped, she will be found here. She is behind a locked door
in the back room.
There are multiple ways of freeing her. (***) You can: kill all the raiders,
challenge Garl to a one-on-one fight, sneak in to lockpick her door, barter with
Garl for her release or intimidate Garl into letting her go. Not all options are
available to all characters.
If you want to fight them, stick to the outside area and use a ranged attack to
lure them out one at a time. (***) Unarmed and melee characters should stick to
Walking around Junktown with a gun is a bad idea until you gain the trust of the
Until you have proved yourself to the Junktown guards, do not walk around armed
with a weapon. Also, getting caught Sneaking is bad. You may not be able to
enter the town at night, unless you are very convincing. Killing peasants or
guards will also set off the guards.
Killian and Gizmo are fighting for control of the town. You can help either of
them for financial and experience rewards. To help Killian, you must attack and
hit the assassin that attempts to kill him. After Killian accepts your offer to
help, go talk to Gizmo with the Tape Recorder and get him to tell you why he
wants to kill Killian or plant the bug on Gizmo by reversing stealing it. Then
return to Killian. Gizmo will easily accept your help. Assassinate Killian at
The first night you are in the motel, Sinthia will be accosted by an attacker.
For the best results, you should talk him into surrending. You can save Sinthia
through violence, but it is not the best solution. You should have a minimum of
100 caps on you before doing this, as the best solution will require you to pay
Neal in the Skum Pitt could use your help. If he is attacked by the gangers who
party there, he could use your assistance in battle. You can also get Tycho to
join your party if you are there in the early evening. It is possible to join
the Skulz and harrass Neal, but this is generally a bad idea.
You can bust the Skulz in a couple different ways. Join them and then rat them
out to Lars, or convince one of their female members that she should leave the
gang and then talk to Lars.
Unless you want a really big fight, you should not attempt to attack the average
citizen or shop-owner in the Hub. The guards are mean.
You can get job with the three caravans if you need some money. Butch of the Far
Go Traders has a special job for you.
The Hub is a commerce center. Visit all of the merchants and barter for better
equipment and caps to reduce your inventory. Mitch's shop is the best way to get
Talking to Butch of the Far Go Traders can send you on a mission to find the
missing caravans. Once you talk to him, go talk to Beth who will send you to Old
Harold and Slappy in old town. Old Harold lives in the southwest corner of old
town. Once you talk to him, Slappy will lead you to your final destination. You
will need to bring proof to Butch. (***) This proof can be found on the dead
body of a mutant.
The deathclaw is a powerful foe. Attack him from a distance. (***) If you can,
make targeted shots for the eyes. Attack and fall back. Make the deathclaw come
to you and waste action points. Once you deal with the deathclaw, be sure to
talk to the dying mutant in the south of the cave.
To get to see Decker, you must have the Berserker reputation or have killed
Killian or Gizmo. You can also talk to Lorenzo, across from the Falcon, to get
permission to see Decker. Once you talk to Decker, he can send you on some
"jobs". The first job is to the Hightowers in the Heights. You will be able to
kill them without repercussion. The second job will be to kill Jain of the
Cathedral in the Water Merchants area. You can kill every in the Cathedral
building except the kid, and you will not face the wrath of the police. (***)
You can make the kid leave by pestering her with questions and she will not get
involved in a fight.
The thieves circle is located in Old Town, under a large building to the east.
You will need a high traps skill to enter the circle without taking damage and a
decent lockpick skill or explosives to get through doors. Talk to Loxley who
will direct you to Jasmine. Jasmine will send you to steal a necklace from the
Hightowers in the Heights. (***) The necklace is located in a trapped footlocker
in a room. Sneak in at night and circle around the south side to time your
entrance past the guards. Return the necklace to Loxley.
The water merchants are located to the south of downtown. You can talk to the
master merchant and get them to deliver water to your vault. This is a good idea
and bad idea. (***) If you do so, you will have an extra one-hundred days to
find the water-chip, but the risk of your vault being found and invaded is
increased by the same amount. Generally, you should only do this if the Vault is
just about to run out of water and you don't have the water-chip yet.
The missing Brotherhood initiate is being held captive by armed guards in Old
Town, in the building just below the entrance. It is okay to attack these
mercenaries, the police will understand. Once the mercenaries are dead, and his
prison cell door unlocked, the captive will leave on his own. Doing this will
increase your reputation with the Brotherhood. Try shooting them through windows
to draw them out for single combat. Stand behind one of the police, if they get
shot they will join in the fight.
Old Town is the best place to purchase weapons and drugs in the Hub. Jacob the
arms-dealer is located one of the northern buildings. Vance the drug-dealer is
located in the north-east corner. Talk to Lemmy by the Maltese Falcon to get in
to see Vance.
Most of the Necropolis is in ruins. It is very difficult to move around the city
without going underground. Use the sewer system to move from map to map. You can
get into the sewers by using one of the sewer holes and then climbing down the
From the motel, you will want to proceed to the northwest. Of course, it is
often a good idea to fully explore the sewers. You never know what you might
If you are getting lost in the sewers refer to your automap to keep track of
Search the entire sewer system and pay close attention to the ground. There are
some hard to find items hidden in the sewers, either on the ground or on dead
Set is the leader of most of the ghouls in Necropolis. He wants you to kill the
super-mutants at the water-shed, the northern map, and he will reward you if you
Even if you work for Set, most ghouls will still be hostile. Keep a wide berth
for the ghouls outside the buildings, as they will attempt to eat you if they
catch you. Some ghouls in the buildings are dangerous as well. The only ghouls
that you do not have to worry about are the ghouls hiding in the sewers. In
fact, they can even be helpful.
If you barge into combat with the super mutants at the water-shed, it can be
difficult. Try to take the super mutants on one at a time. Get them to chase
you. There is a small L-shaped ruin to the north of the water-shed. If you lead
the mutants up there, you can use it for cover. You can also talk Harry, the
leader of the mutants, into taking you to the "Lou". This is a bad idea unless
you are high level. (***) If your character has a low intelligence, you can also
out-wit Harry into letting you by. You can Sneak past Harry and his guards if
you have a good skill.
The entrance to the Necropolis Vault is in the water-shed. In the southeast
corner of the building are three small rooms. One of the rooms has a ladder
leading down to the Vault. The Glowing Ghouls are dangerous enemies. They can
cause radiation damage as well as physical damage. Sneak past them if you can.
The most important area of this Vault is the command center on the third level.
(***) The water-chip is located on the third level of the Necropolis vault, in
the command center. It is in the only functioning computer on this level. You
will need to use this computer to grab the water-chip.
(***) If you take the water-chip and leave Necropolis, the ghouls there will die
from thirst. You can help them by repairing the water pump. You will need some
spare parts, you can find some junk in the northern water-shed sewers that will
do the trick. You will also need a good repair skill. If you take the junk parts
to the underground ghoul leader, he will give you a couple repair books to help
your skill. Use the parts on the water-pump at the top part of the big water-
Brotherhood of Steel
If you want to join the Brotherhood of Steel, you need to talk to Cabbot, one of
the guards at the entrance. He gives pretty good instructions if you ask him
what you need to do. Talking to the guard next to Cabbot will give you more
information as well. Visit the Glow, and retrieve an important item. You will
know this item when you find it...
Once you get in, spend some time learning the skills of the Brotherhood. Also,
if you ask nicely, you can pick up some equipment by talking to elders and then
reporting to Michael on the first level.
If you have enough money, you can buy enhancements from the Doctor. (***) He can
increase all statistics except Luck and Charisma by 1 point. It takes time and
Maxson may ask that you scout the northern area for the mutant army. If you do
this, you can get some assistance for some later quests. (***) You must go visit
the Military Base and then return.
It is possible to get some power armor from the Brotherhood. (***) If you have a
reputation greater than 15 and you have rescued the kidnapped Initiate in the
Hub, then the first time you talk to Talus, he will offer the power armor. The
other option is to repair some broken armor on level three. Steal the parts from
Rhombus' room or talk Michael into giving them to you. Go to Kyle on Level three
to get a repair book. Then repair the armor yourself.
The entrance to the Glow is through the large crater. (***) You will need to use
a rope on the large metal beam to climb down safely.
The Brotherhood of Steel will send you here on a quest to retrieve an item.
(***) The Brotherhood disk is on the dead body of a power armor soldier in the
center-north room on the first level.
The glow is highly radioactive. You must monitor your radiation count carefully.
Use a Geiger Counter to get an exact reading. The drugs Rad-X and RadAway are
almost essential. Do not read books, rest or use the Doctor skill while in the
Glow. These tasks take time, and the longer you are here, the more radiation you
will absorb. (***) Use 2 Rad-Xs before entering the Glow map. Use RadAway to
clean up any left-over radiation.
The elevators will require security cards to operate safely. If you have a high
traps and lockpick skill, you can disarm and unlock the elevator doors without
(***) The first card is yellow. It is on a power armor dead body on the first
floor in the center north room.
(***) The second card is red, and it is on another dead body on the second floor
in the northeastern room.
(***) The third card is blue. You can find it on level four, on a dead body in
the south-west corner.
If you turn on the power, the robots will activate and be hostile. A good thing
is to steal their weapons before they are activated. A better idea is to kill
them before they are active. You can disable activated robots by hacking the
super computer on level four with a high science skill.
You need to repair or use the multi-tool on the generator on level six in the
southeast room. You will not be able to use the blue elevators without the
generator being repaired.
The Regulators are controlling Adytum. Jon Zimmerman is a puppet. You would do
well to deal with these people as little as possible. You can free them by
taking out the Regulators. The best way to do this is to get the Blades to help
The Blades need your assistance to take out the regulators in Adytum. They need
weapons and armor before they can attack. The gunrunners can supply them with
the necessary equipment.
The Gunrunners will give equipment to the Blades if you help them with their
Deathclaw problems. Talk to Zack and Gabriel. Gabriel will give you the quest.
Once you deal with the Deathclaw problem, return and talk to Gabriel.
The deathclaws have taken over an area of the Boneyards. You must kill all of
the Deathclaws, including the mother deathclaw, and destroy all of the eggs to
clear them out. If you don't, then everytime you return, there will be more
deathclaws to battle. The mother deathclaw is very tough, you should have plenty
of armor and powerful weapons to deal with her. If you can, make targeted shots
to her eyes, they have the best chance of defeating her.
Don't accept Zimmerman's assassination offer. If you tell him what is really
going on, he will die. (***) Unfortunately, no matter what you do, Zimmerman
Once you free Adytum from the grip of the regulators, you can have a couple
high-tech items enhanced to greater power. (***) If you have the power armor,
talk to Miles. You will need the junk from the dead body in the deathclaw area.
Once you have the junk, talk to Miles and then Smitty. Miles will send you to
Mrs. Stapleton in the Hub bookstore. Return to Miles with the journals and he
will upgrade your power armor. If you have a plasma rifle, talk to Smitty. He
will turbo enhance your plasma rifle.
You can talk to Nichole to get the password for Laura in the Cathedral. The
Followers will help you invade the Cathedral if you have scouted it out. Ask for
(***) Katja of the Followers will join your party if you ask nicely.
Two words: purple robes.
There are several locked doors. They require either the red or black badges to
open, or you can use the Lockpick skill. (***) Lasher can give you a red badge
if you ask nicely.
The guards in the tower will let you be if you are alone and have either the
badges or purple robes.
Morpheus is on the third level of the tower. If you attack him, the Nightkin
guards will be angry. (***) Morpheus can be talked into taking you directly to
You need to get below the Cathedral. There is a basement that conceals a secret
door. (***) Use some rogue like skills on the last bookcase to find the secret
door. A purple robe will be very helpful from this point on.
Explore all levels of the underground vault, unless you are in a hurry.
If you have a radio, you can use it at the entrance to trick the mutant guards.
The Super Mutant guarding the security door has the door code. You can also
lockpick the door, but it is very difficult.
It is possible to Sneak in, without alerting the base. Also, if you kill the
guards in less than three turns, then they will not have enough time to alert
The force fields can be difficult. There are many ways around them, however.
(***) The force field computer on the first level can be remotely toggled. Use a
radio on the computer to start the process, and then use a radio to toggle the
fields. Also, you can use your Repair skill to "fix" a force field emitter.
Explosives can also do the job.
There are no cheat codes in Fallout. The closest thing to a cheat code is to
take a Luck of 10 and find equipment on the special random encounters. If things
are getting hairy, however, remember your difficulty level settings on the
Preferences screen. You can change these at anytime during your adventures.