By Al Giovetti
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Fallout Strategy Guide Walkthrough by Chris Taylor and Tim Cain

    Fallout 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 caution.

    Editor: It is rare that we have a short strategy guide produced by the producers of the game and the game company. Lap it up. This is the good stuff.

    Character Creation

    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 equipment.

    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 experienced skills.

    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 game.

    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 weapons.

    Thief characters will want Sneak and Lockpick or Steal.

    Diplomacy characters will definately want Speech, with perhaps Barter or Science.

    (***) 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 from Inventory.

    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 mind.

    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.

    The Water-Chip

    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.

    Shady Sands

    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 later.

    (***) 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 front door.

    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 challenging Garl.


    Walking around Junktown with a gun is a bad idea until you gain the trust of the guards.

    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 your leisure.

    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 him off.

    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.

    The Hub

    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 money.

    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 ladder.

    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 find.

    If you are getting lost in the sewers refer to your automap to keep track of your location.

    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 bodies.

    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 do so.

    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-shed room.

    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 money, however.

    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 Glow

    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 passkeys.

    (***) 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 you.

    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 will die.

    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 help.

    (***) 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 the Master.

    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.

    Military Base

    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 base.

    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.

    Cheat Codes

    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.


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