Fallout Shelter Introduction

Published on June 30, 2022 at 5:26 pm by LEW


Taking a break from the Fallout 4 play-through, I am going to discuss another related Bethesda game, Fallout Shelter, in this post.

Fallout Shelter is a vault simulation game released on 2015. You take on the role of an overseer, and manage and expand a vault. It is available on Android, IOS, and PC.

There are a number of good sites that describe the mechanics of the game, and a number of sites with tips for better play-though. My intent here is to focus on just a few specific areas of game play that initially caused me some trouble.

Starting the Game

When you first setup a vault, you will run though a short introduction/tutorial. Your first job is to pick a number for your vault, or let it be assigned randomly. Note there is also a survival mode checkbox at the top of this screen. Survival mode increases the difficulty of the game.

Next you will go through a short tutorial on some game mechanics. You have the option to turn off the tutorial at the beginning. If it is your first time, you will probably want to run through the tutorial. If you have played before, turn it off.

Some Vault Terminology

A vault is constructed of rooms that provide various functions, contributing to the overall success. Most basic rooms is three units wide. The exceptions are the elevator (one unit wide), The vault door (six units wide) the overseers office (six units wide), barber shop (six units wide), and workshops (nine units wide). Basic rooms can be expanded to six and nine units. Also most rooms can be upgraded during the game. Most rooms also require a minimum vault population to build.

Rooms have a base cost, incremental cost, and upgrade cost. Incremental price increases are based on the number of similar room types.

A vault has 25 levels, with each level being 24 units across. Initially, on the first level you have the 3 left units representing the waste land. The next 6 units represent the vault door room, and then there is a stack of three elevators (1 unit). This leave 13 open spaces on the first floor. Each additional floor has 26 spaces for additional rooms and two elevators.

You can also destroy rooms and elevators if you want, and you get a small amount of caps for doing so (caps are the currency in Fallout). The only caveat, you cannot leave rooms not connected to the vault door through other rooms. The game will not let you destroy a room if this is the case.

There are also rocks that may need to be removed to construct new rooms. The cost of removal depends on how deep they are. Lower level rocks cost more to remove than upper level rocks.

Vault Dwellers

The inhabitants of your vault are your vault dwellers. Genitally you have a capacity of 0. You will have to build living quarters to increase that number. A non upgraded room gets you 8 dwellers. If you merge two rooms, you will get the initial 8 dwellers plus a bonus of one in each room. Upgrading Living quarters also increase the number of dwellers. A triple fully upgraded living quarters should get you 40 dwellers. Since the game caps the dwellers at 200, that would be five fully upgraded triple living quarters.

Each dweller has there SPECIAL ratings (Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck). These have a normal range of 0 to 10. Most of your dwellers will start out with SPECIAL attributes between 1 and 3. A few will have higher attributes of 4 or 5.

There are three ways to increase your population. Making babies in living quarters, getting new dwellers in a lunch box card, and attracting them form the wasteland with a radio station. Making babies is the quickest method. Lunch box cards, when they yield inhabitants, tend to yield special inhabitants. The radio station is the slow4est way to increase your population.

Room Types

Each production room has a SPECIAL trait that is used in calculating output. For example. Power rooms require strength, and having dwellers with higher strength assigned will produce more power.

You vault power consumption depends on how many rooms you have. There are also production rooms for food and water, which are needed for your dwellers.

Your dwellers can also manufacture various times in workshops (weapons, outfits, and themes), med-bays (stim packs for healing), and science labs (rad away for radiation poisoning).

There are several room types that can be used to increase each of the SPECIAL stats; weight room for strength, Athletic room for agility, armory for perception, classroom for intelligence, fitness room for constitution, lounge for charisma, game room for luck. However the higher the stat, the longer it takes to increase it.

There is a zip file at the bottom of this post that contains a SVG (can be opened and edited in InkScape)vault layout grid and all room types. You can use it to pre-plan your vault.


The best advice I can give for playing is as follows:


That is it for my quick guide to fallout shelter. It may not be as detailed as some other guides and tutorials, but I tried to keep to the most important points.

The game is free and available on any platform, so I suggest giving it  a try. It can help you make it though some boring hours on a plane or in a car.


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