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None could stand in my way. I had a mission. I had a goal. I had a really large gun.
~ The Vault Dweller commenting on his drive to save Vault 13.

The Vault Dweller is the main protagonist of Fallout, most famous for defeating the Master and his super mutant army, helping Shady Sands grow into the New California Republic, founding the small village of Arroyo and fathering its elder (who too would bear a child; "The Chosen One"). A lot of the canonical information surrounding the Vault Dweller comes from Fallout Bible 0, the Vault Dweller's memoirs from the Fallout 2 manual, and accounts from witnesses of the Vault Dweller in Fallout 2.


In-game, the Vault Dweller's personality is mostly defined by the player's actions and dialogue through the Vault Dweller. The Vault Dweller can be anything from a genuinely nice guy who wants the best from everyone and tries to avoid battles, to a jerk who wages battles against everyone he meets, including children. These actions have long-term effects as per the karma value. The higher the karma value, the more everyone treats the Vault Dweller nicely and trust him. The lower the karma value, the more everyone treats the Vault Dweller harshly, or hold him to suspicion. His actions can even hold impact on the fate of each town and organization.

Canonically, the Vault Dweller is held up as hero that helped save the entire human race. The events that transpired canonically in the game come from his memoirs in the Fallout 2 manual. He was initially naive about the dangers of the wasteland. He eventually learned how to survive the wasteland and adopted a "kill when necessary" mindset. He cares about anyone he trusts. He however doesn't forgive easy however, as when he is exiled from Vault 13 by Overseer Jacoren, he never forgives Jacoren.



The Vault Dweller was born in 2141 in a creche from Vault-Tec Vault 13. He was raised by the community and a robot in said vault for a lot of his life. Not much more about the Vault Dweller's life in the vault is known except that the Vault Dweller considered it a good life. In 2161, the water purification chip for the vault broke. In December 4, 2161, Jacoren, the overseer, gathered healthy individuals from a certain age range, including the Vault Dweller, and drew straws to pick one of them. The Vault Dweller's straw was picked and he left the vault to find the water chip the next day with clues that a water chip could be found Vault 15.


On December 15, 2161, the Vault Dweller found a settlement called Shady Sands, which was led by Aradesh. He helped fight off radscorpians that were terrorizing Shady Sands and saved Tandi, the daughter of Aradesh, from the Khan raiders, killing off the group of raiders in the process. He recruited Ian for help before leaving Shady Sands to continue to Vault 15.

Unfortunately, when Vault Dweller reached Vault 15, the entire vault was destroyed and the control room that would've held the water chip was buried underneath rocks. The Vault Dweller traveled to Junktown. Not much is known about what exactly he did in Junktown, only that he recruited Dogmeat, a dog that he grew affectionate towards, on December 30 and that he "learned the most important rule of all: doing a good thing sometimes means being a very bad person."

The Vault Dweller traveled to the Hub and found it to be a desolate place. On January 17, 2162, the Vault Dweller negotiated with some Water Merchants to deliver water to Vault 13 to buy the vault some more time. The Vault Dweller then reached Necropolis, a city inhabited by ghouls and super-mutants. One of the super-mutants killed Ian with a flamethrower on February 13, though the Vault Dweller was able to find the water chip in Vault 12, underneath Necropolis.

The Vault Dweller traveled to Vault 13. Jacoren was happy to now have the vault chip, but was distraught by the description of super-mutants. The Vault Dweller realized that by sending the Water Merchants to the vault, he had now given away the position of the vault to the super-mutants, making him regret his decision. Jacoren sent the Vault Dweller out of the vault again in order to destroy the super-mutant threat.

The Vault Dweller traveled back to the Hub for some clues to where super-mutant threat was. A underground network of criminals led by Decker tried to manipulated the Vault Dweller for malicious purposes, but the Vault Dweller killed off the underground before they could kill him. The Vault Dweller saved a young man from a few crooks, who turned out to be a member of the Brotherhood of Steel. The Vault Dweller stopped by Necropolis for a visit, but it was already invaded by super-mutants.

The Vault Dweller traveled to the Brotherhood of Steel for information about the super-mutants. Before joining the Brotherhood of Steel, he was sent off on a quest to the Glow, the ruins of research facility that was destroyed during the nuclear war in 2077, to find a tape detailing Dennis Allen's expedition through the Glow. The Vault Dweller managed to successfully complete the quest, earning him the rank of Initiate in the Brotherhood of Steel.

With clues from the Brotherhood of Steel, the Vault Dweller traveled to the Boneyard, the remains of Los Angeles. On April 30, 2162, the Vault Dweller infiltrated the cathedral, using a robe from a member of the Children of the Cathedral he killed in order to bypass security. He fought the leader of the Children of the Cathedral and the mastermind behind the super-mutants, the Master. He killed the Master and destroyed the cathedral, killing everyone inside.

The Vault Dweller traveled back to the Brotherhood of Steel for clues to where the Forced-Evolutionary Virus vats were located. The Master was building his mutant army using the vats one member at a time and had plans for wiping out the entire human race. With help from the Brotherhood of Steel, the Vault Dweller found the vats and invaded it on May 10. Though Dogmeat unfortunately was killed during the invasion, the Vault Dweller managed to destroy the vats, putting an end to the super-mutant army.

The Vault Dweller traveled back to Vault 13. However, even though the Vault Dweller saved the human race from genocide and mutation, Jacoren was forced to exile the Vault Dweller from Vault 13. Jacoren was worried that the Vault Dweller could convince the citizens of Vault 13 to leave the vault to see what the outside world was like. Despite the Vault Dweller's pleas, he was forced to never come back to Vault 13. The Vault Dweller never forgave Jacoren for what he did.

In Exile

After leaving the vault for a final time, the Vault Dweller wandered the desert, but never moved far from the mountains that shielded the vault from the rest of the world. Some other members of the vault, upon hearing of what happened, decided to leave the vault and join the Vault Dweller, following him soon afterwards. The Vault Dweller eventually found and rejoined this small group of former vault dwellers. Knowing little of the outside world, the group would almost certainly have died had it not been for the Vault Dweller's assistance.

Two months later, the Vault Dweller headed north, to the great canyons, with a small group of vault dwellers and wastelanders and founded a small village. Initially, they would send scouts back towards the vault, to help others who thought like themselves, but that slowly came to an end. The Vault Dweller taught the others the skills they would need to survive and grow strong. Hunting, farming and other skills to feed them, engineering and science to build their homes, fighting to protect what was theirs. Slowly, they took the knowledge that the Vault Dweller had learned on his adventure and together, they learned to thrive. Over time, their rag-tag group had turned into a tribe. The Vault Dweller fell in love with one of them, named Pat, and they raised a family, like all of their tribespeople. The construction of Arroyo was completed on August 18, 2167.

The Vault Dweller and Pat led the tribe which grew larger and stronger. In 2188, their daughter, who would later become the village elder, was born. Eventually, she and the other children became the leaders of the community.


On January 16, 2208, several years after Pat's death, the Vault Dweller wrote his memoirs. Soon after that, he vanished from Arroyo and was presumed dead. The Vault Dweller left the vault suit behind, folded on the bed, later to be placed inside the Temple of Trials. Some say the Vault Dweller was taken by the sky spirits, others say that the Vault Dweller felt it was time to move on and leave the elders to guide Arroyo to its destiny. After the One-Moon (Month) Cycle of mourning for the Vault Dweller ended, activity in Arroyo began to return to normal. Years later, the Vault Dweller's grandchild, later called the Chosen One, was born.

Interactions with the Wasteland Stranger during his stay in Carbon can result in the Initiate receiving from him a Red Ryder BB gun. Additionally, the Initiate may find a Vault 13 flask in the Carbon Mill, at which the Wasteland Stranger remarks at being a "sentimental old fool" and offers a trade for it.

After leaving Arroyo the only known place where he was spotted was the town of Carbon, where he is known simply as the Wasteland Stranger. There, he helped some of the people to hide from raiders and also helped the Initiate trace the remnants of the Master's army and some Brotherhood of Steel paladins, directing him to Los. What became of him afterwards is unknown, but it is certain he left Carbon and continued his travel in the Wasteland.

After a long and fulfilling life, the Vault Dweller most likely perished from either Wasteland dangers or natural causes given the 80-year gap between Fallout 1 & 2.


Besides Arroyo and the Chosen One, the Vault Dweller's journey lived on to the extent that he is still revered by a fair portion of the people in the Wasteland. His statue is prominently displayed in the New California Republic capital, Shady Sands.

He is remembered under several names, including "the Vault Dweller" and "the Stranger" (used by those who - while believing in his greatness - doubt he ever could have come from a vault). He refers to himself as "the Wanderer" at the end of his memoirs. Children who heard of his story would often play at finding Vault 13, some of these children even grew into adults obsessed with proving the Vault Dweller's former home existed. For a time, President Tandi would even sponsor such adventurers, until giving up after many years of failure.

Even 120 years after the Vault Dweller walked the wasteland, his actions are still felt throughout places as far as the Mojave Wasteland. Super mutants such as Marcus, who had been a companion of his grandson, recount how the Vault Dweller defeated the Master.


Canonically, the Vault Dweller is male. He has a pretty normal height with a slightly muscular build. In-game, his face is not shown clearly, as he is seen as a sprite. The close up view of him is behind him at the end of the game. In his memoirs, his face looks similar to the Vault Boy, the mascot of the company, Vault-Tech. In the Fallout manual, his face looks similar to one of the three pre-made character builds, Albert Cole.

Skills and Abilities

The Vault Dweller's skills and abilties are directly chosen by the player himself. He can have seven primary statistics that can have a value from 1 - 10. They are strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck. The player can also choose two of 16 traits that give a benefit and disadvantage to the Vault Dweller at character creation. There are also 18 skills the Vault Dweller can improve each level, three of which he can specialize in at character creation. Every three levels (four with the skilled trait), the Vault Dweller can choose a new skill to use. Canonically, the Vault Dweller most likely had a weaponized build similar to one of the three pre-made characters, Max Stone, as according to his memoirs, he killed the Master directly and raided the Marisopa Military Base to destroy the Vats.



  • Whilst the Vault Dweller could be either male or female in Fallout, the canon Dweller was male, as established by Fallout 2 (in the opening movie, among other places).
  • The Vault Dweller's age can be set at the start of Fallout, but only between 16 and 35. However, his canonical age is 19 or 20, according to Fallout Bible 0.
  • At the beginning of Fallout, the player can choose three custom-built characters, along with the option of creating a new character from scratch. However, none of the pre-made characters are canon identities, as their ages are not the canonical age.
    • Albert Cole is a persuasive negotiator and charismatic leader of a group of people who are considering life outside the vault, and has an occupation close to what used to be called a "lawyer". He is 27 years old.
    • Maxwell "Max" Stone is the largest member of Vault 13, carrying great strength and stamina, but with slightly lacking intellect, due to being dropped on his head by a labor bot at conception. He is 23 years old. Athough he's not the canon protagonist, he is the protagonist of the Fallout demo.
    • Natalia Dubrovhsky is a talented and intelligent acrobat, who only had trouble as a child understanding personal property laws held by Vault 13. She is 17 years old.
  • In Fallout 3, when Butch DeLoria is trying to think of a name for his gang at the Lone Wanderer's birthday party, Paul Hannon Jr. suggests the name "Vault Dwellers," but Butch dismisses it as stupid. He then says, "Who wants to be going around being called a 'Vault Dweller'?" in a mocking voice.
  • In the Classic Pack pre-order bonus for Fallout: New Vegas, The Courier receives an armored Vault 13 jumpsuit, a weathered 10mm pistol and a Vault 13 canteen. This is a reference to Fallout and the Vault Dweller's adventures.
  • Although it is also possible in Fallout to join the Master or simply detonate the bomb in the Los Angeles Vault, the canon Vault Dweller in Fallout killed the Master after interacting with him.
  • In a nod to the Vault Dweller, the Lone Wanderer is kicked out of Vault 101 as well after helping its residents in the quest "Trouble on the Homefront" in Fallout 3.


           Fallout Logo.png Heroes

Vault Dweller | Dogmeat | Tandi | Harold | Killian Darkwater

Fallout 2
Chosen One | Marcus | Dogmeat | Harold | Tandi

Fallout 3
Lone Wanderer | Dogmeat | Amata Almodovar | James | Owyn Lyons | Sarah Lyons | Star Paladin Cross | Head Scribe Rothchild | Fawkes | Dr. Madison Li | Harold | Three Dog

Fallout: New Vegas
The Courier | Craig Boone | Rose of Sharon Cassidy | Veronica Santangelo | Rex | Raul Tejada | ED-E | Lily Bowen | Arcade Gannon | Marcus | Mr. House | Yes Man | Joshua Graham | Daniel | Follows-Chalk | Waking Cloud | Dog/God | Christine Royce

Fallout 4
Sole Survivor | Codsworth | Preston Garvey | Piper Wright | Nick Valentine | Paladin Danse | Cait | Dogmeat | Curie | Deacon | John Hancock | Robert Joseph MacCready | Strong | Kent Connolly | Ada | Old Longfellow | Captain Olympia Avery | DiMA

Fallout 76
Vault 76 Residents | Vault 76 Overseer | Paige | Duchess | Rose | MODUS | Beckett | Commander Daguerre | Penelope Hornwright | Paladin Rahmani | Initiate Dodge

Groups and Organizations
Brotherhood of Steel | Commonwealth Minutemen | The Railroad | The Responders | Free States | Order of Mysteries | New Appalachia Settlers | Wayward Souls | U.S. Secret Service | New California Republic | Kings | Followers of the Apocalypse | Dead Horses | The Sorrows | Pitt Slaves | Acadians | Harbormen | United States