Few game franchises are as beloved, enjoyed, and unique as Fallout. Starting out as “a post nuclear role playing game” by Interplay for personal computers in the 1990s, the series came back in full-force with Bethesda’s Fallout 3 in 2007 for PC and consoles.
From there, the series has only grown in both stature and fandom, becoming a greater success in all fronts. Since each of the games is an RPG, the things you can do almost feel unlimited. Following the “main story path” isn’t usually emphasized unless you the player want it to be. As either the Vault Dweller, the Chosen One, the Lone Wanderer, the Courier, or the Sole Survivor, the Wasteland is your oyster.
That being the case, there’s plenty to be done in these games that many a player may not realize. This list details twenty different things that can be done in either one of the games, a couple, or in one rare case, almost every single game. Some of the entries on this list range from quests to events, as well as things you can just do in your spare time.
Keep your Pip-Boy (any model will do) handy as we go over the 20 Things You Didn't Know You Could Do In Fallout.
Fallout 2 is well-known among fans as not only being one of the best in the series (if not the best), but for providing you with so many options of how to play that there’s likely something you didn’t know you could do, even if you’ve played it several times.
An assassination quest to kill Vice President Frank Carlson can be done in various ways, a few of which involve entering the VP’s compound, which is heavily guarded. However, like in the best RPGs, you are able to accomplish your goal without actually fighting yourself.
Just locate the VP’s son, and do one of two things: plant timed explosives on him, so that when he sees his father, they both blow up, or give the kid a gun and let him accidentally shoot his dad. If you use the explosive on the kid, you may even receive the infamous title of “Childkiller.”
It shouldn’t be too surprising that a game like Fallout 2 lets you be as terrible a person as possible. What could be more terrible than marrying someone and then selling them into slavery?
It works like this: there’s a farmer in a small town with a son and/or daughter, with whom you’re allowed to hook up. However, the farmer will catch you and force you two into marriage at gunpoint. This makes your spouse a permanent companion in your party, and because they’re your spouse, you aren’t allowed to simply ask them to leave the party.
It’s bad enough that spouses have poor stats, but that you have to go to extreme measures (like selling them to slavery) to get rid of them makes the ordeal not well worth it. Oh and you can also visit the farmer after selling their offspring to tell them what you did, if you're really twisted.
The Wasteland is a pretty dead and barren place, but that doesn’t mean your character needs to be. That said, you can be just about anyone you want in this series - from the extremely heroic to the downright evil. While killing and selling people is bad enough, breaking a child’s heart can be just as terrible.
In both Fallout 2 and New Vegas, a child NPC will ask for you to recover their doll: a Mr. Nixon in 2, and Sgt. Teddy in NV. In both cases, you’re able to return their doll and then proceed to tear it up right in front of them. However, at least in the case of 2, bringing back the doll can provide amusing dialogue between the child and their doll, as well as the appearance of a useful tool that can be traded with another NPC for their aid.
Anyone who’s played a Fallout game knows about the super mutants. They’re large, hulking, and usually very dangerous. However, the first Fallout also contains the unique and body horrific villain known as The Master, who, at the end of the day, wants you to either join him or die.
In this first game, you’re able to sell out your vault (Vault 13) to The Master and the super mutants by joining their army and revealing your vault’s location. This results in a cutscene that shows the mutants murdering everyone in the underground complex, including the Overseer. In fact, your player (in super mutant form) is the one to kill him.
That Vault 13 was all you knew before the Wasteland makes the ending that much more brutal, and along with camera footage of a massacre, disturbing.
In Fallout 3, there exists Big Town, which consists of the remaining survivors of Little Lamplight. They’ve been beset and terrorized by super mutants, and their town is barely protected by a ramshackle wall. As the Lone Wanderer, you’re able to help these few residents defend themselves for good in the quest “Big Trouble in Big Town.”
Something else you can do is wake up someone from a coma and then kill them. This someone is Timebomb, and he’s been drugged and laid out on a table due to his injuries. If you have a high enough Medicine stat, you can actually heal him for good. Otherwise, your only options are to “leave him alone” or “put him out of his misery.” If you decide the latter, you’ll be letting him know you’re going to end his life, before doing just that.
In Fallout 3, you as the Lone Wanderer can do and be many things. You can blow up a town for money, you can help your long-lost dad, and you can even visit nearby cities if you have the downloadable content for it. You can also sell an innocent child into slavery— but why would you ever do that?
“The Kid-Kidnapper” is an unmarked quest that is activated when you talk to Eulogy Jones, the head slaver in Paradise Falls. He asks that you find a child in Little Lamplight for a client, with that child being Bumble (who is apparently the youngest looking one there). A child slaver will come to collect her, and once the collar is placed on her neck, you receive a nice chunk of negative Karma.
Doing this quest also nets you the Boogeyman’s hood, which provides some damage resistance.
The first Fallout featured a large variety of bonuses and Easter eggs, some of which are references to other media, or just fun little gags that last for a brief moment. These sorts of special encounters continued throughout the series and are a bit of a staple now.
The Wasteland can appear to be nothing but desert, so as the Vault Dweller, it can be surprising to come across a blue police box on your travels. When you do come across it, the light on its top starts spinning, before vanishing into thin air with a “wooshing” sound, leaving a motion sensor in its place. Doctor Who fans know this blue police box as the TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimension In Space), which the titular Doctor uses in his travels in the television show.
You’ve probably never heard of Mister Lopez, which wouldn’t surprise Lopez himself one bit— just one of the many reasons he contemplates suicide in Fallout 3. He arrived in Rivet City, lost and alone, after failing to save his family from raiders. While he visits a church service in the city weekly, he’s often alone in his room, sometimes sleeping for prolonged periods of time due to depression.
The Lone Wanderer is able to encounter him at the observation deck (top of bridge tower) once a day between 8 AM to 12 PM and 3 PM to 5 PM. While he’ll just tell you to leave him alone, you can talk to him and actually help or convince him to end his life, which of course nets you negative karma. You can also convince to not end his life, but only if a certain character in Rivet City is still alive. Alternately, you can just push him off the ledge by force, with no karmic repercussions.
The story of Fallout 4 involves the Sole Survivor waking up in a bombed out Boston, now called the Commonwealth. From the get-go, your goal is to go after your son Shaun, who you saw get stolen from your spouse, who also got murdered during the kidnapping. After an unknown period of time passes, you’re freed and do all that you can to uncover the info of who stole your child and where he is now.
Eventually, you find yourself in The Institute, the organization that kidnapped your son. They’ve promised to show you your son, and eventually they do. However, Shaun starts acting weird, and soon an old man enters the room and appears to “deactivate” him. This old man introduces himself as Father, and you’re free to straight up murder him once he’s done speaking.
However, if you do so, you’ll never know his true identity: he’s your son and you’d been in suspended animation for an extra sixty years since his capture.
All Fallout games have your character interact with many non-player characters, some of which can become companions and accompany you on your various travels and missions. Whether it’s a dog, a soldier, or just some random person with terrible stats, you’re able to have a decent amount of people follow you all across the Wasteland.
In Fallout 4, something you’re able to do is give these NPC companions gear. In fact, it’s not just limited to traditional companions: NPCs you’re friendly with at settlements, for example, can also be equipped with gear. There's no real restriction to which type of gear, either, since you can even provide NPCs with power armor, those intimidating but cool looking outfits that are mainly worn by the Brotherhood of Steel.
This one may come as a surprise, especially since it’s easy to do and could even be done accidentally, but in Fallout 4, you are able to save while in dialogue with another character.
During conversations, you’re able to pause the game at any time, and if you want to, do a quicksave in the middle of any dialogue that’s happening. Depending on what your goal is, you can save right when it’s your time to say something (allowing you to play around with the dialogue options), or if you save while in movement, you can walk away from the conversation and continue it some other time.
This little trick can be very helpful if you want to make sure you get the dialogue options best suited to you, or if you just want to experiment and see how good or bad a conversation and situation can get through the dialogue.
The companion known as Dogmeat is well known among fans of Fallout, having appeared in many of the titles in the series, from the first all the way to 4. He can be very helpful for distracting enemies, fighting enemies, or searching for important things, such as people and objects.
In Fallout 4, if you’d rather not have Dogmeat with you for the time being, you can send him on his way, which, ideally, would have him go back to a settlement. While it’s been proven that Dogmeat can and will go back to a settlement if you ask him to leave your party, you’re also able to make sure you don’t ever lose him for good. All it takes is building some dog houses on the map; when you send him away, he’ll go to the nearest one, which could be at a nearby settlement.
This isn’t something the game outright says you can do, but you are able to make your own safe houses and outposts. Essentially, you find a place that can house things you want to keep safe, and then just booby trap the area surrounding it.
Certain locations can make for good outposts, depending on the NPCs who are around or just the remote nature of the locations. There are also locations that are susceptible to raiders and the like; in these cases, it can be amusing to see your enemies get destroyed by unknown traps. You can even make certain populated locations your own by ridding yourself of whoever is already there.
Aside from heavily populated or guarded areas that are already safe spots in their own right, the Wasteland is plenty open for setting up all kinds of outposts and safe houses of your own making.
Did you know you’re able to amass quite the teddy bear collection in Fallout 3? Well, we can assure you that you can also amass a collection for a quest line, too. “Toys for Tots” is a quest in the Fallout 3 add-on The Pitt, which has the Lone Wanderer collecting any and all teddies for Midea, who will give you 10 XP and 30 caps for each bear collected. You can also receive the same quest from a raider named Sandra, who resides in another part of The Pitt.
You might be wondering how many teddies are even in Fallout 3 and where they’re located; rest assured, there’s too many to point out in this entry. Most locations in the game have at least one hanging about, with a select few locations containing as much as three (a children’s wing at Arlington Library) and twenty-one (Sewer waystation conveyer belts). You can also come across a giant teddy bear at the Red Racer factory.
In New Vegas, Arcade Ganon is a member of the Followers of the Apocalypse, who the Courier meets at the Old Mormon Fort. Arcade is a scientist and can be taken as a companion, however he has very few quests, and even fewer that would actually benefit you.
One of the things you can do with Arcade is selling him to Caesar, leader of his own legion and a former member of the Followers of the Apocalypse. This makes him Caesar’s personal doctor, and resulting in you losing Karma. Additionally, if you end up killing Caesar during the same quest that has you selling him Arcade, you can still sell the scientist to Lucius, one of Caesar’s highest ranking members.
Whoever you choose to sell Arcade to, he ends up dead either by self-mutilation or crucifixion.
In New Vegas, you can meet a Brotherhood of Steel member named Veronica, who is a scribe. While she won’t admit it out loud, she has a desire to wear a dress. Dresses aren’t something people out in the Wasteland are likely to wear, but a certain group of people do wear formal attire.
In order to successfully complete the unmarked quest of giving Veronica a dress, you must acquire one of two things: White Glove Society attire or formal wear. If you’re already friends with the aforementioned Society, you’ll have a chance to get your hands on some unisex formal wear (which means it doesn’t matter if you’re male or female while playing or receiving the attire). You can also steal a White Glove Society dress off someone, but this would require either complicated pickpocketing or murder.
Once you’ve put the dress in Veronica’s inventory, she’ll be thrilled and teach you the unarmed Scribe Counter move.
In New Vegas, there is a complicated quest by the name of “Come Fly With Me.” The quest can be accessed via Manny Vargas, a Novac who will let you know there’s a ghoul problem in the area. He wants you to rid them from the REPCONN test site; here you learn that the ghouls would like to board a rocket out of the test site, and it’s ultimately up to you if that goes according to plan.
One of the things you’re supposed to do in this quest is clear the site basement of nightkin. While you could just kill them all, an easier thing to do is bring the nightkin leader an invoice in a nearby room, which will result in all the other nightkin leaving. As for fueling the rocket, instead of going after the 238 isotope, you can simply use five REPCONN rocket souvenirs.
In the first Fallout, it’s possible for the Vault Dweller to come across something called a Cat’s Paw. It appears to be a magazine featuring a black cat on its cover; the only descriptions of it are “you don’t know what this is” and “you still don’t know what this is.”
It isn’t until Fallout 2 where Cat’s Paw is revealed to be an adult magazine, most likely from the Pre-War years. While the magazine doesn’t do much on its own, the Chosen One can collect ten and bring them to Miss Kitty, owner of the Cat’s Paw Brothel in New Reno. If you do this, Miss Kitty will provide you a special copy of Cat’s Paw issue number 5, featuring an interesting article on energy weapons.
An unmarked location in Fallout 4’s Commonwealth, this parking garage is located around Fallon’s department store and Milton General Hospital. While a parking garage may not sound too exciting, it should be noted that this is no ordinary place to park your vehicle.
No, the Milton parking garage is home to some long-gone psychopath’s maze, packed to the brim with booby traps. Arrows outside the garage point the Sole Survivor inside, and it’s up to their wits and skills to navigate the many tripwires, grenades, and other dangerous weapons that are there to keep you from the grand prize at the end of the maze. A Hot Rodder issue number 3 is accessible in a bedroom, as are a mini nuke and five fusion cores in one of the two cells that the player gets to at the maze’s end.
Did you know alien encounters are possible in the Fallout series? If you didn't, you do now.
Starting with the first Fallout, the Vault Dweller can come across a crashed flying saucer containing dead aliens, an alien blaster, and a picture of Elvis Presley. In Fallout 2, the Chosen One can come across alien technology. It isn’t until Fallout 3 where an actual quest involving the aliens (known as Zetans) can be done. Only a crashed ship is an unmarked location in the base game, the add-on “Mothership Zeta” features a homing beacon that allows you to come across it, resulting in the Lone Wanderer’s abduction. In New Vegas, the Wild Wasteland trait allows the Courier to find an alien recon craft. Finally, in Fallout 4, once you reach level 20, the sound of something falling and crashing can be heard in the Commonwealth, though it might be hard to actually see; the location of the crashed ship is unmarked and located east-southeast of Oberland station.
Is there anything else you can do in Fallout games that we missed? Let us know in the comments!