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Bethesda Ruins

map marker: Bethesda Ruins
metro: Bethesda Underworks
other exits: Bethesda Ruins
cell name: zBethOffice02 (Offices East)
zBethOffice01 (Offices West)
zBethSewer (Underground)
ref id: 000252DA (Offices East)
00024513 (Offices West)
000235F1 (Underground)

The Bethesda Ruins are the ruins of a Maryland city located north-west of Washington, D.C.. It is inhabited by Raiders and Ghouls, and has 4 interior sections: Bethesda Offices West, Bethesda Offices East, Bethesda Underworks and, The Raid Shack.



Prior to the Great War of 2077: Bethesda was a major city with its own suburbs. A large American corporation, Chryslus Motors, was headquartered there. There was Metro and City Liner service to this city. North of Bethesda, there is a monorail train. As the west-east highway ends in the city, another highway traveling north passes through the area. The city has a local park, named after the largest employer in this city, where baseball was played.




To the north is a small bombed out building which holds a Raider with a Sniper Rifle and 2 ammo boxes (one locked - Average) with .308 Caliber Rounds in each. You can jump into this building if you go to the far north end of the area undetected by going around the building west of it leading to an alley past the rubble. A bit of trick jumping in the northwest corner will get you in. This is a good spot to snipe the many raiders in the area after shooting the sniper from behind, essentially stealing his post.

The Raiders have barricaded most of the streets leading to the ruins with haste-make structures and derelict vehicles. There are also some mines in a small, grassy area to the south, next to Bethesda Offices East.

In between the two office buildings is a walkway connecting them with a raider carrying a Sniper Rifle near 2 ammo boxes containing .308 Caliber Rounds.

Further west is the metro entrance to Bethesda Underworks. Going even further west is the Raid Shack.

Northeast of a truck at the Red Rocket gas station in the outskirts, there is a Special encounters location.

Bethesda Offices West

Mostly reception and office space, Bethesda Offices West is home to a considerable number of Raiders. The cramped confines of the building render most hard-hitting long-range weapons ineffective as they become unwieldy when turning corners and investigating small rooms. Raiders are generally well-armed and -armored, making the Chinese Assault Rifle, 10mm SMG, or Scoped .44 Magnum ideal choices for assault weapons. Players with a high Small Guns skill and criticals-enhancing perks may choose to use either a silenced or standard 10mm Pistol.

Players should also keep a keen eye for traps. At least three shotgun traps, activated by the same pressure pad, and aimed at the same place, as well as two grenade cluster traps are located in this building. Players with sufficient Repair skill can disarm and take the weapons (though the two clusters are in a difficult to reach space between floors). All of these traps can be seen in the same room upstairs. The room has a hole in the floor, so before dashing right in, look to the left and see what might have happened, should you fail to see the trap. You can also listen for Three Dog, as there's a radio in the trap room tuned to Galaxy News Radio. There is also a copy of Dean's Electronics in the Trap Room in a box on the far side of the room. You may encounter a Raider with a flamethrower sleeping in the bed in this room.

Bethesda Offices East

Much of the East building is offices, with more cramped fighting conditions. Extensive damage to the building also includes large gaps and holes in the floor, making fighting on the upper floor treacherous in places. The apparent leader of the Bethesda Raiders is here, armed with a flamethrower and carrying a Big Guns skill book in their inventory.

Notable loot

Bethesda Offices West

  • Big Book of Science on the first floor on the reception desk, near the turret control terminal.
  • A Stealth Boy on the same floor to the east, in a crate near the drinking fountain.
  • Two Pre-War Books on top of a filing cabinet on the second floor.
  • Dean's Electronics on the top floor, in the room with the rigged shotguns, in a crate sitting on a desk, hidden under a steam gauge assembly and other miscellaneous items.
  • A Mini Nuke in that same top-floor room, under some crates next to a bed.
  • Another Stealth Boy in that same top-floor room, in the northeast corner on a shelf.

Bethesda Offices East

  • Bobblehead - Lockpick is located on a desk next to the turret control terminal on the second level next to a painting that opens to reveal a safe. (locked - easy)
  • Chinese Army: Spec. Ops. on the second floor in an office area, on a desk with two missiles.
  • Mini Nuke near the exit to the connecting bridge,on a filing cabinet in some rubble from a ceiling collapse.
  • U.S. Army: 30 Handy Flamethrower Recipes held by a raider wielding a flamethrower, fittingly enough. This raider will respawn with the book every 73 game hours provided the area is left alone, allowing it to be collected an unlimited number of times.


  • Directly southeast of the ruins is a baseball diamond with two raiders, a pitcher and a batter, who, judging by the five grenades in the pitcher's inventory, are using frags in place of baseballs to play.
  • In Bethesda Offices West, in the room with the shotgun trap, there is a refrigerator filled with chopped up Wastelander body parts. A chopping board and bucket nearby are filled with meat. This implies that the Bethesda Raiders are cannibals, eating Wastelanders unfortunate enough to encounter them.


Bethesda Ruins appears only in Fallout 3

Behind The Scenes

  • 'Bethesda' may refer to Bethesda Studios, developer of Fallout 3, but it is likely that it refers to the city of Bethesda, Maryland, a large suburb of Washington, D.C.


  • You may encounter two Raiders armed with a Lead Pipe that can't be killed. The only way to escape is let your companion fight them so you can run away and fast travel, or go to a previous save. (Confirmed Xbox 360)
  • In Bethesda Offices East, if the player attacks Unarmed or with a melee weapon through V.A.T.S. while above the enemy on the ramp to the second level, they may become stuck in the ground and unable to move upon exiting V.A.T.S..
  • As soon as you enter Bethesda Underworks and the Ghouls run to attack you, put on the Ghoul Mask and all of them will run past you through the entrance outside. They return shortly after though.
  • All the ghouls in the Underworks may spawn right outside of the tunnel entrance, remaining inactive unless the player engages them. (Confirmed on Xbox 360)
  • If you put your marker on the Bethesda Ruins, it will lead you Southeast of the Bethesda Ruins, instead of going there directly. (Confirmed on all platforms)
  • If you go into the ruins from the south, and then directly East to the pile of rubble the is a chance that if you get to close to it you will get stuck in the wall. Raiders can still hit you, but you can only hit them with grenades and mines. The only way out is to reload a previous save. (Confirmed on PC)
  • If you enter the catwalk (for the first time) from the East offices, the sniper does not spawn. Entering and leaving the west tower seems to spawn the sniper but in this particular case all she did was enter the West building, come back to the catwalk, enter the building, infinitely. Had to capture her in V.A.T.S and shoot her to break the cycle (Confirmed on PS 3)
  • Reloading an autosave from the catwalk to the West offices sets off one of the shotgun traps even though there is nothing near the pressure plate
  • Goo piles created from plasma shots may regenerate all items after a few weeks of game time. If the respawning raiders are repeatedly killed with plasma weapons, this leads to a significant amount of loot, ash piles however become inaccessible. Looting the indoor piles also removes the items from the corresponding body, and vice-versa.(Confirmed on Xbox 360 and PC)

This article uses material from the "Bethesda Ruins" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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