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Up to date as of February 01, 2010

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Vault 101

map marker: Vault 101
leaders: Vault 101 Overseer
quests: Baby Steps
Growing Up Fast
Future Imperfect

Trouble on the Homefront
cell name: Vault101a (Entrance)
Vault101b (Atrium)
ref id: 00024512 (entrance)
00024511 (Atrium)
Because in Vault 101, no one ever enters... and no one... ever leaves.

—Ron Perlman

Vault 101 is a Vault-Tec Vault located north-west of Washington, D.C. in the Capital Wasteland. This vault is located in the hills west of the ruins of Springvale. The closest settlement is Megaton to the south-east. This Vault is located near the Potomac in northern Virginia.


Vault Experiment

The purpose of Vault 101 in the Vault Experiment was to test the role of the Overseer. The second Overseer decided to let a select few of the adults in on the secret to help keep it from the children, and over the years each subsequent generation had more and more residents who knew the truth about the Vault. In addition, the Overseer was able to communicate with, and even visit, the outside world by using the secret tunnel in the Overseer's office[1]. However, for all other intents and purposes, the vault's residents were sealed in: "We are born in the Vault,we live in the Vault,and we die in the Vault." With the escape of the Lone Wanderer, the experiment enters a new phase.


Due to the degraded state of the file for this Vault in the Citadel terminal, the early history of this Vault is not well recorded. An analysis of the other Vault files suggests that Vault 101 was constructed in the 2060s.

For the history of this Vault between 2077 and 2241, see above.

In the mid-23rd century, a new Overseer assumed the leadership of the Vault. He was a proponent of contact with the outside world. In 2241, this Overseer sent a scouting party under the leadership of Anne Palmer into the Capital Wasteland. This expedition revealed the true nature of the aftermath in the Wasteland and contacted the citizens of the settlement Megaton. Sometime before the arrival of the Lone Wanderer's father in 2258, this Overseer disappeared on an expedition to the Wasteland. His successor, Alphonse Almodovar, ascended to leadership of the Vault. Under his rule, the Vault changed into a police state with a strict policy of isolationism.

Early in Alphonse's tenure as Overseer, James and his infant entered into Vault society. James, in his agreement with the Overseer, kept his child ignorant of their origins, convinced of their origins in the Vault. James was hired as the new Vault Physician. Nineteen years later, after James suddenly disappeared from the Vault, the Lone Wanderer was forced to flee and seek his/her father in the outside world for answers after fleeing a murderous Vault Security.

Upon meeting with Colin Moriarty in Megaton, the Lone Wanderer learned of his/her origins. He/she had been born outside of the Vault and was brought to Vault 101 by James after his wife died in childbirth. Though a few knew the truth, like Old Lady Palmer, they never divulged this to the Lone Wanderer.

Speaking with other residents of Megaton, the Lone Wanderer discovers that others have left the Vault over the past two decades. Moira Brown, the proprietor of Craterside Supply, recalls a girl who escaped "10 or 12 years ago", while the saloon owner Colin Moriarty recalls someone escaping 5 years ago. The man convinced Colin that residents of the Vault were brainwashed into believing lies.

The town of Megaton was founded by people who were trying to get into this Vault, and some of the skeletons of the people who tried to get in, as well as their banners demanding entry into the Vault (with strong languages), are still outside of the Vault door.

It should be noted that in the quest Trouble on the Homefront, it is hinted that most, if not all adult residents in Vault 101 were in on the experiment. Therefore James's sudden arrival in the Vault with the infant Lone Wanderer would not have caused too much concern among the residents, beyond the natural question of why the Overseer would allow the two newcomers into the vault when no outsiders were previously allowed.


Vault 101 is populated by humans. These humans are descended from the original settlers. Occasionally, this facility is invaded by Radroaches. Vault Security is tasked with containing and killing these insects.


List of Residents

Almodovar family


Almodovar family:

DeLoria family:

Mack family:

Hannon family:

Gomez family (descendants of a family from Springvale):

Kendall family:

  • John Kendall - Vault Security guard, father of Christine and Monica
  • Mary Kendall - his wife (Stanley's daughter also)
  • Christine Kendall - classmate to the Lone Wanderer
  • Monica Kendall - younger sister to Christine. Never seen, only mentioned during Trouble on the Homefront

Holden family:

  • Tom Holden - vault dweller, killed by Vault security during Escape! or alive depending on players actions.
  • Mary Holden - his wife, killed immediately after him or alive depending on players actions.

Palmer family:

  • Jonas Palmer - Clinic Assistant, friend to James, and son of Anne Palmer.
  • Anne Palmer - Presumably Old Lady Palmer. Leader of a scouting party to the Wasteland in 2241.
  • Lucy Palmer - mother to Anne and grandmother to Jonas.
  • Joe Palmer - deceased, Jukebox Technician.

Armstrong family:

Taylor family:


Found dead during Trouble on the Homefront


Vault 101 is divided into four sections by the game. These sections are Vault 101 Main Entrance, Vault 101 Overseer's Tunnel, Vault 101 Atrium/Upper Level, and Vault 101 Lower Level. The sections are separated by doors, and stairways connect floors and levels within two of the sections. Levels and rooms are identified by signs. There are two paths to the Capital Wasteland: a direct path from the Atrium and a hidden tunnel named the Overseer's Tunnel. The Vault faces east.

It is important to note that the sections are not directly stacked upon each other. They are staggered with each section moving progressively more westward as the Vault burrows deeper into the earth.

Vault 101 Main Entrance

This section connects the Capital Wasteland to the Vault. The rooms in this section are:

  • Natural rock tunnel connecting the Wasteland door to the Vault door
  • Entrance room
  • Control booth
  • Concealed room connecting the Overseer's Tunnel to the main entrance
  • Large generator room
  • Small generator room
  • Storage room

Vault 101 Overseer's Tunnel

This section connects the Overseer's Office (in Atrium/Upper Level) with the Main Entrance

Vault 101 Atrium/Upper Level

This section connects the Main Entrance to the Lower Level. This section is divided into two sub-sections: Admin and Atrium. Admin is short for Administration.

Rooms in Admin are:

  • Overseer's Office
    • Overseer's Terminal
  • Reception Room
    • Jonas Palmer dies ("Escape!")
  • Overseer's Apartment
    • 3 rooms - Dining/Living room, Amata's bedroom, Alphonse's bedroom
  • Operations
  • Computer (inaccessible)
    • Location of Vault's mainframe
  • Security
    • Amata is interrogated ("Escape!")
  • Holding Cell
  • Systems
    • Floyd Lewis dies here ("Escape!")

Systems connects Admin to Atrium. Rooms in Atrium are located on two floors - a upper and a lower floor. Rooms on the upper floor are inaccessible. They are:

  • Dining/Living room of Mack Apartment
    • Allan Mack is yelling at the Lone Wanderer ("Escape!")
  • Utility (inaccessible)
  • Equipment (inaccessible)

The lower floor of the Atrium offers access to a Storage room and a Cafeteria on the Lower Level. The rooms on this floor are:

  • Storage Room (inaccessible)
  • Storage Room

Note: The Fallout 3 Official Game Guide identifies the lower floor of the Atrium as the Vault 101 Sub-Level.

Vault 101 Lower Level

This is the final section of the Vault. Though named Lower Level, this section actually covers two levels: the Lower and the Reactor.

Rooms in the Lower Level are:

  • Clinic
  • Physician's Office
  • Classroom
    • GOAT ("Future Imperfect")
  • Cafeteria (aka Diner)
    • Lone Wanderer's tenth birthday ("Growing Up Fast")
    • Grandma Taylor dies ("Escape!")
  • DeLoria Apartment
    • 2 rooms - Dining/Living room, Bedroom
    • Ellen DeLoria is attacked by radroaches ("Escape!")
  • Common Room (inaccessible)
  • Cigar Room (inaccessible)
  • Ladies Restroom
  • Gentlemen's Restroom
  • Lone Wanderer's Apartment
    • Amata talks to the Lone Wanderer after James escapes ("Escape!")
  • Storage Room

The map for the DeLoria and Lone Wanderer's apartments in the official game guide have two beds in the bedroom; whereas, in the game, there is only one bed.

Rooms in the Reactor Level are:

  • Generator Room
    • James gives a BB gun to the Lone Wanderer ("Growing Up Fast")
  • Filter Room
  • Reactor Room
    • Location of the Vault's geo-thermal reactor
  • Storage Room
    • Lone Wanderer kills a radroach ("Growing Up Fast")

Note: The Official Game Guide identifies this level as the Vault 101 Atrium.

Notable loot

Note: Almost all of these items are available either in "Escape!" or in "Trouble on the Homefront".


The Bobblehead - Medicine is on a desk in the Physician's Office. You only have three chances to obtain this bobblehead. When you're about to take the G.O.A.T., when you escape the vault you'll come through his office, or when you return in the "Trouble on the Homefront" quest.

Custom Weapon Schematic

On a wall of the Physician's Office, a framed Quote of Revelation 21:6 can be found. When activated, the player will need to pick the 'average' lock. Inside can be found Rock-It Launcher schematics, 300 caps and a Holodisk called 'Home Sweet Home'. When accessed in Notes, 'Home Sweet Home' depicts James' voice lamenting over the death of his wife Catherine, discussing his new responsibilities as a father and the Overseer, whom he describes as an 'overbearing bully'. You need to pick the lock, which requires lockpick skill of 50 or greater.

Skill Book

  • Grognak the Barbarian - This book is a gift from Amata in "Growing Up Fast". This book reappears in "Escape!", in the Lone Wanderer's dresser, if the player hadn't read the book in the earlier quest.


Vault 101 only appears in Fallout 3.

Related quests

Random Encounters

At higher levels, four or five Deathclaws will sometimes spawn down the hill from Vault 101.


  • Vault 101 is one of two fully functional vaults (the other being Vault 112) in the Capital Wasteland. All the other vaults have either failed due to projects that have failed or simple natural death.
  • It is suggested in the poem that the Lone Wanderer receives upon his/her tenth birthday, that the dead of Vault 101 are incinerated in some sort of area built for this. This is never demonstrated in game, however.
  • At the Vault-Tec Headquarters in the D.C Ruins, a replica of the Vault 101 Door is hanging over the lobby area with spot lights illuminating it.
  • There is a juke box by the bulletin board in the Cafeteria that is in pristine condition, the only other one like it is in the Federalist Lounge at Tenpenny Tower


  • During the tenth birthday present sequence, if you attack Jonas and succeed in causing him to become unconscious, he may not move or speak his lines when it comes time for him to take the picture of you and your dad. Standing next to your dad will cause the screen to go white and the game to progress anyway, just without Jonas' visible participation.
  • Fast traveling to the vault will on some cases result in a massive framerate drop once you have arrived. Fast traveling to Springvale and then moving on to the vault will result in framerate drop, however not as severe. This framerate drop appears to only occur close to the vault entrance.

(Confirmed PS3)

  • Closing the Vault door manually using the outer console will work normally during Escape. However, approaching the tunnel exit will result in the Vault door reopening behind you exactly when it is supposed to close if you don't tamper with the console. (confirmed on PC)
  • After completing "Trouble on the Homefront", Amata and Mr. Brotch may be standing in the medical room talking. Amata will simply tell you that you have to go, and Brotch will just say goodbye, but if you listen to their conversation they will sometimes discuss Amata's father and how to keep him in line - even if he's been dead because you killed him before leaving the vault at the beginning of the game. (confirmed on PS3 and PC)


  1. According to the official Fallout 3 strategy guide
Vault 101
Vault-Tec Vaults
Major locations in Fallout 3

This article uses material from the "Vault 101" article on the Fallout wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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