This page will cover some basic tips for Fallout Shelter, a new mobile game from Bethesda Game Studios that is currently available on the iPhone and iPad.
We all knew that Fallout 4 was going to be a big deal at E3 2015, but what we didn’t know was that Bethesda Game Studios would announce and release a mobile game in the span of about 30 minutes. That’s how long it took from the moment we learned about Fallout Shelter until we started downloading it. Since then, we have pumped a couple hours into developing our Vault and expanding our Dweller population, but the experience hasn’t been without its hiccups. It turned out we needed a little work to be the ultimate Overseer that we knew we were capable of.
In order to ensure that you get off to a better start that we did, building your Vault and keeping your Dwellers happy at all times, we’ve decided to jot down a few tips that we wish were around when we started playing.
Building Your Vault
The process of building your Vault with the future in mind is not as easy as you might expect. Our first build saw a Power Generator wedged between the Water Treatment area and the Living Quarters. The worst part was we couldn’t remove it, so it was just stuck there, unable to expand. This got us thinking that it would be wise to dedicate one level entirely to the Power Generator, another level to the Living Quarters, and yet another to Water Treatment. This allowed us to build horizontally, giving us much more freedom to make a giant Power Generator room, instead of three that were spread out across two levels. It's not a huge deal, but an organized Overseer is a successful Overseer.
The key to survival is Dwellers. The more you have the more you can accomplish, as the game’s rooms and facilities are tied directly to how many people are currently living in your Vault. For example, you will need 14 Dwellers to unlock the Medbay, and even more for other rooms. This information is displayed from your Build menu. Tap it in the top right corner of your screen to see what you’re about to unlock, and what you can build right now.
So, you know that you need more Dwellers, but how do you get them? In the early part of the game we had people walk up to the Vault, but as time wore on we had to start tossing people in the Living Quarters so they could have babies. That, although slow, is the most reliable way to grow your Dweller population. You can also get additional Dwellers in Lunchboxes you can unlock, but since the rewards are random, there is no point in relying on that as sound strategy. Just take advantage of it should you get lucky.
Once you have a good batch of Dwellers, the key is to put the right people in the right areas. For example, if you tap on a Dweller you can view their skills and statistics. If your Dweller has a very high rating for their Strength, they will excel working with a Power Generator. If they have high Intelligence, they are more suited for the Medbay or Science Lab. You may need to do some tinkering, as the early stages of the game really doesn’t present you with a lot of options.
Information on what skills work best with a particular type of room can be found by tapping the hammer icon in the top right of your screen.
Like many games, Objectives are a big part of Fallout Shelter. In this case, completing them will earn you either Caps, Lunchboxes, or both. Tap the Pip-Boy menu in the bottom right corner of the screen, then view your current Objectives. It’s there that you’ll also see the reward you get for completing it. As you might expect, some are more difficult than others.
For example, you may need to successfully level up one Dweller. This one is pretty easy, only requiring that you allow a Dweller to naturally rank up by placing them in one of the facilities you have in your Vault. When the Objective is complete, claim your reward, then see if there are any more that you can complete. The goal here should be to complete Objectives that earn you Lunchboxes.
Yes, you can buy Lunchboxes, but no, you shouldn’t. You can unlock plenty of Lunchboxes by completing the Objectives we spoke about earlier. When you earn one, tap Pip-Boy and then claim your Lunchbox. Inside you’ll find Weapons, Outfits, Dwellers and even Caps, which brings us to our final tip.
How to Earn More Caps
Caps are the currency that you’ll use in Fallout Shelter. You’ll use them to buy upgrades, new facilities and several other things. Of course this means that you’ll never have as many as you feel you need, so how do you earn them?
Sort of like Lunchboxes, you earn Caps by completing Objectives, and also by having your Dwellers grind out the work that needs to be done in the Vault. The latter option won’t earn you as many Caps, but every little bit helps. Once you have enough, decide if you want to spend them on building a new facility, upgrading an old one, or even reviving someone who was lost in the Wasteland.
That’s the end of our Fallout Shelter guide (for now). It’s not the complete book, but it’s more than enough to get you familiar with the basic concepts that will help you to develop a solid Vault. Just remember to think all of your decisions (especially building) through before you commit to something you can’t change.