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10 Fallout Shelter Tips to Help Your Vault Survive

Fallout Shelter has been released to widespread success and popularity. It seems that no Fallout fan can do without this little app centred on building your very own vault. That hasn’t stopped many from having trouble with the game, however, even those who could claim themselves to be veterans of the freemium mobile market.

I’ve put quite a few hours in Fallout Shelter (perhaps too many) and so I thought I would write up a handy guide to help people who are struggling to get past their first 20 vault dwellers.

1. Never expand too fast

So you have 10 dwellers and a nice amount of caps rolling in, surely now is the time to get them all breeding and to pop out a couple of mini-dwellers? Maybe it is, but take a step back for a second before you start filling your fault with more hungry mouths to feed. Are you consistently well above your targets for food, power and water? Perhaps those caps of yours would be better spent in upgrading your current infrastructure. I always aim to have my utility rooms three blocks wide and at level 2 before I undertake any massive expansion of my vault. This brings me to point number two…


2. Maximise efficiency

You should always combine your rooms together. This is when you place two rooms of the same type (and level) next to each other. Not only does this increase its output, it allows you to man the room with more dwellers. More dwellers = quicker cycle times. Aim to have your power, diner and water treatment plant up to full size (three blocks) and fully manned at all times. Even when you need to expand, try to tailor it so that you can create more three-block rooms later.

3. Turn off your notifications

Fallout Shelter isn’t like most other freemium games. Whereas in Clash of Clans you might be waiting a day or two for that new building, in this game the turnaround times are much shorter. A fully manned and upgraded utility room usually produces resources every two to three minutes. As such you’ll probably want to turn off the notifications on your iPhone unless you want to be bombarded with messages. If you’re worried that your vault will go to pot without you knowing, don’t: when you’re away from the game for long enough it closes down the activity of the dwellers until you come back. Timers still run but your dwellers won’t eat all of your food and drink all your water if you’re away from your phone for the weekend.

4. You DON’T need storage rooms

Storage rooms are a waste of time. If you’re sending your vault dwellers out regularly they’ll be bringing back a lot of guns and armour. The game will tell you to build storage space for them but you already have ample space in the form of your dwellers themselves. Use each dweller as a moving wardrobe and equip them with armour and a weapon, even if the armour won’t affect their productivity. This way you can save vault space and caps for more important rooms [Side note: it always helps to have all your dwellers armed ready for raiders and radroaches anyway].

Fallout Shelter 5

5. Luck is your friend

You might notice that after the initial flurry of rare item-giving lunchboxes at the start of the game, your objectives won’t reward you with them as much. Your hopes for rare and unique armour and weapons therefore lies with your lucky dwellers. Luck improves a dweller’s chances of finding good gear in the wastes. Usually a lucky dweller will find you a weapon within 20 minutes, whereas I’ve seen unlucky dwellers take hours.

6. Have a breeder

Trying to organise two or three couples in different barrack rooms can be complicated and annoying. Instead of trying to create multiple family units, simply use one male dweller as your breeder. Send every female dweller in your vault to him one at a time until they’re all pregnant. Equip the breeder (or both) with charisma-increasing outfits to speed up the process. Once all the babies are born you can restart the process again with the mothers. I’ve had one breeder father around 15 new dwellers from a set of mothers. It’s a bit creepy (alright it’s really creepy) but it keeps your vault populated.

7. The radio station is a waste of caps

Don’t buy the radio station. Seriously, it’s useless. It costs lots of caps and all it does is bring one dweller to your vault a day. What’s more, the dweller will be level one, making them next to useless. Breeding is a much better option as children inherit their parents S.P.E.C.I.A.L stats. Spend your caps on more useful rooms, like…

fallout shelter 48.

8. Training rooms are your friend

Training rooms will be your key to riches and cool gear. Send a select number of dwellers into training for a few days and before you know it you’ll have a crack team that is tailor-made for exploring the wastes. Choose your lucky dwellers, as they will then have the added bonus of luck to their trained up endurance, strength and perception.

9. Explore those wastes

The wasteland is your main source of income and gear. I always aim to have between 10-20% of my vault out exploring at any one time. Equip them with decent gear to improve either their endurance (so they last longer) or luck (so they find better gear) and send ‘em out there. Don’t worry if your dwellers die, either. Most of the time (if you’ve equipped them well with gear, stimpacks and RadAway) the cost to revive them will be much less than the caps they will eventually bring back when recalled.

10. Try not to think about Fallout 4 too much

If there’s one thing playing this game will do (and, to be honest, it’s what it was designed to do) it’s make you want to play Fallout. Since I downloaded Fallout Shelter I’ve reinstalled both Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas and am playing through them again. While this is no bad thing, they’re not Fallout 4 and it makes me sad. Try to avoid that.

vault boy 2Hopefully these tips have helped. If you have any more ideas or helpful advice for those struggling to help their vault survive the nuclear apocalypse then post them below!

Tips, Tricks & Guides
Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton

Staff Writer

Financial journalist by trade, GameGrin writer by choice. Writing skills the result of one million monkeys with one million typewriters.

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azrael316 - 05:04pm, 11th July 2015

They need to get this out on Android ASAP!

NOT Marc Batra
NOT Marc Batra - 03:46pm, 1st January 2021

Alright this was a good article. I actually play the game for ps4, but it's pretty much the same. Thanks for sharing