Most of the known Fallout universe is in the area known as the Core Region. The Core Region is a portion of Fallout Earth that corresponds to the twentieth century’s American west coast and southwest in general. In this chapter, the places described are located mostly within the Core Region.


The Abbey is a monastery located north of Gecko, where the monks preserve knowledge in the form of books, blueprints, and items, and they tried to preserve technical knowledge mainly. Unlike the Brotherhood of Steel, who hoard their technology and used it to stay superior, the abbey is open to anyone as long as they do not damage anything. All they have to offer was knowledge, because not a single preserved item functions.

The monks do not understand the knowledge in the books they preserve. They treat them like holy materials, to be read and copied and cared for, but not acted upon.

Broken Hills

East of Reno is a town called Broken Hills. Broken Hills is one of the few places that mutants and ghouls are welcome, since it was founded as an experiment in racial tolerance. Broken Hills is a major supplier of uranium, which mutants can mine and handle without worrying about side effects. The uranium is then shipped south to Reno, the NCR, and north to Vault City and Gecko to use in power plants. The town was built around the mine by mutants, ghouls, and tolerant humans. It does quite well for itself, and has thus far resisted the overtures of the NCR, whose taxation and anti-mutant laws could ruin the fragile balance there. Broken Hills is run by a kindly Sheriff named Marcus, and has an overall friendly quality, although like many small towns there is often much more in Broken Hills than meets the eye. 1,000 mutants, 500 ghouls and 500 humans are permanent residents here. Radiation levels in Broken Hills are normal, except in the mine, where it is slightly radioactive.


Dayglow is one of the states of the New California Republic, located near the site of the Glow. Most of the state’s area lies actually north and west of the Glow itself, but the Glow is still visible from its borders. A number of ghouls live there now, as part of the Great Migration from Necropolis - once the ghouls learned of West Tek, they were eager to see if they could scavenge technology from the abandoned center. Some ghouls formed partnerships with scavenging companies from New Adytum and the Hub and have built quite a profitable corporation from their salvage efforts. At least one super mutant, a refugee from the Cathedral, was also rumored to be working with the ghouls and humans in Dayglow.

The Den

North and slightly west of Redding is a vile city called The Den. The Den is Reno without the glamour and lights, headquarters for the Slavers Guild and stopping point for caravans heading out to smaller villages to the north, in Oregon. There are no police in The Den, and travelers stay here at their own peril. The Den grew up around the remains of a small town, and is a collection of ramshackle buildings and slave pens. There are good people in The Den, but they are few and far between. The Reno crime families hold a good deal of influence here, and control the drug trade in and around The Den. There are around 2000 people living here, not counting the couple hundred slaves. Radiation levels are low in The Den.


Freeside is a slum district of the city of New Vegas. It is home to the Kings, a gang dedicated to the belief that "Every man is the king of their own destiny". Many gamblers too poor to afford entering the Strip end up here, and many more who lose all their fortunes settle here as squatters. Contains two casinos:The Silver Rush is the first one, but it no longer works as a gambling place, it is instead taken over by the Van Graff criminal syndicate from Redding and converted into a weapon shop. It is the main supplier of energy weapons in the Mojave. The Atomic Wrangler is perfectly functional, it is infamous as a den of booze, chems, and prostitution, A general store called "Mick and Ralphs'", the Old Mormon Fort (A Followers of The Apocalypse base), and the one of the two only entrances to The Strip also are here.


Just to the northeast of Vault City is the ghoul dwelling of Gecko. Gecko is a small town built around the old Poseidon Energy nuclear power plant, one of the largest suppliers of power to the pre-War American West. Although only one reactor is currently operational, the plant provides more than enough juice to power the entire area. The ghouls like the plant because of the radiation it leaks out, but prefer to keep the power stores to themselves - for now.

The ghouls who call Gecko home are more open than those in the old Necropolis, and will trade with caravans and allow travelers who don't make trouble to stay in town. There is no ghoul police force, except that non-ghouls who break the peace are almost never heard from again. A kind of lend-lease agreement between Gecko and some high officials in Vault City led to a sharing of Vault medical technology for a tap into Gecko's power plant, which Vault City desperately needed. Radiation levels in Gecko are normal, except for the power plant and directly around it, where non-ghouls may need a few Rad-Aways to function.

Gecko's citizens are divided between the renewal cultists and the more ordinary ghouls, who resent the cult. The renewal cultists seek to "renew," i.e. become human again. They are headed by a giant, sentient mole rat who lives in an underground cave adjacent to the reactor, known as the Brain, who seeks to take over the world. In the short term, he seeks to build an alliance between Gecko and Vault City based on power from Gecko being sent to Vault City in exchange for medical research on how to "restore" the ghouls to humanity.

The Ghost Farm / The Slags' Cave

Located just north of Modoc, the Ghost Farm is also the home of a group of humans that call themselves the Slags. Led by a man named Vegeir, the Slags live below the farm in a cave and prefer to be left alone.

Before the war, the Slag's ancestors retreated to a system of caves. This became known as The Sealing. Years later, as it become evident that they could no longer sustain their population below ground, they broke the seal and started a small farm above ground. The residents of the nearby Modoc were confused by this development as this farm seemed to appear out of nowhere. After a number of developments culminating in a near war with Modoc, the Slags were able to reach an agreement with the wastelanders. They continue to live below ground and though they trade food with the nearby citizens of Modoc, they are generally wary of outsiders.

The Glow

What was once San Diego is now The Glow. Apparently, this place was important enough to nuke so that people 150 years later wouldn't be able to walk there. Although innocent enough by day, at night The Glow turns into an amazing sight visible for miles. Of course, getting too close to The Glow will cause you to glow too! The Glow is located in the vicinity of and old WestTek research facility. Radiation levels are at or near Ground Zero (this WAS ground zero!).

Grand Canyon

Due to uranium demand shortly before The War, the U.S. government removed the Grand Canyon's status as a national park and allowed private mining companies to exploit its supply of uranium. The resulting mess was an environmental disaster. As a result, the Canyon has become one of the deadliest places in the wasteland, home to hideous mutants seen nowhere else. Sane people avoid it.

Hoover Dam

In the days before the war, Hoover Dam was a source of great power. Now, this great concrete construction, located in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, 30 miles south of the radioactive ruins of Las Vegas, it is the home of scattered packs of settlers barely eking out an existence on and around the great structure, frequented by attacks from hostile raiders. As the NCR scouts reported, the dam itself is largely intact, and the Republic plans to take control of this place in the near future.

The Hub

The Hub is a large community of traders, barterers, gamblers, and other interesting scum. Built fifteen years after the Great War near the ruins of Barstow, California, around a filthy oasis in the middle of the Mojave desert, the Hub is a stop-off point for caravans north to Shady Sands and the New California Republic, and south to the Boneyard. Even though it was attacked and almost destroyed by the Master’s Army, it was quickly rebuilt. Police presence in The Hub isn't strong, and the wide variety of people passing through ensures that there is always something interesting going on. The three merchant groups running the town are the Water Merchants, Crimson Caravan and the Far Go Traders. There is also the Hub Underground which silently pulls strings in the New Town, and the underground in the old town called the Thieves' Guild. Radiation levels are low in this area. The Hub is a member state of the New California Republic.

Los Angeles or the L.A. Boneyard

The Boneyard is what remains of Los Angeles. The headquarters of Vault-Tec was located somewhere in the LA area, and a VT demonstration Vault was built there. It is called the Boneyard because of the skeletal skyscrapers still standing in the ruins of this once huge city.

LA was pretty much decimated during the Great War. The majority of people in LA are people who came to the city after the destruction. Most to scavenge what they could, be it equipment, food or people. The largest concentration of people live in a "suburb" called Adytum.

Most people in LA died after the bombs dropped, due to radiation poisoning, disease, famine and each other. Some, however, took shelter in the demonstration Vault, and eventually most of them emerged in 2092, founding the Boneyard. Many of them were the founders of Adytum, a fenced town in the suburbs of the old Los Angeles. Some founded other communities, like the Blades, the Rippers or the Followers of the Apocalypse.

The radioactive ruins of a cathedral constructed above the LA Vault by a group called the Children of the Cathedral after the war and destroyed by a certain adventurer lie south of town. In general, radiation levels are low here, except around the cathedral ruins, where it can get quite high. The Boneyard is an official member of the New California Republic, but police have been unsuccessful in stopping gang warfare and deathclaw threats, partially because the population is spread over such a large area.


Nestled in a Sierra Nevada mountain valley, Junktown is a collection of buildings made by survivalists who flocked to the mountains before the war.

The natural air currents and lack of targets left the area relatively unscathed from both bombs and fallout, and life in the mountains continues pretty much as it did before the war, with the exception of zero government infrastructure and no public resources such as water or electricity. Junktown was an attempt to remedy that problem. Instead of the ruins of an old town, Junktown's founder, a man named Darkwater, thought it would be better to begin from the ground up. As the name suggests, it was built after the Great War out of random pieces of junk, mostly of broken cars.

Today, Junktown is a relatively quiet place, mostly selling excess food to towns around it. The town has a reputation of open hospitality. Although Junktown is officially a member of the New California Republic, NCR presence here is minimal at best. The entire town maintains its frontier quality, and gambling, boozing, and prostitution laws are not strictly enforced. Drawing weapons in town is not permitted except in self-defense. The gates to the town are closed in the night.


The old Oregon town of Klamath Falls, now known just as Klamath, is a small community of trappers that hunt the giant, mutant lizards called geckos in the area.

Although the geckos resemble the smaller lizards of the same name in pre-War America, these monsters run - quickly - on two legs and have long claws on their stunted forearms as well as sharp teeth. A certain species, called the golden gecko, hunts in packs and has even displayed some forms of low-level intelligence. Highly prized for their pelts, geckos and golden geckos are the lifeblood of this small community. Klamath is the stopping point for caravans on their way to the tiny tribal villages to the north, and also serves as a place where members of those tribes can come and exchange information, goods, and news about the larger world. Around 1,000 people live in Klamath, and radiation is not a problem.

Lost Hills and Maxson Town

The Lost Hills bunker is the main base of operations of the Brotherhood of Steel and the seat of its Elder Council and the High Elder himself – Jeremy Maxson. Gradually, people from all across the Wastes settled around the bunker, seeking protection of the Brotherhood of Steel. Eventually, they built a small but prosperous town, safe from raider threats, which they called Maxson, after Roger Maxson, the founder of the Brotherhood and the great-grandfather of the current High Elder. It is a farming community, giving a large portion of their crops to the Brotherhood in exchange for protection. The town is a member of the New California Republic, even though the Brotherhood itself isn’t, and there is some tension between the BOS Elders and Maxson State’s NCR governor.


East of The Den, on the way to Vault City, is Modoc. A dwindling collection of survivalists, Modoc is built on the edge of the former Modoc National Forest. For a long time it traded in leather and meat from Brahmin, but as other places were offering the same goods at cheaper rates, and people began herding and raising their own Brahmin, Modoc has been on the decline. It is mostly a sleepy mountain community, with a centrally located Bed and Breakfast for the traveler. Modoc is beginning to change to a trade city, taking its cue as a stopover place for the Vault City trade routes, but the change may not be enough to save it. There are around 2000 people in Modoc, and radiation levels are low here.


This Greek word meaning "City of the Dead" refers to this strangely silent ghost town. Most of the buildings are intact, but travelers report that no one seems to live there, and people who arrive to settle it either end up with radiation sickness or simply disappear. The truth of the matter involves a small population of ghouls beneath the city's streets. Necropolis is east of the Hub, about halfway between The Hub and Hoover Dam. Merchants usually avoid Necropolis altogether, or plan their trips so that they pass it during the daylight hours, as it has a bad reputation. The ghouls are intensely afraid of outsiders, and prefer guerilla tactics to keep their city safe. There are unsubstantiated rumors that the Master and his minions wiped out the ghoul population, but caravans traveling through the area still avoid Necropolis and tell stories of ghost-like humans in tattered clothes. Radiation levels in Necropolis are higher than the rest of the area, as a bomb exploded at Fort Irwin not far north, and the radiation infected the groundwater.

New Canaan

New Canaan, formerly the Jericho Desalination Plant of New Canaan in Ogden, Utah, is all that is left of the Mormon city. The town's prosperity revolves around the fresh water the still-working plant produces. However, the plant is old and inefficient, and Jericho is a long way from being the economic powerhouse it wants to be.

The Mormon community of New Canaan is fairly successful as long as it is left alone. When outsiders started to filter in, their rules about the use of alcohol and other substances rubbed non-Mormons the wrong way. The community is also split on how to handle super mutants and ghouls who want to convert and be part of the community. Many of the Mormons in NC are big racists and didn't want anything to do with the mutants. The Living Prophet went against their wishes and allowed them in, causing a lot of dissent.

New Reno

Built on the ruins of "The Biggest Little City in the World," New Reno is a town run by gangsters and drug dealers. Although the New California Republic has been trying hard to convince New Reno to join, the lack of central government and potential loss of profits from the drug trade have prevented them from doing so. Four crime families control New Reno: the Mordinos, the Wrights, the Bishops, and the Salvatores. The Salvatores control the weapons trade, the Mordinos control drugs, the Bishops deal with prostitution and the pornography industry, while the Wrights try to grab whatever is left. According to recent reports, the dynamics between the families shifted a fair bit: the Salvatores were driven out of the city, and their niche as the energy weapons specialists is now filled by the Van Graff family of Redding. The Wright family, on the other hand, became much more influential than before. Reno is truly a pit of a city, with glitzy neon signs advertising sex, drugs, and rock and roll everywhere. It also serves as a base for the Slavers Guild. Caravans come here to load up on drugs to sell illegally to the NCR and other towns. Without any police at all, Reno exists in a state of near anarchy, although a street-smart person could do very well here, especially if they found work with one of the crime families. Gun shops are well stocked, and several black market shops sell things that you can't find anywhere else. It is rumored that the Salvatores even have a supply of laser or plasma weapons. Radiation levels in and around New Reno are low.

The Pacific Ocean

West of California is the Pacific Ocean. The once placid waters have turned a light tan color, and shores are littered with debris. Pollution, dust, radioactivity, and chemical spills have all taken their toll, and only when one gets about 50 miles offshore does the Pacific resemble its pre-War self.


North and west of Broken Hills is the mining town of Redding. Redding mines gold for shipment to Reno and the NCR, and the miners are some of the largest consumers of Reno's drugs. The actual town of Redding lies a few miles to the east, but is abandoned. The mining town is a collection of wooden buildings, and can be a wild and wooly place. There is no real police force to speak of, and the mining companies deal with internal disputes. A Sheriff exists, but mainly works as a mediator between different mining companies. Each company has its own mine, and some own various casinos, hotels, and brothels. Redding has also been avoiding the influence of the NCR, although there are elements in town that strongly favor joining, if just to get rid of the rampant drug problem. 2000 people live in Redding, and most of them are miners. Radiation levels in Redding are low.

San Francisco

Old San Francisco is now home to a large population of Asian settlers. Survivors of a nuclear submarine abandoned after the War, the people on board drifted until they landed in San Francisco. They call themselves the Shi, and have managed to keep many of their old traditions and customs, which is more than many American groups can say. Somehow, the city was spared a good deal of destruction, although radiation levels were high for a while. Two clans currently battle for control of San Francisco, and the style of martial arts that will reign in the future. The Shi manage to run an extensive weapons trade, offering pieces of technology usually only available to groups like the Brotherhood of Steel. Where they manage to get these items is unknown. There is a population of artists, disenchanted people from various cities, and ex-military personnel that have taken over an old oil tanker still floating in the harbor. They will usually trade expertise for goods, although they prefer to be left alone. The third major group, which does not trade, is a religious community called the Hubologists. They are obsessed with an old space shuttle they found parked at the airport, and are attempting to make it fly again, so they can join their "gods" in the heavens above. The NCR has little influence in San Francisco, and the Shi are quite happy to avoid them while the Hubologists don’t concern themselves with such things. All told, there may be 15,000 people living here. Radiation is low in San Francisco.


This tiny community, on the far eastern edge of the New California Republic, is home to about 250 refugees and outcasts. Originally a small survivalist community in the Western Rockies, Scrapheap was taken over by gangs and found that it had no way to deal with the outside threat to its resources and people. All but abandoned after the brutal gang war, a small community of squatters and rejects has since moved in. Scrapheap has no police force, and isn’t a member of the NCR. The NCR would much rather see this place eradicated than have to deal with people it had already rejected. Radiation levels are low here, and the people of Scrapheap are slightly more trusting of outsiders, simply because they know the agony of constant rejection. They are very wary of the NCR, however, as they expect to be attacked and wiped out at any time.

Shady Sands

East of the Sierra Nevada, north of Death Valley, Shady Sands stands as a tribute to what people have accomplished since the War. A bustling town of 40,000, Shady Sands was completely built after the War, and made great by the first NCR president, a woman named Tandi. It is a clean, modern city with running water, electricity, a huge, well-armed police force, and a dream of ruling most of the wastes. For details on NCR organization, see above. Shady Sands itself is a walled town, with non-citizens encamped outside, watched closely by NCR guards. Shady Sands is a major trade point for Las Vegas to the east and Redding, Broken Hills, and Vault City to the north. Police in Shady Sands tend to look unfavorably on travelers, especially those who are not citizens of the NCR. There is a flourishing trade in illegal alcohol, drugs, and weapons in Shady Sands, although if a person is caught with such items, justice is usually swift and harsh. Radiation levels are low in and around the city.

The Strip

The Strip is where most of the money in the Mojave is won and lost. Ruled by Mr. House, The Chairmen(Owners of The Tops, where the entertainment is), The Omertas(Owners of Gommorah, where most of the prostitution is solicited), and The White Glove Society(Owners of the Ultra-Luxe Casino and suppliers of most of The Strip's food). 

Recently, very contradictory reports were heard from the Strip. Some sources claim that Mr. House was assassinated by order of Caesar himself; others argue that there were NCR agents involved. One supposed witness claims that New Vegas was taken over by an unknown adventurer who served Mr. House for a short time, the Securitrons obey that person and the leadership of the three Ruling Families was replaced by members personally loyal to that adventurer. Big Sal and Nero, leaders of the Omerta family, were found dead, and Benny and Mortimer, notables from the other two families who also ended up on the wrong end of the power play, fled the city. Many gamblers returning from New Vegas, however, do not recall hearing rumors like those and suppose that Mr. House is still alive and ruling the place.

Vault 15

Vault 15 was one of the Vaults built by Vault-Tec. It was overcrowded, and contained occupants of extremely diverse ideologies and cultures. This situation led to a great schism, during which four groups ultimately left the vault to brave the wastes outside. Three of these groups became roving gangs of raiders - the Jackals, the Vipers, and the Khans. The fourth group settled down a few miles west of the vault and founded Shady Sands village. While the three gangs harassed the village and each other over the years, Vault 15 itself gradually fell into disrepair. It underwent complete power failure, several cave-ins, water damage, and other indignations.

Many decades later, after the residents of Shady Sands had formed the New California Republic, squatters moved into the area directly over the vault and set up a small shanty town. Shortly after, they allowed a man named Darion and his men move into the vault itself on the condition that they repair the vault's systems in order to help provide the squatters with food, water, and other amenities. This setup seems advantageous enough that the squatters rejected all efforts by the NCR to annex them or even gain simple access to the Vault.

Vault City

On the eastern side of Nevada's Santa Rosa mountains, butting up against a sturdy mountain peak, Vault City sits as a jewel in the rough of the wastes. Built with the help of a G.E.C.K. from Vault 8, Vault City practices a limited form of democracy, although it does not allow anyone who is not a direct descendant of their vault-dwelling citizens to become citizens. Mutants and ghouls are treated with open contempt here.

There are walls around Vault City, and another wall on the interior, holding administrative buildings as well as fine apartments and houses. The only ones who can reach this inner area, however, are citizens or their servants - slavery is technically illegal in Vault City, although indentured servitude is usually for life. The Vault itself is still open in the inner part of the city, and as a result Vault City enjoys the best medical knowledge and pre-War technology of any group aside from the Brotherhood of Steel and the Enclave. There are large machine guns on turrets placed all around the walls of Vault City, and the elite guards even have laser weapons.

While Citizens of Vault City have a high material standard of living compared to most other places in the Wastes, they pay a price for it in the form of a crushing sense of conformity and regulation in their lives. Many -- perhaps most -- Vault City Citizens never see Vault City's external courtyard (more on that below), let alone another city. Possibly because of chromosomal damage, they are unable to conceive children naturally and must use artificial insemination techniques in cycles which produce uniformly aged generations of children. They are forbidden the use of drugs such as buffout, jet, psycho, mentats, and natural alcohol, though artificial alcohol is still used in bars.

Outside the walls of the city proper are those who live within Vault City's protection, who abide by the strict laws prohibiting drugs, slavery, prostitution, and gambling. Vault Citizens often take advantage of these people, but to them, the alternatives of the wastes or life as raiders or in an uncertain village are not as attractive as the decent medical attention and protection of Vault City. There are close to 5000 people in Vault City, and another 500 within the walls, excluding a few hundred servants. Vault City has its own police force, and is not interested in joining the NCR - in fact, given half a chance, they would most likely fight the NCR for control of California. Radiation levels in and around Vault City are low.

Glowing Sea

Located southwest of Boston, the Glowing Sea is the ground zero of a nuclear explosion. It is not technically a "sea", but rather a large isolated patch of heavily irradiated landscape, ripped up and reshaped by the atomic blasts that carpeted the area. Most signs of the small towns and neighborhoods that once littered the area are now almost completely gone, with only rubble, wrecked cars, and the rare standing building remaining (which is half-buried with more rubble). Rain clouds that pass over the Glowing Sea become irradiated, creating a storm known as a 'Rad Storm", which spreads radiation to other parts of the Commonwealth.

Despite the extremely harsh environment, the Glowing Sea does harbor life, including, surprisingly, humans. In the center of the sea, a group of humans from the "Children of Atom" live in the crater of a nuclear blast, known as the "Crater of Atom." The sickly greenish-yellow glow emanating from the crater can be seen from all across the Commonwealth. This branch of the Children gain their supplies from a peculiar super mutant, which may have ties to the elusive Institute.

Stories tell of the Sole Survivor of Vault 111 braving the Glowing Sea in order to find this super mutant, who might've been able to help them find their son in exchange for assistance in getting a cure for the FEV within the Institute.

Cheyenne Mountain Complex

What happened to Cheyenne Mountain is hard to determine with the official canon. The only thing that is confirmed is that the Poseidon Power Plant cannot connect to the facility through Poseidonet in the year 2241. Before the Great War, Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center was host to four commands: North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), United States Northern Command (USNORTHCOM), United States Strategic Command (USSACCOM), and Air Force Space Command (AFSPC). Throughout the Cold War, Cheyenne Mountain was considered a primary target in all first-strike and second-strike scenarios. Although the mountain was designed to withstand multiple direct hits from nuclear weapons, projections were universally pessimistic as to the survival of the installation.

According to the partially canon cancelled game Fallout 3: Van Buren the facility did not survive the great war. By 2253, a huge section of the mountains became a great radioactive smoking crater, giving birth to a large population of glowing ghouls. Coupled with attacks on Denver and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal, Boulder became the center of a triangle of hellish death.

According to the partially canon Fallout Tactics, the facility was reinforced to become Vault 0 and withstood the great war. Vault 0 (Vault Zero), unlike most Vaults involved in the Vault Experiment, was not an experiment in human behavior. It was constructed by expanding and reinforcing the Cheyenne Mountain Complex in Colorado and was by far the largest of the underground Vaults (by volume). Many of the areas that comprise the massive interior layout of Vault 0 were originally designed to be the size of (and were often compared to) aircraft hangars, warehouses and factories; these zones were for the construction of various machines that were ostensibly designed to serve the Vault Dwellers.

A massive amount of war robots and a cybernetic computer named calculator, designated to control the Vaults facilities and serve as the Vault's overseer were placed here to ensure humanity's rebirth after nuclear war. However, the Calculator becomes corrupted, drives the population of the Vault to extinction, and initiates the pacification protocol, originally intended to kill all of the possible enemies to the people of Vault 0, sending a robotic army through the Midwest. Eventually the Midwestern Brotherhood defeated the robotic army, seized Vault 0, and set it up as their main base of command. Calculators fate is unclear, and left up to the player.

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