Fallout Shelter Beginners Guide

fallout Shelter Beginners guide

Starting off your first vault seems great at the time, but as you progress and learn more about the game, you realize that you have screwed things up. With this beginner’s guide to Fallout Shelter, I hope to give you enough information to plan ahead, without completely giving away everything about the game.

Building Rooms

So when you first start up the tutorial will prompt you to do a few things to help you get the hang of the interface and will get you to create a few rooms. You will be running low on food, water and power early on in the game, so you will need to create the correct rooms. When placing these new rooms try to keep in mind that you will want to upgrade/expand these rooms later in the game. When you build 2 of the same room next to each other they will merge into a single large room. Later in the game, you can merge 3 of the same rooms. Keep this in mind when you are adding rooms to your vault. If you build everything in 1 long row, you will never be able to merge them later in the game.

fallout shelter room layout
Room Layout of a larger vault in Fallout Shelter

A time will come when you are badly stuck and will need to break the layout plan. It’s fine to do it when you know you are going to undo the room at a later date in order to get back to the original design.

Another thing to take note of is that each type of room requires a specific SPECIAL stat. Power stations require the S(Strength) stat, you should place dwellers that have a high strength stat into these rooms. When you have a new dweller to place into a room, a quick way to figure out which room to put them into is to touch and hold the person so you can drag them around the screen. Hover the dweller over each of the rooms and you will see a number show up. Place the dweller in whatever room gives you the highest number.

Vault Dwellers

Vault dwellers are the whole point of this game. You need to look after these guys and make sure they survive in order for you to grow your vault. There are limits to the number of dwellers that you can place within your vault. This number is determined by the amount of living quarters you have in your vault. The more you build, the more dwellers you can support.

You can get new vault dwellers in 3 different ways. The first way you will find them is by them showing up outside the door. You can decide whether you want to accept them or not. The second way is to make babies. You can make a baby by placing a man and a woman into living quarters together and they will eventually have a baby. If both dwellers have high charisma they will have a baby faster, so check to see if you have any clothing to increase these stats. The third way is through lunch boxes. You will get lunch boxes during the tutorial and you will likely get a high-level dweller inside one of these. After the tutorial, you will have to pay real-world money to get more.

pregnant vault dweller
You will end up turning women into baby machines but it is very useful

A point will come where no more dwellers come from the wasteland so you will have to make babies at some stage. When you have enough dwellers you can make a radio station that will start attracting wanderers from the wasteland again.


The special stats are a returning feature from past Fallout games. The SPECIAL stats determine how well your dwellers will perform in particular areas. At the start, you will be lucky to find a dweller with any stat higher than 3. You can raise these stats, but it will be a while before you can. There are 2 ways to increase the SPECIAL stats. It can be done by either equipping your character with clothing that adds a bonus to the stats. The alternative and permanent way to increase them is to use the training rooms. You place a dweller into a training room and they will spend time increasing their stats.

Vault Attacks

Every now and then your vault will get attacked by Deathclaws or bandits (soon to be mole rats). These enemies will move room to room and attack people. I’ve yet to have anyone die from this so don’t panic too much if it happens. Usually, they will run into a room and all dwellers in this room will try to fight off the attackers. If you are quick you can equip the dwellers with weapons to fight off the enemies quicker. The enemies will eventually move onto another room if they are not killed quickly enough. If they do the dwellers will not chase after them and it will be up to the dwellers in the next room to continue the fight, so be quickly equipping the armor and weapons.

Upgrading Rooms

In most cases It’s better to upgrade a room than it is to build a new one. More rooms require more dwellers which will put a strain on your resources. If you upgrade existing rooms they will produce more resources and do it faster than before. You should aim to max these rooms out before building more. Toward the end it does become very expensive, but it’s better to build a small, tidy and efficient vault than it is to build a monster of a vault that is all over the place. Slow and steady will result in a much better vault.

Exploring The Wasteland

This one is a risky step and isn’t something you will want to do too early, but it’s well worth doing. If you drag a dweller outside of the vault it will give the option for you to send the dweller out into the wasteland to gather anything. This will usually net you some caps, a ton of XP for the dweller and more importantly, it will get you weapons and armor. You can send dwellers out fo any amount of time, but the longer they are out the more chance they have of getting killed. One thing to remember is that if you send a dweller out for 10 minutes, it will take another 10 minutes for them to come back after you recall them. If the dweller dies you can revive them, but they will lose all XP that they gained. Once you have built a medical bay you will be able to create stimpacks that dwellers can use to heal themselves with.

Luck is one of the best SPECIAL stats for exploring the wasteland. It will result in better drops, more XP and better odds that the dweller won’t get killed by an enemy. It’s up to you, you can risk sending your best man out there in order to get the best rewards or can send a low-level guy to get something (its better than nothing!), but not get the best.

dead vault dweller
Dead vault dwellers are not a big problem as they can be revived, but for a price

Caps (currency)

Caps are the currency that are used in the game. They are used to buy pretty much everything other than lunch boxes. Exploring the wasteland is an easy way to get a lot of caps, but it’s not the quickest either. There are plenty of other ways to get caps, so don’t worry. Sometimes when you harvest resources from a room you will get some caps, you can also get some when you click on a user who has just leveled up. If you look on the sidebar you will see that there are challenges that you can complete to net you caps. Things like, gather 100 water or make a baby, etc. These will be a valuable source of caps early on in the game.

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