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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Engineering core
Icon section.png
Part ofMothership Zeta
Connects toBridge
Cargo hold
Cryo Lab
Decompression chamber
Engine room
Maintenance level
Observation deck
Robot assembly
QuestsNot of This World
Among the Stars
Cell NameDLC05EngineCore
ref id00002fd2
Engineering Core map.png
Gametitle-FO3 MZ.png
Gametitle-FO3 MZ.png

The engineering core is a location on board Mothership Zeta.


The engineering core is the third area that the player encounters aboard the Mothership, and serves as a hub between numerous other locations aboard the ship, including the steamworks, hangar, cryo lab, robot assembly, cargo hold, maintenance level and engine room. Here, the player can also find several other captives who will assist the player aboard the ship. As the player progresses through the Mothership Zeta quest, the Engineering Core changes. Defenses are put up and barricades are made by the other captives; eventually a broken Nuka-Cola Machine will show up; a teleporter to the bridge appears near the steamworks entrance, down a corridor to the left of the Nuka-Cola machine; and a terrified alien will appear and plead for its life, only to be executed by Paulson.

The engineering core is one of the few rooms still available to explore after This Galaxy Ain't Big Enough... quest is complete, as most other rooms beyond it will become inaccessible. At this point, aliens will also begin to spawn occasionally in the room.


First level

The lower level is far smaller than the top level. It has a small room the Toshiro Kago sits most of the time with a large window that displays the reaches of outer space. There is a table opposite Kago and a foot locker near that. Across the from the windows is a hallway that has some garbage in the middle of it. Through this hallway, you reach the main part of the lower floor. This has a main energy pillar in the middle of it, surrounded by capacitors.

Second level

In Kago's room is a staircase that leads up the second level. This staircase opens to a room with random junk strewn about on tables, beds and the floor. Going through a door on your right will take you to the main area with the energy pillar from the first level. This is the area where most of the captives roam. Going straight, you will head into the cryo research area, going to the right will let you into the maintenance level, robot assembly, or the engine rooms and going to the left will take you to the hangar of cargo hold.

Notable loot

  • There are alien captive recorded logs 5, 6, 7 and 8, beside each frozen captive.
  • A Buttercup toy on the table near the windows, and on the floor above, near the powered down teleporter.
  • After the quests have been completed, two aliens can be found here, wielding an alien atomizer and disintegrator, along with alien food/ammunition. They respawn every few game days. This can be a good way to replenish your supply of alien power modules..
  • In the hall leading to the engineering core's lower floor there is a Chinese commando's hat.
  • 26 alien power cells can be found here in a box along with a Nuka-Cola Quantum and three turpentines. This crate appears near the alien workbench after exploring all of the rooms branching from the Engineering Core and destroying the generators or after performing the spacewalk.
  • 2 Nuka-Cola Quantums appear in a crate with a Nuka-Cola next to a generator and rusty tricycle after exploring all of the rooms branching from the Engineering Core and destroying the generators.
  • 1 mini nuke appears in the chair next to the workbench in the room that leads to the Decompression Chamber after exploring all of the rooms branching from the Engineering Core and destroying the generators.
  • 1 Nuka-grenade in a bucket, on the right side of a control panel, in the room leading towards the decompressing chamber.


  • Engineering core is an excellent place to store items worth keeping but that the player doesn't wish to always have in inventory, and is much safer than using abandoned houses in the Wasteland. Aliens do not steal items, so leaving unique weapons in cases or even on shelves comes with no risk of thievery. It has more than one bed and an alien workbench. This is useful after the This Galaxy Ain't Big Enough... quest is complete and the player is given control of (parts of) the ship. The ship is simply an alternative and only for aesthetic purposes.
  • Loot in the engineering core appears in stages, depending on how many generators the player has destroyed and how many side areas have been visited. Especially notable are the Buttercup toys, which only start to appear after two or more generators have been destroyed.
  • Some safe places to store loot in are:
  1. In the room with a makeshift bed. The footlocker on the far right when looking into space is a safe place to store items.
  2. The toolbox next to the alien workbench is safe.
  3. The alien container on the bottom floor of engineering furthest from the non-player characters. It is too far away for them to steal from during Among the Stars and a break in the upper level railing allows one to quickly drop down on top of it while unable to jump (encumbered).
  4. The overturned Nuka-Cola machine.
  • As you walk up the stairs above the bedding if you look down when you reach the top you can see a miniature drone holding a teddy bear.
  • Sitting on a box at the top of the stairs is a teddy bear holding a beer and wearing brass knuckles.
  • The open pit at the bottom of the engineering core makes an excellent largescale trashcan for the clutter that builds up in walkways after the generators are destroyed.


The engineering core only appears in the Fallout 3 add-on Mothership Zeta.


  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png A floating turpentine can be found in the room where the captives wait for you near the door at the bottom of the stairs. It is supposed to be on top of the generator that appears here later.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png The teleporters on this deck may stop working, while displaying the appearance of a fully active teleporter; attempts to activate them only result on a no interaction tone. This can be a fatal game glitch permanently trapping the player on the ship. As a precaution one should save on the bridge before returning to the engineering core.
  • When looking out the window in the room with the staircase at the sun and stars, the sun and stars will move at different rates with the shift in perspective. This is due to a badly made skybox, which is made up of individual meshes, rather than an actual background texture.