The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
A typical human male
Ghouls (feral ghoul, glowing one)
Super mutants (Mariposa, Vault 87, Institute)
Ghost people
Marked men
Spore carriers
Other variations:

Humans (sometimes called "smoothskins" or "normals" by Ghouls and Super mutants) are members of the species Homo sapiens that have been more-or-less unaffected by radiation. In post-nuclear America, four major ethnic groups can be distinguished: African, Asian, Caucasian, and Hispanic.

All subspecies and subtypes are members of the Homo genus. Fertile mutants are considered subspecies. Infertile mutants cannot reproduce, therefore they are referred to as subtypes.


Despite the existence of various mutations, humans are still the most common humanoid creatures on Earth. Post-nuclear humans, as a direct result of the radiation and exposition to the F.E.V. of the West Tek Research Facility (that has mutated after the Great War due to radiation),[1] and some other biochemical agents released into the environment during and after the Great War, exhibit more diversity, primarily in genetic structure. The aforementioned factors have resulted in an increased rate of mutations in humans, although very few of these result in phenotypical changes. Most of these changes are non-lethal, non-damaging variations in the human DNA that simply increase the gene pool variety. Also, humans with minor mutations are still considered normal human, like additional toes, skin lesions due to TDC infection, permanent red eyes, permanent varicose veins or complete lack of hair.

All of these variations have been uniquely interpreted by the Enclave leadership as basis for claiming that the humans living outside the Enclave and isolated vaults are no longer pure, that they are, in fact, near-humans that pose a threat to the "pure" humanity living in the aforementioned locations. This theory, despite the claims of Dick Richardson and John Henry Eden has no basis in fact, as "pure" and "non-pure" humans are, for all intents and purposes, identical, outside minor genetic differences.

Also, humans are the only race to have been seen to be return to a primitive age, living like tribals, with their own beliefs, cultures and customs and sometimes with their own language. They also commonly bare tattoos as one of their traditions, often with a meaning.

Subspecies and subtypes


Subspecies are humans who a phenotype similar to normal humans and are capable of producing fertile offspring.

  • Human psyker, humans who possess a certain paranormal psychic power.
    • Beastlords, a group of humans who developed an ability to exert psychic control over animals.
  • Slags, humans whose physiology adapted to prolonged seclusion underground, possessing, for example, perfect dark-light vision but their eyes are sensitive to bright light. They have pale skin an enlarged pupils.[2][3]
  • Swampfolk, humans who have developed extreme deformities as a result of combined New Plague infection, inbreeding, and ionizing radiation.
  • Radiation immune humans, an adaptation of the human species from several centuries worth of radiation exposure. Most radiation immune humans likely do not realize they are immune to ionization (no radiation sickness or ghoulification) as they've been taught by others to avoid it at all costs, but those that have sometimes ascribe it to a divine blessing.[4] Others are scientifically studied[5] in order to cure or vaccinate against certain environmental conditions.


Subtypes are human mutants that have developed a substantially different phenotype, physiology, or genetic code. Due to the fact that organisms in this category cannot breed, they cannot be classified as species.

  • Ghost People: Humans mutated by constant exposure to The Cloud of the Sierra Madre, filtered through their hazmat suits. The resulting subtype enjoy heightened perception, agility, extreme longevity, fire immunity, virtual immortality and death possible only with limb amputation caused by these universal mutations. However, the drastic physiological changes have resulted in impairment of human cognition (although its degree remains unknown).
  • Ghoul: Humans with a unique genetic makeup that have evolved by heavy radiation poisoning which erodes their skin and greatly extends their life. They are sterile and immune to the lethal effects of radiation but not to its degenerative effects. Three other variations also exist:
    • Feral Ghoul: Ghouls without the regenerative ability of the neurological system that affords their longevity into the higher reasoning functions of the brain itself, causing them to lose their ability to reason and become hostile towards all non-Ghouls. Their body is also more skeletal than normal Ghouls and their eyes are completely white.
    • Glowing One: Ghouls who have absorbed an unusually high amount of radiation into their bloodstream and muscle tissue. Without their neurological systems filtering these particles from the blood and tissue, they become a luminescent yellow-green Ghoul - a living conduits of radiation. Notably, Glowing Ones have the ability to emit "blasts" of radiation from their bodies, with the radiation being potent enough to severely poison surrounding non-Ghouls and even "resurrect" recently deceased Feral Ghouls by reactivating their regenerative abilities. Some have lost their ability to reason, having the same skeletal body and eyes of Feral Ghouls, and can emit radiation even for a time after their death. Some other Glowing Ones have kept their mind and are physically similar to normal Ghouls.
    • Marked Man: Particular Ghouls that were skinned alive by the violent storms of the Divide and uniquely mutated into Ghouls by the intense radiation. The ghoulification kept them alive and in incredible pain from their wounds, to the point where such injuries and radiation would have even killed ordinary Ghouls. They are only kept alive by a combination of the radiation of the Divide (which now heals their particular forms) and their violent hatred towards all non-Ghouls, with them attacking all outsiders foolish enough to enter the region.
  • Scorched: Humans infected by the Scorched Plague via Scorchbeasts in Appalachia.
  • Super Mutant: Humans subjected to forced evolution via FEV-II or the EEP. They are much taller, bulkier and more muscular than humans, have mostly green, gray, or yellowish skin, are immune to disease and radiation, and are gifted with superhuman strength and endurance. Although they are completely sterile, the rapid regeneration of their cells caused by FEV makes them virtually biologically immortal (but not immune to death from injury). Three known variations exist:
    • Mariposa Super Mutant: Super Mutants that originated from the Mariposa Military Base in California, evolved via FEV-II. They generally have green skin - with the exception of a pale blue coloration for the Nightkin caste (due to prolonged use of Stealth Boys). They are more intelligent, more civilized, and retain better diction than both Vault 87 and Institute Super Mutants. Furthermore, the more a human is affected by radiation prior to FEV exposure, the more of a chance their transformation into a Super Mutant has to fail, therefore making them more likely to be brutal and less intelligent. Only a handful of them are more intelligent, stronger and overall superior to normal humans.
    • Vault 87 Super Mutant: Super Mutants that originated from Vault 87 in the Capital Wasteland, evolved via the EEP. They have yellowish skin and are more aggressive, less intelligent, and less well-spoken than both Mariposa and Institute Super Mutants. Also, their facial expression is permanently set in a sneer. Unlike Mariposa Super Mutants, their mutation never stops and they continue to evolve and grow slowly over time through stages, eventually up to 9 meters tall. Only two of them, Fawkes and Uncle Leo, are known to have kept their human sanity and intelligence.
    • Institute Super Mutant: Super Mutants that originated from the Institute in the Commonwealth, evolved via their own samples of the FEV. They have greenish skin akin to their Mariposa brethren, and have a more "thuggish" facial design rather than a permanent sneer. They possess the imposing musculature, resilience, and aggression of the Vault 87 subtype, but have intelligence and strategic planning skills on par with the dumber examples of the Mariposa subtype. Just like the Vault 87 subtype, their mutation never stops, with the eldest of them eventually transforming into hulking and mindless Behemoths. Only one Institute Super Mutant has been known to keep their original human personality and sanity - Brian Virgil. However, two other Institute Super Mutants have shown the ability to develop human-level intelligence and sanity on their own - Strong and Erickson.
  • Spore Carrier: Humans who have entered the terminal stage of an entomopathogenic fungus called Beauveria Mordicana (which was developed to colonize the bodies of common pests). Once it has fully colonized a host body, the host technically dies, but the body continues to move by means of the fungal colonies within it. In this manner the fungus moves amongst more of its prey, occasionally spraying spores in a radius around the host body, infecting all who come near it. Its drawbacks include the time it takes to kill prey (10–20 days) and its limited effectiveness when dealing with unsocial pests.
  • Trog: Humans who have entered the terminal stage of the Troglodyte Degeneration Contagion. This contagion devolves humans into primitive predators with gangly arms and hairless skin. These savage beasts have overrun the steel yard in The Pitt.

Other variations

There also exist variations of humans that have a (substantially) different phenotype, but as a result of either natural (prenatal genetic factors, degenerative illnesses) or artificial causes (pharmacological experiments, surgery). The difference between a subtype and a variation in this category is that members of the latter are still genetically humans and can (technically) procreate.

  • Dwarf, humans with dwarfism resulting from a particular medical condition or radiation, that have drastically reduced their stature.
  • Lobotomite, humans who were surgically-altered with the Big MT medical experiments, turning them into mindless savages. Their brains have been replaced with advanced Tesla coils, allowing them to perform simple tasks (use doors, walk), fight hand-to-hand, use firearms, have a better chem addiction resistance and shock from bodily damage, but they are unable to talk (the only noises that they make are short grunts) or have a normal conscience. It also appears that the Tesla coils allows them to have a relatively long life, since a lobotomite called Test Subject 1, probably the first lobotomite created in Big MT, is still alive in 2281.

Gameplay relevance

In Fallout, Fallout 2, Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76 the player can only play as a human character. Fallout Tactics allowed the player to control other races (see Fallout Tactics races), even though the player could only start as a human and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel is the only Fallout game allowing to play a ghoul as a principal player character.

Fallout, Fallout 2 and Fallout: Tactics

In the SPECIAL character system, humans have 40 Character Points to divide between their Primary Statistics.

Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas

Human non-player characters suffer extra damage from headshots both in V.A.T.S., and in free fire mode. They prioritize their targets according to the weapons they carry. Any grenades the non-player characters carry can be detonated with a well placed shot.

Shooting the enemy's weapons is a very effective way of disarming humanoids, as the weapons they carry are often of inferior quality requiring only a few shots, and their hand to hand damage is negligible. This does not apply to enemies using Unarmed weapons.

Fallout Online

PV13.pngThe following is based on Project V13 and has not been confirmed by canon sources.

Humans are due to appear in Fallout Online though details are limited information to their racial abilites and traits will be as of yet.


  • The derogatory term "smoothskin" sometimes employed by some ghouls about regular human come to the fact that they have less ravaged outward appearance than them, and humorously coming that their skin is smooth and tasty.



  1. The Vault Dweller:"{188}{}{Why am I a prime human ?}"
    Lieutenant: "{194}{LIEUT30}{The FEV was mutated by the war radiation. Those living in this desolate wasteland have been exposed to this mutant FEV, essentially inoculating them from the full effects.}"
    The Vault Dweller: "{195}{}{So?}"
    Lieutenant: "{197}{LIEUT31}{So, you're from a Vault and have limited exposure to this mutated virus. The original FEV in the Vats should work quite well on you.}"
  2. The Chosen One: "{177}{}{Why don’t you send one of your own people to deliver the message?}"
    Vegeir: "{194}{}{Since the Sealing, we, as a people, have changed. Few can bear to be on the surface because they are not used to having a black sea of nothingness above them. The sensation of falling upward is so great for them that they lie frozen, clutching the ground. But that is not the main reason. All of us cannot stand the bright light of that which you call the sun; living underground for so long has made our eyes too sensitive to light. We cannot travel far from the safety of our homes beneath the ground.}"
  3. Protector: "{150}{}{Besides the pale skin and enlarged pupils, he looks to be an ordinary person.}"
  4. Sole Survivor: "I mean, it's his choice, right? Who are we to stop him?"
    Ware: "That's easy to say, but... Look, me and Devin, we weren't born with Atom's blessing like everyone else around here. Rads, they hurt us."
    (Ware's dialogue)
  5. Haven terminals#Cure Research