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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
Sierra Army Depot
Visitor Welcome Sign, Sierra Army Depot, California (circa 2242)
Map MarkerSierra Army Depot
Level 1 (personnel)
Level 2 (storage)
Level 3 (robotics)
Level 4 (bio storage and research)
FactionsUnited States Army (pre-War)
LeadersGeneral Clifton (pre-War)
Skynet (2077-2241)
QuestsFind a way into the Sierra Army Base.
TerminalsSecurity checkpoint 1
Security systems level 1
Security systems level 2
Munitions access terminal
Automated repair station
Security systems level 3
Skynet main interface terminal
Robobrain control terminal
Security systems level 4
Organ extraction unit
Bio storage control terminal

Hope you got hip waders... we're about to walk into some heavy shit.


No spirit guides these lands.


The Sierra Army Depot VI[1] is located northwest of the city of New Reno, approximately two to three days' hike from the city. Its existence is largely forgotten by many of the residents of the wastes, and may have remained lost were it not for its accidental rediscovery by a group of explorers. These explorers then reported its location to the Wright Family in New Reno in 2241.

History of Sierra Army Depot

The Early Years (1942-1991)

Constructed in 1942, at the height of World War II, Sierra Army Depot (SAD) was intended to be a storehouse of defensive ordnance. This weaponry would be used to defend the United States should Japan make a daring attack on the west coast. SAD was meant to work in concert with nearby military installations and units to ensure adequate, unbroken supply lines in the event of an invasion.[2]

The Cleaner, Greener Military (1992-2050)

Caught in the wave of military downsizing and ordnance disposal, Sierra Army Depot was repurposed in 1992, and was set to the task of decommissioning outdated or otherwise unacceptable ordnance in an environmentally friendly manner. SAD fell under the control of the US Army's Industrial Operations Command (IOC) for this mission, and its activities were overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[2] SAD continued to function in this capacity for fifty-eight years, until military minds changed once again.

A Brave New War (2050-2076)

In 2050, the military, recognizing the need for improved equipment and weapons, refitted and renovated Sierra Army Depot from a munitions base into a state-of-the-art research facility. That's when the place started getting creepy. It became a classified facility for robotic research and development, as well as biological and conventional weapon programs and testing. Its activities were classified, and a Level 5 military clearance was required even to enter the base perimeter.[3]

Scientists were free to conduct their research programs without outside interference. Research into robotic yielded its first fruit very soon: Skynet was the first intelligence conceived in the depot, the same year as the switch in priorities (2050). It did not gain self-awareness until 2075, when it began to rapidly develop a cybernetic brain with the aim of attaining mobility.[3] With the collapse of the United Nations in 2052, weapons inspections ceased to be a concern. The military embraced this new freedom and began funding a biowarfare development branch in SAD.

In conjunction with its biological weapons and drug research, the Depot was home to illegal experimentation conducted on prisoners of war, military prisoners, and United States military deserters in order to find ways for enhancing intelligence and fighting skills. This research effort and chemical cocktails used during this time were entirely separate from the FEV research program. Many of the brains extracted at Sierra Army Depot wound up in robobrains. Prisoners and soldiers were often kept in stasis, to keep them fresh for medical and testing purposes.[3]

In Business for Itself (2077)

As the war with the Chinese entered its eleventh year, the combined United States and Canadian militaries were beginning to suffer from a lack of trained personnel. Sierra Army Depot, so far from the front lines, was seen as a waste of human resources; its trained logistics, research, and military personnel could be better utilized in other facilities, or at the front. Thus, in 2077, SAD again changed missions.[2]

The Sierra Army Depot was given less than one year to move its inventory into storage and properly secure itself. The rushed pace of the preparations led to accidents. Even the base Commanding Officer, General Clifton, was injured alongside one of his subordinates while securing the base. As Corporal Dixon armed an attack mine on SAD's surface level, the mine prematurely detonated. Both men received severe shrapnel wounds, and both the corporal and the general suffered grievously damaged eyes. Although the medical staff was optimistic that allowing the eyes to regenerate in Bio med gel, an experimental pharmaceutical preparation developed by the researchers at SAD, so hasty was the evacuation that the eyes were left behind.

Much of the equipment stored at SAD was left in place, and automated defenses were established to keep the military property safe. Automatic turrets armed with miniguns were erected around the perimeter, programmed to kill intruders on sight. Mines were planted in strategic locations above ground to deter looters who might somehow bypass or overcome the turret-based defenses. Skynet was copied, creating a second AI, tasked with overseeing the defense of the perimeter until the return of the Army.[3]

By October 23, 2077, Sierra Army Depot was evacuated. The base staff sealed the front blast doors, armed the turrets, and cleared the perimeter. Sierra Army Depot was left forgotten and alone for one hundred and sixty-four years, Skynet sitting in the darkness ever since, illuminated by tiny blinking red diodes and the whirring of magnetic tape reels.[3]

Rediscovery (2241)

In 2241 Sam Pritchard stumbled across Sierra Army Depot and reported his find to Orville Wright. Shortly after drawing Wright a map to Sierra Army Depot, Pritchard died under suspicious circumstances and was interred in Golgotha. Wright sent some people to Sierra Army Depot, but without success. The Chosen One, after solving the problem with Richard Wright's overdose, undertook this task. He opened a base and acquired a body for Skynet to download itself into. AI has joined to the tribal journey.[4] The current fate of the base is unknown.

Wright's job to open and loot Sierra Army Depot is a dangerous proposition. The perimeter is guarded by a number of defensive turrets, each armed with a pair of miniguns. Managing to fight or sneak past these turrets brings one to another problem: the blast door. After being sealed for 164 years, the doors will never open again - at least not as intended. The only way to open the doors is to blow them apart. Using a howitzer locked in a topside storage shed and locating its ammunition is the only way to open the base.

Inside, Sierra Army Depot's security is still working, despite the nearly two centuries that have passed. The interior of the base crawls with floating eyebots and sentry robots, and none are pleasantly-disposed to intruders. Finding a way to bypass or deactivate these robots should be an intruder's first priority. Transportation between Sierra's four levels is accomplished via elevator, but these elevators are security-locked by a retinal scanner.

If someone is able to penetrate Sierra Army Depot's perimeter and circumvent its substantial security setup, a cornucopia of destructive devices waits for the taking. Firearms of almost all descriptions are stored in SAD's vaults, along with mountains of ammunition. Medical supplies and other goods are also kept in storage lockers and safes.


Sierra Army Depot is broken up into four levels, plus its exterior.


F02 SAD Outside.png

The surface facilities of the Sierra Army Depot are extensive, and the base itself well protected. Automated sentry turrets maintain the perimeter, secured behind a double chain link fence. Topside hangars and warehouses store ordnance and equipment left from before the war, that couldn't be taken by the evacuating soldiers with them, much of it decayed and corroded.

The main entrance visited in Fallout 2, apart from the structure leading to the underground sections of the base, also had an explosive munitions storage next to it (identical design to the Lost Hills exterior shell), the base's power generators, a maintenance depot and, of course, several automated gun turrets.

Level 1, Personnel

Fo2 Sierra Army Depot Living Quarters.png

The first level of the base, at ground level, houses personnel facilities. Entry-point security controls the single entry into the base, while the rest of the level holds barracks (still well stocked and quite possibly the first set of combat armor the Chosen One finds), a gym with two punching bags that both grant +5% to your Unarmed skill, and the infirmary with some medical supplies.

Loot in Sierra Army Depot Personnel

Entry checkpoint:



Level 2, Storage

Fo2 Sierra Army Depot Robotic Repair Bay and Storerooms.png

The primary storage warehouse of Sierra Army Depot, Level 2 is half-filled with boxes. This level contains the bulk of the Depot's stores, as well as the quartermaster's offices. Level 2 is also home to the armory, a high-security vault protected by force fields, shock-plate floors, and a small army of security robots.

Loot in Sierra Army Depot Storage


High security armory:

Armory control room:

Security checkpoint:

Level 3, Robotics

Fo2 Sierra Army Depot Computer Core and Command.png

One of two maximum-security levels, Level 3 is home to the robotics division, as well as the base AI, Skynet. An experimental robotics lab is on this level, and it still holds a half-completed robobrain. Level 3 also holds the base CO's quarters.

Loot in Sierra Army Depot Command Center

Security checkpoint:

Robotics lab:

CO Quarters:

CO's Office:

Level 4, Bio Storage and Research

Fo2 Sierra Army Depot Medical Research.png

The deepest level of Sierra Army Depot, and also the one under the highest security restrictions, holds the biological research facilities and their associated storage systems. Little more than a series of prison cells adjacent to a surgical suite and a cryogenics storage facility, Bio Storage holds Sierra Army Depot's most sinister secrets.

What's kept in cryogenic suspension? Brains and other body parts (most long since turned to soup), Private Dobbs (an experiment in the biorestorative properties of the bio med gel) and viruses: Anthrax, Black Plague (Strain 238), Small Pox (Strain 1025), Ebola and the Hantavirus (Strain 304).

Loot in Sierra Army Depot Biostorage

Security Checkpoint:

Destroyed Prison Cell:

Genius Experiment Cell:

Lecter's Office:


  • It seems that there are more Sierra Army Depots because the entrance of the building denotes this particular facility as Sierra Army Depot VI (6).
  • The bots at the bottom left of Level 2 do not react when attacked or when a combat starts. Attacking one of them will make the player enter combat mode until the last of the non-active robots is destroyed, but without any of them fighting or moving. The player still gain XP by killing them, as with normal bots, but they can't be disabled using repair. The only exception is a sentry bot with 120 HP (the non-active sentry bots have only 100 HP), wich will engage combat when attacked and warn the other robots of the level.


Sierra Army Depot appears only in Fallout 2.

Behind the scenes

There is a real Sierra Army Depot that exists in northeastern California, just west of the Nevada border, in Herlong, California and was established in 1942, which is possibly the time when the Fallout universe diverged from our own. It is a supply (ammunition and food supplies) and logistics base (the equipment to get them to the soldiers).


  • PCIcon pc.png It is possible to get stuck on Level 4 of the base. The retina scanner on the elevator won't work when you use the eye on it, despite the message "Access granted for Level 4". The elevator door simply doesn't open. The only solution is to pick the lock on the other metal door that leads to the second elevator, but unfortunately this requires a very high skill in Lockpick. If all else fails, you can use a save game editor to temporarily increase your Lockpick skill.
  • PCIcon pc.png There is an script error on the first level of S.A.D. which makes the player be tagged as having RadAway addiction. To prevent this from happening, simply do not use the security terminal near the central elevator.

External links


  1. Sign on the building
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Sierra mission statement
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 Fallout Bible 6: "X. I've read all the updates and still I'm curious about one thing. Why the Sierra Army Depot is not mentioned at all? I think the Sierra Army Depot is not an insignificant part of the game's plot. Just on the contrary I believe that it has something to do with the F.E.V. experiments or with development of futuristic weapons and armor. It doesn't look like it's just a weapons storage facility. Otherwise why was it inserted into the game if it has no particular reason?(or a place where one can find some stuff to sell and gain an NPC(probably one of the best)) So my question is: What is the role of the Sierra Army Depot in Fallout and what it has to do with the F.E.V. experiments and weaponry development or maybe some kind of an artificial intelligence development?"
    "First of all, the Sierra Army Depot was intended to be a bonus location for the game, just a place to adventure that wasn't tied to the main plot (kind of like the EPA, Abbey, and the Primitive Village were supposed to be), except it made it in (as did Modoc, New Reno, and to an extent, the Military Base, which, while it helps support the plot, isn't critical path)."
    "The Sierra Army Depot was used for the following (primarily taken from Sierra Mission Statement Holodisk):"
    "1. From 1942 - 1991, it was responsible for storing various military munitions. This is true."
    "2. From 1992 - 2050, it was responsible for disposing much of the obsolete munitions in storage. This is true."
    "3. From 2050 - 2076 is when the place started getting creepy. It became a classified facility for robotic research and development, and biological and conventional weapon testing. Skynet (constructed primarily for research purposes) went on line in 2050, and it is possible that the intelligence arranged all of this, but unlikely."
    "Again, Skynet is not its real name."
    "Robotic Research: Skynet is the first machine intelligence to be developed in the Depot, and it was conceived in 2050 (it didn't actually become aware until 2075, and it really started cranking on developing a cybernetic brain to help it gain mobility). In July of 2077, Skynet was "copied," creating two versions, one to run the defenses and the other one to sit in the lab and wait for the researchers to come back and help it finish the fucking cybernetic brain it had spent so long developing."
    "BTW, the dates that Skynet lists for its awareness and "final instructions" in Fallout 2 are incorrect. It became self-aware in 2075, and it was abandoned sometime in late July to early October in 2077. It is believed that the dates and other numerical data within the facility may be suffering from some damage or numeric decay in the base's internal clock."

    "Biological Research: In addition to biological weapons and drug testing, the Sierra Army Depot performed many illegal experimentations on prisoners of war and military prisoners (especially U.S. military prisoners and deserters – the ones that weren't used to "stock" robobrains, however), attempting to enhance their intelligence and fighting skills, but the chemical cocktails that the Sierra Depot crew were feeding their subjects had nothing to do with the FEV research taking place in West Tek and the Mariposa facility. Many of the brains extracted in the Sierra Army Depot found their way into Robobrains throughout the U.S. military."
    "Furthermore, the Sierra Army Depot kept many prisoners and soldiers in stasis, most likely for medical or testing purposes (such as Private Dobbs)."
    "4. 2077 is when Skynet was made into a "multiple personality" in order to oversee defense of the Sierra Depot as General Clifton and his command pulled out of the base. It has been sitting there in the darkness ever since, illuminated by tiny blinking red diodes and the whirring of magnetic tape reels."

  4. Fallout Bible 6