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For the unique legendary weapon in Fallout 76, see Sole Survivor.
The Sole Survivor
Sole Survivor Dogmeat E3.png
The Sole Survivor, overlooking Boston with Dogmeat
Biography and appearance
GenderPlayer's Choice
RolePlayer character
FamilyNate or Nora (spouse, deceased)
Shaun (son, deceased)
Base ID00000007Ref ID00000014
ActorBrian Delaney (male)[1]
Courtenay Taylor (female)[2]

The Sole Survivor is the conjectural name of the player character in Fallout 4. The player takes on the role of either a male or female protagonist, married to Nora or Nate respectively.


Life in Sanctuary Hills

Before the Great War, the Sole Survivor lived the "American Dream" with their spouse, newborn son Shaun and butler-robot Codsworth in the suburban neighborhood of Sanctuary Hills outside of Concord. Nate is a veteran of the Anchorage Campaign (2nd Battalion, 108th Infantry Regiment),[3] while Nora is a trained lawyer.[4]

Vault 111

On October 23, 2077, the family was spending a quiet Saturday morning at home, when they were visited by a Vault-Tec representative who approved them for admittance into Vault 111. Shortly afterwards, the family's day was interrupted by a news bulletin warning of an impending nuclear attack, followed by air raid sirens. They ran and sought shelter in Vault 111 with their family and made it to the Vault's blast door, along with other residents, as the bombs fell and a nuclear warhead detonated further into the city.[5]

They and their family were ushered into the Vault, and duped into being cryogenically frozen without their knowledge as part of the Vault's experiment. In 2227, the Survivor was briefly awoken from their cryosleep, only to have their spouse killed by a mysterious man and their son abducted and taken out into the wasteland, before being refrozen.[5] The life support systems for all the other experiment subjects were left deactivated, leaving the dwellers to suffocate within their cryo pods while the Vault-Tec staff was already dead due to a security mutiny over the overseer in 2078.[6]

Escape into the Commonwealth

In 2287, the cryo pod malfunctioned, releasing them after more than two centuries. They were now the Sole Survivor of Vault 111; with nothing else for them within the Vault, they escaped into the blinding sunlight above ground, returning to their old neighborhood of Sanctuary Hills in search of their son. They were reunited with Codsworth who, after bumbling around the neighborhood in search of the infant son, suggested the Sole Survivor investigate the town of Concord.[7] While there, the Sole Survivor found a group of settlers led by Commonwealth Minuteman Preston Garvey, under attack from Gristle's raiders.

The Survivor helped repel the attack and learned from one of the settlers, Mama Murphy, that their son was alive and well, but she could not go into further detail, urging the Sole Survivor to head to the Great Green Jewel of the Commonwealth, Diamond City. After a treacherous journey to the center of the Commonwealth, they met Piper Wright, newspaper publisher extraordinaire, who clued them in to Valentine Detective Agency in the city.[8] Unfortunately, the namesake detective Nick Valentine had gone missing. In order to employ the detective's help, they had to track him down to Vault 114 where Valentine was being held hostage by Skinny Malone's and his gangsters from Goodneighbor. After rescuing Nick, they both returned to Diamond City to get down to brass tacks.[9]

Tracking the missing son

After a few questions, Valentine deduced that a man named Kellogg fit the bill for kidnapping, and the two investigated his house in the city. When only a few more clues turned up, the Sole Survivor enlisted the help of Dogmeat to track down Kellogg. Dogmeat was successful, bringing the Survivor to Fort Hagen where they were forced to murder Kellogg and his entourage of synths before learning much more about Shaun's whereabouts.[10]

Fortunately, before he died, Kellogg has been kept alive for over a hundred years by a myriad of synthetic implants, allowing Nick Valentine to be implanted with Kellogg's artificial brain and relive the man's memories in the Memory Den. This allowed Valentine and the Sole Survivor to discover a way into the mysterious Institute via teleportation.[11]

From here, the Sole Survivor had to decide who would help them access the Institute and find their son: the antithetical Railroad, the technology-controlling Brotherhood of Steel, or the network of Commonwealth Minutemen. Regardless of who helped them, the Sole Survivor was teleported into the heart of the Institute, and reunited with their son... although he was now old, grey, and dying, having weathered sixty years since he was kidnapped from Vault 111.[12]


After discovering the fate of their son, the choices the Sole Survivor made remain a mystery, but it is certain that the Survivor had a vast affect on the region. They saved the Commonwealth from the robotic rampage of The Mechanist;[13] they tracked a young woman up to Mount Desert Island, Maine and influenced the vicious rivalry between the coastal town of Far Harbor, the Children of Atom and a refuge for synths;[14] they uncovered an unfinished vault near Quincy and opened it to the wasteland and all of its denizens;[15] they became the Overboss of Nuka-World and revitalized the theme park.[16]

Regardless of whether the Sole Survivor chose to redefine humanity with the help of the Institute; save the people of the Commonwealth from themselves with the help of the Brotherhood; ensure synths were free from servitude and wastelanders free of kidnapping with the Railroad; or connected the entire Commonwealth with the Minutemen, one thing is for sure: the fate of Commonwealth was forever changed by a vault dweller and a small handful of wastelanders.


  • The Sole Survivor holds a number of firsts for the series:
    • First fully-voiced protagonist. Ironically, this makes them the quietest protagonist of the series.
    • First protagonist to have been alive before the Great War, making them the oldest protagonist in the series.
    • First protagonist where both the male and female versions exist at the same time.
    • First protagonist to have different character histories based on their gender: the male Sole Survivor is a military veteran, while the female Sole Survivor is a lawyer.
    • First protagonist to have a significant other in the context of their backstory.


The Sole Survivor appears only in Fallout 4.



  1. Brian Delaney Twitter
  2. Courtenay Taylor Twitter
  3. Lookout: "Scanning. Scanning. Accessing pre-war records. Record found. 108th Infantry Regiment. Second Battalion. Ahoy there. 'Tis Providence a member of the Congressional Army is delivered to us in our hour of need."
    (Lookout's dialogue)
    Note: only if the player character is a male Sole Survivor.
  4. Lookout: "Scanning. Scanning. Accessing pre-war records. Record found. Driver's License S91328862. Lawyer. Ahoy there, citizen. You are hereby conscripted into the Congressional Army."
    The Sole Survivor: "You're doing what? You don't have the authority to do that."
    Lookout: "We are in desperate times, madame. Proclomation 22 allows all crew members to conscript citizens for the war effort. The captain requests your presence on the bridge. At the double quick, madame."
    (Lookout's dialogue)
    Note: only if the player character is a female Sole Survivor.
  5. 5.0 5.1 War Never Changes
  6. Vault 111 terminals, Overseer's Log, Mutiny
  7. Out of Time
  8. Jewel of the Commonwealth
  9. Unlikely Valentine
  10. Reunions
  11. Dangerous Minds
  12. Institutionalized
  13. Automatron
  14. Far Harbor
  15. Vault-Tec Workshop
  16. Nuka-World