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The Vault is the facility you control as the overseer in Fallout Shelter. Numbered anywhere from 0 to 999, it is made up of a number of integrated rooms, and it is your job to ensure its growth and maximize productivity.
The Vault is built on a 20x25 grid, with one ground level and 24 subterranean levels below, each subterranean level contains 20 available spaces. Most rooms can built next to a horizontally adjacent room and take 2 spaces. The elevator is the only exception, as build vertically adjacent to itself and takes only one space.
In order to access lower levels an elevator must first be built. Starting from level 4, you can encounter rocks, which have to be blasted apart using caps before any construction can commence. The cost is determined by the depth: It starts at 50 caps per rock, with an additional 25 cap fee per level.
- Example: If you somehow find a rock at level 1, you have to pay 75 caps to destroy. A rock at level 5 would cost 175 caps to destroy, on the other hand.
The ground level contains the entrance, with a pre-placed Vault door (4 spaces), its entryway (2 spaces), and the pre-placed elevator (which can't be moved unless you destroy the entire Vault).
Removing rocks is generally something you only need to do when expanding the Vault. Save money and leave the poor silicates alone until you truly need the space.
Dwellers are vital to the survival of your Vault, as through them you are able to gather resources, fend off threats and based on their number new Room types unlock. Each new Vault starts with a Population of 2, depending on the number and level of living quarters you can subsequently increase that number up to 200.
There are three ways to get more Dwellers:
- Radio studio. You can increase the chance of new dwellers wandering to your Vault from the Wasteland, by building a radio studio and assigning dwellers to broadcast.
- Make them. Assign a male and female dweller to the living quarters. Given time dwellers will retreat to the back room and the female dweller will emerge pregnant. A period of time later the female dweller will give birth to a child dweller. Some time after that the child will grow up and can be treated like any other dweller. Note: the game keeps track of lineage, and relatives won't have children together.
- Lunchbox will award you a dweller when you open it, these dwellers usually arrive fully equipped with above average stats and may include Legendary Vault dwellers.
Beware as you get more dwellers, you'll need more clean water and food, and space. As you build more rooms to accommodate, you'll need more power. It is a balancing act, so before you start expanding your population, make sure you have the resources necessary to handle the increase.
Mister Handy was introduced on August 13, 2015. You can purchase them or get them on the lunchboxes. Mr. Handy does not count towards your 200 population limit. They roam around each floor back and fourth, therefore only 1 must be placed per floor.
Incidents can occur at random during your Overseeing of the Vault. Dwellers will react to incident in their assigned rooms, and you can send additional Dwellers to any room in trouble except children and pregnant women who will automatically run and hide when entering a room where an incident take place. Once the crisis is dealt with all assigned dwellers will gain some exp and return to their original occupation.
There are seven types of incidents that can occur:
- Raider attack, random event, a group of armed raiders will breaking down the vault door, attacking Dwellers and stealing resources. Once they break in they will wander around, working their way down your vault. Your resources will gradually deplete until your Dwellers have killed all the Raiders.
- You can station two Dwellers in the Vault Door room to defend against Raiders. Additionally, the Vault Door can be reinforced to delay the raiders awhile longer until an appropriate welcoming party of armed Dwellers can be arranged.
- Radroach Infestation. Radroaches borrow up from beneath the room's floor, forcing the dwellers to fight them. If not killed in short order they appear in they "spread" to other rooms. Can occur in rooms if Rushing fails.
- Fire. A room burst into flames and will be inoperative until the dwellers put the fire out. Fire can spread to adjacent rooms. Causes constant damage to dwellers putting it out. Can occur in rooms if Rushing fails.
- Mole Rats. They are similar to the Radroaches but inflict greater damage and deplete electricity by eating away electrical cables.
- Deathclaws. Most destructive incident. They are triggered by the opening and closing of the Vault door, such as when sending Dwellers into the Wasteland. They are also triggered by new construction due to seismic activity (a complete opposite of their referenced behavior). They do not stay in a con fined room like Raiders. They will inflict damage and continue roaming floor by floor causing havoc.
- Feral Ghoul attack, random event, a group of six Feral Ghouls Will break down the Vault door, and deal a lot of damage and radiation to your dwellers, quickly going trough your Vault, stealing resources.
- Radscorpion attack, just like mole rats they will start in rooms touching dirt, however instead of moving to rooms directly next to one another they will jump randomly throughout the vault. They are also even tougher and they deal a lot of both radiation and physical damage to your dwellers.
Raider parties and Radroaches will become stronger the further you progress in the game (The more rooms that you have built), equipping your Dwellers with Weapons will help fight them off.