The Vault - Fallout Wiki

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The Vault - Fallout Wiki
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Vault 19
FNV Vault 19 Door.png
Icon vault.png
Vault 19 loc.jpg
Map MarkerVault 19
FactionsPowder Gangers
LeadersPhilip Lem and Samuel Cooke
QuestsWhy Can't We Be Friends?
Cell NameVault19a (1st floor)
Vault19b (living quarters)
Vault19c (sulfur cave)
ref id0013bc26 (1st floor)
0013bc27 (living quarters)
0013bc28 (sulfur cave)
TerminalsVault 19 terminals

Vault 19 is one of the Vaults constructed by the Vault-Tec Corporation in the Mojave Wasteland. By 2281, the Vault has been abandoned by its original inhabitants, and is currently occupied by Powder Gangers founder Samuel Cooke and his escaped convict followers.


The inhabitants of Vault 19 were segregated into two different colored sectors, red and blue, with limited contact between them. Vault 19 was unique in that it had two overseers, one for the Red Sector, one for the Blue Sector.[1]

The main purpose of the vault's experiment was to induce paranoia through non-chemical and non-violent means.[2] Subliminal messaging may have been a factor, as a child states on his terminal that he was hearing high-pitched noises, and so were his friends.[3] Many journal entries indicate levels of paranoia, blaming the other faction for vault malfunctions, and the doctor for drugging them.[4] There were also notes hearing noises,[5] feeling unusual drafts of air from vents,[6] and seeing the lights blinking patterns like some sort of code.[7] Both factions blamed this on the other, unaware that the true culprits were the overseers, at the direction of Vault-Tec. Some inhabitants suspected that the doctor may also have been involved. Patient notes in the clinic indicated that many patients experiencing psychosis or aggression, but the notes give no indication that the doctor is aware of the cause.[8][4][9][10]

The vault inhabitants' fate is unknown. In all likelihood, the paranoia caused them to turn on each other, the water filtration malfunction poisoned them, and/or fire geckos breaking through from the sulfur caves may have destroyed them all. In any case, when the convicts who escaped from the NCR Correctional Facility led by Samuel Cooke discovered the vault, it was completely abandoned.[1]


This vault is located in an abandoned parking lot on a road between Bonnie Springs and Whittaker Farmstead, northeast of Goodsprings. The entrance is concealed by a sewer grate inside the parking lot attendant’s booth. There is an alternate entrance directly into the sulfur caves northwest of Whitaker Farmstead.

The top floor is mostly intact but most of the lower levels have been cut off by collapsed corridors.

Main area

A ladder leads down from the sewer grate into a small room containing the vault door and its control panel. Passing through the main entrance into a hallway, to the left and right of the entrance are the two overseers’ offices. On the left from the entrance is the cafeteria, where many escaped convicts sit idly. There is a first aid box under the counter, a Nuka-Cola vending machine and a Sunset Sarsaparilla vending machine in a corner. Continuing through the cafeteria into the hallway, one will find two restrooms, both with first aid boxes on the wall near the sinks, and the clinic. The clinic has a waiting room and an examination room with a large supply of chems and surgical instruments, two doctor's bags, and a copy of Today's Physician.

Also note that there are 5 patient logs in the clinic: two under the desk in the examination room, one on top of that desk, one in the east corner of the room beneath the shelving unit, and one on the western wall, behind the privacy screen and underneath the medical trolley.

Blue sector living quarters

This can be accessed with a blue sector keycard, which Philip Lem will give to the player if he/she offers to help him. You can also find a blue sector keycard near a terminal in a room inside the red sector. Alternatively, one may wait for one of the convicts to open the door, and take a keycard from a desk in one of the rooms. The blue sector keycard can also be pick-pocketed from Philip Lem if there is no other alternative. This sector is a horseshoe shaped hallway with many rooms on the sides occupied by convicts. A great deal of bottle caps and Vault 19 jumpsuits can be found in the dressers. At the end of the hallway is the elevator to the fire gecko infested common areas.

Red sector living quarters

This section can only be accessed with a red sector keycard, which will be given to the player when he/she offers to help Samuel Cooke (Note that this will not affect Philip Lem or vice versa, it only opens up a new objective.). This is a small "L" shaped hallway, and is much smaller than the blue sector, with similar loot in the dressers and lockers.

Common Areas

This area can be accessed through elevators in either the red or blue sectors, or through the sulfur caves.

Blue sector

Assuming that the Courier comes down from blue sector, the room on the left in the collapsed hallway opens onto an apartment with a large hole in the ceiling and one or more fire geckos. Further down the elevator hall is a small room with double beds, a floor safe, two dressers and a single Vault 19 jumpsuit on one of the dressers. Strangely, this jumpsuit will not disappear when picked up. This room also has a Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap on the desk near the terminal. Finally here is a large room with many beds and lockers at the end of the hallway. The atrium must be opened with a blue sector keycard. The atrium itself contains more fire geckos and the entrance to the sulfur caves on the floor. The upper level can be reached by crouching under the doorway, but there is little of value there. There is one first aid box behind the bar.

Stairs lead up from the room to an upper deck, but there is little to discover here.

Red sector

This area is also reached by an elevator. It is smaller than the blue sector, with only one collapsed room and the elevator. This is guarded by one fire gecko. The hallway leads to the shared atrium where the sulfur cave entrance is found.

Sulfur caves

This level of the vault is the most damaged by far, and is comprised mainly of yellow caves made entirely of sulfur, and the vault's operations, reactor, and utility rooms. It is also infested with many fire geckos and nightstalkers.

The cave itself is separate from the vault. Entering the cave will take you into the vault’s operations room. In order to block off the sulfur caves for Lem’s optional part of the quest Why Can't We Be Friends?, follow the path to the right into a large cave. To the left is a large yellow rock formation peppered with lumps of gray rock. This is the "Microcline Rock". If you activate it, you will see that it contains enough potassium to create an explosion large enough to block the caves or destroy the vault.

Beyond this cave is a larger cave with access via a staircase back into the operations center of the vault. There is also a ladder to the Mojave Wasteland, which will bring you outside northwest of the Whittaker farmstead.

Following the staircase leads to a common room with more vending machines. Exiting this room and going down the stairs will bring you to a utility room. Going left will take you past another entrance to the operations room. Past the blocked reactor entrance is the systems room, which has no loot whatsoever, but may contain a fire gecko. If you exit the common room and go right (north) there is a short passage which leads to a hard locked elevator leading to a tunnel beneath the desk in the overseer's office where Lem is located. The password to this computer may be gained from the terminal in the office itself, or it can be hacked with an average Science skill.


Notable loot

  • First aid boxes are plentiful in this vault. Medical supplies include 3 doctor's bags and some stimpaks (two on the top floor in the clinic, one down in the first floor living quarters main room in a first aid box behind a serving/bar area).
  • Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap in the abandoned living quarters of the blue sector, next to a terminal inside the second dorm on a desk.
  • Almost every dresser in this vault contains at least 10 bottle caps.
  • There is a Programmer's Digest under the desk with the terminal in the first room on the left after entering the Blue Sector and another in the clinic on the desk.
  • In the clinic there is a Today's Physician on the desk next to the destroyed computer.
  • Tortiseshell glassesQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png, the only pair in the game, worn by Philip Lem, although sometimes these may be replaced by regular sunglasses.
  • There are four C-4 plastic explosives in this vault: one between filing cabinets in the clinic, one located between two vending machines in the cafeteria, one outside the underground entrance to the overseer's office near the doorway with the firehose box, one located under a couch in the Blue Sector living quarters.
  • In the Living Quarters, over a bed on a shelf, are 3 boxes of gumdrops (a fairly rare consumable, and necessary for making mushroom cloud).

Related quests


  • Samuel Cooke's men are labeled as escaped convicts, rather than Powder Gangers. They do not wear Powder Ganger apparel and are not considered part of that faction.
  • The keycards can be found on almost any table in either sector next to a terminal.
  • If you fail the quest Why Can't We Be Friends by killing Papa Khan, all the occupants of this vault will become hostile.
  • The utility door that serves as the elevator to Philip Lem's overseer's office is too small for the frame in the Sulfur Caves, and one can see slivers of untextured exterior around the sides of it.
  • On the desk in the room where the Sunset Sarsaparilla star bottle cap is found, there is terminal with a log entry about the bottle cap. The writer thinks he's going insane: he sees a star on the bottle cap and states that "no matter how long he closes his eyes it doesn't go away".
  • It is not made clear when the original inhabitants of Vault 19 left the vault.
  • Companions can become easily cut off from the player when exploring the vault as the doors that require keys will close after you travel through them, making it difficult for the companion to continue following you.
  • Companions cannot open the doors requiring keycards, despite there being several keycards among the escaped convicts if they have been killed.


Vault 19 appears only in Fallout: New Vegas.

Behind the scenes

  • Vault 19 was designed by Sydney Wolfram.
  • Wolfram originally intended for the vault's social experiment to involve both factions tearing each other apart through non-violent means, like paranoia and manipulation. She admits this got a little away from that in the end.[11]


  • When entering the vault through the overseer’s office, it is possible that any companions you have with you may be unable to follow you up the stairs into the actual office.
  • It is possible to become stuck between the generator and the railing if trying to walk along the rails next to the vault door.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png When the vault door is opening you can walk through it even if not open.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Sometimes, the floor safe in the blue section of the living quarters may not appear. However, you may still open it. The safe will reappear after opening it.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png In the cafeteria, there may be an escaped convict floating in a sitting position eating food, which is also floating, next to a booth.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png Sometimes when firing the missile launcher in the vaults main area, all convicts might disappear, making the quest Why Can't We Be Friends? impossible to complete.
  • PCIcon pc.png Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png A Vault 19 jumpsuit found on top of a dresser in the last room on the second floor of the Blue Sector, when looted, will not disappear. You will have the item in your inventory, and it will make the picking up sound, but the item appears to be still on the dresser. It cannot be looted again. This is unresolved as of the 1.07 patch.
  • PlayStation 3Icon ps3.png When killing all the geckos before Cooke gives you the quest, you can't retrieve the red access card.
  • Xbox 360Icon xbox360.png Sometimes, the proper speech dialogue with Lem does not occur, leaving the Courier no other option but to obtain the blue key card by other means (i.e., pick-pocketing Lem, waiting for another resident to open their room door, etc.)



  1. 1.0 1.1 Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition p.299-300: "[1.21] Vault 19
    Vault 19's "social experiment" involved the segregation of the dwellers into two different colored sections, with minimal contact. After the sulfur from the cave system beneath the vault unexpectedly began to leak through the ventilation system, a sense of paranoia grew, and the place became abandoned, although records are pretty sketchy. The vault has two entrances: via a parking lot, or the caves themselves [1.S27]. The Great Khans avoided the place (as historically, they haven't had the best of times squatting in vaults) as they moved north. No other group has been aggressive enough to attempt to displace the Fire Geckos from the vault. Powder Gangers, searching for a place to turn into a base, explored the upper floor of Vault 19 and found that it was "mostly clear." Now they wait, with a fragmented leadership."
    (Fallout: New Vegas Official Game Guide Collector's Edition Tour of the Mojave Wasteland)
  2. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, -data corrupted-
  3. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, My Journal: Entry 74
  4. 4.0 4.1 Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Log #481
  5. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Diary Entry #86
  6. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Journal #210
  7. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Journal #139
  8. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Entries #479
  9. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Entries #483
  10. Vault 19 terminals; Terminal, Entries #484
  11. Email from Sydney Wolfram to User:Kastera1000:
    "...the original social experiment for the vault was to find ways to get two factions to tear each other apart through non-violent means (paranoia/manipulation). I think it goQuoted verbatim, error appeared in the original sourceIcon sic.png a little away from that in the end..."