Vault dwellers are the inhabitants of your Vault. They are the workforce, defenders and explorers for the vault. As such, they're paramount for the vault survival, and who you as an overseer must pay attention to if your Vault is to thrive.
Each Vault Dweller has its own SPECIAL stats and characteristics, these govern the different aspects of life in the vault, and making the best use of your dwellers abilities is key to their ongoing happiness and your vault efficiency.
SPECIAL stats determine which jobs the dwellers most suited for. Every room in the Vault is linked to one of the SPECIAL stats. The better the Dweller's stat is for that room, the more they influence the room's effects. While assigning the dwellers to jobs they're most suited for, as determined by their strongest SPECIAL stats increase their happiness.
Additionally, each SPECIAL stat increases a Dweller's effectiveness in the Wasteland in its own way. Higher level Dwellers with high SPECIAL have a better chance of surviving in the Wasteland.
|Attribute||Best suited for work in||Other uses|
|S||Strength||Power generator or Nuclear reactor|
|P||Perception||Water treatment or Water purification||When VATS is activated in combat, the speed at which the gauge moves is slowed.|
|E||Endurance||Nuka-Cola bottler or Exploring the Wasteland.||Endurance Reduces damage/radiation taken. Very important attribute in an Explorer.|
|C||Charisma||Radio studio||Make children|
|I||Intelligence||Medbay or Science lab|
|A||Agility||Diner or Garden||In quests or the wasteland it determines how many shots you can fire before the enemy does.|
|L||Luck||Decrease chance of Rushing production failure. While Exploring Luck increases chances to get better gear faster.|
All SPECIAL statistics can be improved. Once you've added enough dwellers to your vault, you can build training rooms that will increase particular Special stats. The higher the SPECIAL stat of a Dweller is, the longer it takes to train them to the next level. Alternatively you can use different outfits for temporary boost to SPECIAL stats.
Note that this takes a fair amount of (real) time and take care not to pull dwellers in important places off duty.
Depending on what you ask your Dwellers to do, they can become happy or sad. Keeping Dwellers happy is very important! A happy Vault runs more efficiently and produces resources faster. Dwellers Happiness increases when they are provided for, safe from harm and or placed in the rooms that best suited for their SPECIAL stats.
Level & Health
Dwellers level up over time by gaining new experience through work in Production Rooms, scavenging in the Wasteland, successfully rushing or after dealing with incidents. Leveling increases the health of a Dweller and gives you a sum of caps equivalent to the level reached. The higher their level is, the more hit points they have.
Dwellers need food and clean water to stay healthy. Run low on FOOD and your Dwellers will begin to lose Health. Run low on WATER and your Dwellers will accumulate Radiation permanently lowering their maximum hit points, until manually treated. Use RadAway and Stimpaks to keep your Dwellers at peak health because that can affect their happiness too.
A Dweller dies when their hit points are depleted. A dead Dweller can be revived with CAPS, or removed from your Vault. The higher the Dweller's level, the more CAPS their revival will cost, starting at 100 CAPS for level 1, and increases an additional +20 CAPS for each level afterwards.
As the game explains in the tutorial, you should assign dwellers with the highest possible SPECIAL statistic. What it doesn't point out is that you should focus on boosting that stat by any means necessary - a single dweller with a high SPECIAL stat will be more effective using the room than two with mediocre statistics.
That means that whenever you get a outfit, you should immediately assign it to a dweller, rather than let it languish in the wardrobe.
While outside recruitment is an important source of dwellers, in order to keep your Vault healthy in the long term, you should focus on encouraging procreation. Pregnancy doesn't inhibit the job performance of female dwellers, so if you want good long term growth, make sure to keep them occupied in the living quarters.
The only thing pregnancy does prevent is exploring the wasteland and participating in the defense of the Vault.
Exploration is a key source of outfits and weapons. Send out a dweller as soon as possible to start racking up gear. As new weapons and outfits become available, recall them to upgrade their gear and increase their chances of surviving the nuclear wasteland.
In general, the better the equipment and the higher their level and SPECIAL stats, the better the return.
A list of how each SPECIAL attribute effects exploration can be found on the exploration page.
If the SPECIAL stats of a Dweller are lacking or aren't quite up to snuff, a Dweller can be assigned to a training room to improve their stats. The process happens in real-time and the amount of time is based on how high the particular that is being trained already is. For example, if the stat being trained is at 1, the process may only take around 20 minutes; however, if the stat is around 5, the process make take a couple hours.
Legendary Vault Dwellers
Legendary Vault dwellers are a very rare type of dwellers who can be added to your Vault roster, usually coming with legendary outfits and with characteristically very high attributes. The only real source for legendary Vault dwellers are Lunchboxes.
List of legendary vault dwellers
Below is a list of the 21 Legendary Dwellers that appear in the game.