Fallout canon

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Canon, not cannon!

Fallout canon are the ideas considered to be an official part of the Fallout universe.

Because each game of the Fallout series was created by a different development team and the plot and dialogues were created by mostly different people each time around, there are numerous inconsistencies between them and the canonicity of each game is a point of contention between various Fallout fans.

For example, in case of inconsistency between games, some fans might consider newer entries in the series to override the older ones, while others might consider the original lore to still be "true" and inconsistencies to be mistakes on the part of the later titles' developers.

Even various developers of one game might disagree on what holds true in the games' setting: for example, Tim Cain and Chris Taylor have different views on the origins of ghouls.

Current canon

Since the acquisition of the Fallout franchise by Bethesda Softworks and their development of Fallout 3, Bethesda defines the canon of the Fallout series. Bethesda has thus far refrained from issuing an official statement on what is canon and what is not. The following list is considered to be the most representative of the company's stance on the subject.

Primary sources

Primary sources are officially released works that form the core of the Fallout franchise and setting. Primary sources include:

Secondary sources

Secondary sources are works, publications and other material (such as developer interviews, responses on social media sites, forum posts, et cetera) that build upon the Fallout setting, but do not belong to the "core" of the franchise. In case of contradicting information, primary sources take precedence.

  • The Fallout Bible by Chris Avellone. Todd Howard has mentioned it as being part of the source material Bethesda reviewed as part of the Fallout 3 creation process.[1] Emil Pagliarulo has also stated that he used it during development.[2] Finally, several setting elements introduced exclusively in the Bible have been further developed in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas.[3][4][5]
    • Note: Chris Avellone is of the opinion that the Bible shouldn't be used as canon and that Bethesda is not limited by its contents. However, the current owner of the franchise and thus, only authority on Fallout canon has not clarified the Bible's status, apart from statements by Emil Pagliarulo and Todd Howard mentioned above as well as elements incorporated in released games.
  • Fallout Tactics, when referenced by existing titles, can be considered a secondary source. This limits it to high level events (as explained by Emil Pagliarulo to our founder)[6]: Currently, the only event from the game referenced in the game is the presence of a small, rogue detachment of the Brotherhood in Chicago[7] that has been battling super mutants[8]
  • Some elements of Van Buren (the canceled Fallout 3 by Black Isle Studios) were incorporated into Fallout 3 and its add-ons, as well as into Fallout: New Vegas, making them part of the current Fallout canon.[9][10][11][12]

Non-canon works


  1. Bethesda Developer Diary
  2. Emil Pagliarulo on DAC
  3. Vault 106 in Fallout 3.
  4. Vault 34 in Fallout: New Vegas.
  5. Marcus' appearance in Fallout: New Vegas.
  6. Information acquired from Emil Pagliarulo by Paweł "Ausir" Dembowski
  7. The Lone Wanderer: "Then where's the rest of the Brotherhood?"
    Reginald Rothchild: "The West Coast, unless something has changed. There's been no contact with them for the last several years. There's also a small detachment in Chicago, but they're off the radar. Gone rogue. Long story."
    (Reginald Rothchild's dialogue)
  8. The Lone Wanderer: "Care to share anything about the Super Mutants?"
    Elizabeth Jameson: "The Brotherhood has been battling Super Mutants for decades. First out West, then in Chicago. Now here. But this group of Super Mutants is different, somehow. Physically, yes, but mentally as well. If we knew where they came from, we'd know why."
    (Elizabeth Jameson's dialogue)"
  9. Chinese stealth suits in Hoover Dam.
  10. New Canaan from Van Buren served as basis for the Canaanites in Honest Hearts and several characters from it are mentioned by name.
  11. The Tibbets Prison was altered into Big MT.
  12. The Courier: "What happened next?"
    Elijah: "After that... I wandered, alone. Saw the storms of the Divide, walked among the Ciphers of the West. Traveled to the Big Empty. I heard the signal. The woman's voice, the Sierra Madre, promising a chance to begin again, reverse my fortunes. All... nonsense. I tracked the signal. Came here, scouted the city... using other hands. Kept dying on me, killing each other. You - you got the farthest of all."
    (Elijah's dialogue)
  13. Todd Howard: "For our purposes, neither Fallout Tactics nor Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel happened."
  14. Fallout 3 Preview