|For an overview of prospector uses throughout the Fallout series of games, see prospector.|
A prospector is a person who travels the Wastes seeking valuable resources. Because the availability and value of different resources varies by time and place, the precise definition of "prospector" also depends on where and when you are.
Circa 2241, the town of Redding was experiencing a gold rush. Although the bulk of the organized mining operations was concentrated in the town itself, groups of fortune-seekers — called "prospectors" — also sought to locate and exploit new veins of gold in the surrounding area — though this was not always without danger. Indeed, it was a testament to their success in locating gold nuggets that many prospectors took to carrying fearsome weapons such as the Pancor Jackhammer in order to fend off "claim jumpers," who sought to steal the prospectors' hard-earned fortune.
In the Mojave Wasteland, circa 2281, the term "prospector" is a polite way to refer to the humble scavenger. It describes someone who makes their living on scavenging from buildings for pre-War technology, drugs and weapons. While prospectors are mostly scavengers for themselves, they can also venture into mercenary work such as Logan and his group working for the Crimson Caravan to scavenge Camp Searchlight.
In Fallout: New Vegas, the Courier will encounter many prospectors, dead and alive, when exploring the Mojave. The first (retired) prospector the player will most likely meet is Easy Pete. This encounter makes it clear that the Courier is familiar with the older, mineral-based definition of "prospector," but that Mojave residents use the term in a different way.
- Fallout 2 random encounters
- Complete brahmin drive.
- Fallout: New Vegas loading screen hints: ""Prospector" is a polite word for "scavenger". Prospectors can be found all over the Mojave Wasteland, usually looking for the rare unopened safe at the bottom of an irradiated mineshaft."
- The Courier: "You were a prospector - like digging for gold and silver?"
Easy Pete: "Nah, nah - means I poked through old buildings looking for working tech and such. Some folks just call it "salvaging," but never liked the term. Way I see it, salvage means it's broken, near-worthless. Me, I looked for the good stuff - guns, chems, spare parts. Good money in it."
(Easy Pete's dialogue)