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This talk page is only for discussing improvements to the page "Terminal".
It is not the place for general discussion or sharing stories about the topic of this article. Please use the forums for these purposes.

Started this as a little more multi-purpose page about terminals, hacking, finding them, etc -- better than having everything under Science.

Feel free to fill in the stuff I haven't written yet. And especially locations.

/ Mirar 22:49, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

It might be helpful to add information on each terminals karma penalties. 00:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

I think you should have a personal terminal in your house when you obtain one,it'd be useful for storing information,especially if your forgetful Werewolfhell 12:55, 3 January 2009 (UTC)

You have something better, a terminal on your arm. The Pip-boy. 00:40, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

Any idea how it is possible to have five hack attempts instead of the usual four? I've seen this on the 360 version.

AnyLameName 22:46, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Individual terminal pages

Proposing that pages such as "Colin Moriarty's terminal" or "Rivet City Clinic terminal," etc. be created in order to (1) provide the exact transcription of information stored on said terminals, and (2) do so without cluttering existing pages. I figured I'd ask what the consensus was before I stepped on too many toes. I, for one, would like to see the information on terminals/in the notes (as listed in Mirar's profile) in the articles, but sometimes there's just so much it seems to be impractical to put it in the article (as is the case with Moriarty's terminal). I'm going ahead and creating Colin Moriarty's terminal as a test/example, however.--Niksilp 18:13, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

Turret Terminal

The hackable terminal at the Bethesda Offices West (Bethesda Ruins) for the turret control is an 'Average' hack - I have the xbox 360 version of the game but i'm pretty sure it will be the same on all platforms - M22RDY

Yeah. I had Average, but then again, I also have the 360 version. --Turbine2k5 16:00, 9 February 2009 (UTC)


I am still confused on terminal hacking. But the simple approach seems to make the most sense to me so I'll try that.

Trap Terminals, replace with Pulse/Plasma (Nuka??) Grenades!

Can someone change it, it's also possible to replace the Grenade with a different type. I didn't have a Nuka Greande, so I don't know about those. Is there any use to resetting these traps using the more valuable Grenades, or at all? -- 15:36, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Why would you want to? The only person that can trip such traps is you. Save your 'nades. --MadCat221 00:57, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Word List?

Since this keeps getting removed from the article and should be discussed more, I am adding this here.

There may be a certain word list that the game uses as "right" answers as well as a "wrong" list.

I have noticed this in that whenever I have come across a terminal containing the word "WASTELAND", that has always been the proper answer. More research would need to be done. Needs verification. J B 08:07, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

What I've noticed is that more often than not, most of the choices have to do with the area or what they control. For example, the turret terminal in the office in Hubris Comics just now had choices like MONSTERS and INVADERS among other things. I could give more examples of other ones if I could remember them at 1 in the morning, but I didn't know if anyone else had actually noticed that. Ganon12788 05:10, September 4, 2009 (UTC)

Misspelled Words on the Word List

So far, I've come across the word "Leutenant" twice in the National Guard Depot. Of course, the correct spelling is "Lieutenant."

I've also found the word "mutatnts" (sic) in a terminal in Bethesda East. Shripe 15:18, June 9, 2010 (UTC)

Something interesting I noticed...

I just started a new game, and through usage of the Vault Lab Uniform, I am just barely able to get 50, the minimum for Average-level locked terminals. I noticed something... there is an unusually high number of word choices on an Average-level computer than what I saw before. My previous char was >75 in Science skill by the time I quit. I think that the player char's skill level in Science determines not just accessibility to a lock level, but the difficulty in the game. Before, it was pretty easy for me to hack an Average-level computer the way the minigame was meant to be played (IE: deductive logic) because it was considerably more sparse of password choices. Now, my best bet is Random-Until-50%-Correct method. --MadCat221 00:48, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Yep. More points in Science equals easier game, unlike a certain other skill which simply increases your chances at a "suicidal approach" which, if failed, locks you out permanently. I hate locks. Nitpicker of the Wastes 00:53, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Just came back from testing, and the results support the hypothesis. I tested by setting my Science skill to 50 via Console, then activating an Average-level terminal. The screen was quite full of passwords. Then I exited and used the console again to boost my Science skill to 100. The screen was very sparse of passwords. I'd be willing to bet that an inverse effect occurs with Bonus Brackets, but they're a bit harder to assess at a glance than discrete words. --MadCat221 00:56, 8 June 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I'll let you figure out the fancy numbers, seeing as you likely have access to a GECK. Now, let's see if we can't find ourselves a skeleton key... Nitpicker of the Wastes 01:03, 8 June 2009 (UTC)

Other computers

This information is really useful, but I was thinking we could also add some info on what the ingame computers resemble. Just for some trivial knowledge, it's always fun to know. As well I was going to inquire as to what the computers that you can't interact with are modeled after. Such as the computers that have built in stands and the glowing teal screens, I wasn't quite sure what those are supposed to be modeled after. I dunno but some connections to history and the like would be interesting. 06:03, 12 June 2009 (UTC)

I'd love to know what the terminals in F3 are based off of too, as a retrocomputing nerd i'm sure it'd make a great addition to my collection. -[[Talk:Poopskintheliar|Poopskintheliar]], Local retrocomputing geek. 04:44, 26 June 2009 (UTC)
The large computers with stands remind me of microfiche readers, for some reason. I don't think that's what they are, though. 18:14, December 22, 2009 (UTC)
RP600Z microfiche reader.jpg
Looks like a microfiche reader to me -- something like the model in the picture to the right here. Wunengzi 14:12, August 18, 2010 (UTC)

UPDATE: the Lear Siegler ADM3A looks remarkably like the desktop terminals in F3... -[[Talk:Poopskintheliar|Poopskintheliar]], still having trouble logging in but can copy/paste sig. 04:44, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

A simple but effective approach

Choose the first word on your screen, and see how many letters are correct. Go down the list to the first word that has that many letters in common with your original word. Choose that word. Repeat the process as needed and you will generally succeed. Be sure that the next word contains the exact number of correct letters, if you get "1 letter correct of 5" on "PROUD" then "PRIDE" cannot be the correct response as both the 'p' and the 'r' is correct.

Random guess approach

A less structured, but surprisingly effective, approach is to quickly guess three times, and then exit if you did not guess the correct password. Repeat the process as necessary. Given 21 passwords to choose from, it takes seven times, on average, to get it right. This can be done very quickly. (Mind that you should either save before trying, or not guess the fourth time, or you may be locked out from the terminal permanently.)

Random guess approach with refill

When you start hacking just chose the three first passprahses, after that find all the brackets that will remove duds and replenish your tries. Most of the times you now have only 4/5/6 passphrases left. Use "A structured approach" after that. Also after the first three passphrases are chosen, one can log out of the computer and then access it again. The tries will be refilled and the process can be repeated. This can take a large amount of time, but eventually one of the first three passphrases will be the correct password.

Quasi-random approach

Guess randomly until you find either a zero match or a >50% of letters match. For instance, if your word length is 8, you want 0/8 or 5/8, 6/8, or 7/8. Given any of these, you can easily see which other words are similar, or in the case of the 0/8, entirely dissimilar. After you've found one of the aforementioned desirable matches, you can look for matching bracket pairs to restore the number of tries, if necessary. Finding brackets takes the most amount of time with this method, so don't do it unless you need to.

A structured approach

Read all the words, and you will notice that many look alike. Choose the word that seems to have the most in common with the other words. Then:

  • If only one or two letters are incorrect, choose a word that differs by only one or two letters.
  • Otherwise, choose a word that is very different from your previous choice.

Again, note the number of correct letters. You have two more guesses left. Go through the words and find which ones have not been eliminated. There will likely be only one or two word that fit the bill - try them.

Pencil and Paper approach

Write down all the words on a piece of paper. Choose a word that seems to have a lot in common with many of the other words. Use the feedback from the computer (x/y correct) to eliminate all words that do not have that x letter in common with the word you chose. Repeat as needed.

"Quad ruled" or squared graph paper can be useful for this job. Writing one letter in each square makes it easy to compare words letter by letter. If you have a printer, you can print your own graph paper by downloading a PDF from here or by printing a blank spreadsheet with narrow columns and borders on all cells.

If one has access to a second computer that can be used while playing (ex. a laptop) then one can use a fixed width text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++ instead of paper.

Match Brackets

No matter the strategy, matching brackets can prove to be very useful. Although it may take longer, it just about guarantees a success. The most effective method is to make 3 guesses, then find matching brackets until the attempts refill. This can be repeated, potentially giving more than 7 guesses. That, plus the duds removed, will leave the screen with so few plausible passwords that the correct one will be difficult to miss.

Use a program

Several programs exist that will make suggestions and do the book keeping for you. The algorithms behind most of the programs are not known. Some appear to suggest words that have the most in common with other words (although what exactly that means varies with the algorithm). The algorithm behind the Vault-Tec 1337 Hax0ring Tool uses the laws of probability to choose the word that will, on average, eliminate the most other words. Both the Terminal Hacking Tool for Fallout 3 (THTF3) and the Fallout 3 Hacking Helper (F3HH) work in a similar manner; in contrast to other online tools, however, THTF3 and F3HH are implemented wizard-style, suggesting the word that should be selected at each step. It should be noted that THTF3 ensures fail-safe results for all the terminals up to Very Hard level.



XP Values

The XP values for hacking and lockpicking should be 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 for Very Easy to Very Hard respectively. Verified on PC and 360. TheOutlawTorn 08:24, September 7, 2009 (UTC)

Computer's size

I think it's interesting to note that fallout 3 terminals are much smaller than the ones in the previous fallout games. -- 18:54, November 28, 2009 (UTC)

Operating systems

I've noticed every now and again that the copyright date displayed on the terminal (along with the color of the text, white rather than normal green) changes. Has anyone else got this? And is it worth mentioning? YuriKaslov 19:38, June 7, 2010 (UTC)

I've seen it. Couldn't figure out why it happened, though. Wunengzi 14:14, August 18, 2010 (UTC)
Ah. The text is white for the terminal on the failsafe in Tranquility Lane. That's probably because it's a virtual terminal, not a real one. Wunengzi 07:48, August 20, 2010 (UTC)

More words

Some of the words I added were found using A2Z Word Finder. Kris mailbox 18:11, August 15, 2010 (UTC)


Not sure how it happened that I re-added something I thought I was removing (regarding the terminal in Meresti Station)... and then also failed to notice it immediately. Kris mailbox 15:29, August 16, 2010 (UTC)

Weird inconsistency in copyright dates

Weird copyright date.JPG

There are some very odd dates on some of the computer terminals. Note the included screenshot, found on a terminal located in one of the office buildings in the Capital Wasteland. At the top it says the operating system was copyrighted between 2075 to 2077. That's fine, since the Great War occurred in 2077, presumably terminating the Copyright Office along with the rest of the government. But then at the bottom it says "Copyright 2256." What on earth does that signify? The date with a copyright always indicates the year in which it was granted, but in 2256 it is unlikely, to put it mildly, that anyone was bothering with the system. It can't be an automatically updating date either, since the game takes place in 2277, twenty-one years later than 2256. Wunengzi 13:45, August 17, 2010 (UTC)

It's probably a typo, it should be 2056 maybe? The date that the HR software was written. Anything more complicated would need to be explained somewhere. Kris mailbox 13:49, August 17, 2010 (UTC)
That would work well and be canonical, though a lot of things in the game do look closer to twenty years old than to two hundred (I wouldn't venture to eat a two hundred year-old can of Spam, for instance). Wunengzi 21:34, August 17, 2010 (UTC)

Ambiguous info

Some of the info on this page is ambiguous. For instance a terminal is listed as being in Fairfax, but where? Southeast doesn't help much when saying where. Also the number next to the location needs to be changed to 1 for each location if there is only 1 in that specific location. Right now the number next to the location reflex the total number of terminals in that building/area and not the specific place. Just look at the terminals in Rivet city on the list and you'll see the number 7 all the way down the list, at first glance it almost looks like there's 49 terminal in all of Rivet City.-- 01:21, October 22, 2010 (UTC)

new vegas hackables?

where's this list?

Taft Tunnels

What does the very hard terminal in the Taft tunnels do? The article just has a question mark for it's use. Krono 'Zulamee 03:08, November 19, 2010 (UTC)

Terminal Hacker

I have created a small program that assists in eliminating words from the terminal. This program was written in Java, and it will work on any operating system that can install the JVM (Java Virtual Machine). This is NOT an addon, and it has no connection to the game.

I would like for it to be listed on this page IF you guys and gals think it's a useful tool. I hosted the program on Google Code because they scan every program for viruses, and they require me to license it.

I know most people use the brute force method for hacking a terminal, but some people like to try and figure it out. This program assists you by asking you questions about which word is most likely to be the password. It narrows the list down until it either finds the correct password or it gives you the list of words remaining and has you exit the terminal and try again.

If you do find this useful, let me know. I will make a GUI (Graphical User Interface) for it.

Here is a video about it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wjubYrH8U8o

The repository where the latest version can be found: https://fallout-terminal-hacker.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ 18:23, December 24, 2010 (UTC)

We don't include info about 3rd party modifications to the games. Your idea sounds cool, but please keep mention of it to your user page and forum pages. Thanks.--Gothemasticator 21:08, December 24, 2010 (UTC)

I understand, and I will follow all rules of the wiki. Though truthfully, it's not a modification of the game. It's a standalone program. But if there's any confusion about whether such a thing is allowed on the wiki page, it shouldn't be there.

Thank you for the swift response. 21:21, December 24, 2010 (UTC)

What to do with a locked Terminal?

The article says nothing about what happens if you fail the mini-game and then the terminal gets locked. The screen says to contact an administrator. What the heck can you do at this point? -- 18:23, March 11, 2011 (UTC)

No Glitches?

I'm not sure that their are no glitches for the Teminal... I've heard someone complain about every time someone walks up to and uses a desktop only terminal the screen immediatly turns blurry and indistinguishable. This was only on the PS3. Anybody else have this problem? User:Sovietskya123 00:05, 7 May 2012 (UTC)

Split, Overview & Hacking

Should this be Split into an Overview page and a Hacking page?--Ant2242 (talk) 19:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)

I think it makes sense to split these articles. Or we could just put hacking in the Science page, like how to picking a lock is in lockpicking. Shadowrunner(stuff) 21:29, 5 March 2015 (UTC)
I think it would be best if it were to have its own page. This way we could transclude sections to game specific sections on other pages.--Ant2242 (talk) 22:40, 5 March 2015 (UTC)