If America is to be rebuilt, every life in this Vault is special. Preserve them all.”— Mission brief
Vault 76 is one of the Vaults constructed by the Vault-Tec Corporation. It is located in West Virginia (mislabeled as a DC area Vault in certain Vault-Tec records) and was designated as the Official Vault of the Tricentennial by Vault-Tec, under the tagline "Vault-Tec Salutes America".
Vault 76 was one of the seventeen control Vaults within the Vault experiment. It was designed to house five hundred of America's finest, including students from Vault-Tec University, military members, and a former White House Chief of Staff. After 25 years, in 2102, the Vault would open and the residents would colonize Appalachia. Its Overseer was instructed to ignore standard operating procedures, as Vault 76 was deemed a special project essential to rebuilding the United States in the wake of the nuclear holocaust, and as such, the well-being and livelihood of its denizens were given an absolute priority. Its stated capacity was 88 dwellers.
Construction began in February of 2065 and ended in October of 2069. The Vault had LightLife Geo-Thermal for its primary power supply, and General Atomics Nuclear Power as a secondary power supply. Its computer control system was Brainpower 4. At some point during construction, Giles Wolstencroft, Vault-Tec's Assistant Chief Executive Officer, was abducted by extra terrestrials while inspecting the site. Over the course of the project, the Vault received numerous upgrades, including replacing the power supply with a pair of Vault-Tec super-reactors, and a major increase to the standard of life. Instead of the standard and generally spartan living quarters, each denizen of the Vault was furnished with a fully-featured apartment including a discrete bedroom, living room, and bathroom, color television sets, and a general quality of life far superior to that experienced by dwellers assigned to other Vaults. The upgraded Vault was debuted by Vault-Tec in celebration of America's Tercentenary in 2076.
The Vault was successfully sealed on October 23, 2077, aided by special detachments from the U.S. Army that established a security perimeter around the Vault and shuttling the designated residents in using buses. The crack Vault-Tec security team ensured compliance and defended the residents as they entered the Vault, authorized and encouraged to use lethal force to ensure authorized residents would make it into the Vault. Everyone else was considered an enemy combatant. They succeeded in their mission and the great Vault door was sealed for the next quarter of a century. However, it was only the beginning of the great project. As each resident was carefully chosen for their unique skills and temperament, Vault-Tec expected the residents to present unique challenges in maintaining order. As a last resort, the Overseer was granted the ability to lock down each domicile and imprison the resident for any duration deemed appropriate (with the note to account for the fact that enforced solitary confinement can lead to psychological issues). Furthermore, the security team was provided with less-than-lethal devices to ensure compliance. Firearms and other munitions were stowed after the amended entry period.
For the next 25 years, Vault 76 continued to operate. The Overseer found order easy to maintain, though the impressive pedigree of the residents and their competence led to the aforementioned unique challenges, most often challenging her authority. To provide the residents with an outlet for their competitiveness, the Overseer instituted a number of awards for the dwellers to obtain, as award ceremonies were a great way to placate even the most hardened egos (altercations aside; one resident lost a tooth fighting over the Best Dental Hygiene award). The high point of the program was the Vault 76 World Cup, even if it nearly broke the jukebox. Of course, the Overseer wouldn't have gotten anywhere without the exemplary service of her loyal and dependable senior staff.
As the Vault neared the end of its duration and the Reclamation Day, the situation started to slowly deteriorate. In 2100, the Vault was over capacity, with hydroponics struggling to keep up with the demand and mandatory rationing instituted by the Overseer. Six residents had to be placed under Disciplinary Lockdown (up from four at the end of the previous year), with the Morale Officer tasked with pacifying rumors about Appalachia around the clock. Nobody wanted to emerge into Appalachia to fight cannibal mutants and brave burning rain. Regardless, tensions were running high, especially with some of the residents being quite difficult to handle. One infamous resident was detested by the security so much that only one officer could be trusted to be sent down and not strangle him. Furthermore, the Ressies, as the security team fondly called them, started hacking into terminals to learn more about the Reclamation and the Activation Notices. Although the security team made a token effort to curtail unathorized access, they all knew trying to keep bona fide geniuses out of the files was a lost cause.
As a result of these mounting concerns, 2102 and the Reclamation Day was met with relief from all parties (some were so relieved they even broke into the stores to enjoy it early). The Overseer mandated a Reclamation Day party the day before the Activation Notice, opening up restricted alcohol stashes and the remaining food supplies. The happiness and cheering in the atrium as the Overseer counted down to midnight were second only to the time when the first Vault child was born. The party continued well into the night, when the Overseer called lights out and had security help stragglers into their beds. Then she and her team went through the final checklists. Standees and supplies were placed along the exit route to the Vault door to provide a last refresher course for the Ressies, while the security team went through their duties with record speed: Wiping logs, securing non-essential gear, and acquiring Reclamation Packages for themselves.
The residents were emerging into an unknown world, transformed by nuclear war and 25 years of chaos. Nobody knew what to expect, as the bombs knocked out Vault 76's external sensors, except for the Geiger counters. Some on the security team were less concerned about threats from without than those within. The competitive Vault 76 dwellers were already making alliances and pacts before exiting and anything could happen without some sort of guiding force. The team feared that the Ressies could go off the rails, breaking the respectable record of 25 years without casualties. Although some argued for arming the residents before they leave the Vault, using the surplus stocks, the Overseer denied the request. They received the standard survival packages and were told to run fast and far away from Vault 76 and complete their mission.
There was no alternative. Studies showed that Vault-Tec residents quickly started to depend on the amenities provided by the Vault, so the Vault was designed to cease operation 24 hours after the All-Clear message was received (i.e. 24 hours after Reclamation Day). Air circulation would shut down last, giving residents enough time to leave the Vault, but rendering it hazardous for habitation. Only robotic stewards would remain to preserve the remains, while the Vault 76 residents focused on rebuilding America.
As for the Vault Overseer, she had her own mission: Once Reclamation started, she was ordered to find and secure three Appalachian nuclear silos and, if these sites were still nuclear capable, ensure no one except Vault-Tec can access or launch nuclear ordnance. Any other authorities - government, militia, or otherwise - were to be ignored, to ensure that Vault-Tec alone controlled these silos and could deny their use to any third parties.
Points of interest
- Vault 76 is the game's starting and tutorial area, providing a direct route to the exit with few branches. The player awakes in their apartment and has the opportunity to explore their surroundings and collect the Nuka Tapper game holotape from their personal terminal. They are only allowed to exit the apartment once they collect the Pip-Boy 2000 Mk VI, entering the atrium area with traces of the last day's party.
- The aforementioned standees are found on the way out of the Vault and provide some basic tips on survival, together with slowly-repeated instructions from the Mr Handies. More importantly, each standee offers the player to collect some gear, including:
- Black-framed glasses
- A party hat
- A perk package, giving a free level up and perk card.
- Five stimpaks and five bottles of purified watel
- Crafting supplies
- A C.A.M.P.
- As the Vault is in the process of shutting down, side routes are sealed off and inaccessible. However, the player can access a few areas and terminals, including the personnel files (in the room with the projector and perk pack), the Overseer's office (which contains the first of her recordings), and the security office just by the entrance. Once the player exits the Vault, the game starts proper.
- The exterior of The Vault contains little in the way of danger, except for a small group of Liberator Mk 0 bots that provide good target practice. A Responder corpse near the descent to the parking lot provides the first weapon (a pipe gun), with several Responder supply points in the parking lot and old supply crates scattered inside and near the vehicle wrecks provide some additional starting supplies. The player is encouraged to head towards Flatwoods, following the Overseer's trail, although they can pick any direction with no ill effects (except for running into foes on the way).
- Vault Dwellers
- Mister Handys
- Nuka Tapper can be found in the player character's terminal in their apartment's bedroom.
- A love note can be found on the northwesternmost table in the diner, on the upper level of the atrium.
- Overseer's log - Vault 76 can be found in the overseer's terminal in the overseer's office.
- Dynamic spawns
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- Construction plans
- Citadel terminals; Vault-Tec Terminal, DC Area Vault Listings
- Fallout 76 teaser
- Citadel terminals; Vault-Tec Terminal, Vault 76 Personnel Assignments
- Vault 76 terminals: "CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL
OVERSEER EYES ONLY | VIOLATION VTP-01076
Vault 76 is one of the most important projects that Vault-Tec has completed. No expense has been spared on building, staffing, and selecting the inhabitants of your Vault. The cream of the crop of America have been chosen, including luminaries from Vault-Tec University.
The special classes and instruction you've received about managing a Vault do not apply to this assignment. Vault 76 is special. Your mission is to see to the livelihood and well-being of all your residents and make sure they're ready to colonize America once the All-Clear is received.
It is to be expected you will face challenges we haven't prepared you for. Adapt, learn, and thrive. America is counting on you."
- Construction plans
- Citadel terminals; Vault-Tec Terminal, Vault 76 Equipment Issuances
- Alien Captive Recorded Log 13
- Interior of the Vault apartment during Reclamation Day.
- Newscaster: "Since debuting Vault 76 last year, in honor of America's Tercentenary, Vault-Tec continues to expand with plans for well over 100 Vaults around the country."
- Barricades surrounding the Vault exterior.
- Vault 76 terminals: "VAULT 76 SECURITY INSTRUCTIONS
CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL
SECURITY EYES ONLY | VIOLATION VTP-01076
Vault 76 is one of the most highly valuable and important Vaults in our network. As such, these orders must be obeyed at all costs. The future of America is at stake.
Upon receiving the Activation Notice your team is authorized to use lethal force. Any obstacle or threat that stands between you and getting Vault Residents safely inside the Vault must be dealt with decisively. Only authorized residents are allowed inside, all other personnel should be considered enemy combatants.
The Overseer has special instruction after the Activation Notice. As soon as the entry procedures are complete, your team must stow all weapons in the specified containers. Further orders will then be dispensed.
Trust your Overseer. Obey your Overseer. Know that each and every member of your team was selected specifically for this assignment because of Vault-Tec's faith in you. If you work together, you will succeed."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Your job as the Overseer is to see to the overall health and safety of Vault 76. Avoid loss of life at all costs. The Vault Residents have been carefully chosen for their unique skills and temperament.
Due to the aptitude of the Vault Residents, you may be presented with unique challenges in maintaining order. As a last resort, each domicile can be locked down and the resident imprisoned for any duration you deem appropriate. Enforced solitary confinement can lead to psychological issues, so factor that in.
Although the Vault Doors cannot be opened from the inside, keep the entry clear of all unauthorized personnel. The Security Team will stow all weapons and munitions after the amended entry period and will be armed solely with non-lethal devices.
If America is to be rebuilt, every life in this Vault is special. Preserve them all."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Annual Review: 2100
Another year down. Our mission continues.
At current count, 6 residents are under Disciplinary Lockdown. That's up from 4 last year. The Morale Officer has managed to quash the worst rumors about Appalachia - cannibal mutants, burning rain, whatever - but tensions are high.
It's generally pretty easy to maintain order. The pedigree of most of the residents is... impressive, to say the least. But competence sometimes means arrogance. And arrogance means my authority gets tested - more often than it should.
Hydroponics has been struggling to keep up with demand. I've been loath to institute mandatory rationing, but in 2101 that may be necessary. 76 is full to bursting with people, more than we anticipated.
The award ceremonies are a great way of stroking the most hardened egos, since everyone's so damned competitive. The low point was someone losing a tooth in a fight over the ""Best Dental Hygiene"" award...
The senior staff has been exemplary, as always. Very dependable and loyal. It's been a struggle to keep our over-achievers placated, but another year down and we're still here.
The Vault 76 World Cup has proven to be a huge hit. The ball damn near broke the jukebox, but the energy in the atrium was just amazing."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Assault Investigated
Nakamura investigated a complaint filed by our old friend Jake. Jake claimed that E Jefferson shoved him with intent to commit bodily injury.
Nakamura found a witness and Jake was gently shoved out of the way after he was laying into Jefferson about being an ineffectual ass.
Asked the chief whether we could nail Jake for filing a false report. Chief said that Jake technically was assaulted, though. So it's dropped.
God, I hate lawyers."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Theft Investigated
Another claim from Jake. Again. Sent Nakamura over, she's the only one that doesn't want to strangle the guy.
Jake claims he's missing one box of Sugar Bombs from his room. He's demanding we investigate it. One box of Sugar Bombs? Told Nakamura to drop the investigation. With Reclamation coming we have far more important things to do."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Unauthorized Access Investigation
Terminal 023-B was hacked last night. Sandy investigated and we've got no idea who did it. The Reclamation files were accessed, however, which has the chief furious.
What does he expect? Half the Ressies are god damned geniuses, how are we supposed to keep them out of restricted files?
Doubled up the shifts so we have more eyes out there. Like that'll help."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Drunk and Disorderly
Jill caught M Thompson singing loudly during the night cycle. He got into the Reclamation party stores and ""borrowed"" a 6 pack.
The rules say the theft mandates Lock Down. But what's the point? In 2 days everyone's out anyhow.
Threw Thompson in the holding cell to sleep it off."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Reclamation Day Has Arrived
We counted down to Midnight. I haven't seen everyone cheer like that since Vault baby number one was born.
I called lights out a couple hours ago. Had to get security to help a few people to their beds. Then the volunteers and I got all the standees set up, just like we practiced.
Need to make the final recordings, and then... it'll be time to head out that door. I wish I could be there to help everyone on their way, but I know they'll make me proud."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Rundown Complete
Team tore through the Activation Notice checklist. Logs wiped, non-essential gear secured, Reclamation Packages acquired, etc. The whole procedure went down in record time, like we've been practicing for years.
Some grumbling about unleashing the Ressies without the Overseer keeping them in check. But overall, a good performance."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Keeping a lid on it
Had to lock down Casey for blabbing about the Activation Notice. The cat's already out of the bag, but orders are orders.
Procedure is we announce tomorrow, but you can feel the excitement. The team keeps asking what to expect out there. The nukes knocked out our external sensors so we're blind. Only the secondary geiger counters are operational.
Scuttlebutt gone wild. Lots of whispering of who's grouping up with who after Reclamation. I worry that the biggest threat to the Project isn't any threat we'll face out there, it's from within. The Ressies are a formidable lot, but give them free reign and Lord help us."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Final entry
25 years of service, no KIAs, and one hell of a send off. I made one last plea to arm the Ressies before we open, denied.
My solemn hope is generations from now visitors will come to 76 and read this and know how dedicated their forefathers were. How we regrew America from the ashes.
But, I must admit I'm afraid, as well. If some of the experiments in the other Vaults go wrong... It can give you nightmares. And that's only the things I know about.
If we can only stick together, work together, I think we stand a chance."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Survival First
As instructed we set up the survival packages. I've advised everyone to run fast and far from 76 as soon as the doors open.
We have no information about what awaits us. Vault-Tec says we're America's best hope. Now we'll find out."
- Vault 76 terminals: "Our studies have shown even after a relatively short duration of living with the amenities of Vault-Tec that test subjects can grow to depend on them. That will not do for Vault 76.
After the All-Clear Message is received, Vault 76 will shutdown all functions inside of 24 hours. Air circulation will cease last, and you should warn the Vault Residents that staying inside the Vault can be lethal after this period.
Everyone must leave the nest. It's imperative that all residents are focused on the important job of rebuilding America."
- Vault 76 terminals: "CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL CONFIDENTIAL
OVERSEER EYES ONLY | VIOLATION VTP-01076
Twenty-five (25) years after the Vault Doors close, you are to prepare your citizens to leave Vault 76 and begin a process called "Reclamation." Specifics will be disseminated automatically as that time approaches.
After Reclamation Day, you are personally ordered to find and secure three nuclear silos code-named ALPHA, BRAVO, and CHARLIE. If these sites are still nuclear capable ensure no one except Vault-Tec can access or launch nuclear ordnance.
To be clear, even if there are other authorities (whether government, militia, or otherwise) their claims are to be ignored. Vault-Tec alone maintains jurisdiction."
- Reclamation Day