Fallout 1 Quick Start Guide


The following is a Quick Guide to help you get started with Fallout 1 by Fallout Hub. Chances are, if you never played games before the year 2000, you will find the controls of Fallout 1 confusing, to say the least. Fear not, I'm here to help you understand this weird looking game. So yeah, welcome to Fallout 1 Quick Start Guide!

fallout 1 quick start guide

A Quick Fallout 1 Guide

Here's what you will learn in this Fallout 1 Quick Start Guide :
  1. how to create a character
  2. how to setup your game
  3. which skills to invest in
  4. how to switch between weapons
  5. how to reload a gun
  6. how to access your inventory
  7. what the hell are Action Points
  8. how to end combat and turns
  9. how to use items in your inventory
  10. how to navigate on the world map
  11. how to talk to people
  12. how to open doors and use items
  13. what to do early in the game
  14. keyboard shortcuts
  15. game tips and perks to choose

Fallout 1 Quick Start - Creating your Character

Before anything else, I recommend you watch the cool intro at the beginning. If you missed it, just click on the INTRO button inside the game. Second, play a character you think will be fun to play with and don't read any more guides! Fallout is designed to have multiple solutions for each problem... uh... I mean quest, and has a great replayability. Besides, figuring out things by yourself is more fun anyway. Also, don't cheat and don't rush through the game world.

fallout 1 quick start creating a new character

Here's my recommendations for creating a new character: max your Agility first because it gives you more AP per round. Intelligence is important if you like talking a lot and you want more skills points per level. Strength... 6 is enough. Put more in it ONLY if you're planning to play a melee character. See that guy on the title screen? He's wearing Power Armor. When you get it, your Strength will increase by 4 points. Oh yeah!

I usually invest in Agility (for Action Points), Perception (to shoot further) and Intelligence. With 8 Perception and Agility, you'll be able to get the "Sniper" perk at level 18 - this upgrades all your ranged hits to critical damage! You'll need at least 6 points to Luck to find the ultimate weapon in the game. Don't lower any stat below 4 and keep in mind that you can boost each of them by +1 at the Brotherhood of Steel bunker, for a price. Also, make sure you take GIFTED! This trait gives you +1 to ALL attributes and small penalty in your skills (-10% to all skills, -4 points per level). Trust me, this is more than worth it. DON'T TAKE SKILLED!

I recommend you invest in Small Guns early on and in Energy Weapons at the end, when you have a lot of ammunition for them. Although small guns will get you through 90% of the game and they do kick-ass at the beginning of the game, energy weapons are required for the big finale. Speech is also important in Fallout 1, so make sure you put a good amount of points in it. Other important skill is Lockpick. You'll want invest in it whenever possible in order to open as many doors and lockers as humanly possible.

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Fallout 1 Quick Start - Game Settings

Now, let's have a look at the game settings for this Fallout 1 Quick Start guide. After leaving the vault, click the button with a small circle under the [INV] button. Go to PREFERENCES and change the following: RUNNING to Always (note: if you ever plan to sneak during the game, you'll need to turn this off), SUBTITLES to ON, COMBAT SPEED to Fastest, tick "Affects player speed", change TEXT DELAY to Slow and adjust the sound options if you want. TIP: Chances are you will HATE the outdated graphics. What you can do to fix that problem is installing the high-resolution patch for Fallout 1.

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Fallout 1 Quick Start - GUI, Movement & Combat

Fallout 1 has two movement modes: real-time and turn-based. When NOT in combat, real-time is used to move around. To arm yourself, click on the square [INV] button on the interface, then click and DRAG the 10mm pistol from your inventory over ITEM 1 box, then release. Click and drag the brass knuckles over ITEM 2 box and release. Click DONE. You are now armed and dangerous. Well, at least you'll have someting to kill the rad rats...

fallout 1 quick start vault 13 entrance

Notice the dead body at the entrance of the vault? Let's loot it. To do this, right-click anywhere on the map to turn the mouse cursor into an arrow, and then left-click on the body to see what the poor guy has on him. Click on each item to the right, hold the mouse button down, drag it to the left (your inventory) and release. After that, click DONE.

When in combat, accessing the inventory (INV) will cost you AP (Action Points). AP are used to move around, fire a gun, reload or perform other actions. AP are only used in combat and are influenced by your character's Agility stat. For example, for a starting Agility of 5, your character will have 7 Action Points to use in combat. Different weapons/actions require different AP (e.g. pistol: 5 AP, brass knuckles: 3 AP). Learn how to manage your AP because that's the cornerstone all future victory will be build upon. At least that's what this Fallout 1 Quick Start says. :P

You can switch weapons in order to conserve ammo or even fight bare handed if your character has a high Strength. To switch between weapons click the red round button over the [INV] button. Alternatively, you can press "B" on your keyboard. Use the extra AP you cannot use to run away from your enemies, so that it will take longer for them to reach you. How to move you ask? Right-click anywhere to turn your cursor into a red grid icon then left-click where you want your character to go.

To end your turn and allow enemies to perform actions, click on the [TURN] button (right side of interface) or press SPACE on your keyboard. If no hostile creatures are within range, combat will end automatically. If that doesn't happen, you can click on the [CMBT] button to end combat. To target enemies when in combat, right-click to change your cursor into a red target. Hover the cursor over an enemy to see what chance you have to hit him. The closer the enemy, the bigger your chances are. Left click on the rat that is closer to you and shoot it. Note: in Fallout 1 your character will miss. A LOT! Get used to it...

fallout 1 quick start how to open inventory

To learn more about items in your inventory, click the [INV] button again. Now, right-click anywhere for the cursor to have binoculars attached to it. After that happens, left-click on any item to learn more about it (e.g. "Stimpak: A healing chem. When injected, the chem provides immediate healing of minor wounds."). To use the Stimpak and other items, left-click on them, hold and scroll to the first hand. If it didn't worked, keep in mind that the mouse cursor must be in binoculars mode. Repeat the steps above... The second hand is used to drop items to the ground. To see how many HP (Hit Points) your character has, click on the [CHA] button to the right side of the interface. Don't use Stimpaks recklessly; they are precious!

Just like in real life, your weapons need ammo. Ammo is displayed to the right side of the ITEM BOX as green vertical lines. When your gun runs out of ammo, a message will notify you about it in the info window of the interface. To reload your pistol, right-click inside the ITEM BOX until RELOAD appears, and then left-click once. Reload uses AP; if you don't have enough left either run away or press SPACE to end your turn. The other item box's option is VATS, but we will discuss about this later in this Fallout 1 Quick Start guide.

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Fallout 1 Quick Start - Leaving the Vault

To exit the cave, head west until you see the sunlight, for the first time in your life I might add. Exit areas are easy to spot due to their either brown (goes to map) or green (same city) overlays. Click on the brown overlay to get to the outside world (map). To move around the map, left-click anywhere. TIME will pass by as you move on the world map and your character will heal as he travels. Note: don't waste your time wandering aimlessly on the map! You have 150 days to get a new water chip for your vault or the game ends.

TIP: Go back into the vault as soon as you exit the cave; there are some quests available in there that will give you some early XP. When on map, move your character into the green circle and click on [Vault 13]. Next, you will see several areas of the vault where you can quickly "teleport" to. Click on "Command Center" and make your way out of the vault from there. Make sure you talk to people to get information about the vault you grew up in and some quests.

In order to talk to someone, right-click anywhere on the screen until your cursor turns into an arrow. Then place the cursor over an NPC and notice the info inside the left window of the interface: "You see the water guard." Talk to the NPC by left-clicking on it. A dialogue window will pop up... Ask the NPC if you can take some supplies. Click [Done].

fallout 1 quick start lockpicking

To open a door, simply click on it. Now, click on the "Vault13 Door" behind the water guard to open it, and then move your character inside the room. To use items in Fallout 1, first right-click to change the cursor into an arrow, then left-click on the item. Try it on the lockers inside the room. You will find 40 water flasks. Now, don't be greedy, leave some to your friends; you don't need that much water anyway. Drag the water flasks to your inventory (left). When asked how many either click the "+" button or type "10", then click DONE. Click DONE once more to close the window (or press ESC). Now go see what's inside the other lockers. Note: sometimes items are hidden behind walls and you can't see them. Take a good look around rooms or you might miss important items.

Feel free to talk with the other residents of your vault. If someone asks you to put away your weapon, do it. Otherwise, they won't talk to you. To put weapons away, click the [INV] button then drag them back to your inventory, then try talking with the NPC again... Some doors are locked. To lockpick a door, click on the red round button which has SKILLDEX written next to it. Click on the Lockpick button and then click on the locked door. Alternatively, you can press "2" (hotkey) during the game and then click on the locked door. Here you can check out other keys you can use during the game.

Depending on how high a skill is, you will have more success using it. Important! If an NPC asks you to stop messing with a door, STOP! Try to open it again and the NPC (often the entire town, or vault in our case), might turn hostile towards you. This is one of the reasons why it's important to save your game OFTEN. To save a game, click on the button with a circle under [INV], then on SAVE GAME, choose a slot and add a description to your Save.

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Fallout 1 Quick Start - How to Play

Allies are extremely helpful at the beginning of the game, so I recommend you get Ian to join you as soon as possible. When you get back to the world map, click on the "Vault 15" button to the right. On your way to your destination, you will go through another green circle marked [Unknown]. STOP and click on it. Welcome to Shady Sands! Should you arrive at night, click on the [PIP] button on the interface, then on the bell icon (top left) and "Rest until noon". There are more options there, one of them being "Rest until healed", which is specially useful when you don't have any Stimpaks left, but it's time consuming so don't use it too often.

fallout 1 quick start recruiting ian

Put your weapon away or the guards won't talk to you. Talk with the woman at the gate for 300 XP. Recruit Ian; he's in the house immediately to the right. You can pay Ian 100 caps or convince him to join you for free, if you have Intelligence 6 or higher, by offer him "a piece of the action". If your INT is not high enough, use Mentats. TIP: If you can't convince Ian, just give him the money and steal it back; he won't mind.

Search all the bookcases in the town except for the one in the doctor' house -- he doesn't appreciate it. MAKE SURE you get the rope, you'll need it in Vault 15! Talk to the town folks to get quests. After you're done with Shady Sands, continue to Vault 15.

fallout 1 quick start vault 15 elevator shaft

Once you reach Vault 15, go down the hole inside the wood building. When you reach the elevator shaft, click and hold mouse button down. Scroll until you reach the bag (your inventory), and then select the rope you found in Shady Sands. Another way to do it would be to drag the rope in your ITEM BOX, then close the window, click on the rope and then click on the elevator shaft. You'll need another rope to go even deeper, but you'll find one in a locker on level 2. Don't miss the hunting rifle on one of the bathroom floors! Easily the most helpful free item early in the game. That's it! I'll leave the rest for you to discover... There are so many fun things that your can do differently in Fallout every time you play it!

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Fallout 1 Perks to Choose

Here are the perks I recommend you to take. Awareness: Shows HP, equipped weapon and ammo (a personal preference, I find it very useful). Quick Pockets: You have to get this perk! With each level of this perk, the AP cost to access inventory is reduced by 1. Toughness: gives you 10% damage resistance for each level, a great perk to have because it stacks with your armor. For your first Perk, you should choose Toughness a few times, until something better comes along. Having a 30% damage resistance boost I just watch and laugh as raiders attempt in vain to do even a single HP worth of damage to me. More Criticals (+50% Damage with critical hits) is also a must. Choose Bonus Ranged Damage ONLY if you like using Miniguns a lot, to get double damage. Personally, I like their sounds, but I find Plasma Rifles more useful.

fallout 1 quick start perks to choose

Fallout 1 Perks to Avoid

Swift Learner: Useless because of level cap, there are much better perks you can take. Night Vision: screen is too dark, very few people would talk to you at night and beside, you should rest at night; there are monsters out there. Smooth Talker: there are other ways to increase Intelligence during the game. Kamikaze: Trade away protection for Sequence, which matters only during the first combat round? Bloody Mess: you'll see those animations anyway and it's more rewarding without it. Lifegiver: after level 12, your maximum number of HP won't be so important any more. Pickpocket: Well, unless you're playing a thief character, but if you fail at stealing, won't you just load a the game?

Other perks to avoid in Fallout 1: Chem Reliant, Chem Resistant, Strong Back (especially if you have a companion), Fortune Finder (money is not an issue), Mysterious Stranger, Scout, Ranger, Scrounger (double ammo from encounters), Survivalist (saves 2 damage from encounters, lol), Empathy, Cult of Personality, and any perk that gives you skill points (Master Thief, Medic, Mr. Fixit, Speaker) -- you don't need more skill points, you need perks.

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Fallout 1 Keyboard Shortcuts

There are a few keyboard shortcuts that can make your life A LOT easier in Fallout 1. Watch this image carefully and write down the keyboard controls that you're interested in.

fallout 1 keyboard controls

Fallout 1 Quick Start - Important Game Tips

Next, some useful tips for you. Remember to save often and use multiple saving slots. The town folk don't like it when you steal a rock from a kid. Don't be afraid to run away! If you ever get caught in a fight you can't manage, run to the edge of the map. Save yourself or load the last Save; your choice. In combat, always use targeted shots with pistols and rifles. Shoot them in the eyes Kenny, always in the eyes. Just kidding here... However, with a good Luck, good Perception and a great Small Guns skill, you can kill any foe in one precise shot to the eyes! Use Stimpaks only if your HP counter is yellow; keep them for the end of the game, when you're gonna need lots of them.

Never give Ian or other NPC burst-capable weapons, such as a minigun. NPCs don't give a shit if you're in the line of fire and I really don't want you to smash your keyboard because of that. Also, keep in mind that killing people in some towns could make recruitable NPCs angry; try not to do that if you want allies. Don't smash the deathclaw eggs until you're done grinding. You get tons of XP from killing respawned deathclaws. If you have at least 6 to Luck, you will be able to find the ultimate weapon in Fallout 1: the Alien Blaster in a random encounter. If you have Action Boy, Bonus Rate of Fire (must be level 9) and Sniper (at level 18), the Alien Blaster can deal from 300 to 800 damage (!). Choose the Pathfinder perk if you run out of time! I did it and it reduced the world map travel time by 25%. By half if you take it again.

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Hope you found this Fallout 1 Quick Start useful. See you around the wastes, vault dwellers!

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