Complete Guide for Playing Fallout Shelter for iOS and Android including Tips and Tricks

One of the best surprises that happened during E3 2015 was Bethesda’s press event. Oh by the way, Bethesda Softworks is the studio behind The Elder Scrolls and Fallout, for you who don’t know. At E3 2015, at least for me, the best part of Bethesda announcement is not their amazing games lineup, but the fact that they’ve finally made the decision to join mobile community.

Still in E3 2015, Bethesda announced two games developed exclusively for mobile which means the games aren’t just a companion for the console game and can be played separately. The first one will be coming soon to iPad and is using card trading mechanism. The other one is a casual spin-off version of Bethesda’s upcoming game, Fallout 4, and it’s called Fallout Shelter.

Why is it called as casual spin-off? That’s because Fallout Shelter is giving us sort of the general, overall overview, of the Fallout series. Anyway, for those of you who don’t anything about Fallout series, Fallout is a series of post-apocalyptic role-playing video games. The story is about the Vault Dweller who leave/doing mission outside the Vault, in the Wasteland. The vault here is like a safe house for the survivor of the apocalyptic world.

Fallout Shelter itself is not the only spin-off that’ve ever been done by Bethesda Softworks. Beside Fallout Shelter, there are also two other spin-off games. In 2001, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel takes on turn-based combat, and in 2004, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel takes on action role-playing game.

Now that you’ve got yourself familiar with Fallout series, let’s get back to Fallout Shelter. In Fallout Shelter, you are tasked to build and manage the Vault, the safe house for the dwellers, so you will be the Vault’s Overseer in this game.

As an overseer, you of course need to be able to manage all the dwellers inside the vault and keep them all happy. You will do your best to manage your vault in order to save more dwellers coming from the Wasteland. However, managing vault isn’t an easy task. That’s why I will share my experience of managing vault and explain later all the things to keep in mind to be a good Overseer.


How to Build a Fallout Shelter

As for the gameplay, Fallout Shelter more or less reminisced one of the most fantastic pixel art tower builder ever created, Tiny Tower. Building room, putting dwellers in the right room, gain some caps (the currency in this game), etc. If you’re familiar with Tiny Tower and that kind of game, I believe that you’ll be familiar with the overall gameplay of Fallout Shelter.

However, having the same gameplay doesn’t mean that it’s exactly like one another. Like what I’ve stated above, Fallout Shelter is the general overview of the Fallout series. So Bethesda really want to give a general experience of the console game.

Just like what the Fallout series have, dwellers in Fallout Shelter also have SPECIAL stats. SPECIAL stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Every room in the vault is linked to this SPECIAL stats. Yep, you guess it right, the better dweller’s stats for that room, that room will produce resources better (a shorten time, in particular).

The dwellers can also be sent into the Wasteland. You can have imagination that every dwellers that you send out is actually having their own Fallout adventure, encountering monsters, finding some abandoned house, meeting other dwellers, and so on. The log book of the dweller’s adventure will tell you all the journey that your dweller had when being sent into the wasteland.

The dwellers can also make a new baby. Although this method felt a bit weird to me, making a baby is also a good way to expand your vault. More on expanding your vault as well as tips to manage it, later on another section.


Underground Fallout Shelter We All Love

I love the facts that Bethesda has been too kind for us, creating a free-to-play game like this with no intention to make profit out of it (well, the fact that they’re topping the grossing chart in AppStore, I believe is just a bonus for them).

Yes, there is no energy requirement in this game, meaning you don’t need to pay to speed up things and you can keep playing until the apocalypse truly come. The only IAP in Fallout Shelter is when you want to buy some Lunchbox. Even so, buying Lunchbox won’t give you any significant advantages over other players who decide not to buy.

The only gain that you can achieve by buying this Lunchbox is a higher probability of getting a legend dweller. As you know dwellers have SPECIAL stats, with Legend Dweller, their basic SPECIAL stats is higher than normal dweller have. Moreover, they will come with a much nicer outfit too. Don’t sweat it though, because Lunchbox doesn’t guarantee that you will get a dweller. They only guarantee that you will get a rare or better item.

The music in Fallout Shelter is also using the same theme from Fallout series, so you can expect some vintage songs with radio effect played in this game. There are two BGMs available. The first one can be found when you’re reading the Survival Guide or Help pages. The second one is played when you’re looking at the list of the dwellers. Other than that, Fallout Shelter mostly just use a working machine sound as a BGM.

There are also some SFX, one of them is when your dwellers finish their job or level up. This level up SFX is pretty interesting because the SFX note is like a note higher when tapped in sequence. There are 3 notes available in sequence. So if you want to be playful, try tapping three dwellers who level up in sequence.

I also love the close up view of each room, showing the relationship between each dwellers behind the vault. I especially love the kids reaction to the adults activity. Check out my favorite reactions in Fallout Shelter across the Internet.

Pregnancy has become one of the biggest issues in this vault.

Pregnancy has become one of the biggest issues in this vault.

Extinguishing Fire with Happy Face :)

Extinguishing Fire with Happy Face :)

Naming your own kid with whatever name you want

Naming your own kid with whatever name you want

Tips and Tricks for Playing Fallout Shelter

I simply couldn’t put down Fallout Shelter once I get a hold with it. Well, actually, when I’ve finished collecting the resources and checking my dwellers log, I just put down the phone away. But anyway, up until now, Fallout Shelter is still there in my main screen. There are still lots of thing that can be done with this game, including different approaches in different situations.

This last vault, is my fifth vault. If you’re asking, what did I do wrong that I have to create the fifth? That’s because in the first four vault, I am not satisfied with how things go inside my vault. In the first one, the rooms weren’t merged the way it supposed to be (I know what’s wrong with it in the next vault). The second one was a failure because I breed too many dwellers and doesn’t know where to take it. The third one was a failure because I tend to create more room without keeping its balance. The fourth one was also a failure because I fail to keep the happiness of my dwellers. That brings me to my latest vault and until now I feel pretty good with this vault.


So first of all, before we start anything, let’s take a look at SPECIAL and what will do good with each stat. Hopefully, after this short explanation, there won’t be no more question about, “why do I need endurance and luck in Fallout Shelter?” or that kind of question.

  • Strength: Dwellers with high Strength are most suitable for power plant room like Power Generator and Nuclear Generator.
  • Perception: Dwellers with high Perception will most suitable for Water Treatment and Water Purification.
  • Endurance: Dwellers with high Endurance are suitable most for Storage Room and Nuka-Cola Bottler. However, I don’t think putting dwellers in this room will give any effect, so better left this room empty. One thing that I know is, dwellers with high endurance will stay longer in the wasteland.
  • Charisma: Dwellers with high Charisma will be suitable in speeding up process in Radio Station. They also go faster in making relationship with other gender in the Living Quarters which means will be faster in making a baby. Also, when being sent into the wasteland, they would be able to convince another dweller to join the vault.
  • Intelligence: Dwellers with high Intelligence are extremely important since they will work at Medbay and Science Lab. These two rooms will produce Stimpaks and RadAways, the dwellers potions. These potions aren’t just important to keep dweller’s happiness, but also help for the dwellers to be able to stay in the Wasteland much longer.
  • Agility: Like dwellers with high Strength and Perception, dwellers with high Agility are suitable to work inside room, in this case Diner and Garden.
  • Luck: The last letter is ‘L’. Dwellers with high Luck are more successful at rushing rooms and potentially getting Caps bonuses whenever collecting resources. Dwellers with high Luck also tend to bring back more cash, weapons, and outfits when being sent into the wasteland.

From these explanations, I hope that you will understand what to do, which dwellers should be assigned to which room. The UX designs also being very helpful, having the room to show which stats is suitable for the dwellers. When you drag the dweller, the room will tell you if the dweller are suitable working for that particular room, as well as how much the dweller’s stat will contribute to the work.

Not only that, there are some missions that requires you to put the dwellers in the right room. This kind of mission not only helpful because it rewards you, but also helps you understand how the assignment goes. Now let’s get into the details.


How to Get More Dwellers?

Let’s talk about getting as much dwellers as we could first. After this section, I’ll be explaining why we have to take responsible for every dwellers that were born in the vault. Even so, let’s talk first about the making process first, rather than talking about the difficulties that later would occur.

Open Many Lunchboxes

The first way to get more dwellers and can be considered as “the easiest way”, is by opening the lunchbox. Well, when I’m saying it’s the “easiest” way, it actually depends on how many lunchboxes you have. However, when you’re opening the lunchbox, there’s a chance that you’ll get a dweller.

Despite being a chance, once you get that chance coming at you, you’ll hit a jackpot. When you get a dweller from lunchbox, the dweller most likely is a special dweller. I’ve said this at the previous section, but let me talk about it again so you will be sure of how special this special dweller is.

With ordinary dweller, either it’s a baby born, or coming from wasteland, they usually don’t have good SPECIAL stats. They will only have at most, 5 as their best stat, and only one good stat out of 7 stats. On the other hand, this special dweller, not only have one SPECIAL stat that is more than 6, but also have several other SPECIAL stats that higher than ordinary dweller would have, in general.

Don’t forget though, that opening lunchboxes don’t guarantee a special dweller. There’s a chance you will get it. Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you.


Making Babies

The next way to get more dwellers is obviously, to make babies!! Many of you I believe have known this. So, I won’t put tips on how to make the babies. Instead, I’m gonna share some pro-tip that I think some of you may not know yet.

  • When you put the couple in the Living Quarters and that couple not acting all flirty, dancing, or that thing, double tap the screen to zoom into that room. They probably saying that they are related, and this game won’t allow same-blood relationship.
  • After they’ve finished doing the ‘baby-making’, both the couple can be assigned into their work again. Even if the lady is being pregnant, she can still be working with some limitation.
  • The limitation of pregnant lady is that when an incident happen, be it raiders attack, rad roaches, or room in fire, she will run away and won’t be participating. This limitation also work the same with kids.
  • If the lady pregnancy is due but you don’t have enough space, the baby won’t be born and the lady will still be pregnant until you have enough space.
  • This doesn't do anything with pregnancy thing, but before that 'thing' is happening, couple usually will be dancing first. In some case, there's a mission that needs you to make couple dancing. If you just want the couple to only dance without 'continue it' to the next step, you can stop until this process just to fulfill the mission. Should you note that if you stop until this phase, the couple will lost their happiness a bit.

Radio Station

The last way to get more dwellers, is by building Radio Station. I believe you all will already build this Radio Station and assigned dwellers with high Charisma in this room right? Even so, make sure that you maxed out this room and assigned as many dwellers as this room can contains. This will speed up the timer and you can get dwellers faster.


Be Responsible

As I’ve said above, having many dwellers means that you also have to be responsible with your vault. Making babies without know how to feed them is always resulting to a disastrous situation. Don’t worry though, these tips are available to make you the responsible overseer.

The first thing that you need to do to be responsible, is to take care the happiness of the dwellers. There are many ways to do it, but the most basic thing is to keep the resources available for the dwellers. Electricity, Food, and Clean Water need to be in green color. Otherwise, the happiness of the dwellers will be decreased. A sad dweller will make them less productive, less productive means slower production, and the resources stock will become lower and lower.

I believe you don’t want that disastrous moment to happen. So, before you’re thinking about making babies, or inviting more dwellers, make sure you have enough room and dwellers working in the right room.

The problem with having too many dwellers is that these new dwellers will eat up all the food and clean water stock. When food and water are running out, the most obvious move that we’re gonna make is to create more diner and water treatment rooms. That’s where the nightmare starts. When you have more diner and water treatment, these rooms will eat up your electricity. When your electricity running low, all the production room won’t be working and you can’t do anything but to restart your game.

So, once again I remind you, make sure that your production system is fully stocked before you’re planning on making a bunch of babies. The wise move is to invite dwellers or making babies one at a time, not 5 in a go. Once they can be put inside a room to work, then you can create another dweller.

Make Dwellers Happy

So after you can be more responsible with the way you manage your dwellers, it’s time to make them more happy. Just like Kimberly Elise once said, “We need happy, productive citizens on our planet for us to survive”. There are also some ways to make a dweller happy in their life in your vault.

  • Make a baby. There’s no happiness in the world that can defeat the happiness of a parent seeing their baby. This will boost your dweller happiness into 100% right away. Don’t forget about being responsible too 😊
  • Make sure your dwellers are healthy. There are no people that love to get sick. Dwellers too, make sure that if they got a low health, you patch them right away. When they healthy, their happiness percentage will also increase.
  • Enough resources will also make your dwellers happy. So you might want to balance all the Power, Food, Water resources.
  • Radio Station according to some people can also make the dwellers happier. Nevertheless, you’d still need to build this room anyhow.

Dwellers Health Bar

Talking about dwellers health bar, there are two bars that will make the dweller sad if you ignore it. The first bar is the health bar, this is colored with green and your dweller out of it, they will die. You can refill this bar again with the Stimpak from the science lab.

The second one is the radiation damage. This damage is colored with a red bar. When a dweller got a radiation, they won’t be able to be healed completely unless the radiation is cured first. RadAway is the cure for this kind of radiation. So RadAway comes first, then heal them with the Stimpak to completely cure your dwellers.

Dealing with Incidents and Raiders

I’ve got to agree with you. Dealing with these interruptions are really annoying. In order to deal with this annoying interruptions, the first thing you need to do is to assign weapon and armor to your dwellers. Every dwellers should have weapon and armor, at least in one room there are two dwellers that fully equipped.

Now let’s talk about incidents first. When the incidents happen, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Drag dwellers into the incident room, of course the nearest dweller, otherwise it will be taking too long. When you’re late in dealing with the incident, it will spread into another room, you don’t want that happen.

Don’t worry about dragging other dweller to the room with incident to help. Once you’ve calm the raging seas, that dweller that helps will get EXP and will return to their original position.

Having that knowledge, you can apply the same thing when the raiders come. Moreover, you can even kill the raiders even before they’re coming in too far inside your vault. To do that, send your best dwellers into the vault’s gate. Once the raiders break through, your best dwellers are ready to fight them. Even if the raiders manage to break through your front line, you can send these dwellers into the next room that the raiders break into.

The only thing that you need to do is to equip all your dwellers, and you won’t be troubled with this troublesome interruptions. Also, please do remember about your room capacity. The dweller inside the room will stop from its activity fighting the interruptions and go to another room if you mindlessly take other room's dweller into that room. So if you have enough dwellers, don't ask for more help.

Getting some CAPS

One of the most important thing in Fallout Shelter beside the dwellers is the CAPS. You can’t build or upgrade a room without caps. If your dwellers die, you will also need caps to revive them again. Perhaps you may have known some of the tricks here, but you never know if you miss the opportunity to increase the wealth of your vault. Also, I’m putting extra cent inside to give you some extra tips.

Level up Dwellers

Believe or not, leveling up dwellers is the easiest way to get more caps. So make sure you tap all the level up sign in the head of the dwellers. Even so, you should know that not all rooms can level up dweller. Rooms like Radio Station, Living Quarters, all Training Rooms, won’t level up your dwellers. So don’t get shock if you never got any caps from these particular rooms.

Collect from Training Rooms

Despite not being able to level up, in Training Rooms (Weight Room, Game Room, and etc), once you finish the training, you will get the caps. The only thing you need to do is to collect it.

Collect Resources

Talking about rooms, when you collect resources from these rooms, there’s also a chance to get some caps from it. The chance will get higher if you have dwellers with high LUCK inside the room. However, we’re talking about a chance here, so you can’t guarantee you will 100% get caps even if you have dweller with maximum LUCK inside your room.

Sell Unused Equipments

I’m telling you in the previous section that you should equip all your dwellers with weapon and outfit. However, there are weapons that its power is even worse than your bare fist. In this case, you can sell these extra weapons and outfits to get caps. Usually they can be sold for 10 caps. Although it doesn’t much, it can still help you get some free caps.

Re-sell Rooms

I personally don’t recommend this step since selling room doesn’t really worth it. However, if you really short on caps and really need caps, perhaps you could consider this move. I don’t recommend this though.

How to Improve Trips to the Wasteland

The game do indeed say that your trip to wasteland will be vary depend on dweller’s SPECIAL stats. However, from my experience so far, dweller with high charisma, endurance, and luck, have better advantage than the other.

  • Dweller with high endurance can stay longer in the wasteland as they have more health than other.
  • With high charisma, a dweller can ask other dweller they met to join the vault when the dweller is in the wastelamd.
  • Dweller with high luck, will bring back lots of give-away, weapons, armors, and caps.

I haven’t figured out what happen with other SPECIAL stats so far. Moreover, if you’re going to send dweller into the Wasteland, don’t forget to equip them with armor and weapon, especially, Stimpaks and RadAways. I usually give 10 and 5 each to the dweller.

Don't call them back until they only left with less than 2 Stimpaks, this is needed so that they can reach their potential out ther in the wild. Also, if you're looking for weapons and outfits, wasteland is the cheapest way to get weapons and outfits.


That’s it! That’s all the tips that I have from playing Fallout Shelter. If you have any question after reading this article, please feel free to run me some email. Be a wise Overseer everyone 😊

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