fallout 3 location guide

Fallout 3 Location Guide

There are many dazzling locations in Bethesda Game Studios first take on the Fallout franchise. Coming in on the third edition of the IP, Bethesda Game Studios made sure that their take on the game felt different and yet familiar to new and returning fans of the series alike.

To do this, they made the decision to produce the game as a 1st and/or 3rd person experience; they had to place significant focus on the graphics and design of the general world, with a specific focus on the main locations which the player would often find themselves spending great deals of time.

This refined focus on key locations throughout the world, therefore, resulted in a game full of rich environments and unique opportunities for the player to stumble across. However, one problem I certainly had during my first couple of playthroughs of Fallout 3, way back in the day, was actually finding all of these unique and fun places I had heard about.

Then, even if you were to explore the map from back to front like some kind of crazed wanderer, there would still be world events that would through you off your path, think raiders or super mutant attacks, for example.

To prevent this hardship then, this Fallout 3 location guide will give you a brief guide to some of the key places within the Capital Wasteland as well as some of the more unique locations which some players may miss through their playthroughs, even after two or three attempts. So, what are we waiting for? Let’s get right into it! Here is our best Fallout 3 locations guide.

Main Locations in Fallout 3

Rivet City

This city is not only the largest settlement in all of Fallout 3, but it is also one of the most unique. It is located in the bowels of a slightly decrepit aircraft carrier and only accessible by weighbridge, controlled by the Rivet City security.

The city and its inhabitants occupy most of the ship; however, post the Great War, the bow section had begun to crumble over time, thus letting in a disgustingly large Mirelurk population, infesting the lower sections of the ship and therefore the city.  

The city was originally founded by remnants of the Naval Research Institute under the leadership of Horace Pinkerton. The original purpose of the ship then was simply to house these institute scientists and their labs; however, in 2239, two years after Horace’s band of scientists arrived aboard the ship, a rather large civilian population had started to develop on the carrier, thus forcing the establishment of Rivet City formally on April 25th, 2239.

By the time the Lone Wanderer makes it to Rivet City in search of their father, this city has had time to grow and blossom; therefore, the player will find a large number of NPCs scattered all over the ship with their own jobs, lives, and questlines which the player can follow up on until their heart’s content.

Along with halls of residence for this population, Rivet City also offers a rather large (for the wasteland that is) shopping and trading area alongside an American history museum, science labs, a church, clinic, bar, and hotel. Basically, anything any reasonable person/ghoul could ask for.

If you are now dying to find Rivet City and go on a crazy shopping spree or Mirelurk hunt, then just pick up your gear and head to the most southeastern area of the capital wasteland very close to Anacostia. If this location is also unknown to you, simply follow the eastern side of the Potomac River or by taking a small stroll from the Jefferson Memorial.

In Brief:

  • Some of the main NPCs on this floating city include Dr. Madison Li, Dr. Zimmer, and possible follower Butch Deloria.
  • The Intelligence Bobblehead can be found at this location.
  • There is a total of 14 either given to the player within Rivet City, or that involve Rivet City. These include Scientific Pursuits, The Waters of Life, Slave Hunt, The Replicated Man.
  • Staying within the trading area after dark will cause the guards to become hostile towards the player.
  • The main enemies found in this location are Mirelurks. However, Talon Company Mercs and Regulators are also known to spawn close to the city.

Tenpenny Tower

This location is one that you will most likely hear about many times before you actually come across it again, whether this is from Mr. Burke as he proposes the blowing up of Megaton for the benefit of Tenpenny Tower’s curator or via the radio DJ Three Dog as he pleads with the said curator to allow ghouls into the tower.

The tower itself was formerly a resort. When you arrive at the tower, you may encounter a ghoul named Michael Masters who will inform you that in his previous life, before the great war, he would often vacation at this hotel, a lavish location strictly for the wealthy and powerful.

It appears Alistair Tenpenny, owner of the tower, decided to keep this trend going by only hiring people who came from a certain stock as well as allowing only the rich and well-to-do inhabitants of the wasteland to enter his prestigious location. He ensured this high-class system by only allowing traders or people with enough caps to pass his classy check system.

Some of the little eccentricities of the tower that gamers should look out for include Mr. Tenpenny’s continuous sniper rifle fire off of his balcony down to the wasteland floor, a sport he calls ‘wasteland safari, also you can come across a protectron barman in the tower which is a unique sight if I do say so myself.

If you are having difficulty finding this location, simply head in a south-westerly direction from Vault 101 and Megaton, and eventually, you will begin to see the tower in the distance. Alternatively, if you choose to blow up Megaton under the instruction of Mr. Burke (findable in Moriarty’s saloon, Megaton), you will be guided to the tower by the quest, Power of the Atom.

In Brief: 

  • The interior boasts a clothing store, a café, a wellness center, Gustavo’s Armory, and the Federalist Lounge.
  • Key residents of Tenpenny Tower include Alistair Tenpenny, Mr. Burke, Gustavo, and Shakes.
  • By helping Roy Phillips and his gang of ghouls enter this tower, the player can receive a Ghoul mask as a reward, a unique item.
  • After completing Broken Steel, raiders will spawn every three days outside of the tower, attacking all they see.
  • Mr. Tenpenny’s suit, lootable after his death, is a one of a kind in the wasteland.

Jefferson Memorial

This is simply one of the most central locations in Fallout 3; not only does the Lone Wanderer have to clear out a super mutant infestation in order to gain access and find clues to their father’s disappearance at the main quest lines midpoint, but the player will also have to return several times throughout the story.

Culminating in the conclusion of the main quest within the Memorial building. The game also starts within the walls of the Memorial as your mother gives birth to you there, shortly before passing away from birth-related complications.

As you may have guessed, The Jefferson Memorial in Fallout 3 is but one of many IRL locations included in the game. The site, originally dedicated to Mr. Thomas Jefferson, one of the principal authors of the Declaration of Independence and the third President of the United States.

This site, however, has not become important to the game’s main quest due to the developer’s love of the former President. Instead, due to its location along the banks of the Potomac River and therefore the Tidal basin, the location would prove perfect for the installation of James, Catherine, and Dr. Li’s Project Purity water purifier, which they hoped would clean the waters of the Tidal Basin. It was also very helpful to those members of Project Purity that the site was left vastly intact by the events of the Great War.

To find this location, the Lone Wanderer can either wait until they progress through the main questline enough until it is pointed out on the map for you or, if you are really feeling the need to pay your respects to the third president of the United States, you can head eastward from Rivet City and from there it is pretty hard to miss.

Just make sure to have plenty of ammo on you for your first trip; those super mutants are not the easiest wasteland critter to deal with.

In Brief:

  • The main character is born here before being transported to Vault 101. This room can be found on the Sub-Basement level.
  • To enter the Memorial building, the player must enter through the gift shop.
  • Through the main quest, you will face off against both Enclave soldiers, super mutants, and centaurs at this location.
  • After progressing through the main quest, the Lone Wanderer can pick up several unique items at this location, including Colonel Autumn’s Laser Pistol and his 10mm pistol. Also, your father’s wasteland outfit.

Vault 101

The kicking-off point for our Lone Wanderer, their home from until the age of 19, Vault 101 is one of the most iconic locations in Fallout 3, without a doubt. This Vault was designed and built by the horrible people over at Vault-Tec, and like any Vault-Tec vault, there was a sinister scientific experiment taking place with the trapped inhabitants becoming the unwitting guinea pigs, including the Lone Wanderer, for a brief period of time.

You see, the purpose of this vault was nothing as obviously sinister as other vaults you have no doubt already come across in the various wastelands; no, the only purpose of this Vault was to see what would happen to both the overseer of the said vault and the inhabitants if they simply never left their isolation, rejecting re-entry into the surface world long past when it was deemed safe. The experiment hopped to see what would happen to an overseer who had so much power indefinitely over a small group of what are essentially prisoners.

For some reason, after your mother’s passing, James, your father, decided that Vault 101 was the prime location wherein he could raise his child in peace and safety. Whilst true, this tranquillity would not last long after the scientist decided to simply down tools and flee said vault without a moment’s notice upon the Lone Wanderers 19th birthday.

Having decided his child was old enough now to fend for themselves, he left in the hopes of finishing Project Purity. However, due to the experiment being run in the vault, your father’s escape actually places the gamer in some peril as the overseer suspects you had something to do with his escape forcing you to flee and thus begin the main questline.

After escaping this vault, the Lone Wanderer may actually be able to return to the vault if they wait two weeks after completing the quest Waters of Life. After this time has passed, by walking near the Vault 101 surface entrance, you may be able to pick up a distress call from your vault friend Amata, begging the Lone Wanderer to return and help her deal with the oppressive overseer.

There is no need to describe the location of this vault, considering it is literally where every player of the game starts out, but, in the interest of the format of this article, the vault can be found to the northwest of Megaton and west of Springvale.

In Brief:

  • This vault was set up to test the effect of severe isolation over a vast quantity of time on both the normal inhabitants of the vault and the overseer in particular.
  •  After the player’s father escapes, the Lone Wanderer must flee as the overseer of the vault comes after the wanderer.
  • > Some of the main characters you encounter during your time in the vault are Amata, Allen Mack, Jim Wilkins, and Butch Deloria.
  • > This is also where the Medicine Bobblehead can be located.
  • > Quests that are given inside the vault include Baby Steps, Growing up Fast, Trouble on The Homefront, and Amata’s Fate.


One of the more interesting locations in Fallout 3, Megaton, is a city that sprung up around the crater made by an unexploded nuclear warhead which, till the day the Lone Wanderer either disarms it or rigs it to blow, still lies activated, possibly exploding at any moment.

The town itself is surrounded by large, thrown-together metal walls and scraps of old pre-war airplanes, fitted with a fully functioning and seemingly impenetrable gate; this settlement is indeed well defended. The original settlers of the town and their reasons for picking such an unusual site are debated. Some within the wasteland say that these first inhabitants chose the location after being denied refuge in Vault 101.

Thus they simply chose an easily identifiable spot to call home. Another possible reason is that these settlers actually worshipped the undetonated nuclear device, and the town simply sprung up around them. Lastly, one of the NPCs in Megaton will state that the town was formed by her great grandfather.

Manya Vargas will continue to say that her ancestor chose the location simply as shelter from the radioactive dust storms, with the city only growing after traders began matriculating through the location in service of these sheltering people.

Megaton is not only the first large settlement virtually every player comes into contact within their playthroughs of Fallout 3, but also where many call their home. When you arrive at the settlement, you are there not more than ten minutes usually when you encounter a Mr. Burke, sent over by Alistair Tenpenny with the goal of setting off the nuclear warhead in order to clear the ‘unsightly’ settlement from the view of Tenpenny Tower.

This gives the player the decision to either be a naughty so and so, deciding to blow up the town or to simply be a decent human being and refuse his offer, alerting the proper authorities. If you do decide to keep your soul intact, then you will be given a rather nice house, complete with its own butler, that you can design yourself with a rather sparse selection of household design options from Crater Side Supply.

To find Megaton, the player simply has to head southeast from vault 101. However, most players will simply find it due to the fact it is staring you in the face the second you emerge from the vault at the beginning of the game.

In Brief:

  • This is the first settlement most players will come across in the wasteland.
  • The town hosts many important or interesting locations, including The Brass Lantern, the Children of Atom Building, Lucas Simms’ House, Moriarty’s Saloon, and Crater Side Supply.
  • If you choose to save Megaton, you will be given a house simply named ‘My Megaton House.
  • Some key NPCs found in this location include the possible companion Jericho, Lucas and Harden Simms, Moira Brown, and Lucy West.
  • The Strength Bobblehead can be found here, inside Lucas Simms’ house.
  • Some great quests are also on offer within Megaton, including The Wasteland Survival Guide, Leo’s Drug Habit, and Following in His Footsteps.
  • Occasionally, upon entering or exiting the town, enemies in the form of multiple raiders will spawn nearby.

Canterbury Commons

This location is one of those which simply sums up the entire energy that embodies Fallout 3; it is the developers throwing care to the wind and having a little bit of fun along the way. When the Lone Wanderer stumbles upon the settlement, they will find that the town has become ground zero for a battle between two ‘superhuman’ entities, or to put it truthfully, two crazy people in costumes.

The settlement originally founded by Uncle Roe and his sister Daisy in 2258 now boasts a total of 5 wastelanders who call the simple trading post home. The battle which the Lone Wanderer walks into, however, is the only real story going on in the town by 2277 as Tanya Christoff would slowly descend into madness, wishing to simply irradicate the trading post and all who inhabit it. Soon after, she would become ‘the AntAgonizer.’

In an effort to protect the town, Scott Wollinski then decided to create ‘the Mechanist’ with the goal of defeating his new arch enemy. From this point, the player will be given a quest entitled The Superhuman Gambit wherein the Lone Wanderer must decide which masked vigilante to side with and thus stop the other.

This location can be found at the far eastern side of the capital wasteland, located just to the north of Vault 108. 

In Brief:

  • Canterbury Commons hosts several locations, Dominic and Machete’s House, Porter’s Café, Uncle Roe’s House, AntAgonizer’s Lair, and the Mechanist’s Forge.
  • The quests Superhuman Gambit and Merchant Empire can be found here.
  • Moira Brown from Crater Side Supply in Megaton is originally from this small settlement.
  • The robot NPCs which the character may face in fighting the Mechanist level with the player becoming more difficult robot entities as the player progresses.
  • The player may make a home here in Dominic and Machete’s house.
  • A unique tire iron called Highwayman’s Friend can be found here inside Dominic and Machete’s garage.

Little Lamplight

This area of the capital wasteland was originally used as a tourist attraction before the bombs fell, using the unique underground cavern systems as a sightseeing opportunity. However, post the nuclear apocalypse, this area has changed into a safe haven for children under the age of 16. 

As this location was a government ran tourist entity, the local government before the war had great sway over the direction of the cavern for the future; therefore, when Vault-Tec approached, wishing to turn the lower levels of the said cavern into a vault, approval was given almost right away. This is where Vault 87 would then be constructed. 

The backstory of this location and just how Little Lamplight became the child ran an underground city that it has by the time the Lone Wanderer comes across it is quite sad. When the Great War began on October 2077, 82 students from Early Dawn Elementary were partaking in a very long tour deep in the caverns.

These children, accompanied by a few adult chaperones, then felt the ground shake beneath them; unaware of what had happened, one of the kids went out to check only to report the mushroom clouds looming over the capital city not too far away. Soon after, the adults began either abandoning the children, choosing to leave the caverns, or they began to die from injuries sustained in the caverns, leaving the children to fend for themselves. After some time exploring the caverns, the children discovered and started banging on the door to Vault 87.

Peter Stevens, a vault technician, would answer their knocks from behind the closed door stating that they were already dead, refusing to open up. Some believe he actually thought the children to be hallucinations of his dead child. Regardless of his reasons, however, this was the point the children decided to swear off adults and fend for themselves, never again allowing ‘mungo’s’ as they call adults, to interfere with their lives. During all of this, these children would band together and set up a simple form of government with a ruling mayor.

This location can be found along the far western edge of the capital wasteland and north of the Yao Guai Tunnels. The Lone Wanderer will have to walk into the entrance of the caverns and face an impolite talking to by the young mayor MacCready before being granted access to the location.

In Brief:

  • The settlements mayor Joseph MacCready can be encountered again in Fallout 4.
  • Sections included within the caverns are Lamplight Restrooms, Spelunkers, Little Lamplight Office Building, a Souvenir Shop, and the Great Chamber.
  • If the player has the Child at Heart perk, an option to play tag with some of the children in the caverns becomes available. 
  • Quests associated with this location include Picking up the Trail, Happy Birthday to You, Rescue from Paradise, The Kid-Kidnapper, Those!, and Fungus Deal.

Paradise Falls

This location can be found in an old-world shopping mall. The controlling faction of this area, however, makes the name ‘Paradise’ seem like some sort of cruel joke. Controlled by the Slavers, this area is known throughout the capital wasteland for its ability to disappear people into indentured servitude or worse.

By the time the Lone Wanderer makes their way to Paradise Falls, the ruling slaver is Eulogy Jones, an intelligent man not short of charisma and a good wardrobe. Eulogy busies himself by controlling the purchase and selling of human beings, leaving the dirty work to his underlings, and rising to power by killing his former boss, the psychotic Harmon Jurley. Basically, then, Paradise Falls serves as a horrible, cattle mart-style auction house for the slavers of the wasteland to come together and sell/trade their slave collar trapped victims.

The settlement is famous for the denizens often encroaching into other locations such as Big Town and Little Lamplight. However, the slavers are not against, by any means, taking random souls from the roads and wildernesses of the wastelands should they come across any.

To find this horrible location, the Lone Wanderer must simply head north of Vault 101, Arefu, and/or Vault 106. The location is then further characterized by its rectangular layout and can be identified further by a Tall Boy statue outside.

In Brief:

  • Having negative karma when entering Paradise falls will open many dialogue options. Having evil or worse karma will allow the Lone Wanderer immediate access without paying by simply responding with ‘Do you know who I am?’.
  • Notable NPCs at this location are Eulogy Jones, Carolina Red, Crimson and Clover, and Grouse.
  • The speech bobblehead can be found here in Eulogy’s Pad.
  • If the player completes the quest, The Kid-Kidnapper, they will receive the unique item Bogeyman’s Hood.
  • Quests related to this area include Rescue from Paradise, Strictly Business, Economics of Violence, Strictly Profitable, and The Kid Kidnapper. 
  • Eulogy Jones will drop a finger when killed if the Lawbringer perk is selected. 
  • The area itself is very prone to hostility, with the slavers turning hostile through many ways including, drawing your weapon, bringing in certain companions such as Jericho, and entering the location via stealth.
  • If the Lone Wanderer frees the slave Arkansas, they will turn hostile, attacking everything in sight.

Big Town 

Big Town, despite its name, is a rather small to medium-sized settlement within the capital wasteland. It is rather meekly fortified and thus plays victim to countless slaver and super mutant attacks, despite what you may have heard from the denizens of Little Lamplight, who refer to the settlement as safe and comfortable. However, this may be because every child within little Lamplight, once turned 16, is actually banished out of the cavern system and into this town; thus, the children are probably more hopeful for this peace and tranquillity promised than certain.

With that being said, however, due to these constant attacks and kidnappings, the Lone Wanderer arrives in a town wherein the inhabitants have been defeated both physically and mentally. Not long after arriving, you will find that many inhabitants have also been recently kidnapped by super mutants and taken to the Old Police Station in Germantown, a bunch the player can choose to save.

What is great about this location is the effect the arrival of the player can have on it. If the Lone Wanderer decides to stay and help out the inhabitants by firstly saving their friends from Germantown and then helping them fortify and kill a super mutant attack thereafter, the settlement can be freed from these constant attacks. Not only will this result in the completion of the Big Trouble in Big Town quest, but it will also boost the moods of the NPCs who call the town home.

This location can be found far to the north of Vault 101, along the banks of the river, which cuts directly through the middle of the wastes. To gain access to the settlement, the player must cross a bridge as there is a moat dug around the area, with fortified walls around the other points of entry.

In Brief:

  • Big Town is actually a name derived from the songs of Roy Brown, a singer who also has two songs in the Fallout 3 soundtrack. Butcher Pete and Mighty, Mighty Man, can often be heard player by Three Dog over at Galaxy News Radio.
  • If the player saves Timebomb, you will be given a unique Lucky 8-ball as a reward.
  • The NPC’s mental state can be observed via dialogue with Buttercup before and after Big Trouble in Big Town’s completion. 
  • The main NPCs in this location are Buttercup, Dusty, Timebomb, Pappy, Flash, and Sticky.
  • Encounters with super mutants, raiders, and slavers are common in the surrounding areas of Big Town.
  • Quests related to this location include Strictly Business, The Replicated Man, Buttercup Runneth Over, Big Trouble in Big Town, and Happy Birthday to You.

Galaxy News Radio

This location functions similarly after the war as it did before, as a radio broadcasting station in the downtown Washington DC area. However, it is now run by the ever-popular Three Dog and functions more as a community radio station, reporting on the happenings and dangers of the capital wasteland. Three Dog took over the broadcasting station as early as 2272 with the help of Margaret, a technician. This station also concerns itself with the playing of Fallout 3’s soundtrack, mostly focusing on tracks from the 40s, 50s, and 60s, as well as the ongoing actions of the player character, the Lone Wanderer.

Most likely, the Lone Wanderer will find their way to GNR by following the main questline to find their father. At this time, the signal from GNR does not reach the entirety of the wastes and is, in fact, very spotty even as close as Megaton; therefore, when the player reaches Three Dog, after taking on a super mutant behemoth with the Brotherhood of Steel, and asks about their father’s whereabouts, the DJ offers the player a deal. If you help him by restoring a satellite dish on top of the Washington Monument, he will give you all that he knows. Alternatively, the player can get the information via speech checks, but this will still leave the GNR signal very spotty until the dish is replaced.

From this point on, after the super mutant attack and relative usefulness of the GNR building and its broadcast, the Brotherhood of Steel will take up permanent residence inside the plaza, defending the building and resident DJ. 

To find this location, the player needs simply follow the main questline; however, if you are a bit eager to meet Three Dog, simply head to the Chevy Chase district in the capital wasteland. This district can be accessed via the Farragut West Metro Station, the entrance to which is directly East of and across a small river from the Super-Duper Mart. 

In Brief:

  • Galaxy News Radio plays host to most of the game’s soundtrack whilst also immersing the player into the game by announcing the player’s achievements to the wastes as you progress.
  • Three Dog is a unique character; however, he can be killed. If this happens, the broadcast from GNR will change with a technician called Margert taking his place, only playing music.
  • Outside the GNR building, the player can find a Fat Man on a downed BoS soldier.
  • The GNR system appears in Fallout 4 under the name Silver Shroud Radio, operated by Kent Kennedy.
  • Related quests to this location include Galaxy News Radio and Following in His Footsteps.
  • Super mutants regularly spawn in this location, whilst ghouls can always be found when exiting through the rear of the building.
  • If the player completes an unmarked quest wherein they find information relating to their father and Three Dog in Rivet City, before completing the Galaxy News Radio quest, Three Dog will give the player a key to a weapons locker in Hamilton’s Hideaway.



Found in the Museum of History, Underworld is a settlement inhabited mostly by ghouls amongst the remains of a pre-war exhibit displaying alternative views of the afterlife with banners hanging either side of the entryway reading “an exhibit on death and the afterlife.” On the player’s map, this entryway is marked as ‘Underworld Journey.’ With this exhibit and the ghoul residents, one could argue that the Fallout 3 developers need a lesson on subtlety. Nonetheless, it is a very interesting location filled with many unique moments and sights. 

When trying to gain access to this Underworld location, the player will have to fight through myriad super mutants, or as I always do in the opening stages of the game, sneak around the edge and avoid them entirely. However, the inhabitants of Underworld state that they are mostly left alone by the super mutants, probably because they see the ghouls as something similar to themselves and therefore not the enemy. The residents do hold animosity towards the BoS, however, as they see the organization as nothing more than makers of conflict. 

When the Lone Wanderer initially gains entry in Underworld, the residents are initially stand-offish but welcome you anyway. This positive treatment is only continued if you meet Willow in ruins outside of the Museum, a ghoul which will help show you into the Underworld. Once inside the Lone Wanderer will find many stores, including Carol’s Place, The Chop Shop, The Ninth Circle, and Underworld Outfitter.

To find this location, the player will have to enter through the Museum of History, which can be located on the north side of the mall, northeast of the Washington Monument.

In Brief: 

  • The player may find Moira Brown at this location if they both choose to blow up Megaton and are yet to complete the Wasteland Survival Guide quest. 
  • This location proves key in the Riley’s Rangers quest as the infirmary heals up both Riley and her Rangers; going here is how you progress through the quest.
  • A Replicated Man holotape can be found in this location. 
  • If the player finds a note from Little Moonbeam’s father and gives it to Sydney, they will give the player Sydney’s 10mm ‘Ultra’ SMG.
  • The companion Charon can be recruited here; however, it will result in the death of the Underworld resident Ahzrukhal.
  • A great deal of the artwork and imagery found within the Underworld is inspired by Dante’s The Divine Comedy.

Raven Rock 

This facility, known as Site R, was built prior to the war by the Enclave operatives inside of the pre-war government. The idea behind the facility was to ensure the continuance of the Enclave even after the nuclear apocalypse they knew would happen. In the capital wasteland, more than 200 years post this Great War; the facility is doing just that, acting as a base of operations for the Enclave

One of the installed fail-safes within this facility was the ZAX unit. The purpose of which was to help run and automate many of the systems within the base. This system, however, would soon begin showing signs of sentience, of free thought, and therefore began pouring over documents and details referring to the world and the government at large. This system continued to do so as the world crumbled up until the Lone Wanderer made their way into Raven Rock as part of the main questline. By this time, the system had developed its own personality based on an amalgamation between the two former US Presidents, George Washington and Dick Richardson. This personality known as John Henry Eden would then contact the Enclave and become the president of the organization, ordering forces back to the Raven Rock Facility.

This facility, therefore, not only housed the system claiming to be the President of the United States but also had the manufacturing capabilities to continue the progress of the Enclave, with the ability to construct Vertibirds, power armor, and weapons. However, the all-powerful John Henry Eden did not see mutiny coming. At the point, the Lone Wanderer is captured and brought to Ravens Rock, Colonel Augustus Autumn, like any man with a name such as that, decided to launch an attack for the top seat. This then allows the Lone Wanderer to escape, either destroying the facility on the way out or leaving it to be destroyed by Liberty Prime-only two weeks after the activation of Project Purity.

To find this location, the player must head to the most north-westerly location in the capital wastes; however, the player can only go to this location a set number of times via the main plotline.

In Brief:

  • This location is the second-highest defended location of the Enclave after the Enclave Presidential Oil Rig.
  • The building is separated into two levels and a control room.
  • The energy weapons bobblehead is located here, near the end of sector 2C, in Colonel Autumn’s room. Since this location cannot be returned, this is the only chance to retrieve said item.
  • Quests related to this area are Finding the Garden of Eden and The American Dream. 
  • You may come up against all manner of robotic defenses, ghouls, and other enemies at this location.
  • To destroy Raven Rock, the player either needs to pass a speech check with the President, a science skill of 75, or via the self-destruct code found in Colonel Autumn’s room.
  • After leaving Raven Rock, Enclave soldiers will spawn outside the location every three days.


This location was formerly a simple series of mines hosting a massive network of cave systems below the surface of the United States. Once the bombs began to fall during the Great War, many inhabitants of the surrounding mining towns took to these same caverns for safety, similar to those at Little Lamplight. Over time though, this former mine began to feel the passage of time with the stripping of more and more of the mining equipment, which helped form the original cave system.

By the year 2240, however, the mine and above-ground rock formation began to see new life in its midst as Bob, and fan-favorite Harold found themselves arriving at the mines. However, by this time, Harold had begun to have had enough of Bob, the formation growing out of his head, and therefore decided to place roots down in Oasis.

This, therefore, resulted in both Bob and Harold being trapped in Oasis as mutant trees whilst later becoming deities to the Treeminders. These people see Harold and Bob as Gods and therefore worship them. The first to do this was Birch, who decided that Harold was not some abomination from the wastes but instead a God which he could form a cult around, defending the tree at all costs. These cult members also refer to a time of year called Harvest Month wherein Bob’s seeds ripen and disperse around him, thus creating life in an otherwise dead world.

When the Lone Wanderer arrives at this location, they are the first outsider to do so in years, and they must explore through the many sections of the Oasis in order to fulfill their quest, which includes the vast cave systems, The Grove, and much more. One interesting thing about this location is that it appears as though it had originally been planned to be included in the base game, accessible from the main map of the capital wasteland instead of being a separate world altogether.

This is displayed via the GECK editor, which shows an inaccessible door where Oasis should have been located in the wasteland called “OasisDoorFroomWastelandToHarold.” Whether this inclusion was cut due to time-saving reasons or because Bethesda saw dollar signs in the DLC potential of the area, we will never know.

In Brief:

  • Three Dog mentions the Oasis as a tree-filled place he once witnessed but explained it away as a possible vision from a drug-fuelled haze.
  • The player will eventually have a very difficult moral decision to make is whether to kill and spare Harold a life of torment, thus dooming the Oasis to Burn and collapse or to keep alive to suffer for the good of the people and Oasis as a whole.
  • The only quest related to this area is entitled Oasis.
  • Key figures from this location are Tree Father Birch, Harold, Bob, Bloomseer Poplar, Branchtender Cypress, and Leaf Mother Laurel.
  • In this location, you may face off against Mirelurks of all kinds, radroaches, and many more.

The Citadel

The Citadel, now headquarters for the Brotherhood of Steel in the capital wasteland, sits atop the ruins of the pre-war Pentagon building. This ruin was constructed in 1943 and soon became the headquarters for all military branches in America right up until the great war in October of 2077.

In the years proceeding the Great War, the Pentagon was also adapted to become a location for the most secretive research projects in the whole of the United States. Therefore, to conduct these experiments, a partnership between General Atomics and RobCo was launched, the overall aim of such partnership being the creation of Liberty Prime.

This robot would stand as a symbol of American strength, standing at 40 feet tall, heavily armored, and filled to the brim with armaments, including nuclear capabilities. However, this project was not finished before the Great War, and thus the project and building were abandoned.

This was the state of affairs for the old Pentagon building until the Brotherhood of Steel sent out a unit headed by then Star Paladin Owyn Lyons to recover any and all useful technologies for the cause. On this expedition, the Star Paladin came across the building and, in 2255, found that whilst the upper floors were damaged, the lower levels had been left mostly intact.

This building alone gave them enough technology to keep the brotherhood as a major force in the wasteland for years to come; of course, they also discovered the incomplete Liberty Prime. This discovery earned Star Paladin Lyons a promotion to Elder, with the new duty of establishing a BOS footprint in the capital wastes.

In moving into the old building, this brotherhood unit would fortify the destroyed above-ground building, thus turning it into the Citadel. In rebuilding, the BoS crews managed to bring back the courtyard and two inner rings into almost full operation, leaving the other rings as they were, simply mounting them with security for further layers of protection.

This location is key in the completion of the main quest as without the finishing of Liberty Prime, there would be no way that either the player or their Brotherhood allies could fight through the Enclave defenses set up around the Jefferson Memorial. 

This location is subject to many changes with the introduction of the Broken Steel add-on. Firstly, it can become a target for destruction via orbital missile when the player gains control of the Adams Air Force terminal at the end of the Who Dares Wins quest. Also, a super mutant overlord will spawn to the south side of the compound along with two other mutant variables.

To find this location, the player must head to the west end of Arlington Memorial Bridge or to the Northeast of the Arlington Library. However, you will not be granted access through the fortified front gate until you have progressed far enough in the central plotline.

In Brief:

  • The citadel is formed by the Bailer, the A and B rings, the laboratory, and an armory.
  • Key inhabitants of the Citadel include Elder Owyn Lyons, Sentinel Sarah Lyons, Scribe Rothchild, and Squire Anthony Maxson.
  • This squire, Anthony Maxson, grows up to be the Supreme Commander of the East Coast arm of the Brotherhood in Fallout 4.
  • In the B ring, you can find Smugglers End, a unique laser pistol inside Elder Lyons’ safe.
  •  Despite the BoS mission to destroy mutants, they will not fire on your companion Fawkes.
  • There are suggestions in Fallout 4 that the Citadel suffers a tragic event after the events of Fallout 3, yet it still remains the HQ for the eastern arm of the BoS.

Vault 112 and Tranquillity Lane

Vault 112, like any other vault constructed by Vault-Tec before the Great War, was billed as a safe haven for a select lucky few should the bombs fall. However, this was not the truth; in fact, Vault-Tec had planned all along to use these facilities to conduct individual scientific experiments on the trapped inhabitants of the vaults. 

This vault was one of the last to be completed, with construction only finishing in June of 2074, only three years before the first bomb fell. The vault was supposed to contain up to 85 inhabitants who would be placed into a virtual world for the entire duration of the vault’s experiment, which had no actual end date. The vault was also built to tend to the needs of the overseer, Dr. Stanislaus Braun, in return for his creation of the Garden of Eden Creation Kit or G.E.C.K. 

Within this vault then, the inhabitants would be placed in ‘Visiontron Loungers,’ whereby they would experience several different simulated worlds, each of which is governed by Dr. Braun. The last of these simulated worlds was Tranquillity Lane.

This simulation was supposed to be a representation of the ‘perfect life; however, with Dr. Braun being a typical Fallout overseer, that was not the case. With his complete control over the simulation, Dr. Braun would subject these inhabitants to severe mental torture, making them tend to his every whim. Braun, however, did decide to keep the simulation seemingly pleasant as he found that allowing the inhabitants to feel at home in an American-like suburb would make it even more satisfying when he eventually broke their peaceful, happy lives. 

This is where you eventually meet your father, trapped in this simulation by Dr. Braun in the form of a dog; however, the player does not know this when first entering the simulation. To get your father out of this predicament, the player can either go along with Dr. Braun’s sadistic requests, keeping him in the form of the little girl Betty happy for a little while longer. Or they can find a hidden terminal locked within the Abandoned house inside Tranquillity Lane. Unlocking this terminal will give the player a series of choices in order to end the simulation and therefore save your father.

You can find this location underneath Smith Casey’s Garage, westward of Evergreen Mills, and south of Charnel House.

In Brief

  • The player will have to take out several mole rats and radroaches in order to get access to the Vaults entrance door.
  • One of the Robobrain cleaners states that the lone wanderer is exactly 202.3 years late. By doing this math, it appears that Vault 112 went into isolation a full two years before the bombs even fell.
  • The only piece of notable loot that can be found in the equipment room, the overseer’s room password.
  • The G.E.C.K designed by Dr. Braun is a terraforming device created in order to make transforming the post-nuclear wasteland easier for the survivors. 

Republic of Dave

This small ‘micronation’ as it deems itself, is a settlement found in the capital wasteland. The ‘Republic,’ as they deem themselves, does not have a set name perse. Instead, it changes to fit the name of whoever is in charge of the settlement at that moment.
This location is one of the more unique and interesting places in the capital wasteland, with myriad quests and fun NPCs to interact with.

Another funny aspect of the location is the number of services it offers for the very small number of residents. Services like an Immigration Bureau, Tourism Office, and a Bureau of Dave-Like Activities. Yes, you read that right; there is a Bureau specifically designated to handling Dave-Like activities. Is this not reason enough to travel to this location.
To find this location, simply travel to the north-eastern section of the map and east of Old Olney and make sure you have at least 250 caps to make it through the Immigration Bureau. Yes, I’m not kidding.

In Brief:

  • This ‘Republic’ was formerly a kingdom under the reign of Tom. This changed after Dave allowed voting thus turning the settlement into a democracy.
  • Within this Republic, there is a museum, school, Capitol Building and separate men and women sleeping areas.
  • Notable lot in this area includes Ol’ Painless, a unique hunting rifle and the perception bobblehead that can be found in the museum.
  • Quests related to this location include You Gotta Shoot ‘Em in the Head and Election Day.

The Best of the Rest

We would love to spend all day listing every single area in this wonderful world map that Fallout 3 offers, but that’s not exactly conducive to a great article. So instead, here is a quick list showcasing the best Fallout locations we couldn’t squeeze in:

  • Fort Constantine
  • Vernon Square
  • Bethesda Ruins
  • Seward Square
  • Arlington House/ Arlington Library
  • – Reilly’s Rangers Compound
  • – Dukov’s Place
  • – Minefield
  • Old Olney
  • The National Archives
  • Fordham Flash Memorial Field
  • Georgetown East
  • Point Lookout (DLC)
  • – The Pitt (DLC)


Question: How many locations are there in Fallout 3?

Answer: There are exactly 163 marked locations in Fallout 3 once all location revealing perks have been selected; these are Lawbringer and Contract Killer as these add both the Regulator HQ and Scrapyard Office.

Question: How many vaults does Fallout 3 have?

Answer:The Fallout franchise is synonymous with the existence of weird, wacky, and troubling vaults being scattered throughout the wastes. Therefore, like every other title in the franchise, there are a number of unique vaults, 6 in total.

Question: Is the White House in Fallout 3?

Answer:As with many other IRL locations included in the fallout universe and Fallout 3 specifically, the White House is indeed in Fallout 3. It is also mentioned in Fallout 4 and 76.

So, there you have it, a detailed guide to some of the key and more unique locations scattered throughout the capital wasteland. Whether you wish to live in the lap of luxury behind the high walls of Tenpenny Tower or on the moving tides within Rivet City, this guide has hopefully helped give you some important details. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start exploring!

Question: What Other Games Like Fallout 3 Would I Enjoy?

Answer: If you were a huge fan of what Fallout 3 had to offer, then you should absolutely check out these gaming gems:

  • Fallout New Vegas (PS3, Xbox 360, PC)
  • Fallout 1+2 (PC)
  • Fallout 4 (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
  • The Outer Worlds (PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch)

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