Vault 13 Canteen Guide

Vault 13 Canteen Guide

Ever see that little pop-up notification informing you of a trusty canteen and the fact that you’re taking a sip from it? Most players know it, but they don’t know what it does.

So, I’ve written a Vault 13 Canteen guide to help clear up some of that confusion for you. The Vault 13 Canteen is an item that you get automatically at the start of the game if you’ve got the right DLC. If you’ve ever wondered where you picked it up, the answer is that you didn’t.

I’ve gone over how you get it and what it does and prepared a little history lesson regarding the Vault 13 Canteen below.

Key Details Up Front

  • What does the Vault 13 Canteen do? Every five minutes, it will restore 15HP. If you’re in Hardcore mode, it will also restore 25 dehydration.
  • How do you get the Vault 13 Canteen? To get the Vault 13 Canteen. You need to have the Classic Pack DLC installed. The only way to get this DLC was to have preordered Fallout New Vegas from select retailers or purchase the Courier’s Stash DLC.

What Does the Vault 13 Canteen Do?

Most Fallout New Vegas players could be forgiven for not knowing what the Vault 13 Canteen does. They might know of it and see the pop-up it gives you, but most players will never notice any tangible effect.

The Vault 13 Canteen’s actual value is found in Hardcore mode, not in vanilla Fallout New Vegas.

The canteen has two effects, only one found in vanilla.

  • It restores 15 HP every time you take a sip from it. 
  • In Hardcore mode, it reduces your dehydration by 25 every time you take a sip from it. 

So, in regular Fallout, it restores 15 HP. that’s a negligible number that makes the canteen useless in a normal playthrough of the game. In Hardcore mode, though, that 25 dehydration reduction makes it so that you never need to drink water, meaning you just have to manage your hunger and sleep. It makes that side of the game much more manageable, almost too much so.

You can’t just take a swig from the canteen any time you want. You also can’t refill it, interact with it, or even drop it. It might be stored in your inventory, but it’s a mechanic that works in the background without you needing to do anything.

Your character will take a sip from the canteen every five minutes from the time it’s added to your inventory. You’ll know when you take a sip because a notification pop-up will appear in the top corner of your screen.

This timer starts from when you first obtain the Vault 13 Canteen, and it runs indefinitely, including while you’re in your Pip-boy. It does not restart when you reload a save. This means that some bad timing with sleeping or traveling just before your five minutes is up results in you losing out on a swig, but that doesn’t matter too much given that you’ll have another one in literally a few minutes.

How to Get the Vault 13 Canteen

The Vault 13 Canteen can’t be picked up or found in the world of Fallout New Vegas. In fact, for a lot of the game’s initial lifespan, it wasn’t obtainable except to a select few people.

At first, only players who preordered a game version that came with the Classic Pack got the canteen. With that pack installed, it’s added to your inventory when you wake up in Doc Mitchell’s house. This pack also came with the Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit and the Weathered 10mm Pistol. It was named as such because Vault 13 is the vault home to the original Vault Dweller from Fallout 1. 

Once the Courier’s Stash DLC was released for the game, though, the Classic Pack, and by extension, the Vault 13 Canteen, became accessible to everyone and the three other preorder exclusive packs.

So, the Vault 13 Canteen is DLC. The only way for you to get it these days is to have the Courier’s Stash DLC, be one of the few who preordered the game with the Classic Pack all those years ago or have a version of Fallout New Vegas that comes with all of the DLC installed by default.

The Vault 13 Canteen in Previous Fallout Games

The Vault 13 Canteen is an homage to the original Fallout title. However, it’s also something of an easter egg itself. The canteen has appeared in both Fallout, and Fallout 2, in some shape or form.

In Fallout, if you took Outdoorsman as one of your tag skills, you would be given three flasks at the start of the game. In Fallout 2, you were given one in aid of your search for the G.E.C.K.

Both of these flasks are, more or less, identical in appearance to the canteen from Fallout New Vegas, right down to the blue and yellow vault embroidery.


Question: Does the Vault 13 Canteen do anything?

Answer: Yes. The Vault 13 Canteen will restore 15HP every five minutes. On Hardcore mode, it will also reduce your dehydration by 25.

Question: How do you repair the Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit?

Answer: The Armored Vault 13 Jumpsuit can be repaired with Combat Armor or Reinforced Combat Armor.

Question: Does the Vault 13 Canteen run out?

Answer: No, your Vault 13 Canteen will never run out. While you can’t forcibly take a drink from it, you will also never have to refill or interact with it.


So, there’s a quick little history lesson for you. There’s not much to this Vault 13 Canteen guide, but there doesn’t need to be. Its effect is simple, and all you have to do to get it is cough up some real-world money. It’s also a deceptively powerful little tool for a Hardcore playthrough.

Aside from its practical uses, it’s also a fun nod to the Black Isle Fallout games, especially considering a lot of the devs from that old team were a part of the Obsidian crew that developed New Vegas.

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