The original Fallout games may have had all the action, but not even the settlement system in Fallout 4 gives you the laser-focused resource management experience brought by Fallout Shelter. If you haven’t heard of it yet, Fallout Shelter is a mobile game spinoff developed by Bethesda Games and Behavior Interactive. The game puts you in the role of a vault administrator, making you in charge of keeping the vault safe, productive, and generally, alive,
Naturally, you have to make some morally dubious choices just to make sure your vault has enough manpower to keep going. That aside, a key part of keeping your vault running efficiently is shortening travel times and maximizing how far resources can travel from their source to other parts of the vault. After hundreds of hours and a lot of sore fingers, we’re happy to bring you a guide to making the best Fallout Shelter layouts.
The Ideal Fallout Shelter Layout
- Top Layer: Least important rooms, including Storage, Medbay, Science Lab, and Medbays.
- Middle Layer: Rooms with occasional use, such as Barbershop, Radio, Learning, Fitness Room, Weight Room, and Lounge. Some additional slots can be allocated for resource production rooms.
- Bottom Layer: Least important rooms, including Storages, Medbay, Science Lab, and Medbays.
How to Make a Fallout Shelter Layout
Step 1: Put your best fighters at the top floor of your Fallout Shelter vault
Let’s start with safety because if your vault keeps getting raided, it just takes more waves than you can handle until your entire vault fails.
To effectively withstand Raider attacks in Fallout Shelter, it’s crucial to staff the uppermost rooms with dwellers possessing the highest Strength and Endurance stats. You can get dwellers with these stats by matching up dwellers that already have them, resulting in children that you can use to protect the vault later. Additionally, these top-floor rooms should have rooms dedicated to the production of food, water, and electricity.
Dwellers in the highest rooms should be equipped with both guns and armor. Pregnant women and children, being non-combatants, should be kept away from these uppermost rooms.
Remember that Raiders and incidents such as fire, mole rat infestations, and radroach invasions spawn and propagate through interconnected rooms with dirt. To counter this, arrange vital rooms vertically and use elevators for connectivity.
You’ll also want to unlock Mister Handy and put him on the top floor just to help keep the tide of raiders back.
Step 2: Optimize the placement of your storage, labs, and living quarters
The lowest tier of your vault should house storage rooms, science labs, and living quarters. Unlike rooms dedicated to food, electricity, and water production, these rooms remain quiet and largely inactive.
In the event of an electricity shortage, rooms in the lowest tier are most affected. Hence, it’s wise to establish the base of your vault with unused rooms and position the crucial ones at the top.
Step 3: Place the non-essential rooms furthest from the core of your vault
Utilize the rightmost column for temporary-use rooms such as the Overseer’s Command Office, Athletics Room, Armory, Classroom, Game Room, and Barbershop. These rooms are infrequently accessed, and the time taken to reach them is not a significant concern.
When planning a vault redesign, consider placing non-essential rooms on the rightmost side. This makes it easier to remove them without compromising the vault’s functionality.
Step 4: Keep production rooms close to each other
Arrange production rooms like the Nuka-Cola bottler and Nuclear Reactor in close proximity. This facilitates quick movement of dwellers between them, ensuring that those with the best stats are grouped together during invasions.
Separating production and training rooms enhances both the aesthetic appeal of your vault and managerial efficiency.
Tips for Building a Fallout Shelter Vault
1. Be Aware of Your Vault Capacity
The total buildable size of your vault is 641 squares, consisting of the main area, which spans 26 squares in width and 24 rows in depth (624 squares). Additionally, there are 17 extra squares along the top line available for construction. When planning your layout, take into account the sizes of Fallout Shelter rooms, where elevators occupy one square, and rooms occupy 3 squares (up to 9 squares when merging three rooms of the same type).
2. Keep track AI behavior during raids
AI, such as raiders and deathclaws, consistently follow a specific pattern when entering your base. They enter through the vault door room and traverse each room on the current level until reaching the end. In the absence of an elevator at the end, they backtrack until finding an elevator and then move down one floor.
Upon descending, they prefer to go left if possible, otherwise opting for the right. When designing your Fallout Shelter setup, it’s crucial to carefully consider this AI pathway, especially since attacks are frequent occurrences in the mid-game.
3. Take note of how incidents happen in Fallout Shelter vaults
Incidents have distinct rules governing their spawns and spreading to adjacent rooms. Molerat incidents, for instance, will only spawn if the room is in contact with a dirt area. If not addressed by your dwellers, incidents spread over time, but they won’t spread through dirt. If every room susceptible to the incident has already been affected, it will naturally resolve itself.
The scaling of incidents is influenced by room size and level, emphasizing the need to avoid premature upgrades in your progression. Consequently, several Fallout Shelter layout strategies aim to leverage this mechanic to either self-resolve incidents or entirely avoid Molerat encounters.