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Fallout Shelter guide, tips and tricks - how to earn resources and fight disaster

All the advice you need for a happy, functioning shelter.

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Image credit: Eurogamer

Fallout Shelter, the mobile and PC spin-off on the open-world Fallout games, is now available on Xbox One, too. Rather than charging through the wasteland like the traditional console iterations however, in Fallout Shelter you'll be taking on the role of a Vault Tech Overseer, charged with shepherding your very own set of dutiful Vault Dwellers through the dangers of post-nuclear apocalypse.

Fallout Shelter Trailer - Fallout Shelter at E3 2015Watch on YouTube

This guide will take you through everything you need to know for a successful shelter, starting on this page with some general tips and tricks for getting started, like what to do first, whether or not you can leave Fallout Shelter overnight, and specific tips for how to earn resources and avoid disasters.

The pages within, meanwhile, will take you through some of the specifics in more detail.

Fallout Shelter guides

Fallout Shelter Tips and Tricks

What to do first in Fallout Shelter

On setting up a new Vault, the first thing the game will have you do after you've chosen your Vault ID is build a Power Generator room, Water Treatment room, and Diner. You'll also have a handful of fresh-faced Dwellers arrive outside your shiny new shelter, so the first real job is to assign those to their most suitable rooms.

Fallout Shelter is at its core a game of efficiency, so if you're going to be successful, optimal placement of your rooms and Dwellers will to be crucial, and you can read more about this in our tips for optimal room placement.

How to get more resources in Fallout Shelter

How to get more food:

  • Build Diners
  • Assign Dwellers with high Agility
  • Open Lunchboxes

How to get more power:

  • Build Power Generators
  • Assign Dwellers with high Strength
  • Open Lunchboxes

How to get more water:

  • Build Water Treatment rooms
  • Assign Dwellers with high Perception
  • Open Lunchboxes

When to rush production in Fallout Shelter

Rushing production is risky business, as the game will tell you. By selecting the Rush button you'll send that specific room into overdrive for a couple seconds - if successful you'll get an extremely handy boost, with that room's resource output being granted instantly, along with a good chunk of caps. If unsuccessful however, you'll start a minor Disaster in the selected room, setting you back considerably whilst your Dwellers try to tackle the problem.

Generally in the early game, rushing has a roughly 60-70% chance of success. The best time to rush is immediately after a room's resources have been granted, so you can maximise the amount of time saved from skipping a production cycle. Because of the one-in-three chance of failure however, you'll want to use the Rush option sparingly. Save it for when a particular resource is just getting down to the minimum limit on the resource bar at the top of the screen. At this point a successful rush is normally enough to get you back on track, whilst a failure isn't totally catastrophic.

How to stop Disasters and Attacks

Disasters, such as fires or Radroach infestations, occur both at random and when you fail a production rush. Dwellers present in the room will automatically try to tackle the issue, but can be fairly easily overwhelmed, causing the problem to spread to adjacent areas of the vault.

Your best option is divert nearby Dwellers to the room where the problem originates, in the hope that a quick response will stop the problem spreading. Another strategy is to keep a few mid-level weapons in reserve, so that you can quickly equip the nearest Dwellers to the problem, rather than rushing others across from the other side of the vault. It also helps you keep track of weapons, which can be pretty tricky as your Dweller count grows.

Attacks occur periodically and, unlike Disasters, will always come from the same place - the front door. We've found that keeping a few well-armed and -armoured Dwellers in the production rooms close to the entrance has served us well; being only a couple of doors away means you can quickly divert them to the entrance area without the loss of production that would otherwise occur from placing a guard.

That being said, attacks will gradually ramp up in severity as the game progresses, so posting a guard or two in the Vault Door room isn't a bad idea if you're struggling, and have the human resources to spare.

Can you leave Fallout Shelter overnight?

You can; some aspects of the game will continue, whilst others will wait for your return. Settlers in the Wasteland will be at risk if you leave them for extended periods of time, but inside your Vault things will remain relatively in-check. No attacks or Disasters will occur while you're away, and your resources will take one initial hit on closing down the game which is effectively cancelled out by the fact that up to one cycle of production will also complete if you're away long enough, leaving you with a chunk of resources to collect on return.

The other main point is that pregnant women will give birth - and children will age - according to the clock as normal. As far as we can tell, nothing else of significance can happen while you're away; nothing will starve or explode without you there to see it if you leave the Vault in good order, so just be sure to set those explorers off on their journey home.