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Fallout Shelter - Quests, Combat Tips, Daily Quests and rewards explained

You're off to the Wasteland - here's how to survive it!

Fallout Shelter is well and truly established on PC now. Arriving back in 2016 it brought with it the all-important update in patch 1.6. The game's Quest system, and everything it brought, is undoubtedly the standout feature, with you now able to leave the Vault and explore Wasteland locations yourself for the first time.

Cover image for YouTube videoFallout Shelter Trailer - Fallout Shelter at E3 2015
Fallout Shelter Trailer - Fallout Shelter at E3 2015

It brings Fallout Shelter players a much-needed impetus to continue - I've often found myself wondering why I'm still here since reaching an early-game resource equilibrium - and as such we'll be taking you through everything new in the latest version. If you're looking to find out how Quests work and what to do with the new Combat system, you've come to the right place.

What are the Fallout Shelter Quests?

An entirely new addition to Fallout Shelter, Quests allow you, the Overseer, to step outside the vault with your Wasteland explorers for the very first time. Multiple quests are available at one time for you to choose from, with varying complexity, rewards and level requirements. In brief, they require you to assemble a crack team of explorers, kit them out, and send them to the Quest location. Those locations act like smaller versions of your Vault, with the rooms blacked-out until you manually explore them with your squad. Normally, your objective is to rescue and/or kill someone at the heart of the building, meaning quests generally play out with you slowly fighting your way through rooms one at a time until you reach your final goal.

Most Quests are also time-limited. There's a daily quest, available for 24 hours at a time, alongside others which periodically become available - for different lengths of time, depending on the quest. Interestingly, there are also more story-driven quest lines, which unfold over multiple individual adventures such as the search for Paul Plumbkin in the A Thirst for Adventure quest series.

How to unlock Quests in Fallout Shelter

To gain access to Quests, you'll first need to build the Overseer's Office room in your Vault. Our guide to room layout and efficiency has more on that, but in short you'll need a population of 18 Dwellers and a pile of 1,000 Caps to get that built. Once your office is up and running, Fallout Shelter will take you through a quick tutorial Quest. Then, when you've put together a squad of up to three Dwellers and equipped them according to your needs, you're all set.

We just so happen to have a guide on how to get more Dwellers, and likewise how to get more Caps, so give them a look if you're eager to get started on your Wasteland adventures.

What to expect from your first quest

That first quest is relatively simple, but serves as a good example of what to expect from others down the line: your explorers arrive at a relatively tame wasteland building of some kind, tasked with exploring each room, one by one, until they complete their objective. Expect a bit of combat - although the first quest is pretty trivial in terms of difficulty - so you'll want to assign some weapons and outfits to your team if possible, including RadAway and several Stimpaks. It's wise to leave some gear behind though, as unless you want to spend Nuka Quantum on speeding up your team's return, your Vault can be vulnerable to attacks in their absence.

Quest and Combat Tips in Fallout Shelter

How does the Combat system work

Combat - actual, real combat - is new in the latest Fallout Shelter update. Whilst defending your Vault remains exactly the same, Questing and Wasteland exploring plays out rather differently.

That being said, the combat is still nice and simple. You can now target specific enemies by left-clicking on your character and then the enemy you'd like to target, or by clicking and dragging to drop the target symbol over enemies. There's also a new critical hit system, which is a simple reactions-based minigame that requires you to click on the yellow icon then the arrows reach the centre. The closer they are to the centre, the higher damage you'll do - up to a maximum of 5x the original amount. You can also use Stimpaks and RadAway during combat - and you'll need to - so keep an eye on your individual explorers' health as you battle.

Combat Tips

There are a few tips and tricks to bear in mind with Fallout Shelter combat:

  • Critical hits require you to be attacking the same target for a while before the option appears.
  • Characters with higher Luck stats will build up critical hits more effectively.
  • Agility determines how frequently your characters will attack - the higher the better.
  • You'll want to have a variety of character traits in your squad - from our experience Perception, Strength, Endurance, Luck, and Agility all appear have a part in how Quests can play out.
  • Focus on one enemy at a time in group combat. That way you'll minimise the incoming damage as quickly as possible by eliminating the damage dealers. Likewise, you'll want to focus the highest damage-dealing enemy first, so keep an eye out for who's cutting through your squad the fastest.
  • You can heal and use RadAway during combat, but once you enter a room with enemies, you can't leave until all of them have been wiped out. If you get to a point where you have no Stimpaks then and relatively low health, it's better to quit while you're ahead - unless you're happy to pay to revive your squad.
  • Quests normally take around 3-4 hours to reach, and 3-4 hours to return from. You can speed this process up with Nuka Quantum however, which is most frequently earned by questing anyway.
  • One Nuka Quantum equals two hours - towards any goal that's applicable - so if you're just over the two hour mark, or a multiple of two, it's far more efficient to wait until it the timer drops just under the multiple-of-two mark than to spend the excess Quantum on just a few minutes.

Other Fallout Shelter guides:

Looking for more guides on Fallout Shelter? Take a look at our main Fallout Shelter guide and tips page, our guide to room functions and room placement, advice on dwellers, SPECIALS, happiness and breeding, explainations of Legendary Characters, Pets, Weapons and other collectibles, how to unlock and use Mr Handy, plus how to earn Bottle Caps and Lunchboxes with Objectives, and our page on Quests, combat, and Daily Quests in Fallout Shelter, too.

Fallout Shelter Quest rewards

Quest rewards can vary, granting you a combination of lunchboxes, weapons, junk, outfits, Nuka Quantum, and even new Dwellers.

Likewise, you can also find new Dwellers whilst out on your adventures, and your team can also find a considerable amount of loot inside the various rooms they'll explore. Containers like safes, cupboards, lockers and chests will sparkle to indicate the presence of loot, but do note that your team of explorers has to be inside the room in question in order to collect it.

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Chris Tapsell

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Chris Tapsell is Eurogamer's Deputy Editor and most decorated Football Manager. He used to write guides, and will send you links to his favourite spreadsheets if you ask him about League of Legends or competitive Pokémon.