Fallout Shelter, a mobile base builder set in Bethesda's quirky, post apocalyptic future, has become a surprise hit this summer. Partially because it gave us Fallout evangelists something to temper our hype with until November, but also because the game is fun. It was an iOS exclusive forever, but is finally making its debut on Android-based devices this month. Before you pick up your Nexuses and Droids, allow an old veteran to hit you with some fast tips on how to build a successful Vault.
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1. Build for tomorrow, today!
Room placement is the most important part of the game. It's where your dwellers turn time into money and other resources, and it's something they'll have to do all day, every day. You can't just go dropping rooms all willy-nilly, though. You can only destroy rooms at the end of horizontal rows, so if you decide you don't like that storage room so close to the elevator, you'll have to tear out whatever you build next to it, first.
The temptation will be to build out first and deep second, but it may be wiser the other way around. Giving your rooms the space to expand (which they can do up to three times) before slapping something next to it allows you the time to make sure it'll work where it is. For example, one three-block power station is more productive and efficient than three single-block stations, and their proximity to other rooms determines which ones will shut down first in the event of a power outage.
2. Be a people person!
The SPECIAL system returns in a new iteration for Fallout Shelter. Each dweller has a smattering of talents and usefulness, and these correspond directly with the sorts of rooms you can build. The basic goal here is to make sure that the people you have in your vault are working in a room that most reflects their best talents. Strength is required in power stations, Perception in water treatment plants, etc. Eventually, you can build rooms that train specific stats, making dwellers better over time.
Keeping dwellers happy also make them more productive, and putting them in a role that capitalizes on their strengths is one way to do so. Others involve keeping them healthy and rad-free, or getting them pregnant. Be sure to keep them busy, though. Any dweller on a "coffee break" isnt just taking a breather, they're unemployed and absorbing valuable resources with no output. Can't have that stuff in the wasteland.
3. Protect the bloodline.
The game is all about attracting dwellers to your vault in order to grow and prosper in the dark, green-tinged future. This proposition is harder than it sounds, as people don't regularly gravitate to your vault naturally. The real reliable source of population growth, then, becomes making babies. Making many, many babies.
When you put a male and female dweller in a living quarters together, after a little sweet talking, they get down to business. Then comes a period of pregnancy, and voila, out comes the child of destiny! A kid's SPECIAL spread is based on that of the parents, so selective breeding is encouraged. Also know that a child is useless, production-wise, so for a time after birth, the kid will be absorbing resources that it can't recoup through mindless labor. But short of buying lunchboxes and hoping you get special characters, breeding is the only way to make better starter dwellers.
4. Stay strapped.
Vaults are safe alternatives to the radioactive desert, but they aren't without tribulation. Threats from the outside almost always find their way in somehow, and it's imperative you make sure that your dwellers are ready for anything. When you get weapons and gear, be sure to equip them ASAP, as it makes them better at fending off rad roach infestations or raider invasions. Having as many people holding as possible means less of a headache for you, because dwellers won't chase threats from room to room, even if the threats are running amok. If raiders run from one room full of gun enthusiasts to the next, it'll be like they never left the firing range.
The best way to get gear is to send dwellers out into the wasteland to find it. The longer they trek, the better gear they find. Much of the clothing comes with bonuses to SPECIAL stats other than Endurance, so equipping dwellers with them strategically can also bring up resource production.
5. Be goal-oriented
If you don't wish to reach into your wallet and spend actual money on Lunchboxes - packages of premium items and resource bundles - than you're going to have to get good at meeting in-game objectives. Be it leveling up dwellers or collecting X amount of a resource, these objectives always come with a reward, usually of caps, but sometimes of Lunchboxes. Don't be afraid of cycle out the harder ones when you have the chance, efficiently conquering objectives involves doing them as quickly and effortlessly as possible, and as often as possible.
Let us know how these work out for you in the comments below, or tweet to us @CurseGamepedia.