War never changes in the post-apocalyptic landscape of Fallout. Citizens either fell to the attacks during the Great War or struggled to survive in the aftermath. They were either mutated into Ghouls or managed to survive, thanks to the efforts of the Vault Dweller and Chosen One. Others lived peacefully within the Vault-Tec bunkers or were forced to undergo the company’s cruel experiments.
The Fallout series was first introduced in September 1997 but has since branched out into a wide world filled with lore. We learned about life before the Great War in Fallout 4, the rebuilding right after in Fallout 76, and how both the West and East Coast managed to rebuild over the past two hundred years.
Some parts of the series are lacking detail. Fans had often complained about Bethesda inserting new lore into the series, such as when the Brotherhood of Steel first appeared on the East Coast, but the developer/publisher is only filling in the gaps. Players have also found themselves coming up with fan theories when they come across Easter eggs in the game. Though the developer may have intended a reference to be fun and lighthearted, fans misinterpreted their efforts.
In our list, we have compiled some of the fakest Fallout series fan theories being spread online. While some are too ridiculous to be taken seriously, some are so surprising that fans couldn’t believe they were true. Before you try to discover what’s real or fake, be advised that this list contains major spoilers for the entire series.
25 False: Become An Astronaut
The Fallout universe is filled with various propaganda-style images. Vault-Tec advertises how wonderful their vaults are, only to lead many to their dooms. Nuka-Cola uses various posters to make the soda appear as an elite drink.
The Brotherhood of Steel has posted false advertisements throughout the Commonwealth.
They have posters of their soldiers on the moon. Fans hoped this would lead to a future DLC. Unfortunately, the only time gamers traveled to outer space, so far, was during the Fallout 3 Mothership Zeta EP.
24 True: Same Place, Same Time
There was a rumored leaker named Sandra Reed who disclosed details regarding Fallout 4. Her information about the location and period were accurate. Fallout 4 took place within the Commonwealth, which was a few states North of the Capital Wasteland.
With the games within the same coast, fans wondered if Fallout 3 and 4 would have a connection, This was also true. There was plenty of content overlap since Fallout 4 took place ten years after the events of the previous game.
23 False: Do No Harm
In the early Fallout games, children weren't innocent from the darkness of the post-apocalyptic world. Fallout 2 originally allowed the Chosen One to consider them enemies, but at the risk of being known for their sinister deed.
Players wondered if Bethesda would allow children to become enemies again in the future installments. This turned out to be false. Children are considered essential NPCs. The kids in Little Lamplight might appear annoying, but in the end, they always wind up helping you complete Project Purity.
22 False: Get Away With Anything
Fallout 3 begins with a few short prologue scenes. Gamers withness the Lone Wanderer's birth and growth into a 19-year-old adult. During these short scenes, gamers can make choices. Though they're easy to ignore, they have consequences later.
If you decide to be mean to Old Lady Palmer in response to your sweet gift, she'll remember it later.
It's an early lesson that characters remember your choices. If you think you're going to get away with bad actions, the characters in the game always find out.
21 True: Through Sickness And In Health
During the prologue of Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor watches helplessly as their Spouse is eliminated and their baby is taken. In a world where humans are swapped out for Synths, fans wondered if the same was possible for Nate or Nora. They also hoped it was possible to reunite the spouses.
Within the cut content was the side quest "The Replacement." The quest would unlock after completing "The Battle of Bunker Hill." The Sole Survivor's spouse would be reborn as a Synth.
20 False: A Journey To The Swamp
Seven years passed between the release of Fallout 3 and 4. Gamers eager for a new sequel began to share rumors every time Bethesda or Obsidian, who developed Fallout: New Vegas, made an announcement. In 2016, news quickly spread that the European Intellectual Property Office copyrighted Fallout New Orleans. The trademark was never officially approved and eventually removed. Fans most likely twisted news regarding Obsidian visiting New Orleans for research. That research turned into Pillars of Eternity 2.
19 True: Profits Before People
Don't let the posters of happy people walking into Vaults fool you. Vault-Tec was not interested in the happiness of the American people.
Vault-Tec was working with the government to experiment on unsuspecting people.
Vault-Tec was also known for creating post-war technology. That includes testing with the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV), which led to all of the Super Mutants we saw in the Capital Wasteland. Vault-Tec wanted to make sure they were still creating products, even in the aftermath of a nuclear war.
18 False: A Misunderstood Super Mutant
The Super Mutant process removes all humanity from its victim. One of those victims was Fawkes, who lived in Vault 87. Fawkes' voice actor made a joke during an interview that Fawkes was previously female. There was proof that the mutant was named Shelton Delacroix and wore a male-style Vault Dweller uniform.
Lead Designer Emil Pagliarulo made it clear on the Bethesda forums: "No, Fawkes was absolutely a male. This was a mistake. Wes gave an interview, and he was mistaken. Trust me, Fawkes is and was male."
17 True: The Water Holds Many Secrets
The maps of Fallout are often outlined with large bodies of water. Most gamers stay away from a dip in the ocean. The water is highly irradiated, and if you jump in wearing Power Armor, you might never get that suit back. Fans have speculated that something is lurking underwater.
According to cut content, the Sole Survivor worked with Captain Zao of the Yangtze to uncover Vault 120, which was completely submerged underwater. Unfortunately, no other information about the vault was revealed.
16 False: Is He An Institute Spy?
Dogmeat has appeared in every Fallout game since the beginning of the series. Bethesda has continued this tradition into Fallout 3 and 4. In Fallout 4, the Sole Survivor will discover Dogmeat waiting by Red Rocket.
Fans immediately began to speculate that Dogmeat was a Synth sent by Father to watch your movements.
Though Dogmeat is faithful to the Sole Survivor, Mama Murthy explains the dog's actions. He's wandering the Wasteland, helping others. Dogmeat has even helped out Nick Valentine solve cases. Dogmeat is a "free spirit" who chooses his companions wisely.
15 False: Shared Universe
Bethesda now develops two award-winning series: Fallout and The Elder Scrolls. The developer knows they have fans who play both games. To add some fun to the series, they placed a reference to Skyrim in Fallout 4. The Elder Scrolls' Nirnroot can be found growing on the Brotherhood of Steel's Prydwen.
Bethesda's Marketing Director Pete Hines made it clear "No, I don't think there's any universe in which those universes are in the same universe. That's not a thing." It's just a fun Easter egg and nothing more.
14 True: Everyone Is Unique
In the first Fallout game, the Vault Dweller is tasked with helping Ghouls in Necropolis repair their water source. If the Vault Dweller agrees, the Ghouls will survive. Otherwise, the ending card states that all of the creatures perish from dehydration.
Fallout 4 features the infamous "kid in a fridge" Billy who has survived for 200 years. All Ghouls have different physiology. Since Billy is young, he can survive for longer without fulfilling his basic needs. That's why Raiders prefer to capture younger Ghouls.
13 False: Blame The Aliens
Not much was known about the aliens of Fallout. In the first two games, we only saw their spaceships crash landed on earth. Fallout 3 explores aliens further. Aliens were stealing unsuspecting settlers for centuries. There's a recording of the aliens attempting to probe a United States' military official 's mind for information.
Some fans believe that aliens extracted the nuclear launch codes and started the Great War.
No one currently knows who launched the first missile to start the war, only that the West Coast was the first area in the US to be affected.
12 False: Gamers Craft The Future
When news of Fallout 4 was being leaked, some individuals online decided to have some fun with fans. They began to release fake information about the game to mislead gamers.
The hoax site thesurvivor2299 released a document with leaks about Fallout 4, which would be an Alternate Reality Game (ARG). They stated Fallout 4 would be a game crafted by fans in real time. Fans would shape the Commonwealth with the help of Bethesda. The developer/publisher quickly disproved this claim.
11 True: They Do Exist
We've seen aliens in every numbered Fallout game. In Fallout 3 and 4, they're hostile. They're not interested in working together with humans. This isn't due to the changes over the past 200 centuries. Aliens have had a long history of exploring the Earth.
According to the Cabot family, some ancient aliens once helped humans develop new civilizations. The Cabot family has been alive since the mid-1800s thanks to an alien artifact. A possibly one of the oldest characters in the series, we can believe that aliens do exist in Fallout's world.
10 False: A Misleading Trademark
After the release of Fallout: New Vegas, gamers believed that the next sequel might not have a number, but the name of the location. In 2014, after the fake trademark for Fallout New Orleans and thesurvivor2299.com were released, fans were speculating about the next game. At the German Patent and Trademark Office, another hoax was born.
Fans found a fake trademark for Fallout: Shadow of Boston, which many fell for, even without Bethesda's confirmation.
When Bethesda did comment, they made it clear "The German trademark filing that's making the rounds is a hoax. This didn't come from our offices."
9 True: A Ghoul Made His Choice
Ghouls were once humans. After being hit with a high amount of radiation, their bodies transformed into zombie-like creatures. Many believe that Ghouls were created through the Great War.
It's possible for any human at any time to morph into a Ghoul. One example is your recruitable companion, John Hancock. He was once a normal human. His passion for experimenting with dangerous products led him to mutate into a Ghoul. If it can happen to Hancock, it's possible that any other creature can transform into a Ghoul.
8 False: Reducing Player Choice
The fake Reddit post by Sandra Reed did have some truths behind it. Fallout 4 took place in Boston. The male protagonist would say the iconic line "War. War never changes." instead of Ron Perlman. Reed's post shocked many gamers when it stated that the male protagonist was the only option.
The Fallout series has always had a male or female choice with customization options. This theory was quickly proved wrong. Bethesda showed custom character options and pre-established protagonists named Nate or Nora.
7 False: Teddy Bears Replaced The Young
Fallout 4 and 76 contain a large number of teddy bears. There are a variety of these adorable plush toys throughout the East Coast. Fans began speculating that these toys were a replacement for children. Children were removed entirely from Fallout 2, which is how they proved their claim. This is untrue, as children are found throughout Fallout 3 and 4. They are considered essential characters.
Teddy bears, like mannequins, are only there to provide some humor to the bleak world.
These toys can also be found participating in grown-up ways, making it even more apparent teddy bears are not children.
6 True: Toned Down The Series
Developers love to insert various Easter eggs into games to amuse fans. There is too much of a good thing. Bethesda used the first Fallout game as a base for their future Fallout games.
During an interview with the developer/publisher, Todd Howard states "Fallout 2 is also great, but it was a little too nod-nod-wink-wink in its jokes. Too many pop culture references, too much breaking of the fourth wall" and "we prefer Fallout's still-funny, but toned-down humor in comparison." That doesn't mean that Bethesda removed all Easter eggs. Fallout 4 contains references to Jaws and Blade Runner.
5 False: The Sole Survivor Isn’t Real
Gamers follow the Sole Survivor from the beginning of the game until the end. They have retained all of their memories and even bring up pop-culture references from their youth. DiMA tries to make the Sole Survivor question their humanity, which led many fans to believe you are playing as a Synth. It's highly unlikely the Sole Survivor is a Synth since they have been in cryogenic sleep for the past 200 years. If their cryogenic pod was opened to replace their body, it would have awakened them again.
4 True: Added More Player Choice
The Fallout games have only allowed players to control humans. The world contains a variety of creatures, but the protagonist is a customizable human.
Fans believed that it was the game engine holding playable races back.
Fans were correct. When Fallout: New Vegas was in development, Obsidian planned to create three playable races: humans, Ghouls, and Super Mutants.
Bethesda had to step in and told Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart "We would really suggest that you not try to do that."
3 False: A Misleading Future
Reddit is a forum where may like-minded gamers go to read the latest news about their favorite games. In 2013, one person decided to create an elaborate hoax to "bring the community together."
Spending almost $1,000 on the project, he created the website thesurvivor2299.com. The site featured a countdown ticker and trickles of information that would be revealed over time. Many fans fell for the trick. Bethesda eventually announced that this website was not affiliated with their development/publishing studio. It was nothing but a disappointing hoax.
2 True: No Longer Part Of The Series
Most gamers know of Fallout 1 and 2, which were developed by Black Studio Isle and published by Interplay. Before Bethesda obtained the series, they released other side games. Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel take place in the same universe but have been disregarded as "non-canon."
Bethesda tried to make the story fit their new narrative in Fallout 3. Executive Producer Todd Howard stated, "For our purposes, neither Fallout Tactics nor Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel happened."
1 False: Predicting The Future
Three Dog is the charismatic DJ of Fallout 3's Galaxy News Radio. He reports on everything happening around the Capital Wasteland. Permanently removing him from his post is possible. Instead of playing music, Galaxy News Radio transforms into the "Numbers Station." Various morse code will begin to play.
Players began interpreting these numbers into future predictions of tragic events, such as the Deepwater Horizon incident.
GamesRadar reached out to Bethesda for comment and was simply told: "Sounds like a cool theory, but there's no truth in it."