The Fallout universe is, by now, one which has been thoroughly fleshed out. Bethesda has committed a ton of resources towards recreating areas which feel and look real. Their most recent iteration, in Fallout 4, pushes this commitment to mimicry to a whole new level.
You walk into a building and are confronted by all the clutter of a post-war world, with all the sad stories it leaves behind. In many ways, Bethesda uses this clutter to heighten the sense of drama and nostalgia within the Fallout series. At least, that's one way to look at it.
But let's be real before Fallout 4's base-building mechanics there were some items in the Fallout universe which were just plain USELESS. You probably collected gnomes in Fallout 3 without even knowing why, as if ordained by an unseen gnomish force (or it may have been Mothership Zeta). Join me as I try and go back through the series to find the BEST and most USELESS items of the Fallout universe.
29 BEST: Make Money From Money (Fallout 3 and 4)
Who could have guessed, money is worthwhile.
It may seem self-evident, but one of the most useful items in the Fallout universe remains this old-world staple. It isn't heavy (depending on mods and difficulty) and can be lugged around until you've had enough and want to make a profit! All merchants are happy to take it off your hands, so there really isn't a downside to collecting the item. It's also found pretty much everywhere, with an emphasis on old world locations which are now abandoned.
28 USELESS: The Star-Cap Myth (Fallout: NV)
Let me tell you a tale, wise reader. It's a sad one, but one you need to hear.
It's the story of a New Vegas player who comes across a Sunset Sarsaparilla bottle cap on which is painted a blue star. The player wonders, whatever could this cap mean? Can I use it? They're told by everyone in the wasteland that it will lead to a secret treasure, heck, they may meet the strange fellow who confirms it. But the truth dear reader, the truth is that they'll likely never collect them all. Unless you're very committed to knowing what the treasure is (like me), these items will always stay an unfulfilled dream in your pocket.
27 BEST: The Best Type Of Ammo (Fallout 4)
By now, most people who play Fallout have collected ammo and know how valuable it is.
Not only will ammo get you out of a tight spot its value is also monetary. Because most players focus on a particular type of weapon and forget the rest, you've got a steady stream of ammo you won't be using any time soon!
What better thing to do than sell it for a quick buck.
While I could have singled out a variety of ammo types for this entry, I chose .38 because the revolver is one of my least used weapon types. Substitute it for .50 or Shells as need be!
26 USELESS: Rocket Parts With No End (Fallout 3)
Another controversial weapon pick, because I know of people love this one.
The Rock-It-Launcher in Fallout 3 served many purposes. It's primary one being that it provided a use for many of the useless items I've included in this list. Toss anything in the weapon and toss it at your foes! While that is funny in practice, my gripe is against the weapon's many components. These 4 items appear everywhere in the world and their only real use is to be used in the junk launcher. Unless you have the schematic and you're committing to it, you're often left with too few of the needed components. It's a hassle to put together and its components clog up the wasteland, so it's on the list.
25 BEST: Making It With Military Boards (Fallout 4)
Here we go, now it's time to talk about Fallout 4 Junk!
While there is a lot of junk to discuss in the game, the truth is that most of them are quite useful! Because of the new settlement mechanic, most players found a use (if only decorative) for every small part of the commonwealth. However, I'll draw your attention to the military circuit board as one of the best. Why? Because it provides you with 5 circuitry components in a wasteland that demands them! It also helps out with the main storyline quest, so it's best to keep a few spare handy.
24 USELESS: Healing Powder For Your Wounds (Fallout: NV)
There has been some good healing powder in the Fallout universe.
Fallout Tactics and Fallout 2 featured just such great poultices. You knew they would be useful in a pinch, especially if you had no Stimpacks ready. But one of these healing powders is not like the rest.
I'm talking about the one you craft in Goodsprings as part of the introductory quest line.
Not only will the New Vegas healing powder deduct 2 perception points from the player, it only heals them for 2 hit points every second for 18 seconds. We're not talking big numbers. While the healing scales with medicine, it remains a lackluster item best left to the Legion.
23 BEST: Magnets And Their Price (Fallout 4)
How do they work? No one will ever know, magnets are magic. They also power Diamond city's noodle shop!
What we do know is that their inclusion in Fallout 4 turned out to provide some of the best utility for players. Just like the military circuit board, the high-powered magnet is essential to base-building and weapon upgrades. It provides the player with nuclear material, copper, and ceramic (that ain't no joke in Fallout 4). Also, it has a pretty big role to play in the Brotherhood of Steel quest line (which is the best). Magnets are pretty dope, it turns out.
22 USELESS: Broc Flowers (Fallout: NV)
Take this entry with a grain of salt, because I never liked the Survival mechanics in Fallout New Vegas.
This isn't really about Broc flowers being useless. In fact, if you invest the time and precious skill points into it, you can turn these little flowers and other components into Stimpacks, Healing Powder, and Turbo. While that sounds like a good deal, I'm at a loss as to why you'd ever invested points into survival! The mechanic was so badly implemented in New Vegas that it made little sense, especially when the points can be allocated to more useful purposes like barter! Buy your Stimpacks from vendors! It's nothing personal Broc Flower, it's about what you represent.
21 BEST: Keep The Bottles (Fallout 4)
Survival requires water, and water requires a place to store it! Basic, but important in the wasteland!
That's why our next item on the list is just such a basic component.
Empty bottles were particularly important in Fallout 4.
The addition of a survival mode which players could play only aggravated the need for some cool and clean water. Once you'd finished downing a good bottle of Nuka cola, you could keep it to refill at a pump or lake! Make the most of your inventory and recycle your bottles.
20 USELESS: Di-NO Toys (Fallout: NV)
Bad pun aside, the Dino toys which are found in Novac really are useless.
You may confuse them with their slightly more glamorous cousin "Dinky the T-Rex Souvenir". Both are found around Novac, the city which hosts Dinky the T-Rex in all its glory. While T-Rex souvenirs are worth a WHOLE cap, the Dino toys aren't worth anything! It also doesn't weigh anything, so if you wanted to collect an infinite amount of them you'd be able to. Did I mention no merchant will buy a Dino toy from you? Useless is the only word that comes to mind.
19 BEST: Thaw The Freeze (Fallout 4)
Here we are again with another junk item, this time: Antifreeze.
You may be thinking this just another piece of junk. But you'd be wrong! It turns out that Suprathaw antifreeze is a surefire means to make all the chems and explosives you need! The junk item provides players with 3 parts of acid, which is essential to most crafting at a chem station. If you've got a knack for mad-science work, antifreeze is your friend in the wasteland. Also, if you're hoping to join the coolest cats in the wasteland, you'll need to provide them with some.
18 USELESS: Silverware For Your Ghoul Guests (Fallout: NV)
We're now about to delve into serious junk territory. And it isn't related to the Silver Rush.
I'm talking about silverware (GET IT) which is found pretty much everywhere in Fallout 3 and New Vegas. While the plates and utensils you find in Fallout 4 can be put to good use, the same can't be said about these earlier entries.
You can sell them, sure, but for a price that makes keeping them kind of ridiculous.
These mementos of the past are great at reinforcing Bethesda's world-building, but utterly useless otherwise. Hard pass on the silver, don't waste your valuable time. This advice changes if you're hoping to invite some friends for supper at the loge in the Lucky 38 Casino.
17 BEST: Abraxo Cleaning Bank (Fallout 4)
Abraxo cleaner. It's been with us for so long in the Fallout universe.
And now, now only can it's patented cleaning formula get rid of your wasteland stains, it can also provide you with a pretty penny! Abraxo cleaning products come in two formats in Fallout 4. You've got your regular brand, which provides you with antisceptics, acid, and fiberglass (good scope-making material) and the military grade cleaner. It's rather self-evident that the latter provides you with more crafting components. If you're looking to make good use of a chem station, Abraxo cleaner is the way to go.
16 USELESS: Firehose Nozzle Without A Fire (Fallout: NV)
You're playing Fallout New Vegas. Suddenly, a Fire Gecko leaps out of the bushes and ignites your favorite Cup of Noodles.
What's your next move? I'll tell you what it isn't. You're not going to rush over to a hydrant and put out the fire! This is the kind of situation which reminds the player just how useless some clutter in the Wasteland can be. One such item is the Firehose Nozzle which serves absolutely ZERO use apart from being a side-quest component. In no way does that justify it staying in your inventory. Toss it in a container for when you need one. I can't believe I'm saying this, but it's a shame you can't make a weapon out of it like in Fallout 3.
15 BEST: Dart Gun To The Knee (Fallout 3)
There were a lot of craftable weapons in Fallout 3.
But their use was rather hit-or-miss. While they all have distinctive styles, some were clearly more useful than others. For many players, the Dart gun is just such a "useless" weapon. Allow me to argue otherwise. If you manage to hit any capital wasteland foe in the knees with it, you've got an instant crippling effect. That sounds good against bandits, doesn't it? Now imagine how easy it can make your life against Deathclaws.
14 USELESS: Tags Of The Fallen (Fallout: NV)
NCR Dogtags in Fallout New Vegas are an important and sentimental reminder of the war.
Within the lore of the game, they serve as a means to remind the player of the raging battle between the NCR and various factions over the Hoover Dam and the surrounding area. Sadly, they're also kind of useless! If you're not handing them in for a quick repeatable quest, these little items are just clutter! You can argue that they can be made into a fist weapon, that much is true. But the weapon itself isn't that great, and you still find them everywhere afterward. Don't collect these unless you want your own macabre reminder of mortality in the wasteland.
13 BEST: Lincoln’s Weapon Of Choice (Fallout 3)
Repeater weapons were my favorite in Fallout 3 (and New Vegas).
However, one of these repeaters goes down as a fantastic weapon every player should prioritize. I'm talking about Lincoln's Repeater. It is a high-powered bolt-action which deals 25 more points of damage than the hunting rifle.
You may wander into the "museum of history" to acquire just such a treasured artifact.
Take it out for a spin and you'll notice it has 0 spread. If that sounds like a joke, it isn't. The rifle is pin-point accurate at long ranges, making it worthy of the list.
12 USELESS: Worst Of The Weapons (Fallout 3)
Aah, the Smith & Wesson .32 pistol. Iconic, beautiful, and utterly useless.
While some weapons are useless because they are meant to be (*cough* BB Gun *cough*), others are just plain bad when compared to others! You can argue that makes them every worse. The .32 pistol in Fallout 3 is just such a weapon, as it's rate of fire and damage falls well short of what you can achieve with a 10 mm pistol (which is not hard to find). If you're going for a cowboy build and really want to commit to the aesthetic, go ahead. For everyone else, steer clear of this lonesome gun.
11 BEST: Gaussin' N' Snippin' (Fallout 3, NV and 4)
You're sitting there thinking, does it get any better than the Gauss rifle in Fallout NV?
We've already talked about a great repeater rifle, which is super accurate. But what if you could turn that rifle into a mean-clean-fiend slaying machine? That's what happens when you acquire the Gauss scoped rifle in Fallout New Vegas or Fallout 4. You realize that there few greater things in life than taking out opponents at a long range with a weapon that fries pretty much anything. It's just like in Fallout 3's Operation Anchorage, but better.
10 USELESS: Child’s Play (Fallout 3)
The more sentimental players will argue otherwise, but the BB gun in Fallout 3 is useless!
Yes, I'm targetting the one in Fallout 3 because nearly every other weapon is more powerful than this little piece of your childhood past! If your argument for using a weapon is that it's more powerful than a pool cue and rolling pin, you've got to sort out your wasteland priorities.
You're provided with a custom, sturdier version of the weapon in Fallout 3's intro.
While that sounds better than the wasteland variant, your childhood gun can't critically strike.
Listen, I'll concede that the BB gun is fun to confuse raiders with if you concede that it's a useless weapon. Deal?
9 BEST: Hot Plate Of Cash (Fallout 4)
Uh oh, we're back to junk items! What can I say, they're indispensable in Fallout 4.
This next entry features the hot plate, not because it is included in any significant quest but because of it's raw value It provides a good amount of circuitry, copper, and screws which are essential both to the base building but also to weapon and armor improvement. While they can get pretty heavy when you're carrying a few, the hot plate is a steady investment every new Fallout 4 player should prioritize.
8 USELESS: Best Weapon, Wrong Hands (Fallout 3)
Speaking of explosives, the Fat Man has always been a staple of explosive character builds.
While the ammo is arguably very difficult to find, and its use thus restricted to the hardest of encounters, the Fat Man is a great gun. However, the weapon is also incredibly easy for players to misuse and self-detonate themselves with. While most players were used to VATS targeting in a 3d space by Fallout 4, the concept was rather new to people in Fallout 3. This meant that using the weapon was essentially a gamble. Will your opponent feel the burn, or will you?
7 BEST: Duct Tape = $$$ (Fallout 4)
If you've played Fallout 4, you know how tough Adhesive is to procure.
Sure, you can mod the game and make your own, but the base game didn't provide you with such an option. For that reason, duct tape became one of the hottest commodities in the wasteland. You could pick it up in a single roll, or get lucky a find a bundle.
While it's not as good as super-glue, it gets the job done for adventurers.
If you find some of them on your travels, don't overlook them and pick em' right up! You'll thank me later when your weapons and armor pieces are kitted out.
6 USELESS: Grenade Mayhem (Fallout 1 & 2)
This next entry is a little unfair, but I'm sticking to my point.
If you've ever played Fallout 1 or 2, and have attempted to use a grenade, you know with what personal conviction I fuel these lines. The grenades seem like a good weapon when you first find them. However, if you've got an explosives skill of less than 50, you're likely to have just blown yourself up with it! While later entries in the Fallout series were quite forgiving with explosives, Fallout 1 and 2 had little to no mercy for players. That's why, out of spite, I'm including them in this list.
5 BEST: Sanitizing Your Food (Fallout 3)
Most people who have come across the food sanitizer in Fallout 3 dismiss it.
It doesn't give the best first impression. You realize it's a lot easier just picking up good pieces of food and water. But what if I told you the sanitizer is low-key one of the greatest pickups you can make in the game? I mean, it's not, it's still rather niche. But niche is nice isn't it? Turns out, the sanitizer will provide players with 20% Hit point. A big ol' 20% HP more for every item that it sanitizes. When you're counting your life total to make sure you don't get downed, you can use all the help.
4 USELESS: Terrible Legendary Weapons (Fallout 4)
Legendary weapons are great, it's a wonderful addition to any arsenal.
The randomly generated weapons and armor pieces in Fallout 4 were no exception. You could fall on some really useful weapons which could stay by your side until the end of the game. But, you could also develop a case of the "worst-luck-ever-to-befall-a-wastelander" and find something without any logical use. A popular example of just such a completely useless legendary weapon in Fallout 4 would be the Ghoul Slayer's Gamma Gun which does more damage to ghouls, but simultaneously heals them for the damage it deals. If you want to keep your ghoul friends alive though, this is your weapon.
3 BEST: Robot Parts (Fallout 3 and NV)
Fission batteries, it's the type of thing you find in Fallout 3 and New Vegas and wonder...will I need them?
Well you do, it turns out. If you come across one in either game make sure to pick it up and keep it handy! While components can't be scrapped in the same way within those games, the batteries serve a bunch of uses.
You can repair faulty elevators, or you can choose to fix and select the best mayor of Primm (New Vegas).
That's right, Primm Slim the robot sheriff is the best and I'm ready to stand by that choice. Whatever you choose to do with them, remember that fission batteries are worth your time!
2 USELESS: Don't Collect Folders (Fallout 4)
I've talked a lot about Fallout 4's junk items, but it turns out that some of them are just that: junk.
While the benchmark for real junk is set high in that game, it turns out that office folders fit the bill just right! You may think it all worthwhile because they don't weigh anything. Pick them up, why not? Because they're worth 1 cap, that's why not! You can clutter up your inventory space with much better things which won't require the effort of going down to the item and selecting how many you want to give a vendor. I guess the wasteland just doesn't value document organization like the good old days.
1 USELESS: Gnomes Without Purpose (NV and Fallout 3)
Garden Gnomes and Fallout go way back, but that doesn't mean much.
They've managed to appear in Fallout 3, New Vegas and Fallout 4. However, they're utterly useless in the former two. Let me be honest, this hasn't stopped players from obsessively collecting them in those games. Although they served no legitimate purpose, their glossy painted eyes seemed to hint at some secret, some truth unseen to mortal eyes. That was the case until the release of Fallout 4. With the introduction of Far Harbor, players could once again collect the junk item. This time, however, the gnomes could be turned into Ceramic. It's at that point that the gnomes in Fallout 3 and New Vegas reveal that they are, truly useless.