The History of Fallout From Past To Present – A Timeline

The Fallout series, well-loved and widely known as one of the most famous headlining titles of the modern era, has been making waves since its first release in 1997 up to the most recent release of Fallout 4, here in 2015. But with all the hype surrounding the new release and the depth of the game itself, it’s easy to forget how we got to this point.

The world in Fallout as we know it began in 1945, not long after the Second World War. Work on semi-conductors was being accelerated as humanity’s technological advancements evolved and yesterday’s dreams and science fiction were beginning to become today’s reality.1

Until 1969, the world had a semblance of normality and even adhered to the same timeline as the real world.

However, in 1969, the United States was divided into thirteen Commonwealth states. On the cusp of the Apollo 11 missions, humanity stood in awe of their own advancements and cultural and societal progress stagnated as technological, political and cultural influences continued on. This is evident in the classic 1950’s art-deco theme that Fallout adheres to.


Nearly a century later, in 2037, humanity finally met its dream of personal robotics with the development of the Mr. Handy robot. Developed between RobCo and General Atomics, it was developed as a general-chore automaton and marketed to the average family as the housekeeping and maintenance necessity that every family needed.

This was quickly followed by RobCo’s next commercial successes in the Pip-Boy and Securitron robots, which were successful in propelling RobCo from a small technological company to a global name in robotics and computing. They would later be contracted by the U.S. Government for numerous defense contracts.

However, the technological advancements came at a price; in 2051, the U.S. had depleted their oil reserves and annexed Mexico to replenish their supply. Realizing that fossil fuels were a dwindling asset, they looked to the power that had been utilized for so long already in their robotic developments – nuclear fusion.


In 2052, the second Great Plague swept across the world. As the blame was pointed across borders, with various countries frightened by the increasing tension in foreign relations, leaders began citing biological warfare and gas attacks as the primary cause for the disease that had wiped out large scores of their populations.

With small wars and invasions ravaging the European continent, the U.N. was quickly dissolved.


Recognizing the urgency brought on by the tense global political situation, the U.S. government commissioned Vault-Tec to assemble 122 underground vaults as emergency nuclear fallout shelters in case of thermonuclear detonation within their borders.

Few of the staff and fewer of the residents knew that these vaults would actually serve as tests for social experiments; many of such experiments led to the death of some or all residents of various vaults.

By 2066, China had invaded U.S. soil in Alaska to replenish their own reserves of fossil and nuclear fuel, sparking a war with the Western powers and leading to WesTec’s development of early power armor, as well as the Liberty Prime robot.

With Government approval, they also began development on “super mutants” – humans modified into grotesque, overly aggressive and unnaturally muscular beasts to be used in combat situations against the Communist forces.


Tired of having to work around Canadian borders to reach the Alaskan front, the United States annexed Canada in 2076. Less than a year later and after the liberation of Anchorage, the Great War starts and ends in two hours. Though unclear who fired first, the world is plunged into darkness after a global nuclear exchange.

Remnants of the U.S. Government survive off-site on a repurposed oil rig.

In the years to come, the politicians of the U.S. Government form the Enclave, claiming themselves as being the legally sanctioned continuation of the previous government. Remnants of the U.S. Military form the Brotherhood of Steel.


Predictably, deep-seated frustrations between the military personnel and the Government, now amplified by the Great War, lead to hostilities between the two groups.

By 2078, the Enclave expose the area surrounding D.C. to the Forced Evolutionary Virus used to create super mutants, in the hopes of repopulating the area with a new, superior race. Their attempt fails, the super mutants  they create are revealed to be too hostile and aggressive to reform civilization, and begin making more super mutants in the remains of an old Vault-Tec vault.


The first real hope of a stable Government power comes in 2189 with the forming of the NCR. Struggling with their mistake,  the Enclave attempt to release a modified FEV to purge the D.C. area – now deemed the Capital Wasteland – of any mutated organisms.

They are stopped by the Brotherhood of Steel in a bloody war, and further brutalized by the NCR until they are pushed into non-existence.

In 2281, the NCR fights a bloody war on another front; The Battle of Hoover Dam, the second fight to take place at this location, is waged between the NCR and Caesar’s Legion, a pseudo-Roman legion formed from the conquest of nearly eighty raider tribes. Power is restored to the dam, though the victor of the battle remains unclear.

Six years later, one of the vaults sealed nearly 210 years ago in Boston, opens for the second time to release a sole survivor hidden from the sunlight since mere seconds after the first bombs struck the United States. His intentions, and his story, remain to be told.

Vault 111

What was your favorite moment in the Fallout timeline? How are you making history in Fallout 4? Let us know in the comments.