Crispy Gamer

50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

(Contributors: Gus Mastrapa, Russ Fischer)

Fallout 3 is a big game, crammed with content. Download all five add-ons, including the just-released Mothership Zeta, and the options can seem damn near daunting. Crispy Gamer sat down and brainstormed our 50 favorite off-the-beaten-path experiences in Fallout 3. The next time you load up your Fallout 3 save file and go looking for trouble, take this list of diversions, distractions and must-do moments along for inspiration.

50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Stomp a bug: Radroaches are nothing but pests. And by the time you've spent 30 levels in the Wasteland, they're also a waste of ammo. Next time you bump into a nest of the buggers, go unarmed and kick their butts via V.A.T.S. Watching your character crush the filthy things is way more satisfying than it ought to be. Cleaning your boots after you've had your fun? Not so much.
Where: All over the Capital Wasteland. If you want to be cruel, kill Fluffy and Jitters in the Abandoned Shack.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Kill the Overseer: The Grand Poobah of Vault 101 isn't exactly a nice guy. He's a bit of dick to you and your dad. And what he does to Jonas after Dad makes tracks is unforgivable. The guy is your best friend Amata's father, but to hell with that. He's an eavil jerk and needs to die. Before you leave Vault 101, be sure to put a bullet in the guy's brain.
Where: Vault 101.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Play hide-and-seek: There are tons of kids in the Capital Wasteland, but none are as fun to hang with as Kenny from Point Lookout. Get on his good side and he'll play a game with you. Tag is fun, but if you've got a Stealth Boy handy, try cheating at hide-and-seek. Maybe that's why people think the old mines are haunted.
Where: Herzon Mine (Point Lookout).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Loot the Naughty Nightwear: The Wasteland is crawling with pink Sexy Sleepwear, but there's only one place to grab this leopard-print negligee. Follow the Nuka Cola Challenge side-quest "Grady's Package" and you'll find these unmentionables stashed away for safekeeping. You'll also meet Lugnut -- a dude who covets these skivvies even more than you -- and his threatening lines may be some of the funniest in Fallout 3.
Where: Marigold Metro Station.

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Be a samurai: Many play Fallout 3 with an eye on firearms, but putting points into your melee skills can be rewarding. There are tons of killer blunt instruments around the Wasteland, but things don't get really fun until your weapon and skills cause enough damage to cut down your enemies in a single slash. Try equipping a blade like the Chinese Officer's Sword or Jingwei's Shock Sword for close-quarters kills in V.A.T.S. Pair the player-crafted Shishkebab with the Pyromaniac perk for the most damage.
Where: All over the Wasteland; Operation: Anchorage.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Cosplay as Mad Max: You can't drive cars in Fallout 3, but you can dress up like everybody's favorite road warrior. Simply don the Leather Armor and accessorize the outfit with a Medical Brace. For weaponry, grab a Sawed-Off Shotgun or the Scoped .44 (the same gun wielded by the Humungus in "The Road Warrior"). [Thanks to ParkerFaker for these tips.]
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Nuke it from orbit: Megaton isn't the only town players can reduce to a smoking crater. Follow the Broken Steel quest line and eventually find yourself at a panel that controls a satellite missile system with targeting data for Rivet City, Project Purity, Megaton and the Citadel. We won't tell you what happens when you flip the switch. Just don't forget to get out of Dodge when you opt to destroy the Adams Air Force Base Platform. That's where you're standing.
Where: Mobile Base Crawler (Broken Steel).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Open a man with the Man Opener: Visit The Pitt and you'll find the Auto Axe all over the place, but the only named version of the weapon ignores damage resistance, making it particularly useful against up-armored enemies. The Man Opener can be found on a bed in the Supply Plant building accessible by the Pitt Steelyard. While you're out there, collect 10 Steel Ingots and give them to Everett in the Mill, and you'll earn Auto Axpert -- a perk that ups your damage with the Man Opener by 25 percent.
Where: The Supply Plant (The Pitt).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Mez someone: The Mezmetron is a nifty, non-lethal weapon that transforms human targets into babbling idiots. Once dazed you can kill them, talk to them, or slap a collar on them and sell them into slavery. Get the Mezmetron by starting the Strictly Business quest with Grouse.
Where: Paradise Falls.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Decorate your apartment: There are tons of little bits of functionality in Fallout 3 that are easy to miss. Don't spend time in the Wasteland without learning to click your right analog stick -- that's the way to pick stuff up and move it around the game world. Now, drop anything from your inventory, grab it, and put it on that bare shelf in your apartment. If you have extra caps you can pay Moira to do some interior decorating, but that's boring.
Where: Megaton; Tenpenny Tower.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Pick a fight with Fawkes: Of the many companions you may cross paths with in Fallout 3, Fawkes is the burliest. The easiest way to kill Fawkes is to exterminate him in his Vault 87 cell, but that's rather unsporting. Meet up with Fawkes later and put a couple rounds into his super-thick hide. Can you take the big doofus down?
Where: Raven Rock; Underworld.

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Make a rad run: There are more than a couple places in the Capital Wasteland that have been rendered impassable by radiation. Most notable is Vault 87. If you were a jerk and killed Fawkes rather than set him free, you're gonna have to throw on an Advanced Radiation Suit, or chew some Rad-X, to get what you came for. Elsewhere, there's tons of great loot hidden where the Geiger counter gets noise. Poke around.
Where: Vault 87; all over the Wasteland.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Listen to Vinnie work blue: Earthlings don't take no mess. Especially Vinnie, the foul-mouthed abductee who tells his captors to "go back to Uranus." Vinnie can be heard by listening to Alien Captive Recorded Log 2.
Where: Cryo Lab (Mothership Zeta).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Hack the right way: There's a right way and a wrong way to hack in Fallout 3. The wrong way is to make blind stabs at a password, then try to reason your next best guess from the number of letters you got right. The right way is to first narrow your options. Move the cursor through the garbled text looking for open parentheses, brackets and carats. If there's a matching closer to the right of them, you can highlight the whole area and select to remove one of the dummy passwords or reset your number of guesses.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Check out the forks in Raven Rock: The designers of the Enclave base at Raven Rock built two fatal flaws into their fortress. Firstly, it's way too easy to self-destruct. And secondly, the metal gratings on the floor are a pain in the ass if you've got butterfingers. Squeeze into the crawlspace beneath the Enclave mess hall on the way to meet President Richardson to see hundreds of forks, spoons and knives that slipped through the cracks.
Where: Raven Rock.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Trip out: There are tons of drugs in Fallout 3, but none of those illicit substances packs quite the kick as Punga Fruit spores. The hallucinations here rival the legendary mind-f**k at the end of Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty. This heavy scene is reason enough to buy Point Lookout.
Where: Sacred Bog (Point Lookout).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Fry some Aliens: There's more than one way to skin an extra-terrestrial. Futz with the controls for the pylons when enemies are nearby, and the blast of energy will send them reeling. You won't earn any XP for the kills, but you will gain deep satisfaction.
Where: Hangar (Mothership Zeta).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Have a best friend: There are more than a couple opportunities to hire underlings to fight alongside you. Depending on your deeds, Fawkes, Star Paladin Cross, Charon, Jericho, Sergeant RL-3, Butch DeLoria and Clover will join you as a companion. But there's only one soul in the Wasteland who will love you unconditionally -- that's Dogmeat the Blue Heeler. No Mad Max costume would be complete without this canine sidekick.
Where: The Scrapyard.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Fight for your life: The Mad Max references in Fallout 3 are many. Travel north to the ruins of Pittsburgh and you'll find the Hole -- an arena that pays homage to "Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome." Survive all the fights here and you'll earn the perk Pitt Fighter, boosting your damage and radiation resistance by 3 percent.
Where: The Hole (The Pitt).

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Kill somebody in their sleep: If you're putting points into Sneak and going for stealth kills, be sure to grab the Mister Sandman perk. You'll get the option to kill your prey before they wake, and earn extra XP for the kill. Don't bother worrying about how you'll look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Glitch your Pip-Boy: Kill one of the heavily armed Guardian Drones and loot their powerful Drone Cannon. Check out the bottom left-hand corner of your Pip-Boy when you're equipping the weapon. Where there would normally be an image you'll see the error, "PipOS Error - 26 [File Not Found]."
Where: Robot Assembly; Hangar; Waste Disposal (Mothership Zeta).

Hurl junk: The Capital Wasteland is strewn with the detritus of civilization. The Brotherhood of Steel combs the ruins for the last remnants of technology buried in the rubble. That's a fine, lofty goal. Our interests are baser -- craft yourself the Rock-It Launcher, load it full of junk, and make an even bigger mess. Bonus points for killing an enemy with their friends' limbs.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Visit your local library: There isn't much left to read in the Capital Wasteland. That's why Brotherhood Scribe Yearling will give you 100 caps for every unspoiled Pre-War Book you scrounge. Snoop the houses in Minefield for the biggest concentration of mint-condition books.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Walk amongst the Ghouls: Negotiate peace between Roy Phillips and the denizens of Tenpenny Tower, and you'll be rewarded with the Ghoul Mask -- a patchwork of flesh that will prevent Feral Ghouls from attacking you. With this ugly thing on your mug, you can explore many subway tunnels unmolested.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Go to the Valley of the Dolls: Radiation makes survivors do strange things, even when they're removed from the most potent parts of the Wasteland. Deep in the swamps of Point Lookout you'll find a little enclave of mutant hicks who like to decorate with female dolls hung and impaled in effigy. Might give you some ideas for gussying up your own joint.
Where: Slightly north of the Sacred Bog entrance (Point Lookout).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Avenge the enslaved: The problem with playing neutral or good is that you don't get to indulge in free-spirited murder whenever the whim strikes. Unless you're in the slaver enclave Paradise Falls, that is. Suddenly, eradicating an entire town is something that will enhance your karma rather than demolish it. Saunter into this burg, flick a Bic in front of your flamethrower, then dream away in the sleep of the just.
Where: Paradise Falls.

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Observe the gnome/teddy bear war: Bethesda's developers have a few notable tics, one of which is positioning gnome statues in odd places. The most notable is deep in the Broken Steel expansion, where you might come across a couple of gnomes tied to the Metro tracks, with a nearby teddy bear ready to capture the imminent carnage on an old-fashioned camera.
Where: Presidential Metro (Broken Steel).

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Become a Lincoln scholar: Who says you can't learn anything in the Wasteland? The Head of State quest will send you to DC's largest history museum in search of a picture of the Lincoln Memorial, but there are many Lincoln artifacts to be found. Selling these unique items can earn caps and favor, but they look good propped up on your bookshelves, too. And Lincoln's stovepipe hat remains the sharpest headwear in the game.
Where: Museum of American History.

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Give mercy to a Raider ? then take it away: While wandering through the dense corridors of an alien ship, you'll have more than a few opportunities to awaken some of the other humans taken captive by the little spacemen. Some of them aren't too friendly, and when a thawing Raider starts running around shouting about murder, you might decide to put him back to sleep, permanently.
Where: The corridors of Mothership Zeta.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Save a tree: There isn't a lot of lush greenery in the Wasteland, so when you do find the one legitimate oasis and have to think about the fate of the giant tree within, give it some thought. Sure, the tree wants to die, but there's the greater greenery of the surrounding land to think about. You don't want to feel guilty every time Arbor Day rolls around, do you?
Where: Oasis.

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Drink from an electric toilet: This is such a weird and ingenious trap that a little highlight is deserved. The thing about the Wasteland is that it drives folks to do weird things, like drink from toilets. Occasionally you'll run into a bowl that has a car battery perched above it, and drinking will produce a nasty shock. Disarming the trap is a simple matter (and drops an Energy Cell in your inventory), but setting it off at least once is essential.
Where: Various bathrooms.

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Live in a shack: There are a few "legit" places to build a home in the Wasteland, but many more where you can set up a tidy little squat without fear of your gear walking off. Perhaps the best, if not the most posh, is the isolated and unmarked sniper shack west of Rockbreaker's Last Gas. It's got a great view that will be in high demand when civilization rebuilds. The only problem is that Talon Company Mercs (or Regulators, if you're evil) might spawn right outside. Just think of it like living in the 'hood in old 21st-century America.
Where: Abandoned Shack.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Become a superhero: Galaxy News Radio warns that loonies are duking it out in Canterbury Commons. Indeed, strolling into town you'll find the AntAgonizer and Mechanist locked in mortal combat. The town wants you to solve the conflict, but you should want to nose into it for the great gear. With the AntAgonizer's outfit you can finally do the Wasteland version of Blind Melon's famous video, and by properly massaging the quest you can also gain the Mechanist's special pistol, which is a stealthy player's best friend.
Where: Canterbury Commons.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Argue with the President ? and win: John Henry Eden seems like a pretty domineering personality, but should you actually come face to ? whatever ? with him, you'll find that he's not quite a conversational giant. The Enclave President can be talked into his own doom. It's one of the game's most devoutly "Twilight Zone"-oriented moments, and one of the best ways to put your hard-won Speech skills to use.
Where: Raven Rock.

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Catch Raiders in their own trap: There's great pleasure to be had in spotting a hammer or giant swinging spiked log before it hits you in the face, but there's much more fun in leading a dumb Raider into his own clever trap. Head to the Bethesda ruins where, in one office building, there's a great set of three rigged shotguns and a couple of grenade traps. Using those to wipe out some of the Raiders lurking within the building is one of the game's more satisfyingly evil maneuvers.
Where: Bethesda Offices West.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Get that pony you've always wanted: In the Fallout 3 loading screens you've long seen an ad for the life-size robot horse Giddyup Buttercup. In the deep corridors of an alien mothership, you'll at last be able to find several of the actual items, and quite a few toy representations. Pay particular attention to the full-size one with glowing red eyes, which seems to be surrounded by dead "test subjects." Is this an invasion in the making?
Where: Mothership Zeta.

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Hotwire a healer: While roaming the alien Mothership Zeta you'll find glowing red arches that can heal wounds. Depending upon your skills, you may be able to rewire them to add a lot more health at the expense of longevity. Sadly, dreams of blowing up an alien with malfunctioning healthcare equipment never come to fruition (there's probably a metaphor for modern health plan politics in there), but that's why you can also rewire some of the ship's communicators to act as proximity mines.
Where: Mothership Zeta.

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Do your own abducting: It's one thing to float around in space seeing the work that aliens have done; it's quite another to man the anti-grav machine yourself. There's a shooting gallery within the ship from which you can cause humans and creatures to be beamed to the ship, where you can shoot away at leisure, or just watch them off each other. The reward is the Xenotech Expert perk, which ups the damage caused by alien weapons.
Where: Mothership Zeta

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Beat a Deathclaw at its own game: Deathclaws might be the most terrifying basic enemy in the game, especially if you stumble into a tunnel full of them. But they become a lot less frightening when you fight them with their own hand; a Deathclaw Gauntlet is a great melee weapon. Even better if you've also built the Dart Gun, which will paralyze the legs of any target, eliminating its ability to move with deadly speed.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Be Rube Goldberg for a day: Gold Ribbon Grocers, just west of the Jury Street Metro, has more than just food and drug products. Inside is a wild little Rube Goldberg sort of setup that uses boxes set up like dominos and an exploding gas line, among other things, to deliver a small arms payload to players adventurous enough to step on a conspicuously marked pressure plate.
Where: Gold Ribbon Grocers.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Sneak wearing only the best: One of the possible endings to the storyline in Oasis rewards players with Maple's Garb. This looks like a hobo's dress coat, festooned as it is with sticks. But it has an ideal protection-to-weight ratio, and can be repaired with loads of easily obtainable clothing. If you want something a little more beefy, and sneaking isn't as huge priority, bring 40 Steel Ingots to Everett in the Pitt to get the Metal Master Armor, which also gets bonus points for being bad-ass. And metal.
Where: Oasis; The Pitt.

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Stamp out a cult: After installing Broken Steel, you'll find that a home in Springvale has been infested by the Apostles of the Holy Light, a creepy if nice cult that is spreading irradiated water through the Wasteland. Taking out the group means facing down the tough Atom's Champion and Sun of Atom Ghouls, but you'll feel much better.
Where: Springvale.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Study up on H.P. Lovecraft: The vile influence of C'thulu and his minions reaches even into the Wasteland. In the Dunwich Building you'll find a series of recordings that form a breadcrumb trail down to the basement, where an unholy (and irradiated) Obelisk waits. The story seems to stall there, but hidden in Point Lookout is another part of the puzzle. There you can find the profane book "The Krivbeknih"; instead of destroying it, return it to its rightful place at the Dunwich Obelisk, and despair.
Where: Dunwich Bulding.

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Do the Shady Sands Shuffle: It's fun to sneak up behind someone and shove a grenade in their pocket, sure. But it's a lot better to do so when the act has a name. On Galaxy News Radio you might hear Herbert "Daring" Dashwood reminiscing about the "Shady Sands Shuffle" after he takes out a Super Mutant with a pocket grenade. We advise you follow his lead. Often.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Use a Nuka Grenade: One of the rarest weapons in the game is the excessively powerful Nuka Grenade, which relies upon the rare glowing Nuka Cola Quantum to create. (You'll also need a schematic found in Cliffside Cavern, on a trader who appears outside Megaton, or in Girdershade.) But the benefits are worth the effort: hundreds of points of damage, a blue fireball and radiation aftereffects. For best results, combine this with the Shady Sands Shuffle action ? and get the hell away, fast.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Use an auto-fuse: When you see a string of cars parked in a line, you should only think one thing: chain reaction. You won't get any specific XP or other bonuses for killing an enemy by blowing up a series of stalled vehicles in front of it, but you'll get a lot of deep, fiery satisfaction.
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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Grow karma with water: Three water beggars can be found outside of three different settlements: Megaton, Rivet City and Tenpenny Tower. Give them water for a quick +50 karma boost. Even better, Micky, the guy outside Megaton, will stick around and take all the water you can give him. So if you need a quick boost to your moral standing, just water it like a delicate flower.
Where: Megaton; Rivet City: Tenpenny Tower.

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50 Things to Do in the Capital Wasteland

Go to Church: For mid-level players, spending a little time in one of two major chapels can produce great results. The Dickerson Tabernacle Chapel is part of the unmarked "High Plains Drifter" quest, and houses an unfriendly chap named Drifter armed with the Reservist's Rifle, a very useful sniper rifle variant. Easier to loot is the chapel in Calverton, which has some useful literature and a Mini-Nuke.
Where: Calverton; near Deathclaw Sanctuary.

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Snag the Firelance: Perhaps the rarest item in Fallout 3 is the Firelance Blaster, a unique, more powerful version of the already quite powerful Alien Blaster. One time per character you might see an explosion in the sky, from which will drop the Firelance and 24 Alien Power Cells. Dogmeat can help you sniff it out, but the thing can land anywhere, including atop an inaccessible building. A high Luck rating will help you be in the right place at the right time, but more than likely you'll just need lots of real-world luck. Or you might loot it off a random Raider that found it somewhere ? you never know!
Where: All over the Wasteland.

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This article was written and illustrated with the aid of Wikia Gaming's The Vault -- the best Fallout 3 resource on the Web. If you're replaying Fallout 3 and you're not referring to this Web site, you're doing something wrong. Kudos to the Web site's many contributors.

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Comments

Perhaps the rarest item in Fallout 3 is the Firelance Blaster, a unique, more powerful version of the already hermes outlet quite powerful Alien Blaster. One time per character you might see an explosion in the sky, from which will drop the Firelance and 24 Alien Power Cells. Dogmeat can help you sniff it out, but the thing can land anywhere, including atop an inaccessible building. A high Luck rating will help you be in the right place at the right time, but more than likely you'll just need lots of real-world luck. Or you might loot it off a random Raider that found it somewhere ? you never know! Where: All over the Wasteland.

Go to Church: For mid-level players, spending a little time in one of two major chapels can produce great results. The Click Here Dickerson Tabernacle Chapel is part of the unmarked "High Plains Drifter" quest, and houses an unfriendly chap named Drifter armed with the Reservist's Rifle, a very useful sniper rifle variant. Easier to loot is the chapel in Calverton, which has some useful literature and a Mini-Nuke.

Great moves! I'll definitely follow these playing styles here. - JustFab

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