At least year’s E3, Bethesda Softworks announced that the studio’s long-awaited sequel to their flagship Fallout series would not only be released a few short months later, but it would also give players the ability to craft their own settlements from the ground up. The question remained: did that mean vaults, the dangerous pre-war underground bunkers? Well, it does now thanks to some new DLC.
It may not have been available at launch, but that time has finally come. Seven months after release, Bethesda has granted players their wish. It’s time to open up the Vault-Tec Workshop — and learn how exactly to make your own vault.
How to Find Vault 88
When you load up your game with the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC downloaded, you should be prompted to begin a mission called, appropriately enough, “Vault-Tec Calling, a brief quest line that sees your Sole Survivor summoned to the Southeast corner of the map to help an old employee of Vault-Tec pick up right where the nefarious organization left off — by experimenting on unsuspecting rubes.
Before you get to work, however, you’ll need to stomp through the DLC’s expansive territory, removing debris and executing the former residents. Set aside some time, though. This isn’t Contraptions. Vault 88 is big — though not as big as, say, Far Harbor. A word to the wise: while there’s no level requirement to get in the front door, higher level players might run up against some stiff competition from the Vault’s residents, so bring something that makes a big mess.
Poor, Stupid Clem
Once you’ve completed clearing out the Vault’s tunnels (which are expansive), you can set about interviewing potential guinea pigs. There’s a short period of question and answer before you happen upon the perfect idiot. I won’t spoil the journey for you, but suffice it to say that in spite of its brevity it’s still worth paying attention to.
While you can get into Vault 88 right away — and you can access some pretty sweet goodies right off the bat without even a Science check — unlocking the more dastardly hobbies that define Bethesda’s evil vault company take a few fetch quests in order to get them set up. These few missions play out a bit like a tutorial, so once they’re finished you’ll be able to put your wicked imagination to creative use and start whipping up new experiments to unleash on your residents.
The best part is that these new additions can be transplanted into your current settlements in case you were getting bored of pitting your residents against one another in cage matches. There are also some handy organizational tools bundled in the DLC that’ll make you wonder how you managed until now.
The Mod Alternative
Now, if you don’t have five bucks or you’re not interested in preying on helpless fools, then you might want to skip the new DLC. You won’t get to conduct experiments on your residents if you opt to download the “Build Your Own Vault” mod on either the Xbox One or PC, but it does provide much of the rest.
The mod opens up a lot of the same bits and pieces you’ll find in Bethesda’s official DLC. Unlike Vault-Tec Workshop, the mod allows players to conduct their vault-building business in more than one location (nine sites and growing). Essentially, the “Build Your Own Vault” mod activates a pocket universe in your settlement that you can access via elevator. From there, the build aspect is roughly identical to the official DLC save for a few more mod-related hiccups.
At the end of about two to three hours of gameplay, you’ll be all alone (plus one dummy) to build up the Vault of your dreams. The building execution is exactly the same as the game’s settlements with a little more sadism baked in. For any player who’s lamented the fact that Fallout 4’s Sole Survivor only has the option to be a good person, this DLC might help change your mind.
As the penultimate chapter in Bethesda’s extensive run of DLC surrounding their mega hit, Vault-Tec Workshop gifts players the one thing they’ve been missing from the outset: a big clean playground with more room than you can fill in one play through. If you didn’t like the game’s building, this DLC won’t change that; if you’re the kind of player who can drop hours into generating your own little communities, Vault-Tec Workshop is the one you’ve been waiting for.