This is a general collection of tips for Fallout Shelter. It's gathered from different parts of the internet and from different versions of the game. Not everything is exact as there are hidden aspects of the game, but the information should be mostly accurate. This is also not a trophy guide and there are probably faster ways to get trophies. It's mostly just to help with the game long term.
- It's almost always better to have 3 attached rooms than to upgrade rooms
- Upgraded rooms will spawn more difficult events
- Try to keep the resource use bar below half
- Energy generating rooms will add storage even if unmanned, other rooms add storage but require energy even if unmanned
- 20 of a stat = 95% room efficiency so spread out your dwellers once you hit that soft cap
- When you log out, enter a quest, or search a building the game will run and use resources for 3 minutes
- Get a dweller exploring as soon as possible (use high Endurance/Luck/Strength in that order)
- Rooms like the Barbershop and Theme Workshop aren't necessary right away and can be skipped until later
- The Overseer's Office allows for quests that drop great loot, as soon as you get 3 extra dwellers start doing quests
- The Weapon's Workshop needs 45 dwellers to allow for rare weapon crafting, before that it's better to get weapons exploring. 75 are needed for legendary weapons crafting
- The Outfit Workshop upgrades at 55 and 90
- You can stockpile up to 10 dwellers outside the gate, they will not use resources or count for the population triggers
- Pregnant women and children cannot attack and will run from all events, children cannot work in rooms
- Happiness increases room efficiency and lowers training time
- Dwellers in love get 100% happiness and can be separated before they mate to prevent unwanted pregnancies
- Rad scorpions are by far the worst enemy in the game. They will destroy your power if you can't handle them. Never max upgrade a 3 size room unless you have a full contingent of highly armed dwellers. Keep everything with no upgrades (other than workshop type rooms) until you are sure you can handle them.
There are three main things to worry about when creating a vault; event mitigation, efficiency of use, and personal aesthetic preference.
Enemy AI has vault invaders move from left to right, then down the nearest elevator, and then right to left. This repeats all the way down the vault. Other events (fire, roaches, mole rats etc) will spread to all adjacent rooms but cannot travel through dirt. Radscorpions will move to random rooms. Mole rats also have a special spawn criteria which requires the room to be touching dirt (includes the sides and bottom of the vault but not the top).
This means you will want have your strongest and most well equipped dwellers on the top few levels of the vault. Power Generators and Nuclear Reactors are strength based rooms and fit in well for this. Nuka Bottlers are Endurance based and also make good rooms but they don't come until very late game.
After the initial few rows for defense it doesn't really matter what you use but it's nice to have all the resource generating rooms near the top so you don't need to scroll very far to collect them. Rooms you will rarely use like Storage and Living Quarters can go to the very bottom with a dirt buffer to prevent events from spreading. This way you can avoid events occurring there. Some events will drain power, however, so you will need to watch it and send help if needed.
For elevators the ideal setup is to have them line both side walls to take advantage of invader AI. Some people like the make the bottom row all elevators to prevent mole rat spawning but I find it better to allow for them since that means less radscorpions and deathclaws.
The most important thing is to lay out the vault like you want. These are just guidelines that can help with events but any layout can work if you work at it.
After hitting specific amounts of vault dwellers different types of events can start happening. These triggers only apply to your current population (shown in the top left) so people waiting to come in do not count. This means you can temporarily increase your population to unlock rooms and upgrades and then get rid of the extra population to be under the trigger amount. Events triggering from failed rushes occur at 1 less population than they would normally. Not all of these numbers are 100% accurate but they are as close as the community has gotten.
Use this to plan out when you want the harder events to occur and to prevent them when you aren't prepared. For example, making sure you have radaway before Ghouls start coming or staying below the Deathclaw level until you have lots of good weapons and stats.
2 - Fires
11 - Radroaches
16 - Raiders (will not spawn from failed rushes)
31 - Molerats (only spawn if the room borders dirt on the sides, use elevators on the sides to prevent them)
41 - Feral Ghouls (first event that causes Rad damage and will not spawn from failed rushes)
51 - Radscorpions
60-61? - Deathclaws (will not spawn from failed rushes)
2 - Fires
6 - Radroaches
11-15? - Raiders (will not spawn from failed rushes)
21 - Molerats (only spawn if the room borders dirt on the sides, use elevators on the sides to prevent them)
26-31? - Feral Ghouls (first event that causes Rad damage and will not spawn from failed rushes)
36? - Radscorpions
35-36? - Deathclaws (will not spawn from failed rushes)
Mr Handy's will collect resources automatically on any single floor of the vault through connected rooms. They will also attack enemies and assist with putting out fires. Early game they are helpful in supplementing damage against events and late game they can help defend empty areas until defenders can get there. Once you have enough you can fully automate all the collection needed to sustain a vault. Mr Handy cannot be healed, only repaired for 2,000 caps once they die.
SPECIAL is common to all Fallout games and represents the different stats each character has. It stands for Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, and Luck. Each stat maxes at 10 but can be brought to 17 with outfits. Most rooms will have a key stat that determines how fast the resources are ready to be gathered. Storage rooms show Endurance as the main stat but it has no effect on that room as that room is fully passive. In addition each stat also does the following:
Strength - Reduces damage taken in combat and determines if storage lockers can be opened when exploring.
Perception - Helps dwellers find more locations when exploring and slows the critical indicator in combat.
Endurance - Increase the HP gained when leveling (see next section) and at 11+ blocks environmental radiation when exploring.
Charisma - Increases the chance compatible dwellers will mate and determines success when meeting others while exploring.
Intelligence - Increases the amount of stimpacks and radaways found and determines success when encountering injured people while exploring
Agility - Increases the speed at which dwellers attack in combat and lowers damage taken when fleeing.
Luck - Lowers the fail rate of rushing rooms and increases the amount of extra caps when successful. Gives an increased chance of bonus caps when collecting resources. When exploring and on quests, luck increases the quality and frequency of found items and increases caps found. Luck also increases the critical chance when in combat.
HP and Endurance:
Now let's get into some super endgame, min/max type stuff. The Endurance stat is the most important stat in the game. It determines how much HP a dweller gets when they level and it's not retroactive. What this means is that in order to get the best dwellers you need to max their Endurance before leveling them. Using equipment to increase Endurance above the cap of 10 will further increase the HP gain. Heavy Wasteland Gear gives E +7 and is the most important armor in the game because of that.
To highlight the difference, consider the following:
If you level a dweller with E1 to 50 she will have 252hp
If you level a dweller with E5 to 50 she will have 350hp
If you level a dweller with E10 to 50 she will have 472.5hp
If you level a dweller with E10+7 to 50 she will have 644hp
Early game don't worry about it. Your starting 30-40 guys just give them gear for the rooms they are needed to run and let them level normally. Once you unlock the Fitness Room at 35 dwellers I recommend making max HP dwellers in 2-3 groups. Unless you are super lucky you most likely will not have legendary wasteland gear. So to designate which dwellers you will eventually need to phase out I would add something to their names. Something like +3, +5 and +7 so show how much extra Endurance they had past 10. Once you get to endgame you can phase out your original dwellers, then +3, then +5 until you have only the best left.
To train up dwellers to max HP you want them to start at lvl 1. Immediately move them into the Fitness Room or a room that doesn't give experience (like Storage Rooms). Killing enemies and putting out fires will grant exp as well so whenever there's an incident make sure to move them out to an empty non-exp room. I leave these dwellers unarmed as well so they don't accidentally kill anything I don't want them too. Once they hit E10 equip the best wasteland gear on them and then you can do whatever; they are ready to go.
Later in the game you will be able to have babies with very high starting stats which makes this process even faster. To get level 1-50 the fastest send these dwellers out exploring.