All the biggest factions from Fallout explained

Fallout is full of different factions striving to control the wasteland. Here are a few of the big players and their goals.
Power Armor Suits in “Fallout”
Power Armor Suits in “Fallout” /

The Fallout TV show is splendid. As a longtime fan of the Fallout video game series, this show masterfully gave us a new story from the Fallout universe that was very close to the tone the games pioneered and executed it extremely well. And there's stuff it didn't have time to get to. There is a lot of lore to sift through in this retro-futuristic world, including many different factions gunning to control the radioactive wasteland that used to be the United States.

Here are the different factions that we see in the show, what their goals are and how they fit into the larger Fallout universe. Beware MAJOR SPOILERS for the Fallout show and games below.

Michael Emerson in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

The Enclave

The Enclave is a powerful faction featured in the Fallout series. They are descendants of the pre-war United States government and military, formed as a secretive organization with the goal of preserving the purity of humanity after the devastation of nuclear war. The Enclave considers themselves the rightful heirs to the United States and seeks to rebuild the nation according to their own ideals. The last President of the United States was one of the original members of the Enclave, having taken shelter in an underground facility like the rest of the members before the bombs fell.

Throughout the series, the Enclave is portrayed as technologically advanced and heavily armed, with access to advanced weaponry, power armor, and sophisticated technology. They often operate from hidden bases, isolated from the wasteland, and are known for their ruthless tactics in pursuing their goals. In Fallout 2, the Enclave's main objective is to eradicate mutated life forms, including humans, to establish their vision of a pure human society. They attempt to carry out their plan by releasing a modified version of the Forced Evolutionary Virus, a biological weapon that has devastating effects on mutated creatures.

In Fallout 3, the Enclave plays a central role as the primary antagonist faction. They seek to control the remnants of the United States government, using their advanced technology and military might to impose their rule on the wasteland. The player character faces off against the Enclave in various encounters, ultimately confronting their leader, President John Henry Eden, who is revealed to be a highly advanced AI. In subsequent Fallout games, such as Fallout: New Vegas and Fallout 4, the Enclave is mentioned but does not play as significant a role. However, remnants of the faction may still be encountered.

The Fallout show takes place after these games and confirms that the Enclave is still around in some form. Dr. Siggi Wilzig, played by Michael Emerson, is an Enclave scientist who escapes from a secret facility with valuable cold fusion technology. Wilzig is disillusioned with the Enclave's unethical experiments on living beings like super mutants and dogs, leading to his defection. It is unknown whether Wilsig's facility is the last of the Enclave, but it is highly unlikely considering other events we see in the show.

Kyle MacLachlan (Overseer Hank) in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /


In the Fallout universe, Vault-Tec was a pre-war corporation in the United States primarily tasked with building and maintaining dozens of underground bunkers called Vaults to protect citizens from nuclear devastation during the Great War.

Despite its seemingly noble mission, Vault-Tec's true motives are much more sinister. The company is depicted as conducting unethical experiments on Vault inhabitants, using them as subjects for sociological, psychological, and sometimes even scientific research. These experiments ranged from mundane social situations to extreme scenarios designed to test human behavior under extreme conditions.

Throughout the Fallout series, Vault-Tec's legacy is revealed through the various Vaults encountered by players, each with its own unique backstory and often disturbing experiment. While some Vaults were relatively benign, others were sites of horrific atrocities, highlighting the morally ambiguous nature of the company's operations.

But the Fallout TV show takes things much further. It is revealed that the company, led by Bud Askins and Barb Howard, colluded with a cabal of corporate leaders to effectively sell the destruction of the world. Vault-Tec sold their vaults to the wealthiest corporations in the United States so they could conduct whatever experiments they chose. After the war, these corporate entities would use the inhabitants of whichever vault had the best results to repopulate the Earth. To protect their investment, it is also confirmed that Vault-Tec circumvented the growing peace talks between world powers and initiated the Great War that destroyed Earth itself.

By the end of the series, we also learn that Askins selected a multitude of Vault-Tec employees to be cryogenically frozen in Vault 31, with each of them emerging at certain times to be elected the Overseer of Vault 33. Lucy's father Hank turns out to be one of these pre-war Vault-Tec employees, assigned to oversee the breeding of a group of super-managers destined to rule over the wasteland at some point in the future. Since Wilsig seemed to have intimate knowledge about Hank and Vault 33, it seems like the Enclave, Vault-Tec and the corporate cabal either work directly with each other or are one in the same.

Vault-Tec's logo — a stylized blue and yellow symbol — has become an iconic symbol within the Fallout universe, representing both the promise of safety and the shadowy underbelly of pre-war society.

Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout. Credit: JoJo Whilden/Prime Video © 2024 Amazon Content Services LLC /

The Brotherhood of Steel

The Brotherhood of Steel is a prominent faction in the Fallout video game series and the new TV show alike. Founded before the Great War by former members of the United States military, scientists, and scholars, the Brotherhood's primary mission is to safeguard advanced technology from falling into the "wrong hands" and to prevent another catastrophic event like the nuclear war that devastated the world.

The Brotherhood is characterized by its strict hierarchy, military discipline, and adherence to a code of ethics centered around the preservation of technology and the protection of humanity. In some branches of the organization, these ethics are followed with religious ferver. Members typically wear power armor and wield advanced energy weapons, showcasing their technological prowess and combat effectiveness.

In the first Fallout game, the Brotherhood initially appears to be a mysterious and reclusive organization. They maintain hidden bunkers and outposts, guarding valuable technology and artifacts from scavengers and hostile factions. In Fallout 2, the Brotherhood plays a more active role, aiding the player character in their quest to stop the Enclave's plan to release a modified version of the Forced Evolutionary Virus (FEV).

In Fallout 3, the Brotherhood is a major faction operating in the Capital Wasteland under the leadership of Elder Lyons. They are portrayed as noble but somewhat misguided, as they prioritize helping the local population over their traditional mission of hoarding technology. The player character can choose to ally with or oppose the Brotherhood as they navigate the game's storyline.
In Fallout 4, the Brotherhood returns as a major faction, this time under the leadership of Elder Arthur Maxson. They are depicted as more militaristic and zealous, seeking to exert control over the Commonwealth and eliminate threats posed by mutants and synths (synthetic humans).

In the Fallout TV show, we get an inside look into what it's like being a recruit in the southwest branch of the Brotherhood through main character Maximus. As a recruit, Maximus is routinely bullied and generally treated like garbage by his peers and superiors alike. However, Maximus later gains the glory he thought he wanted by inadvertently leading the Brotherhood to the cold fusion technology, which is capable of generating immense power for the wasteland. With the Brotherhood now in charge of this technology, they are a much bigger player than before, especially with the New California Republic severely weakened.

The Brotherhood of Steel is a recurring and influential faction in the Fallout series, embodying the struggle to balance the preservation of technology with the needs of humanity in a post-apocalyptic world.

Fallout - First Look
Ella Purnell (Lucy) in “Fallout” /

New California Republic

The New California Republic (NCR) is a major faction prominently featured in Fallout: New Vegas, representing one of the largest and most powerful political entities in the post-apocalyptic United States. Established 109 years after the bombs dropped, the NCR emerged as a democratic republic dedicated to rebuilding civilization and restoring order to the wasteland.

Founded in the former state of California, the NCR is characterized by its commitment to principles such as democracy, the rule of law, and individual rights. It operates under a system of elected governance, with a president serving as the head of state. The NCR's capital is located in the city of Shady Sands, which served as the political and cultural heart of the republic.

Throughout the Fallout series, the NCR is depicted as a sprawling nation-state with ambitions of expansion and nation-building. Its territory extends across much of the former American Southwest, encompassing cities, towns, and military outposts. The NCR's military plays a central role in maintaining security and enforcing the republic's laws.

Despite its ideals, the NCR is also portrayed as a flawed institution that grapples with corruption, bureaucracy, and internal power struggles. Its expansionist policies often led to conflicts with other factions, including Caesar's Legion, a totalitarian empire based on ancient Roman principles, and various raider groups and mutants that inhabited the wasteland.

The Fallout TV show reveals that the NCR is in a much more weakened state than in Fallout: New Vegas, which canonically takes place 15 years before the show. In that time, the capital of Shady Sands was completely obliterated by Hank MacLean and Vault-Tec. Led by Lee Moldaver, some of the survivors fled to the Griffith Observatory. Most were wiped out by the Brotherhood of Steel in the season 1 finale, leaving the fate of the NCR uncertain. It is currently unknown if other NCR remnants are still out there, but we will hopefully find out in future seasons of Fallout.

The NCR's presence is felt throughout the Fallout universe, influencing the political landscape and shaping the course of events in the post-apocalyptic world. Whether viewed as a beacon of hope for progress and stability or criticized for its imperialism and overreach, the New California Republic is one of the most prominent and complex factions in the Fallout series.

Mr. House

Perhaps the most interesting faction in the entire series is Mr. House and his army of highly advanced securitron robots. Before the Great War, Mr. House was a wealthy entrepreneur and the founder of RobCo Industries, a prominent technology company. According to his own words in Fallout: New Vegas, he foresaw the impending nuclear conflict and took measures to ensure his survival by sealing himself in a secure facility inside the Lucky 38 casino. Using advanced technology and automated security systems, he managed to preserve himself in a state of suspended animation for over two centuries.

Upon awakening from his slumber, Mr. House emerged as the de facto ruler of New Vegas, exerting control over the city and its surrounding territories. He is depicted as a highly intelligent and calculating individual with a keen understanding of politics, economics, and technology. Under his leadership, New Vegas thrives as a prosperous and orderly oasis amidst the chaos of the wasteland.

Mr. House's ultimate goal is to safeguard New Vegas and ensure its continued prosperity, viewing the city as his legacy and the key to rebuilding civilization. To achieve this end, he employs a combination of diplomacy, manipulation, and military force, brokering alliances with various factions while eliminating threats to his power.

Players have the opportunity to interact with Mr. House and influence the course of events in New Vegas. Depending on their choices, they may ally with him, betray him, or even attempt to overthrow him. Mr. House's complex personality and ambiguous morality make him one of the most intriguing characters in the Fallout universe, embodying themes of power, ambition, and the ethical dilemmas of survival in a world ravaged by nuclear war.

Much to my and probably every Fallout fan's delight, the Fallout TV show expanded Mr. House's story in interesting ways. For one, it is confirmed that Mr. House did not magically predict the commencement of nuclear war. He had inside knowledge of the proceedings as a member of the secret cabal working with Vault-Tec. Whether Mr. House had control over any of the vaults is still unknown, as he was still interested in his own wealth, true to his character in New Vegas. Nevertheless, this inside knowledge helped Mr. House save New Vegas and carve out his own little world in the midst of a complete wasteland.

More intriguing was the appearance of New Vegas itself at the very end of the Fallout show. Hank MacLean flees from his daughter in a suit of power armor after his bad guy status was fully confirmed. The fact that he goes to New Vegas could mean a lot of things, including that Mr. House may be more involved with Vault-Tec's current plans than previously thought, assuming he's still alive. There are several endings to Fallout: New Vegas where control of the city can go to either Mr. House, the NCR, Caesar's Legion or nobody. The player can also choose to kill Mr. House, who had since put himself in a stasis chamber hooked up to a computer that allowed him to remotely control the city. Since the show is set 15 years after the events of New Vegas, the creators can go in many different directions, which is very fun and has me clamoring for another season.

All 8 episodes of Fallout, ranked from worst to best. dark. Next. All 8 episodes of Fallout, ranked from worst to best

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