Fallout Timeline

Fallout Timeline – Everything in Chronological Order

The Fallout series has captured the imagination ever since its first release back in 1997. Over the past decades, the Fallout Universe has evolved and expanded, spanning various video games and now even a TV series by Amazon. Although each game tells a story that is fairly self-contained, its overarching post-apocalyptic setting, characteristic atompunk aesthetic, and intricate lore have become a cornerstone of gaming culture. To help old and new fans alike make sense of the larger picture, we created this Fallout Timeline, explaining the chronological order of all Fallout media, including games and beyond.

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All Fallout Games in order of release

Let’s first start with an overview of all Fallout games in order of release. This brief overview gives some perspective of how this series came to be about. An important detail is that the series switched ownership in 2004. Up to 2004, the series was owned by Interplay. After 2004, the series is owned by Bethesda. Although Bethesda respected the established canon, the series look and feel changed drastically with the change of ownership.

The games are released in the following order:

The main games always go forward in time, but spin-offs like to switch things up a bit. This is the chronological order of Fallout:

The Great War – 2077

Fallout The Great War

Fallout’s timeline diverts from our actual history after World War 2, leading to a golden age of atompunk technology. Although this era rarely ever seen in the Fallout series, its history heavily influents the technology and aesthetic in the world of Fallout. The most major event in this era, is of course the start of the Great War in 2077: a brief exchange of nuclear weapons between the United States and China, changing the world in the radioactive wastelands we see in Fallout. The Great War is depicted in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, as well as the Fallout tv-series.

Fallout 76 – 2102

Fallout 76

Fallout 76 is set in the year 2102, making it the earliest entry chronologically in the Fallout series. It takes place in the Appalachian region of West Virginia, where players emerge from Vault 76, a nuclear fallout shelter, into a world ravaged by nuclear war. Unlike previous Fallout games, Fallout 76 is primarily an online multiplayer experience, allowing players to explore the vast open world, build settlements, and engage in quests and events with other players.

Fallout – 2161


The original Fallout game, set in 2161, introduces players to the desolate world of post-nuclear America. The game takes place in Southern California. Players assume the role of the Vault Dweller, tasked with finding a replacement water purification chip to save their underground home, Vault 13. This game establishes the foundation of the Fallout universe, introducing iconic elements such as the Vault-Tec Vaults, the Brotherhood of Steel, and the retro-futuristic aesthetic known as “Atompunk.”

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel – 2197

Fallout Tactics

Departing from the traditional RPG format, Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel introduces tactical squad-based combat set in the Fallout universe. The game takes place between the first two games and is set in the Midwest region. As the Brotherhood of Steel journeys through the war-torn landscapes of the Midwest, they face off against mutants, raiders, and other threats while uncovering the mysteries of this harsh new world.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel – 2208

Fallout Brotherhood of Steel

The first console game in the series, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel, is set in the ruins of the city of Carbon, located in the former state of Texas. Players assume the role of a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, embarking on a quest to confront a powerful enemy threatening the survival of humanity. Although the name might be confusing, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel has no direct link with Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel.

Fallout 2 – 2241

Fallout 2

Set 80 years after the events of the first game, Fallout 2 follows the adventures of the Chosen One, a descendant of the Vault Dweller. Fallout 2 is once again set in the Wastelands previously known as California, where The Chosen One is tasked with saving their small village from a deadly plague. Venturing across the desolate landscape, players encounter factions, mutants, and remnants of pre-war society

Fallout 3 – 2277

Fallout 3

Although the intro of the game is set in 2258, the larger part of Fallout 3 is set in the year 2277, approximately 200 years after a devastating nuclear war laid waste to the world. The game takes place in the ruins of Washington, D.C., known as the Capital Wasteland, where players assume the role of the Lone Wanderer, a resident of Vault 101. The story follows the Lone Wanderer’s journey as they venture into the wasteland in search of their missing father, uncovering secrets and confronting various factions along the way.

Fallout: New Vegas – All Roads – 2281

Fallout: All Roads is a graphic novel set in the Fallout universe, specifically in and around the Mojave Wasteland. It serves as a prequel to the events of Fallout: New Vegas, offering backstory and insights into the world of the game. The graphic novel takes place about a week before the events in New Vegas, and leads up to the start of the game.

Fallout: New Vegas – 2281

Fallout New Vegas

Fallout: New Vegas is set in the year 2281, four years after the events of Fallout 3. The game unfolds in the Mojave Wasteland, a region encompassing parts of Nevada, California, and Arizona. Players assume the role of the Courier, a mysterious figure left for dead after a botched delivery. As the Courier embarks on a quest for revenge and answers, they become embroiled in a power struggle among various factions vying for control of the region.

Fallout 4 – 2287

Fallout 4

The intro of Fallout 4 offers us the first glimp in the world before the Great War. Fallout 4 is mainly set in the year 2287 however, approximately a decade after the events of Fallout 3 and six years after Fallout: New Vegas. The game takes place in the Commonwealth, a post-apocalyptic region in the former state of Massachusetts, centered around the ruins of Boston. Players assume the role of the Sole Survivor, emerging from cryogenic stasis to search for their missing son in a world devastated by nuclear war. As the Sole Survivor navigates the dangers of the wasteland, they uncover secrets about their past and and find themselves entangled in the power struggles among competing factions seeking dominance.

Fallout TV Series – 2296

Fallout TV Series

Amazon Prime’s Fallout TV Series takes place in 2296 and is set in Los Angeles. The series revolve around Lucy MacLean (Ella Purnell), a young vault dweller who leaves behind her Vault 33 to venture out into the unforgiving Wastelands.

Fallout Shelter – Non-canon spin-off

Fallout Shelter

Fallout Shelter is a free to play game letting players build their own Vault-Tec Vault, ensuring the survival of their vault dwellers. The game thus takes place in the direct aftermath of the Great War, but has no story component and is not considered canon.

This Fallout Timeline has been composed with as much care as possible. Nevertheless, an error may have crept into our chronological order. Are you an even bigger Fallout fan than we are? Drop a comment below!

Lars Cornelis

Lars is a game journalist since 2005. He loves virtual adventures and appreciates a good story, whether told through environmental storytelling or deep lore. He has a large collection of books and comics based on his favorite games, like Halo, Assassin's Creed, and Metal Gear Solid.

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