Dwellers do not live on bread alone, they also need some fun. Once bellies are full and the immediate fear of extinction has waned, your job as the Overseer is to increase the happiness of your dwellers and focus on the business of repopulating the human race. Here are tips on how to go from alive to thrive.
Security, Security, Security!
A bad RadRoach outbreak or an unchecked Raider Raid will wipe out your vault fast. You need to build your vault in such a way that dwellers from one room can easily support dwellers in another. Some rooms, like the living quarters, will not maintain high occupancy. These rooms must be adjacent to rooms with occupancy. For example, don’t have two living quarters side by side with only one elevator access or you might not be able to reallocate dwellers in time.
Also, avoid getting everyone in one room pregnant at the same time. Pregnant women will run away from trouble – as they should – and won’t be much help during a crisis.
Keep guards at your vault entrance. May not be feasible in the beginning since every man and woman will be needed to produce, but once you get further along, it’s definitely worth it to have two strong and agile fighters as your first line of defense against Raiders.
Most importantly, keep everyone armed and armored. You can use real money to obtain weapons and armor via Lunchboxes. I wish they had a room where equipment can be made – they have cola factories, but no weapons factories…. But alas, they don’t! Because the F2P masters want this to be P2P. So, if you’re not willing to shell out real cash, the best way to obtain equipment is to scavenge it from the Wasteland.
Explore the Wasteland
You need to explore for your Vault to thrive. The longer the scavenge, the greater the rewards. My #1 explorer, Harkness, spent nearly 3 days in the Wasteland. He brought back some of the coolest stuff not found in Lunchboxes. The man’s a legend.
Send 2-3 scavengers out at the same time. Equip them well with Stimpaks and Radaways. Give them the best equipment you have in your inventory. And monitor them or you’ll never hear from them again. The danger intensifies with each minute. They can easily end up dead and it’s expensive to revive them (1000 Caps).
There is no danger during their return so push them and pull them back when they run out of Stimpaks or Radaways.
In the beginning, you’ll have to settle for mediocrity. But as your Vault stabilizes, you’ll want to optimize the value of each Dweller. Build training rooms (there’s one for each SPECIAL skill) and rotate your dwellers through. For example, you’ll need to maximize each power station and reactor since there’s limited space. Since they are expensive to build and upgrade, one way to improve productivity is to increase each Dweller’s skill level. One at a time, send them to the weight room to build their strength, and return them to the station once their strength has gone up +3 or 4.
Happy Dweller, Happy Overseer
The real reward of playing this game is to see your Dwellers happy. There’s no coup or anything like that in this game, but there’s that deep satisfaction you feel in your gut when a dweller walks around with that big goofy smiles on their faces. They’re so happy, they’re smiling even at the edge of death. That’s why we play these games, right???
To increase happiness:
Give your dweller a job that they want. Match specialties with the job.
Don’t get lax on food and water.
Have a radio station. It makes them nostalgic, probably, but also happy. Propaganda and diversion are awesome.
Let them have a family. If a dweller is especially low, put them in a quiet room with a hot guy or gal, and then let them have a baby. That’ll boost their happiness level all the way to 100%. Ultimately, once basic necessities are taken care of, people live and work for their loved ones. True 10,000 years ago, true now, and true in the post-apocalypse.
Do these things and your Vault will thrive, and one day, once the Earth has repopulated, there will be a nation named after you and kids will learn about you in school. You’ll be a legend to these people and their ancestors. Hail, Overseer!