Fallout 4 is a huge game with lots of characters, storylines and a timeline that can be a little confusing to figure out.


Whether new to the beloved Bethesda RPG or returning for the umpteenth time, there's a lot of curiosity surrounding when the game is set and whether it ties into the new Amazon Prime Video show – especially in the wake of its positive reviews and announcement that season 2 is on the way.

The good news is that although Fallout has been around since the '90s, there actually haven't been too many games, so figuring out the timeline isn't too difficult. Not compared to the likes of Star Wars or Kingdom Hearts, anyway.

So, with that in mind, here's everything we know about when Fallout 4 takes place and what parts (if any) connect to the TV show.

When is Fallout 4 set?

Player and dogmeat in Fallout 4 overlooking a rundown city
Player and Dogmeat in Fallout 4. Bethesda

Fallout 4 is set in the year 2287, and takes place within the city of Boston and the surrounding region that adapts Massachusetts, known as The Commonwealth.

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This game's story occurs just before the bomb drops in 2077, and then picks up immediately after the player regains consciousness 210 years later in Vault 111.

It's up to the player to scour the wastelands to discover what happened to their kidnapped son.

When are all the other Fallout games set?

A member of the Brotherhood of Steel in power armour looking at the camera with Washington DC destroyed in the background
Fallout 3. Bethesda

The original Fallout is set in the year 2161 across the lands of Southern California, while Fallout 2 takes place in 2241 in Northern California. We then fast-forward 138 years to Fallout 3 which heads to the capital of the US with Washington DC.

Fallout: New Vegas then picks up in the Mojave Desert four years after the latter in 2281. The most recent entry in the video game series, Fallout 76, goes back to the year 2102 and puts West Virginia in the spotlight. This is the earliest timeline we've had for Fallout yet.

There's a great Fallout video (see below) from GameSpot that outlines the complete timeline of the games, taking into account the Amazon show too.

How does the Fallout TV show fit in?

Ella Purnell as Lucy, Walton Goggins as The Ghoul and Aaron Moten as Maximus in Fallout. They are all posing an looking offscreen, and there is also a dog next to them
Ella Purnell as Lucy, Walton Goggins as The Ghoul and Aaron Moten as Maximus in Fallout. Prime Video

The Fallout TV show on Prime Video is set in the year 2296, so 219 years after the bomb drops and six years after the events of Fallout 4.

Starring Ella Purnell and Walton Goggins, the eight-part series heads to Los Angeles and sees a young woman leaving her home of Vault 33 to explore the devastated city.

While this is a standalone story, it does take place in the Fallout universe, with references to events of the other video games.

Showrunner Jonathan Nolan also told Total Film that the show is "almost like Fallout 5", so it will be interesting to see whether any crossover happens when the sequel eventually arrives.

For anyone who has finished the TV show, the Fallout ending does notably connect to the video game world. Warning: spoilers ahead!

After Lucy discovers the truth about her father's part in Vault-Tec's dropping of the bombs, Overseer Hank (played by Kyle MacLachlan) escapes in a suit of power armour belonging to the Brotherhood of Steel.

The ending shot then sees the man step over the skull of a Deathclaw before looking ahead to reveal a shot of a city. That city is none other than New Vegas.

New Vegas in Fallout TV Show against a brown-tinged sky
New Vegas in Fallout. Prime Video

So, while Fallout 4 isn't directly referenced, we do know that Fallout: New Vegas is set to feature in some capacity for season 2. This potentially means we might see elements of Fallout 4 crossover, with the Deathclaw in particular also likely to make an appearance.

Fallout 4 is available across PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Microsoft Windows. The game can also be played via backwards compatibility on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S with a new Fallout 4 next-gen update now rolled out.

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