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Fallout: The Wasteland Survival Guide: Environment

Updated on April 17, 2015
ANDR01D profile image

ANDR01D writes PC game reviews, comments on the video game industry, and sells video games for commission through Amazon.



  • When venturing in to radiation soaked areas, always have a radiation suit on hand. An advanced radiation suit is even better.
  • To complement this, also carry around several Radaways and Rad X. Radaway gets rid of existing radiation that has built up over time. Rad X protects you from radiation poisoning. Having a high medicine skill will make both more effective against radiation.
  • Some perks can also also reduce your vulnerability to radiation.
  • Some areas are much more prone to high levels of radiation than others. Craters where nuclear bombs have likely landed and gone off, still water (some lakes and rivers are not irradiated), and toxic dump sites where toxic waste barrels are found are some of the worst.
  • Don't go swimming underwater for too long, unless you possess the rebreather, found at Nellis AFB. Otherwise stick to shallow areas where you can walk, or at least swim on the surface with your head above water. Your health will go down very quickly and you will drown if you don't surface in time.
  • Watch your step. Don’t fall or jump from large heights. You can do immense damage to your body. You might think you’re taking a shortcut instead of using the stairs, but the time saved can end up with crippled limbs and low health, and you’ll have to waste stimpaks and doctors bags to fix yourself.

A disarmed bear trap.
A disarmed bear trap. | Source


  • Some situations may require that you use your pip-boy light, but at least make sure there are no major threats in the immediate vicinity before you do so. The reason why you may want to do this is because especially in dark indoor areas with little light, traps will often be encountered.
  • If you don’t want to be spotted by enemies, but also don’t wish to step in a trap, you can try to turn up the brightness on your monitor or TV. Or you can use Cateye. There is a perk that allows you to use your Pip-Boy light and not be detected.
  • Traps come in various different forms. They can either be avoided or deactivated. Mines are usually on the floor but might also be put on shelves or other areas where they are less likely to be noticed. In Fallout New Vegas, Legionaries are particularly crafty and will hide mines under or next to corpses, or even next to barely alive soldiers. Always use the manipulate key (which is “z” on your PC’s keyboard by default) when in doubt to move bodies that are in the way to make sure it’s clear.
  • If you do happen to get too near a mine, you have only a second to react. In this time, you can either deactivate the mine by using the use key (different from manipulate or drag key) to deactivate it. Otherwise get as far away from it as you can. A few steps in any direction should suffice, but it’s probably best to take steps back rather than forward, because the terrain you have crossed is likely safe.
  • The best way is to move slowly toward the mine, and deactivate it from a distance. This will gain you experience, a perk (disarming personality) and a free frag mine to use or sell.
  • Of course once you’ve selected the “light step” perk once you’ve levelled up, then you will never set off a trap.
  • Some mines are out in the open. Others aren’t, and they are hidden beneath the surface or covered up with dirt or whatever is available. These mines cannot be deactivated and the best way other than avoiding them is, if you have the ammo to spare, shoot them which will make them explode, taking out any other mines in the blast radius.

  • Another explosive trap is a room filled with fumes. Be careful seeing as any shots fired or explosives detonated in a room like this can spell doom for anyone in or near that room. Sometimes this hazard can be accompanied by tanks containing flammable substances. You can usually clear a hazard like this by throwing an explosive in to the room and taking cover.
  • Grenade bouquets can sometimes dangle above your head when you walk in to a corridor or room. There’s usually a tripwire that triggers the bouquet to fall, and the pins being pulled from the grenades, arming them. You have two or three seconds on average to get as far away from the blast radius as possible. Otherwise, spotting and interacting with the tripwire will render the trap ineffective, and if you have the necessary explosive skill, you can take down the grenade bouquet and get three frag grenades.
  • Another trap to beware of is the bear trap. This can be avoided or deactivated as long as you have the necessary skill. You might also be able to trigger them by throwing items or corpses on them which will activate the pressure plate.
  • Watch out for rigged shotguns. They’re often linked up to a tripwire, like several other traps, and they’ll cause some minor to mediocre damage – especially if there’s two or more. They usually go straight to your health, whereas most other traps can and will cause limb damage.
  • Then there’s something straight out of Home Alone: the falling girder. If you see it coming towards you, sidestep in any direction except towards it.
  • Sometimes you’ll come across computers rigged to blow, much like something out of Die Hard 4.0. Press a button on the keyboard and boom! This is why you should be very careful trying to interact with computers that don’t have specific labels, like “mainframe computer” or something equally as important sounding, or that look suspicious. A terminal might even have “suspicious looking terminal” pop in front of you. That's a hint.
  • There are other occasional traps like falling rocks (more like pushed by someone) and cages filled with deadly scorpions which will be released if the player triggers a tripwire or steps on a pressure plate. The only thing here is to run away or sidestep the rocks and with scorpions, well, you just have to take them out.

Brahmin Steak

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Find yerself a brahmin...Cook the meat...We's gonna make it all fancy like Paula Deen does...Mmm, that's good eatin'.
Find yerself a brahmin...
Find yerself a brahmin... | Source
Cook the meat...
Cook the meat... | Source
We's gonna make it all fancy like Paula Deen does...
We's gonna make it all fancy like Paula Deen does... | Source
Mmm, that's good eatin'.
Mmm, that's good eatin'. | Source


  • 1 Brahmin, shot and chopped


  1. First you need to find a brahmin. It's not hard. They're quite plentiful in the wastes. Bag it, then select your favourite cut, whether it be rump, sirloin, etc.
  2. Get to a campfire, and cook the piece of meat.
  3. Eat it. Done.

Cook Time

Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour
Ready in: 2 hours
Yields: 1 Brahmin serves up to 10 people.
Cast your vote for Brahmin Steak


(Food, drink)

  • Make sure to harvest any and all food you come across in the wastes. This includes fruit and vegetables as well as meat from animals. You’ll need them in hardcore mode to stave off hunger and thirst.
  • Food you get from the wastes that grows naturally, from plants and so on will be safe as it mostly carries no radiation. Food you get from animals will often carry radiation, and this goes too for other man-made foods and cereals like cram or sugar bombs.
  • While you’ll get radiation poisoning from animal and man-made meals, they do provide more nutrition. You’ll have to eat far more natural fruits and vegetables in general to equal this level of nutrition, but at least there’s no radiation, which means less Radaways used, or less caps spent at the clinic to remove radiation poisoning.
  • When you come across natural water sources like lakes or rivers, make sure to drink it. You won’t get any radiation poisoning like you would from drinking dirty water or sodas, like Nuka Cola. You should also stock up on purified water for this reason.
  • Don’t drink from toilets, basins, or bath tubs in exposed or open areas, because chances are that the radiation level present here is astronomical compared to almost anywhere else.
  • Always cook meat before eating it, as eating raw meat will lead to loss of strength or other special attributes or skills. You can do this by finding a campfire. Note that your survival skill must be high enough to cook most things. The minimum is about 35 for most items on the menu, so to speak.
  • There is the “lead belly” perk which will cut down on the amount of radiation passed on to you when you drink from irradiated water sources.
  • There are other perks too that will reduce the amount of radiation you get when drinking or eating.
  • Eating cooked meat, like Brahmin steaks, can grant you a temporary strength bonus, useful in a pinch, but it won't last long.

Which is the worst trap to encounter in Fallout 3/FNV?

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© 2012 ANDR01D


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Awesome game, awesome guide. In your "sustenance" part, you mention needing to eat to survive in hardcore mode. I have to admit, I never tried the hardcore setting. Is there any benefit to it, besides being able to say you did it?

    • joedolphin88 profile image


      6 years ago from north miami FL

      awesome guide, the old fallouts were incredible, the newer ones are awesome but not the same.


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