The engineering core is the third area that the player encounters aboard the Mothership, and serves as a hub between numerous other locations aboard the ship, including the steamworks, hangar, cryo lab, robot assembly, cargo hold, maintenance level and engine room. Here, the player can also find several other captives who will assist the player aboard the ship. As the player progresses through the main quest, the Engineering Core changes. Defenses are put up and barricades are made by the other captives; eventually a broken Nuka-Cola vending machine will show up; a teleporter to the Bridge appears near the steamworks entrance, down a corridor to the left of the Nuka-Cola machine; and a terrified alien will appear and plead for its life, only to be shot by Paulson.
The Engineering Core is one of the few rooms still available to explore after the quest This Galaxy Ain't Big Enough... is complete, as most other rooms beyond it will become inaccessible. At this point, aliens will also begin to spawn occasionally in the room.
The central power for Mothership Zeta is at the center of the map. The lower level surrounding the core contains little of interest.
Lower Observation DeckEdit
The lower level is far smaller than the top level. It has a small room where Toshiro Kago sits most of the time with a large window that displays the reaches of space. There is a table opposite Kago and a foot locker near that. Across the from the windows is a hallway that has some garbage in the middle of it. Through this hallway, you reach the main part of the lower floor. This has a main energy pillar in the middle of it, surrounded by capacitors. Also on this floor underneath the stairs is a bed for the player to sleep on.
Upper Observation DeckEdit
In Kago's room is a staircase that leads up the second level. This staircase opens to a room with random junk strewn about on tables, beds, and the floor. Going through a door on your right will take you to the main area with the energy pillar from the first level. This is the area where most of the captives roam. Going straight, you will head into the cryo research area, going to the right will let you into the maintenance level, robot assembly, or the engine rooms and going to the left will take you to the hangar or cargo hold.
- There are alien captive recorded logs 5, 6, 7 and 8, beside each frozen captive.
- Two Buttercup toys appear. The first appears downstairs on a table near the makeshift bed where Toshiro Kago usually sits, after two of the generators are destroyed. The second appears upstairs on the table between the between the pre-War bed and the teleporter to the observation deck, after visiting the engine room and all three generators are destroyed.
- 26 alien power cells can be found here in a box along with a Nuka-Cola Quantum.
- 3 Nuka-Cola Quantums appear in crates. 2 after exploring all of the rooms branching from the engineering core and destroying two generators, the third after all generators are down.
- 1 mini nuke appears in the chair next to the workbench in the room that leads to the decompression chamber after exploring all of the rooms branching from the engineering core and destroying two of the generators.
- 1 Nuka-grenade in a bucket, on the right side of a control panel, in the room leading towards the decompressing chamber.
- Once you have started destroying generators, the area opposite the stairwell of the Cryo lab will start being progressively cluttered with loot and world items (Wasteland and alien). The area actually gets so cluttered that you might need to throw items down the well in the middle before some items turn up. The whole room will progressively exhibit signs of malfunctions and disrepair.
- Everything needed to craft weapons from all 7 schematics can be found here and the Cryo lab, with the exception of a deathclaw hand. The workbench itself (which of course looks nothing like a regular workbench) can be found in the room north of the main hub, to the left of the door leading to the decompression chamber.
- The Engineering Core is an excellent place to store items worth keeping but that the player doesn't wish to always have in inventory, and is much safer than using abandoned houses in the Wasteland. Aliens do not steal items, so leaving unique weapons in cases or even on shelves comes with no risk of thievery. It has more than one bed and an alien workbench. This is useful after the This Galaxy Ain't Big Enough... quest is complete and the player is given control of (parts of) the ship. The ship is simply an alternative and only for aesthetic purposes.
- Some safe places to store loot during the main quest are:
- In the room with a makeshift bed. The footlocker on the far right when looking into space is a safe place to store items.
- The toolbox next to the alien workbench.
- The alien container on the bottom floor of engineering furthest from the NPCs. It is too far away for them to steal from during Among the Stars and a break in the upper level railing allows one to quickly drop down on top of it while unable to jump (encumbered).
- The overturned Nuka-Cola machine.
- As you walk up the stairs above the bedding if you look down when you reach the top you can see a miniature drone holding a teddy bear.
- If you have the Child at Heart perk, after thawing the cryotubes, you will get the option to ask Sally if she has "any good stuff hidden away." She will give you access to room near the teleporter to the bridge, which contains three containers of alien items normally blocked by an energy barrier. This is also a great place to store things if you're becoming over-encumbered, so that you can collect as much alien gear as you want. Note, however, that if you talk to Sally again while she's leading you to the room, she will stop and talk to you and won't open the room; the dialogue option will also no longer be available.
- Sitting on a box at the top of the stairs is a teddy bear holding a beer and wearing brass knuckles.
- Sally can sometimes be seen drinking beer in the area above the makeshift bed.
The teleporters on this deck may stop working, while displaying the appearance of a fully active teleporter. This can be a serious game glitch permanently trapping the player on the ship. As a precaution, one should save on the bridge before returning to the engineering core. [verified]