Ah, you're here, good. We've got a problem, a big one. The controller chip for our water purification system has given up the ghost. Can't make another one, and the process is too complicated for a work around system. Simply put, we're running out of drinking water. No water, no vault. This is crucial to our survival. And frankly, I... I think you're the only hope we have.”— Jacoren
|Main Quest: Find the Water Chip|
|Exit Vault 13.|
|Acquire two pieces of rope.|
|Go to Vault 15 and use the rope on the elevator shaft.|
|Go to the command center.|
|Reward: 500 XP|
|Go to the Hub and buy the holodisk from Mrs. Stapleton.|
|Ask Martha Rastello to send water to Vault 13. (optional)|
|Travel to Necropolis and go to the Watershed, using the sewers.|
|Deal with Harry.|
|Complete Free Ghoul prisoner. (optional)|
|Go to the third level of Vault 12 and get the chip from the command center.|
|Return back to Jacoren and give him the chip.|
|Reward: 7000 XP|
|Leads to: Destroy the Mutant leader, Destroy the source of the Mutants|
Locate a rope:
- The easiest way to do this is to buy (or steal) it from Seth at the entrance to Shady Sands.
- Another can be found on one of several bookshelves in Shady Sands.
- A rope can be found in a hut located near the crops in Shady Sands.
- One can also be purchased from certain traders. Many of these traders are located in the Hub.
After acquiring the rope, go to Vault 15.
The vault entrance is hidden in the uninhabited shack. Open the hatch and descend into the vault.
Scavenge the area for loot, including a Colt Rangemaster hunting rifle Located on the second floor 2F, a H&K MP9 SMG 3F, a leather jacket 2F, a crowbar 3F and another rope inside the locker on 2F. Use another rope on the second shaft and descend to the third level of the vault.
Proceed to where the command center should be. Once it is in sight, 500 XP is awarded for verifying that it is not salvageable. To acquire the XP and the message that states the chip is elsewhere, reach the bottom right corner of the facility.
- If pressed about Necropolis she will reveal its location. Alternatively, Miss Stapleton sells a holodisk with the location of Necropolis.
- (optional) She can send water to Vault 13 for varying prices. This will add another 100 days to the time limit, but reduced by the same amount for the mutant invasions (500 days normally in v1.0, 13 years in later versions).
Travel to Necropolis.
Use the manhole to enter the sewers and proceed north through the sewers to the Watershed area. If the Vault Dweller takes this route, they will come across a group of friendly ghoul refugees and they can get information on the super mutants from their leader. After this, keep heading north through the sewers and climb up the ladder at the end. Find a building to the north with some super mutants and an imprisoned ghoul. In order to navigate the area without combat, either convince the super mutant leader Harry with a high Speech skill, sneak past or confuse him by having extremely low Intelligence. Violence is an option as well. Failing to achieve a peaceful solution, Harry will either attack or send the player character to the Mariposa Military Base.
After dealing with the super mutants, free the ghoul prisoner. If he lives, he will identify the entrance to Vault 12 in the adjacent cell. However, the entrance can be opened without speaking to him.
Ghouls inhabit the vault area and are hostile during night time. Travel to the third level using the elevator, and enter the command center area. Remove the water chip from the computer, which also grants you +3 Karma . Doing this will turn the ghouls in the vault hostile.
- 500 XP for finding the destroyed command center.
- 7000 XP for giving the water chip to Overseer Jacoren.
- You can return to Set with the water chip, who will demand the Vault Dweller return the chip. If you return it, Set hands it to a ghoul who "runs away with it". The chip returns to the computer where you found it, making it possible to get the chip again without an experience reward. If you refuse to give him the chip, he and his minions will turn hostile.
- After completing this quest, Overseer Jacoren will give the quests "Destroy the source of the Mutants" and "Destroy the Mutant leader."
- After getting the water chip to Vault 13, all Necropolis ghouls will be attacked in 30 days by invading super mutants unless the Master is killed in time.
- This quest is not crucial to finishing the game. Killing the Master and destroying the vats before the time limit runs out will end the game.
- This quest can be the first the Vault Dweller completes, leaving nigh-infinite time to finish the other quests within 500 days (in v1.0).
- In patched versions of Fallout, more time is added before the super mutants attack, up to a maximum of 13 in-game years.
- If this quest is not completed before the time limit runs out, the game is over, and kicks back to the main menu.
- Find the Water Chip is the first main storyline quest and it is received just after the intro with Overseer Jacoren in front of the Vault 13 door.
- To keep the water chip, simply press the 0 key when Jacoren asks for it. Afterwards, the Vault Dweller will be at the computer, gain the 7500 XP, remove the time limit, get the new quests from him and keep the chip. If the player character has a bag or backpack below the water chip in the their inventory list, this will also keep the chip from disappearing.[verified]
- There are two ways to "reset" the quest. The easiest is to talk to the water merchants. The other requires that the Vault Dweller kept the chip; returning to Necropolis and using it on the water computer, thereby also undoing the chip quest, which means the Vault Dweller can give the water chip to the overseer again for 7500 more XP. Using this cheat allows the Vault Dweller to keep the chip and then travel back and forth between the Hub and Vault 13, gaining 8500 XP each round trip and increasing the time limit all the while.[verified]