Welcome to Rivet City, please wait while the bridge extends.”— Rivet City guard
Rivet City is a city located inside a decaying, beached aircraft carrier in Washington, D.C. It's the largest, most developed and scientifically-advanced settlement in the Capital Wasteland. Its inhabitants live in individual rooms and enjoy safety and security inside the aircraft carrier. A number of guards rotate 24 hours a day to protect the ship from raiders, super mutants, mirelurks and any other threats to the city and its inhabitants. Rivet City includes a shopping area, as well as an American history museum, science lab, church, clinic, bar, and even a hotel.
What was once a small scientific community gradually grew into Rivet City, the largest settlement in the Capital Wasteland.”— Fallout 3 loading screen
Rivet City is located inside an aircraft carrier which was docked at the Washington Naval Yard during the Great War, and was stranded when the water level in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers dropped. The carrier was inhabited by raiders in the upper decks and mirelurks in the lower decks until remnants of the Naval Research Institute decided to move in because of its strategic importance and its working hydroponics bay, which was used to set up a research lab. The prosperity of the science lab and the relatively safe location of the ship attracted many wastelanders who also settled inside. Super mutants attempted to invade the ship, forcing Seagrave Holmes and other settlers to reinforce and repair part of the carrier to make it defensible and safer. The rest of Rivet City grew up around the lab.
The settlement itself was founded in April 25, 2239, when Horace Pinkerton, Annette Holmes and Brad Danvers decided to form a council to act as a governing body to look after Rivet City and the needs of its people. Many years later, a scientist by the name of Madison Li arrived at Rivet City in 2258 to begin Project Purity, and co-opted Pinkerton's staff. Pinkerton became jealous of Li, left Rivet City, and began living in the bow of the ship, which by this point had separated from the rest of the hull. By 2277, Rivet City is the sole supplier of radiation-free food in the Capital Wasteland, trading it for essential raw materials with other communities.
Rivet City lies in the most south-eastern part of the map, near Anacostia. It is easiest to reach by following the eastern side of the Potomac River, crossing near the tepid sewers or at the Citadel, or by swimming across from Arlington Library. It is also a short walk from the Jefferson Memorial.
On the steel structure across from the aircraft carrier itself (near Carlos the beggar), there is an intercom box that must be used to extend the bridge. After a brief conversation with Harkness, the chief of police, he will grant entry to Rivet City.
To access Rivet City, climb to the top of the tower near the Rivet City map marker (frequently, there will be a trader waiting at the base of the tower). There is a intercom near Carlos. When activated, a bridge will extend from the ship.
Rivet City contains a large and thriving marketplace, as well as other institutions, such as:
- A poorly-stocked, yet well-guarded armory.
- The Capitol Preservation Society with a museum of pre-War historical artifacts and knowledge.
- The Muddy Rudder bar.
- The Rivet City science lab.
- Saint Monica's Church.
- The Weatherly Hotel.
Fortunately, Rivet City is quite well signposted, unlike the Citadel.
On the upper deck you can rent a hotel room for 120 caps from Vera Weatherly, or her robot. After purchasing the hotel room, you can access it for free thereafter. This room comes with a bed, which grants you the Well Rested bonus effect of +10% experience. If you didn't rent the room, you can pick the (very hard) lock without losing Karma. Even though the bed inside is called "My Bed" you can't use it until you've rented the room.
When you get to the upper deck of the carrier, take a good look at the aircraft that still remain. These are the same fighter jets that are used in the Operation: Anchorage add-on and are apparently the standard jet aircraft for the U.S military in 2077. The exterior doors in the bridge tower lead to catwalks on the outside of the tower, most of which have either an ammunition box or a first aid box.
The broken bow of the ship was separated from the main carrier hull and half-flooded. The lower levels are inhabited by mirelurks or mirelurk hunters (depending on player level), while the upper levels contain Pinkerton's laboratory and home. Pinkerton has set up numerous traps throughout the bow, such as rigged shotguns, frag mines, a gas leak and a rigged terminal placed conveniently near the heavy door to Pinkerton's lab.
- As a notable item there is a Lying, Congressional Style skill book by some sleeping mats near several boxes of ammunition.
- South of Rivet City, there is a shipwrecked boat surrounded by radioactive waste. The boat contains ammunition boxes and a locked first aid box.
- Abraham Washington
- Angela Staley
- Anna Holt
- Belle Bonny
- Butch DeLoria ¹
- C.J. Young essential
- Cherry ³
- Christie Young
- Cindy Cantelli
- Dr. Madison Li essential
- Dr. Preston essential
- Dr. Zimmer
- Father Clifford
- Gary Staley
- Harkness essential
- Henry Young
- James Hargrave essential
- Janice Kaplinski
- Lana Danvers
- Mister Lopez
- Mei Wong
- Mister Buckingham
- Paulie Cantelli
- Horace Pinkerton essential*
- Private Jones
- Seagrave Holmes
- Shrapnel essential
- Tammy Hargrave
- Ted Strayer
- Victoria Watts
- Vera Weatherly
- Bryan Wilks essential²
- Officer Lepelletier Broken Steel
- ¹ After successfully opening Vault 101.
- ² After successful completion of Those!.
- ³ After successfully completing the unmarked quest Cherry's Freedom.
- * After completion of the Replicated Man quest, Pinkerton will not be essential.
- Note: all traders' stores are re-stocked on Mondays and Thursdays.
- The Bobblehead - Intelligence is standing on a table in the science lab.
- A copy of Rock-It Launcher schematics in the Bridge tower armory (Very Hard lock).
- Bottlecap mine on a workbench to the right of the Potomac Attire
- Three bottles of Buffout can be found on the shelves of A Quick Fix in the Rivet City market.
- Six boxes of Sugar Bombs can be found throughout Rivet City: One on the tables next to Gary's Galley in the market, two boxes in Staley's room in the midship deck, and three more boxes in Belle Bonnie's room in the Muddy Rudder bar.
- Rivet City has no holding facilities for criminals and zero tolerance for crime.
- Staying in the marketplace after hours can cause the guards to become hostile.
- Many citizens and security guards will comment about a citizen dying from drinking river water and then comment that the city's water isn't any better, raising alarm over the quality of the water.
- If Raven Rock is destroyed as a part of The American Dream quest, the people in Rivet City will talk about the disappearance of the Enclave Radio, saying that maybe it was caused by an "Explosion from the Horizon".
- There is a baseball diamond set up on the flight deck that James Hargrave and CJ Young use.
- If you are caught killing or enslaving anyone from Rivet City, upon re-entering a number of characters will have a unique dialog regarding your actions.
- In dialogue, Horace Pinkerton mentions that, at one point, there were plans to repair the ship and make it seaworthy again. However, he notes this and other plans have fallen by the wayside since Dr. Li took control of the council.
- It is one of the locations shown in the Bradley-Hercules targeting data, but cannot be fired upon.
- According to some of its residents, Rivet City is prone to causing Rust Lung. Rust Lung is a fictional disease that is caused by the inhalation of rust particles, which over time can build up in the lungs and become fatal.
- If you insert the modified FEV Virus into Project Purity, Rivet City appears in the ending with what looks like half the ship's population lying dead, but if you go back to Rivet City later, everyone will still be there.
- There is almost always a group of Regulators and Talon Company mercs that spawn near Rivet City at the nearby Anacostia Crossing.
- Pre-war fighter jets have fallen off the bow of the non-city area of the aircraft carrier. Some can still be seen on the flight deck if the player chooses to visit the front of the ship.
- If Allistair Tenpenny is killed by a shot in the head during You Gotta Shoot 'Em in the Head. The residents and guards will converse about how Allistair was killed, by a shot in the head.
- The ship had a working reactor core until sometime after the events of Fallout 3, when the Brotherhood of Steel (East Coast) acquired it and placed it in The Prydwen.
Rivet City appears only in Fallout 3 and is mentioned in Point Lookout. It appears as a marked location on a map of the Capital Wasteland at HELIOS One in Fallout: New Vegas. In Fallout 4, Danse mentions that he grew up in the Capital Wasteland and owned a junk stand at Rivet City.
Behind the scenesEdit
- The Craig Mullins concept art published on May 15, 2007 shows a city with ruined skyscrapers and an aircraft carrier which has run ashore and is connected to one of them by a rudimentary bridge. The aircraft carrier appears to be USS Oriskany although the image is mirrored thus placing the island on the wrong side of the ship.
- During development, there was a quest in which the Enclave would attack Rivet City, and the player would be tasked with escorting the inhabitants to the Citadel. However, it was vetoed out of the game by Todd Howard, who found it was too big a mission. 
- pc ps3 xbox360 After reaching the end of the Rivet City bridge, and jumping down to the platform below it, there is a place where you can fall through the boat. When jumping off on the right side (or left, but go to the right side) there will be an open "room" with a first aid box and two ammunition boxes. Should you go to the corner past the leftmost ammunition box, you fall through the boat and land in the water. Fast travel to a different location or reload an older save to fix this problem. [verified]
- pc ps3 xbox360 Dogmeat or his puppies will glitch and land on a cat walk that is inaccessible if you tell it to find anything on the outside of the aircraft carrier. [verified]
- xbox360 Jumping on the bridge before it stops moving will cause it to clang loudly and move in jumps. [verified]
- xbox360 Sometimes the entire boat including people will become non collide-able making it impossible to enter the city. To fix this simply save, back out to the main menu, and load the save. [verified]
- xbox360 Rarely, when you fast-travel to Rivet City, a friendly Enclave soldier will spawn next to you. But will automatically disappear when you enter the city. If you try to speak to them, they will either greet you or threaten you verbally. [verified]
- pc xbox360 If Broken Steel is installed, the player may experience crashes near Rivet City after completion of the main quest. [verified]
- xbox360 when you tell sister there is a slaver on the ship if you talk to him whilst on his route to get her sister will walk back and forget. [verification overdue]
- ↑ Marcella's journal.
- ↑ Concept art by Craig Mullins
- ↑ USS Oriskany on NMA
- ↑ GDC 2009: Fallout 3 lead opens game design vault