Rivet City

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Rivet City is a city located inside a decaying, beached aircraft carrier in the Capital Wasteland. It's the largest, most developed and scientifically-advanced settlement in the 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, among numerous other services.


What was once a small scientific community gradually grew into Rivet City, the largest settlement in the Capital Wasteland.

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Rivet City is located inside of 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 Pinkertons' 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 edible, non-irradiated 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 Sewer or at the Citadel, or by swimming across from Arlington Library (If you do not have the Point Lookout DLC add-on, watch out for the mirelurks which reside here). You can also walk from the Jefferson Memorial.

On the steel structure across from the aircraft carrier itself (near Carlos the beggar), there is an intercom box you must use to extend the bridge. After a brief conversation with Harkness, the chief of police, you may enter Rivet City.

The Marketplace


To access Rivet City, climb to the 3rd-story of the tower near the Rivet City map marker. 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:

Fortunately, Rivet City is quite well signposted, unlike the Citadel.

The broken bow of the ship was separated from the main carrier substructure 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. Players will want to be wary when exploring this area as 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.

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 jets that are used in the Operation: Anchorage add-on and thus, the standard jet aircraft for the U.S military in 2077.

For a player exploring the vessel, when checking out the bridge tower, it is worth going through all the exterior doors. These lead to catwalks on the outside of the tower, most of which have either an ammunition box or a first aid box just lying around. After a while, a pretty impressive collection of ammunition and stimpaks can be amassed by the determined traveler.


Northwest of Rivet City is a super mutant camp. There may be super mutants and some times a captive that may be rescued.

  • South of Rivet City, there is a shipwrecked boat surrounded by radioactive waste. The boat contains ammunition boxes and a locked first aid box.


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.

Notable loot

Related quests


  • Rivet City has no holding facilities for criminals, and zero tolerance for crime.
  • 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 stage there was 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.
  • There is an intercom on the structure that the beggar Carlos sits on, that can be used to extend the bridge. You can hear Harkness welcoming you over the intercom, although on the other side of the bridge where Harkness resides, there is no intercom visible.
  • 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.
  • This is the only place in Fallout 3 where a wedding happens.


Rivet City only appears in Fallout 3.

Behind the scenes

Carrier m

Rivet City in concept art.

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.[1] The aircraft carrier appears to be the USS Oriskany although the image is mirrored thus placing the island on the wrong side of the ship.[2] The picture that was used for reference is located on a website devoted to naval vessels.[3]


  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon 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.
  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 Dogmeat or his puppies will glitch and land on a cat walk that is inaccessible if you tell it to find any thing on the outside of the aircraft carrier.
  • xbox360Icon xbox360 Jumping on the bridge before it stops moving will cause it to clang loudly and move in jumps.
  • xbox360Icon 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.
  • xbox360Icon 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.
  • pcIcon pc ps3Icon ps3 xbox360Icon xbox360 There is a locker in the mid-deck of Rivet city. It has a hard lock and inside of the locker is one mentats and one physco. Leave by fast-travel or wait outside and return to the locker in Rivet city and it will be locked again and still yeild experience if you unlock it. Inside the locker again is one mentats and one physco. The locker can be returned to and unlocked then looted an infinite amount of times.



Rivet City

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