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For other uses of the term wasteland, see Wasteland (disambiguation).
The Wasteland or Wastes refers to the majority of the world's post-nuclear environment in the Fallout universe.
During the Great War, it took no more than two hours for the nuclear warheads that were fired to change the face of the planet and affect life on Earth for many centuries to come. After the atomic fire had cleared, the surface of the Earth was very different.
Millions of buildings and cities were demolished or severely damaged, with only a few exceptions. Most of the plants that had once flourished on the Earth died as the Earth was changed from a diverse landscape to a barren and hot desert, radiation becoming a serious threat to what little life remained.
Countries such as the United States were turned into scorching wastelands that became filled with new dangers due to mutations in wildlife that altered many of the species, making them more dangerous than before. As the remnants of humanity began to spread once again, new violence was introduced in the form of different factions. They began warring against each other in the new anarchic world which they now reside in, and though more than two centuries have passed since the Great War, progress in the reclamation of humanity has been slow and the wasteland remains a radioactive and war-torn desert, where life itself is a struggle.
Each region appearing in the different Fallout games has its own specific name, except for Fallout Shelter, which uses the generic name "the wasteland":
- New California in Fallout, Fallout 2 and a part near Nipton in Fallout: New Vegas.
- The Capital Wasteland, The Pitt and Point Lookout in Fallout 3 and its add-ons.
- The Mojave Wasteland, the Sierra Madre, Zion Canyon, Big MT and the Divide in Fallout: New Vegas and its add-ons.
- The Commonwealth, the Island and Nuka-World in Fallout 4 and its add-ons.
- West Virginia in Fallout 76.
- The Midwest in Fallout Tactics.
- The Texas Commonwealth in Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel.