Struggling to keep your vault safe from the new threat of Deathclaws? Check out our list of tips and strategies for some ideas on dealing with these mutated monsters!

Fallout Shelter: How to prepare for and deal with Deathclaws

Struggling to keep your vault safe from the new threat of Deathclaws? Check out our list of tips and strategies for some ideas on dealing with these mutated monsters!

The most recent patch for Fallout Shelter has introduced a lot of cool features and coincided with the Android launch of the game, but it’s not all good news — players now have to deal with periodic Deathclaw attacks in addition to the regular threat of raiders, radroaches, fires, etc., and a lot of vaults are struggling.

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There’s no need to panic in the face of Fallout’s most terrifying foe, though — just follow our simple list of tips and strategies to prepare for Deathclaws and your vault will be rolling along as happily as it was before!

Know the Threat

First and foremost, it’s important to know what triggers deathclaws so that you can plan appropriately. The most important consideration is vault size — deathclaws will appear after you reach 60 dwellers, so you don’t need to worry about them showing up if you’re still small.

Secondly, they have a chance to appear when you open your vault door, either to let a new dweller or returning explorer in or to let an explorer out. If you’re having trouble with deathclaws it can be smart to minimize how often you open your door by sending explorers out in groups (this won’t eliminate attacks but it can help you handle them).

Finally, the Radio Room will attract deathclaws, much in the way that it attracts raiders. If you are worried about attacks and don’t need the population or happiness boost, it might be worthwhile to leave your Radio Room empty until you can handle a deathclaw raid.

Tip 1: Stay Small

If your vault was already over 60 dwellers when the patch hit, you’re out of luck. But if you’re starting a new vault or if you’re growing slowly, you’re in a very good position to deal with deathclaw attacks. Since you know that they won’t show up until you’re at 60 dwellers, then you are in complete control of your deathclaw situation. When you start to get close to the mark, slow your growth, stock up on caps, and focus on exploring until you’ve got a solid set of weapons and armor and a good number of high-level dwellers that can be used as guards.

It’s worth noting that growing slowly is a smart idea anyway, since you’ll be able to better allocate your resources and are less likely to run into shortages. Population booms are a still a big threat to new vaults!

Tip 2: Plan Your Vault

Smart vault planning is the key to dealing with deathclaws. It can be complicated and difficult to manage your dwellers during an attack, especially if you’re trying to control them on a smartphone screen, so you want to be really well set up for attacks when they come. Here’s a checklist of things you’ll probably want to be really ready for deathclaws:

  • A fully upgraded Vault Door (it won’t slow them down much, but the extra time can be a lifesaver)
  • Two full-time guards (ideally these will be max-level dwellers with good SPECIAL, but any high-level dweller with a good weapon and armor will do)
  • A three-width room on the other side of your door with six high-level dwellers. The deathclaws will make it past your guards, so make sure these guys are well equipped.
  • Another room past that with backup dwellers (hopefully the deathclaws won’t get this far, but it’s better to be safe than sorry)
  • If you want some floating guards that you can use in an emergency, put an asterisk or exclamation point at the start of their name (like *Bob) — it will make them easier to find when you pull up the list.
  • You may find that you need to use stim packs on your dwellers during the fight. If this is the case, make sure to build some extra med bays for storage so you don’t run out.

Tip 3: Don’t Panic!

Deathclaws are terrifying, but panicking is a good way to end up with a lot of lost resources and a bunch of dead dwellers. Even if you haven’t planned appropriately and aren’t prepared, don’t just start dragging dwellers around haphazardly — if you’re losing a room, set up the next one with your strongest, healthiest dwellers. Try to pay attention to the fights and use stimpacks when you dwellers are getting low — prioritize the ones who are going to drop first. If you have to, set up a defense one or two rooms down the line to give yourself time to equip and set up your guards effectively.

Most importantly, keep your vault working! Gather resources, send out explorers, and upgrade and equip your dwellers. The longer you survive, the less of a threat deathclaws will be. Good luck, Overseer!

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Robert Guthrie
Writer, freelancer, historian.