Fallout Protagonist Tier List: Best Protagonist List

Fallout Protagonist Tier List

In the vast and post-apocalyptic world of Fallout, players have assumed various roles and characters throughout the series. From the heroic pioneers to the morally complex messengers, each protagonist has left a distinct mark on the Fallout universe. Here, we’ve ranked them into tiers, evaluating their strengths, role-playing potential, and impact on the narrative. Delve into the captivating stories of these iconic characters, from the indomitable Chosen One of Fallout 2 to the determined Sole Survivor of Fallout 4, and explore what makes each of them unique in this epic RPG adventure.





The Chosen One

Fallout 2


The Courier 

Fallout: New Vegas


The Vault Dweller



The Lone Wanderer

Fallout 3


The Sole Survivor

Fallout 4

Best Protagonist List

S-Tier – The Chosen One (Fallout 2):

The Chosen One, the focal point of Fallout 2, emerges as a remarkable character in the Fallout universe. Striking an exceptional balance between being an intriguing pre-defined character with a set path and maintaining enough vagueness to be a fitting RPG protagonist, they inherit their legacy from the first Fallout’s player-character. Raised in Arroyo rather than within a vault, The Chosen One is an individual marked for greatness.

From a tender age, The Chosen One undergoes rigorous training, evolving into a formidable and versatile warrior, perfectly primed for their perilous journey across some of Fallout’s most hazardous terrains. Their quest revolves around obtaining a Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK) to safeguard their homeland.

However, the Enclave intervenes, abducting their tribe with sinister intentions of constructing a humanity-ending virus. In a valiant effort to rescue their people, The Chosen One confronts and eradicates the Enclave, even facing off against the formidable super mutant Frank Horrigan.

Fallout narratives often center on deeply personal quests, with characters seeking solutions to their own predicaments or those of their loved ones. Fallout 2 elevates the stakes by introducing a threat that jeopardizes the survival of the entire human race.

This dual nature makes The Chosen One both relatable and profoundly impressive. Confronting the formidable Enclave positions The Chosen One as arguably the most potent protagonist in the series, all while maintaining the adaptability essential to excel in the realm of RPGs.

A-Tier – The Courier (Fallout: New Vegas):

In the realm of Fallout protagonists, The Courier from Fallout: New Vegas enjoys a special status. Regarded by many fans as the pinnacle of the franchise, New Vegas owes much of its acclaim to its central character. The Courier adeptly meets the expectations of an RPG protagonist, a factor that resonates positively with the audience. What sets The Courier apart is their minimal pre-determined backstory, offering players a canvas upon which to paint their own narratives.

Players are first introduced to The Courier in a dramatic encounter, where they are shot by the enigmatic Benny, a pivotal antagonist in the game. Beyond this initial event and their role as a courier, The Courier remains undefined, allowing players to shape their character’s backstory through a blend of imagination, class-building, and specific dialog choices. The character’s versatility and adaptability shine through, making them a beloved figure in the Fallout universe.

The Courier’s background as a messenger implies a level of competence and resilience, honed by their experiences traversing the unforgiving wasteland. Surviving a point-blank gunshot to the head serves as a testament to their remarkable tenacity. While The Courier may not boast raw power, their allure lies in their exceptional role-playing potential, perfectly suited to the intricate narratives of Fallout: New Vegas.

B-Tier – The Vault Dweller (Fallout):

As the pioneer protagonist who laid the foundation for the Fallout series, The Vault Dweller deserves recognition, even though they may not reach the same heights of power and versatility as some of their successors. Tasked with a straightforward mission to retrieve a purification chip for their vault’s water-filtration system, The Vault Dweller’s character embodies the essence of the original Fallout premise. This simplicity, however, can be seen as an advantage, offering enhanced role-playing potential in its own right.

In the harsh, post-apocalyptic world of Fallout, The Vault Dweller emerges as a natural survivor. While not initially extraordinarily powerful or captivating, their journey is compelling due to its bittersweet nature. In the canonical ending of the game, The Vault Dweller faces exile from their vault despite their heroic deeds, forcing them to forge a new existence in the unforgiving wasteland.

This journey ultimately leads to the establishment of what would become Arroyo, solidifying their status as a legend within the Fallout universe. Remarkably, The Vault Dweller stands as the sole protagonist directly connected to the narrative of another game in the series, contributing to their lasting legacy.

C-Tier – The Lone Wanderer (Fallout 3):

In the transition to a new era of Fallout with Bethesda at the helm, Fallout 3 introduced significant departures from the franchise’s traditional formula. While it ventured into real-time, first-person gameplay and introduced unique mechanics, it also streamlined many of the RPG fundamentals, emphasizing a bespoke, narrative-driven experience.

The Lone Wanderer, Fallout 3’s protagonist, embarks on a quest to rescue their vanished father, uncovering his involvement in Project Purity—an initiative aimed at providing clean water to the post-apocalyptic world. Although the premise holds promise, the game takes creative liberties by imposing a predetermined backstory upon the player, a trend that intensifies in the subsequent mainline entry.

Despite these deviations, The Lone Wanderer remains a notable figure in the Fallout universe, reflecting the evolving direction of the series under Bethesda’s stewardship.

D-Tier – The Sole Survivor (Fallout 4):

The Sole Survivor stands as the Fallout character least suited to the RPG format, representing a significant departure from the classic RPG style in Fallout 4. This installment marked a distinct shift in the franchise, and the player-character played a pivotal role in this transformation. They come with a rigidly defined backstory, a clear and morally specific objective (the rescue of their kidnapped son), and a major deviation from the series’ past—the introduction of full voice acting.

This combination left minimal room for the player to truly shape the character through role-playing, as familial devotion became the defining trait of the protagonist.The voice acting further exacerbated the issue, altering the player’s experience based on intonation and attitude in in-game conversations.

While Fallout 4’s storyline has its merits, it sacrifices the very essence of RPGs that fans adore, ultimately rendering the game’s protagonist the least compelling among the series’ main characters. It’s essential to note, however, that each player seeks something different in an RPG protagonist, and Fallout’s diverse array of main characters ensures that each release caters to distinct preferences.


Fallout Videogame Series

The Fallout franchise is a series of post-apocalyptic role-playing video games known for their unique blend of atompunk retrofuturistic aesthetics and dark, compelling narratives. Developed by various studios over the years, the series is deeply rooted in the aftermath of nuclear war, offering players a glimpse into a world where the 1950s American dream collided with the horrors of atomic destruction. Here’s a look at the Fallout games that have shaped the series:

Fallout (1997):

The inaugural title in the Fallout series, developed by Black Isle Studios, introduced players to the desolate wasteland of post-nuclear California. As the Vault Dweller, players navigated the treacherous wasteland to find a replacement water purification chip, uncovering a richly detailed world filled with unique characters, factions, and moral choices.

Fallout 2 (1998):

Building on the success of the first game, Fallout 2 continued the story with a new protagonist, The Chosen One, on a quest to find the Garden of Eden Creation Kit (GECK). The game offered even more depth, humor, and player agency, cementing the series’ reputation for intricate storytelling.

Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel (2001):

Taking a departure from the mainline RPGs, Fallout Tactics, developed by Micro Forté and 14 Degrees East, focused on tactical combat and squad-based gameplay. It offered players a different perspective on the Fallout world as they commanded a squad of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers.

Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel (2004):

This action-oriented title for the PlayStation 2 and Xbox shifted the series’ formula further, focusing on fast-paced combat and a more linear narrative. It was developed without the involvement of Black Isle Studios.

Fallout 3 (2008):

Bethesda Softworks took the reins of the series and breathed new life into it with Fallout 3. Set in the Capital Wasteland (formerly Washington, D.C.), the game introduced players to the Lone Wanderer, on a quest to find their missing father and make a mark on the harsh post-apocalyptic world. It shifted to a first-person perspective and brought the series into the 3D open-world format.

Fallout: New Vegas (2010):

Developed by Obsidian Entertainment, New Vegas returned to the West Coast, offering players the role of The Courier in the Mojave Wasteland. Known for its deep narrative and faction-based storytelling, it became a fan favorite.

Fallout 4 (2015):

Bethesda’s Fallout 4 put players in the shoes of the Sole Survivor, who emerged from a cryogenic pod to search for their kidnapped son. It continued the trend of open-world exploration and base-building introduced in Fallout 3.

Fallout 76 (2018):

Fallout 76 marked a significant departure as the first multiplayer-focused game in the series. Set in the Appalachian region, players emerged from the vault to rebuild society in an online, shared world, filled with both cooperative and competitive gameplay.

Bethesda Softworks currently owns the rights to the Fallout franchise, having acquired them from Interplay Entertainment. The series has evolved over the years, offering players a diverse range of experiences, from deep RPG narratives to tactical combat and even multiplayer adventures, all set against the backdrop of a world forever scarred by nuclear war.

Fallout Gameplay

The Fallout series is renowned for its immersive and complex gameplay, blending elements of role-playing, exploration, combat, and decision-making. The gameplay mechanics have evolved and adapted over the years, but several core elements have remained consistent throughout the franchise:

Open-World Exploration:

Fallout games feature expansive, post-apocalyptic open worlds for players to explore. These worlds are richly detailed and filled with abandoned buildings, hidden locations, and remnants of the pre-war era.Players can freely roam the wasteland, scavenging for supplies, encountering hostile creatures, and interacting with various non-playable characters (NPCs) who offer quests, trade items, or provide valuable information.

Character Creation:

Players typically start by creating their own character, customizing their appearance and attributes. Character creation choices often influence gameplay, including skills, abilities, and available dialogue options.Skills and perks are an integral part of character progression. Skills, such as lockpicking, hacking, and combat skills, improve as characters gain experience and level up.

Role-Playing Choices:

Fallout games are known for their deep role-playing elements. Players make choices that affect the game world, storyline, and character relationships.Moral choices and faction allegiances play a significant role, often leading to multiple branching storylines and different outcomes.

Dialogue System:

The series features a dialogue system that allows players to engage in conversations with NPCs. Dialogue choices can influence quest outcomes, character interactions, and overall gameplay.Speech skill levels often determine the effectiveness of dialogue options, allowing players to persuade, intimidate, or charm NPCs.


Combat in Fallout can occur in real-time or turn-based, depending on the specific game. Players can use a wide variety of weapons, from firearms to melee weapons, as well as explosives.

The VATS (Vault-Tec Assisted Targeting System) is a unique feature that allows players to pause combat, target specific body parts of enemies, and execute precision attacks. This adds a strategic element to combat encounters.

Crafting and Item Management:

Crafting and item management are essential aspects of gameplay. Players can scavenge materials and objects from the environment to craft weapons, armor, healing items, and more.Managing inventory space is crucial, as players must carry food, water, weapons, and other essentials to survive in the harsh wasteland.

Base Building (in Fallout 4 and Fallout 76):

In Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, players have the option to build and customize their own settlements and bases. This involves constructing structures, establishing supply lines, and defending against threats.

Radio Stations and Music:

The series incorporates a retro soundtrack with iconic songs from the 1950s and ’60s, enhancing the atmosphere of the post-apocalyptic world.Radio stations, like Radio New Vegas and Diamond City Radio, provide both entertainment and lore-rich content.

Radiation and Survival Elements:

Radiation is a constant threat in the wasteland, affecting both the player character and the environment. Managing radiation exposure and finding ways to purify water and food are essential survival skills.

Fallout’s gameplay offers a unique blend of immersive storytelling, character development, exploration, and strategic combat. The series’ ability to adapt its mechanics while maintaining its core identity has contributed to its enduring popularity among gamers and its status as a beloved franchise in the world of post-apocalyptic video games.

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