Two people looking out a devastated city and a massive crater in Amazon's Fallout series.

Where Is Fallout’s Shady Sands in Real Life?

Fallout 1 and Amazon Prime Video’s Fallout series both feature, in some capacity, a city called Shady Sands. It becomes an even more significant location in the second Fallout game, but where is Fallout’s Shady Sands in real life? Here’s the answer.

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Where Is Fallout’s Shady Sands in Real Life?

Fallout’s Shady Sands is somewhere in Nevada, though its actual position differs between games. Unlike some of the Fallout franchise’s locations, it’s a settlement built from scratch rather than in the shell of some existing structure, as was the case with Fallout 4’s Diamond City.

So we can’t point at a particular location and say exactly where it was. Shady Sands is not a real town, nor has it ever been. However, using the Fallout 1 and 2 world maps (courtesy of the Fallout Wiki), we can get a rough idea of where it is in the games and show.

Fallout 1 takes place on the West Coast of North America, in the California/Nevada areas. And if you compare the game’s map to the Google Maps of that area, they more or less match up. It helps that Hubtown, one of Fallout 1’s locations, is basically Barstow, a real-life town.

With that, we can say that Shady Sands is northwest of Las Vegas, well into the less populated areas of Nevada. However, Fallout 2 shows the town – now simply called NCR – as a little further south. Various Reddit users have tried to pinpoint it more accurately, but there’s been no solid consensus.

A map on the left showing Fallout 1's locations and a Google Map on the right, with crosses showing where Shady Sands might be.

The above map shows where Sandy Shands was before it was… well, I’ll get to that in a minute.

However, the Fallout show features the ruins of a vast city. So either Shady Sands really shot up in the 50+ years between the show and the second game, or the show’s canon is a little off. Reddit users have suggested that the show actually moves it closer to Los Angeles. It would, at least, make sense for the HQ of the New California Republic to be in California.

What Happened to Shady Sands in the Fallout TV Show?

By the time the Fallout TV show takes place, in 2296, Shady Sands has been destroyed. The show mentions 2277 as ‘the fall of Shady Sands’, but Bethesda’s Todd Howard (via IGN) confirmed the tragic event took place after Fallout: New Vegas. That means it was destroyed between 2281 and 2296.

The Fallout TV show, with Lucy and Maximus looking out over a massive crater, surrounded by ruined buildings.

How was it destroyed? It was hit by a nuclear missile, fired by protagonist Lucy’s father, Hank MacLean. When his wife fled to Shady Sands, he launched the missile and wiped the city off the map. All that remains, as Lucy and Maximus discover, is a massive crater.

And, given that Shady Sands was essentially the New California Republic’s capital city, it all but destroyed the NCR. The NCR we see in the series is a rag-tag bunch of remnants, a shadow of their former selves.

So the answer to where Fallout’s Shady Sands is in real life is that it’s in Nevada in the games, but the show may have shifted it closer to Los Angeles. However, Shady Sands has been destroyed in the Fallout show.

The above article was updated on May 4, 2024 by Chris McMullen to provide details about what happened to Shady Sands.


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Author
Chris McMullen
Chris McMullen is a freelance contributor at The Escapist and has been with the site since 2020. He returned to writing about games following several career changes, with his most recent stint lasting five-plus years. He hopes that, through his writing work, he settles the karmic debt he incurred by persuading his parents to buy a Mega CD. Outside of The Escapist, Chris covers news and more for GameSpew. He's also been published at such sites as VG247, Space, and more. His tastes run to horror, the post-apocalyptic, and beyond, though he'll tackle most things that aren't exclusively sports-based. At Escapist, he's covered such games as Infinite Craft, Lies of P, Starfield, and numerous other major titles.