Vault 13 is the home of the protagonist of Fallout. Construction of Vault 13 began in 2063 and was completed in March 2069. The initial budget for creation of the vault was $400,000,000,000, but that cost ballooned to around $645,000,000,000 by the time of completion. The number of occupants was set at 1000 and the vault was designed to remain closed for 10 years, but due to Vault-Tec's secret population experiments, the vault actually remained closed for 200 years.
Vault 13 was powered by a geo-thermal energy reactor and controlled by a Think Machine supercomputer. In addition to its population, the vault contained a complete set of construction equipment, agriculture supplies, water purification technology, enough arms and equipment for 10 people and various entertainment facilities. Due to a shipping mishap, Vault 13 received Vault 8's extra Garden of Eden Creation Kits
while Vault 8 received the spare water chips
that would necessitate sending the Vault Dweller into the wasteland.
By 2161, the vault's water chip had begun to degrade. The ability to purify water was essential to the continued survival of the vault's populace, so the Overseer chose the Vault Dweller to journey into the wasteland
and find a replacement. After locating Vault 15, the Vault Dweller dispatches word to Vault 13 that there may be a spare water chip in the derelict vault.
Following the defeat of the Master's mutant
army, the Vault Dweller returns to Vault 13 only to learn that he has been exiled by the Overseer. Some of the members choose to follow the Vault Dweller into the wasteland, while others remain behind with the Overseer. Once the Overseer's knowledge of the Vault-Tec isolation experiment was made public, he was tried and executed for his crimes.
While the Vault Dweller and his followers would travel north and found the village of Arroyo
, the vault dwellers that remained behind were hesitant to elect another Overseer. They instead chose to barter with the Brotherhood of Steel
for a fully-functioning mainframe computer that could run the vault in place of a human being.
Investigation of the abandoned Vault 13 by the Chosen One
reveals the fate of those left behind. Sometime in 2242, the Enclave
opened the vault and kidnapped its remaining inhabitants. Some time later, a group of intelligent deathclaws
, trained and bred by the Enclave, found Vault 13 and established a community along with various wasteland humans.
Following the Enclave's destruction by the Chosen One, the remaining deathclaw and human residents of both Vault 13 and Arroyo unite and found the hamlet of New Arroyo.