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Is Fallout 1 Freeware? A Complete Guide to Playing the Classic RPG for Free

The short answer is yes, Fallout 1 is now completely free to download and play on PC! In this in-depth guide, we‘ll cover everything you need to know about Fallout 1 being freeware, how to get it, what you get with the free version, and more.


Fallout 1 is the original classic RPG that started the popular post-apocalyptic franchise back in 1997. Developed by Interplay Entertainment, Fallout 1 kickstarted the series with its open world, non-linear gameplay and dark retro-futuristic setting.

In September 2022, Bethesda and Interplay made Fallout 1 permanently free on Steam as part of celebrations for the Fallout franchise‘s 25th anniversary. This means anyone can now download and play the full original Fallout 1 game on PC for free!

For fans of classic CRPGs and post-apocalyptic games, this is an amazing opportunity. In this guide, I‘ll be providing everything you need to know as a fellow Fallout fan about getting Fallout 1 freeware and what the free version includes. Let‘s get into it!

A Brief History of Fallout 1

Fallout released in October 1997 for PC. It was praised for its open ended gameplay, storytelling and unique retro-futuristic post-nuclear war setting.

The game sold over 120,000 copies in its first year, despite having a budget of only $3 million. Fallout 1 went on to receive numerous Game of the Year awards and is now considered one of the best RPGs of all time.

Over the years, new players continued to discover and love this classic game. But acquiring legal copies was difficult as the game became abandonware.

Now thanks to Bethesda making Fallout 1 freeware, a whole new generation can experience this classic!

How Fallout 1 Became Freeware

Originally Fallout 1 retailed for around $45-50 when it first launched back in 1997. As an older game, it was already low cost on digital stores like Steam and GOG over the years.

Then in March 2022, Bethesda and Interplay made Fallout 1 temporarily free to claim for a couple of weeks on Steam, as part of limited celebrations for the 25th anniversary of the Fallout franchise.

The positive response was so great that in September 2022, Bethesda made Fallout 1 permanently free! Now the game remains free to own on Steam forever. This coincided with even bigger anniversary celebrations, including Fallout 4 getting a next-gen update and more.

Fallout 1 joining Fallout 2 and Fallout Tactics as being freeware classics gives so much nostalgia. Those of us who remember buying these games at full price years ago are thrilled that new fans can try them for free!

What You Get with the Free Version

The free version of Fallout 1 on Steam is the full original game, with no content cut or restricted behind a paywall. This includes:

  • The entire classic Fallout 1 experience
  • Character creation system with the SPECIAL attributes
  • Huge open world map of the post-apocalyptic California Wasteland
  • Classic isometric CRPG gameplay with turn-based combat
  • Over 80 unique quests and storylines you can complete in any order
  • Dozens of playable characters that join your party
  • Hundreds of items, weapons, armor pieces and gear to find
  • Quirky retro-futuristic monsters, robots and enemies to fight
  • Around 30 – 40 hours of gameplay content and replayability
  • The full main story campaign where you find a replacement water chip for your Vault
  • Quick saving and loading anytime like modern Fallout games
  • Achievements, cloud saves and other features added by Bethesda

You get the complete Fallout 1 experience that made this game so highly praised back in 1997. The free version has everything the paid version offered over the years.

How to Get Fallout 1 for Free Right Now

Getting Fallout 1 freeware is easy and only takes a few minutes! Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Fallout 1 store page on Steam.
  2. Click on the blue "Play Game" button on the top right – there should be no price or prompt to purchase!
  3. Fallout 1 will automatically be added to your Steam library completely free.
  4. Download and install Fallout 1 via Steam. The download is around 100 MB.
  5. Once installed, launch and play Fallout 1 for as long as you want!

And that‘s it! Fallout 1 is now permanently in your Steam library and can be played whenever you want. Feel free to mod it or access all of Steam‘s features like cloud saves and achievements.

Thank you Bethesda for making this classic free for old and new fans alike!

What About Other Fallout Games?

Bethesda has made the original early Fallout games freeware, which includes:

  • Fallout 1
  • Fallout 2
  • Fallout Tactics

You can get all three games bundled together cheaply as the Fallout Classic Collection on Steam. I highly recommend picking it up!

However, the more modern 3D Fallout games like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4 and Fallout 76 still need to be purchased separately.

The availability as freeware sadly only applies to the original classics developed by Interplay in the late 90s. You won‘t get the 3D Fallouts for free.

Fallout Shelter, the mobile management spin-off, is free but contains in-app purchases and microtransactions.

Can You Mod the Freeware Version?

Absolutely! One of the best parts of classic PC games like Fallout 1 is being able to mod and customize the experience.

The freeware version of Fallout 1 can be modded exactly the same way as the paid version could be. This lets you install mods that upscale the graphics, add quality of life features, or even entirely new quests!

I recommend mods like Fallout Fixt, High Resolution Patch, Fallout Et Tu and The Nearly Ultimate Fallout Edit. Feel free to browse ModDB and Nexus Mods for more options.

Modding lets you keep experiencing Fallout 1 in new ways. The free Steam version fully supports the amazing Fallout modding community!

Should You Support the Developer?

While Fallout 1 is now freeware, I still recommend supporting Interplay and the original developers who created this classic game if you enjoy it and can.

You can:

  • Buy the Fallout Classic Collection bundle on Steam
  • Purchase Fallout merchandise from the Bethesda Store
  • Support Interplay‘s newer games like Baldur‘s Gate 3
  • Donate directly to Interplay Entertainment

Please consider financially supporting the creators if you get dozens or hundreds of hours of enjoyment out of Fallout 1. But no pressure – just enjoy the game!


I hope this guide helped explain everything about Fallout 1 now being available as freeware. Please take advantage of this amazing opportunity to experience where the Fallout franchise began back in 1997!

To summarize:

  • Fallout 1 is permanently free on Steam due to Fallout‘s 25th anniversary
  • You get the complete original game with no content restrictions
  • Simply click the Play Game button on Steam to add it to your library
  • Recommended for fans of classic CRPGs and post-apocalyptic games
  • Mod support lets you customize and expand the experience

Have fun and let us know your thoughts on classic Fallout 1 if you play it for free! We hope you enjoy revisiting this piece of gaming history.



Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.