Is the Fallout TV show canon? Here’s what Bethesda’s Todd Howard and the showrunners have to say

Fallout TV show
(Image credit: Prime Video)

Where some game adaptations – such as Halo – are set in their own universe and timeline, you might be surprised to discover just how entrenched Amazon’s Fallout TV show is with the in-game universe of Bethesda’s RPG series. 

Not only is Bethesda’s Todd Howard involved as executive producer, he and showrunners Graham Wagner and Geneva Robertson-Dwoerest have spoken at length about whether the Fallout TV show is canon.

Below, you’ll find a spoiler-free guide to just how the Prime Video series fits inside the game universe – which you can read alongside our guide to the Fallout TV show timeline for the full picture.

Is the Fallout TV show canon?

Fallout TV show

(Image credit: Prime Video)

In a word, yes – the Fallout TV show is canon to the games. It’s also the latest chronological entry in the franchise, being set in 2296. Not to spoil specifics, but it also continues on from events found in earlier titles and features familiar factions such as the Brotherhood of Steel.

"We view what’s happening in the show as canon," Bethesda director Todd Howard told Vanity Fair. "That's what's great, when someone else looks at your work and then translates it in some fashion."

"It's a new story that comes, sort of, after the events we’ve seen in the games," co-showrunner Wagner said at a virtual press conference attended by GamesRadar+ on why they chose not to adapt one of the earlier games in the series.

"The show is built on like 25 years of creativity and thinking and building." Wagner added. "And we sort of thought the best thing to do is to continue that, versus retread it. Because that’s sort of what has worked with Fallout over the years. It’s traded hands, it’s changed, it’s been altered, and it’s a living thing. And yeah, we kind of felt like we ought to take a swing at trying to build a new piece on top of all of that."

Fallout TV show

(Image credit: Prime Video)

On top of that, executive producer Jonathan Nolan outlined how the TV show and games operate alongside each other in an interview with Total Film magazine – even going as far as saying it’s "almost" like the Prime Video series is “Fallout 5.”

"Each of the [Fallout] games is a discrete story – different city, distinct protagonist – within the same mythology. Our series sits in relation to the games as the games sit in relation to each other. It’s almost like we’re Fallout 5."

Co-showrunner Geneva Robertson-Dworet also told SFX magazine that there was only one hard and fast rule handed down from Todd Howard: don’t contradict the games’ major endings. So, yep, this is about as canon as it gets.

Fallout, starring Ella Purnell, Aaron Moten, Walton Goggins, and Kyle MacLachlan, is now streaming on Prime Video. For more, check out the rest of our coverage:

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.