Explorer Count / %

I have 31 dwellers total. At any given time I have about 6-7 out in the wastelands. As I train my dwellers stats to higher levels, I am moving towards having 7-8 exploring at once. That's around 25%, growing toward one third, of my workforce exploring.

Exploring Summary

I generally give them 6-7 stim-paks and 4 rad-packs. Most explorers make it for 6 or 7 hours before I have to recall them and they have maybe 15 items on average, most people weapons that do a maximum of 7 damage and outfits that add 1-3 points to a few skills. Maybe one out of five explorations results in a great item.

One guy has max endurance and he stays out for 12+ hours. Also, one guy just picked up a bazooka looking thing and he's been out for 12 hours and still has 8 stim-paks left. In hopes of getting rarer loot, I'm considering making a change and sending out luckier people for short explorations instead of stronger ones for long explorations.


What are the signs that I should send out more explorers?

  • This comes across as a very subjective question. Maybe you could edit your question to ask a more general question, such as "What are the advantages/disadvantages/risks of having a large/small amount of dwellers exploring?".
    – Svj0hn
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 7:49
  • It's asking for a %. A number is a pretty specific thing to ask for. I was also clear about what number. I didn't just ask for any number, but the percent of the dweller population people are using for exploring. It's an interesting question. Maybe you're using 30 out of your 100 and someone else is using 60 out of 100 and they have much rarer stuff on a regular basis. Wouldn't you want to know that? Wouldn't that kind of information be helpful?
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:04
  • I see what you mean, but you're asking for exact numbers of individual players. A question like "What is the name of your favorite dweller?" also has a specific answer, but is still subjective. That said, I think it's an interesting issue for sure, and it deserves discussing, but maybe under a more general question formulation it would attract some answers. Perhaps something like "What are some signs I should send out more explorers?" or "Is there an optimal ratio of explorers to vault dwellers?". I like the topic, and since you're getting down votes I thought I would suggest improvements.
    – Svj0hn
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:13
  • Point taken, I borrowed one of your suggested titles. Thx
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:20
  • No problem. Glad to help, and I hope we see some good answers. I would suggest improving the text in the question itself at some point too, though.
    – Svj0hn
    Commented Aug 18, 2015 at 8:24

2 Answers 2


From reading discussions on Reddit, the general feeling at the moment is that explorers meet more difficult challenges and find better items the longer they're out on a particular journey. As such, it's not so much a matter of how many explorers you should have out as it is how many dwellers you can train up and equip while still being able to maintain your vault. There also seems to be a special opportunity that comes up after 60h of exploring (but can be passed or failed).

Also, it's not just endurance or luck that help out. All stats seem to have some impact on how the explorer deals with events (e.g. unlocking a box, healing a person), so you should train explorers in multiple stats. The better your explorers' stats, the longer they'll be able to stay out and the more successful they'll be.


After more time playing, I have a better feel for when to focus on exploration and figured I'd share:

Max Exploration?

I was originally sending out as many people as I could spare. My theory was, explorers bring back stat-unceasing gear and caps to upgrade rooms. Why wouldn't I max out my exploration? This thread pointed me in a better direction.

Balance Between Exploring & Training

I try to keep my S.P.E.C.I.A.L. training rooms full as my first non-production priority. Since rare items are usually found further from the vault, a small crew of highly trained explorers is likely to find more rare items than a large crew of poorly trained explorers. My training priority:

  1. luck
  2. endurance
  3. perception
  4. strength
  5. agility
  6. intelligence

In terms of progress, I have 50 dwellers. If a dweller's cumulative skill total is below 25 points, I won't send them out. Since luck was the last thing I had access to train for, most of my explorers were chosen because they were born with higher than average luck.

Note: I also think it is smart to not build new production rooms until current rooms are both fully upgraded, fully staffed, and staffed by dwellers with the maxed out applicable skill. Given this, large training rooms have been a must.

Only Send Out Fully Equipped Dwellers

If you have 25 stimpacks, why bother sending two dwellers with 12/13 packs? Send one with max stimpaks and half rad packs should be good. In other words, send them out as spaced out as you need to to make sure they're equipped well.

If The Payday is 'No Good'

To answer my own question of 'what's a sign I should send out more explorers', I'd say it is a bad sign when explorers return and they have nothing that is especially helpful. No rare outfits, no rare guns, no huge amount of caps. If this is often true, they're not going out far enough and the solution isn't more explorers, it's better explorers.

  • 1
    Really great extension with a lot of experience behind it. As an extra note, I typically send out explorers with 25 stimpacks and 5 rad-aways, and I've never had an explorer run out on rads before stims. Once they're up on endurance, they hardly take any radiation damage. The damage they take in combat will largely depend on how good their weapon is - I can send my fat man guy for 4 days at a time (22-24ish damage) but my dwellers with lesser weapons run out of stims at half that.
    – Samthere
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 10:09
  • Agreed, combat damage seems largely dependent on the quality of the weapon the dweller has.
    – Dave
    Commented Aug 28, 2015 at 11:06

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