There is conflicting information in the Fallout universe on whether the ghouls need to eat and drink to survive.

In Fallout 1, if you

steal the ghouls' water chip and do not repair their water pump, the ghouls will die of thirst.

In Fallout New Vegas, the ghoul Harland claims to live off radroach and condensation, implying that ghouls need food and water to survive.

However, in Fallout 4, the ghoul Billy Peabody

claims to have been trapped in a fridge since the Great War (for 210 years), which means that he did not need food and water to survive for 210 years.

Do ghouls need food and water to survive? Is there any canonical information to support or refute either theory?

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    Honestly, the Bethesda Fallout games occasionally forget that people need food and water. – Studoku Apr 2 '16 at 10:12
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    Maybe it was because of cryostasis that he lasted for over 200 years? – user1337 Apr 2 '16 at 13:27
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    @user1337 It's also a fridge, not a cryogenic chamber. – Studoku Apr 2 '16 at 14:09
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    @MarchHo But if heat is energy, and the fridge has no energy, then the fridge must have no heat, therefore cryostasis. Physics 1, Fridge 0; Checkmate Samsung. – user1337 Apr 2 '16 at 14:50
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    @Jcraft153 It is obvious that the comment is made in jest (at least to me). – March Ho Apr 4 '16 at 9:58

Yes, but sometimes Bethesda forget or ignore this. This also applies to super mutants and even humans.

For purposes of this answer, I'll also cover super mutants.

In the non-Bethesda games, every post-human has some explanation for where they get food and water. Harland (actually in New Vegas) mentions radroaches and condensation. Dean uses the Villa's vending machines. Jacobstown has a small garden and a brahmin herd (and Marcus complains about the NCR killing those brahmin). It's clear that they need food, even if their immunity to radiation, disease, and poison makes them a lot less picky.

Cases where they survive with no supplies are found in Bethesda games. Peabody and Fawkes, for example, apparently survive without food for several years.

Megaton also has no visible food supply, besides apparently scavenging a 200 year old super market filled with raiders, who apparently don't eat anything either. Shamus Young does this rant better than I ever could.

There is no case in a Fallout game where the player asks a post-human what they eat, and is told that they don't need to. If they apparently don't, it's an oversight, not something specific to ghouls.

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  • Thanks for the great link! Apologies on the game confusion though. So is it accurate to say that Bethesda doesn't put as much thought into the supply chain as the other makers? – March Ho Apr 2 '16 at 16:20
  • Pretty much, yes, though its not just about food, (Laser guns with RECOIL!?) – Jcraft153 Apr 4 '16 at 8:58


Apparently Bullet confirms that ghouls don't need to eat if you ask him what a ghoul kid is worth.

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In the very first Fallout game, it's a major plot point that the ghouls of Necropolis need water in order to survive. If you steal the water chip from Vault 12 without repairing their water pump, they will die of dehydration. As in, they'll be gone if you leave the settlement and return, and the epilogue will point this out to you if you missed it. In Fallout 2, the ghouls of Gecko are seen farming in addition to maintaining the Poseidon Oil power plant, proving once again that they also need to eat.

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  • Your post doesn't really answer the question: yout first point is already mentioned by the OP, your second is merely another example. – Joachim May 26 '19 at 8:44

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