The Fallout series puts an end to the debate about power armor in the Fallout universe

Despite the generally positive reception of the first season of the Fallout series among longtime fans of the games, debate has recently flared up about alleged retcons in the franchise. Mostly these alleged retcons in the Fallout series have already been clarified and refuted by official sources. However, one change that still stands out is the Fallout series version of power armor.

While power armor remains an iconic feature of gaming, it has undergone a number of changes throughout the Fallout franchise. Throughout the franchise, these changes have led to reworkings of the original lore surrounding power armor. And since the Fallout series is considered canon, the version of Power Armor featured in the show effectively cements the future of Power Armor for the entire franchise.

Power Armor Training Requirements

The first change to power armor in the Fallout franchise, which is generally considered a retcon, was introduced in Fallout 3. Fallout 3 is the first game in the series to be developed by Bethesda, which purchased the franchise from Interplay Entertainment. With this transition, it was almost inevitable that some of the lore would change, and that included the iconic power armor.

The Fallout 3 version of power armor was functionally the same as previous games, although in this game it requires a tutorial to use. Judging by the reckless actions of the protagonist Maximus in the Fallout series after the character first obtains Power Armor, it appears that learning to use Power Armor is no longer a prerequisite for control.

Energy cells for power armor

Fallout 4 eventually dropped the power armor training requirement from Fallout 3, although that game again introduced new changes. The Fallout 4 version of power armor is considered controversial as a much more explicit retcon of the lore of the original Fallout games. Among other changes, the most notable innovation in Fallout 4 is that power armor now requires energy cells as a power source.

In games prior to Fallout 4, Power Armor was powered by a virtually inexhaustible energy source attached to the back of the suit, but from this point on in the franchise, Power Armor consumes nuclear cores. Since the power armor in the Fallout series uses nuclear cores, this makes this element of power armor a permanent change for the franchise as a whole.

Canonization of power armor from the series

Since the Fallout series is much more accessible to a wider audience, this means that the show has a major influence on the franchise. Thus, the Fallout series could be the perfect platform to reboot the franchise and create new, modern lore for future Fallout games. However, this did not happen, as the show ultimately remains true to the lore of the modern Fallout games developed by Bethesda and is considered canon.

As a result, the Fallout series’ depiction of power armor including nuclear cores effectively shuts down any discussion about whether power armor will return to the form it was in the franchise’s original lore.

Considering that we are unlikely to see any heavily redesigned nuclear units or power armor in future games in the series, the issue of finding “batteries” will remain relevant.