Fallout just came to one of Nintendo's best systems, and it's not the Switch

(Image credit: Interplay Entertainment)

What you need to know

  • Fallout 1, the original Fallout RPG made by Interplay Entertainment in 1997, is only officially playable on PC through Steam or GOG.
  • However, a talented community member has ported the game to Nintendo's discontinued 3DS handheld with an impressive modding project. 
  • Fallout 1 and 2 are also playable on iOS and Android devices thanks to the development of special fan-created "Community Edition" versions of the games.
  • You'll find links to these ports, as well as relevant information for what you'll need for proper installation, in the text below. 
  • Note that you'll need legal copies of Fallout 1 and 2 to play them on 3DS or mobile devices; GOG has both games on sale right now for 75% off. Links to these deals can be found below as well.

The original 1997 Fallout RPG may be a whopping 27 years old now, but Interplay Entertainment's hit is still an excellent game that's absolutely worth playing. These days, it's officially playable on PC through Steam and GOG, but now there's also a fan-made mod that ports it over to one of my favorite Nintendo gaming systems: the handheld Nintendo 3DS from 2011.

I first caught wind of the project this morning when I spotted a Reddit post from a player who got it working. The port itself was created by user MrHuu, and you can find it as well as relevant installation instructions over on a GBATemp thread they're running. Though it's technically been around since last September, it wasn't refined into the state it's in now until April-May.

The port reworks Fallout 1's Pip-Boy GUI and other elements so that it's compatible with the 3DS' dual screens, though the game's isometric, interactable interface is always on the bottom touchscreen. You can use the device's stylus to "click" like you would with a mouse, with the L button cycling between left and right-click inputs. All in all, it sounds fairly intuitive, though it'll likely take a bit to get used to.

Finally gonna play through and finish Fallout 1 on my 3DS from r/classicfallout

It's important to note that you'll need a legally owned copy of Fallout 1 to use the mod, as it contains files necessary for its functionality. Additionally, you'll also need to mod your 3DS and make sure you've got a 3DS-compatible SD card you can use to transfer files. Luckily, these SD cards are dirt cheap nowadays, and at the time of writing, Fallout 1 is 75% off on GOG thanks to a 24-hour deal. Nice!

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Alternatively, you can also play both Fallout 1 and Fallout 2 on iOS and Android mobile devices thanks to the Fallout Community Edition and Fallout 2 Community Edition, respectively. These, too, require legal copies of the games; in case you're wondering, Fallout 2 is also 75% off on GOG until the end of the day.

If you want to avoid modding like this altogether, you could simply play Fallout 1 and 2 normally on a PC, or even on something like a Steam Deck or the ASUS ROG Ally if you're committed to gaming on the go (from what I've heard, these work decently but not great on these systems). Both games are also available through PC Game Pass (and by extension, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate).

The Vault Dweller battles Radscoprion mutants in the original Fallout RPG. (Image credit: Interplay Entertainment)

It's cool to see fans continuing to find ways to get value out of their 3DS systems, which were discontinued in 2020 and went through a subsequent Nintendo eShop shutdown in 2023. I played mine a ton during my adolescent years in the 2010s, and I might dust it off to give this project a try when I've got the time.

Whether you're interested in playing Fallout 1 on your 3DS or not, though, the game itself is fantastic, and a must-play for Fallout fans curious to see where the franchise began. Its control scheme is a little wonky and you might find the isometric perspective a bit jarring if you're used to 3D games like Fallout 4, but it's got some of the best writing, roleplaying, and dark comedy in the series. Fallout 2 is one of the best PC games, too, so don't skip it.

Fallout 1 | $9.99 $2.49 at GOG

Fallout 1 | $9.99 $2.49 at GOG

The 1997 RPG that started it all is now playable on the Nintendo 3DS thanks to a sweet community-made port, and you can get the legal copy of the game you need for it for a whopping 75% off thanks to this 24-hour GOG deal. Just make sure you act fast, as the deal goes away when today ends.

Also see: Fallout 2 (GOG)

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.