|For code decryptor resource, see Resource:Nukacrypt.|
Collecting the code pieces
Each launch code is gathered by finding eight individual pieces around the map. These launch code pieces are found on Scorched and ghoulified former military officers, identifiable by the radio packs on their back that emit red light and a high pitched sound in a regular sequence. Locations of launch code pieces for each silo (Site Alpha, Site Bravo, and Site Charlie) can be found by initiating a radiant quest at the surveillance terminals in the command wing of The Whitespring Bunker. Launch code pieces can also be found around the map, randomly, on either alive or deceased Scorched and feral officers.
Code piece expiration
Players with a launch code will get a notification that lets them know when they are about to expire and will claim to self-destruct, but will just disappear from inventory causing no harm to the player. Codes currently expire weekly on Monday, at 00:00 UTC, no matter when they were acquired beforehand.
Unscrambling the code
Once the player character has gathered all eight pieces for a specific silo, they must then unscramble the digits paired to each letter to get a launch code. Several steps must be carried out to unscramble the code correctly. By putting each piece of the code together, in the order displayed in the Pip-Boy, it will be necessary to decrypt the string created.
In order to decrypt the letters of the code, a keyword cipher must be used. In a keyword cipher, a keyword is used as a key, which will subsequently set the letter matchings of the cipher alphabet to the regular alphabet, as such:
C R D T Q G L P 5 6 3 0 0 3 5 9
Any repeats of letters within the keyword will be ignored, and if any letters of the regular alphabet have been used in the keyword, they will be ignored, when they are sequenced through afterward. The keyword for the cipher can be found in the command wing of The Whitespring Bunker for each silo. A letter of the keyword for each silo will appear regularly or irregularly, depending on the length of the keyword, each week. Keywords expire at the end of each week, meaning that each keyword for a specific week will not be the same as the week prior. This article uses the keyword "CIRCUIT" as an example. With the keyword, one can determine the cipher alphabet used in the encryption.
Keyword: CIRCUIT Plaintext: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Encoded: C I R U T A B D E F G H J K L M N O P Q S V W X Y Z
With the information shown above, the string of letters in the encrypted code can now be decrypted, by viewing the letters in the encoded alphabet, and finding the corresponding letter to the encoded letter in the regular alphabet.
String: CRDTQGLP First letter: Encoded: C Plaintext: A Second letter: Encoded: R Plaintext: C ...
After decrypting each letter, a new string will be created.
Encoded string (original): CRDTQGLP 56300359 Decoded string (new): ACHETKOS 56300359
The now decrypted string of letters makes up an anagram, in which the letters must be re-arranged, to form an English word. However, when a letter is moved to a new position, the digit, paired to that letter is also moved, effectively unscrambling the code, while solving the anagram.
Decoded string (unsolved anagram): ACHETKOS 56300359 Decoded string (solved anagram): HOTCAKES 35065309
With that, the digits pairing to the string of letters in the solved anagram is the unscrambled launch code, which can then be inputted at one of the three silos in Appalachia, along with a Nuclear Keycard, to launch nuclear weapons to targets throughout the region.
Scrambled launch code: 56300359 Unscrambled launch code: 35065309
A Scorched officer; bearing a radio pack and a pre-War officer formal uniform