Fallout 76 is about to take nuclear survival to an entirely new level.
Post-apocalyptic nuclear wastelands are supposed to be terrifying, but we’re always excited to experience those conditions whenever we take a visit back to the world of Fallout. With Fallout 4 having kicked this generation off, Bethesda is ready to turn in yet another new title – and all of this is before we’ve had another proper Elder Scrolls game!
It’s called Fallout 76. And no, that doesn’t mean it’s the 76th Fallout game made. To find out the significance of that number and everything else you need to know about Fallout 76, read on.
What’s new with Fallout 76?
Excited about rebuilding a civilization devastated by nuclear fallout? Keep it locked here for the latest details on Fallout 76. We’ll be updating this post periodically as new information surfaces.
July 23, 2018
Just like Fallout 4 received, Fallout 76 is getting a strong marketing campaign in the months leading up to its launch. Bethesda has new videos showcasing a few of the new mechanics you’ll encounter within the game.
Intro to multiplayer and griefing
Fallout 76 won’t feature any human NPCs, so when you see another person out in the Wasteland, it’s someone from the real world. Whether they turn out to be hostile or friendly, this constant knowledge should always keep you on your toes.
In order to avoid griefing, you cannot be killed by another player until you reach level 5, giving you some time to accustom yourself to the gameplay. Those deemed overly aggressive will also be given a wanted level, further discouraging players from ruining the fun of others. Bethesda is still tweaking the systems in place to deter griefing, but there will be systems so players cannot be abusive.
"So you can’t be harassed by somebody who just keeps chasing you around the world and keeps killing you over and over again," said Bethesda’s Pete Hines. "The game literally doesn’t allow that to happen to you."
Intro to C.A.M.P.
Bethesda expanded upon Fallout 76’s base building. Dubbed the C.A.M.P. (Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform) system, this differs from Fallout 4’s settlement system in that you can move your base around. It wouldn’t seem fair to settle down in one area only to find yourself plagued by enemies day and night. If you do find your little base under attack too often for your liking, you can move it around between pre-determined areas of the map. The building process, menus, and UI are similar to that found in Fallout 4.
Intro to nukes
When Todd Howard revealed that players could nuke sections of the map, there were some reservations about this mechanic. How would this affect gameplay? Could this be abused? Thankfully, Bethesda is implementing nukes in such a way that sounds more like a fun challenge and less a constant annoyance.
The ability to use nukes is gated behind randomly finding every piece of the code to launch one. You can’t just go up to a silo and instantly nuke the world. When you’re out fighting the various threats in West Virginia, you may find that one of the fallen enemies has a nuclear Silo Alpha Code when you go to loot them. This is just the beginning of your journey to unleash hell. Once you collect several pieces to get the full code, you can then find the appropriate nuclear silo and choose a target to wipe out in one of the six distinct regions; Ash Heap, Toxic Valley, Savage Divide, The Forest, The Mire, and Cranberry Bog.
Nuking an area turns it into an end-game location of sorts. The resulting destruction changes the land for a period of time (not forever), welcoming more powerful enemies, rare loot, and new environmental hazards. Great rewards come with great risk. Think of areas similar to the Glowing Sea in Fallout 4.
As announced at E3, Fallout 76 will indeed be getting a B.E.T.A. (Break-it Early Test Application) before arriving this fall. Bethesda recently revealed that the beta will be taking place in October, though specific dates were not announced. The company has stated that Xbox One users will get access to the beta first before PlayStation 4 and PC. Currently you can get a code to participate in the beta by pre-ordering Fallout 76 at participating retailers.
July 1st, 2018
Speaking on the issue of cross-play. Bethesda’s Todd Howard confirmed that Fallout 76 won’t have the feature. He mentions that they would love to add it, but it isn’t currently possible due to Sony’s policy on not allowing cross-platform play with competing platforms.
A loosely translated report from German outlet Gamestar suggests Howard specifically called out Sony, noting that they are "not as helpful as everyone would like it." This comes as no surprise, as Sony has been under fire lately for the cross-play issue that keeps Fortnite players from being able to use their accounts on multiple platforms.
Howard’s tone would suggest that cross-play could eventually be added if Sony ever lifts restrictions, but for now, you can expect the online communities of Fallout 76 to remain isolated.
June 10th, 2018
At E3 2018, Bethesda premiered a new trailer for Fallout 76. It’s a direct extension of the launch teaser, with the company showing us life outside the vault. We’ve learned that the wastelands are still just as ravaged as you’d expect after a nuclear bomb hits.
The trailer doubled down on expectations that Fallout 76 will be focused on the act of rebuilding a society in the rural plains of West Virginia. Players will not only build up houses but also help grow and nurture entire communities. It even tasks you with educating young ones, a sign that we may see some sort of hereditary system. And you might also get to rebuild an entire government.
We also saw the same power armor suits we’ve seen in previous games, some sort of dragon-esque creature flying about, and a handful of rural towns and cities. Bethesda noted that the overall game world would be four times larger than Fallout 4, some of which was on display in the trailer.
Bethesda also confirmed some gameplay details in their own E3 showcase. We got confirmation that Fallout 76 is entirely online, with folks entering the vast wasteland with at least a dozen other players. You and your friends can build a survival settlement together, help other players, or even get into some sort of conflict with other players you come across. That conflict can escalate quite heavily with the ability to find nuclear keys and use them at active nuclear launch sites.
Despite the heavy online focus, players will be able to play the game entirely solo if they so wish. Bethesda didn’t specifically say they could play offline, however, so there may be some sort of passive gameplay option available to players. And if you do decide to jump into a friend’s game every now and then, you will be able to take all the progress you’ve made (and, presumably, items found) back to your own game.
Fallout 76 will launch November 14th, 2018, and there will be a beta test ahead of the game’s launch for players who want to ensure Bethesda catches as many bugs and fixes as many issues as possible.
If you’re going to pre-order Fallout 76, you’ll want to consider this awesome collector’s edition. Called Poer Armor Edition, those willing to drop the money on it will get an actual Power Armor helmet, complete with a working light and voice modulator. The helmet is even designed to be worn if your head will fit inside.
There’s also a West Tek duffle bag, a glow-in-the-dark world map, collectible figurines, an exclusive steel case, and bonus digital in-game items. There’s no pricing for all of this just yet, but we’d suggest saving at least $150 if you plan on getting it.
What’s Fallout 76?
The Fallout series has traditionally placed players within a post-nuclear world. It’s a survival game at heart, they’re typically open world affairs ever since the third mainline title, and they feature Bethesda’s signature RPG touch, but with a combat twist that’ll make each encounter equally interesting and intense.
You’re typically in control of a character who has spent most of their life within a "vault," built for sheltering survivors from the effects of nuclear radiation. In previous Fallout titles, these vaults were typically evacuated due to emergency circumstances, with the events forcing you out into the world to fend for yourself. Some of these vaults are moderate in size, but there are a number of bigger ones called "controlled vaults" which house as much as 500 survivors.
The original purpose of these vaults was to have them open exactly 20 years after the nuclear bombs dropped, with the creators looking to compare the survival rate of those who were let out versus those who remained inside. Vault 76 was one such vault, and it serves as the starting point for Fallout 76.
What’s the story so far?
While the trailer nor Bethesda managed to reveal any hard facts, several things within the announcement trailer help us begin to paint a picture. For starters, the game is set in the year 2102, as spotted by the date entered on one of the Pip-Boy units lying around. We’re not sure if the entirety of the game moves on chronologically from that point, but it’s significant for a couple of different reasons.
The first reason is that this will have been the earliest time in a Fallout game we’ve ever seen. The original Fallout took place in 2161. Fallout 2 was 2241. Fallout 3 and New Vegas were 2277 and 2281, respectively. The most recent entry – Fallout 4 – took us to the year 2287.
While the bombs have already dropped by the time 2102 arrived (doomsday was October 23rd, 2077), Fallout 76 should be the purest a Fallout world has ever been, meaning buildings won’t be as worn down, vegetation won’t be as scarce, wildlife won’t be as mutated, and things might not be quite as depressing overall. That’s not to say you should expect an oasis, but it could be the perfect excuse for Bethesda to give us more of a living, breathing world when previous games gave them every excuse not to.
The second reason the year 2102 is significant is because Vault 76 was supposed to have opened precisely 20 years after the first bombs dropped — the inhabitants even seem to be celebrating their "Reclamation Day" at some point — but that date would mark 25 years. That means one of two things happened: the vault did open five years ago and we’re just seeing the abandonment in all its glory, or something terrible has happened that delayed the grand opening. And if you know the history of Fallout games, you know you’ll almost never leave the vault due to some regular occurrence.
Beyond that, Bethesda dropped hints as to the game’s setting. The song playing on the radio throughout the trailer is Country Roads, a country song about West Virginia, and sure enough that’s where the game will take place.
We now know that the player will be among the first inhabitants to leave the vault, and that it’ll be up to them to help begin the slow rebuild of society.
Base building, rodent killing, and online play
The first Fallout 76 trailer didn’t give us any expectations of gameplay mechanics, but some early rumors have given us an idea of what to expect. We’ve heard that the base building aspect introduced in Fallout 4 will return in Fallout 76, presumably with more polish and a greater level of detail. In fact, it may serve as the entirety of the game’s premise (whereas Fallout 4’s felt like more of an afterthought feature). We can see a situation where you’re one of Vault 76’s inhabitants and you’re tasked with building up a settlement to help you and your family survive.
And we’re sure all this base building would necessitate supply and food runs, meaning there’ll be plenty of reasons and opportunities to venture off into the wildlands. Expect a huge bundle of quests along the way that’ll help you gain new companions, gather the supplies you need, and indulge in Fallout’s unique combat system that mixes real-time action and turn-based strategy.
Fallout 76 will not be your typical Fallout game.
Another big detail is that Fallout 76 will be the first ever online Fallout game. Fallout 76 originally began as an experimental project to see if an online component would be right for Fallout 4. While that development never came to fruition for the existing title, Fallout 76 gives them a nice opportunity to take a chance.
It’s suggested that it will be akin to games like Rust or ARK: Survival Evolved, where dozens of players can exist on the same server. In those games, you start off with absolutely nothing in your possession, and it’s up to you to start building the shelter, sowing the seeds, crafting your tools, and marking your territory. There will be both cooperative and PVP elements in play.
But those who are fans of single-player experiences shouldn’t fret, apparently. It’s said there will still be a massive quest line for you to enjoy solo should you shy away from interconnected conflict. That’s sure to be good news for folks who enjoy Bethesda games for their strong single-player stories.
When can you play it?
Bethesda has confirmed that Fallout 76 will launch November 14th, 2018, and you’ll be able to play the game on PS4, Xbox One, and PC whenever it launches. Be sure to check back often for more news and updates about Fallout 76 as we begin the long wait for an eventual release!
Updated July 2018: Added information regarding C.A.M.P., nukes, and griefing.
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