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Fallout 76: Everything You Need to Know

Three years after Fallout 4 arrived, Bethesda is ready to continue its postapocalyptic sci-fi RPG series. Fallout 76 is the first primarily multiplayer entry in the franchise. In this game, players will have to band together to survive and rebuild in the wilds of West Virginia.

Now that the game is out, you can arm yourselves with a great deal of information. It might just save your life out in the wasteland.

What is Fallout 76?

Fallout 76 is a multiplayer survival game in which players must cooperate in order to stay alive. After creating your character, you'll set off into a ruined (but still fairly wilderness-heavy) West Virginia, where you'll be able to craft your own structures. From there, you can band together with other players, gather useful equipment and resources, and find quests to undertake in the huge world.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)


MORE: Every Fallout Game, Ranked

What's the story?

Like other Fallout games, Fallout 76 takes place far in the future, after a nuclear war ravaged the United States. Survivors tucked away in vaults manage to avoid most of the fallout (see what they did there?), then emerge decades (or centuries) later to explore and rebuild. Fallout 76 will take place in 2102 — the earliest time yet explored in the series — and focus on survivors from Vault 76 as they try to rebuild what was best about the United States without repeating the country's mistakes.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

When did Fallout 76 come out?

Fallout 76 came out PC, PS4 and Xbox One on Nov. 14, 2018. The game costs $60 for a standard version.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

What about special editions?

It wouldn't be a major Fallout release with some kind of ridiculous special edition. This time, the iconic Fallout gear involved is the helmet from the franchise's signature suit of power armor. (It's been on the cover of just about every Fallout game so far.) This edition costs $200 in the United States and came out at the same time as the regular version of the game. In addition to the helmet, the collector's edition comes with a glow-in-the-dark map, 24 Fallout figurines, a steel game case and some in-game loot. However, now that the release date has come and gone, finding special editions will probably be a little more difficult.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

What is the gameplay like?

Like other Fallout games, players explore a massive world, picking up quests as they go. This time, though, the quests come from robots or data terminals — every other human in the game is a real person. Combat happens in real-time, although players can still improve their odds a bit with a modified VATS system from previous games. Over time, players can upgrade their equipment, improve their stats and collect a variety of perks to customize their characters and make the challenges they face a little easier to manage. There are also systems for base-management and building settlements as you collect resources.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

What about nukes?

Through intense and prolonged cooperation, players in this game are able to unearth the launch codes for unused nuclear missiles at silos throughout the state. They can then use these missiles to eradicate other players' bases, or perhaps just use the threat of nuclear war as leverage. For a series that has been relatively unflinching about portraying the consequences of nuclear armament, this is a jarring move.

Is the game any good?

Not really — at least not yet. Most critical and user reviews so far have panned Fallout 76 for its uneven marriage of multiplayer survival and traditional Fallout elements, in addition to its online instability and lackluster narrative. Some players who have stuck it out through the rough patches insist that there's a great game underneath, just waiting for some patches to clean things up. But it's also possible that the "multiplayer Fallout" concept was simply a bridge too far.

Credit: Bethesda

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Does war ever change?

You probably already know the answer to that one.

  • eric.b.leonard
    Key bit of information that came from the interviews has been left out regarding the Endgame and Nuclear weapons. The nuclear weapons are not only a pvp aspect, but also have a pve use as well.
    You see, there are these fissures, some form of opening that allows these large and troublesome monsters (level cap elites I would wager) to come rushing out causing mayhem. Use the nuke to close this fissure and the area becomes radiated and drastically changed. What that yields is a high risk, high reward, high challenge area that also is the only way to get most of your legendary's and the higher tier resources for crafting.
    Its a revolving solution that should provide a minimal level of pvp incentive when the prospect of epic loot and new challenges arrive with closing a fissure. I dont know if this will do the same for nuking a player, but time and experience will tell.
    I also dont know if there is another way to close said fissure aside from the very hard to acquire nuclear codes.
    Reply
  • eric.b.leonard
    I almost forgot, the nuclear radiation and changed zone would slowly revert over time.
    Reply
  • eric.b.leonard
    You left out a bit of key info from the interviews and nukes. There is an endgame, and it involves the nukes, and these 'fissures' that spew out high level monsters. Use the nuke to close the fissure and the area becomes a high level, high risk, high reward, loot zone filled with challenges, the radiation and fallout will fade over time and the area will slowly return to normal.
    Reply