Fallout 76 beta, release date, multiplayer, nukes, story, map, mods, gameplay – everything we know

By Kirk McKeand, Thursday, 16 August 2018 13:46 GMT

Bethesda’s E3 showcase dropped more than a couple of bombs, but one of the biggest was the official announcement for Fallout 76, a shared world prequel set in a post-apocalyptic West Virginia.

It’s Fallout as we’ve never seen it before – inhabited by other players. So, how does multiplayer work in Fallout 76 exactly? We’ve got the lowdown of that and more right here, so pull that crank, open the vault door, and join VG247 as we venture out into the new world together.

Fallout 76 release date

The Fallout 76 release date is November 14, 2018. Bethesda announced it during June’s E3 showcase, just like the publisher did with Fallout 4. The company had a lot of success with the short turnaround between announcement and release last time, so it’ll be interesting to see if it works out again.

Is Fallout 76 on Steam?

The PC version Fallout 76 will not be available via Steam at launch. This isn’t the first Bethesda game to avoid Valve’s distribution platform, but it is its most high profile. After Quake Champions and Fallout Shelter, Fallout 76 will only be available via Bethesda.net.

Fallout 76 beta

Bethesda said there would be a beta for Fallout 76, which should launch sometime in October. You can guarantee access by pre-ordering the game, although Bethesda will distribute codes in waves as it stress-tests its servers. The beta also starts first on Xbox One.

Fallout 76 multiplayer

Instead of bumping into NPCs in Fallout 76, other humans you encounter will actually be other players. Fallout 76 is all about taming the post-apocalypse, which will be more wild than we’ve seen it in previous games.

You are free to fight or team up with other players, and the map will be sparsely populated with them – rather than hundreds of other players like in an MMO, there will be dozens. In other words, the post-apocalypse will still feel apocalyptic.

Because it’s about rebuilding the wasteland, the base building in Fallout 4 has been expanded. You are free to make your own settlements, build up their defenses, and protect them from attacks from mutants, wildlife, and other players. If you want, you can also track down nuclear launch codes and drop an A-bomb on any rivals, assuming you know whereabouts on the map their base is.

You can’t drop a nuke directly onto a person in Fallout 76, however – unless you’re really, really lucky. Instead, you choose a section of the map to target and any enemies in the blast zone will get a warning, giving them a chance of escaping the radius. Should a player’s camp get nuked, it can be rebuilt thanks to blueprints. Using the blueprint created when the camp was built will allow players to put it back up, or even move it to a different area.Camps can also be used to lure another player engaged with you in PvP.

If you are under Level 5 other players can’t kill you in PvP. This means you’ll have some time to find your feet without being trolled by high ranking griefers.

Once a player is past Level 5, they can be engaged in PvP, and are free to join a fight at that point. The level of the player who dies will determine the number of Caps dropped.  A lower level player can actually take on players at a higher level , even if they are wearing heavy duty Power Armor. How? A knife to the back in the proper place should do the trick, and the rewards will be plentiful.

Should a player decide they don’t wish to engage in PvP, but the other player decides kill them anyway – a price is put on their head. They will also receive no XP or rewards for committing what is essentially murder. The offending player will then appear on the game map as a red star where every player online can see them. The player will then have a bounty on their head and will be unable to see where others are on the map. The bounty reward will also come out of their own stash of Caps.

A player who is killed can also seek revenge. If they manage to hunt down the player and kill them, they will earn double rewards.

When a player is killed, they won’t lose Perk points or XP, but they will lose all of their junk, When the respawn, the player will need to decide whether it’s worth tracking back to the spot of their demise to collect their junk. It may no longer be there if the PvP, player who wacked them took off with it.

Junk is nothing that can’t be recouped from exploring the world.

Fallout 76 quests

According to Bethesda, every human you meet in Fallout 76 will be an actual player. While there will be the odd robot NPC and vendor, the world will be a hostile one. So, how exactly do you get quests?

It turns out there are a number of ways. Among them are notes, holotapes, and computer terminals that act as job boards. Read our Fallout 76 quests post for more details.

Fallout 76 Perks

Along with being able to customize your character’s appearance, Fallout 76 players can also customize their badassery with Perks.

Choices made with the new card-based system aren’t something you’ll have to live with – it’s extremely flexible. Players are free to switch things up on the fly if they find a certain Perk just isn’t working for them.

When the player emerges from Vault 76 at Level 2, first thing they will need to do is chose a S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Once chosen, a Perk in the specific category will nee to be picked. Perks come in the form of cards and every S.P.E.C.I.A.L. has a pool of points for each Perk. Once the player hits Level 4, cards will rank up and can be combined with the previous to create a more powerful version.

Packs featuring five Perk Cards will drop every two levels, and some are random in order to provide more choice and flexibility.  Perks allow players to craft or fight more efficiently each time they level, and a Perk can always be re-rolled.

Perk Cards can also be shared with the group of intrepid, and since there are hundreds of cards to choose, sharing will come in handy for specific group tasks. You can also keep hold of the benefits of shared perk cards in Fallout 76, even when you and your friends are in different corners of the map.

Mutations are also part of the game, and can be cured, or in late game around Level 40 or 50, can be made a permanent part of the player’s build. A Level 40 mutation will work better with a groups perk, and each mutation is capped at 15 for higher levels. Each mutation featured a positive and a negative. For example: one may allow you to jump really high, but on the flip side, it will lower strength.

You can look over the list of all Fallout 76 Perks revealed so far through our guide. Oh, by the way, you can’t buy Fallout 76 card packs for real money. Phew.

Fallout 76 Character Customization, Photo Mode

Fallout 76

Fallout 76 provides players plenty of choice when creating characters, and it’s a flexible system. Should the player decide after the fact they want to play as a different race or sex, it can be changed.  Skin tone, hairstyle, body type, are also able to be changed.

Players will also have a Vault 76 I.D. badge which will be displayed throughout the game. It works as a camera by zooming in on the I.D. badge. Doing so allows the player to change the field of view, select filters, frames, facial expressions, and even pose for pictures.

It can be used to take snapshots out in the wild. These will appear on the loading screen during fast travel alongside curated photos from Bethesda Game Studios.

Fallout 76 cross-platform play

Bethesda says it would love to let PS4, Xbox One, and PC players enjoy Fallout 76 together, but Sony isn’t playing ball. For now, you’ll have to just murder your mates who have it on the same platform as you do.

Fallout 76 map

People have been digging into the map for Fallout 76 and marking confirmed and likely locations. Some of the confirmed locations include Top of the World Ski Resort, Watoga, Lewisburg, Beckley, a Nuka Cola Quantum plant, Charleston, the Mothman Museum, Bolton Greens, and Morgantown. You can click that link above for a proper look at the map, which Bethesda says is 4x the size of Fallout 4’s.

Obviously, you can expect all of the famous West Virginia landmarks to appear, as well as some of the local legends from American folklore.

Fallout 76 mods

Fallout 76 will have mod support, but don’t expect it at launch. Bethesda is “100 percent committed” to getting mods into Fallout 76, Todd Howard said in an interview, but to launch with a “well-running, robust service” means putting them aside for now. “We’re currently still designing what that service looks like”, he said, “you’ll be able to have your own private world and be able to mod it and do all of that”.

There’s no word on what platforms will support mods, but we’re expecting PC first and Xbox One later.

Fallout 76 V.A.T.S.

Fallout’s tactical targeting system returns for Fallout 76, but it won’t slow time like in previous games. Instead, it plays out in real-time so you better choose which limb you want to blow off fast. It’s also a skill you can upgrade, so it’ll be handy for people who aren’t good at twitch shooting.

Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition

If you buy the Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition, you get your very own Brotherhood of Steel helmet. Pop it on while playing for that authentic, limited viewing experience. It also comes with 24 limited edition figurines, a duffel bag, a steel case, and a glow in the dark map. Rad!

Fallout 76 story

It might be a multiplayer game, but this is still a Fallout RPG. There will be quests to tackle, an endgame to reach, and a story to pull you along.

Emerging from Vault 76 just 20 years after the war scorched the planet, you are tasked with rebuilding. From the ashes of the old world, mutant creatures have risen to claim your home. The worst of these are Scorch Beasts – huge, bat-like creatures. They crawl up from fissures in the earth and you have to close them all up.

How do you close up huge fissures to prevent an irradiated enemy from taking over? You fire nukes at the cracks, of course, and irradiate the earth even more.

It’s also worth noting, when you do fire a nuke, the land around the blast zone becomes a high level area and hides some of the best legendary loot.

Fallout 76 survival mechanics

While Fallout 76 does have survival mechanics, Bethesda doesn’t want to outright call it a survival game.

“We avoid the word ‘survival’, because people’s minds immediately go to DayZ and Rust and certain other games, and those comparisons are not really accurate for what we’re doing,” Todd Howard said in an interview with The Guardian.

“If you think about the survival modes we’ve made in Fallout 4, it has that vibe … Fallout 76, although it’s an online game, when I play it, I mostly still play it solo. We like those experiences as much as our fans do.”

Fallout 76’s survival mechanics are light, basically. If you are killed, whether by another player or an enemy NPC, death will be your only punishment – you won’t lose your stuff.

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