Fallout 4 Survival Mode Beta Now Available

this character will struggle to survive because it is hard to eat and drink without a head

Keen observers of my writing habits may have noticed that I didn’t produce many words on the subject of Fallout 4 [official site]. I played Bethesda’s latest and, as with so many of the studio’s games, I failed to find the hook that kept me in its world. Fallout 4, sad to say, left me as cold as a perfectly chilled Nuka-Cola.

All that may be about to change. The game’s Survival Mode looks like an entirely different game, with loads of new features including “no fast travel, saving only when you sleep, increased lethality, diseases, fatigue, danger and more”. You can download the beta of the new mode through Steam right now.

I’m going to write this swiftly because I need to play this and more Dark Souls III as soon as possible. Crikey, it sounds exciting though. All of the hand-crafted locations of a big ol’ Bethesda RPG with many of the mechanics I’d normally associate with a baggier survival experience. Whether it’ll all hold together, I can’t say, but it certainly sounds more like the post-apocalyptic horrorshow I’ve always hoped the Fallout universe might contain.

There are loads of details about the mode over on the Bethesda blog, including this introduction:

At a high level, we wanted to force you to make interesting choices. We did that by bringing more contrasting motivations to Fallout 4 using the type of circular systems you might find in a game like Dark Souls. (By which we mean, two or more systems that push against each other.) This resulted in four major pillars for Survival Mode.

Strategy: Intensify decisions involving when to get into combat versus when to avoid it, and also make you think more about what gear to take into combat. Then back up those decisions with faster, more brutal fights.

Exploration: Slow down the pace of the game and encourage players to explore the nooks and crannies of the world.

Resource Management: Balance out items in the world that may be too easy to acquire or horde, giving players more to consider when planning their current loadout.

Role Playing: Increase the realism of the world and the issues one might face there.

On the blog, you’ll also find details about hunger, exhaustion and thirst, as well antibiotics, saving your game and the changes to combat. The latter can be summarised in three words: “everything hurts more”.

To install the beta, follow these instructions:

• Log into Steam
• Right Click on Fallout 4 in your Library
• Select Settings
• Select Betas
• A drop down menu will appear. Select Survival Beta Update
• Select OK
• Wait a few minutes and Fallout 4 should update
• When done, Fallout 4 should appear as Fallout 4 [Beta] in your Library

There’s a dedicated forum for Survival feedback and discussion.


  1. SupahSpankeh says:

    Yay, I guess, but.. They disabled console.

    No. Not a chance in hell am I playing a FO game with no fast travel and no console. That’s absurd. Game over the very first time you get stuck on something.

    FO4 is a flawed gem, but disabling the tools we use to gloss over the problems is absurd.

    • fish99 says:

      Agree about the console. Disabling the console is crazy given the likelihood of needing it to fix a quest bug or glitch.

      I don’t get the reasoning either, in a single player game.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I have to agree that this is nuts, considering the number of times I’ve used the console either to fix something, or just for convenience like not having to track down a companion to re-hire. I could live without the latter, but not the former. Not in a game that’s occasionally still this glitchy.

      I guess I’ll pass on this, unless someone can mod it back in.

      • Kaeoschassis says:

        Eh, it’s a Bethesda game. I give the modders a couple of hours.

    • Boozie says:


      I’ve played them all from Skyrim and all Fallout
      I’d love to give the mode a go but not a single
      game made by these guys was playable without having
      to resort to some console action to fix issues with
      broken quests or such at some point.
      That is my experience.
      I’ll just continue to wait to return to FO4 some
      months down the road post DLC2 or 3 release and GECK arrival.

    • Mr_Blastman says:

      Uh, if they disable console, how do I fix the crap FOV that the game defaults to? Every time I turn it on I have to open console and type fov 95,95 so I don’t feel like Bubbles in Trailer Park Boys.

      • fish99 says:

        Pretty sure there’s an ini file method to adjust FOV.

        • Zenicetus says:

          There is, but when I used it, it was prone to being overwritten by patches. I finally just gave up. Now every time I launch the game, I hit tilde (for the console) and FOV 90 to get the view angle I want.

          That alone, is enough to put me off this survival mode. Why the hell can’t Bethesda offer a proper FOV setting in the video options?

          • Premium User Badge

            Qazinsky says:

            Have you tried to set the .ini file to read only? If that somehow breaks your game, just delete the .ini and verify game files, should download a working copy.

    • Stevostin says:

      Lol, no fast travel is kind of the point.
      About the console, now that you mention it I had to use it once to find back a missing companion. OTOH would not happen without fast travel so…

    • benami7777 says:

      If you don’t like swimming don’t join the swim team..if you don’t like running don’t join the track team…if you don’t like a more challenging and difficult fallout 4….they still have the easy or normal difficulty available to you….

  2. Michael Fogg says:

    Peachy! I will try this out tonight!

  3. Katar says:

    I’d be interested if saving and quick travel chances were optional.

    I’m not playing a Bethesda game where I have to walk for hours to do any quest as they have all been designed with quick travel in mind, or the ability to save so I don’t have to walk miles and redo a load of content after every crash/bug/death. I reloaded in Skyrim so much due to dragons and vampires killing NPCs I wanted to sell stuff or turn a quest in to in towns and cities.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      There’s this weird trend I have where every single Skyrim character I’ve ever had has watched the entirety of Falkreath (is it Falkreath? I think so) burned to death by dragons.

      Fun fact – there are actually only a couple of immortal NPCs in that whole town.

      Anyway, I always just roll with it when stuff like that happens in Skyrim. Heck, I’d be happier if it happened MORE. These are role-playing games, I’d like it if those dragons actually felt more threatening to the world at large.

      • Katar says:

        I don’t know what exactly it is that makes me reload every time an NPC dies. I think it is because Bethesda games generally let you do everything, even if that makes no sense in the game, and it pisses me off knowing I missed out on something because of a Dragon or Vampire attack. It might help if those attacks weren’t total shit and boring after the first few times, NPCs had any sense of self preservation and ran into a house where they are totally safe, or the NPCs actually followed their routine when you aren’t in a city so you don’t load in and everyone is still standing in the square at 2am prime vampire slaughter material waiting for you to arrive in the cell before going to bed.

        Basically I’d like a sandbox game without some dumb world ending event occurring every ten minutes and fucking up my exploration of the world. The only great thing about Bethesda games is the world and exploring, everything else is at best average at worst woeful, them so ruining that everytime is rather stupid.

    • fish99 says:

      There are quite a lot of beds in the world, and you can always add new ones yourself at outposts, and there are a lot of places you can setup outposts. Admittedly that is quite a boring part of the game.

      As for fast travel, I’ve finished Skyrim without fast travelling (or using carts). Yes you have horses in Skyrim, but the world is also much bigger. You just have to plan your route to take in multiple quests.

      Honestly though, they should give you a bunch of options to customize survival mode however you want it.

      • Sandepande says:

        It’s a beta, which probably means they want to see just how well the whole thing works when people cannot bypass stuff and bugs via console.

        Might even help that way.

      • Sandepande says:

        And I’m replying to a wrong post. Swell.

    • Stevostin says:

      You’re missing out entirely. F4 is now a RPG designed for practically endless gaming experience. Sure, you do less quest, which means they matter more. But so much will happen on the road!

      • Katar says:

        Even though Fallout 3 was a total technical disaster on my PC, I did actually play mods for Fallout 3 that did exactly what Bethesda have done in Fallout 4. Do you know what the modders did? Every single survival mode change was a separate option and you could turn on and off any combination you liked.

        It’s not really a surprise to me that Bethesda copy something modders did in an earlier game but manage to make it worse.

    • benami7777 says:

      The patch will still allow you to play how you want in easy and normal mode. The survival mode is intended for the select few of us who like hardcore games and hardcore to us is not bullet sponging but creating dynamics in the game that make us think about the choices we make.

      Example: You have just completed an objective and have taken serious damage. Sanctuary is pretty far away and you are low on supply’s. There is a settlement that you can liberate nearby but it requires you to complete a small quest and you haven’t slept in 2 days. What’s the best course of action.Sneak back to Sanctuary and lick your wounds or risk your progress and try to finish the small side quest nearby.

      These are the choices an elite gamer truly loves and fast travel and other noobish types of gameplay take that away from us.

      Survival mode is not for everyone. Joining the marines is not for everyone. Climbing mountains is not for everyone. Owning a cat is not for everyone. It’s really simple if you don’t like or can’t handle the hardcore dynamics of survival mode…don’t play it in survival mode. It’s not meant for everyone. I am very excited on the other hand to play it the way I believe an apocalypse type game should be played….

  4. jonahcutter says:

    Sounds neat, and actually makes me want to pick it up. This is a trend I’d love to see encouraged for the bigger-budget releases.

    Games like Far Cry Primal and Mad Max have a lot of potential to shine even brighter with realism/survival modes. I would of loved an “endless road” mode for Mad Max, driving down a long series of roads, scavenging gas and water while fighting off roving marauder vehicles and surprise enemies hidden in gas station bathroom stalls. And FC Primal is a promising foundation for a potential “track and hunt to survive” mode.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I agree in theory, but then you run into the way the game developer might not implement “survival” mode the way you’d want it. Like this one, where I can’t use the console to set my view angle options, or recover from a glitched quest.

      Personally, I’d rather just have enough options built into the game that I can house-rule a survival mode with the default options, if that’s what I want.

      • benami7777 says:

        Well look at it this way…Survival mode is a type of challenge that takes a lot more dedication and not everyone will be able to accomplish.

        Becoming a navy seal, special forces, Olympic Swimmer, Rubix cuber or pie eating champion are types of challenges that take a lot more dedication and not everyone will be able to accomplish.

        If you don’t like the challenges involved would it be fair to let you choose which ones are convenient to you. If you are able to cherry pick the challenge then it no longer becomes a challenge. Can you imagine being a navy seal but not choosing the option to do the training?

        The idea of a survival challenge that lets players decide to opt out of the challenge that makes it a survival mode is absolutely ridiculous.

        Perhaps give them the option in normal or easy mode but survival mode should remain Hardcore.

    • Hedgeclipper says:

      I enjoyed Mad Max (although they really did need to get some setting direction from an Australian) but it did feel like such a wasted opportunity in the survival aspects, they had the whole gas system in but after the introduction it had zero impact on the game.

  5. Peppergomez says:

    simply making the game harder doesn’t address the myriad problems this game has, and the fact that it’s as stale as last week’s meat loaf

  6. Wowbagger says:

    This might actually make me put in more then the 4 hours I am currently sitting at on steam, although i might wait for some more in depth mods from the community instead,

  7. KingFunk says:

    I said this on EG as well, but since I can’t participate in the beta I might as well keep saying it in the hope it happens:

    There should be a ‘suspend game’ save which can be used whenever but is deleted once loaded. This alleviates the concerns of the time-poor without undermining the bed save system.

    Unless I suddenly happen upon a pile of cash for a new PC I’ll be playing it on PS4 once Survival mode is out, so I will have an option to suspend the game as long as I don’t want to play something else but it should still be a feature anyway.

  8. Stevostin says:

    I have to say on the paper at leas this is pretty awesome. I kind of regret my vanilla run now. Would have rather played like this from day one.