Fallout 76: trailers, release dates, everything we know

fallout-76-screenshot

It’s official, we’re getting a multiplayer focused Fallout game for the first time in the series’ history. Fallout 76 was revealed at E3 2018 with trailers, a substantial explanation of how it’ll play, and a release date. Find all of that along and everything we know about the game so far, including any hidden details that could hint at what is to come.

What is Fallout 76’s release date?

Fallout 76’s release date is November 14th, and there will also be a public beta (or “Break-it Early Test Application” as they dubbed it) for those who pre-order before the game’s launch. When the beta will begin hasn’t been revealed yet, but given that even Todd Howard mentioned that Bethesda games tend to have bugs (nah, really?) they may wish to iron any out as quickly as possible.

Two special editions of the game were also announced as well. The Tricentennial Edition includes the following items:

  • Tricentennial Power Armor Customization for the T-51, T-45, T-60, and X-01 Power Armors.
  • Tricentennial Weapon Customization for the 10MM Pistol, Hatchet, and Laser Rifle.
  • Spectacularly Handsome Vault Boy Mascot Head.
  • Patriotic Uncle Sam Outfit.
  • Celebratory Vault Boy Saluting Emote.
  • First-Class Tricentennial Workshop Posters.
  • Tricentennial Commemorative Photo Frame

Sadly for those who fancy having all the world’s Fallout 76 stuff, the Power Armor Edition has now sold out. It included a glow-in-the-dark map of the region and some figures, as well as a wearable T-51 helmet. It was only available inside the US, anyway.

When and where does Fallout 76 take place?

As if the music choice in the trailers didn’t give the game away already, Fallout 76 will be set in the state of West Virginia. Beyond that though, there are more subtle touches that hint at just how much is crammed into the map. Todd Howard did mention during the Microsoft conference that the map would be four times the size of any previous Fallout game. As mentioned during our latest video, the area is split into six different regions. Vault 76 opens somewhere in the forest region, but there is also the Toxic Valley, The Mire, Savage Divide, Ash Heap, and Cranberry Bog. Only Cranberry Bog is based on a real location, though individual buildings are also all over the place.

Perhaps the more interesting questions for Fallout fans are “When does Fallout 76 take place?” and “What’s the story behind Vault 76?”. Surprisingly, Vault 76 has been mentioned in the past. From what was said in the past in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, Vault 76 was not one of the experimental vaults and housed 500 occupants. This marks the first time the player character will emerge from one of the seventeen “control” vaults. Only two previous control vaults have been shown in the series – one that was opened after 10 years and another that delayed their opening after concerns were raised about the conditions in the outside world.

According to a terminal in the Citadel in Fallout 3, Vault 76 “…will operate exactly according to the plan dictated in the marketing material produced by Vault-Tec and precisely to resident expectations. This vault will open automatically after a period of 20 years and the residents will be pushed back into the open world for study in comparison to the other experiments.” This didn’t really happen though as the opening of the Vault was delayed until the year 2102 when, presumably, the events of Fallout 76 take place.

Things also didn’t go all that smoothly in the construction of the Vault as the Assistant CEO of Vault-Tec – Giles Wolstencroft was abducted by aliens while inspecting the construction of Vault 76. From the audio-log found in Fallout 3, there’s no reason to suggest that Giles made it back after some electronic shock experiments. Vault 76’s completion is also briefly mentioned by a newscaster in Fallout 4.

What was shown in the Fallout 76 E3 trailers?

We first got a good glimpse of Fallout 76 at E3 during Microsoft’s conference. Here we see a fair few of the locations in West Virginia in varying states of disrepair, such as the state capitol, the Greenbrier Resort, and West Virginia university to name a few. Given the colour of the trees, it seems to be once again set in the autumn as the trees have a wide range of colours on display.

In the subsequent presentation at Bethesda’s conference later that night, we were introduced to some of the creatures based on the folklore of West Virginia, including one seen on a cover of a pulp fiction booklet called “The Beast of Grafton” which is based on the Grafton Monster. There are other nasty beasties: A giant sloth with mold on its back, a spider with a hornet’s nest on its bum – which incidentally came straight from my nightmares, and even this flying bat monster ripped straight out of the Batman comics if that silhouette is anything to go by.

Vault 76 resident squares off against a flying bat monster

Is Fallout 76 online only?

We also got a massive in-depth look at Fallout 76 during Bethesda’s conference, which is where the bulk of the detail seems to be coming from. The most important thing is that Fallout 76 is completely online – a fact that was first mentioned by Jason Schreier of Kotaku when Bethesda originally teased the game.

The idea was first conceived four years ago according to Bethesda’s Todd Howard, with elements of open world survival. He describes the game as “soft-core survival” where death isn’t permanent and characters are only linked to a dedicated server. There will be a short pool of players rather than everyone playing all at once in one place, and progression in your personal campaign goes with you. In a series of videos that are done in the style of Vault-Tec vignettes, we get an idea of the various concepts behind it.

Firstly, other players can attack you without notice. You can of course kill them in order to obtain some caps, but the interesting thing here is that AP is used more as an indicator of stamina. Todd Howard did later confirm in an interview with Geoff Keighley that VATS is there for targeting specific parts, but it will now be in real time. Though the lack of it being shown is hardly a confirmation, it’s a notable omission.

You can go at it all alone of course, but Fallout 76 encourages players to team up and work together. Players can party up with three other players to raid locations, complete quests, build communities, or just have a nice jam on a cliffside.

Three players playing a variety of different instruments

What else can I do in Fallout 76?

Unlike Fallout 4 where crafting was limited to safe locations, Fallout 76 gives players the option to build wherever they want. If you want to build your castle in the middle of a swamp, using the all new “C.A.M.P.” or “Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform”, then you’re free to do so. It still requires resources to build everything from buildings to turrets, but there’s also a larger emphasis on needing certain skills to make certain items.

There also seems to be a hunger and thirst meter, which may be unfamiliar to those who never touched the survival mode in Fallout 4. Perhaps technology to purify water will be easily made within Fallout 76, though too early to help the overseer of Vault 101 from Fallout 3. 

Fallout 76 also, perhaps unwisely, gives players the opportunity to press the nuclear button. These require the acquisition of launch codes, which you and others can possess to drop the atom bomb on an unsuspecting foe. Once dropped, the landscape will change dramatically and even introduce new resources and mutated wildlife to suit the new surroundings.

One thing that caught Noa’s eye was a poster in Vault 76 that indicates possible job classes are being introduced to Fallout for the first time. These are from left to right, “Educators”, “Public Safety Worker”, “Technicians & Mechanics”, “Marketing Specialist”, “Building Construction & Design Workers”, “Pest Control Professional”, and “Health Care Professional”. While certainly unconventional, they do seem to fall into a number of established tropes. If I had to guess at this stage, different professions could grant early access to certain perks via the SPECIAL tech tree.

Player in Vault 76 looking at a poster with seven job types indicated.

Any other information regarding Fallout 76?

Fallout 76 will be Bethesda Game Studio’s main focus this year as other projects are being held back until 2019 and beyond. However there is no season pass that has been announced as of yet, in a clear departure from how Fallout 4 did things, yet I’d imagine more expandable content will be introduced throughout the game’s lifetime.

And that’s everything we have for you that we could gleam from the internet so far. As always, we will be keeping this hub updated when new things are announced up until the game is out on November 14th, and afterwards should expandable content be coming to Fallout 76.

44 Comments

  1. Rince says:

    Fallout 5 when?

  2. criskywalker says:

    So, it’s like The Sims Fallout EP?

  3. newguy2012 says:

    I cried when I saw this. They have taken the worst part of Fallout 4 and made a game of it, now with multiplayer. No npcs, no story. Just radiant quests from the “overseer” over the Pip-boy. Always online and only creation kit mods.

    Cant wait to get attacked by 12 year olds with rocket launchers…

    • RayEllis says:

      I did see an interview with Todd Howard where he suggested mods would be added later, along with “private” servers. It was unclear if this meant you would be able to set up a server and only allow yourself to log into it, or whether it would still be open to the public, just with you deciding what mods went on to it.
      I am a little disappointed with the whole “online” only aspect, so I’m going to wait until the dust settles on this one.

    • Bull0 says:

      You cried? Bit dramatic.

  4. mitrovarr says:

    “Fallout 76 will be Bethesda Game Studio’s main focus this year as other projects are being held back until 2019 and beyond.”

    So basically, if you like main-series Fallout or Elder Scroll games, you should try to make sure this fails as hard and as quickly as possible. :)

    • Someoldguy says:

      I dunno. If it fails hard, they’re just as likely to blame it on over-saturation of Fallout games and ignore the franchise just as long. They’ve known that there’s a rabid fan base eager for Tes6 for more than half a decade and just ignored it. It’s like they don’t want our money.

      I’m not great fan of Ubisoft but give them their due, they work hard on giving us an AssCreed game every 12-24 months, so if there’s one that doesn’t float your boat, you can comfortably rely on there being another one along shortly. If Bethesda operated the same kind of schedule nobody would give a shit if they wanted to make Rust-Fallout, Tetris-Fallout or Metroidvania-Fallout in an alternate cycle to the main games. When it’s possible this might be the only Fallout game for half a decade or longer, it’s no wonder people are gnashing their teeth and kicking up a stink. We’ve had that crap pulled on us already with TES.

  5. geldonyetich says:

    I’m still not convinced Fallout ’76 is a game where you can get ganked without opting into being in a gankable state.

    Pete Hines did an interview where he haltingly explains that it’s impossible for the same player to gank you over and over again, and he mentioned “opting in” once or twice. But, when it comes to explaining the specifics, he seems to be very carefully avoiding mentioning anything that isn’t pro-multiplayer.

    I suspect the way it works is you can pack up your settlement in the C.A.M.P. and take it with you when you opt-in to multiplayer functionality. It’s already been mentioned you can’t be looted when killed in PvP, so it’s not like people can take settlements off you. It’s very “softcore” survival that they want to be fun, not brutal like Rust.

    • Zenicetus says:

      They could use the PvE WoW server method of opt-in to avoid ganking, where you’re untouchable unless you flag yourself for PvP. That’s not a great solution though, because you get the 12-year olds jumping and dancing in front of you, trying to annoy you enough that you’ll flag for PvP. Or they could do it by zones, with safe zones and PvP zones.

      I have a feeling it will be full gank-fest regardless, because that’s the customer base they’re appealing to here. Someone like me, who enjoyed the 3D Fallout games for roaming and choosing (mostly) when to enter combat, and interacting with NPCs for story and quests, is not going to buy this.

    • mitrovarr says:

      The problem with games like that is that often they’re designed around multiplayer interactions as the main source of fun, and turning them off leaves you with something bland and purposeless.

      It reminds me of Elite Dangerous, which has the option to either allow multiplayer, and get ganked by xXxWeedLord420xXx in his top-tier ship within the first 5 minutes, or turn it off, and and be left with a bland and uninteresting universe with nothing to do.

      • tiberiousr says:

        You can always join a PvE group like Mobius and play Elite with like minded players who aren’t interested in ganking and griefing.

  6. Zaxwerks says:

    I was utterly underwhelmed with E3 this year, very poor showings by the companies I saw. The only two items I was REALLY excited about were Cyberpunk 2077 and Last of Us 2. This online only multiplayer base building Fallout holds zero interest for me.

    • DarkFenix says:

      I’m rather excited about Doom getting a sequel as well as Cyberpunk 2077, but yes, E3 this year has been pretty shit.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      It was Cyberpunk and Metro Exodus for me, but otherwise I feel you.

      I can’t believe we didn’t get a Fallout 3 remaster. I felt sure it was going to drop as a Switch title (and therefore PC/PS4/X1 would get the benefit of it as well), and something was needed to tide over the RPG fans until TESVI.

  7. Premium User Badge

    Iamblichos says:

    I am a strong devotee of the cult of Fallout, but unless this is truly something spectacular I will probably give it a miss. I can’t imagine why Bethesda, one of the last of the decent solo RPG studios (hell, the only one to make an AD bragging about being proud solo RPG makers!) would decide that what the world really needed and wanted was always-online, forced multiplayer for a traditionally solo franchise. I notice also that it never says anything about a single-player mode… it’s always “solo gameplay”. I can play WoW solo as well, but I can’t escape YoLoSwaggins420 ganking me, dancing at me, spamming me, and generally making my experience as unpleasant as possible. Oh well, it’s a No from me.

    • teamcharlie says:

      I imagine they made this game because it was really easy to greenlight at the time. Tell game studio suits somewhere between 2014 and 2016 that you want to make a multiplayer/co-op survival game (probably with microtransactions etc.) and all they hear is that you’ve got a license to print money. And now that people are just realizing how terrible an idea it is to release a big game like this right now, the game’s already finished and everybody in the company has to double down no matter what they might think.

      My takeaway: if you don’t want to play a multiplayer always-online survival game, don’t buy Fallout 76. Not because I think Bethesda will learn from bad sales that they should go back to making single-player games (no way to guarantee that); and not because I want to punish Bethesda for doing something I think is stupid; but because no matter how much fans may be lying to themselves, that’s what this game is.

    • Madjack66 says:

      I suspect that Bethesda have looked at today’s market and concluded that players spending 100’s of hours in their games while not actively spending money (apart from a few bits of DLC) and using free to use mods, is a massively missed sales opportunity.

      So on-line will be the norm from 76 onwards and the mod scene will be ring-fenced into using the Creation Club.

  8. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    This marks the first time the player character will emerge from one of the seventeen “control” vaults. Only two previous control vaults have been shown in the series – one that was opened after 10 years and another that delayed their opening after concerns were raised about the conditions in the outside world.

    Literally the first game did this. Vault 13 was a control. Get it together!

    Also yeah, disappointed with the multiplayer focus. Might be fun but won’t be the same. I know that’s a stupid statement, but I play Fallout games for a certain feel. That feel is impossible with wacky multiplayer shenanigans or endless gamifying of systems.

    • Rosveen says:

      13 is debatable. Avellone muddied up the issue in the Fallout Bible when he described it as a study in prolonged isolation (it was set to open after 200 years, much longer than the other known control vaults).

      • Raoul Duke says:

        I don’t get this ‘study’ stuff. Isn’t everyone not in a vault dead? Who is studying anything after 200 years?

        • sosolidshoe says:

          It’s almost as if these “games” have “plots” that reveal “information” to the “player” that would allow them to figure out things like “who” and “why” the vaults were being “studied”.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          I think the intent was to lie to people and have them go to the vaults for study, while the world kept on going. But also possibly leftovers like the Enclave were going to study the effects?

          It’s kind of halfassed honestly.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      Vault 13’s water chip was designed to fail. It wasn’t a control vault.

      • Premium User Badge

        Drib says:

        Nope, you can find a shipment of replacement chips in Fallout 2, they got sent to the wrong vault. FO2 directly states that Vault 13 was a control.

  9. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    So there must be someone out there who’s been waiting for multiplayer Fallout right?
    So far all I’ve heard is people planning to give this one a pass (as will I).

    • Bull0 says:

      This isn’t even multiplayer fallout, it’s just fallout flavoured Rust. Multiplayer fallout would have NPCs and quest lines and such, and would be a neat thing

      • mitrovarr says:

        Multiplayer Fallout would probably take the form of either a co-op Fallout game or an MMO. Co-op Fallout could be fine if decently implemented. MMO Fallout would just be a skin stretched over the standard MMO mechanics, and the world doesn’t need another one of those. Or it could be a Destiny-like, I suppose, but that market is pretty saturated.

      • Zenicetus says:

        Right, exactly. Even the basic premise of this game is weird, and doesn’t seem very Fallout-ish to me. You will never meet any other human survivors of the war as NPCs, only your fellow Vault 76 dwellers trying to re-esablish some semblance of civilization. If they have any time free from ganking each other.

        That’s not how the previous Fallout games were set up. There were always plenty of survivors to interact with. It was the clash of culture and technology between your character as a Vault dweller and the outside survivors that added flavor to the game. All of that is missing here. It assumes everyone who wasn’t a Vault 76 dweller was killed in the war.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I think I might have liked multiplayer fallout back when fallout 2 was new. I mean, the internet was smaller, it would have likely been limited to people I could call with my phone modem, etc. Then hey, coop dicking around in Fallout 2’s area? Neat!

      But nowadays, with experience on multiplayer survival games? It’s just going to be ganking and twelve year olds nuking your base every time you start to get set up, and sniping you from 500 miles out. If I wanted to play Minecraft or Plunkbat, I’d just play those. Or, you know, Rust.

      That said, minecraft and plunkbat (and to a much lesser extent, rust) are fun in their own right. They’re just not fallout games, and wrapping a fallout skin over their clumsily-stitched-together pieces is not something I want to see.

    • Smarag says:

      Hello you are looking for me. This is the game of my dreams. Probably the dream of every person who likes Fallout 3 more than New Vegas.

      • Someoldguy says:

        That’s a bizarre comparison to make. Neither Fo3 or NV had multiplayer, PvP or crafting. So on the core fundamentals of F76, they are identical.

        • Premium User Badge

          Drib says:

          They both definitely had crafting. You could build weapons in FO3, and all kinds of stuff in NV. Not houses or anything, but lots of food and drink and potions and ammo.

          • Someoldguy says:

            yeah I meant base crafting, one of the key things they’re touting in F76.

      • Rosveen says:

        People who adore Bethesda games (e.g. Fallout 3) are very often people who despise multiplayer, so I don’t think your assumption makes much sense.

      • JTDenton says:

        Me too! “Fallout but with friends and public events and random encounters with other players” is something I’m very excited about.

        EDIT: I should add that I’ve been a Bethesda fan since Morrowind. We’re not all grumpy :p

      • PancakeWizard says:

        I like Fallout 3 more than Vegas, and in no way was I wanting or expecting a multiplayer game. Ever.

  10. Bison_Burglar says:

    Just so you know that isn’t a flying bat monster it is Mothman a West Virginian legend immortalized by a movie called The Mothman Prophecies.

  11. Seafoam says:

    I can’t wait to build a nice camp in the woods, get all immersed in the world…
    And then get killed by xX_HomoSlayer69_Xx.

  12. LennyLeonardo says:

    War changes a lot.

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