Update: Hi there, it's me, the idiot who somehow thought we were in April. This month is, in fact, February. How is it only February. All this will happen on April 7th, not February 7th. Is it really still only February?
After fifteen months exclusive to Bethesda's own store on PC, Fallout 76 has now finalised a Steam launch date of April 7th - also the launch day for Wastelanders, the update adding factions of human NPCs. While I'm perfectly happy buying games away from Steam, I can't help but note that you often see a game launch in a far better state if you do wait for a Steam release. Fallout 76 has come a long way since its early days and, come April, Wastelanders will fill that weird human-shaped hole in the MMO's post-apocalyptic world.
Wastelanders will add two factions of human NPCs, the first load of sapient meaties roaming the world. The Settlers are a bunch of grafters trying to build their new city of Foundation, while the Raiders are a bunch of cutthroats who'll set up in the ruins of the crashed space station. We'll be able to befriend them by questing, killing their enemies, and such, gaining access to new faction items as we climb the reputation ranks. Here, meet 'em:
The Steam launch will be April 7th too. Should you already own it and for some reason buy it on Steam too, it sounds like you'll be able to access the same characters - but not everything will carry over.
"If you already have Fallout 76 on Bethesda.net, you will not be able to transfer your Atoms or Fallout 1st membership balance between Bethesda.net and Steam," Bethesda explain. "Additionally, Atoms you earn are specific to one or the other platform. However, items you have purchased through the Atomic Shop will be shared across both platforms – Bethesda.net and Steam."
Fallout 76 really has come a long way since launch. Bethesda have added loads of new bits and fixed even more bugs, and players have made good use of the sandbox. We've written about bars run by players, in-game art galleries, and Bethesda missing the point once again by adding nukes. Bethesda also added an optional subscription service, which players had very mixed feelings about. The game's certainly not bug-free, mind - only last month players could be visited by their own clone piloted by a Bethesda employee after exploiters stole the shirts off their backs.