Fallout 76 has always had a kind of pseudo-PvP, allowing players to fight one another but only through mutual consent. If you shot at someone who never shot you back, damage would be greatly reduced to prevent random server-mates from killing you everywhere you went. Now, though, they’re introducing a new “Survival” mode specially for murdering one another.
Though they’re aiming to release the mode into beta in March, they’ve teased some details about how it’s likely to work.
You’ll be able to choose between Survival and the old way of playing, now known as Adventure mode, when you load the game. Bethesda’s announcement “encourages” starting a new character to explore this more dangerous wasteland, but you can also use existing vault dwellers, with progress shared between both versions of the game. “If you fire off all your ammo, level up, complete a quest, spend Caps, or find a fancy new weapon in Survival, this will also be reflected on that character in Adventure,” they write.
It’s a bit strange, thematically, to be emerging from underground to rebuild society while also being hell-bent on killing all your fellow survivors, but hey, think of the loot. Though Bethesda stress that the current iteration is a beta and subject to change, they’re experimenting with awarding twice as many caps for killing someone, and dead players may drop useful items like healing rather than only bits from the “junk” category.
They’re also looking to implement leaderboards, though it’s not yet exactly clear what will score points. Presumably murder, but details on "all of the stats you’ll be able to keep tabs on during each play session" are under wraps for now.
Bethesda have also denied rumours that the game is going free-to-play, so you’ll have to have paid the entry fee if you want to get griefing.