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Fallout 76 is a multiplayer "softcore survival" game

Coming in November

Well then! The rumours were true: Fallout 76 is indeed a multiplayer game, one described by Bethesda's Todd Howard as "softcore survival". Huh. Weird. The online sandbox will send Vault dwellers out to rebuild America, 25 years after the nuclear apocalypse, and all these dwellers will be other players. Howard said that folks will be able to play solo, questing on their tod, but the focus is clearly on teaming up with other survivors to build bases, murder monsters, and fight for control of nuclear missile silos. It will launch on November 14th but, for now, he's the E3 deet-o-rama.

Fallout 76 is an online survival sandbox, then. Howard explained that the world is four times the size of Fallout 4, though each instance will have only a few dozen players. The slice of West Virginia spans a number of biomes, as survival games will, each with particularly fancy landmark to take control of nuclear missile silo which can be used to, y'know, launch nuclear missiles. Rare resources will drop in the aftermath of a nuke too.

It sounds fairly gentle as survival goes, with death never meaning a loss of progression - no more waking up nude on the beach after someone caves your skull in, I suppose.

Servers will be seamless and invisible, and character progression will carry across all servers, rather than being linked to specific ones as in many survive 'em ups. The whole thing's on dedicated servers, he says, and supposedly has "all-new rendering, lighting, and landscape technology" which allows them to have "16 times the detail." Hmm! They do tend to overstate advancements of their technology, though.

Fallout 76 is due to launch on November 14th, preceded by a beta. Supposedly Bethesda's RPGs are known to occasionally have a bug or two (who knew?) so they want to squish 'em before launch - which certainly sounds more sensible than their usual strategy of leaving bugs for modders to fix in 'unofficial patches'.

Here's RPS video person Noa picking out some secrets from the recent reveal. Lots of sneaky details here.

I like the giant mutant sloth.

Check out our E3 2018 tag for more announcements, trailers, news, and goodness knows what else.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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