'Fallout 76' Gameplay: 76 Things We Learned About the Multiplayer Game
In preparation for the release of the most exciting video game of the year, Fallout 76, Bethesda, the game’s developer, flew me, a video producer at Inverse, to West Virginia to hang out and play the game. Upon receiving this news, I immediately peed my pants out of excitement and hopped on a plane.
Lemme tell ya: Bethesda knows how to throw a party. I toured a real fallout shelter, I hung out with a life-size Vault Boy, I drank some Nuka Cola, I screamed the words to “Country Roads” with a few dozen other people, I held a falcon at one point for some reason. It truly was a nerd’s dream trip; a junket curated to drum up interest among bloggers and people like me in the latest installment of the game. The most important part, however, was the extensive hands-on session I got with Fallout 76. Though Fallout 76 release date isn’t until November 14, I got to play it with a full team for several hours. It. Was. Dope.
Not only did I get to play it, but I was able to speak with some of the developers of Fallout 76 as well, including Jeff Gardner (Project Lead), Chris Meyer (Development Director), and Emil Pagliarulo (Design Director). They were great about answering any and all questions that we had about the game and were very thrilled (/terrified) to have us play it. Their main focus, they said, was to make a great and unique game that still felt like it belonged in the Fallout family. From what I gathered, they nailed it.
By the time I got on my tiny plane and left West Virginia, I had a pretty clear vision of what Fallout 76 was all about. Here is my comprehensive list of everything you need to know about Fallout 76, from a longtime player:
1. Fallout 76 is the ninth Fallout game in the franchise, and is set to release on November 14 for PS4 / PC / Xbox ONE. It’s the first online multiplayer game from BGS Bethesda Game Studios.
2. It’s a narrative prequel to the Fallout series.
3. Fallout 76 will feature a B.E.T.A for select people who pre-order.
4. B.E.T.A: It will be first available on B.E.T.A: XBOX ONE October 23!
5. B.E.T.A: PS4 and PC BETA available on October 30th.
6. Progress Transfers from B.E.T.A to full game: If you do play the B.E.T.A, unlike other B.E.T.As, your progress will transfer over to the actual game upon release.
7. Cost: The base game will cost $59.99 at launch. There is also a Tricentennial Edition available for $79.99 that includes exclusive outfits and weapons. And there is a sold-out Power Armor edition that sold for $199.99 that includes a wearable 51 Power Armor Helmet. But at this time it’s pretty much sold out but is going for $350 on eBay. You can still get a decent knock-off on Amazon in time for Halloween.
8. No Cross-play: There will not be cross-play for Fallout 76 different platforms at the moment. Sony recently announced it would start supporting cross-play, but the developers said they were too far along to start implementing it for Fallout 76.
9. Timeline: The game takes place 25 years after the bombs dropped in 2077. However, according to game lore, the vault was supposed to open 20 years after. Why it stayed closed for an additional five years will be revealed in the main story.
10. Map: The game takes place in what was formerly West Virginia, now known as Appalachia.
11. Map: The size of the map is four times the size of Fallout 4: The explorable area of Appalachia is huge. It is around four times the size of the map in Fallout 4, an already notably large game.
12. Map: West Virginia lore and real-life areas play a big role in the game. The capital, Charleston, plays is significant to the story, as does West Virginia University, the New River Gorge Bridge, and the Greenbrier*.
13. *The Greenbrier is a historic and beautiful resort in West Virginia that is actually built right above a secret fallout shelter that was originally intended to be the designated bunker for members of Congress in the event of a nuclear attack in the 1960s. The existence of this secret bunker was declassified in 1992, 30 years after its construction.
14. The developers designed all of the creatures, plants, and items to be a true representation of post-apocalyptic West Virginia, not filled with offensive stereotypes. “There aren’t any no mutant hillbillies or anything,” one developer told me.
15. The Mothman, a creature in the game, is based on an Appalachian folktale from the 1960s.
16. Instead of completing quests solo, you can now have up to four members in a party. These can be friends or random players.
17. There is no friendly fire (you don’t have to worry about trolls).
18. You can also mute team members, or block other players who are singling you out, so they can no longer see you on their map.
19. You can see the locations of all other players on the map, including your team members as well as other teams.
20. You can chat with members of your team using a headset, but a large selection of emotes are available to communicate non-verbally.
21. Area chat will be available. You will be able to hear and speak to other players on the map if you are within range.
22. There is a maximum of maximum of 24 players on server on any given server.
23. PvP combat will be available.
24. When you engage an enemy player in combat, you do significantly reduced damage until they fight back.
25. Once PvP starts, both players do normal damage.
26. If you kill a player who never engages in PvP with you, you become a “wanted murderer.” Said Bethesda director Todd Howard at the E3 video game convention this past June: “We turn the assholes into interesting content.”
27. Murderers have a bounty on their head that any other player (including members of their own team) can collect.
28. Murderers cannot see the location of any other players on their map, while everyone else get a large indicator to their location.
29. You are immune to PvP until the fifth level.
30. There is also a “Pacifist Mode” available that prevents PvP interactions indefinitely.
31. The leveling system relies on the familiar S.P.E.C.I.A.L point system. Each time you level up, you can apply a point to one of the 7 skill trees.
32. You stop gaining skill points after level 50, but can continue leveling up and earning perk cards.
33. Perks come in the form of cards. Each card has a value, and you can have as many cards in a certain SPECIAL skill as long as the value does not exceed the number of points in that skill.
34. You can combine perk cards to form stronger, better cards.
35. There are no human NPCs in the game.
36. There are, however, the most number of unique voice actors in this game than any other Fallout game, the developers said.
37. A majority of the quests are detailed through holotapes + terminals.
38. The Appalachia Radio will feature classic Fallout songs, along with new songs curated to the West Virginia landscape.
39. There are no radio hosts (because the devs didn’t want them to be able to be killed).
40. There is still the signature VATS mode, where you can easily and accurately target an enemy.
41. But, it no longer slows time. You have to react quickly to get a good shot off.
42. The ability to target specific parts of an enemy’s body in VATS comes in the form of a Perception perk.
43. The difficulty level cannot be adjusted.
44. Junk, popularized in Fallout 4, is a large part of the game.
45. Every item in the game (including armor and weapons) can be scrapped to obtain parts.
46. Weapons will be modifiable, using scrap to craft new and better parts for both melee and ranged weapons.
47. By scrapping a weapon, you have the chance to obtain plans for a mod for that weapon.
48. What happens when you die? You forfeit all of the junk in your inventory when you die (but not the junk stored elsewhere, such as in stashes throughout the map).
49. Upon dying, you have the option to be revived by a teammate or to respawn at a new location or near one of your teammates.
50. Caps are still the main form of currency used in the game (used to trade, travel, and complete quests).
51. You can trade with other players. Any item can be traded, though some cannot be used until you reach a certain level.
52. You can barter while trading, naming your own price for items and offering others as compensation.
53. A new in-game currency is being introduced, Atoms.
54. Atoms are a form of metacurrency (think Fortnite V-Bucks) used to unlock cosmetic items for your character, such as outfits.
55. You unlock Atoms by completing challenges. You can also purchase Atoms through the Playstation Store.
56. Daily, Weekly, and even Lifetime Challenges will be available to complete.
57. Fast traveling is still the easiest way to get anywhere in the game.
58. You can fast travel to members of your team and to the entrance of Fallout 76 for free.
59. To fast travel to a specific location, you must pay a cap fee based on the distance.
60. Players have the option to launch Nukes from one of four Nuke launch sites on the map.
61. Detonating a Nuke will not change the structure of the map, but it will change the things found there (creatures, plants, items, loot).
62. The most valuable items will be found in these recently nuked areas, though the radiation levels will be very high. HAZMAT suits or Power Armor will be necessary to explore them.
63. The Pip-Boy is still your main organization method. There is also a Quick-Boy option, that allows you to access your inventory without fully disrupting gameplay.
64. Players have the ability to build their homebase using the C.A.M.P., or the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform.
65. Members of a team can modify other team members CAMPs.
66. When you log off, your CAMP is stored and will be replaced in the same location when you log back on, even on a new server.
67. If, on the off chance, someone else has built their CAMP in the same spot as yours, your CAMP will be stored as a blueprint to be placed at a new location of your choosing.
68. All items in the game have weight, including ammo. You can only hold so much before being over encumbered. Put points into Strength to be able to carry more.
69. And yes, the Fat Man is back
70. Survival is a big part of the gameplay. Players not only have to maintain their health and radiation levels, but also their hunger and thirst levels.
71. Food + Water: Food’s main function is fighting hunger, not gaining health. Water is needed to refill your thirst levels, but often gives you radiation. Water can be boiled to prevent radiation sickness, as well as drinking rare purified water.
72. Seasonal events (such as for holidays) have been talked about, but nothing is confirmed as of yet.
73. The Overseer: The main quest storyline deals with a series of holotapes left by the Overseer of Vault 76.
74. There are other vaults besides Vault 76 in the game, but none of them have opened yet. Vault 76’s inhabitants are the first to explore the new irradiated world.
75. DLC: The developers are looking to release downloadable content after launch. The content will be in response to the wants and needs of the players, the developers said.
76. Camera Mode: There is a new camera mode, which allows players to capture moments in the game (and yes, take selfies) to be viewed at a later time and fill their loading screens.
That’s it! That’s all of the information I have for you! If you want access to the beta, make sure to pre-order Fallout 76. I’ll see y’all in the wasteland.