Fallout 76 is almost a month away and its B.E.T.A. begins even sooner. At this point, we know a fair bit about Bethesda’s multiplayer-RPG hybrid. Following a number of hands-on previews with the game, we now know more than ever about Fallout’s West Virginian escapades. We’re going to do our best to consolidate as much of this information as possible into one place.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Multiplayer

  • You cannot play offline. You will always see players in your world. Whether you interact with them is up to you.
  • You can play with friends, but you don’t have to. “Every time I play, I play solo, and my whole take is, ‘I’m a lone wolf scraping out an existence in this world,’” Pete Hines said in an interview with Polygon. “I’m not getting help from folks. I’m not grouping up with people. I’m playing the way that I would naturally.”
  • Although this is a persistent online world, it doesn’t feel “massively multiplayer” in any way. IGN’s preview described it as “a strangely lonely multiplayer game”.
  • There will be private servers and private worlds coming to the game post-launch.
  • Player limit per server is 24.
  • There are no NPCs. Every human character you come across will be a real player. There will be robot characters, though.
  • No NPCs means no settlements, no traders, no one to pawn your useless crap to. Trading will only be possible with other players, meaning you’ll have to find someone willing to take whatever you’re trying to get rid of.
  • Trading crafting materials with other players will be very useful if you’re trying to create something powerful.
  • There’s an emote that indicates that a player is willing to barter, but you can still be shot whilst trading so you’ll have to find a safe place to do it.
  • Emotes are more than just dumb fun. There will certainly be some silly ones, but they are vital for communicating with random players.
  • “Pacifist mode” is enabled by default, meaning you won’t be able to do friendly fire to your teammates.
  • If someone isn’t in your party then they’re fair game.
  • Damage to other players will be minimal if they don’t return fire, however, so you won’t just be gunned down in a second by a player with much better gear than you.
  • Killing another player will mark you as a murderer, placing a bounty on your head. This bounty can be collected by any player that kills you, and the bounty will come out of the wanted’s stash.
  • “Hunter/Hunted Radio” is a radio frequency which (as with all PvP) requires players to be level 5 to tune to it. It allows players to matchmake with 5 others to form a bounty-hunting match. Each player receives a target and is being targeted by another player. The trick is to be the last one standing.
  • If you’re in a party, you can be revived when you first go down, but you can be killed outright if you’re attacked while down.
  • Although it wasn’t in the preview build shown, the final game will feature proximity-based voice chat between players. You can mute people, if you like.
  • In-world events, similar to Destiny, will occur randomly around the map, allowing you to participate in some multiplayer action unrelated to the story.

Gameplay

  • VATS will let you target enemies, but it won’t slow time. At lower levels, since your hit chance is low, it’s said to be more useful for scanning for enemies rather than shooting them.
  • You’ll need a low-level perk (see player progression section for more on these) to target body parts. Without it, you’ll simply shoot at the enemies’ general mass.
  • VATS will cost action points (AP), so it can’t just be spammed.
  • You’ll need to eat and drink regularly. Your maximum AP will be reduced if you don’t.
  • Encumbrance is a thing. You can make camp at any time to relieve yourself of what you’re carrying. For a small fee of caps you can move your camp to your current location.
  • Once you’ve stored your stuff, you can pick up your base (which carries no weight penalty) and go about your business.
  • Nukes are described as “terrifying” and extremely deadly. GameInformer got caught in one during their hands-on.
    • They are primarily late-game oriented and it will take a significant amount of time to acquire the materials needed to launch one.
    • An area that gets nuked will become inaccessible for a period of time to those without quality radiation protection.
    • If you are able to survive the irradiated conditions, however, you’ll find stronger enemies and better loot. Some of the best in the game, apparently.
  • There are throwable melee weapons. A throwable hand axe was cited in Polygon’s preview.
  • Death doesn’t strip you of your weapons — just your unprocessed junk, which you should always be breaking down and storing in your mobile campsite.
  • Dying does take a chunk out of your weapon’s condition, however.
  • You can respawn on the location of any teammate. Without teammates, you’ll simply respawn somewhere other than the place where you just died.
  • No apparent gating of exploration or quest adoption. Outside of possibly getting your ass handed to you.
  • The Pip-Boy can be used as an overlay instead of the traditional animation of lifting it to your face. This will no doubt be helpful in a game that can’t be paused.

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World

  • Fallout 76 takes place 25 years after the bombs have dropped, making it the earliest game in the series’ timeline. You are the first people to repopulate the wild.
  • The world is more colorful and vibrant because it hasn’t had centuries to decay. It’s described as “the greenest Fallout game we’ve seen”.
  • The world of West Virginia is described as “not just huge, it’s hugely varied”.
  • The state’s rich history of monster and folklore has been turned into in-game content.
  • Different regions will bring their own mythical threats. These aren’t unique creatures, but they’re quite rare.
  • The world is described as being thick with rolling hills and dense forests.
  • Although beautiful, some areas of the game were said to feel lifeless. The Greenbrier resort, for example, is lovingly and accurately re-created but it supposedly lacks personality and feels like “walking through an art museum”.
  • The human population of the world is said to have largely perished when the nukes dropped, hence why you’ll never see anyone. You’ll see bodies everywhere and environmental storytelling is abundant in abandoned towns and settlements.
  • Much of the storytelling is done through audio logs, which is said to be a little problematic if you’re playing with people talking over the dialogue.

Player Progression

  • S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats make a return, but the way they work is being completely overhauled.
    • The seven stats are strength, perception, endurance, charisma, intelligence, agility, and luck.
    • You put points into them when you level up. You can then equip cards you’ll earn as you play, which provide various bonuses and benefits, into their respective stat. For example, the Gladiator card is a strength card that increases your melee damage by 10%. If you have 10 points in strength, you could equip 10 level 1 strength cards. Cards will have three levels to them, increasing the bonuses they provide. Level 1 cards will take up one point, level 2 will take up two, and so on.
  • Early on, you’ll get new packs of perk cards will drop every two levels. Later, they’ll drop every five levels.
  • Each pack will include four random cards.
  • There are cards intended for people who want to play alone, such as Lone Wanderer, which offers a bonus to experience and damage.
  • Charisma cards will boost your skills and stats based on interactions with other players. Strange In Numbers is one such perk: “Positive mutation effects are 25 percent stronger if teammates are mutated too.”
  • Bethesda has said the game will include “hundreds” of cards.
  • Although the early cards are fairly basic, it sounds like the bigger, more powerful cards with the more unique effects are saved for later in the game.
  • The variety in cards, as well as the option to mix and match cards at any point, means that you’re not locked into any one play style. You can be flexible with your build and, it sounds like, completely change it 40 hours in.

Miscellaneous

  •  There’s a photo mode that allows you to take snapshots, pose, perform emotes, edit visual effects, and more.
  • Alternative looks and costumes can be found throughout the world. They will also be available in the in-game store for Atoms, the game’s real-money currency.
  • So far, these items are cosmetic-only. They provide no gameplay benefit.
  • You go into your Pip-Boy to turn active missions off if you want to clean up your HUD a little. You’ll be picking up a lot of quests, so this option could be useful.
  • There are daily and weekly challenges that will rotate in and out. There will also be player-specific challenges.
  • You can eat cats, but you can’t pet them.
  • Fallout 76 seems to be inspiring people to approach the game in some unique ways. The absence of NPCs and dialogue may hurt some role-playing opportunities, but players are already thinking about how they wish to take role-playing into their own hands. Build a shop and become a shopkeeper, craft weapons and sell them to passing players, and more. See Polygon’s piece on how players are already looking to “fix” the game’s NPC absence.

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Unfortunately, TechRaptor did not get hands-on with the Fallout 76 preview. The information consolidated here was compiled from the preview coverage of various outlets. The following articles were sourced:

The B.E.T.A. for Fallout 76 begins October 23. It will lead up to November 14, the game’s official launch. The B.E.T.A. will only be accessible to people who preorder.

Fallout 76 launches November 14 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

What do you think? Do these previews have you more or less excited for Fallout 76? Let us know below!

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Dan Hodges

Staff Writer

Dan is a lover of games and music from the UK. He loves RPGs, shooters, roguelikes, and World of Warcraft, but he'll play anything he can get his hands on really.