Fallout 76 has confused and perplexed many Fallout fans since its official reveal back at E3. Bethesda’s other popular franchise, The Elder Scrolls, had fans screaming for an MMO for decades before it became a reality, but shoehorning the Fallout series into the same genre came as a surprise. We’re only a few months away from the release of Fallout 76, and for the sake of all of us, we’ve put together this handy guide that we like to call “Fallout 76 Multiplayer Explained“. It’s like that Netflix series, only without the fancy graphics, voice over, and concise script.
Rather than view Fallout 76 as some kind of MMORPG, it’s best to think of it as a survival game similar to Conan Exiles, RUST, and the countless other games that followed. Fallout 76 multiplayer will be split by servers with each putting dozens of players on the map rather than the hundreds you would otherwise expect from an MMO.
The land will be void of any friendly NPCs, too, meaning it’s just you, other players, and AI controlled mobs you’ll want to dispatch. Emphasis is placed on surviving the crazy world players will no-doubt turn Fallout 76 into, with the building aspects of Fallout 4 thrown in to help solo players and friendly groups defend themselves. Unless you’re crouching at all times, you’ll be visible on the map for all to see. You’ll never feel safe in this world, and Bethesda’s tactics mixed with regular human behavior will virtual West Virginia feel like hell on Earth.
Fallout 76 Multiplayer Explained: Nukes
As the namesake of the whole series, nukes have played a big part in the Fallout franchise since its inception. Not only is the entire premise of the game about surviving a nuclear fallout, but you’ll see unexploded bombs in places like Megaton in Fallout 3, or even get to fire your own personal arsenal of the things from the famous Fat Man launcher.
Fallout 76 turns these destructive apparatus into a major gameplay feature. Highlighted by the above “Atomics for Peace” video, Fallout 76 players will be able to get their hands on powerful nukes to use against their foes. In a game predominantly built around multiplayer, this means teaming up with friends to bomb your enemies.
According to the video, nuclear launch codes are scattered through the Fallout 76 landscape. Fragments of these launch codes can be found by looting dead enemies or, presumably, asking the right people for theirs. The process can be sped up by teaming up with like-minded players (like victims of a noteworthy band of crooks) and using their own nuclear launch codes to create a full set.
Once you’ve collected them all, you’ll have a choice of where to aim your nuclear bomb with the resulting impact decimating your targets. With the right protective gear, you can then stroll into the blast zone and loot whatever goodies remain. Though the detonation and resulting radiation may unearth some powerful monsters that will need to be put down.
Fallout 76 Multiplayer Explained: Co-op Play
The world of Fallout 76 seems to share more similarities to the Survival genre than a traditional MMORPG. Released in mid-august, the “Let’s Work with Others!” video demonstrated the importance of working with others to combat deadly enemies, gangs, and even loneliness out on the frontier.
One of the biggest takeaways from the video happened to be the focus on “non-verbal communication”, suggesting that voice or text chat would rarely be an option to use when coercing those you find out in the field. Unlike other survival games where voice chat with nearby players could mean the difference between opportunity or danger, communicating with other Fallout 76 players might not be quite so simple.
Playing with friends will obviously have benefits when it comes to tackling bigger objectives, but the video suggests not getting too attached to those you buddy up with. The dangers of the frontier and its people will lead to a severed friend(ship) or three, but you’re encouraged to turn that bad situation into a whole new opportunity by looting the corpses of those who fall in battle. It might not be noble, but you have to remain resourceful in these trying times.
Fallout 76 Multiplayer Explained: Perks
As an RPG at its core, Fallout 76 will feature ways to differentiate your character from the rest. Perks were vaguely explained in the “Being a Better You” video back in August and appear to be cards that alter the stats of your character to aid in building a more custom play-style. According to the video, stats will be split into the following values;
Perk cards haven’t been fully explained just yet, but it has been made clear that cards can be passed around to party members to allow other players to temporarily fill needed roles in a group. The individual S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats remain the same as past Fallout games.
Levelling up still works the same as before, with you then chosen to add a point to one of the seven stats. It is then thought that you’ll roll for a card associated with that chosen skill that can then be equipped to offer a boost of that nature; like more HP from Stimpacks, or increased EXP when in a party.
Fallout 76 Multiplayer Explained: Crafting and Building
West Virginia has clearly been decimated by nuclear fallout, and building a new home for yourself outside of Vault 76 is essentially what links this game with the rest of the Fallout franchise. Having a place to call your own will be detrimental to your survival in Fallout 76, and the C.A.M.P system will play a big part in that. C.A.M.P appears to be a placeable item that acts as a workshop, allowing materials gathered out in the field to be used for construction.
As the abbreviated name would suggest, it even spits out basic camping equipment for when you need a place to eat and rest. Items produced this way can then be used to procure even better resources, or traded to other players in the hopes that they don’t use those same items to kill you and take their cash back.
Despite all the points made above, Fallout 76 still feels like a game shrouded in secrecy. Set to release on November 14, there’s a lot we still don’t know about this game and a lot Bethesda still needs to properly explain. We’ve done our best here for now, but we’ll be updating this guide as more information trickles out over time.