Box art - Fallout 76

Fallout 76 NPC Update | What is the Wastelanders release date?

Fallout 76, Bethesda’s great online experiment in the Fallout universe, continues to receive major content updates, but despite the additions of new quests, items, and modes, players mostly care about having people to talk to. At E3 2019 Bethesda revealed a big new Fallout 76 NPC update coming to the game this year. This expansion, called The Wastelanders, will finally add non-player human NPCs to the game. But what is the Fallout 76 Wastelanders DLC release date? And what does this mean for the game? Let’s take a look.

What is the Fallout 76 The Wastelanders update?

The Wastelanders expansion for Fallout 76 was revealed at Bethesda’s E3 conference, and it’ll be the biggest and most significant update to Fallout 76 to date, bringing it more in line with traditional Fallout games. Its biggest feature, and the reason why a lot of players may return to the game, is the inclusion of non-player characters. These human NPCs will give out quests and add a lot more personality to the game, among other things. “We realized in hindsight that what we do best is NPCs and talking,” explained Jeff Gardiner, project lead for Fallout 76, speaking to PC Gamer.

When is the Fallout 76 NPC update release date ?

fallout 76 wastelanders

At the moment, there is no firm release date for The Wastelanders expansion. The only approximate release Bethesda has announced for the Fallout 76 NPC update is in fall this year, so it’s at least a couple of months away, assuming that doesn’t get put back to winter 2019 or even 2020. Expect a lot of smaller updates between now and then, but for none of them to include NPCs. Then again, we wouldn’t put it past Bethesda to tease one or two in an update beforehand. It’s also possible that The Wastelanders will actually be split over several updates, the way the Wild Appalachia season is doing. We’ll have to see in the fall.

What will be included in the Fallout 76 NPC update?

Other than the introduction of NPCs to the game, The Wastelanders will essentially change the Fallout 76 experience. The NPCs won’t just offer quests for you in a more personal way, like a slightly more improved version of the robots in the game currently, but Bethesda is promising “choice and consequences” too, that important staple of Fallout that’s been missing so far from Fallout 76. Presumably, how you treat one group of NPCs will affect others, and you may get to commit some lasting damage on the world at last. There will be two groups at the start, settlers and raiders, and you will be able to align yourself with either.

The E3 gameplay reveal (below) showed the introduction of proper Fallout-style conversations, complete with dialogue options tied to your character’s skill level, such as Charisma or Perception. There will be a new story quest, presumably related to the NPCs, along with new weapons, different armor types, further additions to add to the C.A.M.P., new activities for players to take part in, and of course, plenty of weird new enemies. There will also be NPC companions too, and yes, you’ll be able to romance them. However, the bad news is they won’t be able to follow you everywhere, and are restricted to certain locations and your C.A.M.P., which is a shame.

What will Fallout 76 The Wastelanders cost?

Despite being such a radical expansion to the world of Fallout 76, Bethesda has confirmed that The Wastelanders will be an entirely free new update for the game. This is perhaps a response (or rather, apology) for the reaction of the general public to previous updates and Fallout 76 in general, and it’s likely The Wastelanders is the publisher’s big attempt to “fix” Fallout 76 and bring in new players, or players who had abandoned the game. We’ll find out if it worked in fall 2019.