Fallout 76 is a pay-to-play MORPG FPS released by Bethesda Game Studios on November 14, 2018. Based in a post-apocalyptic world, it serves as a prequel for their previous Fallout titles This game marks a massive shift from their earlier titles, as it is both their first Fallout title that is online, as well as including PvP and multiplayer options. This is because it currently offers missions that can be carried out by teams of 1-4 members, as well as general engagement with other players that are online. The server is programmed to allow no more than 32 players on a map at a time. This means that players won’t have to worry about being bogged down with hundreds of other players interfering with their missions or trying to PK them.
Vault 76 is a massive specially-insulated underground base that was completed by the United States in 2075 in anticipation for the upcoming Nucleart War that was expected to come from a opposing power known as the ‘Red Menace.’ However, while Vault 76 was created as a safe zone, it also only has a limited capacity of 500 individuals. This meant that only a select group of individuals would be allowed to enter the facility in case of a nuclear fallout.
The government’s fear was realized, and a global nuclear attack was launched the following year, leaving the entire earth devastated. It is now 2102, all that remains of humanity are the survivors living in Vault 76. All human survivors are avatars of real players in the game and all other humans and most creatures have mutated in the wake of the fallout.
At last, the long-awaited Reclamation Day has arrived, and survivors are now tasked with exploring, reclaiming and reshaping the vast wasteland that now exists beyond the boundaries of Vault 76. However, the excitement of their emergence has been slightly marred by the disappearance of Vault 76’s Overseer, who left the vault before the scheduled date. Now, in addition to rebuilding Appalachia, the players will also need to hunt down clues to discover the reason for the Overseer’s disappearance.
They will accomplish these objectives by completing missions and using the materials that they gather during their excursions to build their own bases outside of Vault 76. Missions will be given to them by NPC robot characters, audio recording and other paraphernalia that will appear as more game areas are explored and missions are completed.
Players begin the game in their apartment in Vault 76, where they will create their character. They can alter their character’s sex, skin tone and facial feature and body-type at any time during the game, so they will not be stuck using the same character for the remainder of their game. When the player enters the initial area, they will find supply tables stocked with basic supplies that they can stock up on before they proceed with the game. When they leave the compound, they can loot two corpses for their starting gun and melee weapons, and a supply truck will provide players with grenades.
The game adopts an open-world format that is four times the size of that in Fallout 4, and the only way to get around is on foot. There are hundreds of missions to complete, with Bethesda planning to issue more quests, storylines and possibly Vaults over time.
NPCs will provide players with various missions. These are generally broken down into smaller components, some of which are not crucial to the main task. Missions can comprise of gathering intel or supplies or destroying particular targets. As players explore various locations, they will find various items, weaponry and outfits that they can stock up on, in addition to loot drops from enemies. Items degrade over time, so they will need to be repaired every so often, and most likely, so will the items that player’s find while foraging.
Skills and Attributes
As players level up in Fallout 76, they will be able to boost one special* attribute by one point, the first of which is offered for free at the game’s onset. Players will also be given a special perk card. Each card as both an attribute level and character level requirement to be activated. However, each perk card requires separate attribute resources, meaning that if a character is at level 5 with endurance at level 1, they will only be able to use one level 5, endurance level 1 perk card at a time. If they want to level up a card or use two level one endurance cards at once, they will need to increase their endurance attribute to level 2, and so on. Of course, this means that they will be able to use multiple character level 5 card, attribute level 1 cards allocated to different attributes simultaneously. Cards can be swapped out at any time, but attribute levels themselves are permanent. Each attribute has a level cap of 50.
There are seven attributes, each having their own benefits and weaknesses. For instance, Intelligence will enhance crafting skills, but will not bolster fighting skills. Charisma, on the other hand, is useful for team plays, as it allows them to share their perks with other team members, as well as boosting rewards dropped by completing group missions.
* Special = Strength, Perception, Endurance, Intelligence, Agility, Luck
Each player starts off with their own Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (CAMP). This is a handy compact device that somehow allows players to carry their inventory and build bases wherever they go. As players gather more items, they will be able to construct crafting tables, and slowly build more advanced technologies, structures and other useful items to slowly build an advanced encampment. All of which can be safely squished and carried around in the players CAMP when they go offline.
Materials for construction can be mined, farmed or collected via random finds or loot drops. The more areas that the player explores, the wider the variety of items they will find, and the therefore the more advanced their crafted items will be. These items can also be traded with other players for other items.
Players will also discover various structures and workshops in their travels, which they can claim for themselves. This will enable them to craft certain items, but it will also make them targets for PvP players who might want to claim the facility for themselves.
CAMPs can be built anywhere, as long as they are not too close to another player’s CAMP. Building settlements will allow players to Fast Travel to that location for free, thereby making them very useful. This is one of the reasons why a player might find their settlement being nuked by another player. If players co-build settlements, the parts contributed by a specific player will disappear when that player goes offline.
Fallout 76 features many different types of enemies in this game. NPCs mainly comprise of robots or various mutated animals, people and insects, some of which look and act like regular zombies and some that look like other monsters. There are also various types of super-mutants that can shoot and engage in more complex fighting mechanics than the weaker mutants can. Additionally, players might face other players that are competing to complete the same missions that they are trying to complete.
Players are safe from PvP attacks until they reach level five. However, PvP is not mandatory. Players can attempt to initiate PvP combat by attacking the other player but will not be able to cause damage unless the other player responds. Players can choose to block or ignore other players, if they’re not interested in PvP play. More serious PvPers can opt to turn of the ‘slap’ mechanic, meaning that they will permanently be open to PvP attacks. If a ‘Griefer’ player kills another player that did not want to participate, the Griefer will receive no drops and will receive a bounty on their head. The pool for this bounty will be drawn from their own resources.
Furthermore, players can also find codes to complete blueprints to build their own nuclear devices. They can then use these devices to destroy other player’s settlements or other zones. The player can then visit the drop zone to gather resources to further their own builds. Any settlements that are destroyed by another player, will appear in the original owner’s settlement to be rebuilt elsewhere. This means that all that will be lost is the location, but not the progress of the settlement. The same thing will occur if another player happens to build a settlement on the exact spot that their settlement was located when they were online.
All missions occur in real-time, with progress being saved automatically as the player progresses in the game. If a player hasn’t received a save notification in a while, they might want to consider Fast Travelling to another location, as this will automatically trigger a save by the server.
During the Fallout 76 game, characters may be exposed to radiation. This will cause them to mutate in various ways, with each mutation boosting a special attribute, while negatively affecting others. These are curable with RadAway or by walking through a Radiation Cleaner, but there is also an option to permanently infuse them later in the game by using specific perk cards. RadAway can be purchased from vendors in certain locations.
The main methods to avoid radiation exposure are through upgradable radiation suits and through avoiding radiation-dense zones and consumables. Of course, this also means that weaker suits will merely decrease the threat of being affected by radiation, rather than completely preventing any chances of exposure.
Players will need to eat and drink consistently to avoid dying. However, if they eat uncooked food, unpurified water, sleeping on low mattresses or being in contact with diseased animals they may find themselves catching a disease. Fortunately, these diseases do disappear on their own, even without medical intervention. Nevertheless, these diseases each have their own negative effects on the player’s character that will need to be monitored carefully. This also means that it’s possible for a character to incur multiple diseases at once, so it’s probably better to be safe than sorry when it comes to ingesting any interesting consumables in the game.
When a character dies in-game, it can either be revived by teammates, or the player can wait for them to respawn nearby. When they respawn, all of their weaponry and armor will still be attached to them, and all of the items that they were carrying will be close by, in a paper-bag. Therefore, unless the player was engaged in a PvP battle or have nasty friends, they won’t really lose anything other than time when they die.