Only a couple years after Fallout 4‘s release, Bethesda surprised fans by officially announcing Fallout 76, the next entry in its beloved post-apocalyptic RPG franchise. The new game was revealed in a trailer after a series of teases, and Bethesda discussed it in more detail at E3 2018 and more recently at QuakeCon 2018. While there’s still so much we do not yet know about Bethesda’s upcoming game, the company has offered some clarity on Fallout 76’s most curious features and additions to the Fallout formula.
To ensure you’re kept up to date on everything there is to know about Fallout 76, we’ve compiled all the information we have on the game so far: the platforms it’s on, its online functionality, its anti-griefing features, and where the game falls in the series’ timeline.
What is Fallout 76?
Fallout 76 is a prequel to all of the previous Fallout games. Set in 2102, you play an inhabitant of Vault 76 who emerges from the shelter 25 years after the bombs fell on America. Your task is simple: explore what remains of post-apocalyptic America and rebuild civilization.
Longtime fans will likely recognize Vault 76; although it’s not a place we’ve visited before, this isn’t the series’ first mention of it. Both Fallout 3 and 4 reference it and, according to the Fallout Wikia, this West Virginia-based vault was occupied by 500 of of America’s best and brightest minds. Unlike the more grotesque experimental vaults in the Fallout universe, Vault 76 is a control vault intended to be opened 20 or so years after a nuclear war. But if the Vault was supposed to open 20 years after the bombs fell, why have 25 years gone by? The story likely has a few surprises in store.
Fallout 76 uses the Creation Engine, the same engine used to make Fallout 4, but it will purportedly feature much more graphical detail than its predecessor. Game director Todd Howard has said that Fallout 76 has new rendering and lighting technology, which allows for “16 times” the detail.
Who’s Developing It?
Bethesda Game Studios, the Maryland-based developer responsible for the Elder Scrolls series and both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, is at work on the game. In addition, Bethesda Game Studios Austin–formerly BattleCry Studios–assisted in fine-tuning the Creation Engine to support multiplayer functionality.
Is It An Online Survival Game?
Fallout 76 is a much different sort of game from its predecessors. It’s “entirely online,” but don’t worry, you’ll be able to play it solo too. According to Bethesda, the idea to take this approach to open-world survival came four years ago, when it started to work on building a multiplayer Fallout experience. Howard described the game’s approach to survival as “softcore,” which means death doesn’t equal loss of progression.
You can form a party with up to three other players. You won’t be able to manage your placement in servers when you login, as you’ll automatically be inserted into a session with others upon booting up the game. Of course, you also have the option simply join alongside your friends and play together.