I love the Fallout games, but I’d never played Fallout 76 until recently. I resisted it for so long because the marketing campaign gave me the impression that the game was about everyone amassing nuclear weapons and blowing each other up with them. Then there were the bugs and the bad press, and by that time, I’d moved on.
But after getting Fallout 76 on my PlayStation subscription, I thought I’d give it a go. And boy, was I wrong about the game.
So I made this video to clear up a few misconceptions about Fallout 76. Because it’s way better than I thought it would be.
1. Everyone is blowing each other up with nukes
When the game first came out, all the articles I read about Fallout 76 talked about how you could blow people up with nuclear bombs.
This, clearly, did not appeal to me.
While I’m all for Fallout’s wry satire on the nuclear era, I didn’t want to be making morally dubious choices which involved other players, just to take part in a game.
But having played the game, nukes are but one small part of Fallout 76. Yes, there are bomb drops, but players receive ample warning to leave the area, with a few minutes’ grace period before the explosion. The game marks the bomb radius on the map, so you know clearly where the nuclear site is.
2. You have to play with other people
This was my other big hurdle to playing Fallout 76. As a mega-introvert, I’ve always stayed away from online games. There are people. And people are scary. Gaming is my chill-out time, and as a female gamer, I don’t want to get trolled by dudebros when I’m trying to relax.
But Fallout 76 actually advertises that you can play solo or with others. And mostly, my game has been as a lone wanderer. In fact, you can even get a perk card for playing solo.
Besides which, there’s a maximum of 24 people on your server across a vast wasteland. It’s pretty easy to avoid people if you want to!
3. You’re always being hunted by other players (aka players are mean)
I was concerned that even if I was playing solo, I’d be dogged by aggressive PvP challengers who wanted to take me out in the wasteland, constantly respawning and losing my loot.
Turns out, you can play in pacifist mode, which greatly lowers the damage taken from other players. And if they continue to attack you (and even take you out) when you’re playing, they’ll get a bounty on their head, where other players can enact vengeance on your behalf.
I must be getting the hang of this online play, because when I saw another guy had a bounty, I crept up on him, took him out, and logged off the server before he could respawn to get revenge… tee hee. Only for pacifist revenge, I swear.
One player did attack me in the game, but I just turned around and waved at him, and he waved back, so I guess we’re cool? Maybe he got me confused with a radroach.
In fact, most of my interactions in Fallout 76 have been overwhelmingly positive. I visited one C.A.M.P. to pick up some supplies, and the owner wouldn’t stop showering me with bags of Stimpaks and RadAway. They then helped me on a mission with another player, easily clearing the way of enemies and pointing out helpful loot. So much so that all I could do was wave my thanks at them.
Why didn’t anyone tell me this is what online gaming is like?
4. The game is buggy
When Fallout 76 came out, sure, there were complaints about bugs and a rushed development process. But that was 2018. While the game might not be bug free, I’m yet to find any game stopping bugs.
The only issues I’ve had so far were accessing a chem crafting table and, oh yeah, my power armour disappearing as I went to claim it. That might be a deal breaker for you, but as I rarely wear power armour I didn’t care. There are plenty of suits available in the game, and I’ve already picked up another one.
5. It’s a bad game
Fallout 76 is not a perfect game, but it’s far from being a bad one. Although it sometimes feels like more of a Fallout 4 DLC, I love being back in the Fallout world.
If you’ve played Fallout 4, the combat is nothing new. It’s a little clunky years later, given how much game combat has improved since then.
But there’s something strangely comforting about building your survival camp in the wilderness and making the most of the duct tape littered around Appalachia. I love exploring these haunted worlds, full of robots, raiders, and radiation. You never know what you’ll get when you enter a building – it could be ghouls or it could be the Silver Shroud.
And there are more than enough quests and activities to keep me busy while I wait for Starfield.