Now that Fallout 76 is live and for many, it’s an unexpected journey into online play, we thought we might be able to help out a bit. Because Bethesda is doing things a little differently this time around, we decided to whip up a quick tip guide to make the transition a little easier.
There is so much more to do Vault 76 than people think. Because of that, here’s what you need to know before diving in to a server with 24 other survivors! Whether you’re going alone, or grouping up with three of your pals, here’s our quick survival guide for the Fallout 76 experience!
When you first begin your journey in the game, you’ll awaken in Vault 76 – a situation not dissimilar to those familiar with the franchise. The vault is cleaner than previous vaults and pretty huge, which means there’s more than enough to explore before making your way outside. There are also stimpaks and other gear lying around to pick up before starting your journey.
And don’t forget your party hat! You can see us scooping it up in the video above. Ignore the standing around – our voice chat was cut out of the footage (this was footage from back in October), but my group of players were having a hilarious time just kicking back and enjoying the ride.
Exploring the vault will also hook players up with their C.A.M.P device, which is key to building your own structures within the game. Even better? This is a fast-travel point so if at anytime you want to make your way back and scoop anything up you may have missed, it’s as easy as a waypoint away.
Fallout 76 very much feels like a single-player at times. Though I was in a team of four taking on quests and learning more about the new map, I often found myself wandering off by my lonesome and exploring on my own terms. Taking down Super Mutants, playing the banjo, or just walking around collecting holotapes to hear other human voices – I didn’t feel like I was lacking anything off by myself. I could still fight, I could still take part in events, I could still learn more about the world – I could do what I wanted, how I wanted.
Despite being a multiplayer game, it felt lonely at times and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s structured to explore. Just like in real life, of course that is easier with friends but it’s not necessary, and I didn’t feel punished by the game for going off on my own.
That being said, for those that crave some form of structure I’d recommend sticking to the main storyline while you can. This reveals critical information about survivors while also making it easier to level up and obtain those Perk Cards.
The Perk Card system in-game is interesting, but it does also offer a lot of player freedom. Instead of sticking to one specific skill-line, players can instead carefully craft their character piece by piece to make the survivor they see fit to wander those country roads.
This system in place doesn’t also offer freedom, but a learning curve as well. All of those shiny attributes known from previous games are available, but players have to earn them. This makes the “grind” more meaningful while providing players with a reason to be invested in the world of West Virginia.
All Fallout fans should know how important scavenging is by now and with a game so bent on survival and self-reliance, it’s even more vital. Take everything. There are literally workbenches everywhere to scrap materials and make adjustments to armor and weaponry. This gives player more control over their stats and what kind of gear they have repping in the dangerous woods of West Virginia.
In the same vein, there isn’t an issue of “not enough loot.” If two players walk up to something, they can both equip it. Item trading is also available, which comes in handy for those times when ammo gets a little too low for comfort.
Whether you want to raid solo, or group up with friends, Fallout 76 really does offer the choice to pick your playstyle. That being said, there are aspects of the game – including events – that are much easier/more manageable with people at your back.
Since this is the first time a Fallout game has had any kind of online capacity, it’s understandable why so many would be hesitant, but the social aspect – even for those that don’t like social games – does add an entirely new layer of immersion to the experience. I even had strangers come up and help me with gear when I approached them for help! It’s not the griefing war many were fearing.
Don’t have friends that are interested in playing? You can also request to join a group as well, just simply walk up and ask to join if it’s not a full party.
Sounds silly, right? But it’s not! This is where the survival aspects come into play – It’s actually possible to starve to death, or become to dehydrated, in the game. Since a lot of the water is radiated, clean water supplies and other means replenishment are key. Don’t wait until that gauge is dangerously low, make sure to keep food and water in your belly at all times!
At the end of the day, this is a game. Go out, explore, enjoy! This map is four times bigger than any other map in the franchise’s history! There are so many joyful discoveries to be made, so many hidden Easter eggs to find. Take your time and don’t feel rushed. This game is for you so make sure you go out there and enjoy it!
Fallout 76 is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. Interested in seeing our thoughts on the online game? Check out our full review here!
You can contact the author of this story on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.