Now that Bethesda‘s online RPG, Fallout 76, is out in the wild, plenty of you are no doubt keen to jump in and start slaying some scorchers, but before you do, it’s probably worth taking a few tips from those who have had some time with the game’s beta.
I’m not saying you need to stray from your usual playstyle, I’m just suggesting you take a few things on board before trekking across the Appalachian wilderness in search of the fucking Mothman. Here’s what you should keep in mind.
Don’t rely on your Fallout 4 reflexes
This is the first time a Fallout game has ventured into online territory, and that means your experience is gonna differ from what it was in the last title, Fallout 4.
For example, bringing up your Pip-Boy won’t pause the game like you might be used to, so assigning things like Stimpacks (health) to quick slots so they’re easily accessible during fights is crucial. Your V.A.T.S. system will also handle differently for this reason, but we’ll go into that in more detail a bit later.
Because 76 is set before all the other games in the franchise, it means there are no human NPCs to interact with, making dialogue choices nonexistent. It also means you’ll be relying on robot NPCs, holotapes, and computer kiosks for missions.
Follow the story for a little bit
You’re more than welcome to do whatever the fuck you want as soon as you emerge from Vault 76, but if you want my advice – and you do – you should stick with the main questline for a couple of hours at the very least.
There’s a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, it serves as a bit of a tutorial, teaching you all the important basics you’re gonna need to survive in the world, including how to craft weapons and items, how to set up bases, how to cook food, and how to boil water to make it clean.
Secondly, you’ll cop a bunch of free items and materials for your trouble, so it’ll set you up nicely before you get sprung by some gross feral ghouls.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated
You’ll need to keep yourself adequately fed and hydrated as you explore West Virginia in order to stay functional. Becoming too thirsty or hungry will affect your endurance, meaning things like sprint time and melee combat will be stunted.
So treat yourself to a refreshing sip of water and some irradiated radroach meat from time to time.
Junk is your friend in Fallout 76
Unless you can swing it around like a weapon, picking up what seems to be useless junk may seem pointless to you, but it all serves a purpose. Junk can be scrapped at a workbench in order to break it down into materials used for crafting and base building, so it’s honestly worth picking up as much as you can carry.
Just be sure to scrap your junk whenever you can, because raw materials are much lighter to carry and no one wants to become over-encumbered.
Don’t ignore your perks
Every so often, you’ll be gifted perk cards when you level up. These perk cards grant abilities and skills when assigned to their relevant S.P.E.C.I.A.L. category. Don’t ignore them.
A few measly cards can change your character dramatically, so check in on your pack every time you level up.
V.A.T.S. can still be useful
As mentioned earlier, V.A.T.S. no longer pauses time as it once did, so you won’t get plenty of time to choose a target on your opponent like you’re probably used to. Now, the system simply outlines your target in real-time, showing the likelihood of hitting them with a percentage.
Early on, this percentage is going to be total ass, but V.A.T.S. is still particularly useful for identifying smaller targets or chasing something. It’s also great if you’re just feeling lazy.
Try not to be a dick
Look, I’m not your dad or anything, but it’s best to approach Fallout 76 as a cooperative game rather than a PvP experience. That’s not to say you can’t shoot the fuck out of each other for shits and giggles, you totally can, but only if the other player is keen.
Shooting another player will only do a small amount of damage to them unless they shoot you back, at which point your weapons will have their full effect. That being said, it’s still possible to take someone down against their will if you’re feeling like a real piece of shit, but be warned – doing so will make you a “wanted murderer”.
Wanted murderers in Fallout 76 will have their location highlighted on the map, inviting others in the server to take them down for a bounty which comes out of that player’s own supply. In other words, it’ll cost you a lot less to be nice, or at least able to take a hint if the other person isn’t interested in a duel.
If you wanna see how the whole thing plays, you can see a recent Twitch stream I jumped on with Aussie UFC champion, Rob Whittaker.
Fallout 76 is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. If you’re after all the extras, be sure to pick up the Fallout 76 Tricentennial Edition which includes a bunch of sweet in-game extras:
- Tricentennial Power Armor Customization for the T-51, T-45, T-60, and X-01 Power Armors
- Tricentennial Weapon Customization for the 10MM Pistol, Hatchet, and Laser Rifle
- Spectacularly Handsome Vault Boy Mascot Head
- Patriotic Uncle Sam Outfit
- Celebratory Vault Boy Saluting Emote
- First-Class Tricentennial Workshop Posters
- Tricentennial Commemorative Photo Frame