Fallout 76 is getting actual NPCs and a battle royale mode

Bethesda /

With Fallout 76’s Wastelanders update later this year, the game will hopefully start to feel like an actual Fallout game.

Heading into E3, my one wish for Bethesda’s E3 conference was some sort of single-player DLC announcement for Fallout 76 — you know, something to make it feel like an actual Fallout game. Something we wanted from the start. It appears they have listened.

After owning up to their royal eff up with the launch of Fallout 76 last year, Bethesda revealed the gameplay trailer for the upcoming Wastelanders update. That trailer confirmed the return of NPCs. Yes, actual non-player controlled characters are coming to Fallout 76 later this year.

With the NPCs will come traditional RPG experiences. You’ll be able to interact with these characters and learn more about their unique backstories. Your interactions with these characters will shape the world around you.

While Fallout 76 remains an online multiplayer experience at its core, the addition of NPCs makes it feel more like a traditional Fallout game. Despite how you felt about the game at launch, there’s no doubt now that Bethesda is actually listening to fans when it comes to feedback on the game.

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Fallout 76 may have been designed with the idea that only human characters would populate the game world, but fans have made it clear that they want actual NPCs to interact with. Bethesda admitted they tried something new with Fallout 76 and, to their credit, they acknowledged they messed up. They certainly deserve credit for giving the players what they want, even if it means going against their own vision for the game.

The Fallout 76 Wastelanders update will also come with a new main quest line filled with choice and consequences. It will introduce the faction settlements of Crater and Foundation, along with powerful new weapons and armor and more surprises.

The Wastelanders update for Fallout 76 will be free for players and is set to arrive this fall.

But that’s not all. Bethesda had one more surprise for players — a battle royale mode. Nuclear Winter, as the new mode is called, is a 52-player battle royale mode where participants will fight to become the overseer of a vault.

As a multiplayer-focused game, I’m not surprised to see Bethesda jump on the battle royale bandwagon. But this new mode definitely doesn’t get me excited to return to the wasteland. I don’t see anything original about this mode, and personally, I think it would be best if Bethesda continues to focus on providing PvE-focused content.

The addition of NPCs in the Wastelanders update was one step forward; Nuclear Winter is a step, not back, but more to the side really. It doesn’t negatively impact the game, but it also doesn’t improve it in any major way.