Is Fallout 76 Multiplayer Only? Here Are the Facts

Is Fallout 76 Multiplayer Only
So That's Where I Left My Helmet! How'd It Get Out Here?

Reclamation Day is set for November 14, 2018. On that day, Bethesda will open the proverbial doors of Fallout 76 to the public. Thanks to its status as a multiplayer, the latest addition to the Fallout series has gotten a lot of attention. However, for a company that focuses on good storytelling, an online multiplayer is a big shift. With the big day looming, let us answer the questions on many of people's minds: is it multiplayer only, and how will the multiplayer work?

It's Online, but It's Not an MMO

At Bethesda's show at E3 2018, Fallout developer Todd Howard confirmed rumors that "Fallout 76 is entirely online." Additionally, every person that you would encounter in 76 would be an actual player. Given that knowledge, one would assume that Fallout 76 was an MMO. Not exactly.

To see the entire E3 Conference, Click Here

In June 2018, Game Crate sat down with Pete Hines, the Senior VP of Global Marketing and Communications at Bethesda. Hines said the following:

"It’s not even remotely an MMO. It’s not like this or that. It’s not like Destiny. It’s not like any of those things. It’s not like Rust, other than it’s an online world with people in it. Fallout 76 is a roleplaying game. It is not a PvP, kill everybody, fest.

The game will always be online, so it will need an internet connection to work. This means that you will meet other players one way or another. Nevertheless, while it includes parts of MMO's in it, it is not an MMO in the traditional sense.

One article from Digital Trends compares Fallout 76 to the Destiny games. Destiny needs an online connection to work and contains MMO elements, such as player hubs and dungeon raids. At the same time, you will not meet more than a few players out in the actual world, whereas a true MMO does the opposite. The Digital Trends article says the same thing can be applied to Fallout 76.

In non-technical language, Fallout 76 is not an MMO, but what Game Crate refers to as a "shared world multiplayer." You can solo the game if you want and do all that cool stuff from Fallout 4 like crafting, scavenging, building, and quests. Now you have the option to do it with friends if you want. On the other hand, you can choose to tear each other apart; if we are being realistic, both.

Now that we have explained how Fallout 76 is a multiplayer only game, it is time to get to the meat of how it will work.

Communication is Key

A major component of any online game is the ability to communicate with other players. Since the lack of NPC's means that most AI in the game will be trying to kill you, it is a good idea to buddy up. This friendly video, courtesy of Vault-Tec, does a good job of explaining the benefits of buddying up.

Gamer Revolution wrote that the main takeaway from the video is "non-verbal communication". They take that as meaning emotes will be a big form of communication. Fortunately, a NOCLIP Documentary confirms that voice chat will be available.

Co-Op Teamwork Always Possible

Todd Howard said at E3 that you are more than welcome to fly solo in Fallout 76. Bethesda would not give up its storytelling for the world. That said, since this is a multiplayer game, they encourage players to team up with friends.

Forming teams is easy in Fallout 76. A player needs only to walk to another player and invite him or her to join a group. Up to four people can be a part of a group at any given time. An added bonus is that if you are separated, you can fast travel to your teammates, regardless of distance.

Voluntary PVP

Concerned about losing all that valuable junk you have because some player kills you? Do not worry; Fallout 76 has PVP combat as an option, not a mandatory feature. If players want to focus on the quests, they can go into their options and turn the PVP feature off.

These restrictions will discourage players from being griefers and trolls. What's more, when you end up dying, you will not lose any progress on quests or missions. Regardless, there will still be problem players in any multiplayer game. Considering how the endgame involves nuclear missiles, that could be disastrous!

Dealing with Troublesome Players

At E3, Todd Howard announced a basic system the game has in place to discourage griefing. Bethesda has put in place a bounty system: whenever a player decides to act like a jerk, they will get a price on their heads. The first person to take the said player down wins the money, out of the offender’s own pocket! As Todd Howard puts it:

"We turn the assholes into interesting content...They appear on your map as a red star. Everybody sees them and they have a bounty on their head. And that bounty comes out of their own caps. And they can't see the other players on the map.

As for the nuclear weapons, Bethesda chose to make accessing them as hard as possible. If players end up in the crosshairs of a nuke, though, the mobile system of C.A.M.P. lets us move your base before the blast. Useful tool.

Out Until the Sun Blows Up

Even if the game does have flaws in it, it has more than enough time to fix itself. All time in fact. Pete Hines said that they plan to keep 76 going forever:

"I’m not being ironic. Like, forever. Because other people have said, ‘Is your timeline two years or five years?’ And I said, ‘Well, they’re still playing Morrowind and you go online and look at how many people are playing Fallout 4 and Skyrim. Those games have been out for four and seven years, and there are literally hundreds of thousands of people playing those games every single day, every single month. So Fallout 76, our timeline is in perpetuity.

Only time will tell if Fallout 76 will be able to last forever. It may not seem like much right now, but it has the potential to grow into something new, something unique. Give it time and patience, and you never know what may happen.

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As a former vault dweller, Zane roams the Capital Wasteland in search of relics from before the Great War. His favorite ones are old video games and new types of Power Armor so he be Iron Man!
Gamer Since: 1995
Currently Playing: Spider-Man, Far Cry 5, World of Warships,
Top 3 Favorite Games:Batman: Arkham Knight, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, Fallout 4
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