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Fallout 76: NPCs are finally returning to Fallout in huge new update

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Bethesda has revealed a bit more of the Fallout 76 roadmap at this year's E3

NEWS UPDATE: Bethesda has announced two enormous new updates for Fallout 76 at E3. The first, known as Nuclear Winter, pits 52 players against one another in a PvP environment encircled by an ever-shrinking wall of nuclear fire. That's right: Fallout is getting a Battle Royale mode. Players will fight to the death for the honour of becoming the overseer of Vault 51, a title that brings with it new CAMP plans, cosmetic items and other rank-based loot.

The second update, entitled Wastelanders, brings with it a brand new questline that introduces two staple features of previous Fallout games: dialogue and NPCs. At long last, Appalachia will feel like a lived-in world with non-player characters settling areas of the map and providing some much-needed human interaction. You'll have to decide whether to side with the settlers or the raiders in the hunt to find some rumoured treasure. 

The first of these two updates is Nuclear Winter, and it launches over the summer, while Wastelanders is due to launch in the autumn. Both updates are free, and the new game mode can be trialled by anyone from 10-17 June during the Fallout 76 free trial period that was also announced at E3.

In the meantime, you’ll find our pick of the best Fallout 76 deals below, as well as where to purchase the various editions and accompanying merchandise. In addition, we’ll be diving into what Fallout 76 is all about: how to play, what to do, and whether it’s worth returning to post-apocalyptic West Virginia.

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Fallout 76: Everything you need to know

Fallout 76 deals: Where to buy the game

There’s never been a better time to buy Fallout 76. That rocky launch had the knock-on effect of reducing the cost of every single edition of the game, seemingly for good. Here’s our pick of the best places to buy the standard and special editions of Fallout 76.

Fallout 76 – Standard edition (PC)

If you're just after the core experience, Currys PC World is currently selling Fallout 76 on PC for a meagre £20.
Currys PC World
£20

Fallout 76: Standard edition (PS4)

Console gamers will find that Amazon is selling the PS4 version of Fallout 76 for £16, which is the cheapest we've seen a new copy of the game sell so far.
Amazon
£16

Fallout 76 - Standard edition (Xbox One)

The Xbox One version of Fallout 76 is also up for grabs for a tiny sum: just £19 on eBay via the Tesco Outlet.
eBay
£19

Fallout 76 - Tricentennial edition (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

This special edition of Fallout 76 includes loads of USA-themed in-game items, and a set of SPECIAL pins to adorn your lapel, if that's your thing. Game is currently offering this version of the game, on console or PC, for £57.
Game
£50

Fallout 76 - Power Armor edition (PS4, PC)

For the Fallout aficionados out there, the Power Armor edition of Fallout 76 comes with a wearable Power Armor helmet and accompanying nylon bag. It was meant to be a canvas bag, but if you can look past that particular drama, Game is currently selling it for £100.
Game
£100

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Fallout 76 explained: What’s it all about?

Chronologically speaking, Fallout 76 is the first game in the Fallout franchise. Taking place 25 years after the bombs fell, you’ll step into the shoes of an individual saved from total atomic annihilation by one of a huge number of underground Vaults.

Unlike many of the vaults in the Fallout universe, this one was built with good intentions. You’ve been tasked with rebuilding the USA, one wooden plank at a time; it’s Reclamation Day, 2102, and the vault door is opening.

Fallout 76 location: Where is it set?

Fallout 76 takes place in a post-apocalyptic version of West Virginia. Known simply as Appalachia, the world map is four times the size of Fallout 4’s Commonwealth, and is split into six distinct environments: the Forest, Ash Heap, Toxic Valley, Savage Divide, Mire, and Cranberry Bog.

The first two areas on that list are the easiest to navigate, designed for low-level players. The last two, in contrast, are where much of the end-game content takes place.

Fallout 76 story: What's going on?

The narrative takes the player through all six of these regions following a trail left by the leader of the vault (known as the Overseer), who has left early to scout the route ahead. She records her experiences for players to listen to as they travel – tapes and notes form the basis for much of the story, as there are no surviving humans left in Appalachia.

Your journey will require you to become a trusted member of five long-dead factions whose stories all have an impact on the overall plot. These factions – some familiar, some new – offer their own branching side quests to complete, though simply exploring West Virginia will also throw up a variety of time-sensitive events and daily challenges.

Fallout 76 gameplay: What can you do?

As ever, Fallout 76 revolves around collecting loot and killing baddies: you’ll need to kit yourself out in a good set of armour and find a weapon that suits your needs. In addition, survival mechanics mean that avoiding disease, hunger and thirst is just as important as dodging bullets.

Perks

A revamped perk system keeps the SPECIAL statistics of previous games and introduces perk cards that can be leveled up and swapped out at your convenience. Perks can do everything from lowering item weights to reducing crafting costs, and are unlocked by leveling up. And then there are Mutations: expose yourself to excess radiation and you’ll gain some interesting additional abilities.

CAMPs

Base building returns from Fallout 4 with one major difference: you can now build almost anywhere you fancy. Plonk down your CAMP, craft a stash box and necessary workbenches, and maybe even make a house a home with four walls and a roof. Or, if you'd rather take advantage of the local area, Fallout 76 features dozens of pre-placed Workshops for you to call home.

Nukes

Progressing far enough through the main quest will allow you to bathe the Appalachian wasteland in nuclear fire. Launching nukes is a core component of the Fallout 76 end-game content cycle: battle through intensely difficult nuclear silos to reign nuclear armageddon down upon a location of your choosing. The resulting fallout creates Legendary enemies to kill and irradiated flora for use in crafting powerful items.

Fallout 76 multiplayer: Can I play with friends?

Of course, Fallout 76 is a multiplayer game, which means that the world you're exploring is shared with up to 23 other people. There are benefits to teaming up and journeying together, but the game is almost entirely playable solo; keep it friendly in Adventure Mode, or go toe-to-toe in the Survival Mode BETA for increased risk and higher reward.

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