The long-awaited Fallout 76 Wastelanders update is now live on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
The update, which has a download size ranging from 54GB to 70GB depending on your platform, lives up to that massive digital footprint. That's because it delivers a new storyline with multiple subquests, two factions filled with NPCs as well as recruitable companions, and a return to Fallout 3-style branching dialogue. There are also new events and daily challenges, new and updated locations, and new items and enemies, including Floaters, the Wendigo Colossus, and Blood Eagles. Lovely.
Everything starts with the new Wayward story quest, which you can start near Vault 76. This will eventually lead into a full level 20 quest line that starts at Sutton. The gist is that two factions, the Raiders and Settlers, have come to Appalachia seeking prosperity, but they wind up butting heads. You'll get to sample both factions, but at some point you'll have to choose a side. Your choice will affect your relationship with several NPCs, so be sure to feel out your options first.
As Bethesda explained, the Raiders are "survivors that fled Appalachia, who have now returned to reclaim land they believe is rightfully theirs. They’ve built a base of operations, called Crater, at the Crashed Space Station." The Raiders will be hostile when you first encounter them, but you can win them over and access their wares.
The Settlers, meanwhile, "are a collection of survivors gathered by some construction workers from the Washington D.C. area. When they heard there was land, they caravanned to Appalachia and repurposed existing structures at Spruce Knob to construct Foundation." The Settlers are a friendlier bunch and will offer a daily quest from the moment you meet them.
As you develop your relationship with your chosen faction, you'll encounter dialogue trees featuring contextual and SPECIAL-dependent responses, just like the ones in previous Fallout games, especially Fallout 3. The silver-tongued will unlock new vendors and utilities within their faction, but you can also curry favor by completing quests and challenges.
Adjacent to these factions, you'll meet two unique allies with their own quest lines and romance options. These characters will become available at level 10 in the Ash Heap and Mire, and once you win them over, they'll join you at your camp and accompany you on your journey.
You can read the full Wastelanders patch notes, which include a laundry list of quality of life changes and bug fixes, on the game's website.
Here are 24 Fallout 76 tips to help you navigate Appalachia.