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Fallout 76: Questions we have about PvP, V.A.T.S., microtransactions and more

Fallout 76 (opens in new tab) is finally here, and if you're perplexed by the new softcore-survival-MMO format, don't fret! We've got all the answers to your Fallout 76 FAQs right here. Below we cover everything from how to trade with other players to just how extensive microtransactions are, so you'll be equipped with everything you need to know about the Appalachian wastelands if you're deciding whether to step into Fallout 76. Remember that this is an MMO, so as time goes on just like Elder Scrolls Online it's likely to change substantially over the next handful of months, so the answers to these questions will probably periodically change depending on the updates Bethesda rolls out. Just a warning. Now get reading those Fallout 76 FAQs!


How does trading work?

You have to find a player willing to trade first (duh), then when you get close to them a prompt will appear that asks you if you want to trade. Then you get to see the other player's inventory (and they can see yours), and you just select the item you want to trade and set a price for it. It's up to you whether you want to charge caps for each item you're selling, or whether you want to reduce the price to zero and give them away for free. You can also request items from the other's player's inventory when you're in the trading menu, but it's up to them whether they give them away or not. 

Can I bring my C.A.M.P. with me across Appalachia?

Short answer: yes. Long answer: Your C.A.M.P. is your personal workshop, so it’s pretty damn important. As it acts as your home base you can pick it up and move it around when you’re exploring the wasteland for a small cap fee, as long as there’s space to put it down on the irradiated ground. Once you’ve built something in your C.A.M.P., you can go into the Blueprint part of your build menu to record its structure in a Blueprint. Its layout will then be permanently saved (you can make and name multiple blueprints so you don't have to rebuild everything at once if you don't want to) so if you find your C.A.M.P. destroyed by a nuke, or want to just duplicate it and bulk out your home base, you can build it quickly and easily. Blueprints mean you don’t have to start from scratch all over again when it comes to building, which is pretty nifty. You'll just need a certain amount of resources to build it all over again, as a kind of fee.

Your C.A.M.P. is also one of the few ways you can access your Stash, a container that lets you store your most prized possessions safely in it permanently. If you’ve strayed too far from your C.A.M.P., don’t worry: Train stations and Red Rocket Stations also have Stash containers where you’ll be able to find everything you stored in your Stash. So if you’ve left your favourite grenade launcher in your Stash and need it to tackle a group of Scorched, you just have to find the nearest Train station or Red Rocket station to get it instead of going all the way back home. 

You, and only you, can work on your C.A.M.P. If you want to team up with pals to build a fortress, you’ll have to use the Public Workshops, which allow you to construct your own settlement with other players. Public Workshops are unlocked by combat (so clearing an area of enemies, basically), or fighting another group of players to steal their Public Workshop from them. Once you’ve claimed your own Public Workshop you can build workbenches, mining tools, and (of course) defences to make sure people only take it over your cold, dead body.

Are there going to be microtransactions?

Yes. Microtransactions in Fallout 76 take the form of Atoms, which you buy with real money or earn through playing Fallout 76 (just like how V-bucks work in Fortnite (opens in new tab)) so you don’t have to part with your cash if you don’t want to, as throughout the game you get given Atoms as a reward for completing challenges. So far we know that Atoms let you buy cosmetic skins for your character, profile icons, and some outfits, but Atoms categorically can’t be used to buy anything that would give you an advantage over other players. 

How do Perk Cards work?

At the beginning of most Fallout games you dish out points into the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. categories. Fallout 76 is no different, but this time instead of starting out with a handful of points you unlock one point to spend each time you level up. 

You also collect Perk Cards each time you level up and according to Bethesda (opens in new tab) through “randomised Perk Card packs that you earn at level up milestones”. You then allocate Perk Cards to each skill, but you can only have as many Perk Cards as the amount of points in each skill. Perk Cards are also levelled, so they become more powerful the higher the level they are. You can change your Perk Cards at any time - not just when you level up - so it's worth nipping in and assigning yourself new perks depending whether you're playing solo, multiplayer, or just want as much damage resistance as possible before taking on a Scorchbeast. 

So, if you have six points in Charisma, you can have up to six level one Perk Cards equipped in the Charisma category. Or you can have a level three Perk Card, a level two Perk Card, and then a level one Perk Card equipped. If you have multiple copies of the same Perk Card you can combine them to make the Perk in question even more powerful. Phew. Did you get all that?

How do I find my stuff that I dropped when I died?

When you die, you’ll only drop your Junk, which will appear in a neat little paper bag in the world. Your weapons, armour, and aid stays with you so don’t worry about being left defenceless in the wild. Upon respawning you’ll automatically be given a quest to retrieve your Junk, with a map marker so you can easily find your way back to the bloody bit of ground where you expired. RIP. 

Can I install mods?

Yes, but you’ll have to wait a while for mods to start appearing in Fallout 76. Bethesda has confirmed it is working on mods, but at the moment it’s focusing on the launch of Fallout 76, so it looks like mods will be implemented at some point in 2019...hopefully. 

Can I have a private server?

Yes, but like mods, private servers aren’t going to be available at launch. Bethesda is working on letting players have private servers, but according to Pete Hines (opens in new tab) it’s not Bethesda’s top priority at the moment. 

How does V.A.T.S. work?

Although V.A.T.S. is in Fallout 76, it doesn’t slow down time like in previous Fallout games. However, when you go into V.A.T.S. your enemies are still highlighted in green, and you still get shown the percentage chance you have to hit their bodies with bullets, melee, whichever attack style you prefer. As it doesn’t slow time, prepare for V.A.T.S. to be very different from what you’re used to. It's still useful for finding nearby enemies, and it does mean that you don’t always have to painstakingly aim while firing as the percentage chance to hit shows you how successful you’ll be in real time. So although it’s tweaked, V.A.T.S. does still speed up combat somewhat. 


Should I play in a team?

You don’t have to...but Bethesda has done its best to make playing with friends (or strangers) as pain-free as possible, and has even chucked in a few incentives to play together. For example, you can fast travel to other people in your team no matter where you all are on the map, you can’t hurt each other, can call for a teammate to revive you with a Stimpak when you’re close to death (like most other games, but still), gain XP whenever a teammate kills an enemy as long as at least one of your attacks has hit your foe, share resources when you’re building at a Public Workshop, and if you have high Charisma you can share perks with teammates. 

If you don’t have any friends who play Fallout 76, you’ll have to rely on the kindness of strangers in the Wasteland, but you can still team up with anyone friendly you run into. That said, it is entirely possible to play Fallout 76 solo, but you’ll find it very, very tricky to access Nukes and tackle some high-level beasts alone before you reach level 50. 

How does Voice Chat work?

If you’re walking around Appalachia on your own, you’ll only hear other players when they get close thanks to proximity chat (which you can disable if you want). For those of you who are on a team with friends (or so we hope they are), you’ll be able to hear each other all the time, although you can still disable it and instead rely on party chat.

Can I block players?

Yes. Blocking a player won’t remove them from your game, but it will make it very, very hard for them to find you. If you encounter a survivor who’s being an absolute dick, you can choose to block them for that play session or permanently. Blocking someone will remove them from your voice chat (whether that’s proximity or team chat), and you’ll automatically ignore any trade or team invitations they send you. You also won’t appear on each other’s map at all, which means it’s very easy for you to simply run away or fast travel elsewhere and lose whoever it is who’s making your life a living hell. You can always unblock them if you want, but you also might want to indulge in a little Revenge if they kill you...

How does PvP work?

When you first start attacking at another player - or are attacked yourself - attacks initially won’t deal full damage if they hit. They only deal full damage once the other player starts to fight back and cause direct damage (grenade explosions don’t count as direct damage, for example). After attacks start dealing full damage you’ll each be hidden on each other’s map, but you will show up on your opponent’s compass as a red dot. You’ll be told the name of your attacker as well as the Cap reward you get for killing them to incentivise your blood lust. It’s usually equal to the player’s level, so when you start to get above level 30, you might find more people attacking you in hopes of starting a duel and getting a sizeable reward for killing you. Just a warning. When you die, you can either choose to Seek Revenge, or just respawn, which ends all hostilities between you and every single other player on the map. Which leads me nicely onto...

How does Revenge work?

When you get killed by another player, upon respawning you’ll be asked to choose between two modes: Seek Revenge or just respawn. Revenge keeps your opponent as your enemy, meaning you still appear on their compass as a red dot and are hidden on the world map, but you now respawn close to your foe. That means you can find them, try your damnedest to kill them again and restore your honor, or just sate your bloodlust. If you’re successful you’ll not only be able to reclaim your hard-earned Caps, but you’ll also get a neat little bonus amount of Caps too. 

Can I opt out of PvP?

Yes. In the menu you can enable Pacifist Mode to avoid all PvP, which is on by default for new characters until they reach level 5. However, Pacifist Mode doesn’t prevent you from taking damage from other players - instead it stops your attacks from hurting other players so you don’t accidentally start a duel. Other survivors’ attacks can still damage you (albeit at a greatly reduced rate), and you can still die from them. You can Fast Travel away from them, though, but it’s worth bearing in mind that even if you’re a Pacifist, the people roaming around your map aren’t guaranteed to be so peaceful. If you die without fighting back, the person who killed you only gets the Junk that you dropped. They don’t get any bonus XP, caps, or anything to incentivise them to kill - instead they get branded as Wanted. 

How does murdering and the Wanted system work?

When someone kills another player who put up absolutely no resistance - i.e. they didn’t cause any direct damage or agree to a PvP duel - the killer is branded a murderer and is marked as Wanted on the map. Being Wanted immediately places a bounty on their head, and means they now take full damage from other players’ attacks. Ah, sweet, sweet justice. 

Wanted players are unable to see anyone else’s location on the map, but for other players their location is now indicated by a large Wanted sign on the map, and grant a bounty when killed, which is paid directly from the murderer’s own Cap stash. If the murderer is unable to pay the bounty because they don’t have enough caps, their attacks will deal 50% less damage for the following four hours, which gets added onto the already-reduced damage attacks do towards players before they fire back.

Here’s a heart-warming message Bethesda posted to their fans (opens in new tab) on the eve of the BETA...aww.

While here at GamesRadar, Zoe was a features writer and video presenter for us. She's since flown the coop and gone on to work at Eurogamer where she's a video producer, and also runs her own Twitch and YouTube channels. She specialises in huge open-world games, true crime, and lore deep-dives.