Fallout 76 Wastelanders: Release date, human NPCs, new weapons, monsters and more

Fallout 76 Wastelanders
(Image credit: Bethesda)

We now have a release date for the upcoming Fallout 76 Wastelanders expansion, which will add human NPCs, dialogue trees, new quests, weapons, and plenty more. The lack of people to converse and trade with was one of the most criticised parts of the original game, so how will the first proper expansion - seemingly designed to specifically address that - change things? 

Fallout 76 Wastelanders is basically full of people, not to mention companions, extensions to the main quest, a variety of brand-new locations, extra monsters to shoot and lots of new equipment to collect. Read on to learn more about everything coming in the update. 

Fallout 76 Wastelanders release date is April 14

Fallout 76 Wastelanders release date

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Obviously, the Fallout 76 Wastelanders release date missed its original rough window of 'end of 2019'. That was for last-minute "polish," Bethesda says, so now we then we got a new date: April 7. It's now been pushed back another week to April 14.

Fallout 76 trailer 

If you want a tease of the new NPCs, monsters and gear, then check out the official Fallout 76 Wastelanders trailer. 

What's the Fallout 76 Wastelanders price? 

Fallout 76 Wastelanders price

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Everything that arrives with the Wastelanders update will be free to those who already own Fallout 76 with no extra purchase necessary. The update is also launching on all platforms - PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Fallout 76 Wastelanders will finally add human NPCs

Fallout 76 wastelanders human npcs

(Image credit: Bethesda)

If you’ve played the game, you no-doubt quickly noticed that Fallout 76 is lacking human NPCs, instead replacing them with recorded messages, terminal logs and robotic friends. This was a major disappointment for fans of the franchise at launch, so Wastelanders will remedy this decision by adding a wealth of fellow survivors to chat, ally, and otherwise interact with. 

Wastelanders is the next step in the Fallout 76 story

fallout 76 wastelanders story

(Image credit: Bethesda)

The story of Fallout 76 will continue with the Wastelanders update. The new NPCs rolling into Appalachia will be Settlers and Raiders, and the story revolving around them will take place after the scorchbeasts (the terrible flying mutant monsters) have been banished. This is the groundwork for a new main questline where you, the player, choose a side. Wastelanders will add two new camps for each faction, too: the Foundation for the Settlers and the Crater for the Raiders. Wastelanders is said to contain the ‘Cult of the Mothman’ as well.

Fallout 76 NPC dialogue will be “More like Fallout 3 than 4”

Fallout 76 NPC wastelanders dialogue

(Image credit: Bethesda)

During the Quakecon 2019 Fallout 76 panel, Bethesda talked in more detail about Wastelanders, with the key takeaway being that the NPC dialogue will be “more like Fallout 3 than 4.” This is an important distinction, as many were disappointed by Fallout 4’s more rigid, voiced system in comparison to Fallout 3, where players could use meaningful stat checks to access more specific and creative options to deal with various situations. In Wastelanders, your faction affinity and reputation will determine what options you have when speaking with NPCs, which should delight fans of the older games in the series. 

Bethesda reinforced this point in a recent blog post detailing the role of SPECIAL stats in Wastelanders' conversations. "Depending on how you’ve allocated points into your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. attributes, you will sometimes find you can pull off conversational feats that others cannot," the blog post reads. "For example, , you may be able to convince someone to give you a weapon, find solutions to problems more quickly, or know just what to say to ease tensions during a tough moment." 

Wastelanders will also introduce some nifty chat features not seen in previous Fallout games. You'll have a chat history, for starters, enabling you to double-check the last eight lines of any conversation. This will also help you speed through conversations if you want to revisit a particular point. Plus you'll be able to adjust the camera while chatting to NPCs, although how much you can adjust it remains to be seen. Still, it'll be nice to get away from the rigid, dead-on staring contest of most conversations. 

You’ll visit the Watoga Underground in Fallout 76 Wastelanders

Fallout 76 Wastelanders Watoga Underground

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Bethesda was quick to reveal the Watoga Underground, a new location in the southeast part of the map that acts as the underbelly of the so-called “City of the Future.” In true Fallout fashion, the Watoga Underground is a labyrinthine network of car storage stations that used to power the city above. In the post-apocalypse, the place is now decrepit despite a few shiny vehicles. If the screenshots are anything to go by, it also looks like the waiting area (where patrons used to get fast dining and haircuts) might be infested with raiders, specifically the Gourmands, a raider gang that was previously thought to be wiped out. 

Fallout 76 Wastelanders will introduce romanceable companions

Fallout 76 Wastelanders companions romance

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Another welcome addition that hearkens back to the days of Fallout 3 and New Vegas is the introduction of companions. Each faction in the Wastelanders update will feature at least one companion, and you’ll be able to romance them, complete side quests that concern their backstory, and chat to them at your in-game camp. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to bring them with you on quests in the wild just yet.

Wastelanders will introduce new enemies, equipment and activities

fallout 76 wastelanders new enemies monsters

(Image credit: Bethesda)

We’ve seen a few glimpses of the new enemies and equipment arriving in Fallout 76 Wastelanders, including a massive Wendigo-esque creature - a sort of mutated mass on long spindly legs. There’s also a trio of mutated flatworms that previously appeared in the first Fallout game, known as Floaters. New weapons will be available in Wastelanders alongside new activities, like panning for gold in (definitely irradiated) water. Secret service power armour will also be making an appearance in the update, as well as a bow, a plasma caster and a series of gauss weaponry, including a minigun. 

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Freelance writer

Jordan Oloman has hundreds of bylines across outlets like GamesRadar+, PC Gamer, USA Today, The Guardian, The Verge, The Washington Post, and more. Jordan is an experienced freelance writer who can not only dive deep into the biggest video games out there but explore the way they intersect with culture too. Jordan can also be found working behind-the-scenes here at Future Plc, contributing to the organization and execution of the Future Games Show.