Fallout 76 will introduce aliens and post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh this year

Invaders from beyond
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Bethesda Game Studios has unveiled its roadmap for Fallout 76 updates this year - and the tarmac is thick with references to past Fallout games. Not to mention the aliens.

Starting in the spring, the studio is plotting an “otherworldly, all-encompassing invasion” dubbed Invaders from Beyond. The extraterrestrial visitors - which have been a fringe element of the Fallout universe since the ‘90s - will prompt public event takeovers, random encounters, and a new seasonal public event. The spring also promises an update to Fallout Worlds, the custom servers Bethesda launched last year in lieu of modding. So far, Worlds has allowed Fallout 1st subscribers to fiddle with settings for difficulty, PvP rules, camp construction, physics, fog, fall damage, and more.

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The aliens will be followed in the summer by a robot-focused update named Test Your Metal: “Put your armor, weapons and grit to the test in multiple new heart-pounding public events.” I must admit that Fallout 76’s public events have never hit the spot for me; the game’s low player count per server doesn’t lend itself to spontaneous collaboration on limited-time quests dotted around the map. Around the same time as Test Your Metal’s launch, Fallout 1st players can expect scoreboard upgrades too.

By the autumn, Fallout 76 players will be heading to The Pitt, which fans of a certain age will remember as the location of one leg of Fallout 3’s DLC. It wasn’t the addon of choice at the time - personally, I’d prefer to return to the swampy, offbeat environs of Point Lookout. But there’s a nostalgia hit awaiting in post-apocalyptic Pittsburgh, and a novelty to taking on missions beyond the borders of Appalachia.

Finally, in the winter, Bethesda is taking Nuka-World on tour. “The Fizziest Show on Earth has kicked the irradiated dust off the tires and hit the road,” says the developer. “Next stop Appalachia?” Now this is good news: the original Nuka-World was a fantastic addition to Fallout 4, enabling you to befriend raiders and launch attacks on settlements, or else spend a day shooting it out with bad guys in a rotting spoof of Disneyland. Expect some dark comedy, as well as a region boss public event.

Fallout 76 has had an odd journey, early failure leading Bethesda to capitulate on some of its rules for its first online game. Players were once the only human beings in Appalachia, but today it’s a more traditional RPG, home to NPC factions and conversation-led quests. It’s almost certainly a better game for it. Not every update has been to players’ tastes, however: Bethesda shut down Fallout 76’s battle royale mode in September.

Fallout 76 is now part of Microsoft’s subscription service. Here are the best games on Xbox Game Pass to play right now.

Jeremy Peel

Jeremy is a freelance editor and writer with a decade’s experience across publications like GamesRadar, Rock Paper Shotgun, PC Gamer and Edge. He specialises in features and interviews, and gets a special kick out of meeting the word count exactly. He missed the golden age of magazines, so is making up for lost time while maintaining a healthy modern guilt over the paper waste. Jeremy was once told off by the director of Dishonored 2 for not having played Dishonored 2, an error he has since corrected.