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Video Game / Fallout 76

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"So as we stand here today, we pray that the world will know peace. But if that is not our destiny, if war must come, we stand together knowing that here in Vault 76... our future begins."

Fallout 76 is a Spin-Off game in the Fallout series (and the ninth game in the franchise) from Bethesda Game Studios for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC. It was released on November 14th, 2018.

It's 2102, and Vault 76 is an okay place to live. No, seriously, it is! Constructed in the heart of Appalachia to celebrate America's tercentenary in 2076, Vault-Tec really outdid themselves — everything's been running just as advertised since the bombs dropped 25 years ago, and soon the day will come when you reemerge to start rebuilding.

Actually, wait, that was this morning. What time is it? Seems you overindulged a bit at the Reclamation Day party last night, and in the excitement you got left behind. Thankfully, the Vault's still in plenty good shape, and with the help of the robots that have been left behind you're able to get packed and ready at your own pace, picking up your Pip-Boy 2000 and C.A.M.P.note  on the way out.


You emerge into the lush forests surrounding the Tricentennial Monument at the Vault's entrance, only to find the outside world eerily empty. While the fires of the nuclear holocaust may not have ravaged West Virginia as badly as the rest of the nation, the piles of fresh corpses and roving packs of mutants make it clear that something else did. You'll have to work together with your fellow Vault Dwellers to fend off the hostile wildlife, keep yourselves alive, and make a new life in what remains of Appalachia...

Built using the Creation Engine (retrofitted with Quake netcode), Fallout 76 focuses on survival and building mechanics. Taking inspiration from other survival games like Rust and DayZ, the game allows players play online with up to 32 other players to build settlements, fend off Super Mutants, Ghouls, Deathclaws, and other mutants of the land, and advance through the story presented.


On June 10th, 2019, Bethesda released the Nuclear Winter DLC, which includes a 52-player battle royale where players will fight to the death for the right to become the overseer of Vault 51. Players have to scavenge gear, build structures, and avoid getting killed by other players, the wildlife itself, and the encroaching ring of fire. A later DLC, Wastelanders, dropped on April 14th, 2020 and featured the much-requested return of fully voiced human NPCs, dialogue trees, and an expansion to the main quest involving two factions, the idealistic, friendly Settlers and the ruthless, pragmatic Raiders, vying for a legendary treasure hidden somewhere in Appalachia. Two story expansions, Steel Dawn and Steel Reign focusing on a expeditionary force of the Brotherhood of Steel have also been released. In December 2021, the Night of the Moth update was released, introducing a Cult of the Mothman subfaction. In March 2022, the Invaders from Beyond update was released, re-introducing Zetan aliens to the world of Fallout 76.


  • Action Girl: Besides any female player characters, Shannon Rivers and the rest of the Order of Mysteries also apply. Rivers, the actress for the Mistress of Mystery (herself an Action Girl), formed the society after fending off a group of raiders singlehandedly using her stunt fighting training from her short-lived stint on the Silver Shroud TV show. She began just by training her daughter Olivia to be the next "Mistress of Mystery", but as more girls orphaned by the chaos in the region came to her doorstep, she formed the Order in order to train them to defend themselves.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Replacing the Raiders of previous Fallout games are "the Scorched," a group of semi-Feral Ghouls that are intelligent enough to use weapons (like firearms and blades) in combat, but still near-mindlessly attack anything in their path a la the Marked Men.
  • Amusement Park of Doom: You've got Wavy Willard's Water Park up in the Toxic Valley and Camden Park down in the Ash Heap. Both locations are filled with various dangerous mutants and other nasty hazards like toxic water or airborne diseases. This being Fallout, the Resident can also find evidence of shady things going on even before the bombs dropped.
  • An Axe to Grind: Axes are one of the more common weapon types to found in the lush forests of the map. Small hatchets make a return from New Vegas after being absent in 4, multi-purpose woodcutter axes appear also along with fire axes used by members of the Responders.
  • Anti-Frustration Features:
    • It's a given that players may want to kill each other in this game, but the game accounts for this through multiple methods. Players can turn on the "Pacifist" option and completely opt out of PVP mechanics. Overtly-aggressive players will be assigned "bounties," which other players/groups of players can claim by killing the aggressive player. Furthermore, players below level 5 will be immune to attacks from other players.
    • All players will always be visible on the world map, so you can prepare accordingly if you know an aggressive player is heading your way. "Wanted Murderers" will be marked in red AND will not be able to see anyone else on the map. This means they will never see their own punishments coming.
    • Players will not be able to build structures until some distance well beyond Vault 76 in order to prevent Griefing to new players.
    • In the event that two different players build their C.A.M.P. in the same spot, which is reasonably common since certain areas are preferred for various reasons — access to water, lack of enemies, resources, etc. — the second player who joins the server will have their structures automatically converted into blueprints that they can instantly rebuild elsewhere. You'll be given the choice of hopping to a different server in hopes of finding one in which the designated build area is clear, or a one-time pass to move your C.A.M.P. somewhere else at no charge.
    • As long as you make a blueprint of the structures you build in a camp, you can easily deconstruct them and set them back up in other areas. The developers pointed out that this was quite common among the internal testers.
    • All crafting stations are connected to your stash, allowing you to modify your gear at any station without having to lug your gear. Every Red Rocket station and Train station has a cloud based container for you to store your gear so you don't have to haul everything back to your C.A.M.P.
    • There is both a team-chat and local area voice chat to communicate with your party and other players.
    • Any crafting bench (minus cooking) allows you to scrap the junk you're carrying into their base components, saving weight. However, certain items needed as is for crafting, like baseballs for baseball grenades or beer bottles for Molotov cocktails, won't get auto-scrapped.
    • Once you get your hands on a suit of power armor, it's yours forever: gone are the days from Fallout 4 where you have to worry about random people climbing into your vacant armor and walking away. If you leave your chassis vacant for a few minutes, it will be returned to your inventory automatically and can be redeployed at your leisure. In addition, because the armor is some of the heaviest equipment in the game, the game only counts the chassis against your carry weight, regardless of what the armor equipped to it actually weighs.
    • You cannot launch nukes into the region surrounding Vault 76. As such, new players never have to worry about emerging from the Vault only to end up in the middle of a lethally-irradiated legendary-monster-infested Blast Zone.
    • Nuclear Winter mode is the only mode that doesn't let you wear clothes over your armor, to make it easier for other players to know what you're equipped with.
  • Animalistic Abomination: The Mothmen. Their origin varies, from being a Nuclear Nasty or a supernatural entity summoned by a cult before the Great War, but regardless are giant moth-like creatures that can disappear into shadows at will to escape out of sight or ambush their opponents and are capable of granting the player boons if they so feel like it, as one notable purple-eyed specimen grants the player an experience buff should they interact with it.
  • Apocalypse Not: Subverted. Appalachia didn't suffer terribly from the nuclear exchange due to being a strategically unimportant stretch of rural mountains, and its people handled the aftermath fairly well — most notably the Responders, a volunteer disaster relief force comprised of former firefighters, police officers, and medical personnel. Then the Scorchbeasts arrived, and with them a mutagenic pathogen that ravaged the region. By the time Vault 76 opens, the number of uninfected survivors can be counted on one hand, and the entire region is more or less devoid of human life.
  • Apocalyptic Log: More or less Apocalyptic Log: The Game. With no living human beings in the game, all of the in-game story and lore has to come from nonliving sources. These incluce audio recordings, notes, terminals, and robots. The vast majority of stories follow individuals who are either killed in the initial outbreak of the Great War or survive it, only to succumb to the Scorched. Which means almost all of these are Downer Ending stories.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Security robots at the Whitespring resort will instruct the player, "Please refrain from theft, looting, assault, murder, and trampling the flowers."
  • Artistic License – Geography: The game's version of West Virginia is almost The Theme Park Version in terms of geography, going beyond the usual Space Compression of a video game.
    • Lewisburg, Grafton, Clarksburg, Flatwoods, Helvetia, Summersville, and "Morgantown" have all moved about 50 miles west.
    • "Morgantown" is located roughly where the town of Buckhannon should be, east of Flatwoods. The real Morgantown is a ways north of Grafton.
    • Monongah has moved about 50 miles southwest. In real life it's just north of Clarksburg.
    • Summersville's relocation means it nearly collides with Charleston. Its real-life location contains Huntersville, which itself is supposed to be east of Watoga.
    • And lastly, the interstate numbers are wrong.
  • Ascended Fanfic: Quite a few of the new tracks for Appalachia Radio comes from the popular Fallout 4 "More Where That Came From" mod.
  • Ascended Fanon: The Captain Cosmos power armor from Fallout 4's Creation Club, made by modders SovereignWalrus and fadingsignal was added to the game as a power armor skin.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: After joining the Enclave, you have to attain the rank of General to access the command center and the armory. You accomplish this by going out and killing starred legendary monsters and Scorchbeats, or by finishing Enclave events. Ten of any combination of those will make you a General.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Vendors. They provide quick and easy access to items you need, are relatively common, and are a good way to get rid of unwanted items. Unfortunately, the game is very stingy with caps, items only sell for a fraction of their total value, vendors only retain a fraction of the caps you sell them, they have a hard limit of 200 caps regardless of any purchases you make, and the vendors share cap limits based on one of the seven factions they're aligned to (Responders, Brotherhood, etc). All of these factors add up to vendors being way too costly to use for anything other than purchasing workshop plans and maybe certain rare materials. Stimpaks and other necessities are best earned through scavenging so caps can be saved for more important things like fast-travelling or moving your CAMP. This was later fixed somewhat by giving the vendors a common pool of 1400 caps regardless of faction. While selling prices are still very low, at least you don't have to travel from vendor to vendor to max out the amount of caps you can get per day.
    • Black-powder weapons are among the most powerful weapons in the game, capable of inflicting obscene amounts of damage with only a single shot. This is balanced out, however, by the overall rarity of the weapons' ammunition, as well as being able to only fire one shot before reloading, which takes longer than any other type of weapon.
      • The Dragon takes this Up to Eleven. It's a 4-barreled musket that deals incredibly high damage, but because of this it breaks quickly and it takes a whooping 10 seconds to reload.
  • Back-Alley Doctor: The "Quack Surgeon" perk card allows you to revive fallen players with alcohol.
  • Bamboo Technology: Certain low level weapons are pieced together by basic scraps of wood and metal.
  • Battle Royale Game: The Nuclear Winter expansion. Vault 51 was designed to not have an Overseer looking after its residents. It has the unique social experiment that if anyone wants to become the Overseer, they need to be the last one alive to rightfully claim it. Players need to scavenge for armor, weapons, and supplies while dealing with both other players and the irradiated wildlife of Appalachia before being engulfed in a ring of fire. The mode was removed in mid-2021, with Vault 51 and Nuclear Winter story content and rewards being made accessible throughout the normal game world.
  • Bat Out of Hell: One of the new mutated creatures are dragon-sized radioactive bats called Scorchbeasts. These Scorchbeasts are a major threat in West Virginia and the inhabitants of Vault 76 have to seal off their nests with nukes.
  • The Beastmaster: With the right perks, you can pacify then tame a wild creature, provided your level is twice that of the creature you're attempting to tame. If you're successful, the creature will travel to your C.A.M.P., where it will be counted against your construction budget. These creatures can then be used to defend your C.A.M.P. or be sicced on other players. The type of creature determines how much of your budget it will take up, which will obviously be higher for stronger creatures like Yao Guai or Deathclaws, limiting the amount of them you can tame.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Radroaches, ants, radscorpions, bloatflies, and bloodbugs make a return from previous games. New to the series are the addition of giant ticks roughly the size of a small dog, giant queen Wasps called Honeybeasts with their hives built into their abdomen and mandibles large enough to split a person in half, Cave Crickets with sickle-like claws, and West Virginia's own local cryptids, the Mothmen.
  • Black Comedy: The Vault-Tec approved "educational films" used to promote the game's various features play this trope for all its worth. Vault Boy, other dwellers, and even the dangerous monsters of West Virginia are shown suffering various horrible gruesome deaths, and it's always Played for Laughs.
  • Bleak Level: The Ash Heap contrasts vastly against the Forest and even other wastelands in the series, being where the majority of West Virginia's coal mining industry was centered. After the Great War, it has essentially been blanketed in dust and soot, poisoning the air and causing sludge lung to any unfortunate enough to not be wearing gas masks. There are also coal fires that burn eternally across the landscape.
  • Body Horror:
    • Bodies of the Scorched look badly burned, in addition to being covered in glowing green lesions.
    • One of the new mutants is the Beast of Grafton, a headless bipedal monster that takes Top-Heavy Guy to a grotesque new level.
    • Excessive radiation will cause a player character to mutate, gaining new features or limbs such as an egg head. This carries both good and bad benefits, so some mutations are worth keeping.
    • The Wendigo is a tall, potbellied ghoullike abomination with a thin layer of flesh growing over its bones leaving holes in its arms where the bones are too far apart for the flesh to connect.
    • Honey Beasts are giant mutated queen wasps with beehives embedded into their bodies.
  • Bonus Boss: Earle Williams, a man turned wendigo colossus from exposure to radiation turning him into a cannibalistic mutant, who can be fought in Monongah Mine.
  • Boring, but Practical: Certain weapons like the 10mm pistol, assault rifle, hunting rifle, and the pump-action shotgun tend to be more practical than some of the fancier weapons (like the handmade rifle and combat shotgun) due to the fact they're found very commonly (being carried by pretty much every firearm wielding enemy), thus making it simple to acquire buildable modifications, find ones prebuilt, and to replace broken guns if you lack the items to repair yours. It also helps that a lot of the ammo is dirt common.
  • Breakable Weapons: Weapon and armor degradation have returned after being left out of Fallout 4. Various perks exist to reduce the rate of decay and increase the maximum conditions of items you craft repair. There are also luck perks which randomly cause your weapons and armor to repair themselves as they deal/take damage.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: An extreme example, given the circumstances. This includes an MG42, black powder guns, and a Single Action Army, which would have been outdated in present day, never mind one century and one apocalypse into the future. This isn't new, of course, with New Vegas having an M1 Garand and earlier games having more modern weaponry that was slowly phased out by more fictional examples, and that's obviously not counting mods.
    • Slightly averted with the M2, however, as the weapon's still in production today.
    • Also, given its use of .308 (7.62 Nato) it's likely that the MG42 is actually an MG3, a modern version of the gun also still produced today.
    • One available weapon is a hand-cranked, Schizo Tech Gatling-gun.
  • Broken Armor Boss Battle: The Imposter Sheepsquatch has an impenetrable force-field that is connected to 3 pylons. In order to disable the shield, 3 players must make direct contact with the pylons, draining their health while other players fight the Imposter Sheepsquatch itself.
  • Call-Back:
    • The Pip-Boy featured in the trailer is a different model than the Pip-Boy 3000 of 3 and New Vegas and the Pip-Boy 3000 Mark IV of 4. It's aesthetically much closer to the Pip-Boy 2000 of Fallout and Fallout 2, while still not being an exact reproduction.
    • The "Liberators" — a type of robot developed by the Chinese before the Great War — have a very similar overall visual design to that of the spider drones used during the Chinese invasion of Alaska, which were previously seen in the Anchorage Reclamation simulation.
  • Call-Forward:
    • The game contains a surprising number of similarities with the Lonesome Road DLC for Fallout: New Vegas. Both works have a race of half-Feral Ghouls that can use weapons (the Scorched and the Marked Men), a dangerous species that makes their lairs underground and will potentially spell doom to the entire surface when they arise (the Scorchbeasts and the Tunnelers), and active nuclear missiles that can be launched as part of the main story.
    • One of the Overseer's holotapes says that she was offered the Overseer position in Vault 101, but declined in order to stay in West Virginia because a) she wanted to help "her people" and b), the promise that Vault 76 would be a control vault. Finally, she wanted to stay with her fiance, Evan, and Vault 101 would've required leaving him behind.
    • The FEV vat room within the Westek Research Center is almost the spitting image of the one's found in The Master's lair (seen during the "dipping" ending) in the first Fallout
    • Reading a terminal at the Riverside Manor reveals it was home to Shannon Rivers, the voice actress for the The Mistress of Mystery in the Silver Shroud radio plays. Her fan letter section has a fan letter from none other than Kent Connolly, who complains about a Continuity Snarl that occurred in one season of the show.
    • In the Whitespring Bunker, you can find the record of a communication between MODUS and the ZAX computer of Raven Rock, Futureshadowing the start of it becoming John Henry Eden.
    • In Vault 51, you can find an archived message that, unlike the other requests, succeeded in getting a suit of Prototype Enclave Hellfire Armor sent to Vault 51. The person that was able to successfully request it? Dr. Stanislaus Braun (or rather, the ZAX computer that was able to imitate his writing mannerisms to a 99.6% accuracy)!
    • One of the paintjobs you can find for your power armor is a red and black paint scheme called Outcast Paint, referencing the Brotherhood Outcasts in Fallout 3
  • Central Theme: The Overseer spells it out in one holotape for any players who hadn't figured it out yet; trust. She thinks the various 'good' groups would've survived if they'd just trusted each other and worked together instead of closing ranks and trying to do it alone. Many of the quests involve deception and abuse of trust, including the main quest. Even the minor faction The Order of Mysteries was destroyed, in part, by mistrust and betrayal.
  • Chain Lightning: The Tesla Rifle can damage enemies grouped together by causing this.
  • Character Customization: In addition to recycling the character creation systems from Fallout 4, players can also mix-and-match Perk Cards earned through leveling up to create their ideal character build.
  • Chekhov's Gun: During the Mistress of Mystery storyline, investigating the Sugar Grove facility's terminals shows one of the Project Siphon holotapes was taken after the war. It turns out The Mole took it to download the Cryptos database for the Raiders.
  • Collection Sidequest: A huge portion of the game is gathering various bits of junk to repair things, build things, or otherwise do actions which the previous inhabitants of West Virginia died before they could finish.
  • Common Place Rare: As in Fallout 4, you'll be scooping up every desk fan and typewriter you can get your hands on for screws, which are necessary for many different craftable objects, yet also one of the rarer items in the game.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: Super mutants and Scorched frequently wield weapons against you that will not be in their inventory when you loot them. They will be carrying a weapon, but there's a decent chance it won't be the one they were just attacking you with. For example, you may kill a Scorched that was going after you with a sledgehammer, only to loot the corpse and find a switchblade, which isn't even in the same melee category. There are limits to this, however; if you're being shot at by a heavy weapon like a missile launcher or minigun, that will be on their corpse.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The "Tales of the West Virginia Hills" holotape program "Who Goes There, Part 1" found in Flatwood talks of a pioneer scout who mentions seeing a bright light flying around in the sky. He remembers his feet feeling weightless before finding himself in a dark room with a little girl named Sally. He was abducted by the Zetan Aliens and ended up meeting a little girl with the same name of Sally.
    • Located in Flatwood is a letter addressed to a "Janet", who was accepted into a vault. The writer of the letter had to decline joining her, as he took a job in Washington D.C. This is likely a reference to Janet Rockwell, one of the inhabitants of Vault 112, who you meet in Tranquility Lane.
  • Cool House: The Garrahan and Hornwright estates in the southern reaches of the map. Both are massive mansions built on top giant towers that require a keycard to access and contain several floors of various goodies just waiting for someone to come along and find them. The years weren't kind to the inner decor but the infrastructure of the houses seem to have weathered the apocalypse rather well and could give even the Lucky 38 a run for its money in the post apocalyptic luxury department. Just remember to bring a gas mask since both are located in the Ash Heap and watch out for the ghoulified residents and security bots patrolling the grounds.
  • Co Operative Multiplayer: Players can form parties of four to explore the region together.
  • Cosmetically Advanced Prequel: Although the game is the earliest yet to take place (excluding Fallout 4's prologue), the game has the overall art style more resembling that of 4 than previous entries.note 
  • Covert Group with Mundane Front: Chinese intelligence operatives have a secret bunker which is hidden beneath the Mama Dolce food processing facility.
  • Cozy Catastrophe:
  • Crapsaccharine World: Appalachia may seem lush and idyllic, but that's only because its problems stem less from the aftermath of the nuclear war and more from the mutagenic killer pathogen plaguing the region. Indeed, the situation is arguably worse than Fallout 3 which was a full on Crapsack World. The entire population of West Virginia has been killed off by the Scorched Plague, the Scorched, and the Scorchbeasts. That's in addition to the hostile wildlife, irradiated water, and regular threats like Feral Ghouls. For once, Super Mutants are the least of the region's worries.
  • Crazy-Prepared: A faction known as the Free States were a group of doomsday preppers Properly Paranoid enough to expect the end of the world to come, and built their own fallout shelters in preparation. They were able to survive for a little while afterward. Even before the bombs fell, they showed resistance to established forms of government.
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If your character dies, all "Junk" items (crafting materials) in your inventory are dropped where you died, contained in a small paper bag, but you keep the rest of your inventory. You're then given the option to respawn at Vault 76, your C.A.M.P., or another landmark you've been to. Doing the latter will cost caps, depending on the distance from where you died. Your junk can be retrieved if you return to where you died, but if you're killed again before collecting it, it is lost permanently. Other players can also steal your junk if they happen upon where you died or were responsible for your death.
  • Developers' Foresight: If two or more players try to access the same computer terminal at the same time, the first player will access the computer, but everyone else will access their Pip-Boy instead.
    • Once again, in addition to having the Vault Suit equipped, wearing specific outfits triggers unique dialog from vendors (Responder Uniforms will make bots acknowledge you as a Responder, Brotherhood Uniforms will make Vendor Bot Phoenix say "Ad Victoriam," etc)
  • Disproportionate Retribution: One of the "You Will Emerge" videos shows Vault Boy dealing with the problem of home invasion from disrespectful vault dwellers by finding nuclear launch codes and blowing them to kingdom come.
  • Divided We Fall: Explicitly mentioned by the Overseer is the fact that the Scorched only won because the various factions of Appalachia refused to work together.
  • Dog Food Diet: Canned dog food is a consumable item, and the game encourages you to use it as a staple of your diet. It never spoils, it's relatively common, and there's a perk which triples its potency. With all the relevant perks, it can restore just above 50% of your hunger bar, with some moderate healing on the side.
  • Double Unlock: The player can learn a variety of plans for weapons, weapon mods, structures, and so forth, but the more advanced ones can only be utilized if you have the relevant perk. For example, building anything other than a basic turret requires having a perk card relating to home defense in addition to the relevant plan.
  • Downloadable Content: The Atomic Shop contains a lot of cosmetic elements you can purchase like emotes, vampire costumes, and more. Very few items have any practical value, and none of them possess any functionality the in-game variants lack.
    • However, recently the shop has started carrying items that do affect the game world, such as repair kits for weapons and junk stashes. These aren't strictly necessary, as most players will be swimming in materials by mid-game. The addition of these in-game items purchasable by real money was the subject of many discussions.
  • Driven to Suicide:
    • Underneath Vault-Tec University is a simulation vault where Overseers-in-Training must undergo a four week simulation where they test out an experiment. If the Overseer requests outside assistance for any reason, then the experiment fails and they fail with it. Right before the bombs dropped, an Overseer was conducting a test with a type of food paste, but soon learned that a person died of a heart attack from it. Upon learning that the dwellers had been eating the regular food supply because they hated the paste, the overseer asked for assistance but never got any because the bombs fell and there was nobody left. Eventually, he backed himself into his room and ate rat poison to end it all.
    • Worse still, the University's dean deliberately sabotaged the experiment to see what would happen if people started dying by modifying the paste so that consuming it would harden arteries leading to fatal heart attacks. Vault-Tec deliberately killed people just to see if it would lead to a revolt or if the Overseer could keep things under control.
  • Dump Stat: An invoked discussion among the development team. The question was brought up of how the Charisma stat works in an online multiplayer game that initially had no human NPC characters to influence. For solo players, there are very few perk cards that the charisma stat can be used for, but the stat itself benefits most when playing with other players, as it lets you buff them with your own perks.
  • Dying Race: According to the developers, many of the mutated creatures seen in Fallout 76 will eventually go extinct due to their own mutations.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: The New River Gorge Bridge can be seen still standing after the Great War. Players can also explore Camden Park and various other famous locales in the region, albeit under different names; the National Isolated Radio Array is meant to be a stand in for the Green Bank Radio Telescope, the Whitesprings Resort is essentially the Greenbrier, Mountaintop Ski Resort is loosely based on the famous Snowshoe Mountain Ski Resort, the Palace of the Winding Path is inspired by the Prabhupada's Palace of Gold in New Vrindaban, West Virginia, and Hillfolk Hotdogs is a stand-in for Hillbilly Hot Dogs (complete with a dining area made out of an old bus).
  • Equipment-Hiding Fashion: Outfits can be worn over any armor you are wearing, hiding it completely.
  • Escort Mission: Certain events (The Messenger, for example) require you to protect a robot as it goes about its job.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: The Raider traderbots will mention that they do not consider human flesh to be acceptable legal tender.
    • Though this is averted, as they will take it for trade.
  • Evil, Inc.: Vault-Tec as always fills this role but goes the extra step as you find at least some of them intended to betray their Enclave masters by seizing control over nuclear silos from the US government (or whoever held control over them) to become a nuclear power.
  • The Exile: The residents of Vault 76 are all sent out into the Wasteland with the Overseer having orders to make it uninhabitable behind them. This despite the fact it would provide a stable base to work from in the future as well as help rebuild America (see Vault City).
  • Face Death with Dignity: A Responder who accidentally locked herself inside a storage room in Morgantown remained calm and professional as she thinks back to her training. She realizes that starvation would set in after 10 days, that she would suffer PTSD, muscle pains from lack of water, etc. She breaks down and cries from her hopeless situation, but remains a Responder until the very end.
  • Feelies:
    • The special edition pre-order of the game comes with a full-sized wearable T-51b Power Armor helmet, complete with working headlamp and voice modulator.
    • Ordering through some retailers allows you to get a kit to build your own Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI.
  • Fearsome Critters of American Folklore: Many of the mutant creatures found in Appalachia are based off of actual Appalachian folklore. For example, there's the Beast of Grafton from Grafton, West Virginia, the Wendigo, and the Snallygaster from western Maryland.
  • The Flatwoods Monster: Flatwoods Monsters shows up as Zetan aliens tasked with abducting test subjects for experimentation, which is made all the more easy by their ability to teleport and telepathic control. Colton Pickins is ostensibly one of their victims. They glow purple like the Frametown Monster and as per the Frametown interpretation of the Flatwoods Monster are aliens in suits.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Literally every time you are tasked to search for someone with an tiny chance of survival, they would be dead since it's been stated that there are no human NPC's.
  • Formula-Breaking Episode: Although the Fallout series has dipped its toes in many gameplay pools over the years, 76 is the first to incorporate open world online multiplayer (Fallout Tactics had team-based multiplayer and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel had two player co-op), and the first non-mobile game in fourteen years to not be a story-driven RPG (though there is still a main storyline.) 76 features no human NPCs, although this changed with the arrival of the Wastelanders update. After the first trailer dropped, certain higher-ups at Bethesda warned fans that it would not be a "traditional Bethesda single-player RPG"; Bethesda has, however, assured fans that those who are preferable to the single-player games can rest easy; 76 is a spin-off game, and not meant to take the place of Fallout 5.
  • From Bad to Worse: The situation in Appalachia years after the bombs dropped didn't actually seem to be too far off from that of The Commonwealth nearly two centuries later; small settlements, raiders, cults, ghouls, a variety of mutated creatures, and even a Minutemen analogue in the Responders. That all started to change in 2096 when the Responders started finding evidence of a new plague ravaging local towns. The Responders set off to find the source, and disappeared, with those left behind to man their outposts themselves dying. That was in July; by mid-November, everyone else was dead, too. All this coincided with the cult of the Mothman predicting a great flood, and one true believer saying that a great evil would be emerging from deep beneath the earth...
  • From Nobody to Nightmare:
    • Innocuous bats have been transformed by radiation into terrifying Scorchbeasts, dragon-sized monstrosities that require their underground lairs to be nuked in order to stop them from ravaging the surface.
    • Small, slow-moving tree sloths have been mutated into massive hulking beasts.
  • Fun with Acronyms:
    • The Vault-Tec sponsored Break-It Early Test Application for players to test out the game before launch.
    • The game features the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform, which allows players to build settlements and constructs wherever they go.
  • Game-Breaking Bug: One extremely frustrating bug is that sometimes enemies spawn in, but their models don't, causing invisible enemies that can do damage, but are not targetable, and cannot be defended against at all. This bug has lead many players to die for no reason because they cannot escape whatever was killing them, because they had no idea what was killing them.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The power source requirement for powered armor that was introduced in Fallout 4 returns. It made sense that a game that takes place 10 years after the power sources in pre-war power armors have naturally expired would require makeshift batteries that would power them for about 30 minutes. If there's any mention to the gameplay mechanic change in Fallout 76, then it's a legitimate Retcon.
  • Gargle Blaster: Nukashine. It requires Nuka-Cola Quantum (which already contains nuclear isotopes) and additional nuclear material to brew. When drunk for the first time, it causes hallucinations. Otherwise, it only increases unarmed damage by 100%, reduces the AP cost for sprinting, causes AP to recharge faster, and has a chance to cause the player to "black out" and wake up in a different part of the map.
  • Gas Mask Mooks: The Mole Miners.
  • Gatling Good: In addition to the usual Miniguns and Gatling Lasers, THE Gatling Gun, crank and all, is available for use, and is generally superior to its modern counterpart due to higher per-shot damage and a manageable rate of fire.
  • Godzilla Threshold: More or less the point of the Main Quest. Nuclear weapons are generally treated as a unforgivable evil in the game world with rare exceptions. The Scorched, Scorch Beasts, and Scorched Beast Queen can destroy all of humanity, however. As such, using nuclear weapons to destroy them first is justified.
  • Going Critical: Power plants will have events that announce a critical failure and task you with repairing the facility. Nothing happens if you fail, but succeeding brings the plant online, powering the local grid until the plant fails again. This allows you to power workshop facilities without investing your own resources.
  • Going Through the Motions: One sidequest has you clear an area of a bunch of ghouls who, before the war, were apparently golfers playing a game and have been stuck in a mental loop trying to finish. Try to break them up and they use their golf clubs to beat you up.
  • Golf Clubbing: Golf clubs make a decent melee weapon for the early parts of the game and can be fairly plentiful if the player knows where to look.
  • Green Hill Zone: The starting area is described by the developers to be a relatively safe green forest, and is appropriately called "The Forest." The quests are all fairly easy, the enemies consist of mostly Ghouls, easy Sentry Bots, and basic wildlife like wolves, and most of the quests are centered in Flatwoods or the area right around it. Other areas will be far less forgiving.
  • Guide Dang It!: You need plans in order to craft objects, but the game gives you no hints as to where these plans are. Some of the more important ones show up as quest rewards (crafting stations, for example), and vendors rotate through a certain selection depending on faction, but you'll either learn this through experience or look up the answer online.
  • Guilt-Free Extermination War: The Scorched are a group of radiation zombies and dragons which are mindlessly hostile to humanity. They have destroyed (apparently) all humans in West Virginia and are fully capable of spreading to the rest of the world. As such, the Resident has to harness nuclear weapons as well as their scavenged weapons (plus the help of fellow players) to end their threat.
  • Harmless Luminescence: Looking at the explosions of any of the player-launched nukes, should be dangerous, but it's not.
  • Hell Is That Noise: "Attention, citizens. Nuclear strike imminent. Please exit the area at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your cooperation." When you hear this, the wise thing to do is drop everything, run, and don't stop for anything.
  • Hero of Another Story: With no human NPCs to speak of most of the backstory of the region came from various notes and audio logs left behind by the people of the region who tried surviving before Vault 76 opened. Apparently there were several different factions all with distinct leaders and goals trying to overcome the Scorched threat and the raiders to rebuild civilization. They're all long dead, but the Resident can at least continue their work and finish what they started.
    • With the Wastelanders DLC, various NPCs came back to, or journeyed to, the region, with various stories and goals of their own now that they have new lives and careers in the area, with the Resident able to assist or develop these stories.
  • Hillbilly Moonshiner: This is Appalachia after all. In addition to more common booze like beer and vodka are variants of moonshine that can be found or brewed by the player. In fact, the game adds a small distillery as one of the new crafting stations.
  • Hostile Weather: Radiation storms return from Fallout 4, though they're mercifully rare.
  • Iconic Outfit: The T-51 Power Armor from the original Fallout is prominently shown in the promotional media. The poor soldier wearing it in the E3 trailer succumbed to the initial nuclear bombs, only to be discovered partially buried in the earth by a dweller, who is then shown putting it on.
  • I Love Nuclear Power: Sufficient exposure to radiation in this game can cause you to gain a mutation, granting both positive and negative side effects. Mutations never wear off, but can be cured through the use of RadAway. Certain perks can protect you from gaining mutations, as well as prevent you from losing any you already have. The Enclave bunker sells mutation serums and recipes for you to craft them yourself, but they are obscenely expensive.
  • Inscrutable Aliens: Similarly to the Mothership Zeta aliens, the aliens depicted in the Invaders from Beyond update are given little expansion, except continuing the trend that they're colossal bastards, with the added motivation of harvesting human brainwaves.
  • Inseries Nickname: The Vault Dwellers of Vault 76 were called "Ressies" by security personnel and other official staff, shorthand for "Residents". In addition, the Resident is also known as "Seven-Six", "Seventy Sixer", and other names by Wastelanders-added NPCs.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: The player is limited to their carry weight plus a fixed amount of cloud-based storage accessible from any Stash box. If you exceed your carry weight, sprinting will be disabled and running will drain your AP. If you exceed that amount considerably (about four times your maximum), then running is also disabled and AP penalties apply to walking.
  • Irony:
    • The Overseer found that giving out awards to vault denizens would keep their egos in check. She points out that a "low point" was when someone lost a tooth in a fight over claiming the "Best Dental Hygiene Award".
    • In one log, the Overseer notes that she chose to stay in Appalachia to run Vault 76 instead of going to Vault 101 in Washington, DC because 76 was a control vault, with none of Vault-Tec's usual horrific experiments taking place. Vault 101's experiment turned out to be fairly tame (the study of enforced, indefinite isolation from the surface) and its inhabitants lived fairly comfortable lives, while Vault 76 wound up having to contend with the unexpected and deadly complication of the Scorched Plague.
  • Job-Stealing Robot:
    • Before the bombs fell, Appalachia pushed for automation of every conceivable job, from coal mining to military training. This even led to strikes around the mines, as many unemployed miners demanded their jobs back.
    • In an especially egregious case, a ballot measure passed that would replace all members of West Virginia's government with robots by 2087, apparently as a form of punishment for the aforementioned strikes. This ended up being the deciding factor in the founding of the Free States secessionist movement.
  • Jump Physics: The Marsupial mutation grants a significant increase in jump height, but comes with a four point penalty to Intelligence unless you have perks to mitigate the drawback.
  • Kill Sat: The Kovac-Muldoon orbital platform and its infinite supply of space-to-ground missiles.
  • Kill the Poor: The Cutthroat Raider gang were wealthy people and foreign nobility who were visiting the various mountain lodges when the bombs fell. They quickly decided the best course of action was to take the Social Darwinist route to survival.
  • Kryptonite Factor: Scorched take extra damage from weapons crafted with Ultracite, but as a tradeoff these same weapons do reduced damage to everything else.
  • Large and in Charge: The 3-star legendary level 95 Scorchbeast Queen is significantly larger than other scorchbeasts. She's the ultimate boss of the game's main story, spawned when a nuke is dropped on Fissure Site Prime. When she does her shockwave attack, it can potentially summon dozens of Scorched and Scorched-infected creatures to draw attention away from her, ranging from weak mongrels and rad-rats to deadly mirelurk kings and queens.
    • She is only matched by the Wendigo Colossus introduced in the Wastelanders DLC, who is also a 3-star legendary, but is only level 90. However, it carries an area-of-effect attack that can cause any players caught in range to be temporarily put into a state of uncontrollable panic for a few seconds.
  • Late to the Tragedy: When you emerge from Vault 76, you find that something happened to the locals who managed to survive the Great War.
  • Lighthouse Point: Landview Lighthouse, a landmark located nowhere near a body of water. There's an event where you can use it to summon a benevolent Mothman for a stat bonus.
  • Lumber Mill Mayhem: Scattered all over the place, this is West Virginia after all. Such logging camps are usually a good source of wood and a few other materials, but tend to have plenty of nasties infesting them to harass any unsuspecting trespassers.
  • MacGyvering: Some basic weapons and armor you can build are literally cobbled together with scraps of material, such as the pipe pistol and pipe revolver.
  • Mega-Corp: Vault-Tec seemingly ascends to become one of these as they start plotting the takeover of the post-apocalypse world, as implied with the initial story of the Vault 76 Overseer. Averted as there's no sign Vault-Tec survived in any shape or form in West Virginia let alone the other Commonwealths, with even the Overseer coming to question if what she did was worth it when introduced in Wastelanders.
  • Mini-Game: There are eight holotape games that you can play on your Pip-Boy and computer terminals, six carried over from Fallout 4 and two new to 76:
  • Money Sink:
    • Fast-traveling costs caps depending on distance from your current location; however the cost is waived for traveling to Vault 76, your C.A.M.P. and any owned workshops, your team members' C.A.M.P.s, and their workshops provided they were captured while you were on their team. The cost isn't spectacularly high, in the single digits for short hops and in the high 20s/low 30s over greater distances.
    • On a similar note, it costs caps to revive at a landmark if it's not close enough to where you died. The same exceptions as above apply.
    • Moving your C.A.M.P. to another location costs caps, unless a placement conflict occurs when switching servers, in which case it's free. The cost seems to be determined by level, capping out at 40.
    • Claiming public workshops costs caps, and the claim only lasts as long as you remain logged in, assuming another player doesn't steal it from you. This generally costs 20-30 caps, depending on the main function of the workshop and the zone it's located in.
      • One example of this is the workshop outside of the Poseidon Energy Plant. If the timed event quest to turn the plant back on is completed, the plant can be used to power many of the buildings from the workshop that require power to run, including resource extractors, and comes with both a pair of heavy turrets and a Vertibot to help protect the workshop from enemies.
    • Shops only retain a fraction of any caps you trade to them, making any purchase a net loss. They also only keep 200 caps on them to begin with, refreshed daily, and will not store any caps above that limit, making purchases above 1000 caps an even greater loss than normal trades.
  • Mordor: The Ash Heap, once the center of Appalachia's industry, including a series of now burning coal mines. The place is covered in soot and fire, and home to teams of robot strikebreakers and gas-masked Mole Miners.
  • The Mothman: The mutant fauna of the West Virginia wilderness includes mothmen as enormous, upright moths taller than a grown human. Their enormous, glowing eyes are a sign of their owners' temperament — mothmen with purple eyes are passive, mothmen with yellow eyes are friendly, and mothmen with red eyes are hostile and aggressive.
  • Mundane Utility: Nukes are meant to seal Scorchbeat hives for the good of Appalachia. From a meta perspective, they are useful for creating an irradiated hellhole that produces lots of high-level creatures for grinding, as well as supplies of flux to craft into some of the game's most powerful items. Whitespring is an especially popular target, since it's already infested with ghouls.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The player uses a Pip-Boy 2000 MK VI, an updated version of the Pip-Boy from the original two games.
      • Mutations and their effects on the player's stats can also be seen as a reference to how one's attributes could be permanently altered when exposed to too much radiation in the first two games.
      • The Scorched are a likely reference to how Feral Ghouls acted in the first two games before they were Rewritten as Technically Living Zombies in the later games — The Ferals were still hostile to virtually everyone else, but could also utilize weapons and armor.
    • A wooden toy soldier, designed in the same style as MacCready's, can be seen beside the TV in the teaser trailer.
    • The crashed satellite seen in the trailers is almost an exact recreation, both visually and thematically, of the BOMB-002 satellite from Fallout: Van Buren.
    • Once you exit Vault 76, you can never return ever again. This time, you really can't.
    • A computer log mentions that the Mire was created when Vault 94's GECK went haywire, mirroring the plot of the cancelled Fallout Tactics 2.
    • One location in the Cranberry Bog is called "Pylon V-13". Within you can find a log by a scientist attempting to create a portal to travel to an Alternate Universe and Alternate Timeline. It's a nod to the original, cancelled Fallout Online by Interplay, which was codenamed "V13".
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Vault-Tec already seems to be in fine form in this regard. Despite being a control vault, Vault 76 was subjected to some rather strict treatment, with the dwellers forced to evacuate within days of receiving the all-clear signal with little in the way of supplies and no armament to speak of. Vault security was given orders to delete all personnel files, bury all of their weapons so the inhabitants couldn't use them (something multiple guards called into question), and to vent atmosphere from the entire vault once everyone was out, ensuring they couldn't come back. Meanwhile, the Overseer was given the secret mission of gaining control of three missile silos across Appalachia, using deadly force if necessary, with Vault-Tec deeming itself the sole rightful heir to the US government and all its assets. This "use of deadly force" explicitly included if the actual US government was occupying the silos. There's also the fact that the dwellers were ordered to emerge 25 years after the bombs, despite Fallout 3 explicitly stating they should have emerged after 20 years, though whether this is a Retcon or something more sinister has yet to be revealed.
  • Necessary Drawback:
    • Turrets offer a significant defense for your C.A.M.P. or workshop. The game limits your ability to place them by making them take up a considerable portion of your construction budget when built (15% for the missile turret, for example).
    • Mutations grant powerful effects like increased jump height or significant energy resistance, but come with a large drawback unless you have certain perks which reduce the negative qualities.
  • Nobody Here but Us Statues: The Scorched are smart enough to realize that people will ignore the petrified corpses of those that have been consumed by the plague and are willing to use that to ambush victims.
  • No Ending: Defeating the Scorchbeast Queen and sealing up a den is the primary purpose of the game. The game's open-ended nature means there aren't any cutscenes to tell the aftermath of the event, as the game just continues on.
  • Not a Morning Person: Your character indulged a little bit too much during the Reclamation Day party the previous night, and is the very last person to wake up. A Mr. Handy wondered how long it would take for you to wake up, and comments that everyone else has already left the Vault.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Falling damage is present, though there are perks, such as Goat Legs, that reduce fall damage.
  • Nuclear Nasty: According to the developers, Fallout 76 will have more mutated animals than any of the previous games.
  • Nuke 'em: Site Alpha, Site Bravo, and Site Charlie. Three nuclear launch sites scattered all across the land. Resourceful and determined players can acquire launch codes to launch a missile at numerous locations across the map. Anything in the blast zone will be killed instantly. Once the blast has finished, players can scavenge the irradiated blast site afterward... at their own risk. The main storyline of the game focuses around finding the launch codes to destroy the Scorchbeast dens, especially the Queen's at Fissure Site Prime. Nuclear weapons can be launched about three hours at a time during the week before the launch codes are reset for the following week, and the irradiated blast zones will last for a few hours. All players are alerted to the launch and will be told to run for their lives if they happen to be in the targeted area. However, there is an area in the Forest region around Vault 76 that is off-limits to nuking as part of a protected area to prevent Griefing of new players that just emerge from the Vault.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: The Brotherhood of Steel admission quest requires a valid military ID in order to access the Brotherhood's command center in Fort Defiance. Doing this requires going to the DMV and dealing with the robots that staff it, who will run you through a gauntlet of paperwork before they fork over the ID. The packs of ghouls that attack you during this are actually a welcome distraction.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: This is not the 76th Fallout game (at most, it's the 9th). Instead, it takes its name from its initial setting, Vault 76, built in honor of the United States' 300th birthday in 2076.
  • Once an Episode: As with all previous Fallout games, Ron Perlman returns once again as an unknown figure (heavily implied to be the President of the United States) who makes a speech in front of Vault 76 and sets up the game's setting.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Filling in the role for them are the Scorchbeasts, huge bat-like monsters with the ability to release devastating sonic blasts. They're swarming up from the underground, killing anything in their path, and spreading The Virus that creates the Scorched. The main purpose of the nuclear silos in the game's storyline is to get the Scorchbeasts off your back by nuking their entrypoints into the surface.
  • Our Zombies Are Different: In addition to the standard feral ghouls, which are mutant zombies created by radiation, there are the Scorched — semi-intelligent ghouls infected by a mysterious plague that joins them to a rudimentary Hive Mind. They can still use weapons and basic combat tactics, but they are violently aggressive towards anything not infected by the plague. In addition, the plague isn't limited to humans - numerous animal species can succumb to it too, though others have a natural immunity.
  • Peninsula of Power Leveling: One effect of nukes is that it causes lots of legendary ghouls and ghoulified legendary monsters to spawn in the irradiated area. This can allow you to quickly level up by killing the high-level enemies there, assuming you can keep the radiation at bay. Whitespring falls victim to nukes on a regular basis for this reason, as it's already infested by ghouls. The radioactive fallout turns them into stronger glowing versions of themselves.
  • Plaguemaster: Scorchbeasts are the source of the Scorched plague, spreading clouds of it as they fly by. This isn't just a backstory element, either. Scorchbeasts will do this in combat, and any creatures caught in the cloud will be converted into Scorched, assuming they're vulnerable to the plague.
  • Platform Hell: The New River Gorge Ropes Course is an obstacle course with a big tower that can be climbed by jumping a bunch of narrow platforms. Appropriately enough, there's an Agility Bobblehead spawn point up there.
  • Play Every Day: The game rewards atomic points for completing certain objectives every day (killing enemies, crafting, etc.), as well as daily events which offer supplies and experience for completing them. With the introductions of seasons and S.C.O.R.E. XP for completing daily and weekly challenges, atoms can only be earned from completing other challenges, such as social, world, combat, and survival challenges, or buying them from the Play Station Store for Real Life cash.
  • Playing Possum: Ghouls and the Scorched may play dead and wait completely motionless until you approach them. For the Scorched, this is also part of the infection, representing the midpoint between psychotic ghoul and becoming a statue.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Invoked by the Overseer in one of her logs. After exploring the remains of the various factions, she realizes they all had everything they needed to defeat the Scorched (Responders had a vaccine, Brotherhood had technology and numbers, Free States had a detection system, etc.) but rampant mistrust meant they refused to work together or share their knowledge, and thus they all were killed off one by one.
  • Post-Apocalyptic Gas Mask: Gas masks are vital pieces of adventuring gear now that the game has airborne diseases that the player can catch. If you plan on heading into the Ash Heap don't forget to pick one up.
  • Protection Mission: Certain events, like protecting the teapot boiler, have you defend several stationary pieces of machinery against waves of enemies drawn by the noise they create.
  • Prequel: The game takes place in 2102, 25 years after the Great War and 59 years before the original Fallout.
  • Raising the Steaks: Scorched are not limited to humans. Most living creatures are vulnerable to the plague. This can range from things as small as mongrel dogs to powerful menaces such as Deathclaws. Ghouls are immune to the plague.
  • Real Is Brown: Stunningly averted. The rolling hills and lush woods of West Virginia are bursting with vibrant color.
  • Reclaimed by Nature: Vault 94 is seemingly inaccessible because the inhabitants left only 1 year after the bombs fell. After 25 years, sturdy looking trees have grown over the vault door.
  • Regenerating Health: Armor with the Regenerating prefix grants this to the player outside of combat. There are also a variety of perks which grant health regeneration based on different factors (radiation, time of day, etc).
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: An off-shoot of the Enclave was present in Appalachia when the nukes fell; after losing communications with the Oil Rig due to damage to their comms array, they ended up pursuing their own schemes until in-fighting resulted in all of them being killed by their bunker's custodial A.I.
  • Renovating the Player Headquarters: While not as expansive in build budget as the previous title in the series, Fallout 76 allows you to create miniature home bases complete with defenses, gardens, pets and a recruitable companion. A later expansion allowed the addition of a Vault to the home base, an interior instance that can also be highly customized. Multiple Vaults can be chained together if the different kinds are available.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Pretty much the downfall of the Virginia Enclave. Their President was not interested in using their considerable resources in rebuilding America. Instead, he was determined to "finish off" China (without knowing whether it was still nuclear capable or still existent). The other Enclave members reacted to this with appropriate What the Hell, Hero? but it didn't help matters.
  • Ridiculous Future Inflation: Still in effect here as it is in the other Fallout games. Pre-war billboards advertise "Coffee and a Jelly Donut: $30".
  • Right for the Wrong Reasons: One of the Flatwoods survivors named Nurse Scott believes the Great War was started by aliens. His chain of logic is completely nuts, but there are numerous references throughout the Fallout series that suggest the aliens (who do exist) were potentially responsible for starting the war.
  • Robotic Psychopath: Rose, the leader of the raiders, turns out to be a Miss Nanny with a personality based off the previous, human Raider leader with the same name.
  • Scavenged Punk: Scavenging for weapons, armor, and other tools of survival is given even more importance than ever before in the Fallout series.
  • Scenery Porn: The idyllic forests of West Virginia look like, in the words of John Denver, "almost heaven."
  • Seldom-Seen Species: The radiation seems to have mutated a group of Three-Toed Sloths into Mega Sloths over the years. It's as if the ferocious North American Giant Sloth (likely Megalonyx jeffersonii, the state fossil of West Virginia) was brought back from extinction.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • One of the characters that is killed in the E3 2018 gameplay footage in a rather brutal fashion is called PGARVEY, no doubt a nod given by Bethesda to Preston Garvey's reputation as The Scrappy among the community.
    • Bethesda also announced a "Break-it Early Test Application" (a "BETA" test) for before launch, admitting that their game may be buggy: a very common complaint of Bethesda games, almost to the point where the bugs are part of the company's identity. All joking aside, the game itself uses the Creation Engine, which despite numerous improvements over its predecessor (the Gamebroyo), is still notorious for being unstable and buggy.
  • Sequel Hook: Vault 76 has been mentioned before in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, only to be fully explored here. Although, thanks to 76 taking place earlier in the series' continuity than 3 and 4, the mentions of Vault 76 were more of a Prequel Hook.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of the Pipboy games you can find is Wastelad.
    • The Order of Mysteries is one to the Batman Family. The group involves a vigilante group run by a hero focused on stealth and gadgets who adopts orphans to train as fellow vigilante fighters.
    • There are collectible bears throughout the game. In one area you can find a Grizzly Bear, a Panda, and a Polar Bear in a stack next to a child's note. The bears are in the same stack order as the main characters in Cartoon Network's We Bare Bears.
    • You may occasionally run into an Eyebot leading a pack of rats with flute music.
    • The Sons of Dane Compound was populated by a group of people known as the Sons of Dane until their partying drew the ire of a monstrous, cannibalistic creature, driving them away. [[Literature/Beowulf Sound Familiar]]?
    • The description for the Heroic Photomode pose in the Atomic Store reads "You may not be the hero Appalachia deserves, but you're the hero Appalachia needs"
  • Sidetracked By The Golden Saucer: Due to so many of the West Virginia Wasteland's populace being dead, a lot of the adventures in the setting are apparently just the Resident deciding to do them for the hell of it. Things like going across rooftops to play musical instruments, repairing the local tourist attractions, and solving decades-old kidnappings do little to rebuild America but are (for the player) hopefully fun.
  • Story Breadcrumbs: Before the Wastelanders update, due to the lack of any humans (aside from your fellow players), all quests in the game were given by either robots or environmental details (i.e., holotapes and terminals). One of the first quests you can find is from the Vault 76 Overseer's computer terminal. She left the vault and admittedly doesn't want to be found. After the release of Wastelanders, many of the new quests continued in being delivered by environmental details, but were also supplemented by human NPC dialogue.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Most of the people selected to be in Vault 76 were highly educated, often fresh out of college individuals or in general well educated compared to most vault residents, who were so used to being praised for their intelligence that once a bunch of them were thrown into the vault together, they began arguing with each other over their accomplishments to the point where the Overseer was forced to create trophies for people to be appeased. Turns out a culture of people based on achievements and skill can create conflict when they all want to flaunt their skills and talent, but are around people of equal talent or intelligence.
    • You can get diseases from various sources. Certain animals, marked by a biohazard symbol and usually having some form of "disease" in their name, have a chance to infect you if they bite you. Spoiled or rotten food can make you sick if you eat it, the percent chance indicated in the description of its effects. Beds found outside, stewing in the elements for who knows how long, will do the same, the likelihood increasing the longer you use them. Untreated water can give you parasites if you spend too long in it. The Ash Heaps, which are home to various automated mining and industrial concerns, has air so toxic that simply breathing it without a gas mask will cause lung disease eventually.
    • Water in this this game is much more irradiated than in past installments, which applies to both swimming and drinking it. It's only been 25 years since the atomic bombs dropped, even if the area is not as irradiated as it was when they dropped nor was as heavily affected as other places, the water is still highly contaminated, especially compared to the nearly two-hundred years later of games like New Vegas or 4. Water ranges from merely "dirty" to "toxic", depending on your proximity to sources of contamination.
    • Cooking food and boiling water only removes the disease chance and increases healing, unlike in the past two games where it would remove radiation as well. It's impossible to cook radiation out of food in real life, and fully purifying water requires a much more in-depth process, which you can only do by constructing and powering water purifiers.
    • You'll never appreciate your refrigerator more than when you play this game. As you might expect in real life, perishable goods go bad if you just let them sit in your inventory doing nothing. This applies to most forms of meat, plants, and fruit/vegetables. Once something spoils, it becomes harmful to eat, though you can use it as fertilizer for new plants. However, there are perks, and a modification to backpacks, that increases the survivability of perishable goods for longer times until reaching a cooking station or needing to eat them before they spoil.
    • The game on a whole applied this to the normal style of Fallout games until the release of Wastelanders. There were no hub areas to go to and rest, there are no NPCs to interact with and learn about, and if you want to survive, you have to work and create something to live off of. There are much less caps to find, and even if you do, expect to find only a small amount at a time, food and water are now major resources for you to worry about, and your weapons can break easily on the fly. The player has to work and accomplish things like repairing items and creating a farm themselves. Basically, the player has to actually treat the world as a real, livable place if they want to survive. However, since Wastelanders and Steel Dawn, there are three hub areas, with many NPCs to interact with across the world.
    • The Appalachia branch of the Brotherhood of Steel clashed with the Responders, often threatening them for supplies or technology. However, when the Brotherhood found the Scorchbeasts, they attempted to get supplies from the Responders to fight them, but the Responders refused again because the Brotherhood had bullied them so much that they had no reason or desire to offer them help, plus the Brotherhood didn't bother informing them of the threat and why they needed their help. As a result, the Brotherhood ended up without allies and were wiped out because they hurt relations to the point where the Responders just told them off. In turn, this caused the Responders to fall because the Responders were not prepared for the Scorched until it was too late.
    • The remaining survivors of Appalachia were more than enough to fight the Scorched...or they would have been, had everyone not been too busy fighting amongst themselves to unite.
  • Technically Living Zombie: Those infected by the Scorched Plague are reduced to bleeding, burned, crazed caricatures with chunks of radioactive material jutting out their flesh, before the sickness kills them and turns them into a statue. But despite their utterly horrendous state, they’re still alive, and are just as vulnerable to mortal injury as anyone else.
  • Taken for Granite: The Scorched infection is a very slow version of this. As the virus progress, the victims suddenly stop in one place. The virus then completely consumes them, leaving an ashen statue which will fall apart if disturbed and emit radiation for a short period. You can occasionally catch living Scorched doing this, most notably at the airport, though your presence will snap them out of it.
  • Talking Animal: The Vox Syringer fires darts which let you hear an animal's thoughts as spoken by a stilted human voice. Deathclaws never sounded less menacing.
    Deathclaw (translation): I want to grab you, tear you apart, and roll around in your guts.
    Yao guai (translation): This is unbearable.
    Radtoad (translation): This human is annoying. If I kill it, it won't be annoying.
  • Talking with Signs: Players can communicate with each other with what can be called "Vault Boy Emoticons".
  • The Unintelligible: The Mole Miners are an entire group of these, speaking in heavily muffled English, which can only be figured out through looking at the script notes in the game files.
  • This Is a Drill: You can find a handheld power drill and use it as a weapon.
  • Timed Mission: Events serve as these, requiring specific actions to be done before the timer runs out. Events usually remain playable for an hour from when they first appear, though the tasks you're given rarely take so long.
  • Title Drop: An announcement to the dwellers of Vault 76 intones "When the fighting has stopped, and the Fallout has settled, you must rebuild."
  • Tree Top Town: Tanagra Town is essentially a giant clod of rock, dirt and junk that's been ripped from the ground and lifted into the air by huge vines with a giant metal face like the one at the bottom of Dunwich Borers in a cave in the center.
  • Unnecessarily Creepy Robot: MODUS, the Supercomputer running the Whitespring Bunker for the Enclave, is this due to permanent damage to its personality core. Its on-screen avatar is a bald scientist with Scary Shiny Glasses and a neutral expression, whenever it tries to display emotion it causes the avatar to briefly change to one having an exaggerated version of a corresponding facial expression before changing back and uses a lot of False Reassurance unprompted.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: You can kill any player, but your first few attacks will do very little damage: the point of these attacks is to inform your target that you wish to fight them. If they refuse and don't fight back, you can still kill them, but this earns you nothing. Not only that, but you are also marked as a "wanted murderer", will appear on everyone's radar, and will not be able to see them on the map in turn. If someone kills you after that, they earn a bounty of caps paid out of your own pocket. In other words, running around killing helpless noobs for fun is generally a bad idea. This also applies to damaging or breaking into another player's property. Even something as simple as picking a lock on a player-installed door earns you a bounty.
  • The Virus: The Scorched are quickly revealed to be the result of this in terminal entries and notes. The origins and nature of the pathogen are unclear, but it's spread by the Scorchbeasts, hence the afflicted's name. The most disturbing aspect of it is that the infected seem to possess a Hive Mind.
  • Waving Signs Around: At the Poseidon Nuclear Power Plant, the remnants of a protest can be found outside the plant, including signs. The same circumstances can be found in the town of Grafton. Some of the Scorched have appropriated them as makeshift weapons, and you can do the same.
  • We Help the Helpless: The Order of Mysteries run by Shannon Rivers focused their efforts on helping those who could not defend themselves from Raiders or other threats. Unlike the Responders who mainly helped people locally by creating a unified community, the Order of Mysteries focused on "vigilante justice" by creating a small organization of people.
  • Weaponized Offspring:
    • When you kill a Honey Beast, you have to deal with a swarm of bees afterward.
    • The Mirelurk Queen returns, and once again uses her offspring as mooks to bother you.
    • The Radtoads also sends swarms of toadlets to attack you.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: One of the side effects of Nukashine is your character blacking out and waking up in a random location on the map.
  • Wide-Open Sandbox: The world of 76 is four times as large as Fallout 4. This puts it at nearly the same size as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, which had a lot of empty space between settlements, especially in the mountains.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: Once you step out of Vault 76, you can never re-enter: Vault-Tec ordered the vault's security staff to vent all of the oxygen in the vault once it is cleared out.
  • Zerg Rush: The Brotherhood tried to make their stand against the Scorched at Fort Defiance, but were overwhelmed by sheer numbers.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: More or less what happened to the Appalachian Territories. The Scorched are mindlessly aggressive but intelligent semi-feral ghouls who try to kill every person they encounter. It's not Raiders, Super Mutants, or other humans which destroy the region but The Virus that turns everyone into the Scorched.


Video Example(s):


The Fall of 76

Let's just say that more than a bit more polish was needed for Fallout 76 on release

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