Everything we know about Fallout 76 private servers
The moment Todd Howard announced Fallout 76 as an “entirely online” post-nuclear RPG at E3, you could hear question marks ricocheting around the showfloor like bullets out of a minigun. How many players will share a world? What about mods? How does PvP work? Can I play Fallout 76 on a private server? Am I going to get nuked (again)?
At QuakeCon 2018 on August 11, game director Todd Howard confirmed that private servers are part of the plan. “That is definitely something that we are doing. We are committed to it. It’s not just having a private server, it’s being able to mod it,” he said in a Q&A panel.
Pete Hines later cautioned that private servers would likely not make it to Fallout 76 until November of 2019. His prediction was pretty spot on, it turns out, because private servers are coming to the West Virginia wasteland next week. Here’s everything we know about how they’re going to work. Check back next week to get the full details when the update hits.
How will private servers for Fallout 76 work?
We don’t know all the details just yet on how private servers will work. Bethesda’s update on October 17th was light on details other than to drop the news that the private server system would be arriving next week.
We do know that you won’t be able to host a server on your own hardware. On August 27, Pete Hines stated on Twitter that while you will eventually be able to set up your own private server, the hosting will always be through Bethesda. You won’t be able to host a server yourself, as can be done with a game like Minecraft.
We also know that private servers will be a paid service. Despite the little information in Bethesda’s update, it does mention players purchasing servers. “Our goal for players who purchase this service is to offer something for everyone, not just those who want a private server.” It’s unclear what the private server system will offer for those who aren’t using it, but this could mean that Bethesda will roll other related changes into the main Fallout 76 experience alongside the addition of private servers.
Will Fallout 76 servers have admin tools?
Nothing concrete yet, but expect some degree of control in adjusting the severity of PvP interaction with the fellow wasteland wanderers you invite into your realm. “We don’t want [PvP] to be griefy but we want to have some drama,” Howard told Keighley in the E3 2018 interview.
Bethesda’s Pete Hines backed up that sentiment in an E3 interview with Gamereactor.eu, saying, “I understand when you hear ‘online’ or you hear ‘multiplayer’ or ‘PvP’ that people jump to, ‘Well, it’s an MMO,’ or, ‘It’s a free-for-all where everybody’s just shooting each other,’ or, ‘I’m gonna get griefed constantly by other players.’ And the fact is, this just doesn’t fit into the mold of anything else, because that’s what Bethesda Game Studios does. We aren’t the type of company and they’re not the type of developer that looks at what somebody else is doing and says, ‘Oh, we’re just gonna do that.'”
You can use mods in Fallout 76 private servers, right?
Right, but not on day one. Also included in Bethesda’s update is a mention of modding: “Additionally, in the future you’ll be able to mod your worlds. Stay tuned for more information on the service in the coming days.” It’s probably safe to assume that with Bethesda handling the selling and hosting of servers that mods will run through the Creation Club and not from any outside sites, even for us PC players.
We’ll be happy as long as we can replace the launchable nuke with a Thomas the Tank Engine skin, but our guess is NPC packs and PvP-disabling toggles will be the most popular downloads.
Will Fallout 76 private servers still be online-only?
Correct, just like the rest of Fallout 76. Pete Hines clarified on Twitter following Bethesda’s October 17th announcement that Fallout 76 has never been designed to be played offline. Private servers won’t be meant for players to attempt to play Fallout 76 as a singleplayer game, rather to let groups of friends or streamers have a private place to play, mod, and roleplay.