Bethesda plans to launch a Fallout 76 beta ahead of the game’s release in mid-November. While there are some great reasons to give the beta a go, some people might want to skip it.
Fallout 76 pre-orders are live at Bethesda and at retailers around the globe. The game is sold in three different formats, each with a different price point and features.
The standard version is the no frills $60 copy of the game. There’s a $80 Tricentennial Edition that comes with a copy of the game and some bonus in-game items.
There’s also a $200 Power Armor Edition and it includes a real life Power Armor helmet amongst other collectibles. Power Armor Edition stock is limited so those who want the bundle on November 14th should put in a pre-order today.
There’s another great reason to pre-order a copy of Fallout 76. Putting in a pre-order grants you access to the Fallout 76 beta whenever it arrives for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows PC.
Bethesda hasn’t confirmed a release date, but we know the beta will start on the Xbox One before moving to the PlayStation 4 and Windows. We also know it’ll start sometime in October.
While many people will want to go ahead and put in a pre-order to try the game ahead of time, others might be better off avoiding the Fallout 76 beta. In this guide we’ll take you through the best reasons to try it and the best reasons to avoid it.
Join the Fallout 76 Beta to Help Bethesda
If you plan on investing a ton of your time into Fallout 76’s online universe, the beta is a perfect way to improve your experience.
Bethesda’s using the Fallout 76 beta as a marketing tool and pre-order incentive, but that doesn’t make it any less important. The main purpose of a beta is to catch bugs before the official release.
With your help, Bethesda will improve the overall quality of Fallout 76’s world before the game arrives in November. Your bug reports will help it squash bugs and performance issues impacting all three versions (PC, Xbox One, PS4) of the game.
Fallout 76 won’t be perfect, no game ever is, but your beta testing could help the developer deliver a more polished product later this year.
Try the Fallout 76 Beta If You’re Undecided
In the aftermath of Bethesda’s announcements, we’ve seen a mix of opinions.
Some people are excited about jumping into an online Fallout game and Bethesda’s version of West Virginia. Some fans of the series are feeling mixed. And others hate the fact that the next Fallout game is an online title.
Bethesda’s doing something new and it’s taking a risk. The company’s had success with Elder Scrolls Online, but Fallout 76 is more of a survival game than an MMORPG. The skepticism from hardcore Fallout fans and casual fans is understandable.
If you aren’t completely sold on the idea of an online Fallout game set in West Virginia and Vault 76, pre-order a copy of the game and try the beta.
We’ll see all sorts of videos and impressions, but trying the game yourself is the best way to decide if the concept is worth your time and your $60+. Remember, most retailers allow you to cancel pre-orders, free of charge, ahead of the release date.
We pre-ordered the game through Amazon and recently got a code for the beta. Our bank account hasn’t been charged and we should be able to cancel if the beta disappoints.
Just be sure not to cancel your pre-order right after you get the code. You run the risk of your code getting canceled.
Try the Fallout 76 Beta to Test Performance
If you’re planning to play Fallout 76 on a Windows PC and you haven’t updated your hardware in awhile, think about trying the Fallout 76 beta.
Bethesda’s beta will let you test the game’s performance on your Windows PC. If you don’t like how it runs on your setup, you’ll probably want to make some hardware upgrades before the final version arrives this fall.
The company hasn’t released the minimum or recommended specs for Fallout 76 yet. We expect those details to emerge once Bethesda is ready to roll out the beta.
Join for Potential Bonuses
N0thing is confirmed, but there’s a chance Bethesda offers some type of reward to those who participate in the Fallout 76 beta.
Often times, developers will thank beta testers for their time with special in-game items. For example, those who tested the Call of Duty WW2 beta received a MP Private beta combat pack which included a special helmet.
Bethesda gave Elder Scrolls Online beta testers a monkey vanity pet for their help testing the game ahead of its launch. A small gesture, but a gesture nonetheless.
We don’t know what Bethesda might pass out to Fallout 76 beta testers. The beta could come and go without any bonuses.
That said, there’s a chance beta testers get something special. If potential bonus items sound good to you, think about pre-ordering and joining the beta.
Join to Get a Head Start
If you plan on investing a good amount of time in Fallout 76 and you want to get a head start on other players, you should plan on trying to the beta.
Trying the beta will help you get familiar with the game’s world and its mechanics. In fact, Bethesda says the plan right now is for the beta to represent the full version of the game.
Remember, Fallout 76 features PVE where some players in your server might be hostile. The beta will help you get a leg up on players who don’t participate and could make your experience a little more enjoyable from day one on.
According to Bethesda, the progress you make in the beta will carry over into the final version of the game.
Avoid the Beta If You Hate Dealing with Issues
If you’ve played Bethesda’s games you know the developer is well-known for bugs and performance issues. It’s simply unavoidable when you make games this size.
Fallout 76 is an ambitious game and the map is four times larger than Fallout 4’s. There’s going to be a ton of moving pieces and that’s precisely why Bethesda is running a beta. It needs help.
You can expect the Fallout 76 beta to be plagued with bugs and issues. Lots of them. If you can’t handle bugs and performance problems, you’ll probably want to skip the beta and wait for the official release date.
Better yet, you might want to sit out until Bethesda’s rolled out the first batch of patches. We expect those to roll out soon after the game’s deployed on November 14th.
Pre-Order If You Want the Power Armor Edition
If you want the Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition, you'll want to pre-order.
The Power Armor Edition is a $200 bundle that nets you a copy of the game and some unique items. These items include:
Bethesda says supply is going to be limited which means it could sell out before launch this November. In fact, it's already sold out at some retailers with no word on when stock will return. Amazon recently got resupplied, but the stock sold out in hours.
If you went through the Fallout 4 Pip-Boy Edition debacle back in 2015 and want to avoid a similar disaster this year, make sure you pre-order the game.
Most retailers will let you cancel for free if you decide you don't want to spend $200.
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