With Fallout 4 Survival Mode set to receive a makeover from Bethesda, we want to take a look at the most important things gamers need to know about the new Survival Mode release for PC, Xbox One and PS4.
There are number of things to like about Fallout 4 but one of them is the fact that you can change your difficulty at any time. If you feel like the game is too easy, you can increase the difficulty without incurring any sort of penalty. If you find it to be too hard, you can drop down a level.
Those looking for a serious challenge can opt for Fallout 4’s Survival Mode which is at the top of a list that ranges from very easy to Survival.
We’re now several months removed from the Fallout 4 release date and Bethesda is getting ready to change the game with new content.
The company recently released its first Fallout 4 DLC and now its confirmed some big changes for Fallout 4’s Survival Mode.
With that in mind, we want to take a look at what we know about the new Fallout 4 Survival Mode, its beta and its release date.
New Fallout 4 Survival Mode Release Date
There’s been a lot of back and forth about Survival Mode in the months since Fallout 4’s release. Some people have enjoyed it, others have called for wholesale changes.
One of the biggest complaints is that there are no “basic needs” meaning you don’t have to sleep or feed yourself or quench your thirst. That will change in Bethesda’s next free update for the Xbox One, PS4 and PC.
@ThatNinjaEBAY free update
— Pete Hines (@DCDeacon) March 9, 2016
Bethesda hasn’t confirmed an exact date (it says that it will come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 sometime in April) and we typically don’t see the company confirm precise dates for free updates ahead of time. We usually get an announcement on release day.
You can also expect the Fallout 4 1.5 release date to arrive for the PC before it arrives for the Xbox One and PS4. That’s how Bethesda’s free updates work.
Fallout 4 Survival Mode Beta
Ahead of the public release date, the company’s released an open beta on Steam. Open beta means that anyone with a PC/Steam account/copy of Fallout 4 can join and try the new Survival Mode right now.
The Survival Mode beta gives PC users a chance to play the new Survival mode before the public and it helps Bethesda track down bugs and make changes based on feedback from those using it.
Before you get started, you’ll want to disable your mods. From Bethesda:
Due to the substantial changes from the new Survival mode, it is likely any mods you are running will not be compatible and may cause issues. Please back up your saves and remove any mods before opting into the Survival Beta. For best experience, use a clean save to start with.
Official Add Ons like Automatron are fully compatible with the Survival Beta.
It’s also worth noting that you can fast travel, with Survival Mode enabled, if you use the Pip-Boy application for Android or iOS.
This doesn’t appear to be intentional so enjoy it while it lasts. We could see it get patched up in a new beta release or in the final public release down the road.
How to Get the New Survival Mode Right Now
In order to play the new Survival Mode right now you must install the Fallout 4 1.5 beta. Here is how you can do that:
- Log into Steam
- Right Click on Fallout 4 in your Library
- Select Settings
- Select Betas
- A drop down menu will appear. Select Survival Beta Update
- Select OK
- Wait a few minutes and Fallout 4 should update
- When done, Fallout 4 should appear as Fallout 4 [Beta] in your Library
Where to Report Feedback
If you do try the new Fallout 4 Survival Mode before its public release, you’ll want to send Bethesda feedback about features and problems.
To report feedback about it, you’ll want to head on over to its Survival Mode forum and relay your thoughts on the changes.
If you are currently running the Fallout 4 1.4 update, take note:
- Survival difficulty characters are not backward compatible with the 1.4 version of Fallout 4. If you opt out of the Beta, do not use Survival character saved games.
How to Enable Mods & Console
If you want to use mods and the console with the 1.5/Survival Mode beta, you’ll need to enable them with a series of steps.
This guide over on Steam will show you how to enable most mods and enable the console so you can input commands.
New Survival Mode Features
In the announcement, the company outlined many of the changes its making to Survival Mode.
Bethesda notes that its intentionally being “somewhat vague about the specifics of certain things because we’re looking forward to you discovering them on your own and with each other.” It also notes that “some of the items discussed below may change or may have already changed.”
Here’s the full rundown:
Saving with Sleep: Manual, quicksaving and almost all autosaves are disabled. To save your game, you’ll need to find a bed and sleep for at least an hour. This means your fallback options are reduced, forcing you to be more concerned about what you are walking into and whether you’re prepared to handle it.
No More Fast Travel: Fast Travel is disabled. If you wish to be somewhere, you’ll have to get there the old-fashioned way.
Increased Lethality: You now deal, but also take, more damage. You can increase the damage you deal even further with “Adrenaline.”
Facing the Unknown: Threats, unless added by a Recon scope, no longer display on the compass, and the distance at which locations of interest will appear has been significantly shortened.
Adrenaline: Adrenaline, a new Perk that comes standard with Survival Mode, provides a bonus to your damage output and is increased by getting kills. Every five kills increases your Adrenaline rank, adding 5% bonus damage for up to an extra 50% damage at the max rank of 10. That extra damage is alluring. Adrenaline motivates the types of stupid decisions that always lead to the best water cooler stories. (Sleeping removes anywhere from 2 to all 10 ranks of Adrenaline, depending on the time you’ve slept.)
Wellness – Exhaustion, Hunger, Thirst: You’ll find it difficult to survive without taking proper care of yourself. You must stay hydrated, fed and rested to remain combat-ready. Going for extended periods of time without food, water or a good night’s sleep will begin to adversely affect your health, hurting your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats, adding to your Fatigue, lowering your immunity, and eventually even causing physical damage to you.
Fatigue: Fatigue mostly comes from being tired, but both hunger and thirst also affect it. Fatigue works like radiation, but affects your Action Points (AP) rather than your Hit Points (HP). The more Fatigue you’ve built up, the less AP you’ll have for actions like sprinting and V.A.T.S. The amount of Fatigue you’ve accumulated is displayed in red on your AP bar.
Bed Types: The type of bed you’re sleeping in limits the length of time you are able to sleep, thereby limiting how much you can recover. Real beds – which are hard to come by in the world – offer the highest bonuses for sleeping; this rewards you for working out of a home base or even spending the caps for a good night’s sleep.
Illness & Antibiotics: There are several different Illnesses that can affect you. Your base chance of getting sick increases as your average Wellness decreases. Antibiotics can be crafted, bought or found, and alongside doctors, can heal your current Illnesses. Certain things in the world, such as taking hits by certain creatures or using Chems, may immediately give you an Illness. Also, Stimpaks are no longer the fix-all miracle drug, so make sure you’re prepared!
Immunodeficiency: Items that cleanse your body of Rads come with the cost of making you tired and temporarily damaging your immunity, leaving you more vulnerable to Illness than usual.
Slower Healing: In Survival, restorative items, like Stimpaks and food, recover your health at a significantly reduced rate.
Crippled Limbs: Crippled limbs will no longer auto-heal after combat. They will remain crippled until healed by a Stimpak or slept off.
Carry Weight: Your total carry weight has been reduced and items like ammo and Stimpaks now have weight. Bullets and shells have a small amount of weight, which varies by caliber, while missiles and mini nukes are quite heavy.
Painful Encumbrance: Exceeding your carry weight reduces your overall Wellness, quickly building Fatigue, and will eventually cripple your legs.
Companion Costs: Carry weight for companions has been decreased and they will no longer automatically get back up if downed during combat. Instead, they will return home, if abandoned without being healed.
Likewise, if you’ve already downloaded Automatron, your new Robot companions will need to be closely monitored. If you forget to use your Robot Repair Kits, they will return home.
Enemy and Loot Repopulation: Locations you’ve cleared will now repopulate with new enemies and loot at a significantly slower rate.
The company notes that there are smaller features coming in the Survival Mode but that it will be up to you to find them.
One hidden feature that’s already been outed is the ability to fill up empty bottles to create Dirty Water and Purified Water.
New Survival Mode Feedback
As we’ve pushed away from the Fallout 1.5 beta release we’ve seen testers provide feedback about these features and the mode’s difficulty level. Here’s how one person describes the beginning of the game on Survival:
- Left Sanctuary, went to Red Rocket.
- Got mauled to death by Mole Rats.
- Last save was from Vault 111.
- Left vault 111, went outside.
- Sunlight blinded my eyes.
- Fell to death by tripping over a skeleton.
One request that we’ve seen a number of people make is for an option that lets Survival Mode users save on exit. This would allow gamers to get out of the game quickly without losing any progress.
This thread on Reddit is a gem for those interested in the new Survival Mode and it’s highly recommended if you want to get a feel for the changes ahead of the update’s release.
Fallout 4 1.5 Update
Survival Mode is a big part of the Fallout 4 1.5 update but it’s not the only part. The upgrade will also come with several fixes including:
- General stability and performance improvements
- Fixed rare crash related to reloading a save that relies on Automatron
- Fixed issue with the robot workbench camera not moving properly immediately after canceling out of the menu
- Fixed issue with perks being repeatedly added when reloading a saved game while in robot workbench
- Fixed issue with Ada not properly traveling to an assigned settlement
- Robots can now be assigned as settlement vendors
- Fixed issue with “Appropriation” where blueprints would not appear properly if the container had already been looted prior to getting the quest
- In “Nuclear Option,” entering the Institute using the targeting helmet on Power Armor no longer inadvertently causes the player to go into combat, and become stuck in the Institute
- Fixed distance check with Robotics Expert perk
Automatron users should be pleased with this list as the 1.5 update fixes several notable problems with the new DLC including an annoying issue with the Ada robot companion.
Fallout 4 1.5.146 Survival Steam Beta Update
Bethesda recently released a patch for the Fallout 4 1.5 update beta for PC users. It brought a new Survival Mode feature and a list of fixes with it. Here are the changes you’ll see once you get it downloaded:
New Survival Features
- Thirst, hunger, sleep and disease icons will change color based on status
- Less food and drink are required to maintain proper sustenance
- Carry capacity lowered
- Sleep cycle has been lowered from 24 hours to 14 hour days
- Reduced chances to getting a disease
- Fusion cores weigh more
- Nuka Cola Quantums no longer cancel out caffeine effect from Nuka Cola and Nuka Cola Cherry
- Fixed occasional issue with becoming parched or peckish when thirst or hunger are actually satisfied
- Fixed issue where Adrenaline effect would incorrectly persist after changing difficulty level
- When companion is down, a quest target will appear on them
Fallout 4 1.5.147 Survival Steam Beta Update
The company’s rolled out a new patch for the beta dubbed Fallout 4 1.5.147 Survival Steam Beta Update. This update comes with a single fix:
- Supply lines can now be properly assigned
Expect the 1.5 Update & Survival Mode to Be Next
In its announcement, Bethesda failed to confirm a specific release date for its Fallout 4 1.5 update and the brand new Survival Mode.
The company did however confirm a release window for consoles. Bethesda says that the 1.5 update, Survival Mode, and the bug fixes will be out sometime in April.
And now that the company's rolled out two more beta releases, it's safe to say that Bethesda is making progress towards a final release.
It's difficult to predict an exact date but Bethesda never releases its free updates on weekends so that narrows it down a little bit.
It also tends to release its updates and DLC on Tuesday. Now that April 19th has come and gone April 26th becomes the most logical date for an initial 1.5 release.
We also know that it will be out before the next piece of Fallout 4 DLC. Bethesda's 1.5 update will bring support for the Far Harbor add-0n which means it should be out before its release.
Far Harbor doesn't have a release date yet but it will arrive sometime in May. For more on Far Harbor, check out our list of expectations.