Fallout 76 Newcomer's Guide: How to Play Nuclear Winter
If this is your first time playing Fallout 76, we've assembled a helpful Newcomer's Guide to get you started in Adventure Mode, Survival Mode and Nuclear Winter. Edited from the official website (https://bethesda.net/en/article/6VhBPehTctlszsrRCIPZP3/a-newcomer's-guide-to-fallout-76)
A Newcomer's Guide to Fallout 76
With so much to do in Appalachia, a new player might not know where to begin. Don't worry – we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide to Fallout 76's three gameplay modes, along with a handful of tips and tricks to get you started on your journey.
With so much to do in Appalachia, a new player might not know where to begin.
Don't worry – we've got you covered with this comprehensive guide to Fallout 76's three gameplay modes, along with a handful of tips and tricks to get you started on your journey. We'll cover all three in this guide.
Adventure Mode is the original, core Fallout 76 experience. The moment you exit Vault 76, you'll explore and rebuild the beautiful and wild world of West Virginia, where every other human being you see is another player (at least until Wastelanders comes out later this year). Work together – or not – to survive. Create your character with the S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system and forge your own path in a new and untamed wasteland with hundreds of locations.
Rebuilding America, Together
While you can always go it alone, you'll have plenty of opportunities to team up with other people you meet in the world. Teammates can provide safety in numbers, especially if you encounter a group of other survivors that are maybe not-so-friendly. You can team up before you jump into the game, or even friend people you meet in the world and join their team on the fly.
- TIP TIME: Just like with Vault 76 and your C.A.M.P., you can always fast-travel to your teammates for free. If you want to save some Caps, have one member of your team pay the nominal fee to travel to a location and simply fast travel to them once they've arrived.
- BONUS TIP TIME: Even if you're not playing as part of a team, you can still benefit from the other players on the map. With Player Vending, when you visit another player's C.A.M.P. you can visit their vending machine to pick up some helpful items.
Friend Or Foe?
Every new person you meet might become your new best friend… but they might also be of a more sinister persuasion. If they open fire and you're willing to go muzzle-to-muzzle with them, then by all means let the lead or the Super Sledges fly. If you're a more peace-loving player, you can simply choose to ignore your attacker. Unless you return fire, you'll be considered non-hostile and will not receive any damage from another player's incoming attacks.
C.A.M.P.Ing In Style
Use the all-new Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform (C.A.M.P.) to build and craft anywhere in the world. Your C.A.M.P. will provide much-needed shelter, supplies and safety. You can even set up shop to trade goods with other survivors. But beware, not everyone will be quite so neighborly.
- TIP TIME: You can always fast travel to Vault 76 and your C.A.M.P. for free, and for just a few Caps you can move your C.A.M.P. around the map as you explore. If you don't want to rebuild your home, simple blueprint your existing C.A.M.P. and save it to be moved later.
That S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Someone
Fallout 76 is the first multiplayer game in the series, but it's still a Fallout experience at heart. Take advantage of the revamped S.P.E.C.I.A.L. system to help you build your character to suit your playstyle. With the new Perk cards, you can swap your skills in and out depending on the situation.
- TIP TIME: Sharing is caring! Players with at least 3 points in their Charisma S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat can also share their own various Perk cards with their team members.
The Power Of The Atom
Go it alone or with fellow survivors to unlock access to the ultimate weapon – Nuclear Missiles. This destruction also creates a high-level zone with rare and valuable resources. Do you protect or unleash the power of the atom? The choice is yours.
- TIP TIME: You don't have to go it alone when gathering all the pieces of the nuke code. You can share or collectively piece together the nuke code with the help of other players!
- BONUS TIP TIME: Be sure to select your nuke locations strategically in order to get the most XP and the best items. Dropping a nuke on an area that is known to spawn high-level enemies like the Scorchbeast Queen is a great way to ensure you'll be able to do some excellent farming. Be careful when entering nuked regions, though, as the radiation will take you out quickly if you're not adequately prepared. Your Power Armor should do the trick!
Powered Up With Power Armor
It wouldn't be a Fallout game without Power Armor. Power Armor can be found around the wasteland. As long as you're over level 15, you can hop right in and immediately start using a frame as soon as you discover it. Once you've claimed a set of Power Armor, it's yours. It now belongs to you and it cannot be stolen or worn by other players.
- TIP TIME: Power Armor is powered by Fusion Cores, which can be found throughout the world as well. If that Fusion Core runs out of power and there are no backups, you can simply exit your Power Armor and within minutes it will be stored in your inventory.
Survival Of The Fittest
Hunger and thirst can prove tricky for unprepared adventurers. Be sure to pack plenty of clean water and cooked food when you head out on your journey. Spoiled foods and dirty water can cause illnesses or parasites, which bring negative effects.
- TIP TIME: To slow down the time it takes for harvested food to spoil, take a break and cook it in a cooking station. Cooking stations are also where players can safely boil water and create new recipes that they find throughout the world. Recipes (and building plans for your C.A.M.P.) are stored in your inventory under the Notes tab. Be sure to read each one to learn it!
But food and drink aren't the only places parasites and illnesses can catch you off-guard. Sleeping in dirty beds also brings the risk of disease. A safe option is to sleep in a clean bed built in your own C.A.M.P.
- TIP TIME: Sleep in a clean bed long enough and you'll receive the “Well Rested” bonus, which will grant you a small boost to XP while active!
Everything in Adventure Mode carries over to Survival Mode, but things are a little more… intense. Survival Mode brings a higher-stakes PvP experience with fewer restrictions, increased rewards, leaderboards, and new challenges, in addition to all of the original content in Adventure Mode.
Survival is a more competitive game mode, featuring rule changes surrounding PvP combat, death and respawn mechanics, and even a 20% bonus to the XP you'll earn while playing. Higher risk, higher reward. All progress with any existing characters will transfer between Survival and Adventure Modes, and that includes your gear and cosmetic items as well as your S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats and Perk cards.
What's Up, Danger?
In Survival Mode, it's significantly more likely that other players you encounter will want to fight you, and pacifism isn't an option. You can still explore, loot and quest, just like in Adventure Mode, but there are no restrictions when it comes to attacking other players. So there's no opportunity to back out of a fight – but if you win, you'll walk away with twice as many Caps as you would get for defeating a player in Adventure Mode. On death, your opponent will drop all of their junk as well as a random amount of the aid items they were carrying, which will be yours for the taking.
- TIP TIME: Make sure you keep all of your junk items in your Stash so you don't lose them if you die! It's never a bad plan to make frequent trips back to your C.A.M.P. and your Stash box, especially in Survival Mode.
In Adventure Mode, you can always see all the other players on the map (unless you're Wanted), but things are a bit different in Survival Mode. Unless they are Wanted (or one of the top three players on the Longest Life scoreboards), other players will not appear on your map, so if you plan on doing some hunting, you're going to have to work for it.
- TIP TIME: If you lose a fight with another player, you might notice the “Seek Revenge” respawn option from Adventure Mode has been disabled. What you can do is spend some Caps to place a bounty on your killer's head, which will cause them to become Wanted, thus making them immediately visible for all the other players.
All of the nukes being dropped on Appalachia have given life to a massive nuclear storm, and you're stuck in the middle of it in Fallout 76's 52-player PvP mode, Nuclear Winter. Nuclear Winter blends the competitive battle royale style with mechanics only Fallout can provide – from Power Armor and Perk cards, to C.A.M.P.s and wasteland creatures.
Unlike Adventure Mode or Survival Mode, where exploration is the biggest focus, Nuclear Winter highlights Fallout's competitive elements and ramps them up to 76. You'll spawn into the map to a location of your choice, and from there you'll scavenge for weapons, supplies and nukes as you face off against your fellow players in the fight for the right to become the Overseer of Vault 51. Team up with up to three other people and fight to be the last team standing.
- TIP TIME: Be very careful about where you first spawn in. Pick a less populated area to avoid conflict right off the bat. Better to wait until you're a little more prepared and geared up. Even when you are more prepared for a fight, it's not always wise to charge directly into a fight. Look for advantages and run if you find yourself heavily outnumbered.
- BONUS TIP TIME: This one might be a little bit of a no brainer, but teamwork and communication are vital in Nuclear Winter. Always move together with your team and cover for each other. If a teammate is downed, you'll have a window where you can use a Stimpak to get them back on their feet.
Many of the core Fallout mechanics have been adjusted to better suit this new gameplay mode and map size, including the stats of your weapons, armor, Chems and more. And while you can carry your Adventure Mode character into Nuclear Winter, their level doesn't affect how much damage you can inflict or receive. Everyone starts each match on an even playing field. You raise your damage output and increase defensives by tracking down weapons and armor as the match progresses.
- TIP TIME: Building a C.A.M.P. can provide many combat benefits. It will give you structures to hide behind or even a high vantage point to scout and shoot from. You can also use workshop items at your C.A.M.P. to provide some defenses, but items like turrets have been altered for PvP play.
VATS, Perk cards and S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats have also been reworked to even the playing field. In Nuclear Winter, you will not be able to target other players with VATS – only enemy AI. Also in the name of equal footing, when you bring your Adventure Mode or Survival Mode character over into Nuclear Winter, you'll only have the base S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats themselves, and not the passive bonuses you might have earned. You also won't bring over any Perk cards you've unlocked, as there is a separate suite of Perk cards in Nuclear Winter that you will unlock as you play.
Systems like the C.A.M.P.s, creature encounters, loot and nukes are vastly simplified to better suit the condensed map and match length of Nuclear Winter. Get all the details on Nuclear Winter and see exactly how each element has been adapted in this deep-dive feature.