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War never changes, but the Fallout series certainly has. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 biggest problems with Fallout 76.
For this list, we’re taking a look at the biggest issues, complaints, and missteps in the newest installment of the Fallout franchise.
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Even running at max settings on a PC equipped with a state-of-the-art graphics card, Fallout 76 still only looks as good if not slightly worse than Fallout 4. And considering Fallout 4 came out back in 2015 and wasn’t an especially good looking game at the time, that’s a problem. We understand that the added element of multiple users occupying the same world at once can be strenuous on a games’ engine. The world of Fallout 76 looks good from far, but up close, is far from good. While the landscapes can provide some awe-inspiring moments, actually approaching and examining these locations from up-close will reveal that graphics are simply not up to the standards of the time.
#9: Console Performance
Bethesda games don’t have the best reputation with console gamers thanks to a long history of issues. So why would Fallout 76 be any different? The game is a mess on PS4 and Xbox One, with stuttering and frame rate drops being reported by countless console users. Even after a huge 47 GB console-only patch meant to clear up some of these issues, the game remains plagued with stuttering and texture pops. This is still a Bethesda game after all. Only now it’s online, so you can probably imagine how well the game was "optimized."
#8: Speed Hacks
Though it’s recently been fixed with Patch 1.14, the B.E.T.A. and launch-version of Fallout 76 featured a pretty game-changing exploit linked to the Creation Engine. Like Skyrim and Fallout 4 before it, Fallout 76’s game speed and physics logic are tied to the game’s frame rate. As a result, Bethesda initially locked the frame rate to 60 frames per second, but a slight change in the game file would allow players to increase their frames per second, and therefore, their movement speed. This meant, among other things, that players using this trick could attack faster than anyone else. This may have been a cute trick in singleplayer games like Skyrim and Fallout 4, but when it comes to online games, any exploit becomes a game-changer.
#7: Nukes Made the Server Crash
One major feature of Fallout 76’s late-game is finding launch codes scattered throughout the world to activate the nukes at the launch facilities. This allows you to irradiate and change the part of the map affected by the blast, creating a high-level zone full of tougher enemies and quality loot. Here’s the problem: the server can’t seem to handle multiple nukes being launched at once. In a synchronized attempt to see what would happen if three nukes were launched at the same time, a group of players was disappointed to find that the results were less interesting than they would have hoped. Yup, the server they were playing on crashed.
#6: Level Restrictions on Items
We get it, the game needs to be balanced, and that would be next to impossible if any player could happen upon an overpowered weapon at level 10, but there’s something just… wrong about finding a weapon or some armor in a Fallout game and seeing that you need to be a certain level to be able to use it. Obviously changes needed to be made in transitioning the franchise from singleplayer to online multiplayer, but this change only accentuated the fact that 76 isn’t a typical Fallout game, and not in a good way.
Not long after Fallout 76 was confirmed to be an Online Survival RPG, comparisons were being made to games like Rust, DayZ, and Conan Exiles. However, while those games encourage Player VS Player combat, Fallout 76 makes PvP an absolute chore. First of all, in order to engage in PvP, both players must accept. Even if you do manage to find people who are willing to fight, Fallout’s shooting mechanics were never meant for competitive multiplayer, so the balancing is all over the place.
#4: No NPCs
We can’t believe we’re saying this, but Fallout 76 actually made us miss Preston Garvey. Yes, really! Aside from the Mysterious Stranger, who will appear to lend a hand if you have his Perk Card, there are no friendly NPCs in Fallout 76. This was announced by Todd Howard in a E3 livestream interview with Geoff Keighley. The reveal was met with skepticism, but the result is an open world that feels empty without the many memorable characters that have made Fallout unique.
#3: The Quests
No friendly NPCs means no traditional quest givers, which means you’ll learn about your next objective in one of two ways: reading a computer terminal or listening to a holo tape. If that doesn’t interest you, you’re out of luck, as nearly all the quests in Fallout 76 require you listen to a disembodied voice or read a wall of text to learn about your objective, only to arrive at the next point of interest to find yet another terminal or holo tape for you to read or listen to. There’s almost no variety in the quests, and they provide almost no memorable moments. It’s a shame, as previous Fallout games were teeming with interesting and diverse missions.
#2: Enemy A.I.
Walking around the world of West Virginia is dangerous… or at least, it seems that way. The world is crawling with enemies, but after fighting a few, you’ll soon realize that the enemy A.I. is broken, plain and simple. Whether you're fighting a low-level mob or a high-level boss-like enemy, their A.I. will often compel them to stand completely still while you shoot them dead. It quickly takes away any sense of satisfaction that comes with defeating enemies and makes the game world feel far less hostile.
#1: The Bugs
In a note posted to Twitter by the official Bethesda Game Studios account on October 22nd, the team behind Fallout 76 addressed their fans directly, writing, quote, “unforeseen bugs and issues always come up” and, quote: “we’re opening everyone up to all new spectacular issues none of us have encountered.” While we can admire their transparency, no one could have expected the sheer number of bugs and issues at launch. From broken quests to one player becoming unkillable to the aforementioned speed hacks, server crashes, and stuttering on consoles, Fallout 76 is a buggy mess, and the letter suggests Bethesda was fully aware of this and expected people to accept it and wait for it to be fixed.