The star of the Fallout 76 beta wasn’t the snallygaster, or the ever-respawning Grafton Monster. It was Appalachian Radio.
Like its predecessors, Fallout 76 uses its soundtrack to bolster the ambiance. In Fallout: New Vegas, the tracks were peppered with atmospheric country-westerns that underscored the game’s overarching setting. Sleeping under the moon to “Lone Star,” fighting off cazador to “Heartaches by the Number,” discovering a dusty new town to the oft-reviled “Johnny Guitar.” The music added an important energy to help you feel the spirit of the west.
While you’re tromping through the cryptid-laden backwoods of West Virginia, you’ll be treated to a similar audio world-building. Notably “Dark as a Dungeon” and “Sixteen Tons” – classic songs about the hard work of coal mining, a testament to West Virginia’s mining history.
And, of course, “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
More so than in previous Fallout games, this soundtrack feels necessary. All of the human NPCs in Fallout 76 are dead. It makes the wasteland feel very, very lonely. As soon as you turn on the radio, the tone shifts. It made the beta feel more like an adventure than just a grind through early-game content.
The multiplayer aspect of Fallout 76 also means that for the first time, a Fallout game’s radio is… an actual radio. The same music is heard by everyone who tunes in. In our experience, the song pacing was a bit out of sync, but that doesn’t mean you can’t sing along to “Mr. Sandman” with your friends.
We don’t know yet whether there will be a DJ in Fallout 76; Appalachian Radio didn’t have one in the beta, but that doesn’t preclude the possibility. With the radio entertaining many listeners, it seems like not having a DJ would be a missed opportunity.
Something would be lost without news updates broadcast across the wasteland. Even if Three Dog isn’t praising the work of the Lone Wanderer (me), it can at least update me on how some global timed event went.
Here are some of the new songs that you’ll hear on the radio in Fallout 76. We’ve reached out to Bethesda to confirm the whole list and will update with their response.
- “Ain’t Misbehavin’”
- “Dark as a Dungeon”
- “Sixteen Tons”
- “Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition”
- “Ghost Riders in the Sky”
- “I Didn’t Know the Gun was Loaded”
- “When I Get Low, I Get High”
- “A Good Man is Hard to Find”