As the Fallout 76 beta nears its October launch, Bethesda has provided additional details about the invite-only trial. That includes where Windows PC players will be able to access the beta: only on Bethesda’s exclusive launcher, and not on the popular Steam platform.
“The B.E.T.A. will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and on PC (via Bethesda.net),” reads the test build’s FAQ.
While Bethesda specifically notes that the beta will make use of its own platform, it’s not until later on in the FAQ that the developer makes it clear that using its launcher is the only way to play the PC game. Not only will players only be able to test out the game through Bethesda.net, but the full version will not be available anywhere else at launch:
“Both the B.E.T.A. and the game will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net only),” according to another answer in the FAQ.
That doesn’t mean that Steam and other digital retailers won’t have Fallout 76 for sale at some point. Fallout Shelter didn’t come to Steam until nearly a year after its initial PC release on Bethesda.net, after all. And considering that most other Fallout games are on Steam and continue to sell like hotcakes, Bethesda would be remiss to keep it off the storefront.
Yet as more and more companies move toward limiting their PC games and features to their own launchers (think Battle.net, exclusive home to Destiny 2 and the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 among other Activision Blizzard titles, or Epic Games’ Fortnite), Bethesda might be the latest to keep its players close to the vest. We’ve reached out to Bethesda about if and when Fallout 76 will come to Steam and will update when the company responds.
The good news is that, no matter what platform you’re playing on, your progress in the Fallout 76 beta will carry over to the full game. It launches on Nov. 14, 2018.