Fallout 76’s battle royale mode, Nuclear Winter, is definitely a strange take on the last-one-to-survive-wins genre. Winning gives you story bits. You can equip perk cards. You don’t actually drop down into the map.
But one of the most unusual contributions to the genre comes in the form of nuclear warheads, which players can launch and aim at their enemies.
Nukes are present in the main game — they’re basically Fallout 76’s version of a raid. Players collect codes, crack them, and then launch use those codes to launch nukes that can turn areas into irradiated wastelands where high-level enemies begin to roam. Fallout fans can then trek into the war zone and kill those enemies for powerful gear.
Nukes are also available in Nuclear Winter, Fallout 76’s battle royale mode. Here, codes are a bit more common, as you can pick them up in orange cases throughout the map. Collect enough, and you’ll be able to launch a nuke in a contained area. Rifle Gaming was one of the first players to attempt this feat, which is chronicled below. You can skip to the 3:30 mark to watch the chaos unfold:
Once active, the area of impact will immediately catch fire. Players have mere seconds to get out of the blast radius if they hope to survive. If you fail, you will immediately die when the nuke comes crashing down.
It’s wild — no other battle royale has a mechanic like this. The closest parallel I can think of is Modern Warfare 2, where a high enough kill streak will give you a nuke that instantly kills everyone on the map. Otherwise, while many battle royale games will give you weapons that pack a punch, nothing really functions on the scale of a literal nuke.
This is probably why Fallout 76 immediately tells every player in the match when someone picks up the suitcase necessary to launch the nuke: You don’t want to be caught in the crossfire. It changes the dynamic of the match even before it’s launched.
If you want to learn how to do this yourself, make sure to watch all of Rifle Gaming’s video, which is embedded above. Just make sure you don’t make the mistake of releasing the nuke on yourself — you likely won’t have time to escape.