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Big Fallout 76 update brings human NPCs as Bethesda changes course

New Wastelanders update will be free

Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Bethesda has been upgrading and polishing Fallout 76 since its controversial launch. Some of the biggest updates along its journey have included the new Sheepsquatch monster, brewing stills, and new quests. The game has leaned into the cooperative and storytelling aspects of the Appalachian Wasteland, and the newest announcement at E3 shows the next content to come. Now that Wild Appalachia is complete, the next content updates will be called “Wastelanders.”

“Wastelanders” will bring the Overseer back, and shows that there has been a progression of time since the game’s launch. Human NPCs have been added to the world. We saw an example of a conversation with a raider, a Fallout 76 player moving with their companion squad, and different factions in the world. There will be full quest lines, dialogue trees, and rewards to match.

Year two is about people returning to the Appalachian Wasteland to reclaim the territory that Fallout 76 players have been rebuilding. We will have to meet these characters and decide the fate of their faction. While it’s not clear how this will work in a multiplayer world, human NPCs has been a commonly requested feature since the game’s launch, even if the announcement of it seems to be slightly tongue-in-cheek. (“We never thought people would come back,” indeed.)

“Wastelanders” is on the way to Fallout 76, and much like previous updates, it will be free. We can likely expect it to come out in multiple installments that progressively build the world, much like Fallout 76’s first year of content.