Despite recent controversies surrounding Bethesda's multiplayer Fallout mashup, insatiable hordes of enthusiastic survivors are nonetheless blazing a trail through West Virginia in fine fashion, uncovering what secrets the bombs have buried beneath the rubble. And with Fallout 76 boasting a larger map than even Fallout 4, it shouldn't surprise anyone that they're in incredibly ample supply. Really, did you expect anything less? It's still a Fallout title, after all.
It could be a nook or cranny into which a stash of loot has been tucked away, or the thread of a plot that's been stored on an out of the way holotape. It could be a new and rare breed of irradiated wildlife, or it could just be something really, really weird. Bethesda has a habit of getting that way sometimes. In any case, Fallout 76 definitely does its part to keep the wasteland wild.
That all being said, we thought we'd share twenty-five of the more interesting, out of the way bits of this massive game. Of course, you could just scroll through the article, nod your head, stroke your beard and adjust your monocle, but it's way more fun if you decide to pop into Appalachia and hunt them down yourself afterward. Unless you don't have the game, or you refunded it, or something. But in those cases, you can feel absolutely free to live vicariously through us! Anyway, let's dive in.
25 The Random "Winning The Lottery" Encounters
Ever wish someone would just walk up and hand you a fat stack of cash? Well, apparently dreams do come true in Appalachia, even if they're a little bit too late. It seems to be a purely random encounter, but on occasion, a Mr. Handy "Prize Bot" will track you down to inform you that you've managed to get lucky.
Whether his sensors are fried or you really did enter the lottery before being tucked away in the Vault is anyone's guess.
So far I've collected a few hundred in Pre-War money from him. While it's practically useless, it's nice to know that I could've hit it big. I mean, before the bombs fell, anyway.
24 Getting A Head Start
A short walk north from the entrance to Vault 76, and we do mean a very short walk, you'll encounter a survivalist's shack absolutely packed with supplies that would be vital to any vault resident just taking their first steps outside. How convenient!
Among the loot you can snag is a pile of non-perishable foods, water, and even a pipe firearm with a bit of ammunition. It may not be a goldmine, but for getting started it'd may as well be.
23 Halloween Party Animals
You'll find the North Mountain Lookout tower in the far north end of the Savage Divide, northeast from the Sunnytop Ski Lanes and northwest from the Pumpkin House. The first thing you might notice as you approach is the pile of furniture laying at the bottom.
After arriving at the top, it looks like someone's had a wild Halloween party. Booze, decorations, even a nifty skeleton costume. A few faxes scattered across the table inform you that the rangers manning this tower really did have a wild Halloween party, having stolen the Halloween decorations from all the other lookout towers, throwing the furniture from the top and probably losing their jobs in the process. Worth it, from the look of things.
22 The Mothman
Fallout 76 is pretty big on cryptids, or mythical creatures primarily based in real-world folklore. Among the most interesting and fleshed out is the Mothman, who as you might guess, is a gigantic, man-sized moth.
You can encounter several variations of this guy, but the easiest way to see him is to complete the event at Landview Lighthouse, just east of Vault 76.
After you've squashed some fireflies and lit the beacon, you'll be treated to a visit from the Wise Mothman. This one is actually sort of friendly, and will be more than happy to bless you with a 5% experience bonus for the next hour if you interact with him. Oh, and don't miss the opportunity for a selfie!
21 Confession Time
Just across the river in Flatwoods, you might notice a small camp set up with a lady that's passed on sitting near the long burnt-out fire. There are some little bits of loot scattered around, including chems, water and an always welcome first aid kit.
But looting the woman reveals a holotape, and listening might actually bum you out a bit. Her story's pretty sad, weaving a tale of chem addiction and love gone incredibly wrong. Wow, Bethesda. Way to get a little too real on that one. Seriously though, it's nice to uncover a bit of humanity once in a while when it comes to a world devoid of NPCs.
20 Responder On Ice
In Flatwoods, take a minute next time you're around the local tavern to open all of the refrigerator doors on the ground level. Surprise! One of them contains a particularly unfortunate Responder. Dig through his belongings to find a holotape recording of his final desperate moments, during which he reveals the location of his "life savings."
Well? Go on, it's not like he'll be needing them any longer.
Following the exact instructions he provides, you'll find a lockbox lodged into a tree stump. It isn't much, but a nice sum of caps, ammunition and a shiny new gun are always welcome finds, even if you end up just scrapping the gun for parts.
19 Dapper Radroach
Sitting near the crossroads between the Kanawha Nuka-Cola Plant and Camden Park, on the western side of the map, is a small, unmarked house. There are plenty of incredibly weird things within, but chief among them is this well-dressed radroach seated prominently on the porcelain throne.
He's got a nice hat, a stylish walking cane, and on his person is an expensive wedding band. Clearly an irradiated insect of discerning taste and the utmost class. We can only wonder who the lucky lady is.
18 The Creepy Nancy Dearest Message
If you're scavenging around the Charleston Train Yard, take a few extra minutes while you're combing the catwalks - you'll notice a skeleton along with a written note and a shotgun hanging out on top of one of the shipping crates.
Leap onto the hanging crate to claim the small cache of loot and treat yourself to the heartbreaking tale of lost, or perhaps misplaced love scrawled across the note. Poor guy. Ah well, he won't be needing that shotgun anymore, at least.
17 Living On A Rock
I have to admit, I had to wonder whether or not this was a bug when I first stumbled across it. But all the placement just seems too purposeful for that to be true. What you see is what you get with this one, but it's certainly odd enough to bear mention.
It's literally all the regular furnishings for a house, even a door with a door frame, sans walls, a roof, and a floor. Unless the rock somehow counts as a floor. I guess it does, really. Maybe a play on living on the rock rather than under it? Who knows. Take a short hike northeast from Camp McClintock if you'd like to get a load of this one, just look for the big metal tower.
16 A Little Detour From Camp Venture
You'll need to head to Camp Venture at some point for one of the main quests anyway, so why not go a little out of your way to snag some sweet loot? Head west from there, you'll see a big, tall metal tower about halfway between there and the National Radio Astronomy Research Center.
Look towards the nearby cliffs - there's an easy pathway up, and you should be able to make out the shack we're looking for from there. This one's absolutely packed with rare crafting materials, lootable containers, workbenches and even crafting recipes. Just be wary, as this one's usually guarded by a high-level turret.
15 A Little On The Nose
The developers tend to have a lot of fun with the lettered wooden blocks scattered throughout the game. Granted this isn't new, but it's definitely a trend that has held firm for Fallout 76.
They range from typical to bizarre, like a couple of blocks spelling out "HI" on top of a terminal, or arranged to spell "PWEASE" in front of a skeleton holding a toaster and a fork sprawled out in a bathtub. Then you have this particular setting found in the Winding Path Temple. It's uh, rather telling to say the least.
14 The Explosive Scarecrow Shrine
East and just a touch north from the National Isolated Radio Array, nestled among the cliffs, you can bear witness to this weird scene. Or maybe take a knee and offer it a few prayers? I mean, you do you.
The explosives crates propping up this pumpkin-headed scarecrow are still full to the brim with goodies, so make sure to check them out if you're in need of grenades, mines and things that go "boom" while you're paying him a visit.
13 Scorchbeasts Are... What Now?
Scorchbeasts are pretty much the big bads of Fallout 76. They're high leveled, flying monstrosities capable of unrelenting volleys of high damage, surface penetrating ranged attacks. You'd be forgiven for thinking you're actually playing Skyrim with guns when they strike.
Although the gameplay might make you think dragons, would you believe they're actually just gigantic, irradiated bats? According to a terminal entry in Ella Ames' bunker, towards the northern part of the Mire, they're essentially radbats. Weird.
12 Minigun At Solomon's Pond
If you're ever out for a stroll near Solomon's Pond, and you just happen to think to yourself, "Man, I really could use a minigun right now," well, you're in luck today. Check the bed of the truck near the crafting stations, behind the nearby house.
You should find yourself looking right at one.
Hidden inconspicuously next to a few barrels should be your prize. This one's respawning, so feel free to load the area again if you need to break a few down to get some modifications for it.
11 Big Fred's Secret Meat
Big Fred's is a barbecue stand nestled out in the Savage Divide, southeast from the Top of the World and directly north from the Emmett Mountain Disposal Site. After clearing out the locale of any hostile presence, you can pick your way through it for your usual stash of supplies and salvage.
You'll also encounter a note praising Fred's cuisine, as well as the "inventive and plentiful" choice in meats.
You might then notice that all of the meat you've taken from the grills is, in fact, dog meat. You'll also probably shrug your shoulders and think to yourself, "I've eaten worse," before chowing down. Hey, that hunger meter is pretty brutal.
10 Vlad & Mia
Treading the road northeast from the R&G Station, you may come across two robots deep in conversation. Keep in mind that this could be a random encounter, so your mileage may vary. They're Vlad and Mia, a Mr. Handy and Miss Nanny that somehow managed to find one another after the bombs fell. And man, have they got a lot to say.
Their conversation bits are strange, disjointed and entirely hilarious. Among the topics they'll cycle through are wondering if they should attack the humans, the meaning of life, and Vlad constantly asking Mia if she's single. I guess robots get lonely too.
9 Camping Off The Beaten Path
There are dozens upon dozens of such unmarked locations dotted throughout Appalachia, but a good scavenger never passes up an opportunity! Sitting northeast of the West Tek Research Center, and not even a brisk walk southwest from the National Radio Astronomy Research Center you'll find this cozy little campground.
You'll find a number of lootable tents and containers, a few weapons, some log piles, bits of food and other useful odds and ends scattered about. Oh, and a few Scorchbeast guano piles. Ugh. Well, may as well loot those too. Don't look at me like that. What did I say about a good scavenger?
8 The Rare Weapon On The Rails
No, really. It's a Fat Man hidden on a monorail track. Yes, seriously. We're going pretty direct with this one. Head over to the Garrahan Mining Headquarters in the southwestern quadrant of the map, a ways south from Lewisburg and southeast from the Red Rocket Filling Station.
It shouldn't be difficult to notice the monorail station nearby. Climb it, and once you're on the platform, notice that there are wooden stairs leading to roof. Take these, and then drop down onto the rail itself and follow it along until you've got your eyes on the prize. Now you just need to find some mini nukes!
7 Private Property
It takes a brave soul to go exploring in the Mire. Aside from being totally creepy, it is also home to some of the toughest creatures in the game. But wandering off the beaten path is always worth the while. Far, far to the north, north even from the Gnarled Shallows, is this unwelcoming little cabin.
You can ignore the "No Trespassing" sign easily enough, but mind the bear traps. They sting a little.
Inside you'll find a small collection of loot and junk, as well as a teddy bear that's been confined to a birdcage. This also serves as a spawn point for some pretty tough baddies, I ended up encountering a chameleon deathclaw battling it out with a bunch of high-level super mutants, so pack some firepower if you go looking for this one.
6 True Love
Head for Torrance House, northwest a bit from Riverside Manor, and clamber up onto the roof from the second floor. Hop from rooftop to rooftop and it shouldn't take you long to stumble upon this bizarrely romantic scene.
Here we have all the makings of a happily newlywed couple. A great view, candles, flowers, the works. Oh, and Mr. Chubs, as well as an arrangement of wooden blocks spelling out "Hubba Hubba." Everything you could ever ask for. Well, except the part where they're still alive to enjoy it. That might help tie the whole scene together nicely, depending on who you are.
5 Off-Road Explosives & More
Just a short hop northeast from the National Radio Astronomy Research Center, keep your eyes peeled for a truck and a car hauling a boat, just off the main road. The bed of the truck has several crates full of grenades, and there are a half dozen or more lootable duffle bags scattered around the area.
As to what the story is behind the many skeletons littering the ground nearby, I have no clue. What I do know is that the various guns they're clutching are no longer of service to them. Lucky you!
4 Under The Rusty Pick
The Rusty Pick is a miner bar south of Charleston, just a stone's throw southwest from the Charleston Fire Department. The interior looks just about like you'd expect, but it's when you venture into the basement that things get interesting.
Apart from there being a suit of power armor that spawns behind a security gate down there, there's a hole in the wall that appears to lead to a mine shaft. Be ready for a bit of a fight, as there are usually several higher level mole miners hanging out here, doing mole miner things. "Mole miner things" usually revolves around doing significant harm to vault dwellers whenever possible, so don't feel bad about blasting through them to collect a few delicious scraps of loot.
3 The Most Dangerous Game
Much like the wooden blocks, the developers really do seem preoccupied with arranging teddy bears into strange, funny, or vaguely unsettling still life scenarios. You might find them playing spin the bottle, or clutched into the hands of a skeletal limb outstretched from a pile of rubble, for instance.
Or you might find them hunting big game, obviously. I'm not sure what worries me more, the fact that there's a downed Yao Guai nearby, or the clearly human skeleton that's at his feet. Either way, not messing with this Teddy. Head north and just a little bit west from the Whitespring Golf Resort to check him out, just keep an eye out for a vehicle parked nearby.
2 There's Gold In Them Hills
Exploring in the Mire towards the eastern side of the map, have a good look around after you've located the Ransacked Bunker. It's just a bit south from the middle. The sheer cliff might look impassable, but sharp eyes can locate a few footholds as well as a set of wooden ladders leading upwards.
You'll pass a few lootables and tents along the way, and as you reach the top of the cliff you'll stumble across a treasure trove mining nodes. If you're short on copper or gold this definitely needs to make your itinerary, otherwise, it is definitely still worth it just for the impressive view at the summit.
1 Grahm, Super Mutant Trader Extraordinaire
Fallout's always had a friendly Super Mutant, whether as a companion or in some other implementation of the concept. Fallout 76 keeps this tradition by bringing us Grahm, along with his favored pack brahmin, Chally the Moo Moo.
His wandering path is a bit difficult to keep track of, so he can be a bit of a random, seemingly out of the blue encounter. He's a tough one to find, but you can check out his route here if you're looking to get a word in with him. Just bring plenty of caps, as he offers some of the rarest items and crafting plans in the game.