In Bethesda's continuing quest to practically turn Fallout 76 into the game that it was initially expected to be, the Nuclear Winter update provides players with an all-new battle royale mode to sink their teeth into. It definitely brings a much-needed change of pace to the beleaguered title, even if the battle royale format is an incredibly awkward fit for the Creation engine. It's a bizarre and strangely charming venture that, for lack of better terminology, seems to "just work."
That said, Fallout 76's daring dive into the thoroughly tread territory of battle royale varieties certainly does have its quirks and oddities, to say the very least. Here are the ten biggest tips for prospective Overseers of Vault 51 to keep in mind before they enter the arena to compete for the coveted chair.
10 Hunger And Thirst Aren't Issues (But Radiation Is)
Although your character will still have to contend with radiation and AI controlled monsters during a round of Nuclear Winter, they'll never have to worry about hunger or thirst.
Players will still deal with radiation in the usual ways: Radaway, Rad-X, and even Radiation Suits are scattered about in supply containers. That said, irradiated areas are pretty clearly marked with bright yellow cans of radioactive waste, so they can be easily avoided.
9 You Can Still Get Mutations
Though the negative effects of radiation are still very much a threat in Nuclear Winter, the potential benefits of soaking up a few rads are also still intact. That's if players don't manage to dig a super rare mutation serum out of a supply crate first, anyway.
Any mutations that your character has on deck for the adventure and survival game modes are nullified during Nuclear Winter, but your character can temporarily pick up new mutations that'll remain in effect throughout the match.
8 Launching A Nuke Is Simple, But Rare
Nuclear launches are still very much possible, but the process is simplified and streamlined into locating four nuclear codes along with a nuclear briefcase in order to do the deed. The odds of a lone player finding all four codes along with the briefcase are slim, so cooperating with the squad is crucial to pulling it off.
These items can be located in containers or on AI enemies, and players killed in a nuclear launch still count towards the score of the launching party. The countdown is very short, so players right in the middle of a target area are unlikely to make it out alive.
7 It Uses An Entirely Separate Perk System
For Nuclear Winter, players are limited to a total of seven perk cards. They still have point values, and your character's SPECIAL statistics still must meet or exceed the combined value of the perk cards for a given stat. For example, four points of agility mean that a player can equip a total of four points' worth of agility cards.
Most perks are altered from their normal versions, and there are a few that are totally unique to Nuclear Winter. They also don't combine to "level up," with duplicate cards being converted directly in Overseer XP.
6 You Can Still Use Your CAMP (With Limitations)
Players can still build CAMP structures to provide protection and cover, but that's the extent of their usefulness in Nuclear Winter. Crafting stations and the like are useless, and some CAMP structures must be built through special means.
Defensive implements such as turrets, for example, need to be found in building kits that can be located in loot containers before they can be built. Players shouldn't get married to their impromptu fortresses, however, and should keep them as mobile as possible, since the storm will inevitably flatten them as the ring gets smaller.
5 Fall Damage Is Reduced, But Still Present
Although fall damage is turned down a few notches to give players a little more mobility during Nuclear Winter, it's still very much a thing, and falls that would prove fatal in other game modes are still likely to kill.
Naturally, players that are lucky enough to stumble across a suit of power armor will be able to survive falls from any height, giving them an incredible mobility benefit. But in practically every other situation, "better safe than sorry" is a good mantra to stand by.
4 Only Certain Cosmetic Outfits Are Allowed
So far, it seems that only Atomic Shop purchases are allowed to be brought into Nuclear Winter, and must be tagged as an "NW Favorite" from the Atomic Shop menu in order to be worn.
Only items that are considered "outfits" (along with some pieces of headgear) are allowed. This means that pieces typically considered under armor, for the time being, can't be carried over into Nuclear Winter.
3 You Can't Get Addicted To Chems
Plenty of chems are available for use in Nuclear Winter, most with slightly altered statistics to make them fit into the game mode. And players can take as many of them as they please without fear of repercussion.
No addiction penalties are present in Nuclear Winter. This means that players should be keenly aware of which chems they have in their inventory and apply them in situations where they'd be remotely useful because the competition will be doing the exact same.
2 Some Rewards Carry Over To Adventure Mode
Players earn "Overseer XP" based on their performance in each round, unlocking a track of unique rewards, alongside opening up new areas of Vault 51 to explore between matches. Some of the rewards are cosmetics that can be used in other game modes.
In addition to this, players aren't missing out on progressing their character in adventure mode, as completing Nuclear Winter matches will also shell out normal XP and caps that carry over to the character's more "normal" progression.
1 Every Container Is Worth Searching
The loot system has been changed over entirely for Nuclear Winter, with supply caches being dumped all over the map. More conventional containers such as desks and safes have had their loot replaced as well.
Players won't find any junk-filled tool boxes or end tables stuffed with scrap. Every container contains items entirely relevant to Nuclear Winter. From Stimpaks to ammunition, there's no filler material to be found.