Fallout 76's is getting a public beta, and Xbox One owners will play it before everybody else. Bethesda confirmed this today along with another important detail. Just like the fictional Vault-Tec company that dominates the Fallout world's economy, the Fallout 76 beta is using an acronym. It's called the Break-It Early Test Application, and it will require a pre-order of the full game to access.
During Bethesda's E3 conference, veteran game director Todd Howard took to the stage to introduce the world to Fallout 76. While a short teaser did make the rounds ahead of the trailer, it gave nothing away in terms of gameplay. So it was a surprise when Howard declared that Fallout 76 will be an online multiplayer game. He also announced the game will have a beta, but that details will be made clearer after the conference.
Now those details are beginning to surface. VGR reports that those who wish to play the beta will need to pre-order the game. Codes to get into the beta will be distributed upon reservation. As for the big one, the Xbox One will open the beta before any other platform. VGR notes that there's no indication as to why this is happening. There seems to be no deal or partnership with Microsoft in place. It might just be that the development team wants to start slow and go one platform at a time.
Like any online game populated by hundreds of thousands of players simultaneously, Fallout 76 will need a test period before fully launching. This is also the first time Fallout is going online in this fashion. It makes sense for Bethesda to be extra careful about how the beta and subsequent launch is handled. Howard himself even joked about the icy reception Fallout 4 got after launching with several huge bugs. Unlike in the Fallout world, history doesn't need to repeat itself. Maybe starting with just Xbox is a smart tactic even if it disappoints PC and PlayStation owners.
The one thing that wasn't announced was a date for the beta to begin. But with the actual game releasing in November, a late summer beta seems likely.