Bethesda launches its online role-playing game Fallout 76 this November, and the studio will hold a beta test beforehand to give players a chance to play it early if they’ve pre-ordered the full game. Those players won’t have to restart their character when launch day comes, either, as Bethesda is planning to have beta progress transfer over.
Bethesda said on its FAQ page for Fallout 76 that this is the “current” plan, so it’s possible that things could change down the line and you’ll have to start a fresh save file. However, given how close to the game’s launch the beta test will be, it seems unlikely that any major tweaks would limit the compatibility of files — particularly if data is stored on Bethesda’s end.
Since the beta will include the “full” Fallout 76 game, you’ll be able to make as much progress as you want. What exactly this means remains unclear at the moment, as the spin-off relies heavily on players’ interactions with each other.
For the first chance to play the Fallout 76 beta you’ll have to be on Xbox One. It will come to PlayStation 4 and PC afterward, but no solid date has been nailed down for any of them yet.
Interestingly, neither the Fallout 76 beta nor the full game will be available on Steam, with Bethesda instead choosing to release them only on its own store. Given the massive popularity of the franchise, Bethesda likely isn’t worried about visibility, but the publisher has used Steam extensively for its games in the past. Skyrim even remains one of the best-selling games on the platform in 2018.
Bethesda isn’t the only company that has chosen to move away from Steam recently. Activision-Blizzard released Destiny 2 on Battle.net rather than Steam last year, and the company is planning to do so with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 in December, as well. Epic Games uses its own platform for Fortnite, as well, and the company will even avoid the Google Play store when the Android version launches.
Fallout 76 will release on November 14 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. We’ll be humming John Denver songs and preparing for the apocalypse until it finally releases.