Bethesda’s Fallout 76 is scheduled to arrive on November 14, but eager gamers don’t want to wait that long, right? That is where the break-it-early-test-application (BETA) program comes into play. The company is looking for willing gamers to evaluate its new Vault and venture out into the hills of West Virginia to test their skills and uncover any buggy secrets. Unfortunately, there’s currently only one way to enroll in this program.
According to Bethesda, the only way to get into the BETA program is to pre-order Fallout 76. It will be accessible on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, and invitations will begin rolling out in October. Initially, a small number of players who pre-ordered the game will be granted access, with more allowed in over time.
Bethesda also states that you must be 18 years or older to participate in the program, and you will need an internet connection, and a subscription to Xbox Live or PlayStation Plus on the consoles.
So how does BETA entry work? If you purchase the game on the Xbox One Store, PlayStation Store, or Bethesda.net eShop account, you will have instant access to the program once it goes live: No codes are necessary. If you purchase the game at a retailer such as Best Buy, GameStop, or Walmart, you’ll need to visit account.bethesda.net/en/settings/redeem-code to manually enter a redemption code provided on your receipt, as a separate slip, or within an email. If you don’t have a Bethesda account, now is a good time to create one before the game’s launch.
“Please note that this information is subject to change without notice,” Bethesda states. “Vault-Tec is not liable for any damages, injuries, or mental anguish inflicted during or after the BETA. Always consult your Vault Overseer for guidance on appropriate BETA usage.”
If you missed this E3 2018 gaming convention reveal, the next installment in the Fallout franchise takes an interesting turn: Multiplayer. The story precedes all other Fallout games as you’re one of the first individuals to step out of the Vaults after the nuclear holocaust. The setting is West Virginia, a world that’s four times larger than what you can explore in Fallout 4.
Even though Bethesda acknowledges that it has a few bugs in its games, the BETA program likely isn’t solely about squashing pesky problems. Every character you meet in Fallout 76 is a real player, thus the BETA testing is likely about tweaking the game’s persistent world experience and the underlying servers as real-world humans emerge from their Vaults.
In addition to multiplayer support, Fallout 76 also expands on the base-building aspect of Fallout 4. Instead of knocking down houses and building your unique structures in a locked location, you can build an entire base anywhere you want. Even more, you can pack up that base and relocate it anywhere you choose. Just be careful: Other players may come in and completely annihilate your creation.
Here are the prices and bundled goodies for each edition. Remember, all three provide access to the BETA program.
- $60 = Standard Edition
- $80 = Tricentennial Edition — includes in-game items
- $200 = Power Armor Edition — includes physical and in-game items.
Updated on July 24, 2018 by Gabe Gurwin: Added October starting time for beta.