The PC beta test for Fallout 76 has got off to a rip-roaring start. Bethesda really outdid itself when it became aware of an issue with the PC client for Fallout 76 and recommended users “do not click any buttons on the client for the time being”.
Things just went from bad to worse during the time-limited B.E.T.A. test for Fallout 76 yesterday evening though. Users who had preloaded the 47GB game discovered the launcher deleted the game and forced the entire 47GB download to begin again. Not exactly an ideal scenario when the beta window for the day was just four hours long. We should imagine a lot of folks would struggle to download 47GB in four hours, let alone have time to get in for a decent session.
Ordinarily, none of this would be an issue. A beta test is for exactly that - testing. When you actively market the beta test as a pre-order bonus though, that’s a whole different ballpark and Bethesda opens itself up to valid criticism. Bethesda is charging customers for the privilege of testing a game, and there’s a certain expectation there.
There’s also the question raised of simply whether Bethesda has the systems in place to support a game launch of this magnitude through its own Bethesda.net client. Part of the benefit of Steam is off-loading a lot of these issues to Valve, hence the 30% cut. With any luck, these are just teething issues ahead of Fallout 76’s official launch on November 14th.
However, Bethesda has tried to make amends by extending the length of tomorrow’s Fallout 76 BETA test window. Rather than run for four hours, it’ll now stretch from 2pm ET on Thursday, November 1st, through to 11pm. That’s a nine-hour slot for users to play in.
Further complications have also arisen in the Fallout 76 beta test. Users have discovered a couple of PC-specific issues that could pose major problems. Firstly, Fallout 76 currently only supports 16:9 monitors. This can be tweaked in the .ini files but it breaks the UI. Secondly, the game speed is tied to Fallout 76’s frame rate. By default, the frame rate is capped at 60fps, but unlocking the frame rate in the config files causes the game speed to run super-fast. Which is, er, a pretty odd choice for an online game. It’s a speed hack that anyone can do right out of the box. Truly bizarre.
Hopefully, Bethesda can get it all sorted as the concept of Fallout 76 sounds intriguing enough. The online elements certainly won't be for everyone but at least Bethesda is prepared to try out new ideas and head in a new direction.
Did anybody manage to get into the Fallout 76 beta last night, what were your thoughts? Do you foresee a disastrous launch for Fallout 76, or can Bethesda get it all sorted in time? Let us know what you think!
I did also see that resident GD'er PCEGamer posted a bunch of gameplay from the beta so that's worth checking out!