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Fallout 76’s private servers aren’t private and let random players join

Fallout 76 Wild Appalachia Trailer and Patch Notes

Fallout 76 has its fair share of trouble and controversy since the infamously buggy launch of the open-world multiplayer game. Everything from false advertising to moldy helmets have come tumbling out of the outrage slot machine that is this broken game. But Bethesda still seems to think they can save it, by charging players for premium access to a private instance. The new paid service is called Fallout 1st, and grants access to private servers, but also massive advantages like more storage space and a mobile CAMP base in the main game.

Fallout 1st is priced at $12.99 a month or $99.99 a year and offers a varied range of bonus features in the game. The idea is a rather poor one, as players who already paid for the game are now having to double-dip in order to experience the game in a new way. But as has become the norm for this horrorshow of a title, bugs have once again reared their head, as players are reporting a multitude of problems with the new features (via Forbes).

There are already problems being reported though, as there are some bugs reported. Who would of thought that an implementation of Fallout 76 would be buggy. Players are reporting a bug with the private servers that allows anyone playing the game to join with the games of their friends, even if they’re taking place on an invite-only private world. This means complete randoms can join private games, ruining the experience for those on the server, but this isn’t the only bug being reported. Gamers are also reporting areas devoid of loot and NPCs, almost like they have already been picked clean by other players. This has led to speculation that Bethesda simply recycles old versions of the main server to mirror them to private servers, although this has not been confirmed. In short, the game is buggy even on private instances and players are mad. And given that they pay up to $100 for the privilege, they have every right to be.

And based on all of this, players are of course asking for refunds. This reveal has also coincided with multiple people digging into the game code and discovering something alarming. A couple of Fallout 76 streamers began digging after noticing that with fewer players on the servers, the fewer bugs they encountered. The trend they noticed is that in successive patches, Bethesda has made many stealth changes aimed at reducing the number of items players carry, as well as the number of items out in the game world. And Fallout 1st further reinforces this by increasing storage, as storage space isn’t dynamic in the same way that player inventory is. All of these changes would reduce the amount of item tracking the server has to do, leading to better stability. So in essence, players who pay into Fallout 1st are paying for a bug fix.

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