New underground building spaces are coming to Fallout 76 sometime later this year, but the best and biggest will be gated behind its premium currency.
Bethesda went into more detail about how shelters will work in Fallout 76 over on its website, ahead of when they’re slated to go live on the game’s PC testing server this weekend. Shelters are instanced spaces separate from the rest of the game that each have their own build budgets so you don’t have to worry about stealing from your above-ground C.A.M.P. site. They also come in three sizes: Utility Room, Lobby, and Atrium. The first of these, which sounds like how you might describe the janitor’s closet, will be free to players as soon as they complete a new questline, but the other two will require forking over precious Atoms, Fallout 76's premium currency.
“The ‘Vault Lobby’ will initially be one of our monthly free items for Fallout 1st members,” Bethesda wrote. “After that, all players will be able to buy the Lobby using Atoms in the Atomic Shop. The largest of our first three Shelters, the ‘Vault Atrium,’ will be available for Atom purchase immediately on patch day.” That’s not necessarily surprising given Fallout 76's updates are free, funded by the sale of cosmetics and furniture from the Atom Shop. At the same time it also guarantees that those with the most time and money on their hands will have the grandest vaults.
Fallout 1st subscriptions are currently $13 for a month or $100 for a whole year. Meanwhile, Atoms can be purchased starting at $5 for 500, or earned in-game by completing daily and weekly challenges, or leveling up the game’s free season pass. For example, hitting rank 2o in season two will earn you 150 Atoms. Until Bethesda reveals how much the Lobby and Atrium shelters will cost in the Atom shop, it’s hard to have any sense of just how onerous it will feel to grind for them vs. buying them outright with cash. The fact that the largest of the vault spaces will be gated in this way also recalls the sense of class warfare that arose when Fallout 1st subscriptions were initially introduced last year.
When it comes to Fallout 76's microtransaction economy, the devil’s always been in the details. Grinding for Atoms can be a slow affair, though having bundles of them awarded through the season pass has helped with that to some degree. At the same time earning the new S.C.O.R.E. points required to rank up the season pass itself was a particularly arduous affair this past summer. Bethesda said it plans to address those complaints in part by making the grind less incumbent upon logging on every day to do time-limited challenges. It’s an admittedly tough balancing act to nail, but also one that’s not made any easier by the need to nickel-and-dime for the individual pieces of Fallout 76's base building.
The new shelters are supposed to go live in the actual game before the end of the year, but anyone who wants mess around with them sooner should be able to check them out over the weekend on the PTS.