UPDATE 10/6/19: Less than 24 hours after it was unveiled in a cloud of abrasive whoops, Fallout 76's Nuclear Winter mode - that's the battle royale one, if you're starting to lose track - is now live on Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Nuclear Winter splits 52 players into squads then sets them loose in a fight to the death, all in a bid to be the last team standing - and all while a perilous ring of fire slowly closes in. The current "pre-beta sneak", as Bethesda is calling it, will run until 17th June.

Eurogamer's Ian Higton has already tried his hand at Nuclear Winter, and successfully managed to claim victory on his very first go. When asked what the secret to his success was, Ian replied, "A lot of people died really early on. Probably because the gunplay is so terrible".

And if you're wondering what else is occurring as part of Fallout 76's Nuclear Winter update, all your questions will be answered here.

ORIGINAL STORY 9/6/19: One of the biggest criticisms of Fallout 76 on release was its lack of NPCs. Apart from Wooby, the NPC hidden in Fallout 76's dev room, there hadn't been any human NPCs in the game - but that's set to change, as Bethesda has announced NPCs are set to join the game in an upcoming update called Wastelanders.

Oh, and Fallout 76 is getting a battle royale mode.

Announced during Bethesda's E3 conference, the Wastelanders update is coming later this year and will be free for all players. In order to explain the sudden appearance of NPCs, the update is set a significant amount of time after the Vault 76 opening. To go with the NPCs are dialogue trees, which should hopefully make Fallout 76 feel a little more like a traditional Bethesda title.

Along with the NPCs, Bethesda says the update will also introduce a new main quest, along with weapons and gear. You can take a look at the trailer below, which shows some of the NPCs in action, along with some disgusting monsters.

But that wasn't all Bethesda wanted to reveal: oh no, because Fallout 76 is due to get a battle royale mode called Nuclear Winter. A look at the trailer reveals a traditional narrowing circle of fire - but somewhat more unusually you'll have to beat 51 opponents to win. There's a reason for this, as the lore for the mode explains a new overseer is required for Vault 51 - and so players must battle to the death for the privilege. The logic checks out.

It looks like some of Fallout 76's PvE and C.A.M.P.-building elements will remain part of the mode, along with power armour and nukes - so it'll be intriguing to see how this works in practice. We'll find out for sure when it arrives as part of the free Nuclear Winter update this summer, but before then you can check out Bethesda's more detailed notes over here.

Perhaps to bump up player numbers and re-stoke interest ready for the impending battle royale mode, Bethesda is offering a free trial week for the game on all platforms from 10th to 17th June.

It's a strange time when the addition of NPCs - which many expected to be included at the start - becomes a major selling point for a game. I guess Bethesda's at least been listening to the community on this one - although I'm not sure if anyone had been wishing for a battle royale mode. Or rather, a Nuclear Winter.

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Emma Kent

Emma Kent

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Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.