Yes, Fallout 76 will continue having completely free DLC expansions! Fallout 76 has moved away from paid DLC in favor of providing new quests, features, gear, and areas via free game updates. This guide will explain Fallout 76‘s free DLC approach and what major expansions you can expect down the road.
Why Fallout 76 Went With Free DLC
Previous Fallout games like Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Fallout 4 relied heavily on paid DLC expansions. These would segment the playerbase between those who owned the DLC and those who didn‘t.
For Fallout 76, Bethesda wanted to keep the entire player community united and experiencing new content together. That‘s why they made the choice to deliver all major DLC updates for free.
This model does have some downsides – the development cost has to be recouped through other revenue streams like cosmetic microtransactions. But the benefit is that all players get access to the same quests and gear no matter when they start playing.
Here‘s a Look at Fallout 76‘s Major Free DLC Releases So Far
|New crafting systems, quests, events, and Photo Mode.
|52-player battle royale mode plus quality of life improvements.
|Added human NPCs and new main quests for Settlers and Raiders.
|Brotherhood of Steel faction introduced with new questline.
As you can see, the free DLC updates have added huge amounts of content to the game for all players to enjoy as part of the base experience.
Upcoming Major Expansions
Bethesda has exciting plans to keep expanding Fallout 76 over 2022 and 2023. Here‘s a sneak peek at some of the upcoming free DLC drops we have to look forward to:
The Pitt – Fall 2022
The Pitt will introduce Expedition missions that take players to the post-apocalyptic remains of Pittsburgh. New quests, enemies, rewards, and more await in this industrial wasteland.
Expeditions are an all-new way to experience Fallout 76‘s evolving world beyond Appalachia. Bethesda plans to add Expeditions to other iconic Fallout locations over time as well.
Nuka World On Tour – Summer 2022
For a limited time, Nuka-Cola is coming to Appalachia with the Nuka World on Tour update. This expansion will add Nuka-Cola themed seasonal events, challenges, rewards, and outfits.
The Upper Peninsula – 2023
Next year will take players to the wilderness of Michigan‘s Upper Peninsula via another Expeditions expansion. We can expect plenty of new creatures and environments to explore in this region.
Bethesda is committed to supporting Fallout 76 for the long term. The roadmap outlines content planned through 2023, but players can expect more major free DLC even beyond that as long as the game remains popular.
Based on Fallout 76‘s evolution so far, the future looks bright for continued expansions over 2022, 2023, and for years to come!
The Benefits of Free DLC
While free DLC has some tradeoffs, it offers several advantages for players:
- The entire playerbase receives new content, keeping the community united.
- Players aren‘t segmented between expansion packs they own and don‘t own.
- There‘s no need to buy a season pass or premium version to access added quests and features.
- The world and lore can expand without splitting the playerbase.
- More flexibility to deliver seasonal events and time-limited content.
According to Bethesda, over 76% of Fallout 76 players who logged in during 2021 accessed new content delivered through game updates. That shows the strategy is working to keep the community engaged.
While some fans understandably miss paid story expansions, Fallout 76‘s free DLC approach has allowed the game to grow substantially since launch. Millions of players have returned, attracted by massive updates like Wastelanders and Steel Dawn.
The Downsides of Free DLC
Free DLC doesn‘t come without potential drawbacks:
- No major revenue from expansions means more reliance on cosmetics/subscriptions.
- Some players feel smaller updates aren‘t as meaty as full paid expansions.
- Developers have to continuously pump out new content to keep monetization up.
- Might diminish opportunity for sweeping changes an expansion allows.
However, most of Fallout 76‘s DLC drops like Wastelanders and Steel Dawn have been more robust than a typical paid DLC pack. The scale of free updates has been impressive.
While it‘s a different model, Fallout 76 has flourished by pursuing free long-term live service DLC over one-off paid expansions. And that trend will continue in the coming years.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, Fallout 76 is now fundamentally a game focused on growing through free updates. The direction has clearly been a success looking at the game‘s resurgence and current healthy player population.
Major expansions like Wastelanders and upcoming content like The Pitt are totally free for all players. You can jump in anytime and have access to the same evolving world as veterans.
So if you‘ve ever considered giving Fallout 76 a chance, know that a massive amount of new stories, quests, creatures, and gear have been added for free since launch. And based on Bethesda‘s 2022 and 2023 roadmaps, the free DLC train will keep on rolling.