The studio decided to create Survival mode after it received lots of feedback from players looking for a greater competitive challenge with fewer PvP restrictions and more incentives, it said in an update on Thursday. It’s still working on the mode internally and plans to bring it into the live game in phases, adding more content and features over time.
Once Bethesda begins beta testing the new feature, players can choose whether they’d like to play Adventure mode (the default “Fallout 76” experience) or Survival mode. The latter will have all the same quests, events, and story of the former. Players can create new characters or use existing ones, Bethesda said. If they do use existing characters, all of their progress from Adventure mode will transfer over. But, that also means actions taken in Survival mode — like using up ammo, completing quests, and spending Caps — affect Adventure mode as well.
“If you’d rather keep your existing characters as they are, we recommend starting a new one when you head into the more challenging Survival mode,” Bethesda said.
All players except teammates and event groupmates are automatically flagged as hostile while in Survival mode, which means they can attack each other at any time without restrictions. Level scaling works the same as it does in Adventure mode, Bethesda said. “This will help to level the playing field a bit and give newer characters a fighting chance against high-level players they might encounter during their adventures in the Wasteland. As a result, you’ll need to keep your wits about you during every hostile encounter, because even low-level characters can pose a real threat,” it said.
Bethesda plans to experiment with different rules after the beta launches. Currently, dead players can’t use the seek revenge respawn option. They can only respawn at their C.A.M.P. or Vault 76. Bethesda also wants to award twice as many Caps for player kills, and they might drop some items when they drop. “Added risks and rewards like these in Survival mode PvP will make each of your deaths more devastating, and every kill you rack up much more lucrative,” Bethesda said. “However, it’s important to note that these changes aren’t set in stone, and we’ll be looking to make adjustments based on playtesting and your feedback during the Survival Beta.”
Finally, Bethesda said it plans to roll out in-game leaderboards during the Survival Beta. It will share more details on that closer to the beta’s start date. While the developer said it hopes to launch the beta in March, it said it still has a lot more work to do on the leaderboards and other features and may need more time for testing.