'Fallout 76': How Many Endings Does 'The Steel Reign' Update Have?

Fallout 76's latest free expansion, Steel Reign, is out today and according to its developers, it will feature at least 4 different endings. Newsweek spoke to Mark Tucker, design director for Fallout 76, to learn more.

What Is Fallout 76: Steel Reign?

Steel Reign is the eighth major update for Bethesda's online multiplayer title and will pick up right where the last DLC, Steel Dawn, left off. Conceived as being two halves of the same story, both of these add-ons focus on the return of the Brotherhood of Steel, who are looking to establish themselves in the Appalachia region of the post-apocalyptic USA.

In the Steel Dawn expansion, players had the opportunity to either side with the faction in their quest to rebuild society, or to take on a more adversarial role by disrupting their activities. Depending on which path you chose, you could get entirely different narrative outcomes. Along the way, you were also able to forge relationships with individual members of the Brotherhood, who then went on to have their own branching storylines.

How Many Endings Are There in Fallout 76: Steel Reign?

In a roundtable interview, Mark Tucker, design director for Fallout 76, assured fans that their Steel Dawn decisions will carry over into its sequel and that you will get a unique ending based on your actions.

Tucker told Newsweek: "Steel Reign is the concluding chapter for our Brotherhood of Steel arc [...] We want to make sure this is a good conclusion, with lots of interesting choices for players and that it wraps itself up."

Explaining what kind of consequences your decisions will have, Tucker continued: "There are several major decisions you can make at the end. If I were to quantify the different permutations and do some mental math, I'd say there's about four big endings.

"There's what I would call a moral decision that you can make as a player and then there's also a really big decision that is going to determine the fate of this chapter of the Brotherhood."

While there are four broad endings in Steel Reign, Tucker was quick to point out that there are subtler variations as well. He said: "A lot of the permutations are going to be in how NPCs react to you [...] There are a lot of smaller decisions that you are going to make along the way that will affect the outcome for certain characters."

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At one point in development, there were going to be even more branching paths but they were ultimately trimmed due to time constraints. Speaking about this, Tucker said: "Trust me, we would love to do crazy choose-your-own-adventure storylines, but we also have to eventually get it done. That's the push-pull with these kinds of things, but we are trying to make sure that this holds up to being a true Bethesda game."

This last point will be particularly encouraging to fans, as the release version of Fallout 76 was widely criticized for straying too far from the series' core appeal. At launch, the multiplayer title was missing several features that gamers expect from Fallout, including human NPCs, complex moral decisions, and deep role-playing elements. Since then, Bethesda has been using its updates to add these things into the game retroactively, in an effort to win back players.

Speaking to Newsweek about how they acted on feedback, Tucker said: "Since launch, we have made significant changes with the Wastelanders update [adding] NPCs and stories that are more in line with the traditional [Fallout] games. And then building on that, we also released Steel Dawn and now Steel Reign. This is now a very story-driven game".

The Steel Reign update is free to download for those who already own Fallout 76 (which incidentally is available as part of the Xbox Game Pass service). Bethesda are hoping that the update will address many of the criticisms that have been levelled against Fallout 76 since launch.

To begin the new content, you will first need to reach level 20 in the game and then complete the Steel Dawn questline as well.

The game will also be getting another major update in 2022, in the form of The Pitt expansion. Newsweek recently spoke to Jeff Gardiner, lead producer for Fallout 76, to find out more about this will entail.

Fallout 76 is available on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and Steam.