The Fallout 76 Wastelanders update reintroduces human NPCs, complete with a reputation system that rewards players for their faction loyalties.

Bethesda has released new information about the upcoming Fallout 76 Wastelanders update, which is now said to bring back faction reputations. Ever since the game released, players have complained about the somewhat linear nature of quests, with the Fallout tradition of choice and consequences being completely nonexistent. With the Fallout 76 Wastelanders update, that feature is planned to come back in a big way.

Fallout 76 debuted to lackluster reviews and widespread condemnation of many missing features, like human NPCs and the aforementioned choice and consequences. Players have also been dissatisfied with Bethesda’s widely-condemned Fallout 1st pay-to-win membership. Wastelanders represents a potential turning point for the game, which has not received a major update not tied to the battle royale mode in quite some time. While Fallout 76 has always had NPCs – enemies, robots, a certain friendly super mutant and his bovine companion, and even the characters in holotape recordings – many players feel that the lack of actual living humans not controlled by players created a hollow feeling within the game’s world. With the Scorched plague now under control, many who had fled the ruins of West Virginia are beginning to return to Appalachia, including two major factions: the Settlers and Raiders.

In a post on the Fallout 76 website, Bethesda lays out details of the reputation system coming with the Wastelanders update, which will also include new locations like the Watoga Underground. Players start with a default position of both the Settlers and Raiders being cautious of them, but as players destroy those factions’ enemies and complete quests, their reputations will rise. This will allow for more quests to become available and more items will be able to be bought from the faction’s respective vendors. Faction reputations range from Hostile to Neutral to Ally and others, as shown in the chart below.

Reputation amounts gained or lost will vary from activity to activity. A story quest will give players a large amount of reputation. Daily faction quests, on the other hand, will provide smaller amounts – as will certain choices in conversations. Since Bethesda has revealed the identities of these two factions who have traditionally opposed one another, it can be safely assumed actions on behalf of one of them will negatively impact the other. It’s unclear if players will be able to gain maximum positive reputation with both factions simultaneously, although many players will surely try.

While some may say the addition of human NPCs and a reputation system is too little too late, especially after the failed promise to deliver the update before the end of 2019, these have the potential to add a lot of missing flavor into Fallout 76. Though this system may be too simple in the eyes of many, if it is done right it has the potential to bring players back to Fallout 76, a deeply flawed yet otherwise excellent game.