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Fallout 76 has a real-time VATS system

Fallout 76 VATS

One question about Fallout 76 wasn’t clearly answered in the Bethesda reveal at E3 this week: if this entry in the series is always-online, what’s to become of the VATS system that slows the action to near-standstill?

Well, now we know: VATS still has a place in online Fallout, but it’s now real-time – a different prospect from the tribute to Black Isle’s turn-based combat first introduced in Fallout 3.

“It’s still there,” Bethesda game director Todd Howard told Geoff Keighley at E3 yesterday. “It doesn’t slow time, but it lets you target and pick parts and all of that. It still works great. It’s different, obviously, because it’s real-time.”

There are a couple of Fallout games among the best RPGs on PC.

The basic principle remains the same, however, according to Howard: if you’re not a particularly skilled twitch shooter and would struggle to line up a headshot on a moving target, levelling your character so that they’re good at VATS would allow you to do that.

VATS is certainly an incredibly useful crutch, especially for RPG fans intimidated by the prospect of PvP in a Fallout game for the first time.

But is there a tactical element to those limb shots that might be lost to the pace of real-time combat? We’ll get to find out on that coveted Fallout 76 release date – for everything else, check out that link for everything we know about the online RPG so far.