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Fallout 76 is about to get the one feature we’ve always wanted

Speaking exclusively to PCGamesN, Bethesda confirms an amazing feature coming to Fallout 76, perfect for fans of The Ghoul Cooper Howard.

Fallout 76 Ghoul: A survivor with an angry expression from Bethesda RPG game Fallout 76

One of my favorite things about Fallout New Vegas, arguably the most open and freeform entry in the Bethesda and Obsidian RPG series, is the fact you play as somebody other than a Vault survivor. It seems minor, but as a character who has spent their life above ground rather than below it, the world of FNV feels different and more compelling. The wait for Fallout 5 may be long, but perhaps the most underrated game in the series, Fallout 76, is about to be transformed by an incredible new feature. Speaking exclusively to PCGamesN, Bethesda confirms that fans of Walton Goggins, Cooper Howard, and The Ghoul, will soon be able to live out their irradiated dreams.

It’s been a long (country) road for Fallout 76. The online RPG first arrived in 2018 and was initially beset by disconnect and technical issues that sullied its reputation, and made it seem a lesser game alongside its single-player series siblings. Six years and 52 updates later, Fallout 76 is now one of the most-loved games in the apocalypse open-world canon, and it’s about to get even better thanks to a transformative new feature – one we’ve imagined and dreamed about ever since Fallout began back in 1997. Our wait for the Fallout 5 release date suddenly doesn’t feel quite so painful.

The Brotherhood of Steel. The Minutemen. The Enclave. The world of Fallout is filled with colorful, often sinister factions, some friendly, some less so. For the most part, however, you begin the game as a Vault Dweller, and – though you might align yourself with one group or  another – you finish the game as a Vault Dweller. But not any more. In Fallout 76, you’ll soon be able to play as a Ghoul.

Fallout 76 Ghoul: A playable Ghoul in Fallout 76 holding a rifle

“The community has certainly wanted this for a very long time,” Bethesda Game Studios producer Bill LaCoste tells PCGamesN, during an exclusive interview. “They’ve wanted to play as a different character or a different faction for a long time. And we were talking about it before it became a big deal, before people saw Cooper in the TV show.

“A lot of it has to do with Walton Goggins just being an amazing actor. But it worked together with our original thoughts. We had this in mind, making this a playable thing in the future, and when the TV show hit and people loved The Ghoul, we knew we’d made the right decision.”

Becoming a Ghoul in Fallout 76 is more than just an aesthetic change – it will significantly alter gameplay and your character build. As soon as you hit level 50, you will unlock a quest that will start you down the road of transforming into a Ghoul. Once the change is complete, you will unlock new Ghoul-specific perks and abilities. You’ll be able to harness radiation to give you additional powers and buffs, and certain factions will react to you differently than if you were a human.

We’re still waiting for more details about the Ghoul transformation quest itself, but Bethesda confirms that you will also, if you want, be able to switch back to a human character, creating a dynamic experience where you can enjoy every single aspect of West Virginia either as a Ghoul or a standard smoothskin. Combined with the upcoming Fallout 76 Skyline Valley update, there’s a lot on the way.

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“I’m traditionally a Bloodied build person,” LaCoste continues, explaining how changing into a Ghoul will encourage different builds and approaches to play. “I won’t be able to do that with my Ghoul. I’ll have to figure something else out. I’m excited to go in there and see what other people will do as well.”

Finally, we can experience one of the best apocalypse games ever from a different perspective, and utilize perks and the West Virginian landscape in completely new ways. We’re going to have to wait a little while, however – Bethesda confirms that playable Ghouls will arrive in Fallout 76 in 2025. But in the meantime, it’s probably a good idea to pick up a duster and a Stetson, and start practicing your thumbs up.

As we wait for playable Ghouls to arrive, the best Fallout 4 mods, revised and updated for 2024, will make your next journey to the Commonwealth feel fresh. Alternatively, get a load of the best open-world games available on PC.

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