| ||For the Fallout 76 add-on, see Nuclear Winter.|
Nuclear Winter is a 52-player battle royale gameplay mode in Fallout 76. It was released in sneak peek form as part of the Nuclear Winter add-on on June 10, 2019, coinciding with a free trial week of the game. The sneak peak was originally announced to end on June 17, however has been extended.
The Nuclear Winter mode is vastly different from other gamemodes:
- Player characters only have one life and may not respawn.
- Any player character can attack and deal damage to anyone without damage reduction.
- Items and currencies from other gamemodes are not carried over.
- Weapons, armor, and supplies are found in crates and containers around the battlefield.
- Armor comes in a complete set that includes arm, chest, and leg protection.
- Bobbleheads and magazines are used automatically when picked up and last until the end of the round.
- XP earned goes toward Overseer ranks to unlock rewards.
- Only Nuclear Winter-specific perk cards are allowed to be equipped.
- Player characters will drop all weapons, armor, and supplies upon death.
- At the end of every match or upon the player character's death, a scoreboard shows how much progress the player character has made.
- Special challenges are only available in this mode. Rewards may include unique items and Nuclear Winter perk card packs.
- Workbenches (cooking, armor, weapon, chemistry, tinker, brewing) cannot be used.
- C.A.M.P. may be used to construct a base, with free construction resources.
- Seen enemy player characters appear with a red arrow overhead.
- Hostile creatures are marked with a red diamond both overhead and on the compass.
- Consumption of food and water is no longer necessary.
- Chem addiction and disease are nonexistent.
- Emote icons are only seen by teammates, though animations and sounds still play.
In a battle royale where the last team standing wins, players attempt to claim their spot as the overseer of Vault 51. Teams of up to four are formed from up to 52 players. Individuals then choose their spawn point on the map, only visible to fellow team members. Just before deploying to the battlefield, all enemy spawn points are revealed.
A circular ring of fire slowly closes in on the combatants. Visible on the map, it dynamically becomes smaller and quickens based on the concentration of players. Everything outside the ring of fire gradually takes damage, including creatures, vehicles, and player characters.
Exclusive perks are used in a new perk card system for the game mode. A maximum of seven cards are allowed to be equipped at once. The S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stats of player characters are carried in from Adventure mode and limit perk choices.
Instead of the usual leveling system, Overseer ranks are used to progress and unlock new content. As access is gained to new vault rooms, holotapes, and terminals, the story of Vault 51's original dwellers is revealed.
Experience points are earned at the end of each match or upon a player character's death. An interface displays the player character's performance and statistics for the match. Alongside each statistic is the total XP gained based on performance.
|Time survived||+4 XP / minute|
|Placement XP||See table|
|Players killed||+20 XP / player|
|Players downed||+10 XP / player|
|AI kills||+5 XP / kill|
|Elite AI kills||+20 XP / kill|
|Nukes launched||+50 XP / nuke|
|Revives||+20 XP / revive|
On PC, the Nuclear Winter mode performs a check to enforce that no third-party mods are installed or alterations to the game files have been made. An error message will be displayed when attempting to start Nuclear Winter mode if the check fails.
- PC Sometimes the player character will be unable to access their Pip-Boy.[verification overdue]
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