Fallout 5 isn't likely to be a game you're playing anytime soon. Fallout 76 wasn't the best last entry to leave things on. Sure the game has improved considerably since launch, but it's fair to say it had a rocky first few years and underdelivered compared with previous outings.
Fallout 4 wasn't considered the pinnacle of the series either, although, it's fair to say that the game had a tough act to follow after the huge success of Fallout 3 and Fallout New Vegas.
Whichever way you look at it, there's work to be done making the next one as good as possible. So, what do we know about Fallout 5? Here's everything we've heard so far. For more on Bethesda games, check out the latest on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6.
Following the Bethesda/Xbox E3-but-not-E3 showcase, Todd Howard provided a little insight into when we can expect the next Fallout game.
In an interview with IGN, he said:
"Yes, Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production... and, you know, we’re going to be doing Fallout 5 after that, so our slate’s pretty full going forward for a while. We have some other projects that we look at from time to time as well."
10 November, 2021 -
In an interview with IGN, Bethesda chief, Todd Howard, implies that Fallout 5 is being proposed with brief ideas in contention. The team has a "one-page turner" for the project, but nothing is being committed to just yet, with the title years away from a potential release.
You know, we have a one-pager on Fallout 5, what we want to do. Again, if I could wave my hand and have [Fallout 5] out – you know, I'd like to find a way to accelerate what we do, but I can't really say today or commit to anything, [like] what's going to happen [or] when.
12 March 2021 -
Speaking following the acquisition of Bethesda Game Studios, Xbox Boss Phil Spencer answered the question on everyone's mind - will Bethesda games be exclusive?
"If you’re an Xbox customer, the thing I want you to know is this is about delivering great exclusive games for you that ship on platforms where Game Pass exists, and that’s our goal."
17th November 2020 -
“What we’ll do in the long run is we don’t have intentions of just pulling all of Bethesda content out of Sony or Nintendo or otherwise,” Tim Stuart, Xbox's Chief Financial Officer said.
“But what we want is we want that content, in the long run, to be either first or better or best or pick your differentiated experience, on our platforms. We will want Bethesda content to show up the best as — on our platforms." Could this be the case for Fallout 5?
Fallout 5 release date speculation
Speculation suggests that the game will launch sometime in Fall 2022. There's no telling when the actual release date will be, but based on the time between the releases of Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, it would have been logical to expect this title sometime in 2022. However, we're in 2022 now and we've not heard a peep.
It's widely expected that Elder Scrolls 6 will launch before Fallout 5. With the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, this could be pushed back further to accommodate for those studios working at home.
Our best guess? We don't expect to see Fallout 5 until at least 2025 at the very earliest.
We'd expect Fallout 5 to launch on Xbox Series X and PC. With Microsoft acquiring Bethesda, it's left doubt about whether the next game will launch elsewhere. Phil Spencer has said Bethesda will run "semi-independently". Not all games will be exclusive and will be decided on a case-by-case basis.
Does this mean it'll come to PlayStation 5? It's hard to say right now, after all, Fallout 76 is still supported on PlayStation consoles. But realistically we imagine Xbox will look to release the game exclusively on Xbox platforms.
Possible location and setting
The setting and location for Fallout 5 are obviously unknown, but past titles have all featured in a US state; so we can expect this to be the same again.
Fallout 3 was in Washington, before moving north to Boston in Fallout 4. Fallout 76 saw players move back south to West Virginia. All the newer games seemed to be set on the east coast, only Fallout New Vegas and the original 2 Fallouts were set in the west.
So where are we going next? The smart money is on remaining in the east of the US. But there are a few locations that are more likely than others.
A trademark application was made in 2016 for the property 'Fallout New Orleans'. We have visited the south before including Fallout 3’s DLC 'Point Lookout' and 'Far Harbor' in Fallout 4, so it's not unlikely.
Chicago featured in Fallout Tactics, a turn-based real-time tactical role-playing game. In New Vegas, ED-E hints at Enclave outposts in Chicago, meaning we may have unfinished business out there.
Perhaps the new Fallout will go back in time? Back to 2077? It's a place and time we've visited before, namely Operation Anchorage (the first DLC in Fallout 3).
Could we be going somewhere else entirely? Is it finally time to go across seas? Perhaps we will head to China or Russia to see the story from a different perspective. Europe will no doubt be a popular location to visit.
Multiplayer and online co-op
Fallout 76 aside, Fallout games have always been focused around single-player gameplay. Todd Howard, series director, has claimed that every game they've created has been designed with a multiplayer mode "just to see what we could do". That being said, we would expect Fallout 5 to heavily focus on the single-player story and activities. Todd Howard has also assured players that they "want to keep [games] as single player".
It could be that Bethesda try to incorporate some social features in the game, but then again, they likely want to keep it largely separate enough to not feel like a true sequel to the most multiplayer-led Fallout 76 experience.
A new engine
Given how glitchy Fallout games are and how many were found in Fallout 76, it could be that we're looking at a brand new engine for the game. Fallout 76 was a heavily modified version of the Creation Engine. A Zenimax job listing, which has now been removed, indicates that the company were looking for an engine programmer to “develop cutting edge technologies.” This makes sense with the PS5 and Xbox Series X being released and boasting much more power under their hoods than the PS4 and Xbox One.
Elder Scrolls 6 is likely coming before the next Fallout game, and we suspect the engine for ES6 is likely to be what Bethesda use moving forward with Fallout 5.
While there are no specific details on the gameplay side of things, there are plenty of takeaways from Fallout 4. The 2015 title featured reduced roleplaying mechanics and was considered to have disappointing graphics; something that didn't improve in Fallout 76.
Fallout 4 brought in voice acting for our protagonist, but ultimately at the expense of varied dialogue choices. One thing Fallout 4 was praised for was the introduction of Fallout Settlements. Being able to expand on this and improved options is almost a certainty. Overall, we'd expect similar gameplay with a few new additions and improvements to existing mechanics. Again, look to what Bethesda release with Starfield and Elder Scrolls 6, which we imagine will have a big say on the eventual direction of Fallout 5.