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Fallout 76's next update will let you run a shop

Fallout 76's next and final Wild Appalachia update, Patch 9, has piqued my interest with the promise of player-run shops. Finally, you can start attracting players to your camp where they will be able to buy all your junk and fill your pockets with caps. Start having a browse in your stash to earmark some of your hoard for sale. 

Player shops are another type of vending machine, which can be placed in your camp to turn it into a post-apocalyptic marketplace for your fellow West Virginians. With your vending machine plonked down, you can assign items from stash and choose their cap prices. They'll remain in the stash until sold, but they'll be easily identifiable. You don't need to hang around to make sales, but you'll be notified when someone has made a purchase. Unfortunately, there's a ten percent fee that gets taken off every sale. There's no government and no infrastructure, but apparently there are still taxes. 

I'm ambivalent about the automation. It's convenient, of course, and it would be frustrating to have to wait for a person to come online before making a purchase. Sometimes you just want to buy a hat and not have to make awkward conversation with a stranger. But Fallout 76 is already so devoid of life and filled with automation, I'm hungry for something more engaging. 

That said, there's nothing stopping you from choosing to linger near your vending machine, and presumably if another player comes along and thinks some of your prices are too high, there will be some room to haggle. There's potential. Players can also see these vending machines on the map, along with your name, player icon and what's for sale. By putting fancy goods in your store for bargain prices, you can draw players to your shop instead of another, maybe even kicking off a friendly competition between you and other merchants.

The introduction of player vending machines will also be accompanied by legendary exchange machines. These machines are used to exchange legendary items for currency that can be spent on different legendary items in a new shop.

Expect changes to the survival scoreboard and weapon adjustments in the update, too, as well as the slightly later addition of display cases. These will let you show off your prized possessions in your camp, but they're taking longer than planned to get right. They'll appear a few weeks after the update, which is due out on May 7.  

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.