Fallout 76's futuristic West Virginia is littered with nuclear missiles that players can use however they see fit. To some, that sounds like a humorous bit of chaos, but many Fallout fans are worried about what those nukes could do to their experience. That is to say, am I going to get spontaneously atomized while I'm out exploring? In a recent interview with Swedish games site FZ (opens in new tab), Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines addressed these and other fears regarding player-controlled nukes.
"Getting the ability to launch a nuke is not easy," Hine said. "You have to get a number of different code pieces so you have one full code. You also have to get to the place where you enter that code, which is obviously not just 'open the doors and walk right in.' Then you target a place on the map. You can't target an individual.
"They're not easy to get, they're not going to be firing off every five minutes, and when a nuke is incoming, people get notified," he said. "So you could just stand there and not do anything, but you could also get the hell out of the way and you won't get nuked."
It's reassuring that when another player does launch a nuke, you're given time to evacuate the target area. It's also nice to know that you, yourself, will never have a nuclear bullseye on your head. That said, it's still not totally clear what happens to your base if it happens to be in the blast radius of a nuke, but Hines insists death is not intended to be a major setback in Fallout 76, so I'm willing to bet all your stuff isn't blown sky-high.
Hines also explained a cool PvE aspect of nukes: the resulting blast radius becomes a hotbed of rare resources, loot and creatures, but only for a limited time. Naturally, you're going to need some radiation protection to make any headway, and you can bet you won't be the only one on the server down there panning for gold, so you'll probably have competition. Or maybe you'll group up with some other nice survivors and engage in jolly cooperation! Who knows? In any case, I like the idea of using nukes to make your own Deathclaws or spawn some rare ore or what-have-you.
You can watch Hines' full interview with FZ here (opens in new tab).