Fallout 4 is getting a free 4K update next year

Fallout 4
(Image credit: Bethesda Softworks)

Amidst the big celebration of the 25th anniversary of the original Fallout, Bethesda has announced that Fallout 4 is getting a free "next-gen update" in 2023—and yes, it's coming to PC.

Details are slim but the update will include "performance mode features for high frame rates, quality features for 4K resolution gameplay, bug fixes and even bonus Creation Club content," Bethesda said. It's also being released for the Xbox Series X-S and PlayStation 5 consoles.

Some Fallout fans may lament that Bethesda is putting effort into an incremental update of Fallout 4 for slightly newer technology rather than making Fallout 5, but look on the bright side: That's basically what Fallout 5 would be anyway, right? Somewhat more seriously, the upgrade will be a pretty big deal for anyone who hasn't played Fallout 4 yet. That's potentially quite a lot of people: Remember, it's seven years old now, which is an eon in videogame terms.

One thing Fallout fans have to be curious about is if (or, more likely, how) this update will impact Fallout 4 mods, of which there are very many. I've reached out to Bethesda to see if it's willing to share any insights on that front, and will update if I receive a reply.

Bethesda said today's announcement concludes its Fallout anniversary celebration, so I guess that means we won't be getting a surprise announcement of a new Obsidian-made Fallout game, which is unfortunate. There's still time to snag some of the other freebies, though, including rewards and bundles in Fallout 76 and Fallout 3 for free on the Epic Games Store.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.