October 23, 2077, in Fallout lore, is the day that China brought the decade-long Sino-American War to a head by unleashing a nuclear strike against the US. That of course resulted in a retaliatory strike against China by the US, and a couple of hours later the world was a fried onion. To celebrate the big day, Bethesda is making the multiplayer post-nuclear playground Fallout 76 free to play until October 26.
The free-play period includes full access to the base game, as well as the Wastelanders and Nuclear Winter updates. Bethesda will also run a trio of in-game events between October 22-26, with double S.C.O.R.E. and double XP, and 25 percent off Legendary weapons and armor from Purveyor Murmrgh at the Rusty Pick.
A limited preview of Fallout 1st, the subscription-based premium membership that launched in 2019, will also be offered during the free period. To check it out, head to the in-game store and snag the free "Fallout 1st Limited Preview" item, which will grant access to the Scrapbox (which must be claimed separately through the Fallout 1st section of the Atomic Shop) and Survival Tent, along with a couple of other in-game freebies that normally go to subscribers. Both will be available until the end of the free week on October 26; once it's over, anything in your Scrapbox will still be there, but you won't be able to add anything else.
As usual with these things, any progress you earn during the free period, and any purchases you make from the in-game Atomic Shop, will carry over if you spring for the full game—which, is also on sale on Steam for $16/£14/€16. Atoms, the premium currency in Fallout 76, are also on sale for the first time ever, for a discount of 20-35 percent off the base price. Full details are up at bethesda.net.