Fallout 76 dataminers find signs suggesting a return to Washington, D.C.

Fallout 3
(Image credit: Bethesda Game Studios)

We've still not heard much about Fallout 76's Expeditions. Often hinted at but never formally announced, the DLC-like feature hopes to one day take the game beyond the Appalachian wilderness for some atomic vacationing. But new screenshots from a supposedly hacked server suggest one of these may take us all the way back to Washington, D.C.—the setting for Bethesda's Fallout debut.

The images were shared via an Imgur link on the Fallout76 subreddit by cyberRakan, and show some heavily work-in-progress environments that many feel strongly resemble Fallout 3's urban landscape—in particular, the unmistakeable shake of Dupont Circle. 

a leaked screenshot of Fallout 76

(Image credit: Bethesda, via cyberRakan)

Most of the assets are visibly placeholder, particularly the large spire at the back of the image. While widely believed to be a rough blockout of the Washington Monument, many contend that it could be anything from a church spire to New York's Chrysler Building.

leaked screenshot of Fallout 76

(Image credit: Bethesda, via cyberRakan)

The shots were supposedly taken by a "friend" of Rakan's on a hacked server. Apparently, parts of the FO76 community have bashed together their own servers that, while highly unstable, allow access to parts of the game otherwise inaccessible on official servers.

"Its horribly buggy and constantly [crashes to desktop], but you can access stuff you can't get to or would be banned for going to in the official server," Rakan told me via DM.

There's every reason to be sceptical, mind. These hackers may have stumbled across some old environment tests, or unused prototypes for existing Fallout 76 regions. That's if they're even from a hacked server at all—with details light on the ground, these shots could've equally come from a mapper fooling around in Fallout 4's modding tools.

Sadly, it might be a while before we find out. Following Covid-related delays, Expeditions won't arrive until 2022 at the earliest.

Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.