Fallout 76 players are begging Bethesda for a test server after a buggy patch

Fallout 76
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fallout 76's patch 11 went live yesterday and things aren't going well. Despite the long list of fixes, tweaks, and improvements in Bethesda's patch notes, players are finding their own lists of new bugs introduced to the very things that were supposed to be improved. Some are suggesting it's time for Bethesda to protect its players from problematic updates with a test server.

Two of the biggest highlights of yesterday's patch: improvements to the new player experience at low levels, and fixes to a collection of power armor bugs, are the source of a number of new player complaints. 

An entire section of the patch notes is dedicated to power armor. Bethesda reportedly fixed bugs that would result in a player becoming stuck in their power armor, players accidentally using (and wasting) a stimpack while already having full health while wearing power armor, an option to opt out of the power armor HUD and use the standard game HUD while wearing a suit, and more. 

As part of this huge overhaul of power armor, Bethesda writes that players may find power armor pieces and extra power armor frames moved from their stash to their inventory, or vice-versa, on login. So players won't get stuck in the wilderness as a result of suddenly being over-encumbered, they may also find they've been relocated to a train station to be close to a stash box and vendor.

Instead, players are reporting that many of them are missing suits of power armor. The confusion may be in part that players' equipped power armor has been moved to their stash, which they may not immediately check for missing items. Some players are reporting that their rare power armor pieces are in fact missing, even after double checking their inventory and stash.

Fallout 76

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Bethesda also made a number of changes to systems that disadvantaged low level players, like the price hike for moving your camp too many times in quick succession (a fee I have been victim of myself due to indecisiveness). They also reduced the cost of fast travel for players under level 25 and changed the level of enemies likely to spawn near where new players are first exploring.

Along with that, they've also replaced the rewards for many early game challenges so that new players often receive useful items like stimpacks (which are tough to come by early on) instead of the game's premium currency Atoms. That sounds great, but some players feel they're being manipulated into spending money to buy Atoms instead of earning them by playing.

Most contentious of all are bugs related to legendary items failing to drop from legendary enemies. As you might imagine, players are livid. As with many online games meant to be played long-term, veteran players spend a good chunk of time killing high-level enemies over and over again looking for rare weapons. Naturally, patch 11 was meant to fix issues with legendary items spawning, according to the notes: "Legendary items dropped as loot by a legendary enemy will now appear much quicker on that enemy’s corpse."

Players note that updates which break Fallout 76 in more ways than it fixes them have become frustratingly expected. Even on Bethesda's own forum, where attitudes towards the company tend to be more forgiving, players are asking for Bethesda to introduce a test server for vetting updates before they get pushed to all servers. Public test servers are common with other online games to prevent (or at least mitigate) exactly the fury that Bethesda is facing today.

Fortunately, community managers are keeping up with players on Reddit and helping point them towards creating support tickets. Bethesda has also announced a planned hotfix coming later today to address issues caused by patch 11.

Despite the issue-ridden Patch 11, we are still anticipating the Fallout 76 Wastelanders update. Here's hoping it rolls out more smoothly. 

Lauren Morton
Associate Editor

Lauren started writing for PC Gamer as a freelancer in 2017 while chasing the Dark Souls fashion police and accepted her role as Associate Editor in 2021, now serving as the self-appointed chief cozy games enjoyer. She originally started her career in game development and is still fascinated by how games tick in the modding and speedrunning scenes. She likes long books, longer RPGs, has strong feelings about farmlife sims, and can't stop playing co-op crafting games.