Fallout 76's latest update nerfs one of its most powerful weapons, but don't worry, it buffs it too

Fallout: 76 Steel Reign key art
(Image credit: Bethesda)

Hot on the heels of a major uptick in players driven by the hit Fallout series on Amazon, Fallout 76 has been given a beefy new update that makes a number of bug fixes and quality of life changes that, among other things, will make life easier when making big trades with merchants. There's also a significant overhaul of the Cremator heavy weapon that manages to nerf and buff it at the same time.

All the Fallout games have benefitted from the popularity of the Fallout television series, even the old-time originals, but Fallout 76 arguably leads the way. It still lags behind Fallout 4 in terms of pure player numbers, but more than doubled its concurrent player count after the release of the Amazon series and hit a new all-time high on Steam, four years after it first launched there.

That's especially noteworthy given its relatively unimpressive start: We called it "a beautifully crafted but ultimately repetitive world, and a disappointment when it comes to options on PC" in our 60% review from 2018, and it took another two years before it finally started to feel like a proper Fallout game

Bethesda stuck with it despite those early troubles, releasing regular updates and new content throughout, and while the concurrent player count has tailed off since it hit the new peak earlier this month, it's still way above where it used to be: There are currently around 50,000 people playing via Steam, which is a huge increase over the pre-series average.

The big change in this update is the rework to the Cremator, which Bethesda said was kicking too much ass because of a bug related to damage calculations. "Players who had certain perks and mods on it did much higher damage than intended," Bethesda said. "We’ve fixed that bug, which has decreased the damage for that specific setup, but we made multiple tweaks and changes to buff it in different ways. Now, the Damage Over Time (DoT) should be a force to be reckoned with."

The addition of a "max" option when buying from and selling to NPCs should also make life in the wasteland a little more convenient for players who approach the post-nuclear world with a mercantile mindset.

In terms of actual changes, this update isn't especially massive: The "beefy" part comes from the sheer size of the thing. It clocks in at 12.1GB on Steam and 19.8GB on the Microsoft Store; if you're playing on Xbox you'll need to download 23.1GB, while PlayStation players get a little bit of a break at 19.2GB. 

Unrelated to the patch, but If you're just getting into Fallout 76 now, take our advice: Unlock your framerate. Unfortunately, you can't just pop into the settings menu and flip a switch, but we've got a detailed guide that will walk you through the simple process of modifying the requisite file to make it happen. It's worth the effort—Fallout 76 will look better and play better once it's done.

The full patch notes are below.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that caused Power Armor to be listed in English instead of the correct localized language
  • Fixed an issue where the Garrahan Mining Poster was not present at the Rusty Pick or Camden Park
  • Opportunity Knocking: Fixed an issue which could cause the quest to disappear after relogging.
  • Deep Space Alien Jetpack is now properly craftable for T51 Power Armor
  • Sins of the Father: Fixed an issue which would block the quest if a dialogue scene between Abbie and Antonio was exited during a specific part of the conversation.
  • Fixed an issue where the Cremator was not listed at Legendary Exchange Machines
  • Fixed an issue where the player could ask Abbie Russo a question about Vin that did not properly reflect the final outcomes of Sins of the Father.
  • Players who previously unlocked them should now be able to craft the Poker & BlackJack Tables
  • Sins of the Father: Fixed an issue which could prevent Antonio from speaking to the player.
  • Rustic Helvetian Camp Kit has had the expected walls and windows added to it.
  • The Favorites menu hotkeys are now usable while the wheel is visible.
  • Fixed an issue where gold bullion vendors Regs and Smiley were not enabled for some players who completed Secrets Revealed.
  • Tesla Rifles will now drop correctly from the Battle Bot Event
  • Father Winter Helmet should now have T-45 standard Stats, Description, Weight, and Levels should be standardized now.
  • Fancy Revolver should now properly display its unique fancy skin
  • Fixed an issue where Small Presents were not dropping contextual ammo
  • Fixed weather stations not being able to be placed in a camp workshop located very close to a public workshop.
  • Fixed modern home kitchen sink not being able to snap to other modern home items on a foundation
  • Secrets Revealed: Fixed an issue where Meg, Gail, Ra-Ra, Johnny, and Lou could be missing from the Crater Core after the completion of the quest.
  • Lights now function properly on the Devils Wings Jetpack
  • Fixed several paints that were no longer updating the dynamic name of modified Power Armor pieces.
  • Speculative fix for items in the Cryo-freezer randomly selling for 0 caps in the vendor.
  • Big Boss Advertisement Poster no longer turns into a Mothman poster when broken.
  • Fire Rate now shows increase/decrease arrows when comparing potential mods to what players have currently equipped.
  • Story Time now properly removes itself from the PipBoy if you kill Miss Nanny.
  • Fixed an issue with Buried Treasure not properly completing.
  • Players are no longer blocked from completing Honor Bound if they exit the conversation with Vin and Gene.
  • Scrolling the mouse-wheel down now properly shrinks selected body parts in the character generator.

Quality of Life Updates

  • Added a Max option when buying from and selling to NPCs
  • World Activity list now sorts alphabetically
  • Improved behavior of the inventory scrollbar
  • Added a new “Ammo Per Shot” stat entry to weapons


  • Made several adjustments to the Cremator and its mods
  • Dev Note: The Cremator released with a bug that made it stronger than we intended it to be due to the way damage was calculated with its explosion. Players who had certain perks and mods on it did much higher damage than intended. We’ve fixed that bug, which has decreased the damage for that specific setup, but we made multiple tweaks and changes to buff it in different ways. Now, the Damage Over Time (DoT) should be a force to be reckoned with.

Seasonal Events

  • Recipes and some items dropped by these events will continue to drop after you have learned them. These items are now also tradeable to help you get all the plans you want!
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.