Players are stockpiling and price-gouging toilet paper in Fallout 76

As the coronvirus crisis began escalating over the past several weeks, so did the idea that there was a toilet paper shortage. In many places around the world, customers are panic-buying and overstocking their homes with toilet paper, leaving store shelves mostly empty and furthering the idea that there was a genuine shortage.

There isn't, really—toilet paper manufacturers like Procter & Gamble and Georgia Pacific have stated they have plenty of TP, it's just the distribution to stores that's fallen behind after the sudden, panic-induced demand from customers. So, like, please stop overbuying toilet paper, everyone, unless you've suddenly grown a dozen extra butts. Please? 

Art can sometimes hold a mirror up to society, and that's certainly the case this week in Fallout 76. Some players have begun jokingly stockpiling toilet paper, just as people are doing in the real world. As you can see in the tweet above by a user named... sigh... BloodfartAUS, the toilet paper hoarding in Fallout 76 is in full effect.

Others are displaying their stash of TP in creative ways:

And they're not just collecting it and storing it in glass cases. Since the advent of camp vending machines, Fallout 76 players have been able to sell items to visitors and set their own prices. And these days there's some major price-gouging going on when it comes to TP. 

One user posted a picture of a single roll going for 25,000 caps. What do they think this is, the Atomic Shop? Another player is selling TP for a more reasonable (yet still excessive) 500 caps. Judging by the subreddit, other players are willing to pay those kinds of prices. Yes, even 25,000 caps.

One player even created a neon sign reading ALL OUT OF TP and hung it on their vending machine. It's a good idea not to disappoint your customers, I guess.

Luckily, in the real word, no one is selling TP at prices quite as high as in Fallout 76, and even though there is a lack of TP for sale in many stores, that is expected to change soon as supply catches up with demand. Stay calm and we'll all keep our butts clean. Together.

Thanks, Polygon.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.