The biggest things Fallout 76 players are trading with each other are exploits

When I start playing Fallout 76 I always do the same thing. I bring up my map to see where the other players are. Specifically, I check to see if anyone is at the Whitespring Golf Club. And, until this week, there were always players there. Always. At least two, sometimes three or four, every single time I played. I thought it was weird, so I finally looked it up to see what was going on.

Turns out, the Golf Club is (or was) a popular XP farming spot, where high level ghouls spawn and net players tons of loot and XP. Some players would server hop to make the ghouls respawn, others would have a friend logout and then rejoin, respawning those same mobs, over and over again. This also made the Whitespring a popular spot to drop nukes, as those ghouls respawned as higher-level glowing versions of themselves, resulting in even more loot and XP. Over and over again.

When I've logged in each day this week, I haven't seen the usual cluster of players at the Golf Club. That's because along with the posted changes in patch notes, Bethesda has been quietly patching out exploits. The Club is now dead as a source for easy XP farming. And I honestly hope more exploits are patched out soon, not because I have an issue with people using them, but because it's all anyone I meet ever wants to talk about.

A few days ago I picked the lock on the front door of a player's base to have a look around at his stuff (I'm nosy like that). This netted me a 10 cap bounty, but after an hour or so no one had showed up to claim it. So, when I randomly encountered another player I asked him to just kill me so I could lose the bounty. He did (after politely asking if I wanted to store my junk first) and after I'd respawned we hung out for a while. I sold him some of my power armor pieces, and then he asked, a bit timidly: "Are you into exploits?"

I've had a number of conversations with players about exploits. Outside the Whitespring one time, a player in a skull mask walked up and asked me to trade. "If you want to make a lot of money, trade with me," was how he put it. He gave me over 2,500 units of copper scrap and circuitry, and didn't want anything in exchange. "Is this from an exploit?" I asked. "Yeah," he said, walking away slowly. "Bye. I can't run, I'm over-encumbered."

So was I. I waddled my illicit materials into the resort and sold a handful of copper to a vendor there (they only have 200 caps to barter with). The circuits never showed up as a sellable item, even when visiting several different vendors in different locations, perhaps due to the way they were exploit-farmed. I wound up dumping the rest of what he'd given me since it was just too cumbersome to carry, too heavy to store, and vendors barely have enough money to make worth selling.

Meanwhile, the kid I sold my armor to took me to a location where he said I could grind infinite XP. By setting off a grenade trap, then quickly exiting a building and returning, the exploded trap could be disarmed again and again, rewarding 7 XP each time. This didn't work for me when I tried it—the kid forgot to tell me you need to have a particular perk card ranked up and slotted, which I didn't have—but I could hear it working for the kid as he did it. Free XP, and all you have to do is stand in a room for hours on end. Fun!

This is similar to an exploit another player told me about after we'd played musical instruments together to lure a Wendigo into a bar. A flamethrower trap in a prison could be repeatedly disarmed in the same fashion, he said. Another time I killed a guy (he'd had a bounty on him) and then we hung around his base for a bit, where he asked me if I knew about the infinite stimpaks exploit (I didn't, and don't know if there even is one). A few weeks ago someone ran up and advised me how to achieve infinite carry weight by spamming equip/unequip on a certain piece of armor in my inventory.

I don't play a lot of multiplayer games, so I don't know if this is just how they are, where the main topic of conversation with strangers is how to game the game. I'm not above using the occasional exploit, and I don't judge anyone for pushing their harvesters through the gaps Bethesda left in Fallout 76 . It is, however, getting incredibly boring as a topic of conversation. I'm happy to team up to go fight some super mutants or a scorchbeast. I'd love to go looking for that last piece of power armor someone is missing. Hey stranger, let's go play musical instruments to lure a Wendigo into a bar again. That was fun!. But teaming up to go squat in a room and disarm the same broken trap over and over again? I'll pass.

Christopher Livingston
Staff Writer

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.