When does the One Wasteland update come to Fallout 76?

Play with lower level friends without sacrificing content.

Image via Bethesda

Three updates are on the horizon for Fallout 76. Announced on Bethesda’s official Fallout blog, one major one is called the One Wasteland update. Reminiscent of both Elder Scrolls Online (ESO) and Lord of the Rings in title, the One Wasteland update will bring some combat, world, and level changes to the game, although they are indirect. 

What is the One Wasteland update?

Bethesda isn’t good at diversifying its names. The One Wasteland update is named almost exactly like the One Tamriel update from ESO a few years ago. On paper, these two updates are the same. The One Wasteland will allow players to explore the entire map, regardless of level, and will rebalance combat and drops to scale to the player’s level. High-level players will be able to team up with their low-level friends easier and explore together. 

To get a better idea of what to expect, look at ESO’s similarly named One Tamriel update from 2016. It did a little more, because the world is a bit more in-depth, but the backbone is the same. Players could traverse the entire map, regardless of alliance or level, and combat and drops scaled to players’ levels. There are a few more ESO specific changes included in the update that don’t have parallels to Fallout 76

Due to the similarity, we can anticipate how this will play out in the game. High-level players teamed with low-level players both encounter a monster. From the higher level player’s perspective, the monster will be higher level. Damage done and received will scale based on the player’s level. The lower level player will see a lower level monster with the same scaling. A higher level player will get a higher, better quality item from the encounter. 

In ESO the effect is seamless. It’s not noticeable when playing with lower-level friends. It doesn’t mean progression is useless or that it punishes higher-level players because higher-level players are still better equipped with stronger weapons, more skills and abilities, and better buffs. Higher levels do not carry their team and lower levels do not hinder their higher-level friends. 

When does it release?

Bethesda’s roadmap doesn’t give an exact date for the One Wasteland update. The roadmap gives general times, specifying the seasons the updates are expected to release. According to the roadmap, the One Wasteland update will come out in Fall 2020 and will bring a new season and bombs drop event to the game.

It’s a bit surprising that a Bethesda MMO didn’t already have it as part of the game, given the experience and age of ESO. Fallout 76 didn’t have the best or most popular start which may have contributed to the delay in necessary updates. The first of three updates will come to the game in summer with the seasons update. One Wastelands should release sometime in the fall. And the Fractured Steel update will follow in the Winter.