Fallout 76 released a new patch today and it clocks in at nearly 50GB. This is just the latest large-size download for Fallout 76 since launch and it's getting to the point where gamers with capped internet can't download the game or the latest patch as it pushes their data limits too hard.
As video games become bigger in scale and size, those of us with unlimited internet plans have come to accept the longer wait times for downloads and installations as a natural consequence. But those of us under capped internet usage, the extreme sizes for games and game updates are making it so that playing recent launches are becoming more and more difficult.
Today's Fallout 76 48GB update is a good example. Online players who are in rural areas or have capped internet are finding it difficult to continue playing Fallout 76 when its most recent updates are pushing the 50GB download size. That puts an immense strain on how much they can use the internet with half a month still left to go in November.
Looks like I'll have to take a break from #Fallout76 till late next week due to the patch. 48 gigs would put me over my monthly limit if I were to instigate it now.— Jeff (@unluckynumber11) November 19, 2018
RDR2 is around 100 GB to download, but I haven’t seen many patches come through. Between the BETA, day one patch, and this latest patch, Fallout 76 would have used 150 GB worth of data on a data cap. I think the full install is still around 50 GB though.— brandon whetstone (@brandondryrock) November 19, 2018
So far Fallout 76 has required about 50GB for the initial install, 50GB for the day one patch, and 50GB for today's patch.If you're on Comcast, take a look at your usage via your account on Comcast's website to make sure you don't blow through you data cap this month.— Nash - Anbay ethay Azisnay (@Nash076) November 19, 2018
Guess I WON'T be streaming the game today after all. Get your damn patch sizes under control, Bethesda. My data cap isn't tiny, but I can't be pulling down 50 gigs every week or whatever. It's almost 2019. Learn how to patch w/o making us redownload the entire game.— Alexis Valentine (@MHArcadia) November 19, 2018
Why are the updates replacing the entire game file? 48 gigs is a lot to download for such a small update, especially for those of us in rural areas that have somewhat slower internet and data caps.— Chris Creveling (@Elaborate_Ruse1) November 19, 2018
Look y’all need to stop complaining about how’s it’s gonna take you less than 12 hours to update the godamn game. It’s gonna take me 2+ days to update it because I have shitty satellite internet and have a 20gig cap hotspot for my phone. So be grateful that you have good WiFi— Cecil (@Cecil_IsSexy) November 19, 2018
This of course isn't the first high-profile, big download game in recent weeks. Red Dead Redemption 2 pushed nearly 100 GB worth of downloads on players and that of course also put a strain on internet usage for players.
Internet data caps are often referring to artificial restrictions placed on the transfer of data. This affects mobile phone usage but also home internet as well. Internet service provides continue to push data caps arguing "fair usage" but as technology advances it's becoming harder and harder to justify capping data and charging fees for overages.
We've come to learn a lot about how the internet is failing to catch up with big video game downloads as briefly discussed when we spoke with real cowboys for Red Dead Redemption 2. They briefly discussed the problems with rural internet caps, and much of the same grievances are playing out with Fallout 76.