Whether you're a dedicated Fallout 76 player who's seen everything there is to see in Appalachia or just a newcomer who heard good things about the Wastelanders update, today's a big day. With the release of Update 20, the first season of Fallout 76's new progression system is getting underway, introducing a reward track that will dole out cosmetics, items, and XP boosts to all players, free of charge.
The inaugural season for Fallout 76, The Legendary Run, is themed after a board game of the same name from the manufacturers of Blast Radius (you know, that piece of junk you pick up for its precious nuclear material). Essentially, the board game is a way of adding some retro-flair to the now ubiquitous 100-step season system seen in other games. Each rank you earn in the season will grant you an unlock and advance you one step along the board game.
As part of the introduction of seasons, Fallout 76 is changing its daily challenges to award players with "S.C.O.R.E." instead of Atoms, its in-game currency. Bundles of Atoms will still be doled out as rewards along The Legendary Run progression path and Lifetime Challenges will still grant the same Atom rewards they did previously.
So, if you want to unlock the space-themed Legendary Run cosmetics and exclusive items like a set of very bulky Captain Cosmos Power Armor, you'll need to hop into Fallout 76 and start completing challenges. Bethesda will introduce a way to pay for unlocks along the progression path (priced at 150 Atoms each), but that will come two weeks from now, meaning everyone is starting from scratch today and will have to earn unlocks through play.
Fortunately, it should be easier for folks to knock out challenges given that today's patch also introduces consumable XP-boosting Lunchbox items (awarded in bundles along The Legendary Run path) and 76's new Public Teams system. Public Teams can include up to four players in a given world instance. Team leaders can set a goal for their team and kick or block any trolls who hop into the team. Private teams will also get the option of being set public, making it easier to keep your party full-up in case a friend needs to drop out.
Snazzy rewards and challenge overhauls aside, this seems like a fairly low-key start to Fallout 76's new seasonal approach to updates. We know that Bethesda plans on adding new questlines, NPCs (including an appearance from the Brotherhood of Steel), and more with its subsequent seasons planned for fall and winter.
For more on Fallout 76 and the reception of the Wastelanders update, be sure to listen to USG's recent episode of the Branching Narratives podcast featuring Bethesda's Pete Hines. Maybe you can listen to it as you start to grind out those season ranks?