Until the launch of the Wastelanders update, playing Fallout 76 without a regular crew of real-life compatriots could be a rather solitary experience. The lack of NPCs at the game's launch meant 76 was missing a well-loved staple of the Fallout games: recruitable companions. Now that a few of 76's new NPCs are recruitable, Bethesda says it might expand the system to include pets, another Fallout must-have.
Fallout 76's Project Lead Jeff Gardiner confirmed that Bethesda is "looking to add pets as well" in an answer to a recent Reddit AMA. Currently, the recruitable companions in Wastelanders are limited to just four different human NPCs. That's a big step up from zero, but given that pets have been in the series since the very first Fallout, 76 won't feel complete to a lot of folks without them.
Dogmeat, who can be adopted in three out of the four mainline Fallout games, would be a sensible first addition, but given 76's multiplayer nature it might make more sense to include a greater variety of canines and perhaps other animals. It could also be neat to see another cybernetically enhanced pet like Rex from Obsidian's Fallout: New Vegas.
Pets aside, previous Fallout games have embraced a wide range of companion archetypes: Super Mutants, ghouls, androids, and more. As Bethesda looks to expand upon Wastelanders' content, a bit more diversification in companions certainly couldn't hurt. Every fan probably has a non-human favorite—mine's ED-E, the Eyebot from New Vegas (I also think ED-E falls in the "pet" category, but that's aside from the point).
Elsewhere in the AMA, Gardiner and Lead Designer Ferret Baudoin discuss a bunch of smaller features and bug fixes the team hopes to add to Fallout 76 in the coming months. Though it may still be a little odd that all these NPCs have suddenly appeared in a game that wasn't initially built for them, Wastelanders has certainly delivered on its promises in the eyes of many Fallout 76 players. It certainly has potential to keep getting better, so here's hoping for brighter days with four-legged friends to come.