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Piecing together Fallout 76’s map one section at a time.

Not unlike a blockbuster film or other major event, rumor and speculation follow in the wake of the announcement of the newest game in the long-running Fallout franchise. While some unease surrounds Fallout 76’s brand-new multiplayer focus, the details of the West Virginia-based map (which, so far, has palpable Fallout 3 vibes) has proved to be a major point of interest. Even at its E3 conference, Bethesda only revealed bits and pieces of the world waiting for us on its November 14, 2018 release.

But rather than wait months for Bethesda to unveil it, I spent some time assembling the pieces in front of us to form a more complete picture of Fallout 76’s setting.

The Big Picture

Shown as part of the special edition package for Fallout 76, this map is the most complete version we’ve seen yet. Currently, its low quality doesn’t illuminate a lot of new facts, but later on its more obvious details will help us piece everything back together.

The Vault

Let’s start at the beginning: where will we enter Fallout 76 for the first time?

Little to no information is known about where the announced sites are situated on the map, especially Vault 76 itself, but after time spent digging around I found this map hidden among the footage from the E3 conference.

In the center is Vault 76, surrounded by mountainous, rural landscape. Roads and a train line to the east weave through the rolling hills, but only the town located on the large river to the west gives us any indication of where we are. The words “Mothman Museum” confirm this city to be Point Pleasant; a sleepy town on the border of Ohio which is said to be haunted by a fabled beast of the night.

In Noclip’s The Making of Fallout 76 documentary, it was stated that The Mothman would indeed be a unique character in 76, possibly even a reoccuring creature who stalks us on our journey around West Virginia.

The Capitol

Featuring the city of Charleston, capital of West Virginia, this fragment from E3 gives us more information on roads, rivers, and the location of the Capitol building. Again, a large river snakes north to south on the western portion; this is more than likely the Kanawha River, which connects both Point Pleasant and the City of Charleston in our world.

The Ash Heap

I was able to discover a plethora of named locations in this piece from the documentary, though there are some more curious names such as “The Burning Mine”, “The Rusty Pick”, and the ever-ominous “Mountaintop Removal.” In real-world history, Blair is not a town but an unincorporated group south of Charleston – a fact consistent with this map. For historical context, Blair was the location of a labor dispute between local mine companies and their workers in 1921, which rapidly turned violent. While the divergence between our timeline and the history of the Fallout universe is still unknown, perhaps a similar event took place and caused a series of events which ended with this area transforming from a prosperous mining facility to a literal heap of ash.

The Town

As is typical of the Fallout universe, every element, whether it’s a place or a point in history, is based on truth but, like a mirror image, there’s still something not quite right. For example, this image taken from The Making of Fallout 76 shows Morgantown, another real-world city located far to the northeast of Charleston that mostly aligns with reality. The subtle difference is the existence of Vault Tec University rather than our version, West Virginia University, which sits in the exact same location.

Harpers Ferry

In this map from the 76 documentary, we see the historic town of Harpers Ferry located at the junction between two rivers: the Shenandoah River, which runs from the southwest to the northeast, where it meets the Potomac River. As an interesting note, Harpers Ferry in located far to the northeast of Charleston, practically in Maryland, and is only a 2 hour car ride from Washington DC, the location of Fallout 3. This begs the question: how close are these two locations?

The Forest

As you can see in this map from The Making of Fallout 76, at the very western side of this image we can see the letters “EASANT,” which is almost certainly the end of the name Point Pleasant. If you reference the second map in the article, the road that runs directly east of Point Pleasant is Route 88. Therefore, we can state that the Lumber Mill and Isolated Cabin are directly south of the Vault, which means they’ll likely be some of the first locations we will come across.

The Southeast

Not much information can be found about this location in the 76 documentary, but from the dense amount of roads in the area we can assume there’s a town located far to the southeast in this strangely crimson zone. Based on the map layouts from past Fallout games, this will likely be the site of the most difficult enemies in Fallout 76.

The Biomes

As stated by Todd Howard in the Fallout 76 presentation at E3, the Overseer sends us out to explore six ecologically unique areas around the Wastes.

Thanks to this screenshot taken from the “Atomics for Peace” promo video, we now know the location and names of all six biomes when overlaid on the map from the special edition box set.

The Forest (which we see here in The Making of Fallout 76) is by far the one we’ve seen the most of at this point. It is a vast wilderness of rolling hills and lush foliage seemingly untouched by nuclear war.

The Ash Heap can be seen in the fourth map piece. Covered in ash, this area is permeated by coal mines and looks to be the site of a man made mining disaster.

Perhaps a reference to the Fallout: New Vegas DLC, Lonesome Road, in both name and physical appearance, the Savage Divide (seen here from Bethesda E3 2018) is a cracked and barren environment sweeping through the center of the map. For lovers of New Vegas, this looks to be a throwback to the atmosphere of prowling a desert wasteland which characterized that game.

The crimson southeast is known as the Cranberry Bog. I assume these alien-like trees inhabit this area – after all, would they not look similar to an actual cranberry bog when seen from an aerial view? In addition, The Making of Fallout 76 documentary suggests that these trees may be intelligent beings.

To the north, The Mire is a stretch of swamp land that’s more than likely infested with a staple enemy of the Fallout franchise, Mirelurks. These aquatic monsters are seen frequently throughout the series, often inhabiting coastal waters and structures, such as Minutemen stronghold, The Castle, in Fallout 4. Additionally, The Mire is also the location of the Potomac River, a repeat location from Fallout 3 which was a common place to spot these same creatures. Though, in this instance, I hope I’m wrong in my speculations as Mirelurks tend to be some of the most difficult encounters in the game.

Though not much has been uncovered about this specific area, a name like “Toxic Valley” doesn’t bode well for those of us who prefer to keep our rad count low.

The Full Picture?

After splicing and rearranging all of these pieces together, it is complete. The large river seen in many of the photos above all fit together, snaking along the western edge. The discoloration of each map piece fits into place and now informs us of a specific ecological environment. The blurred and unreadable map from the very beginning now has place names, roads, and train tracks.

Prettied Up

But if you prefer not to squint at a map that appears to have been assembled by a conspiracy theorist as you try to make out details, fear not: this conspiracy theorist has Photoshop and took the time to recreate a version of the Fallout 76 map that is legible to the layperson.

Covering 30 specific locations across the Wasteland, including Vault 76, the six separate biomes, roads, and railroads, we have what we believe to be an accurate representation of what really awaits us when the Vault door opens on November 14.

Happy Reclamation Day!



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