You can try Fallout 76 for free this weekend. Here’s how

Chris Morris

Fallout 76 was kind of a dud with fans when it launched in 2018 — and Bethesda Softworks has made many improvements since then. Now the publisher is hoping to lure players back, offering a free play weekend starting Thursday.

Starting at noon ET on Thursday, May 14, and running through noon on Monday, May 18, players can download and play Fallout 76 — and its expansions, including the most recent, Wastelanders, for free on Xbox, PlayStation, and PC.

Current players will earn double experience points for the length of the free trial weekend.

Critics and many players were not kind to Fallout 76 when it initially launched. The game had several bugs and the multiplayer focus didn’t sit well with many longtime fans of the game. Bethesda immediately acknowledged the criticisms and got to work improving the game. The culmination of that work is Wastelanders, which overhauled the in-game world of Appalachia, adding human NPCs, and new quests.

The expansion has been widely praised, with IGN saying “Fallout 76 is starting to feel like a true Fallout game. … New human NPCs bring a healthy dose of personality and interaction to the world and the new storyline is far more engaging because of them.”

The asterisk to that review is that most of the new story content is only available to players who are level 20 and above. New Fallout 76 players will have to grind like anyone else. That could frustrate some, but changes to the introductory content make it easier to reach that level.