Fallout 5: everything we know so far

Fallout 5 - Fallout 76 Wastelanders key art
(Image credit: Bethesda)
Audio player loading…

Fallout 5 is officially in development, but unfortunately likely a long way away from being released. It's easily one of the most anticipated games around, especially given that we haven't had a singleplayer Fallout game since 2015. For now, it seems like Bethesda is busy working on other games.

Starfield is the first game that is set to release before Fallout 5, and luckily it's not far off. Beyond that, we have The Elder Scrolls 6 to look forward to, though that's clearly not launching for a while yet. After that, we can finally expect Fallout 5, though we may all be old and grey by that point.

In terms of official Fallout 5 info, there certainly isn't a lot out there currently. What we do have are comments from Bethesda, Todd Howard, and even some rumors that have cropped up over the last couple of years. Some point to a possible setting, while others are a little harder to discern. For now, here's everything we know about Fallout 5 so far. As new details are revealed, you'll find this page updated with the latest news.

Fallout 5: cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next installment of the Fallout franchise
  • When can I play it? TBC
  • Which console will it be on? Likely not PlayStation 

Fallout 5 release date and platforms

Fallout 4 Vault Dweller looks at dogmeat

Fallout 4 (Image credit: Bethesda)

While there's currently no confirmed release date for Fallout 5, there's plenty of speculation. We've seen optimistic predictions but given Bethesda's focus is resolutely on Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, nevermind the fact that the game hasn't even been revealed, we're not expecting it for a long time.

As it stands, we're expecting Fallout 5's release date to be many years down the road, really stretching the previous seven-year gap between Fallout 3 (2008) and Fallout 4 (2015). At the moment, 2025 or later feels more realistic.

It depends on how far along the Bethesda teams are with each game. However, given that, in a November 2021 interview with IGN, Todd Howard said the studio has a "one-pager on Fallout 5"  –  a broad overview of what they want it to be  – we think it'll be a while before we hear anything more.

What's more, speaking to IGN (opens in new tab) in June 2022, Howard confirmed that Fallout 5 would be Bethesda's project after The Elder Scrolls 6. With that game still in pre-production and a release likely a few years off, we imagine we could be in for a long wait for the next Fallout.

Platforms for Fallout 5 haven't been confirmed but it's likely we'll see the next Fallout release for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S and PC. If we're not looking at the next-generation of consoles by this point, that is. PS5, however, is another matter. 

It stands to reason that Microsoft and Bethesda would make this an exclusive title because of the former's purchase of the latter. However, Xbox has said exclusivity deals on new games from Bethesda will be decided on a case-by-case basis so it's hard to be certain. At the very least, we should expect Fallout 5 to be a title for Xbox Game Pass.

Considering console lifecycles usually last about seven years, it seems likely we would see Fallout 5 release on these systems before the next, next-generation systems are going to be introduced.

Fallout 5 location and setting: where could it be set?

Fallout barren landscape with pylons dotted into the distance

Fallout 4 (Image credit: Bethesda)

If you've ever played a Fallout game, you'll know how much it loves its doomsday nuclear-ravaged American setting. Fallout games have all been set in a US state, so it would stand to reason this aspect wouldn't change. Fallout 3, for example, was set in Washington while Fallout 4 took place in Boston.

It would nice to see Fallout explore different parts of the world, but that might change the game up too much and alienate long-term fans who are particularly fond of the setting. You don't have to look far to see fans discussing and fantasizing about where Fallout 5 will take place. 

Here are the most rumored places we've heard chatter about so far:

New Orleans
Rumors that a new Fallout game would be set in New Orleans started after a trademark application for 'Fallout New Orleans (opens in new tab)' was spotted online in 2016. Ultimately, this listing hasn't resulted in anything more than five years later, but it could all be a clever bait and switch.

We've already visited swampy areas in Fallout, but a game set entirely around the deep south would certainly be an interesting take.

Chicago
This one is a bit more 'out there' in terms of its validity. Having a game set in the Windy City is only being speculated over because fans of Fallout: New Vegas remember that there is a hint towards an Enclave outpost in Chicago.

Anywhere else in the world
There has never been a Fallout game set out of the United States, so could Fallout 5 be the one to buck the trend? Having a game set in Korea, China, Russia or elsewhere would provide an excellent outlet to change up how the entire map and locations look. A new installment is a great opportunity to give the franchise a fresh aesthetic.

Fallout 5 multiplayer: will it have it?

Fallout 76 SGF 2022

Fallout 76 (Image credit: Bethesda)

Multiplayer and online co-op
Every mainline Fallout game has been single-player only. Fans probably always loved the idea of wandering around the apocalyptic wasteland with some friends, but when this was attempted with Fallout 76, it didn't work out too well.

Fallout 5 would likely be solely made as a single-player experience, considering how the Fallout 76 team is constantly updating and trying to improve the multiplayer experience of its online service. Considering the rocky history of 76, Fallout 5 would probably suffer too much at the hands of a 'bad' multiplayer experience. That seems like something Bethesda might now be keen to avoid.

That's not to say there won't be some social features. There could be a social system, like we've seen in games like Dark Souls and Bloodborne, of leaving messages for other players to give them hints (or to troll them), but that might be out of place in the world of Fallout.

Fallout 5 news and rumors

Fallout 4 armored character

Fallout 4 (Image credit: Bethesda)

Fallout 5 is coming after The Elder Scrolls 6
In an interview with IGN (opens in new tab), Todd Howard confirmed that Fallout 5 will be Bethesda's next project after The Elder Scrolls 6.

"Yes, Elder Scrolls 6 is in pre-production and, you know, we’re going to be doing Fallout 5 after that, so our slate’s pretty full going forward for a while" Howard told the publication. "We have some other projects that we look at from time to time as well."

Work has begun...sort of
Work has started on Fallout 5 but don’t hold your breath for seeing it any time soon. Speaking to IGN (opens in new tab) in November 2021, regarding the impending release of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim Anniversary Edition, Bethesda studio director Todd Howard revealed that a “one-pager” design document was already in place for Fallout 5, being a very early blueprint for what the studio has planned for the game. 

Being a “one-pager”, the design document is a high-level outline and there is, therefore, little to share. With Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6 both up first, it’ll be a while before we hear more about Fallout 5. 

As for whether or not Obsidian—the studio which handled development duties on the Xbox 360 era Fallout: New Vegas—could have some involvement, Howard said "We've worked with other people from time to time. I can't say what's gonna happen...If I could wave my hand and have [Fallout 5] out...you know, I'd like to find a way to accelerate what we do, but I can't really say today or commit to anything, what's going to happen when, other than our cadence is Starfield then Elder Scrolls 6". 

Fallout 4 vault door with '111' written onit

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Fallout 5 new engine
Bethesda has confirmed that it has updated its engine, which was previously used to make The Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion, Fallout 3, Skyrim and even Fallout 4. As we all know, the engine used for those games, Creation Engine, was... janky at best. It was riddled with numerous animation issues and there was something off about all the character designs and movements.

According to Bethesda, this new engine, simply called Creation Engine 2, is being used to develop Starfield and the Elder Scrolls 6. According to GamesRadar (opens in new tab), the new engine brings new renders, lighting, animations (hallelujah), landscape system and photogrammetry.

Todd Howard spoke about the engine after the announcement of the Microsoft merger in 2021, saying "it's led to our largest engine overhaul since Oblivion, with all new technologies powering our first new IP in 25 years, Starfield, as well as The Elder Scrolls 6".

With contributions from