Cutting corners: Fallout 76 has only been out for two days and players have already figured out how to cheat aspects of the endgame. Two days seems like not enough time for anybody to even get to a level powerful enough to fight through endgame enemies, but that has not stopped them from developing a brute-force method for decrypting nuke codes.
As you probably know from our previous coverage of Fallout 76, players can launch nukes that not only destroy the areas they strike but also create irradiated zones that spawn powerful beasts with just as powerful loot. The game mechanic, by Bethesda’s own words, was meant as an endgame feature to allow already leveled up players to get more powerful gear.
The process of launching a nuke is no simple task and is performed in several steps. First of all, each one has a launch code that is broken up into eight segments. Players can get these fragments of code by fighting and defeating high-level ghouls. Then they need to get a launch keycard. These are obtained by shooting down Enclave drop ships. Finally, they have to decipher the code.
According to Kotaku, the launch codes are encrypted using a keyword cipher. The keyword is changed every week and is revealed letter by letter throughout the week presumably to control the launching of nukes.
Impatient players have given the finger to this system of reveal by creating NukaCrypt — a website that will decipher the launch codes faster than if you were to simply apply guesswork. It’s pretty smart really, and the designers gave the site a Pip-Boy like aesthetic, which is a nice touch.
Is this a cheat that will ruin Fallout 76? Probably not. It is just meant to take the tedium out of what is otherwise a relatively simple, yet mundane and tiresomely repetitive puzzle. Players still have to fight very powerful bosses to get at the loot.
Will Bethesda change the launch process to foul up this ad hock utility? That remains to be seen. Either the developers will applaud the players for their creativity, letting them at least use NukaCrypt for a while, or they could throw a wrench into the scheme after the very first week by changing the way launch codes are given out.
Actually, I would not be surprised to see Bethesda run with it and make it a little side game of cat and mouse they can play with the players outside of the game world. Every couple of weeks they could come up with another method for players to figure out how to bypass.