The PC release of Fallout 76 will not be on Steam. If you want to play Fallout 76 on PC, you’ll need the Bethesda.net installer. Publisher Bethesda finally confirmed this after a period of silence following the game’s fantastic E3 2018 reveal. At the time the Fallout 76 FAQ stated the Fallout 76 PC beta will be via Bethesda.net rather than Steam. There’s no listing for the game on Steam either. This wouldn’t be the first time Bethesda has decided against a Steam release for its games. In the past, The Elder Scrolls Legends and Fallout Shelter weren’t at Steam first. Instead they were available via Bethesda’s own launcher and were put on Steam later.
“The PC version of Fallout 76, for both the B.E.T.A. and the launch, will be available only via Bethesda.net, not on Steam,” a Bethesda representative said in a email to PC Gamer
“The beta will be available on Xbox One, PS4, and on PC (via Bethesda.net). Stay tuned for exact timing for each platform here and Fallout on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Please note that the beta for Xbox One will begin first, followed by other platforms,” reads the Fallout 76 FAQ.
Prior to this, we speculated that Fallout 76 would skip Steam. Granted its games have seen tremendous success on Steam, but with Steam itself unclear of its own policies with regards to censorship and ethics, now is a good time as any for major publishers to consider their options. Activision has done the same recently with Destiny 2 and now Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 being exclusive to Battle.net and has seen it work in its favour (at least in the case of Destiny 2 PC sales).
As for gamers, with Steam, GOG, Uplay, Origin, Battle.net, and perhaps Bethesda’s own client, you may have to deal with multiple PC game clients as a regular occurrence if you want to play the latest and greatest at launch.