Unkillable NPCs are Looting Dead Fallout 76 Players’ Weapons

Fallout 76

Fallout 76 has run into yet another game-breaking bug; NPCs who cannot be killed are now looting players when they die, taking their weapons.

For those unfamiliar, Fallout 76 has been plagued with issues both in-game and in real life. While Bethesda Director and Executive Producer Todd Howard stated he “knew we were gonna have a lot of bumps,” the issues have been numerous and serious.

When the game was launched it was discovered to be heavily buggy, as documented by YouTubers Internet Historian and Joseph Anderson (Editor’s Note: Niche Gamer is not affiliated with either of these individuals, nor support any allegations made in these videos).

This resulted in extremely low reviewer and user scores. Some of these issues also included exploits that would allow players to obtain nigh-infinite money, nuke codes, items, and access the developer room (an in-game area containing every item in the game).

Once details of how to get a refund even after playing the game for 24-hours became wide-spread, Bethesda allegedly stopped issuing refunds. This lead to a lawsuit investigation from Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, over Bethesda “releasing a heavily-glitched game, Fallout 76, and refusing to issue refunds for PC purchasers of the game who found it to be unplayable because of its technical problems.”

While the case in the US is still underway, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission (ACCC) concluded their own case. They found Bethesda parent company ZeniMax at fault, and demanded they issue refunds in Australia.

Hackers then began to find yet more ways to abuse the game. They began to spawn Fallout 4 assets, and NPCs (a feature of the upcoming Wastelanders update). More worryingly, they also began stealing from other players, being able to take the entire inventory of any player in sight.

The Wastelanders update was then delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, along with the cancellation of Quakecon 2020, and Bethesda announcing they would not host a showcase in June as a supplement to the cancelled E3 2020.

Now, r/Fallout76 user “Lizardinosaurus” describes how a bug caused an NPC to wield his weapon when he died during the Riding Shotgun event.

“There is a game breaking bug at the moment with events that include NPCs such as riding shotgun and radiation rumble where if you die they will sometimes loot your weapon and all your ammo.

Just lost a BE Gatling gun when I died in riding shotgun and nearly 2k 5mm ammo only to find one of the NPCs now had a Gatling gun.

Just to be safe don’t use you’re best/rarest weapons in events like riding shotgun just in case one of the NPCs decides to steal it”

The issue is several fold. First, when a player dies, they are not supposed to lose their weapons. A paper bag containing junk items will drop where they died, which the player can then pick up. Second, the NPCs in these events cannot be killed- only “downed”. Meaning players cannot even get their hard-earned weapons back.

As players investigated the issue, an older video surfaced online showing the bug in action. You can find that video below.


One user in the Reddit thread (“GiveHawkmoonPlz”) theorizes that this is due to the game using the same AI as in Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.

“They’ll loot corpses automatically if there’s one nearby, they must have forgotten to disable it in 76,” they propose. Another proposes they will do this if the dropped weapon is better than their own.

Bethesda’s Associate Community Manager (dubbed “Ladydevaan”) replied to the community, stating “We will investigate this immediately.”

Fallout 76 is now available for Windows PC (via Bethesda, and Steam), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. In case you missed it, you can find our review for the game here.

Image: Steam

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Ryan was a former Niche Gamer contributor.

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