Fallout 5 FAQ: Xbox Game Pass, news, and everything you need to know

Fallout 4 Sole Survivor Art
(Image credit: Bethesda)

"War never changes."

Those words have helped to definite the Fallout franchise of role-playing games for decades, and they still hold true. Fallout 5 is a bit weird, because it's technically been announced, so we know developer Bethesda Game Studios will work on it, but it's still a long ways off. Still, there's are some bits of information we can glean based on official comments and common sense.

It's been close to a decade since the launch of Fallout 4, and it's going to be several more years until we see its next main video game follow-up. I've put together the answers to some frequently asked questions to try and help anyone looking for anything official. Here's what you need to know about Fallout 5.

What is Fallout 5?

Best answer: Fallout 5 is the next mainline Fallout game developed by Bethesda Game Studios.

Fallout 5 is the presumed title of the next mainline Fallout game, which will be developed by Bethesda Game Studios. We know this game is in Bethesda's roadmap, as executive producer Todd Howard previously mentioned that the studio has a "one-page" document for Fallout 5, and that this is the next big game the team will make after The Elder Scrolls 6.

This doesn't include smaller mobile titles, such as The Elder Scrolls Castles, a game that a team at Bethesda Game Studios is currently working on for Android and iOS. Bethesda Game Studios previously developed Fallout Shelter (another mobile spinoff) and released it in 2015.

Bethesda Game Studios is the lead developer of the Fallout franchise with Bethesda Softworks as the publisher, and this has been the case since parent company ZeniMax Media acquired the rights to the series in 2007. The first game, Fallout, was developed by Interplay and released in 1997, with Black Isle (a division of Interplay) releasing Fallout 2 in 1998. 

While two spinoffs, Fallout Tactics and Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel were released in 2001 and 2004 respectively (with the latter being rendered non-canon later on), the next mainline role-playing game was Fallout 3, which was developed by Bethesda Game Studios and released in 2008. Fallout: New Vegas, which was developed by Obsidian Entertainment, was released in 2010. 

Fallout 4 and Fallout 76, which were both developed by Bethesda Game Studios, launched in 2015 and 2018, respectively. 

What is Fallout 5's setting?

Best answer: We don't know.

Fallout games usually have different settings. This enables each game to have a fresh approach, introducing new characters and landmarks that pull on different pieces of alternate-universe American history. This hasn't always been the case though, particularly with the first couple of games.

The original Fallout is set in Southern California, as was its sequel, Fallout 2. Fallout 3 took players to the East Coast, with the setting made up of the ruins of Washington, D.C, as well as portions of Maryland and Northern Virginia. In Fallout: New Vegas, the the franchise returned to the West Coast in the region immediately around the city formerly known as Las Vegas in Nevada. 

Fallout 4 took things back to the East Coast, with players exploring the Commonwealth of Boston. Fallout 76 kept things on the East Coast, exploring the eclectic wonders and monstrosities of West Virginia. The excellent Fallout TV series again went back to the West Coast, with players seeing former Los Angeles and Hollywood.

One key thing may help us to guess at where Fallout 5 will take place. During the creation of the Fallout TV series, Todd Howard told creator Jonathan Nolan and the rest of the team working on the show about what not to do, in order to ensure the TV series (which is canon) does not conflict with Bethesda Game Studios' plans for Fallout 5. 

Because of that, we could possibly infer that Fallout 5 won't be set in Southern California, as it would be too close and too tied together to keep separate from the events of the series, even with a time skip. 

What platforms is Fallout 5 coming to?

Best answer: Fallout 5 will be released on Xbox consoles and Windows PC.

As Bethesda Game Studios is an Xbox first-party developer, Fallout 5 will be released on whatever Xbox consoles are current at the time, as well as Windows PC. Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media for $8.1 billion in 2021, and part of the motivation for this decision was to ensure that ZeniMax Media's Bethesda Softworks games would not skip Xbox platforms in the future

Is Fallout 5 coming to Xbox Game Pass?

Best answer: Yes, Fallout 5 will launch day one on Xbox Game Pass.

As Bethesda Game Studios is an Xbox first-party developer, Fallout 5 will launch day one into Xbox Game Pass

After Microsoft acquired ZeniMax Media, the existing library of Bethesda Game Studios titles, including games like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, were all added to Xbox Game Pass. The team's first game to launch day one in the service was the 2023 science-fiction role-playing game Starfield

Part of what makes Xbox Game Pass unique as a subscription service is the fact that all Xbox first-party games from across Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks, and Activision Blizzard launch day one into the service, giving players options for how they want to play.

When is Fallout 5's release date?

Best answer: We have no idea, but it won't be anytime soon. 

Fallout 5 does not have a release date, or even an expected year that it'll launch in. This game is not the next title in development from Bethesda Game Studios, and will instead be arriving years after the launch of The Elder Scrolls 6. Seriously, you are better off putting this game out of your mind for at least a couple of years. 

An extremely rough guess might be that Fallout 5 could arrive in 2033. This would assume The Elder Scrolls 6 launches in 2028, five years after Starfield. From there, Fallout 5 could arrive five years after The Elder Scrolls 6.

In the meantime, all of the Fallout games are currently playable on Windows PC. Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 4, and Fallout 76 are all playable on Xbox Series X|S consoles. 

Fallout 4, the most recent mainline game in the series, is being updated to properly take advantage of current-generation console hardware, with dedicated Visual and Performance modes, as well as Ultrawide support on Windows PC and some additional Creation Club content providing new weapons and even a new quest.

Samuel Tolbert
Freelance Writer

Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on Xbox and PC gaming on Windows Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert.