At E3 2018, Bethesda has been revealing lots more details about Fallout 76, the next entry in its longstanding RPG series. With each new tidbit, Bethesda continues to confirm just how ambitious a game it is. Not only is Fallout 76 four times larger than Fallout 4 but it is also always-online. The combination of all of the game's features alone sound like potential for technical problems.
Given the history of Bethesda's games with technical issues, fans are even more concerned about how the game will hold up at launch. People are looking forward to this game in a big way and are understandably worried that the game may buckle under the weight of all those players putting the game through its paces.
Bethesda seems fully aware of those concerns, though, and appears to hold those concerns itself. As such, the company confirmed plans for a Fallout 76 beta that would allow fans to get hands-on time and allow it to iron out the kinks before it is made available to everyone.
The company didn't disclose exactly what the Fallout 76 beta would entail (e.g. how much of the story content would be available) nor did it reveal the beta dates. However, the game will be released in November, meaning that the beta will need to take place a reasonable amount of time before then. A beta that takes place sometime between the end of July and August may give Bethesda enough time to implement any fixes and address problems identified in the beta in time for release.
As for how fans can get into the Fallout 76 beta, it's easy enough. In a post on Twitter, the company confirmed that fans would be able to pre-order the game in order to access the beta. There are two versions of the game: the standard version with just the base game as well as the Collector's Edition which includes wearable Power Armor and it seems that pre-ordering either one of these will offer beta access.
At this point, no retailers appear to be offering any specific pre-order bonuses such as bonus ammo, bonus materials for the base building feature or any special cosmetics (if these are included in the game at all). As a result, more patient fans who aren't interested in the Collector's Edition and any stock issues related to that may want to hold back until pre-order bonus information is made available.
Fallout 76 will be released on November 14, 2018 for PC, PS4, and Xbox one.