Fallout 76 packet loss: How to fix it?

Vlad Constantinescu
by Vlad Constantinescu
VPN Expert & Privacy Advocate
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  • Fallout 76 is a post-apocalyptic game where you need to survive at all costs. However, this is the first game in the Fallout series you can play online.
  • Like any other online game, Fallout 76 is subject to certain connection issues, including but not limited to high ping, jitter, and packet loss.
  • Check out our best VPNs that can help you improve packet loss.
  • Visit the Gaming page to discover more awesome guides, reviews, and tips & tricks.
Fallout 76 packet loss
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Fallout 76 is a post-apocalyptic game where you need to survive at all costs. You gather bottle caps and trade them for rudimentary weapons, health-restoration kits, armors, and everything that can help you achieve your goals.

Incidentally, it’s the only game in the Fallout series where you can meet other players. As in, you can enjoy the game online, and explore the vast nothingness of the Wasteland, and possibly wreak havoc upon other players.

Or, if you’re into that, you could team up and face the rough environmental hazards of the Wasteland together.

Regardless of your Fallout 76 approach, you’re in for a ride. Even if you didn’t get the chance to play the other installments in the series, you’ll definitely appreciate a good old-fashioned zip gun fight while classic tracks are playing in the background.

Yes, we’re fully aware that Fallout 76 was a mess when it first came out, and there’s still some polishing to be done around the edges, but all in all, it’s not as bad as everyone says.

On the downside, when they took Fallout 76 online, Bethesda also exposed it to a series of online-game-specific issues. These include high ping, jitter, slowdowns, and the one we all hate the most, packet loss.

What is packet loss in Fallout 76?

Regardless of where you encounter it, packet loss has the same annoying behavior. Packet loss occurs whenever data packets you transmit on your network never make it to their destination.

And believe us that this goes both ways, in the sense that packets might not be able to reach you, or ones you send might not make it to the remote server.

And that causes disruptions; some of these can be less severe, and can easily go unnoticed, while others have a more aggressive nature.

You’ll probably know that packet loss is lurking whenever you notice slowdowns, jittery gameplay, irresponsive menus, rubberbanding, or even sudden disconnections.

What causes packet loss in Fallout 76?

The reason why we can’t stand packet loss is that there’s no immediate magic fix for it. You have to struggle to find what causes it, so you can tend to that issue and that issue alone. Once you deal with it, your packet loss issue might disappear.

Unless there’s another underlying problem trying to slither its way past you, to cause yet another leak of packets. So it’s quite easy to understand why sometimes it’s downright frustrating to have to deal with packet loss.

As for what’s causing packet loss, the list is not exactly a narrow one. We’ve noticed that nine out of ten times, it’s because of network congestion.

It’s exactly what it sounds like: the network gets overcrowded with both clients and requests. Servers are not unlimited in nature, so they start slowing down and even collapsing if they’re not balanced right.

As a result, the quality of your connection can drop dramatically. The bad news is that there’s almost nothing you can do to bypass network congestion if it happens on the game server.

You could use a VPN to circumvent network congestion, but that would only work if the congestion is caused by your ISP’s improper network management skills.

Among other factors that could weigh in on causing packet loss, we remind of bad Ethernet cables, using WiFi instead of wired connections, outdated drivers, and even low-quality hardware.

How to detect packet loss in Fallout 76?

Detecting packet loss should be quite easy to achieve, provided that you have the IP address of the server you’re testing against. But since neither Fallout 76 nor the Bethesda website provides these addresses, we’ll have to improvise.

Technically, you can download and use any third-party traffic monitor that lets you see which servers communicate with your machine and their IP addresses.

However, we found it way easier to use LiveTcpUdpWatch from Nirsoft. This tool not only displays servers you’re connected to and their IP address but also displays packet loss percentage.

Therefore, you won’t need to overcomplicate things by acquiring the IP address of the Fallout 76 game server and test it with pathping.

How to fix packet loss in Fallout 76?

1. Use VPN software

  1. Purchase a Private Internet Access subscription planFallout 76 PIA
  2. Download the PIA installer on your computer
  3. Install the VPN client
  4. Launch Private Internet Access
  5. Connect to your account
  6. Choose a server that’s closer to you (they tend to offer higher speed values)
  7. Launch Fallout 76
  8. Check to see if the problem still persists

Private Internet Access is a great VPN service brought to you by Kape Technologies. Aside from helping you improve packet loss in Fallout 76, you can use it to protect your privacy, secure your connection, improve in-game ping, and bypass geo-blocking.

Furthermore, PIA also comes with 24/7 customer support, to answer all your questions and solve all your potential issues with the service.

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However, it’s worth mentioning that using a VPN to counter the effects of packet loss might not work every time. In fact, VPNs can only make things better if it’s somehow your ISP’s fault that you’re experiencing packet loss.

For instance, if your ISP throttles your bandwidth, a VPN can help you bypass this limitation. If the ISP network is improperly routed, that could also cause packet loss. A VPN can still be useful in this situation.

2. Troubleshoot the connection manually

  • Restart your PC, router, modem
  • Check every section of your home network for any malfunction (PC, cables, router, modem)
  • Replace or repair any troublesome component you find on your side of the connection
  • Updated your drivers to their latest version
  • Make sure your router’s firmware is up to date
  • Always use wired instead of WiFi if possible (WiFi packet loss happens a lot more frequently)
  • Try to avoid peak hours, if possible, to dodge network congestion
  • Contact your ISP and ask them if they can do something about it (and you don’t want to use a VPN)
  • Reach out to Fallout 76’s customer support and let them know if you find anything out of place on their side

Although none of these suggested fixes are guaranteed to work 100%, applying them might improve the quality of your connection. You need to understand that a poor-quality Internet connection that is not maintained properly is prone to issues such as packet loss.

Fallout 76 packet loss can sometimes be fixed

To sum it up, if you’re experiencing packet loss while playing Fallout 76, don’t despair until you try our suggested fixes. Most of the time, the issue is caused by network congestion, which you can circumvent by either using a VPN or waiting it out.

If waiting around or using a VPN are not valid options, you can easily apply our suggested manual troubleshooting fixes. Granted, they might not work all the time. On the bright side, they can certainly help you increase the overall quality of your network connection.

FAQ: Learn more about Fallout 76 packet loss

  • What is packet loss?

Packet loss is an unfortunate phenomenon where data packets that you transmit never make it to their destination, whether it’s you or a remote server we’re talking about.

  • What is pathping?

Pathping is a nifty Windows built-in tool that can help you troubleshoot your connection by letting you perform a traceroute and ping/packet loss test at the same time using CMD.

  • Can VPN improve packet loss?

Yes, VPN can improve packet loss, but only if it’s caused by your ISP. For instance, if your ISP has improper network routing or throttles your bandwidth, a VPN can easily improve packet loss.