Fallout 76 Locations in REAL Life!
Updated: Sep 15, 2021
In this special article contribution, we're taking a look at the real-life inspiration for locations in Fallout 76 across the great state of West Virginia!
A Wastelander’s Guide to West Virginia: Berkeley Springs
When the fiddle and banjo slowly started to play the familiar tune of Country Roads in Fallout 76’s trailer it sent chills down my spine. I was so excited to see my home state of West Virginia be the newest setting for the Fallout franchise. The first thing I wanted to do was go exploring the map to see what locations were in the game. I wanted to see how they interpreted the places I knew and loved. How would they look in a Fallout world? How would they stay the same?
"I was suprised by the attention to detail the developers put into the game's locations."
When I first started playing Fallout 76, I immediately went to the locations I knew by heart. I was surprised by the attention to detail the developers put into the game’s locations. Yes, it was a destroyed wasteland and it definitely felt like a Fallout game, but there were relics left behind that were immediately identifiable for anyone that had been to their real-world counterparts. This got me thinking about how much fun it would be to plan a road trip to various parts of West Virginia that I had not been to before and see the inspiration behind the game firsthand.
Since then I have been to all corners of West Virginia and just like in the game, it has led to many random adventures and side quests. One of those side quests that I wanted to do was recreate pictures I took in the game to showcase the real-world locations people could visit as they traveled through West Virginia. The first location that I would like to highlight is a town in the Eastern Panhandle called Berkeley Springs. I will give a little bit of history and an explanation of what you are looking at in the pictures.
Here is the town sign as you approach Berkeley Springs from the North. This is the first picture I took of the town and I immediately realized how different the scaling was in the game. This sign is much smaller in real life. As you can see, many of the assets used in the game stay true to the original design, however.
Berkeley Springs was originally incorporated in Virginia in 1776 and was known as Bath. Due to postal service naming conflicts, it was changed to Berkeley Springs in 1802. After West Virginia seceded from Virginia in 1863 the name stayed.
Berkeley Springs State Park is the center of historic Berkeley Springs. It is a 4.5-acre park that includes several mineral springs, a Roman bathhouse, open lawns, and a museum. It was integrated into the State Park Service in 1970, however, the site has been known as a popular destination for hundreds of years.
Warm Springs Run is an 11.9 mile long tributary to the Potomac River. The waters of the springs join the stream as it flows through the park. There are a few bridges crossing the Run and it passes under streets as it flows north through town.
There are a couple of wading pools built around the natural springs. The water bubbles up through a sandy bottom and fills these concrete pools. The warm water flows at a constant 74.3℉ making for enjoyment through an extended part of the year. Many people young and old can be seen wading in the pools and soaking their feet in soothing mineral waters during the Summertime. From an early age, George Washing would frequent the springs and there is even a cut-out section of one of the springs labeled, “George Washington’s Bathtub”. Underneath the building in the background with the three windows, you can collect water for free, and there are a couple of public drinking fountains.
The bathhouse is one of the oldest structures in the park. The documentation on the building is a bit unclear, but it is believed to be built around 1784 by James Rumsey. Its use and form today is much like it was originally.
The private pool rooms can be rented and also include spa services. The natural spring water is used to fill these tubs and is heated to 102℉ by boilers.
The Country Inn at Berkeley Springs was originally opened in 1933 by the Harmison Family. It has 70 rooms and includes both modern accommodations as well as featuring some historical rooms. Some of its amenities include a spa, English country gardens, conference center, banquet facilities, a restaurant, and a tavern.
The Berkeley Springs Castle is registered to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places as the Samuel Taylor Suit Cottage. It sits on a hillside overlooking Berkeley Springs. Construction first started in 1885, but Colonel Suit died in 1888 before it was completed. His wife Rosa Suit finished the construction in 1890. She enjoyed throwing extravagant parties there until the money ran out and it was sold in 1913. It changed hands several times throughout the 20th century and was used to hold various events. In 1954 it was bought by Walter Bird who opened the castle up for tours. Since 1999 it has been closed to the public, and for that reason, I was not able to get a picture in front of it. You can still easily see it from the road as you drive up the hill.