The Steam release is happening a year after being announced.
Fallout 76 Wastelanders update

In March 2019, Bethesda quietly admitted that their adventures in launcher exclusivity wasn't all that they had hoped. At the time, the studio announced that games that were once exclusive, or assumed to be exclusive, to their Launcher would also arrive on Steam.

These games included the likes of RAGE 2, Wolfenstein: Youngblood, Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, DOOM Eternal, and Fallout 76. So far, all but DOOM Eternal has actually been released in any capacity and, true to their word, Bethesda launched all of their titles on Steam. DOOM Eternal won't be out until March

Well, almost all of them. Of those titles that have been released since this announcement, only one has not been released to Steam yet. That game is Fallout 76.

That all changes with the new announcement that Fallout 76 will finally hit Steam on April 7, 2020. I assume Bethesda either wanted to have a lengthy exclusivity period for their games on their own launcher first, or they wanted to ensure that the game was mostly not-broken before they released on Steam.

This is also the same date in which the long-awaited Wastelanders update will come out for all versions of the game. As a reminder, Fallout 76 is currently available on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC through the Launcher.

The Wastelanders update was originally slated to be released in 2019, but it was hit with a lengthy delay. Shortly thereafter were some ahem, unfortunate issues that popped up which took priority for Bethesda.

The big draw for the Wastelanders update would be the addition of fully voiced non-robot NPCs. Yeah, Fallout 76 is about to be more of a proper Fallout game now once this update hits. Who could've seen that coming? Wastelanders also adds in an all-new main quest, adds in the ability to "forge alliances," manage reputation with competing factions, and "uncover the truth of what's hidden in the mountains. I hope it's Big Foot.

Details on these major changes can be found below.

The best news for current Fallout 76 players is the fact that the Wastelanders content will be free when it launches. Obviously, if you want to play the game on Steam you will probably have to spend some cash to actually purchase the game. The current going rate for the Standard Edition is $39.99 (USD). The Steam release will include the Wastelanders version and the Wastelanders Deluxe Edition. There will also be optional purchases available through Steam such as the Fallout 1st membership, the Tricentennial Pack, and the Raider and Settler Content Bundle.

While we're going to provide the highlights of the Wastelanders update below, Bethesda did provide some additional details on some of the new, optional cosmetic bundles arriving with Wastelanders.

Some of the major changes coming in Wastelanders include:
  • New Main Quest and Revamped Original Main Quest – Uncover the secrets of West Virginia by playing through an all-new main quest as well as a revamped original main quest line – with friends or solo – starting from the moment you leave Vault 76. New and veteran players alike will take on new missions, explore new locations and fight with (or against) the new faces that have made their long-awaited return to West Virginia.
  • Human NPCs – Befriend or betray new neighbors who have come to rebuild, and experience Appalachia through the eyes of its residents.
  • New Creatures and Gear – Take down newly mutated creatures finding their way to the region and earn the highest tier of weapons and armor.
  • Choices and Reputation – Alter the fates of those you meet with classic dialogue trees. Decisions affect your standing with each faction through an all-new reputation system.