My Dumb Quest To Get A Backpack In Fallout 76 (And How To Avoid It)

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When I started playing Fallout 76 in 2018 there were no backpacks. So I never thought about it. But when I learned from a random comment that backpacks had been added after that point and had been in the game for years, I felt stupid for never crafting one. And then I went to collect the recipe for a pack and felt even dumber. Let me help you avoid this situation.

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Yes, like many players, I’ve returned to the irradiated online wasteland of Fallout 76. I had started feeling the itch for my on-again-off-again MMO months before the Fallout show. But I resisted. However, after watching the entirety of Amazon’s excellent live-action series based on the post-apocalyptic RPG franchise, it was too hard to stop myself from re-installing Bethesda’s online version of Fallout. As is often the case, I spent a chunk of my time in Fallout 76 trying to figure out more ways to carry all the random junk needed to build structures and craft items in the game.

My annoying quest to get a backpack

During a random perusal of the Fallout 76 subreddit, I discovered that backpacks had been added to the game in a past update. And they let you carry more stuff. I was intrigued! I also felt like a dummy. A moment later, I did a quick Google search and found a Reddit post and a couple of guides explaining how to get a backpack. Seemed simple enough. So I booted up Fallout 76 and headed to the Morgantown Airport.

According to Reddit, the blueprint for crafting the useful pack was upstairs in the airport in an area you visit in the early hours of Fallout 76. I had been here years ago, but never came back since making my original character. During the 2019 Wild Appalachia update, Bethesda added the backpack blueprint in this early game area. Makes sense, as many new players will stumble upon it.

However, for players who have been journeying through the game for years already, you could easily miss it as you’d have no need to return to the airport. So back I went. I fought my way through the enemies inside and found the chest upstairs and discovered… no blueprint.

A screenshot of someone walking in Fallout 76 while wearing a backpack.

Screenshot: Bethesda

Why the backpack isn’t in the Morgantown Airport

At that moment I had a thought, the same one that I have many times in Fallout 76: “Hmmm, did I do something wrong or is the game just broken?”

So I booted up Fallout 76 again, joined a new world, quickly fought my way up through the airport and…no backpack in the chest. Again. This time I checked the web for anyone else experiencing this bug and many others were complaining that, yes, the backpack wasn’t in the airport. 

Turns out Bethesda actually moved where the blueprint spawns to a different area a few months ago, a spot that new players will encounter even earlier in their opening hours of Fallout 76.

I felt dumber than ever. But now, let me help you get a backpack—which is very useful—and help you avoid this silly series of events.

How to unlock and craft the backpack in Fallout 76

To get a backpack now (in April 2024) you need to head to the Overseer’s Camp located south of Fallout 76 near the Wayward bar. It’s near a river just north of Green County Lodge and is located in a chest marked as the Overseer’s cache.

A screenshot of Fallout 76's map shows the location of the camp.

Screenshot: Bethesda / Fallout Wiki / Kotaku

Loot the plans and then check your inventory—you should be able to activate or “learn” the recipe. At that point, assuming you have the materials, you can now craft a backpack at an armor bench. You’ll need one piece of cloth, one piece of leather and a piece of steel. As you level up you can craft better versions of the pack that hold even more weight.

If you are a new player who started playing in the last few weeks, you likely already picked up the plans for the backpack after visiting the Overseer’s Camp.

If you can’t craft a pack, check the “Notes” section of your inventory and make sure you’ve activated the backpack plan. Just keep in mind you can’t use a backpack while wearing power armor in Fallout 76.

Now, this is how you get a small backpack. If you want a larger backpack that can hold even more, you’ll need to complete the Order of the Tadpole questline, which isn’t too tricky but will take some time.

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