Fallout 76 is a huge milestone for Bethesda's post-apocalyptic series, taking the survival RPG online to millions of players that will certainly want to play with their friends. If your plans included setting up a private server, we have some news for you: You'll have to go through Bethesda.
Pete Hines of Bethesda was answering some questions about Fallout 76 on Twitter, largely involving playing "offline" and how servers are set up. The first question from Twitter user JJMrOrange asked if the development team would open up offline play for Fallout 76 three years or so down the line. Pete Hines responded that "it's a server-based game" and that he doesn't see the team "completely re-engineering it to somehow be an offline game that is entirely client based."
Another Twitter user keyed in on the mention of servers and ask if self-hosting a private server would have the same effect as an offline version of Fallout 76. Hines said "if you wanted your own private server that only you played on, yes" and further clarified that, if a player wants a private server, it will go through Bethesda.
More details for private Fallout 76 servers will likely be revealed a bit after launch, but there are other mechanics at play if your desire for a private server revolves around griefing concerns. The "wanted murderer" bounty status will potentially keep players in this multiplayer survival game somewhat honest and is something other similar games could learn from.