Cardboard disc included with Fallout 76 Power Armor PC edition

The Fallout 76 cardboard disc is leaving many PC players and Power Armor Special Edition owners feeling ripped off.


Many modern PC games ship in boxes that don't actually contain a copy of the game software. Instead, they simply come with a download code. As it turns out, this is also true for the Fallout 76 Power Armor Special Edition on PC, but it's not the code itself that seems to be drawing ire. Instead, it's the fact that the steelbook case houses a cardboard disc.

Stories and forum posts talking about the Fallout 76 cardboard disc are popping up all across the worldwide web. Many players simply don't understand why it was included. It's just a round piece of cardboard, after all. Many more, however, are upset that their $200 Special Edition of the game ships with a download code stuffed inside the steelbook case, when it ships with an actual disc on other platforms.

Fallout 76 cardboard disc
The Fallout 76 cardboard disc, resting within the Power Armor edition steelbook case.

Though it's not an especially heinous thing to do, players are still unhappy. After all, why should they wait for their Fallout 76 Power Armor package to arrive, only to open it up to find a cardboard disc? Why should they have to wait to receive a digital download code simply because they ordered a physical package? And, most of all, why did Bethesda make a cardboard disc at all, let alone slap it inside a fancy steelbook case?

The whole situation is a head scratcher for sure. With the understanding that the PC version of the game is given as a download code, it almost seems like the steelbook case is specifically meant to house the Fallout 76 cardboard disc. Who knows, maybe after the furor dies down, the circular slice of recycled paper will have some value as a novelty or collector's item. Or, much more likely, it'll get tossed out, and the Power Armor Special Edition steelbook case will sit empty on the player's shelf, serving as a sad reminder of how things are now that hard copies of games have fallen out of favor.

More than just the issue of receiving paper or cardboard disc, many Fallout 76 players are also unhappy about purchasing the Power Armor edition for the collectible canvas bag, only to receive a lower-quality nylon bag instead. This has lead many players to request a refund from Bethesda. Digital buyers who have been experiencing game-breaking bugs have also been requesting refunds, and it seems like Bethesda is unwilling or unable to give players their money back. That's one of the big reasons why a Washington D.C. law firm is now investigating a potential Fallout 76 lawsuit alleging that the developers are engaging in deceptive trade practices.

Is the Fallout 76 cardboard disc really that big of an issue? It's not exactly our place to say. It's clear that fans are unhappy with it, though, even if they do technically own the game without a hard copy. Regardless, Bethesda has taken some rather unusual steps with the Fallout 76 Power Armor Edition, and between the cardboard disc and the lack of a canvas bag, we wouldn't be surprised if studio fans shy away from future special edition releases.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at

From The Chatty
  • reply
    November 15, 2018 11:00 AM

    Kevin Tucker posted a new article, Cardboard disc included with Fallout 76 Power Armor PC edition

    • reply
      November 15, 2018 11:17 AM

      I bet people put have them in their disc drives.

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      November 15, 2018 11:53 AM

      A steelbook case for a cardboard disc is pretty hilarious. I'm sure it's because they had to start manufacturing and packaging those things waaay before the game went gold.

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      November 15, 2018 12:27 PM

      So, if you buy the game on disc for PC it’s still just a Steam-like affair, right? The code for the Bethesda launcher is the money shot and the disc would just be for the initial load.

      I once found Prey steelbooks in Best Buy for $10 each when the game was new and cost $60 still. I think they were empty and were just the thing to buy if you wanted to store your game in a prettier box.

      But yeah one more strange thing for Fallout 76. I see you can rent it at Redbox. Maybe I’ll try it out that way for $3 for one night.

    • reply
      November 15, 2018 1:07 PM


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