Each server in Fallout 76 can have up to 24 player characters or more. The 24 character limit is expendable to allow characters to join the same servers as their friends. Each player character was a carefully chosen resident or child thereof of Vault 76, tasked with rebuilding America.
Each container in Appalachia is instanced per player character, meaning characters do not compete for their contents and may see different items in the same container or corpse. Certain items in the world space such as junk or loose weapons, however, are not instanced per character and will become unavailable once taken by any character until they eventually respawn.
Multiple characters can work together in building settlements, attacking wild monsters or exploring Appalachia. Player character can team up with three other characters and will share XP and bottlecap rewards, even with members who do not contribute. Each team member can select a perk card to share, while many Charisma perks already benefit teams without having to be shared. Many events and quests are designed for teams, although each are completable playing solo (though only possibly at higher levels). It is much easier for a team to collect enough nuclear launch keys to launch a nuke than a solo player character, for example.
Player versus playerEdit
At other times, multiplayer also features player versus player combat after characters reach level 5. The reward for defeating a player character is in bottlecaps. Player characters invite other characters to duel by attacking with nominal damage akin to a glove slap. If the attacked character responds by attacking back, the duel begins. All attacks there after will be normalized such that lower level characters can do as much base damage as higher level characters without taking perks or higher tier armor and weapons into account. PVP combat is on a character to character basis only, so attacking a character does not automatically include either character's teammates unless they are attacked too and attack back, which may be difficult to avoid if they are close together. PVP can also be started by contesting a claim of a workshop, which grant access to valuable resource generators.
Player characters that kill another who did not attack back are marked as murderers on the map and a bounty in caps is placed on them for anyone to claim. Any character that attacks a murderer automatically has normalized damage without the murderer needing to attack back.
Player characters can opt out of PVP combat by enabling a pacifist flag in the options menu. Pacifists will not do damage to any other player character and therefore cannot accept invitations to fight (but will still receive reduced damage from other player characters). This option prevents other player characters from intentionally entering crossfire so as to trigger a duel. Another option to avoid PVP is to fast travel away from instigators, granted that the character is not in nearby or in combat with enemies.