Yes, you read that right dearest vault-dwellers - the Pip-Boy 3000 need no longer haunt your dreams as the gadget that will never be. This beautiful app changes your smart device into Fallout 4’s trusty companion, and what’s more it actually works.
Our hearts soared when Bethesda revealed Fallout 4: Pip-Boy Edition, which features a fully operational replica of the device that straps to your wrist. Then came the inevitable crash back to Earth when the announcement came that supply would be extremely limited. Nothing makes us want something more than telling us we absolutely can’t have it.
Fortunately for us have-nots, the Fallout Pip-Boy smartphone app that makes the Pip-Boy replica tick can be downloaded freely from the App Store or Google Play. Your iPhone 6 might not look the part, but it can still bring the best tool of this titanic RPG into the real world.
In Fallout 4 the Pip-Boy serves as a management tool for pretty much everything in-game. Players can view their character’s stats, fiddle about with the inventory, select active quests, and view the world map from here. Press one button and the Pip-Boy is brought full-screen while the game is paused.
It’s an efficient system which removes unnecessary mess from the game’s HUD, but also means that whenever your inventory calls out for attention, the illusion of the surrounding world around is broken.
The Pip-Boy app changes all that.
Fire it up and the entire Pip-Boy interface is replicated on on your smart device, freeing up your TV or computer monitor to keep rendering the first-person action.
All five tabs: Stats, Inventory, Data (quests), Map, and Radio are all present, and the UI is virtually identical to the the big-screen version. It’s not just for show either - the app’s menus are fully functional.
From here it’s possible to engage in all the RPG tinkering for which you’d previously use your game controller. Want to fast travel to another location? App. Change weapon to the super-sledge? App. Level up? Actually you can’t do that here. Sorry.
You might even find navigating the menu’s many lists easier than before, as the touchscreen interface of a smart-device is far more efficient than scrolling using the d-pad.
In fact, there are even some things you can only do when using the app.
Checking the map in Fallout 4 can be a pain, as it involves opening and closing the full-screen Pip-Boy constantly. The app solves this woe completely. All information is shared between app and game in real-time, so when the map tab on the app is open, it live updates the player’s location. Bingo: you’ve got yourself an unobtrusive minimap away from the main action. No more irritating screen switching.
The app also features a pair of charming minigames that are a great distraction during tedious loading screens in the main game.
It’s easy as pie to set up. Just download the app, and when it’s fired up, it automatically detects active Fallout games on PC, Xbox One, or PS4 within your local network. Once it’s paired, you’re good to go.
This is probably the first companion app ever that actually enhances a game’s core experience.
So what are you doing? Stop reading this waffle and jump back into Fallout 4’s alluring ruins with your iPad in tow.