It was previously announced that expansion DLC for the game will be free, but there will be paid cosmetic items. If you're picking it up on PC, you'll be stuck playing it on Bethesda.net as it seems that the game is skipping the Steam storefront upon release. The game's pre-order page also allows you to select Best Buy, Amazon, GameStop and Walmart as your retailer if you're in the USA and playing on PC; different retailers are listed based on location and platform. Even better? Any progress made during the testing period will be carried over when the game releases later this year, making all of that hard work worth it and will help come launch day. "We hope you join us!"
The same could happen with Fallout 76, though Bethesda may just use it as a launching pad for its own platform and keep it away from Steam for good.
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There is the chance that Fallout 76 does make its way to Steam eventually, particularly if a sales hit occurs.
The BETA will start some time in October, so you've not got long until you jump into the biggest Fallout world yet.
First, the "Break It Early Test Application" will be playable on PS4, Xbox One and PC. As PCGamer points out though, it took nearly a year for that to happen with the mobile-orientated game, so it could be that it takes some time for Fallout 76 to make the jump, if it ever does.