Home / Opinions / Why the Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition is a huge disappointment

Why the Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition is a huge disappointment

Sam Loveridge


Pip Boy 15

OPINION: Games Editor Sam Loveridge explains why the real-life Pip Boy has broken her heart.

There’s been a lot of hullabaloo about the Fallout 4 Pip Boy Edition. Exclusive to GAME here in the UK, the £100 SKU includes a real-life version of your very own Pip Boy.

It’s totally wearable and, when you shove your phone inside, the Pip Boy app connects to your game and becomes a very elaborate companion app. You might even feel like you’re living in Fallout 4 yourself – without the whole apocalypse thing.

Although I was initially concerned that the £100 price for the game and the Pip Boy would put people off, it seems most people weren’t so fussy, as it completely sold out through ordering.

But when the Pip Boy Edition starts landing on doorsteps tomorrow – or perhaps not, if GAME has cancelled yours – there may be some major grumbling.

That’s because it’s a big piece of plastic rubbish.

Related: Fallout 4 tips and tricks

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I, like everyone else, gasped with delight when the physical Pip Boy was announced with Fallout 4 back at E3 2015. But now I have it in my hands – and on my arm – I’m disappointed.

When you think you’ve paid around £60 for the Pip Boy (£100 for the Pip Boy Edition, minus £40 for the game), I was expecting a flashy device that I would be proud to not only put on my shelf, but also possibly wear while playing the game.

But removing it from the box, I was immediately struck by how budget my very own Pip Boy really is.

The Pip Boy itself is made from a creaky, shiny plastic that’s about the quality of a Happy Meal toy. It’s got various knobs and buttons that are used in-game to control the Pip Boy’s display.

Related: Fallout 4 review

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The big kid in me headed straight for them, twisting and turning to see what would change on the Pip Boy itself. And again I was disappointed. The only knobs that make any visible changes are the radio tuner, which makes the pin move along the radio spectrum, and the selection knob. Of course, this latter dial doesn’t affect anything as the Pip Boy runs off the app on your smartphone, and the knob is just for decoration. In fact, it nearly fell off in my hand, as it’s very wobbly.

Then you’ve got the faux leather that lines the interior of the Pip Boy. Again, you’re looking at really bad quality – so much so that the leather surrounding the Velcro strap within had already torn before I’d even got it out of the box. After a few turns trying it on, the padding has actually come away from the plastic along one edge, showing the electronic chip beneath and threatening to dislodge itself completely.

The Velcro strap itself is huge. I’m not sure whether Bethesda envisioned all the customers buying the Pip Boy Edition having huge forearms, but the Velcro wouldn’t fasten around my normal-sized arms, or those of any of my colleagues.

Plus, the battery only powers a pair of lights on the Pip Boy. Everything else comes from your smartphone screen.

So far, so disheartening.

Related: Fallout 4 Perks Guide

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Then comes trying to get your phone into the thing.

The Pip Boy is compatible with the following handsets: iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPhone 5S, iPhone 6, iPhone 6S, Galaxy S3, Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5.

But to make sure the Pip Boy is compatible with all of these, Bethesda has simply carved out a vaguely phone-shaped hole in the interior of the device. You access this by unclasping the arm band, sliding down a latch and lifting the screen cover. It’s a fiddly business and not very straightforward.

You’ll find two bits of cardboard within that act as the screen bezels for the app, and another piece of cardboard that’s acting as the app placeholder.

It’s then I discovered the three foam wads. These detach from each other to create padding for your smartphone, compensating for varying phone sizes.

I’m impressed Bethesda has attempted to make the Pip Boy compatible with so many smartphones, but when that’s done via a series of foam cutouts, it seems like an ineffective way of achieving that goal.

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What’s more, if you don’t own one of these smartphones, Bethesda says the following:

“The device cavity will accommodate most small to medium devices. Experiment with the various Foam Rings and Foam Pads to create a sufficiently close fit. You may also find success trimming various foam pieces to work with the dimensions of your device”.

Plus any devices larger than an iPhone 6 just won’t fit. Sorry, iPhone 6S Plus or Galaxy Note 5 owners.

The only saving grace for the Pip Boy is the app itself. It works well, connects to your PC, Xbox One or PS4 Fallout 4 game to act as an extensive companion app.

But any thoughts of me wearing the Pip Boy while playing have long gone.

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It does look rather fetching on its stand, if you’re looking to use the Pip Boy as more of a display item. Just don’t let anyone get too close, or attempt to try it out.

Put it this way: you shouldn’t be too disheartened if your Pip Boy Edition has been cancelled at GAME.

The Pip Boy feels like nothing more than a successful marketing ploy, convincing gamers that they need their very own Pip Boy months in advance – but actually churning out a plastic monstrosity. A £60 ornament that broke my gamer heart.

For better gift ideas have a look at our Christmas Gift Guide


November 9, 2015, 10:51 pm

This is all information we already knew soon after the announcement -_-


November 9, 2015, 11:13 pm

This confirms my impressions from watching the un-boxing videos. Thanks for confirming it from an actual hands on perspective.

They did cancel mine and still haven't called back, but I am glad that I decided earlier not to bother. I got a copy of the game on steam, spent £30 on merch I actually wanted, and kept £40 in my pocket.

gamer taboo

November 10, 2015, 12:48 am

*Pays $60 for a plastic collector's item*
*Whines when the item feels "cheap."

You didn't buy a damn $2000 brand new laptop here, it's a $60 toy....


November 10, 2015, 3:17 am

It almost sounds like you wanted it to be an ACTUAL Pip-Boy...


November 10, 2015, 4:00 am

I hear you Sam. I posted my displeasure with the Pip-Boy in a forum asking "surely I'm not the only one?"... and someone directed me here. I don't get how they could make it so poorly! The buttons/dials don't move properly, the latch barely works, and the whole thing just comes off as a cheap knockoff. I like the stand but, with that shiny plastic finish, I'm thinking I might need to spray some metal "rust" paint on it before putting it on show.

Really quite disappointed


November 10, 2015, 4:01 am

$60 plastic toys have more effort put in than this does.

Christina Torgesen

November 10, 2015, 4:58 am

No but for at least 40$ they possibly could've made it connect WITH your phone and had the dials actually work (seriously not super complicated and childrens toys around that price-point have been made to do more), or at LEAST have made it from better materials rather than make it look like it would fetch 15$ if you wanted to sell it in the children's section of walmart.


November 10, 2015, 5:17 am

Well, strictly speaking, we paid £100 for the "edition" which contains the steelbook @ £50 leaving the "big piece of plastic rubbish" including the display stand and box at £50. Personally, i feel that £50 for the app, the design and strictly limited manufacture of that official product is good value for money! There are other games demanding double this price for what could be considered to be "plastic tat" that sits on a shelf collecting dust... Im just quite miffed that my app wont connect lol


November 10, 2015, 6:23 am

I bought it to look great on a stand, and it does. It's a piece of my childhood that I'm probably going to keep for decades. Worth it in my books. The money is for the nostalgia, not the functionality.

Wilco Verwiel

November 10, 2015, 11:00 am

I use the Samsung Galaxy S5, and it's really difficult to put my phone in there. And i dont even use the side ring, (what was instructed by the manual) because it's just impossible to fit all of that in the P-B let alone the Samsung self. :/ Edit: On the moment of writing this i cant even pull my phone out, it's to tight!! :o

Dunk Ster

November 10, 2015, 12:00 pm

So true. listen to them bitch on about something so stupid. Really does sound like they expected a REAL pip-boy lol. I was a bit gutted they sold out and i couldnt get one, i still am. Id love one for display purpose or just to show off on its stand and maybe play with. ive seen unboxing vids ages ago on youtube so i knew what they were like. exaclty what i expected to be fair. Im sure a REALISTIC electronic pip boy would be costing waaaay more than $60! i suppose some people are at their happiest when complaining. (yeah yeah...i hear you all zzz ZZZ zzz ZZZ.)


November 10, 2015, 3:53 pm

playing with the pip-boy edition that I have in front of me now I am not seeing nearly as many problems as the author of this is. Other than the, frankly, somewhat low quality materials in certain areas of the pip-boy it functions well enough.

It is comfortable to wear, the Velcro, while it has some excess, I can fit it comfortably around my arm (am a really skinny nerd) and the faux leather is stuck on pretty securely (I've not noticed any bits where it is coming off).

I think that this shows at the very least there's a variable quality to some of the pip-boys and I may be one of the lucky ones. Or I'm completely blinded by post-purchase rationalisation or something (although I don't consider £100 a lot of money).


November 10, 2015, 5:02 pm

I'll buy it off you if you don't want it then


November 10, 2015, 6:37 pm

I was annoyed that GAME also cancelled my order a day before release, but after seeing the final product in photos I'm glad I saved my money on this.
The box is nice but the actual Pip Boy looks like a cheap toy rather than a usable collectible (I literally could've 3D printed something better at home) and I've seen more horror stories of it breaking already! I have attached a photo of a friend's model straight out of the box;

Sebastiaan Van Vliet

November 10, 2015, 7:18 pm

i have the huawei g700, sadly they forgot phones like that have small and straight corners.
the size is corect, still doesn't fit.
yah, thanks bethesta for screwing over ppl because you didn't send out the corect size messurements, thanks for change "most" phones in to "about 20% of"

Adam Armstrong

November 10, 2015, 9:06 pm

I dig my Pip-Boy and would buy it again, given the chance.

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:28 pm

what a whiny little bitch, I love mine

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:31 pm

sounds like someone is trying to convince himself that it was better that he didn't have any money. Look, you can lie all day and try to make people think your copy was kept from you by evil incompetent bastards but it has already been released that nothing was "canceled", you just didn't have the money and as soon as you get it, you will get your pip boy. The fact that you have resigned yourself to not having it and are lying as to why, tells me that you are just a bitter, broke, little loser. Grow up and stfu.

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:34 pm

grow up douchebag, sorry that you cant play with yours all day and deflect bullets. What kind of loser wants to play the game and then stop to fiddle with something on his wrists while the game still runs? It comes with a stand for a reason, use it and stop crying you little bitch.

Joe Blow

November 10, 2015, 10:35 pm

It's already been confirmed that more ppl were charged than actual product (pipboy) were on hand. So if you're gonna be such a lil dick about it, at least know what you're talking about or stfu.

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:36 pm


Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:37 pm

They didnt "cancel" it, you didnt have the money and *gasp* SURPRISE, they arent going to send it to you until you can pay for it. Go back to your room and continue lying to yourself, we arent buying it.

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:38 pm

grow up douchebag, sorry that you cant play with yours all day and deflect bullets. What kind of loser wants to play the game and then stop to fiddle with something on his wrists while the game still runs? It comes with a stand for a reason, use it and stop crying you little baby.

Mr. Food Genius

November 10, 2015, 10:39 pm

grow up brat, sorry that you cant play with yours all day and deflect bullets. What kind of loser wants to play the game and then stop to fiddle with something on his wrists while the game still runs? It comes with a stand for a reason, use it and stop crying you little baby.


November 10, 2015, 10:43 pm

I had the same problem I had to use something to pry mine out. Plus my pipboy stand and a button on the pip boy was broke :/

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