Fallout 4: Wasteland Workshop Scavenging Guide

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The release of Fallout 4’s second pack of downloadable content, Wasteland Workshop, is just around the corner. For many, this means spending a lot of time scavenging materials to build new structures – especially if you’re on Xbox One or Playstation 4.

This guide was created to help you spend more time building, and less time scavenging.



If you can’t view the video:

How Materials Work

In Fallout 4, players build settlements using resources found in the Commonwealth. While provided with some initial materials, these run out quickly, meaning players will spend a significant amount of time scavenging for more. Thankfully, materials in Fallout 4 are not limited – they will repopulate in certain areas, to make sure you can always find what you need. But haphazardly searching for items is a sure way to waste a lot of time. Learning where certain material types are common will make scavenging trips more productive. In most cases, once you have looted a location of materials, it will take a couple in-game days to repopulate. You can speed up this process by waiting, sleeping in a bed, or exploring other locations in the meantime.


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Tagging items for search makes them easy to spot.


Highlighting Items

If you’re serious about crafting and building, invest in the Scrapper Perk. Rank 1 lets you salvage uncommon components like screws, aluminum, and copper when scrapping weapons and armor. Rank 2 lets you salvage rare components like circuitry, nuclear material, and fiber optics when scrapping weapons and armor. The best part? Rank 2 also highlights items containing materials you have tagged for searching. While crafting, to tag an item for searching, you must be needing that item – click the appropriate button when crafting or building to mark it as a search target. You can also do this from the inventory menu. This helps speed up the scavenging process by ensuring you only check containers with sought-after materials.


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Knowing where to look is the first step.


Material Locations

So, say you are in need of a particular material. Where do you go? Here’s a list of commonly-desired materials and prime locations rich with them.


  • Vault 95: Chock-full of aluminum cans, TV dinner trays, and surgical trays, Vault 95 is located southeast of the Scrap Palace. It’s also occupied by Gunners, which means a lot of steel if you breakdown their weapons, and there is a lot of ceramic to be found.
  • Federal Ration Stockpile: Located southeast of Sanctuary Hills, inside you’ll find a large number of both aluminum and steel from cans. It’s typically guarded by raiders, and is a popular spot for Preston Garvey’s kidnapping rescue missions. Raiders often carry pipe pistols, which can often be broken down for copper, depending on their mods (you need Rank 1 of the Scapper Perk to do this).
  • Four-Leaf Fishpacking Plant: There are plenty of trays here for those players needing aluminum. You’ll find the plant on the shore, northwest of The Castle.


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Can I have these cans, please?



  • Though commonly found in diners and restaurants throughout the Commonwealth, you can also find a nice supply at the Wildwood Cemetery in the form of vases. The cemetery is located between Covenant and Outpost Zimonja.
  • West Everett Estates: Home to a super mutant garrison, clearing out the location is not always easy, but if you do, you’ll find a lot of ceramic and other uncommon items. Many super mutants also carry short pipe rifles which can be broken down for copper.


  • One of the most sought-after wasteland resources, copper is required for lights and generators, as well as variations of robot armor. You can find a lot copper in the table lamps at the Cabot House, located west of the Railroad HQ.
  • Pipe weapons: If you have Rank 1 of the Scrapper Perk, you can get copper from breaking down most pipe weapons, particularly if they have a prefix (“short,” etc.). Any pipe weapon with the “rifle” suffix will yield at least one copper resource. Any location with raiders or super mutants will usually provide you with pipe weapons and a steady supply of copper, steel, and screws.


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As a rule: the more attachments, the more materials.



  • Based on what we’ve seen in the Wasteland Workshop trailer, cement/concrete will go from a novelty resource to an indispensable one. New concrete walls, floors, etc. will require a steady supply. You can find 27 bags of outside Vault 114, west of Swan’s Pond (though they won’t regenerate) and 18 at Irish Pride Industries Shipyard (south of West Everett Estates).
  • UPDATE 4/12: As part of Wasteland Workshop, you can now purchase shipments of either 100 or 200 concrete from regular vendors. They can be purchased again after a couple in-game days.
  • You can also buy a shipment of concrete from Supervisor Greene at Greygarden, Connie at Abernathy Farm,and Daniel at Finch Farm.

Fiber Optics

  • 49 can be obtained in the Jamaica Plain Town Hall basement by disarming a large amount of Laser tripmines. The tripmines can be reset by pushing a button in the same room for infinite Fiber optics, crystals and steel.


fallout 4, wasteland workshop, scavenging guide
You see lasers. I see materials.


Nuclear Material

  • Known to be useful in Wasteland Workshop, and required for traps and generators, Nuclear Material can be found in biometric scanners at The Institute.
  • Enemies goo-ified by plasma weapons or any weapon with the plasma infused modifier may yield Nuclear Materials.
  • I prefer to purchase biometric scanners and alarm clocks from merchants.


fallout 4, wasteland workshop, dlc, crafting, location, guide
Sometimes it’s easier to just buy what you need.



  • An easy source of steel, gears, springs, and screws are Giddyup Buttercup robotic horses. I enjoy looting them from the Wilson Atomatoys Factory, found east of the Murkwater Construction Site settlement.
  • Breaking down weapons often yeilds decent amounts of steel.


  • Over 3500 wood can be obtained at Spectacle Island. If you need more, you can get a significant amount from scrapping bowling pins at Back Alley Bowling in the General Atomics Galleria, found south of Lake Quannapowitt (though these won’t regenerate).


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Making your own materials is also easy.


Making Materials

If you need adhesive or oil, you can actually craft them. Make adhesive as vegetable starch at any cooking station. You can make oil as cutting fluid at chemistry stations.


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Build your own scavenging farms!


Scavenging Farms

There are other ways to obtain materials in Fallout 4, aside from scavenging locations. You can also build your own scavenging farm. To make an effective scavenging farm, you’re going to need a lot of scavenging stations and workers. Many players don’t assign all of their workers to jobs, so give those lazy people something to do!

Scavenging stations can be found in the Workshop’s “Resources” tab under the “Miscellaneous” sub-tab. Once assigned to a settler, scavenging stations generate bottlecaps and a few random items once per day, which are added automatically to the Workshop inventory. In terms of its own construction, scavenging stations cost a measley 5 wood and 3 steel to make, and quickly repay the investment.

If you create several scavenging farms, you can link them to a settlement using supply lines. When building at a workshop or using a crafting station inside a linked settlement, the player can use the junk inventory of all linked workshops from all linked settlements. It’s extremely useful if you’re into making complicated settlements.

To make supply lines, you must have at least Rank 1 in the Local Leader perk. Alternatively, you can always move everything manually from one settlement to another, using Rank 4 of the Strong Back perk.

Wasteland Workshop

Everything we’ve seen for the Wasteland Workshop downloadable content indicates we’ll be stretched for materials when it’s released. The new expansion pack adds dozens of new items, including lights, concrete structures, beast traps, and an arena fighting mechanic. I have already spent dozens of hours in Fallout 4 building settlements, and I’m already short of materials thanks to the Automatron DLC. If you missed our analysis of the Wasteland Workshop trailer, pointing out things you might have missed, check it out below.

Wasteland Workshop will be available April 12th on Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. It is included with Fallout 4‘s Season Pass, or can be purchased separately for $4.99 (US).



What are your favorite scavenging locations? Do you have your own method? Tell us in the comments!