How to Salvage in Fallout 4 - Tips and Tricks

Last Update: November 27, 2023 7:28 PM /


Fallout 4 screenshot showing a huge abandoned drive-in cinema containing

Salvaging Junk and Items in Fallout 4 is easy and something you'll definitely need to do if you plan on building up a settlement or keeping on top of your weapons and ammo in the early game. 

Fallout 4 has bought a swathe of new features to the series, including settlements and crafting your own weapons from scratch. For the first time ever(other than the Rock-It Launcher), this makes collecting all the random junk you can find in containers actually meaningful, as it can be stripped down into raw materials to craft a bunch of stuff with.

Hey, if you're into Fallout 4, then you should check out some of our other articles on the game, such as our Top 10 tips on building your own settlements guide, or perhaps you'd enjoy our catalog of The Best Mods in Fallout 4

Fallout 4 screenshot showing a rusted abandoned car that has been crushed under the collapsed roof of a drive-in movie theatre building.
Scrapping things like abandoned cars and dead trees can give you huge amount of basic resources. 

How to Salvage Materials in Fallout 4

Much like previous entries in the Fallout series, you can come across various containers as you explore the wasteland. These will often have useful things inside, like ammo and healing items, but will also contain total junk, like teddy bears and bits of bent metal. This time around, you can take these things to a workbench and break them down into iron, wood, etc. These components are then used to craft everything from guns and ammo to new buildings in your settlements. 

While you can go around hunting random junk to turn it into materials, there are a few different methods that will help you to salvage goods you can actually use more effectively. 

Scrapping Settlement Features

One of the easiest ways to get a bulk of simple materials is to scrap a bunch of the stuff that is already in most settlements when you discover them. You'll find debris, old houses, rubble, and trash just lying all over the place, as well as fallen trees and other natural detritus.

If you're not already familiar with Settlements, our guide on the subject will be enormously helpful to you. Once you've activated building mode at the workbench, you can walk up to trees and other debris and press X/Square/etc (depending on your system) to scrap the objects and acquire a large amount of each material. 

Use The Tags System

While scrapping wrecked settlements will get you plenty of basics like Iron and Wood, it won't get you a lot of the stuff that you need to create decorations for your buildings or weapons and armor to keep you going. If you're trying to craft something specific in one of the various workstations in the game, then you can hit Y/Triangle to tag it as an important collectible. 

Then, while you're out in the overworld, any items that contain these materials when scrapped will be tagged with a magnifying glass icon while highlighted. This makes it much easier for you to actually find what you need while you're out and about searching. 

Scrap Weapons and Armor

It sounds obvious, but you should remember that you can get materials as well as caps from your enemies' discarded armor and weapons. Whether you're crafting decorations or weapons, you'll need more materials than just wood and metal, so breaking down weapons and armor for plastic, leather, and cloth to build up your stores of these items too. You can scrap these items at their respective workstations. 

Use "Store All Junk"

If you've not already seen it, at your main Workshop for each settlement, you can tap a button to store all of your junk items at once. This is insanely useful, and you should be using it every single time you come back to your settlement workstation. You'll also want to get the Local Leader perk if possible (Char 6) because then you can set up trade routes between all your workbenches, or you'll have to manually cart all your stuff back to the nearest workbench you actually use. 

Fallout 4 screenshot showing a glowing green outline of a gun with various parts of it made of actual metal. A list of gun modifications is stretched across the green user interface that takes up the bottom of the iamge.
If you want to get into gun-modification, you're going to need a lot of random stuff. 

Key Salvage Items and Resources in Fallout 4 

So, you've got your hands on a bunch of steel, wood, plastic, etc. Great, but there are some items that you're pretty much constantly going to be needing, and so you should start hunting them down as quickly as possible. 

Key Resources

  • Copper
  • Adhesive
  • Nuclear Material
  • Screws
  • Oil
  • Gear

Key Scavange Items

  • Fan (Screws)
  • Giddyup Buttercup (Screws & Gears)
  • Typewriter (Screw & Gears)
  • New Toy Truck (Screws)
  • Copper Bar (Copper)
  • Pre-War Lamp (Copper)
  • Economey Wonderglue (Adhesive)
  • Oil Can (Oil)
  • Cooking Oil (Oil)

Dealing With Shipments

One final important note is that you should always be on the lookout for shipments of any items you're missing. Check out the big trading locations like Diamond City and Goodneighbour, as their major traders tend to have shipments of things like Adhesive and Gears from time-to-time. Not only can you use these to trade for a profit, but you can get your hands on bulk amounts of key items. 

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Rutledge Daugette is the Guides Editor & Founder of TechRaptor. Rutledge's degree in Game Programming ultimately led him to found the site in 2013, with… More about Rutledge

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Fallout 4
Game Page Fallout 4
Bethesda Softworks
Xbox One, PC, PlayStation 4
Release Date
November 10, 2015 (Calendar)
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