Another Settlement needs our help! These are the words you’ll (thankfully) never hear spoken to you in Fallout 76 by a character as tedious as Preston Garvey. Mostly because NPCs are gone and all the allies you have will be fellow humans. But also because Settlements have been swapped out! Say hello instead to Public Workshops, claimable areas that earn the enterprising, PvP-centric Wanderer free stuff and sweet craft-able loot.
While you’ll be able to ignore them in the early hours of the game, knocking together your own gear will become the best way to get uber-powerful in Fallout 76. There are several thousand things per category to hodge-podge together, including some of the most desirable loot in the game. Or you might want to go the merchant route to sell your wares to other players for caps aplenty.
Either way, you’re going to want to turn every day into Craft Day.
In order to get the most out of a Public Workshop — or your own portable base building system, the C.A.M.P. — you’ll need to have resources. This is basically junk you’ve scooped up from every drawer, cupboard, or corpse in the world. Get your kleptomania on early and build up a collection of crap that’ll be the envy of that weird hoarder Uncle or Aunty that everybody seems to have in their family.
Workin’ Hard for the Shop
The good news is that claiming a Workshop (done via a simplistic “clean house of enemies” quest) will reveal a treasure trove of stuff. From the special bench in the Workshop area, you can access enhanced build options.
And, here’s the attractive part: everything you knock out, be it stuff for you or defensive measures for the site, comes from the Workshop’s own resource pool. There are mining or harvesting points around the place that will constantly cough up goods. Yep. You’re using free crap to make free crap. It’s the deal of the century.
We’re not talking the mere flick of a switch and you’re in business, however. These are run down facilities that need to be powered up and enhanced to maximise their earning potential. At the entry level you might get 10 units of something per 45-minute tick. However, as players collectively pimp out these places (every user-made improvement remains for the next new claimant to reshuffle or remove) the Workshop output will churn out its wares faster and become fashionable real estate.
The downside to this system is obvious: Public Workshops will catch the eye of coveters. Increasingly higher level enemies will spawn and try to retake your new asset. Likewise, the basic greed of other humans will prompt them to make a play for everything you’ve tried to build. Murder, in other words. Build turrets early. And don’t waste time trying to perfect the Feng Shui of what you’re laying down, like it’s your C.A.M.P. cubby house. A Public Workshop is a fleeting possession.
Shadow of the Loot Raiders
How can you best prepare for Workshops? Two ways. Always, always, always pickup the random crap in the overworld and never pass by a workbench in the overworld. These can be used to quickly salvage all that stuff into Junk, the one-size-fits-all resource needed for crafting. It only takes a second, too – just walk up to a bench, hit A to open it and then Y to turn things into Junk (on Xbox One). Easy.
Secondly, set up your defences to deal with other players first, rather than AI raiders. The latter pop by hourly and can be easily dispatched with some haphazardly placed turrets. The former will have to stand in a very specific area (the main workbench) for a time to claim your hard-earned work. Be sure to set up a defense matrix accordingly. Allow them no cover to hide behind.
Better yet, if you are going to be farther afield, questing elsewhere in West Virginia, be sure to give yourself an economical means to fast travel back when a “Workshop under attack” message pops up on your HUD. Place your C.A.M.P. somewhere nearby but out of sight. Fast-travelling back to it will cost you zero caps. Trying to do the same to a discovered location will siphon caps from your wallet.
Stick to the tactics outlined above in this Vault-Tec-approved tips guide and you should become quite the entrepreneur in no time! And remember: though the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings, Junk, and freshly-manufactured Mentats; the inherent virtue of Communist socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Rebuild irradiated America the right way!