No, not the adorably spunky pup from your childhood cartoons! Replacing the concept of Repairing your equipment by cannibalizing spare gear, the major new mechanic added to Fallout 4 is the act of “Scrapping” items for their raw components. While you are in you inventory screen, you are able to see what these components will be as they are listed to the right. These can be simple translations, such as an ALUMINUM can gives you ALUMINUM, or an Office Desk Fan gives you 2x Gears, 2x Screws, and 2x Steel. These individual components can be used to craft new upgrades for your gear such as a Long Range Scope or an upgrade for your settlement such as a Defense Turret.
Here’s how crafting works: When Crafting items, the workbench you are currently working with will automatically select from all “junk” that you currently have in your inventory and stored within that settlement’s workbench supply. You select which mod/item you wish to craft, the game will tell you how many of each required component you have on hand, and if you meet any additional skill requirements, such as an elevated level in Gun Nut or Science. Any requisite not met will be darkened out, and you will not be able to craft. If you ARE able to craft, the next screen will show you what components you will be using and what pieces of junk you will be scrapping in order to make this happen. Done! Nice! But wait….
Here’s the thing; When you use your excess junk in this way, the system only takes what it needs and discards the rest. Only need one Aluminum from that Aluminum Canister but want to keep the other fiberglass and oil for future work? Too bad, it’s gone! Well, that sucks…
Here’s how you work around that: While in your settlement, drop you junk. All of it. I like to go to a well lit area with a smooth floor, pop over to my inventory, and button mash the “Drop” option all the way down the list. This will cause all of your gear to pop out in a halo around your character. Once all your gear has plopped around you, go in to “Workshop” mode (On the Xbox One, hold the “Select” button). In here you will have access to all of your building options and OOO! LOOK AT THAT! SCRAP! Individually, look at every item that you just dropped, and have yourself a little scrapping party. Scrap Item => “Yes” I want to scrap this => move the reticle to the next item. Scrap Item => “Yes” I want to scrap this => move the reticle to the next item. Repeat as necessary.
By doing this, each item scrapped is broken down in to it’s individual components. These components are then stored in the the Workbench rather than your inventory, and they are ready to use the next time you are looking to get crafty at that particular settlement. See that Biometric Scanner? By scrapping it, you’ll get both Nuclear Material bits, the Asbestos, and Fiber Optics stored directly to your settlement’s workbench. Use the Nuclear Material for that Glow sighted scope, and keep the Asbestos for your Fire-Retardant armor mod.
If you want to take this practice and push it forward, here are a few ways to get the most out of it.
Scrapper Perk: Scrap more than just junk! By investing in the Scrapper perk, you can get more out of the weapons and armor that you scrap as well. Typically when you scrap a piece of gear, you’ll only get Common components, as in a piece of Steel and Wood. As you can imagine, there’s plenty more where that came from if you are breaking down a fully upgraded Assault Rifle. Bump up your Scrapping abilities and you’ll be able to get Uncommon, such as screws, and Rare components, such as Nuclear Material.
Settlement Upgrading: As every player knows, there’s the never ending radiant quests helping your settlements. I have lot track of how many friends have gotten kidnapped, how many Raider Dens I have cleared out, and how many Super Mutant camps I have “dealt with.” It’s always the same routine:
- Preston: Another Settlement needs our help!
- Go to settlement. “What’s your problem?”
- Halp! (select enemy faction) has (select crisis scenario)! They’re coming from (select map location), but we don’t have the man power to deal with it ourselves! Halp!
- “Have no fear, the Minutemen are here!”
- LAY WASTE!!
- Return Victorious
- Collect reward from residents barely scraping by
- Preston: Another Settlement needs our help!
As you can see in the screen shot, you can still see the “Mission Completed” notification displayed on the screen, and Preston is already giving you the heads up about another settlement that needs your help! The guy has no cool down time!
So while you’re running around the wasteland and clearing out whatever location you’re slaughtering in the name of righteous justice, pick up all the junk you and your companion can carry. Roll through the Scrap Party described above, and give that settlement some much needed upgrades. This will give them whatever boosts they need to stand on their own. By running through this process as each Settlement calls for help, you’ll be able to boost your settlements on a per need basis without having to make special trips. You are there collecting your reward anyway and you just got back from a brief mission, so hang out for a bit and give them some beds and a turret.
I hope this helps! The wasteland is a dangerous place, especially as you wander farther away from Sanctuary. To survive you are going to need the best gear possible, and to do that you will probably need to take matters in to your own hands and craft the upgrades your self. At this point in the game, I have fully upgraded every piece of gear I have acquired. The only way that I am going to get anything better is if it is a unique variant or has some other wicked pissah perk associated with it.
Did I miss anything? Is there anything in particular I should address? Sound off in the comments!