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Fallout 4 Guide: The Most Efficient Way to Get Resources from the World

Here's a guide on how to get resources from the world, as well as the most efficient ways to get each resource.

Resources are needed for a variety of different crafting recipes, from modifications on a melee weapon to making automatic machine gun turrets. However, since there are so many different resources, and many ways of getting them, hopefully I will able to list out the best ways to get each specific resource.

Getting Resources

How to get resources from buildings and unpickupable items

Before going to the lists, the first thing a beginner should know is how to scrap buildings, furniture or level actors like trees into the base building blocks like wood, steel and concrete. To do this, you must be in range of a workbench. If you are in range of a workbench, you can hold V to access the workbench mechanics. Workbenches can be found everywhere that a settlement can be founded, for example, Sanctuary. After this is done, look at the item you want to scrap (for example, a tree or a rubber tire) and press R. This should bring up another menu telling you what you will get if you scrap the specific item. If you click yes, the item will disappear from the world, and the scrapped materials can be found at the workbench.

How to get resources from items, weapons and armor

Simply drop said item you want to scrap within the boundaries of a workbench, hold V, look at the item, then press R. The same screen should pop up and the materials that have been scrapped will, yet again, be located at the workbench. 

However, keep in mind that if you don't scrap each item individually and instead, automatically use them in recipes, there is a chance where you will lose the other resouces that you haven't used from the item. Eg, I use the wood from the pencil without scrapping, but lose the lead.

Accessing the scrapped resources

To access and transport the resources made via scrapping, go to the workbench and press R (or whatever your ‘transfer’ key is). 

Shortcuts, Tips and Tricks

- When at your workbench, you can press T by default to automatically store all junk in the workshop storage.

- When building, you can hover over a blueprint that you don't have resources over, and press Q to tag. What this does is that whenever you find an item in the world that has a specific resource that you have tagged, it will show up with a 'magnifying glass' next to it. This is extremely helpful in shop menus and tags can last infinitely.

- Crafting anything within the workbench circle (marked by the green line) will automatically rely on the workbench's inventory for materials before searching in the player's inventory. This means that keeping anything material in a separate chest aside from the workbench, is not a good idea.

- If you scrap a container with items still inside, the items will teleport to the storage of the workbench.

- A scavenging container allows a settler to be assigned to it. Once assigned, random resources will be appearing in your workshop storage.

List Of Stuff

In alphabetical order. Use ctrl - f to find what you want. Keep in mind this is my own personal list of stuff. Constantly updating.

Acid - Insect parts like bloatflies, bloodsuckers. Batteries also have acid.

Adhesive - Wonderglue, vegetable starch and duct tape. These seem to be the only items, and they are needed in many things, so be on the lookout in shops. 

Aluminium - Aluminium cans. Coolant caps. TV Dinner trays

Antiseptics - Same with asbestos, from Abraxo Cleaners as well as Turpentine.

Asbestos - Abraxo Cleaners, rat poison. Try looting shops or the super duper marts for Abraxos. Industrial abraxo cleaners offer 2x loot. As well as oven mitts for some reason. Cigarettes have them, but it's a better idea to sell them.

Ballistic Fiber - Only available in shipments at merchants, but also can be found in rare items like military grade duct tape.

Bone - Skulls, teeth from insects and animals.

Ceramic - Scrapping things like dinner plates, cups and mugs. Toilets are also very helpful. For dinner plates, only certain ones work.

Circuitry - Shoot machine gun turrets, and scrap their advanced circuits and targeting cards. Some items that typically have microprocessors like telephones have some.

Cloth - Killing basic raiders and scrapping their leather or basic clothing, scrapping sofas and cloth chairs as well as rugs. Try not to have pre-war money in your inventory when building structures or modifications that require cloth, as if you go over your cloth, it will start using money in a 1:1 ratio. This is very costly for caps.

Concrete - This is pretty hard to get in large amounts, buy bags of plaster or scrap cinder blocks. (and ruined houses)

Copper - Various metal items. Broken light bulbs from scrapping lamp posts. 

Cork - Antique globe. Baseballs.

Crystal - The 'Crystal Liquor Decanter' provides 4 crystal. The microscope provides 2, and the camera provides one.

Fertiliser - Only place I've seen this resource is from the 'Bag of Fertiliser'.

Fiberglass - From weapons and Rat poison, as well as the 'shipment of fiberglass' item in merchants. Abraxo Cleaner also gives one, and some misc. items like telephones.

Fiberoptics - Biometric scanners and rat poison.

Gears - Scrapping mechanical things like typewriters, and phones. Watches, microscopes.

Glass - Empty glass bottles from nuka cola, and various other drinks.

Gold - Sadly, there is no cheap way to acquire this. Gold pocket watches and other jewelry drop from ghouls, and that is the current easiest way to acquire gold.

Lead - Pencils and batteries. Mainly batteries.

Leather - Scrapping basic raider costume, they tend to have many leather goods.

Nuclear material - Fusion cores are expensive and have other uses, but if you’re desperate use them. Also found in alarm clocks and biometric scanners. Otherwise, be on the lookout for any board game, as there is a specific board game that gives one nuclear material per. One of these board games can be found in Shawn’s room, after the intro sequence. 

Oil - Used oil items, flip lighters of any kind, gas canisters. This is fairly common around Boston.

Plastic - Plastic forks/knife/spoon. Antique globes have 2. Various misc items and toys, like the baby rattle

Rubber - Rubber tires on the road. Plungers if you're in a no-tire area in a settlement.

Screws - Various mechanical items and toys, like the toy car and toasters. Antique globe.

Silver - Silver forks, silver spoons, silver knives. Don’t use the silver pocket watch as it is valuable, and light, unless you aren’t short on caps. 1 silver on Enhanced Targeting Cards from shooting turrets.

Springs - Flip lighters, various mechanical items like toasters.

Steel - Ruined houses, chairs, furniture in general. Items such as toasters, containers like toolboxes. Lamp posts, rubble and metal melee weapons like tire irons all are a good source. Ruined cars are also an amazing source of this. Most, if not all, guns have steel.

Wood - Scrapping trees, and other common furniture in houses. Picket fences provide a good quantity of this resource, but trees alone (as well as branches) should provide more than enough to make this the most common resource in the game.

Comprehensive List of Materials


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Credits: Special thanks to thedragonflame for the guide.