- New - A guide to making a Pistol/Gunslinger Build
- New - A guide to making a Melee Build
- New - Scav Magazine - All locations and details
- For New Players - Read the walkthrough.
- New - Open Season
- New - Power Play Quest
- New - Raider Outposts
- New - Nuka World Endings Guide - Options and Benefits
- The Grand Tour
- Faction Perks and New SPECIAL Ranks in Nuka World
- Gage (Companion)
Fallout 4: Finding Materials
Where to Get Materials for Crafting or Weapon and Armor Mods
Weapon and Armor Mods in Fallout 4 require materials, as does building structures and resource-generating objects in your Settlements. If you're like most of us, you want to spend a lot of time upgrading your gear at crafting stations, because customizing weapons and armor is one of the best parts of the game. This page lists some tips on finding upgrade materials - with what breaks down to get various components in Fallout 4 and items that you should watch for to get them.
Tag for Search and Help Getting Things You Need
Tagging for Search & The Scrapper Perk
Fallout 4's interface provides you a means of finding items that are valuable to your crafting needs. Go to your Pip-boy, then head to the Inventory > Junk tab. From there, assuming you have some items, you can select 'Component View'. You'll see the various components the items you're carrying would break down to and produce. Select 'Tag for Search' on a component that you need more of, or want to find in abundance. This will help you immensely when scavenging locations within the game. One thing you can do, is go into your Workshop stash and pull items from it, then go into component view and tag them, then put the junk back into the crafting station.
You can also go to a workstation and attempt to craft a chemical, armor, or weapon, and select Tag for Search from there. This will automatically tag any item you do not already have enough of to make that item - a handy way to do things if you don't have any oil, yet need oil in order to make something and want to tag it.
Items that have been tagged will help you find the crafting materials you need. When looting, you'll see a small magnifying glass next to the object, indicating it has something you need. It does the same when you're shopping at general stores in Fallout 4, where you can buy many items that break down to materials on the cheap. Players who take Rank 2 in the Scrapper Perk will find that items that have been tagged are also highlighted so they're easier to spot. This is immensely helpful to avoid overlooking loot. You can go back in and untag items, for example later in the game when you have plenty of screws, so that this doesn't disrupt your gameplay experience. Tagging everything for search would mean every lootable object is highlighted, which means you will miss literally nothing.
One last benefit of the Scrapper Perk - and its main attraction, is being able to get the good stuff out of advanced weapons and armor you find from killing enemies. Without it, you'll only get basic materials like wood and steel. WITH the perk, you'll find fiber optics, screws, aluminum, and other rarer components that are useful for creating advanced mods for weapons and armor upgrades.
Breaking Down Weapons and Armor
Unlike normal Junk, weapons and armor aren't automatically broken down into crafting components. Head to a Weapons or Armor workshop in order to break down these types of things. It is this way for good reason - you don't want your favorite guns to get broken down automatically while trying to upgrade something else, plus they can be worth plenty of caps so you'd prefer to sell some if they do not provide materials that you need. I recommend saving weapons and armor until you've at least got rank 1 of Scrapper. I saved advanced weapons I didn't want until I had Scrapper Rank 2, so that the really good stuff would be retrieved when I junked it.
Weapons are never broken down, even in the workshop, so dont' store them there. Put them in an appropriate container like a toolbox or cabinet, and make a collection so that you can go back with Scrapper and get all the good components they may contain. Unique and legendary items (with a star) cannot be scrapped, but can be sold.
Where to Get Various Items from Junk
This list is far from comprehensive - a person who picks up everything won't need it, but it'll be helpful to those who are more selective in their looting. Note that many vendors at general stores will sell these items from time to time, meaning you can also buy your crafting materials.
Finding Adhesive - See my guide to Crafting Vegetable Starch for Adhesive for info on getting ingredients. Adhesive is also found in duct tape and wonderglue in various quantities.
Finding Acid - You can get acid from batteries, abraxo cleaner, anti-freeze, fertilizer, bloatfly glands, bloodbugs, and coolant. Can be used with bone to make Oil at a Chemistry Station.
Finding Aluminum - Anything with the word Aluminum in it, alarm clocks, cake pans, tv dinner trays, surgical trays, hubcaps, cake pans, typewriters, and a few more rare items contain aluminum.
Finding Ballistic Fiber - The best way to get this in large quantities is from shipments that may be bought in Goodneighbor from KL-E 0. It also comes from military ammo bags and duct tape - these two are rare, but may be found in military locales within the game. This is used heavily in Ballistic Weave Armor Mod you get from the Railroad.
Finding Bone - Look for various pieces of skeletons in your journey. Bone can be somewhat rare, although I've seen plenty of it around Supermutants and scattered about the Commonwealth.
Finding Ceramic - Get this item from ashtrays, bowls, coffee cups, vases, and things like that. Only teapots yield a large amount of ceramic at once.
Finding Circuitry - You should get some circuitry every time you destroy a turret. Enhanced targeting cards and military circuit boards are common enough, but less noticeably it comes from telephones and hot plates, which can be found in abandoned homes and offices throughout the commonwealth.
Finding Cloth - Scrap chairs and other unneeded furniture inside your Settlements. You'll also find it in cigars and cigarettes, dishrags, paintbrushes, oven mitts, and straw pillows. It is plentiful in the pre-war money you'll find in cash registers and stashed all over the game world.
Finding Copper - Copper is needed for many things as far as building in Settlements goes. It can be found in fuses, hot plates, light bulbs, telephones, cooking pots, lamps, beaker stands, and telephones.
Finding Cork - Thankfully cork isn't needed often, for it's only found in a few things - baseballs, globes, and crystal liquor decanters.
Finding Crystal - Cameras, magnifying glasses, microscopes, and that's about it. These are high priority items when collecting if you want to put advanced mods into your energy weapons.
Finding Fiberglass - Abraxo cleaner, aluminum canisters, cigar boxes, and telephones yield fiberglass.
Finding Fiber Optics - Fiber Optics can be a bit rare - having the Scrapper Perk can help in getting these, as it's found commonly in energy weapons.
Finding Gear - Desk fans, cameras, watches (gold or silver), adjustable wrenches, and fishing rods all contain gears.
Finding Glass - One of the easier components to come by, given all the bottles that lie around the abandoned buildings of the Commonwealth. Additionally, you'll find it in pitchers, fuses, lanterns, light bulbs, microscopes, vacuum tubes, and alarm clocks.
Finding Gold - Gold watches are the single best source, but they're rare. I've found more gold items on ghouls than anywhere else. It is also obviously in gold flip lighters.
Finding Lead - Pick up every pencil you see, they're 0 weight. Also, makeshift batteries and weightlifting dumbells and weights that may be found in gyms (with appropriate heft).
Finding Leather - Get this scrapping unneeded leather armor at armor workshops. Also from killing animals and taking their hides, namely Molerats, Radstags and dead Brahmin. Baseballs, teddy bears, deathclaw hands, and assault gas masks also give leather.
Finding Nuclear Material - Nuclear Material can be obtained from alarm clocks, biometric scanners, the board game blast radius, high-powered magnets, radscorpion stingers, recorders, and drops from certain glowing/radioactive enemies.
Finding Oil - Can be crafted at a Chemistry Station (Cutting Fluid) via Bone, Steel, Acid, and Purified Water). Oil comes from oil canisters, used oil/paint cans, cutting fluid, mr. handy fuel, lighters, gas cans, blowtorches, and things like that. Also, soap!
Finding Plastic - Many energy weapons (particularly Institute) break down to provide you some plastic. It is actually quite common from household items - pens, pepper mills, plastic plates/pumpkins, scissors, shopping baskets, toothpaste, cat/dog bowls, globes, cigarette cartons, and antifreeze.
Finding Rubber - Bonesaws, basketballs, kickballs, plungers, tires (you break down while in workshop mode) and extinguishers all contain rubber. Establishing many Settlements, you'll have plenty of rubber to use in your building and crafting.
Finding Screws - Screws come in abundance from all the fans you'll find in office areas, as well as antique globes, hot plates, handcuffs, toy car/trucks, typewriters, and giddyup buttercup body parts.
Finding Silver - Lockets, targeting cards, bowls/forks/knives/plates and other dinnerware all contain silver, along with silver pocket watches.
Finding Springs - Springs come in quantity from cameras and typewriters, but are also found in alarm clocks, fishing rods, kitchen scales, gold/silver watches, toasters, handcuffs, and battered clipboards.
Finding Steel - Along with wood, one of the most common items. You can get tons of it by scrapping weapons and metal (and raider) armor you find. It's also found in many types of cans and canisters, screwdrivers, tools like wrenches, buckets, and things like that.
Finding Wood - Scrap some weapons at the weapon workshop and scrap trees while in building mode in your Settlements. Chessboards, hammers, cigar boxes, brooms, pencils, plungers, most of the items that contain wood are very obvious.
Supply Lines from Local Leader are essential to making new Settlements without sinking a lot of time into them. This also allows you to access materials for cooking, upgrading weapons and armor from far. You can't withdraw them, but when you're crafting you will get to use the components. This makes Scavenger Stations in numerous Settlements incredibly helpful to you, because the random things they find may mean an extra screw or two when you need it most.
Carrying More Junk
Sort by weight while in your inventory and see things that are heavy, low value, or contain things you already have in abundance. You can also sort by weight while talking to a companion - Dogmeat himself can carry 150lbs. Give them the junk you don't need, then take it all when you're back at home and store all junk, then put away weapons, foods, etc. that are not stored manually.
Shipments & Shopping for Components
Various vendors (even Trashcan Carla) sell orders of shipments. Visiting your workstation will turn it in, allowing you access to those goods. Additionally, many junk vendors will sell things like microscopes, which can only be looted from buildings. You can visit them very now and then to find new things, as well as revisit places you'd previously looted in order to get more junk. I recommend you wear Charisma boosting gear when you're shopping, in order to get a better price - throw on a nice suit/dress, a hat and glasses to look better and get a better deal. The Cap Collector Perk also helps. Happy hunting!
More Fallout 4 Guides
Share Tips and Strategies Below
- Raider Outposts in Nuka World
- Nuka World - Play as a Raider in this DLC
- Far Harbor - Learn about the DLC, its secrets, and read walkthroughs
- Automatron - Guides to building bots and quest walkthroughs
- Settlements - An in-depth guide to Settlements and managing them
- Melee Build - the best perks for a melee character
- Sneaking - Learn to be stealthy
- Critical Hits - Shots to Crit and Crit damage mechanics
- Tips for Making a Build - General advice for creating your own build
- Action Points - AP and all the things that affect it
- VATS - all about the V.A.T.S. and AP usage on weapons
- Gameplay Tips - pointers that will help new players
- Making a Sniper Rifle Weapon mod examples. Heavy hitter and fast-firing Comparison - two guns from the same base.