Carl's Fallout 4 Guide
for PC, Xbox One, and PS4

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See a full list of guides on the Nuka World page. I've written over a dozen in just a week and plan to continue. There is much more to this DLC, it will just take time to write it all. Check back for more. Comment on the appropriate page if you have a tip to share with other readers.

Fallout 4: Scavenging Stations

Scavenger and Settler Crafting Material Deposits

Scavenger in Fallout 4 The Scavenger's Station requires an NPC to be assigned to it. They will randomly deposit items to your Settlement's inventory.

Scavenger stations are one of the more interesting jobs you can assign to a Settler in Fallout 4, and many people will wonder how it works. Settlers who are assigned as Scavengers will regularly deposit random items into the Workshop inventory, which can be used for your own crafting. You cannot select what they find, but you can occasionally get lucky and discover they have found some rare material that you need for a weapon/armor mod, or just more luxuries for your Settlements.

Making a Scavenging Station
You can make a Scavenging Station under Resources > Miscellaneous. In order for the scavenging station to function, you must assign a Settler to it by selecting one with the confirm button then clicking the station - you now have a scavenger.

Unassigned Settlers & How Scavengers Work

What do Scavenging Stations Do?
Settlers who have not been assigned to anything will occasionally do exactly what a Scavenger does, so you do not require Scavenger stations, but it's wise to do so because Scavengers produce more random junk and, as Poppy notes below, Settlers who aren't assigned cause a Settlement's happines to drop.

It makes sense that Settlers who aren't assigned will deposit less than a Settler with a dedicated scavenging station. So the more you have, the better the amount/quality of items you'll receive. It seems to have a quality/value score attached, based on each unassigned Settler and dedicated Scavenger. For example you may see a deposit where you find only some nuclear material, steel, and wood - but the nuclear material is worth much more so you've actually had a good haul. You may also get a bunch of random, low-quality items that are also useful. Random is the key word here, but on a large scale it can be surprisingly helpful.

Items found from 6 Scavenging Stations This was the haul with 6 scavenging stations in Sanctuary. It is far better than the deposit of steel and wood I got with only one.

Setting up an Early Settlement: Best Use of Scavengers
Now that I have tested this more thoroughly, I set up my Settlement to produce only the amount of food I need: Charisma +10 for maximum population, so around 20-25 food tops, just a bit of excess in order to get better food deposits (which are separate from scavenger hauls). I always had way more food than I needed when I set my towns to make 40+ food. This was a waste. The rest of my Settlers are assigned as Scavengers. This results in good deposits every so often in each Settlement I own. As for lack of guards, Turrets make much better defense and you need to have a hand in protecting against attack, anyway. Over time, I can construct more of them and prevent attacks entirely with more building materials, right?

How Often do you Get Materials?
Game time must pass for Scavenging Stations to do their thing and deposit items into the workshop - if you sleep, you may as well be playing instead of watching hours tick away. Something like every 30m-1 hour of play time, you'll get a deposit. This seems insignificant, I know, but consider the following:

Supply Lines
Supply Lines between many Settlements make Scavengers amazing producers of rare materials. While you can't access them all from one location for selling purposes, you CAN craft with them so long as two Settlements are connected. So you've got 10+ Settlements all depositing random finds into the Workshop inventory every 30 minutes to an hour, and that becomes incredibly helpful to making the more advanced weapon and armor modifications.

Share Tips
If you have anything to add, use the form below. Scavengers are a handy feature of Fallout 4's Settlements system, and this should demystify some of how they work. Players who are looking for more information may also like my Settlements Guide and How to get Purified Water or Food for Farming.

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