The workshop is part of the crafting system in Fallout 4 and deals with buildings and furniture at settlements. The Sole Survivor can use the workshop to move, deconstruct, or create new objects from scrapped material. These objects can be used to create thriving settlements with turrets, walls, vendors, and recreational spots.
The Sole Survivor must first interact with the physical workshop. This will add to the locations they can build settlements. Some workshops will not be available to use and will only appear as Search. This is because the Sole Survivor must ally with the settlement that the workbench belongs to. After the initial inspection, activating the workshop object will allow the transfer of items to or from it.
However, the player character does not need to go up to the workshop and activate it each time they wish to use it. If holding down the Change View Button ("V" key on PC, "Change View/Left Menu" button on Xbox One and the Touchpad on Playstation 4), it will open up the workshop menu as long as the Sole Survivor is within the build area of the workshop.
To build an object
The player character can also scrap, store, and move objects in this menu.
Open the menu.
Select the object.
Position the object's outline in a spot in the settlement. The outline will be red if it cannot be built in the current location (for example, part of the object intersects a wall or an abandoned piece of furniture). The outline will turn green when it is in a valid spot.
If having custom HUD colors, it will show as the custom HUD color when it can be placed.
If there are items in the way of the placement of the objects, while in workshop mode one may select items and have them scrapped to provide new materials and more available space.
To select an object
Scroll left and right to highlight a type of object (structure, furniture, decoration, etc).
Scroll up and down to navigate to different types and construction materials within the menu.
Workshop inventory items used for building settlements (i.e.: while in the build mode) or for crafting at workbenches (cooking station, chemistry station, armor workbench, weapon workbench, and power armor station) can be shared by assigning a settler to a supply line between settlements.
Shared items from one settlement do not show in the workshop inventory of any other settlement. They only appear when building or crafting something which uses the shared item(s). This limits the items which can be shared to components of buildable or craftable items. For example, shared purified water will appear as an available component at a cooking station, but since shared purified water will NOT appear in the workshop's Aid page, there is no way to get it at another settlement in order to drink or sell it.
Parts removed from gear and weapons when these are upgraded can be shared when upgrading gear or weapons in other settlements, but complete weapons and gear cannot be shared because, again, they do not appear in the workshop's Apparel or Weapons pages nor do they appear in crafting or building menus.
Stored workshop structures, furniture, electrical systems, etc., cannot be shared; they can only be used at the settlement where they were created.
To assign a supply line, one must first acquire the Local Leader perk. The Sole Survivor can then go up to a settler to run it (while in build mode) and press the assigned button on the bottom of the screen. It should display, "[Button] SUPPLY LINE".
Alternatively, rather than getting the Local Leader perk, the Sole Survivor can easily carry the components required to build items for a basic settlement - turrets, water pumps, beds, etc. Since complete items cannot be shared, the Sole Survivor must go to the other settlement anyway to do the building, carrying the supplies is no hardship.
Junk items (which excludes armor, weapons, etc.) may be broken down into their raw components by the workshop when needed. For example, a gas canister can be broken down into oil and steel. If steel is needed to build or craft something and sufficient steel is not available in the Workshop or Sole Survivor's inventory, the workshop will break down the gas canister, use the steel, and return the oil to the workshop's inventory. If the only source of steel is a weapon, the workshop will NOT scrap it. However, a weapon can be manually scrapped at a weapons workbench as well as in the workshop mode.
While the workshop mode's ability to scrap items is normally used to clear settlement areas for building, it can be used anytime to scrap items by dropping them on the ground, entering the workshop mode, pointing at them and selecting the Scrap option; however, the components are rarely equal to the sales value of the scrapped item (e.g.: an expensive, upgraded weapon may break down into just cheap steel and wood).
Vault 88 is the only settlement in the game with more than one workshop, possessing a total of four.
PCPlaystation 4 Sometimes lights like lightbulbs will refuse to turn on, even when there's a decent supply of power and when they're within ranges of power transmitters. [verified]
Occasionally this can be fixed by going into build mode, picking up the light, and placing it back down.
PCPlaystation 4Xbox One When viewing the status of settlements in the Pip-Boy menu, the information displayed will be incorrect (such as lack of food or water, or a ludicrous amount of settlers). Fast traveling to the respective settlement usually fixes this.[verified]
PCXbox One Sometimes you do not have the option to make a structure or item, even if you have everything you need to make it. This appears to only happen when you have the exact amount of material required to build an object. Having one unit more than what is needed will allow you to build. [verified]
PCPlaystation 4 Using the workshop in one settlement then fast traveling to another settlement can cause corruption of one or both settlements. The most common cause of this is fast traveling while a script such as assigning a settler a job or bed has not yet fully executed: the 'resource has been assigned' notice. The most obvious problem this produces is some or all resources suddenly becoming unassigned in the destination settlement. Other problems, like being unable to build certain objects or erroneous data regarding a settlement on the Pip-Boy can also be caused by this 'pending/unexecuted script' issue. In the latter case, you may get the population of two settlements combined together reported. The solution is to avoid this issue by giving the settlement plenty of time to execute all scripts then walk outside the settlement perimeter before fast traveling. Doing some interim quest or project away from all settlements between going from one settlement to another usually assures corruption won't occur. [verified]