Public workshops function similar to the C.A.M.P. building system. In order to build at a public workshop, a Claim Workshop Event quest must be completed that requires the player character to clear enemies before claiming the workshop. A sum of 20-30 caps must also be invested depending on how many non-default structures are present in the workshop.
Periodically, Defend Workshop events will trigger where the player character must defend the location from small waves of enemies. If the event is failed, a retake event is triggered and the area must be cleared of hostiles. The first Defend event usually triggers within a few minutes of claiming the workshop. No reward is given if the player character fails to engage enemies during a Defend event.
Additionally, player characters can initiate an Attack on Workshop event and attempt to usurp ownership of a workshop from the current owner. However, this can lead to some player characters triggering PvP combat to defend the workshop, or have some player characters end up becoming wanted if they kill another player character before they could fight back due to being in the workshop's build area at the time of the capture. This leaves the wanted player character to be slain and lose control of the workshop as punishment along with the bounty claimed for killing them, and whatever junk they dropped upon death as well.
Each public workshop comes with a number of site materials for building that can only be used within the claimed workshop. While in build mode, the workshop materials are displayed in green, while the player character's resources are displayed in white.
Each workshop area has mineral extractors available to build that will produce resources hourly for as long as the workshop is claimed and the player character is still on the server. Extractors must be connected to a power generator (or any other power source, such as the power boxes from power plants and their substations).
Extractors have a cap on how many items can be stored and must be checked and emptied regularly in order for them to continue producing resources. For instance, a water purifier rated at 12 per hour only stores 2. The water has to be removed every 10 minutes to get 12 per hour.
- Aluminum extractor gives 25 resources per hour
- Concrete extractor gives 33 resources per hour
- Fertilizer extractor gives 33 resources per hour
- Junk extractor gives 25 resources per hour
Enemy spawns for Claim and Defend events randomize at each workshop location and include mole rats, mongrels, Liberators, super mutants, Scorched, anglers, feral ghouls, mole miners, and sometimes even Scorchbeast.
- Poseidon Energy Plant WV-06: In addition to using normal power generators, power can also be harnessed by completing the Powering Up Poseidon Event quest.
- Sunshine Meadows industrial farm: The only workshop that produces Packaged Foods. The generator inside provides 100 power if the Poseidon power plant has been repaired.
- Converted munitions factory: The only workshop that produces ammunition. The generator inside provides 100 power if the Monongah power plant has been repaired through the Powering Up Monongah quest.
- Mount Blair: Site requires four ignition cores rather than an excavator for mining random assortments of ore as part of the Earth Mover event.
- Claimed workshops, like C.A.M.P.s provide a free fast travel location. It is not possible to fast travel to a previously discovered workshop if it is not currently claimed by the player.
- Claim of a workshop is removed upon leaving the server.
- Ownership is transferred to a team member if the player character is in a group.
- Built items remain on the server for up to a week for other player characters to scrap or build upon.
- Due to server non-permanence, it is unlikely for the player character to come across their own build after leaving the server.
- Claiming a workshop for the first time will earn the player character 10 Atoms.
- There is no limit to the number of Workshops the player character can claim.
- Opening a locked container or room in the location of a workshop owned by another player may incur a bounty. There is no warning. The bounty is for opening the lock. Taking loot from the container or anywhere else has no bounty. The locked container can be a considerable distance from the workshop crafting table as long as it is within the named location. Several of these were reported to Bethesda and no longer incur a bounty as of Fallout 76 patch 18.104.22.168, including the two locked trailers with power armor inside. Opening the safe on the upper floor of Billings Homestead still incurs a bounty. It appears that Bethesda will correct these individually as they are reported to them.