Public workshops function similarly 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 20-100+ caps must also be invested depending on how many non-default structures are present in the workshop. Once the workshop is under the player's ownership, the player can freely fast travel to the area.
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. While a defend workshop event is active, any player can fast travel to the workshop via the event marker on the map.
If the player fails ignores a Defend Workshop event for a duration, the quest will fail and a Reclaim Workshop event will take its place. The reclaim workshop event will only spawn one wave of enemies, and will not feature an event marker on the map. While the reclaim workshop event is active, the owner will not be able to enter build mode to create new objects.
Additionally, player characters can initiate an Attack on Workshop event and attempt to usurp ownership of a workshop from the current owner. This will trigger PvP combat for the both the owner (if present) and the attacker. While both parties are within the zone, the capture bar will not progress. The defender is able to respawn at the workshop as long as the workshop is not progress to neutral. If the attacker spends too much time outside of the zone, the progress bar will revert to 100% and they will have to pay another capture fee in order to resume their attack.
All workshops are considered to be PVP zones by the game, despite certain limitations. Any player within the workshop zone has consented to PVP by being there.
If the player attempts to claim an unowned workshop while another player (who is not on their team) lingers within the zone, the capture bar will not progress. The player needs to attack the other player once to properly tag them for PVP, which occurs without normal consent. Once the other player has been removed from the zone, the capture bar will progress.
Any attacking player is considered hostile by turrets.
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.
- The workshop and thus the mineral deposits at Spruce Knob are no longer available due to being buried behind the defensive bulwarks of Foundation following the Wastelanders update.
- 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 character.
- 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.
- Workshops built upon in private worlds can still be claimed by others, and the resources or materials used to build are not saved. Stored objects are saved, and structures have to be stored piece by piece in order to be saved.
- Built items remain on the server for up to a week for other player characters to scrap or build upon.
- 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 patch 188.8.131.52, including the two locked trailers with power armor inside. Opening the safe on the upper floor of Billings Homestead still incurs a bounty.
- Capturing a workshop for the first time with a player character automatically unlocks the crafting plans for the various resource extractors that can be built at workshops or C.A.M.P.s if one is deployed next to a resource deposit.