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Fallout New Vegas features some items that are more or less obviously useless, like pots or ashtrays or burnt books or cartons or cigarettes or conductors... wait, conductors? That doesn't sound like junk.

Most of this stuff is in the Misc section of my inventory; some of them have a specific icon, others seem to have a generic "junk" image, almost all of them are in the Misc. section of the inventory.

How can I tell junk from stuff I can actually use in crafting?

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@Nolonar Good. I have a pretty bad case of broom dungeonitis – badp Jul 15 '13 at 19:19
LOOT ALL THE THINGS! – shanodin Jul 15 '13 at 21:50
This question could quite easily relate to fallout 3 as well – Robotnik Jul 15 '13 at 22:56
@robotnik not only what badp said, but differences in crafting and quests mean the two games have very different answers. – LessPop_MoreFizz Jul 16 '13 at 13:52
@LessPop_MoreFizz - The only thing in both answers that couldn't relate to fallout 3 is the stuff about Conductors and OWB. The crafting lists exist for both games. Besides, I'm not saying it should reflect both, only that it could, and that point stands. – Robotnik Jul 16 '13 at 20:41

Misc items are not totally devoid of use. There are certain quests which require misc "junk" items, including Conductors.

Various recipes also require these items. Notably, Tin Cans have use in a few quests (for one you need 100 pieces of junk metal... that's a lot of cans!) and in certain recipes.

Having a lot of empty bottles and Old World Blues can help you get Desert Survivalist. In fact, a lot of junk items have a lot of utility once you've fully upgraded the Sink in Old World Blues. (Potential spoilers if you haven't been to the OWB DLC yet, but see the Sink's Book Chute as an example)

Really, though, there are a lot of these misc items laying around, so selling a few of them isn't going to cause you a large issue. If you systematically collect all the things and sell them, you're going to end up in trouble, though.

In the long haul, the bigger problems are your carrying capacity and the amount of caps the merchants have. Most of these items are heavy and mostly worthless. Even if you only carry the light, valuable, useless vendor trash, you're probably going to have more value than you can reasonably sell, even at low Barter levels.

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So I want to go to the OWB place ASAP? – badp Jul 15 '13 at 20:18
@badp, I think OWB is late-game content. The game suggests level 15 or higher. I got the game to the endgame and then did all the DLCs in order of release, personally. There's no doubt, though, that OWB has some terribly useful attributes. – agent86 Jul 15 '13 at 21:06
Not to mention its sheer hilarity. – shanodin Jul 15 '13 at 21:50

A lot of Misc. items are used in crafting. The junk icon hardly indicates anything here, sadly.

Primarily, I would recommend that you stick to wiki pages such as the one I linked, and keep track of the items you plan to craft (at the respective crafting tables etc.) - so you know what not to sell.

The Crafting Shopping List at the end of the linked article is also a great resource to look up - and to keep at hand.

It's also probably easier to remember what isn't on this list, than what is. Such a list can be extracted from here - Anything that doesn't have a purpose (such as being related to a quest, or being a component in crafting) can be freely sold.

And, quite frankly, in the early game you don't need to hoard a lot of items either. When you are finally able to craft them, you'll most likely have easy access - or remember easy access - to a lot of them anyway. Just don't pick up everything unless you know you need it. ;)

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