In workshop mode, there is a "Settlement" bar in the upper right that shows how "full" your settlement is. If the bar is full, you can't place any more objects in that settlement.

My question, then, is if we know how this is calculated. Is it by the number of objects placed, the size of objects, or some other criteria? Does placing 100 large items, like walls or staircases, count the same as placing 100 small items, like light bulbs?

Also, does scrap contribute to this max limit? I know that Sanctuary, in particular, starts off with an abundance of the yellow-outlined items you can scrap. If these contribute to the max limit of objects in the settlement, it'd be a motivation to fully clean up the settlement as a first task.


2 Answers 2


The size budget is a polygon count designed to keep your frame rate steady by preventing you from building massive and overly complicated settlements. The size limit and current size used are actually attributes against the workbench in the settlement itself and differ between settlements.

This is calculated based on the number of objects in the settlement in combination with the size and complexity of the objects. More complex objects have a higher polygon count and as such use more of the budget. Scrap contributes to this limit so you could "fill" a settlement and then go around destroying all of the broken beds, cups, chairs, etc and have more budget available to build more.

These numbers can be changed using console commands on the PC on a per settlement basis, although it is not recommended.

To get/set the triangle count limit:

  • getav 348 - shows the current number of triangles used by the player
  • getav 349 - shows the current maximum of triangles usable by the player
  • setav 349 - set the maximum triangle limit

To get/set the draw call count limit:

  • getav 34A - shows the current number of draw calls used by the player
  • getav 34B - shows the current maximum draw call limit usable by the player
  • setav 34B - set the maximum draw call limit

Make sure you're looking at the workbench of the settlement when you use these commands.

  • 3
    Holy cow, that was quick for such a detailed answer. Thanks! Quick follow-up question... Do all settlements start with the same triangle limit, or is it proportional to the settlement size? eg) Does Sanctuary have a higher default maximum triangle limit than Red Rocket since the area is much larger?
    – king14nyr
    Nov 18, 2015 at 15:00
  • They definitely each have different limits.
    – psouza4
    Nov 18, 2015 at 17:18
  • Thanks for the update @psouza4. That's interesting... It makes me wonder if some settlements are more efficient in the square footage to max build limit ratio than others if, say, someone was looking to do one super settlement with a huge structure. Maybe a question for the future. :)
    – king14nyr
    Nov 18, 2015 at 18:33
  • 7
    Destroying scrap to free up the budget is a great, non-obvious suggestion
    – John
    Nov 19, 2015 at 14:55
  • 3
    There is also a bug/exploit ... if you need just a few more pieces, and aren't worried about performance, you can drop weapons, and then scrap them to lower the size limit.
    – aslum
    Nov 20, 2015 at 19:58

There is a way to increase your settlement size without console commands, even on the console versions. My Red Rocket is at nearly 400% capacity on the Xbox One. The game is still handling itself remarkably well, with only the occasional frame missing at the moment and even rarer "game breaking bugs" which force me to a 20-30 minute old save. That said, be careful; I'm obviously pushing the limits on purpose and expect it to break at some point.

Here is how:

  1. Place single guns (no stacks) of weapons into your workbench. The more unique guns the better. I use around 20. It can be "10 MM pistol" and "Auto 10 MM pistol" as those are different guns.
  2. To streamline the process put all your other guns into a different container.
  3. Take the guns out of the workbench and find a flat spot where dropping weapons around you in a circle won't see them get lost.
  4. Drop them from your inventory; all at once is fine.
  5. Go into build mode and store them in the workshop.
  6. Watch your settlement size shrink with each weapon stored.
  7. Repeat steps 3-7 until you are satisfied.
  • 1
    OMG this really works! Just tried on my full settlement (on PS4) and it was down to about 60%! Repeated the steps again and now down to 40%! Insane!
    – intrepidis
    Jan 30, 2016 at 23:05
  • This trick broke 2 of my settlements (game would CTD on entering the area). I had to remotely nuke the settlements, which brought on more problems with broken supply lines.. I don't suggest doing this Apr 4, 2021 at 4:44

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