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In Fallout 4, when first reaching Sanctuary after exiting the vault, I immediately scrapped everything (well, after looting the safes). Later, it got me thinking - maybe the contents of the safes re-spawn over time or something.

Disregarding that the area looks very empty and flat, is there any game play-related downside to clearing everything out?

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The contents of containers do not respawn over time. Once you've emptied them they're empty and remain that way. This is different outside of settlements where entire regions will respawn (including enemies and containers). There is no downside to scrapping everything at a settlement.

There is a bonus to scrapping everything you can scrap in a settlement in that it increases the amount of custom objects you're able to build by essentially reducing the number of objects already at the settlement (since you're scrapping them).

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    It might be better to save some green-outlined items in the workshop rather than scrapping, such as tables/chairs and some containers for yourself, as you don't get much in the way of resources from scrapping them and they cost more to rebuild. – Robotnik Dec 3 '15 at 7:20
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Actually, there are two downsides.

1) Settlement happiness is improved by "non-essential" furniture (everything except beds), and objects in the decoration category, so scrapping them all will negatively impact your settlement's happiness, and therefore, your settlers' productivity. If you later go to rebuild these types of objects to improve happiness, they will cost more in resources than you got from scrapping them.

2) At least at present, on the PC platform, I've noticed that the contents of many containers (and corpses, and so on) undergo a respawn during the Act 1 -> Act 2 transition. So a little less loot too.

The cutscene where the BoS fly in and announce their presence to the Commonwealth over their loudspeakers indicates that you have entered Act 2. So, the transition would be opening the door and stepping back into the Commonwealth from Fort Hagen after killing Kellogg and completing the Reuinons quest.

Pretty minor downsides, but there they are.

  • What is the Act 1 -> Act 2 transition? – DCShannon Dec 3 '15 at 20:01
  • @DCShannon pretty big spoiler, so... editing into my answer and using the spoiler tag. – HopelessN00b Dec 3 '15 at 20:12
  • Never would have thought that's what you meant. Is there actually any reference to "acts" in the game? I didn't notice if there is. – DCShannon Dec 3 '15 at 20:20
  • loot and enemies respawn during new missions that you encounter. Any of the redundant ones, stories, and side missions....has nothing to do with acts – Dupree3 Dec 3 '15 at 20:31
  • @DCShannon I don't think so. I just found this FO4 wiki quest list divided up that way, (and other ones for older FO games) and the transition marks a major change in the game, so I went with it. – HopelessN00b Dec 3 '15 at 21:10

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