For role-playing reasons, I like to keep or avoid scrapping certain junk items in my settlement for decoration or to bring out an effect (e.g. I kept the junk postboxes on the streets of Sanctuary Hills). I have also placed junk I gathered from other places to decorate my interiors (e.g. microscopes and beakers in my "science lab").

I am afraid that by assigning settlers to Scavenging Stations they might scrap those raw "junk" items I left out intentionally.


As stated on the Fallout 4 wikia,

All unemployed settlers will collect one random junk item per day, which is automatically added to the workshopinventory. A settler assigned to a scavenging station will instead collect two random junk items per day. Once the total number of junk items in the workshop reaches 100 + (population × 5), no more junk items will be added to the workshop in either case.

So settlers will collect junk items even if none are present in the settlement and place it directly into inventory. This means that they do not pull items from your settlement.

However, if you have a large quantity of junk then there is nothing that is needed to be worried about.

EDIT: Loose non-permanent junk has a chance to despawn if the settlement hasn't been visited in a while. If you've ever had a raider attack you Will notice the bodies and items disappear after 30 days out of the settlement. There is also a chance for this to occur with dropped junk after 30 in game days.

Tl;Dr The settlers will not pick up loose junk items; however, junk items dropped have a chance to despawn after a certain amount of time.

  • Hi Tyler Weaver, thanks for the reply. I have also read that part from the wikia and it does state that the settlers will "collect" items which implies that any physical items (e.g. nuka cola bottles) will be picked up and moved.So to confirm, settlers assigned to scavenging station will NOT collect items from the settlement, rather, the junk items will simply "appear" in the work station? – StarMan Jan 1 '17 at 1:45
  • Correct. Items will continue to appear whether or not there is junk in the settlement. I believe this is a design choice of Bethesda to allow what you're doing. Keep in mind I do not have empirical evidence. This is based on the wikia and what I have observed. I also have junk lying around my settlements such as microscopes that do not vanish. Even in settlements that do not hold very much junk. – DanSchneiderNA Jan 1 '17 at 2:13
  • To add on, settlers WILL pick up weapons, armor, and ammo lying around the settlement if it is better than their current armor. This is true even If the settlement is not under attack. – DanSchneiderNA Jan 1 '17 at 2:18
  • Updated my answer to reflect the fact that items may despawn in settlements that are dropped. If one were to drop a bunch of junk items and wait 30 days outside of the settlement's cell then fast travel back one could see the junk would have despawned. – DanSchneiderNA Jan 1 '17 at 2:24

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