One of the core tenants of the Fallout series is scavenging resources. With the Wastelanders expansion for Fallout 76, you’ll often hear a scavenger or two mentioning that money from before the war has more worth as kindling than cash. You’ll be doing the same thing, scrapping junk and weapons of a bygone era to make better equipment, maintain your weapons and armor, and get a foothold in post-apocalyptic Appalachia with your C.A.M.P throughout the game.
You’ll find some resources more valuable than others for specific things: steel is your catch-all for weapons, armor, and construction, wood for construction and cooking, cloth for clothing and C.A.M.P decorations, etc. If you want electricity to power your C.A.M.P’s lighting and defenses, be prepared to get yourself some copper. Here’s some of the key details we’re going to explore in this Fallout 76 Copper guide.
Key Info Upfront
- Copper Collection: Workshops, Mining, Scrapping Junk
- Use: Building Generators and electronics, crafting energy ammunition, crafting weapons
Perk Card Build
There are plenty of ways to gather copper, but you’ll want to make sure your Perk Cards are in order first.
Fallout 76 has an entirely different system from the franchise’s previous entries. Instead of skill points and fixed perks, you now have Perk Cards: cards with specific abilities that can be equipped as long as they fit within that SPECIAL attribute. For example, let’s say you have 6 Endurance and want to equip a Rank 2 Perk Card.
That will eat up 2 points of Endurance, leaving you with four more to spare. This system makes it easy to switch between builds on the go and for specific situations. There are a few you’ll want to have equipped to collect and use copper, or at least have a build for traveling and staying at your C.A.M.P as I do.
|Perk||Attribute||Max Rank||Max Rank Effects|
|Strong Back||Strength||4||Gain +40 to Carry Weight|
|Pack Rat||Strength||3||The weight of all junk items is reduced by 75%|
|Junk Shield||Luck||3||Carry junk to gain up to 30 Damage and|
|Hard Bargain||Charisma||3||Buying and selling prices at non-player vendors are now much better|
|Contractor||Intelligence||2||Crafting Workshop items now costs 50% fewer materials|
|Ammosmith||Agility||2||Produce 80% more rounds when crafting ammunition|
|Ammo Factory||Legendary Perk *||4||Produce 150% more rounds when crafting ammunition|
*Legendary Perk Cards unlock at Level 50
These Perk Cards are a small taste of how you can mix and match your perks to make the most out of your resources. But once you have your build squared away, it’s time to get down to business and gather copper. There are a few different ways to go about it:
Workshops in Fallout 76 are claimable locations that can produce specific resources over time. If you hover over a workshop on your map, you can see what resources that workshop can provide.
It’s best to claim these locations not too long after you log into a world and if you intend on playing for a couple of hours to max out the yield. A workshop needs to be cleared of creatures currently inhabiting it and defended from invading enemies. Be prepared to put up turrets, traps, and barricades if you don’t intend on staying in the area.
When looking for workshops to claim while farming for copper, these are the ones you’ll want to keep an eye out for:
- Copper: The primary resource you’re looking for
- Junk: Many junk items like Broken Light Bulbs and Prewar Lamps contain copper
- Acid: Will help in smelting Copper Ore
Workshops containing copper and resources
- Converted Munitions Factory: 1 Junk
- Hemlock Holes: 1 Acid
- Grafton Steel Yard: 1 Copper
- Red Rocket Megastop: 1 Junk
- Dabney Homestead: 1 Copper
- Abandoned Bog Town: 1 Acid
- Federal Disposal Field HZ-21: 1 Acid
- Charleston Landfill: 3 Junk
- Wade Airport: 1 Copper
- Billings Homestead: 1 Copper
- Sunshine Meadows Industrial Farm: 1 Junk
- Tyler County Dirt Track: 1 Junk
- Gorge Junkyard: 1 Junk
With the Workshop claimed, you’ll see an Extractor for the resources found at that Workshop under the Resources tab in building mode. It will require a few components to build (including copper, but you have to have resources to make resources) and a minimum of 10 Electric Power to get it working.
Extractors have a certain amount of resources they can mine within an hour and hold (For example, a Mineral Extractor – Copper will produce approximately 20 Copper Ore every hour, with the machine’s capacity maxing out at 10) so make sure to check in on it.
One more thing to keep in mind, if another player wants that workshop enough, they can invade and try to take it from you by force. If you’re going to stake your claim, be prepared for some PvP action.
While exploring and jumping over small cliffs, you might see some weird mounds sticking out of the rock. Keep your eyes open as these are Ore Deposits. Each deposit yields between 1-3 units of Copper Ore that can be smelted at a Chemistry Station, which require 3 Copper Ore and 2 Acid to make one Copper Scrap.
This technique is not the most efficient way of gathering copper, but if you’re wandering around, you might as well pick it up when you see it. One of the first that you will likely find coming out of Vault 76 will be three deposits near the stream right behind The Wayward.
If you’re still looking for a place to set up a C.A.M.P and want to gather resources passively, you could track down a Copper Vein and set up shop on top of it. With the vein in the radius of your C.A.M.P, the Mineral Extractor will pop up in the menu like at any Workshop. This technique is a slightly more efficient way of gathering Ore without traveling or worrying about Invader Events and PvP.
There are a few drawbacks, such as once you put your C.A.M.P down, you’ll have to stick with the area and rebuild from scratch when moving. The other is that other players might have the same idea and put their C.A.M.P in the same spot.
When there are conflicting locations, if you load in and someone’s C.A.M.P is in the same area, yours won’t load in. The best option at that point would just be to find another instance of the world where someone hasn’t already staked a claim on that piece of sweet, sweet real estate.
Scavenging and Scrapping Junk
Scavenging is the bread and butter of the Fallout series, and it’s how you’ll gather most resources and components in Fallout 76. Not all junk is equal in value in terms of caps and demand, but you can prioritize what you’re looking for. If you open up your Pip-Boy and switch to your Junk menu, you’ll see Component View.
You can scroll through the various crafting components in the game and the Tag for Search. When you look at junk items in the game with that components, a magnifying glass symbol will appear on the name of that item.
For example, you tag Copper in your menu. When you find a telephone you can pick up in-game, that magnifying glass symbol will tell you that Copper is a component in that item, and you can scrap it to obtain it.
|Junk Item||Yield of Item||Weight|
|Blue Table Lamp||1||2|
|Brass Miner Lamp||2||2|
|Broken Light Bulb||1||0.5|
|Chinese Ornamental Vase||2||10|
|Flight Data Recorder||1||3|
|Medium Int Rock||2||0.1|
|Mine Suit Filter||1||0.2|
|Power Relay Coil||2||0.5|
|Shadeless Table Lamp||1||3|
|Souvenir Magnet Cow||2||0.3|
|Water Cooled Bone Saw||1||3|
|Yellow Table Lamp||1||2|
You can gather these items out in the world and via Collectrons at your C.A.M.P, which are robots that collect various items for you over time.
What they pick up changes depending on the Collectron and what setting you use on your Terminal, but Junk will be your go-to for collecting junk containing copper.
The last and probably most straightforward method of gathering copper is to buy it. You will find robots willing to sell to players at train stations, White Springs Resort, and a traveling super mutant named Grahm.
With the Wastelanders expansion, vendors have been expanded to Foundation, Crater, and random encounters on the road or appearing at your C.A.M.P. The train stations will be your most reliable places for copper, as occasionally, they will sell junk items at inflated prices. They will also sometimes sell Bulk Copper.
Bulk Copper is a single item containing ten units of Scrap Copper. This is where that Hard Bargain Perk comes in handy. With my base Charisma of 7, the price was 168 caps. With Hard Bargain Rank 3, it lowered to 153.
The price can be improved further with consumable items that increase Charisma and help barter better, such as alcohol, Sweet Rolls, and Grape Mentats (from my Hard Bargain price of 153 Grape Mentats knocked it down to 148).
The only instance this strategy won’t work is when buying from other players (if they are selling copper at all). However, players can set their prices. You might find someone selling what you need for a song if you look around.
Using Your Copper
With all of that Copper Scrap jingling around in your pockets, it’s time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.
You’re going to find very quickly that electricity is a valuable commodity when setting up a C.A.M.P. One of the most efficient and high-powered generators is the Nuclear Generator, costing a whopping 25 Aluminum, 20 Copper, 8 Crystal, 12 Gears, 12 Nuclear Material, 2 Rubber, and 10 Screws.
|Watermill||12||1 Ceramic, 3 Copper, 3 Gears, 3 Rubber, 3 Screws, 7 Steel|
|Windmill||12||10 Aluminum, 4 Copper, 2 Gears, 15 Steel|
|Scavenged Solar Panel||5||1 Ceramic, 4 Copper, 2 Rubber, 4 Steel|
|Generator – Small||3||1 Ceramic, 2 Copper, 2 Gears, 2 Rubber, 4 Steel|
|Generator – Medium||5||1 Ceramic, 3 Copper, 3 Gears, 3 Rubber, 3 Screws, 7 Steel|
|Generator – Large||10||2 Ceramic, 5 Copper, 6 Gears, 4 Rubber, 5 Screws, 12 Steel|
|Super Reactor||100||25 Aluminum, 20 Copper, 8 Crystal, 12 Gears, 12 Nuclear Material, 2 Rubber, 10 Screws|
|Nuclear Generator||100||25 Aluminum, 20 Copper, 8 Crystal, 12 Gears, 12 Nuclear Material, 2 Rubber, 10 Screws|
Remember what I said about the perk card Contractor Rank 2 reducing building costs by half? This perk will reduce the cost of building everything electrical, from generators to pylons, conduits, lights, shops, laser turrets, some appliances, and more.
But copper has more use than in construction. Certain guns require copper as a component for creation and repair, including Flamers, Harpoon Guns, Pump Action Shotguns, Gatling Plasma Guns, and more.
If you specialize in energy weapons, copper will be needed to max out your ammunition production for types such as Fusion Cells, Gamma Rounds, Plasma Cartridges, and Plasma Cores.
Question: What areas have the most copper veins and ore?
Answer: While veins and ore deposits are scattered all over the map, you’ll find most concentrated around The Forest, The Ash Heap, and the mountains of The Savage Divide.
Question: What weapons need copper for creation and repair?
Answer: Some examples are Flamers, Pump Action Shot Guns, Harpoon Guns, Plasma Gattling Guns, Explosive Bait, and Nuke Mines.