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Fallout 76: Plans and Recipes

Red Thomas Posted:
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Fallout 76 has been a buggy mess for me, but it’s a testament to what they did well that I’m still playing quite a bit.  One of the really successfully executed aspects of the game is the crafting system.   Everything boils down to plans and recipes.  While food and drink options are plenty, they don’t require any perks.  On the other-hand, plans for gear in many cases do require specific perks, and there’s nothing more frustrating than investing in a perk only to realize that you have no plans of that type.

To address that, here are some methods of acquiring an array of recipes and plans to expand your catalog of available options.  I’ll be giving you some tips for getting all types, and what you might find most surprising is how many ways there are to actually land craftable stuff in the game.

Claim a Workshop

There are a lot of reasons to claim a workshop, even if you’re rocking the game solo.  For one, the workshop acts like a second camp, allowing you to place workbenches, defenses, stash box, and even fast travel for free.  They also give you access to passive resource acquisition options.  Typically workshops exist in an area that’s already rich in resources anyway and spawn a number of related missions while you control them.

Even if you’re not into PvP, which you may not even have to deal with due to low server populations, you should still complete the mission and claim your first anyway.  When you claim your first workshop, you’ll immediately be granted a ton of new plans for camp construction.  Improved walls and components for tower structures are there, as well as cool functional structures like siren towers.

Many side missions also give a chance at plans, and it’s not uncommon to get more than one from them.

Laying Around

Yes, by now you’ve likely found a number of recipes on your own just laying around.  What I found interesting was that Bethesda has done a really good job of mixing it up in Fallout 76.  Not all the recipes look alike or are just laying around in kitchens.  They’re everywhere and can appear in several different forms.  For the most part, look for the blue recipe books that are easiest to see, but also keep an eye out for stray pieces of paper that are just laying around.

I’ve found them on bulletin boards, laying on counters, and even behind the sink pinned to the wall in one case.  I’m sure I’ve missed plenty, too.  It seems that there are a number of recipes that have been placed in locations, at least they are judging by the names and ingredients compared to where they were found.   There are a lot more that I’m pretty sure are just randomly generated from the general loot pool.

Not all recipes and plans come as those bright blue books you spot while wondering around.

In a way, these aren’t the hotly sought-after recipes like guns and armor, but they should be.  If you haven’t noticed by now, food and drink often come with ancillary bonuses.  Some can improve your strength or agility, or they can increase your weight carrying capacity, but they also restore health and action points.  There are a ton of food and drink recipes out there, and it’s good to constantly be figuring out what combination plays best with the way you want to run your character.  More recipes mean you can tailor your caloric intake more efficiently.

Daily Missions

With so many recipes and plans to be had, the daily missions can be a good way of picking up more.  Plus, the extra stimpaks, ammo, and caps aren’t too shabby, and then there’s often a chance for legendary weapons and armor, too.  I’ve been using the daily missions as an excuse to re-explore a few areas of the map while also pulling in some extra gear.  You can have several at once and they often can overlap, Big Game Hunt and Thrill of the Grill both call for you to hunt creatures that exist in the same area, for instance.

Daily missions are a good way to pickup random recipes and plans.


One of the easiest ways to pickup new plans is to just buy them.  Most towns have a vendor bot somewhere in the town.  These robotic brokers always have a few plans on hand.  Often, they’ll have cosmetic plans and I’ve found all the ones I’ve talked to have armor plans in abundance, as well.  Every-so-often, I find a weapon mod or actual weapon plan on them, but it’s not always obvious.  For instance, I purchased a plan from the bot in Grafton that was listed simply as “Plan: 44” and it turned out taking a chance paid off.  It was a plan for a .44cal pistol.

The other advantage of daily quests is that you can stop in and trade with the bots as you take them on and work on them.  I’m not sure how often these guys reset their stock, but it’s at least once a day or so.   I’ve gone back to the same vendor several times to find different plans and sometimes recipes listed.  Just be careful because there’s not a good way to tell whether the plan is one you’ve already gotten or not.  That’s one reason this option is listed last.  The cost and chance of paying for something you already have makes it kind of a gamble for me.

I never buy mods from vendor bots. They seem over-priced and there are so many I never know which I have for a given weapon. I just scrap every weapon I get, and I never seem to be short on mod options.

Of course, there are also some traveling vendors to keep an eye out for.  These are the ones you should probably save your caps for.  A friend found one and said the plans he sold were well beyond those he’d found in the towns.  I’ve yet to see any myself, but I typically cut cross-country when I travel and don’t spend as much time on roads, though I think I’m about to change a bit on that front.

In the end, there’s a lot I like about Fallout 76 and how they implemented crafting.  I even like the frustration of having to adapt your playstyle to the weapons and plans you loot a bit.  I think my only big irritation (I have a few smaller ones) with the system is how hard it is to know whether or not you have a plan already while talking to the vendors.  I also wish there were something you could do with duplicate recipes/plans (btw, try to click on them even if you already think you have them, there are some things that can be made multiple ways in multiple stations).  It’d be nice if you could sell them back to the vendor or trade in some number of them for a random one you don’t have, though.

Bethesda has implemented a pretty cool crafting system that creates a great deal of diversity among players and how they arm and armor themselves.  That’s probably the most successful aspect of the current crafting system in Fallout 76.  Plus, the interaction between crafting and how you end up building your character is pretty cool, as well.

Hopefully that helps you with your FO76 over the long weekend, at least for those who are in the US.  Sure, your base may be bugged out and unplaceable again, but at least you now know how you can collect some additional plans for making it even cooler when you start over and build it again.  Until next time, happy [Turkey] Reclamation Day, everyone!


Red Thomas

A veteran of the US Army, raging geek, and avid gamer, Red Thomas is that cool uncle all the kids in the family like to spend their summers with. Red lives in San Antonio with his wife where he runs his company and works with the city government to promote geek culture.