Fallout 76 Camp Guide: how to pick up camp, what to do if your camp disappeared, plus other tips

The biggest new change in the world of Fallout 76 is the game's nature as an always-online, multiplayer Fallout experience - and that changes and enhances many parts of previous games. Take the settlement building system from Fallout 4, for instance - now you can build a cool outpost (known here as Camps) to show off to other players as well as to protect yourself. A good Fallout 76 camp can also function as a base-of-operations for a party of previously vault-dwelling adventurers. 

Camps in Fallout 76 work a little differently to settlements back in Fallout 4. Back then you could only build settlements in designated zones, while in Fallout 76 you can drop your C.A.M.P. device pretty much anywhere out in the world, allowing you to start building a base. While Fallout 76 uses instanced servers, your camp will follow you anywhere you go server-wise - and if you start to dislike your chosen location, you can even pick it up and move it elsewhere. Your use of camp is important, as vital as setting your character perks or creating the best gear possible.

On this page, we're going to run down our top Fallout 76 Camp Tips based on our time with the beta of the game, and as it approaches launch and finally launches we'll even add further detail to this page, getting into more complex wrinkles of the camp system. 

For those looking to plan their builds ahead of time, take a look at our guide on every Perk in Fallout 76. For some of the best combinations of perks, check out our Fallout 76 Build suggestions. If you're struggling to get the materials together to craft the items you need to make the perfect home base, check out our materials location guide.


Don't rush to build your own Camp - use the Overseer's early on

An important part of building a camp in Fallout 76 is simply gathering the resources to then spend on the build by using your C.A.M.P. You'll pick up your C.A.M.P. as you leave the vault, but it'll be a while before you're ready to use it, as you'll need to progress some and also gather a bunch of resources. Luckily, Fallout 76 also funnels you to an NPC-created Camp pretty much as soon as you're out of the vault - and this one was amde by the Overseer, the boss of Vault 76. 

You'll find the essential items here: workbenches for crafting weapons and armor, a stash for storing items that you don't want to carry on your person, plus a cooking station where you can make meals to give yourself buffs. It's ideal for the early stages of the game, and though you'll want to quickly strike out of this area to explore, don't be afraid to regularly return to the Overseer's Camp for some character maintainence if you need to.  

Loot everything: most items can be used in your C.A.M.P.

We all know these Bethesda Game Studios RPGs have a whole lot of junk items out in the world, but in Fallout 76 that's okay. It's good, in fact, and it's all thanks to the Camp system. The resources you have available to you in order to build your camp when using your C.A.M.P. (we're on the verge of going cross-eyed...) is directly determined by the Junk you have. Pots and pans, kids' toys, lighters, paint cans, cutlery - these may seem like useless items when it comes to survival out in the cruel nuclear wasteland, but all of these items count toward your resources for building in camp.

Loot every container you see, pick up everything you can and remember to drop off items regularly at a Stash so you can pick up and carry more as you continue to adventure. Remember the previous tip, too - early on when you don't have a camp you should use the Overseer's camp, which has a handy stash for you to drop stuff off at as you build up a nice little stock-pile of resources.



Kick off your Camp by building these essential items

Any half-decent camp needs to be a good base of operations for your adventures out in the nuclear wasteland, and that means you should focus on certain functional things before going ahead and building things like defenses, turrets and so on. After all, the players using the camp can protect it from harm - but they won't be able to do so if they can't craft and maintain the very same items and gear they need to survive.

As such, build these essentials as the foundation of your camp - and you'll want to head to your C.A.M.P. item and use it to craft these as soon as you can:

  • Sleeping Bag: This only costs 4 Cloth, but a place to sleep is absolutely essential, and far more useful in Fallout 76 than in the single-player titles. Using a bed regenerates your HP and can even imbue a 'Rested' buff if used for long enough. Beds are better than sleeping bags for numerous reasons, but as an absolute starter this is a must-have in your camp, and it's nice and cheap.
  • Weapons Workbench: The bese defense is a good offense, so you'll want to make sure you have a workbench to craft weapons and armor to defend yourself. The Weapons Workbench is relatively cheap, costing just 6 Aluminium, 3 Gears, 3 Screws, 3 Rubber and 4 Wood. You need this.
  • Armor Workbench: Obviously attacking is good, but being survivable is just as useful. Build an armor workbench for the same reasons as a weapons workbench - it has a similar cost of 6 Aluminium, 4 Gears, 3 Screws, 3 Springs and 3 Wood.
  • Cooking StationThis could be a little entry all of its own - don't sleep on cooking in Fallout 76! Cooking can give you fantastic buffs to make your character more able to survive, and that can make even the toughest encounters that little bit less stressful. A cooking station only costs 2 Wood and 2 Steel, so there's no excuse.

Remember that there are advanced versions of many of these items - better beds, and workbenches that allow for crafting more advanced items - but you'll need to find their plans and gather the equipment first. Starting out, this is absolutely the best set of things to build, but they will eventually be replaced.


How to pick up Camp and move your C.A.M.P. to a different area

This one has caused a bit of confusion in the Fallout 76 beta, and with good reason. So here's the good news: your hard work building a cool-looking camp in Fallout 76 is remembered by the C.A.M.P. device, and that means once you've first built a camp if you need to shift it to another area to better follow where you are in terms of game progression or just for a change of scenery, you can. All you have to do is pick up the C.A.M.P. which in turn allows you to move your entire camp.

Except the options aren't obvious, so let us quickly explain. Just walking up to your C.A.M.P. within your camp won't give you the option to move it. Instead, what you need to do is open up your menu in your Pip Boy and press LB to allow you to pack up your C.A.M.P.  This will cost you 5 Caps - hardly a huge amount of money - and then you'll be able to replace your C.A.M.P. and revive your camp just as you'd left it in an entirely different area. 

There is one other occasion you might have to replace your camp, and that's if when you join a server your settlement overlaps with that of another player. Whoever was there first gets priority, so you might find yourself booted. Again, your camp contents and layout are saved, so if this happens, you simply need to replace your camp in a different area. The good news is that this doesn't cost you any caps.

Once you're settled, make Turrets your next build - even over walls

We mentioned our picks of the best items to build straight away in Fallout 76's camps, but one thing we omitted from that section were turrets. Turrets are absolutely vital in your settlements, but only once you've picked up the other key items and workbenches to make the camp a workable base of operations.

Turrets are nice and cheap - just 1 Circuitry, 2 Gears and 2 Oil to build the most basic model. Crucially, these will keep enemies out of your camp. That latter bit isn't actually too  important until the time comes where you might want to lay down your head and get some rest in order to regenerate health - and at that point, you're going to need turrets to keep you safe from nasties in the night. A well-protected camp will allow you to sleep, which in turn means you can easily gain sleep buffs and rest until your health is fully regenerated.

Turrets are the best way to accomplish this early on, and they're far more cost-effective than having to build walls, a door and a ceiling around where-ever your sleeping bag or bed is. Go for turrets first, then only build walls once you've built up a great big stock-pile of wood and other resources.


Camp disappeared? Don't panic - it's easy to get your camp back

It wouldn't be a Bethesda game without some bugs, and Fallout 76 has one that's been scaring some players half to death: their hard-built, lovingly-crafted camps have been disappearing. Have no fear, though, because as mentioned earlier there's a great failsafe for this built into the game, part of the design where, if two camps overlap when players share a server, the newer camp will be booted and the older one will take 'priority', remaining in place. This might mean your camp unceremoniously disappears upon booting the game, and needless to say that can be scary and frustrating.

If your camp has disappeared, don't panic. Thankfully your hard work is saved even when the camp is forced to pack up. Open up your 'stored' tab and you'll see that everything you built in your camp is automatically saved there as it was when you last logged out. By using the store tab, you can take your camp elsewhere - just as in our instructions on how to pick up your camp and move it elsewhere - and drop it down, retaining all your hard work.

The downside to this is that setting camps back up after they move in a new location can be frustrating and cumbersome, especially when you're trying to retroactively fit layouts and designs built for one area into a new location. This may well make you think twice about designs - consider making your camp more generic in its layout, in turn making it easier to place in new locations.