I've seen some new players wondering about reliable ways to make money in the game so I figured I'd compile all of my wise wisdom here for those who aren't sure how to go about filling their pockets with cold, hard caps. After all, money makes the world go round.
So, back to the folks I'm writing this for. I highly recommend you take the Hard Bargain perk as soon as you can get it. Stuff like purified water is a good source of revenue, but base selling price is 2 caps without the perk, and at least 4 caps when you have rank 3 (obviously you can still sell all these things without it, though).
IMPORTANT: you need vendors from different factions if you want to make more than 200 caps a day. All Responder vendors pull from the same pool of 200 caps, so even if you hit Flatwoods, Charleston station, and Grafton, you can still only make a total of 200 caps between all three before they're tapped out. Other factions you'll have (reasonably) easy access to early on are Raiders and the Whitespring resort. Sutton station is the Raider vendor that's closest to the vault and Flatwoods; if you go to Top of the World for the main quest, you'll also find Pleasant Valley Station. All the vendors at the Whitespring (including the train station) have one shared pool of caps. There are 4 other reliable vendor factions that you will come across later on, plus a traveling Super Mutant name Grahm (but he's very hard to find).
My top tips for making money:
-Equip Green Thumb (optional, but best) and pick EVERY plant you find (except rhododendrons, which are useless). They all sell for at least 1 cap each. It adds up fast.
-Set up some water purifiers in your camp. Purified water is useful for drinking and making vegetable starch, and is profitable as well! If you claim a workshop, you can also set up purifiers there (and you don't have to use your own materials to build them)!
-Make piles of Healing Salve. Gets you a little XP, and sells for a few caps. Once you have the Chemist perk, you'll make twice as much!
-Find a higher level player who can get you the recipe for RadAway and make lots (if you're on PS4, I will happily do so). It's cheap to make and nets you a good profit (and again, you craft twice as much with Chemist).
-Hunt mole rats, mongrels, etc and sell any extra meat you don't need (you can only eat so much before it spoils).
-Pick up every piece of junk you find and scrap it all. Bulk stuff <1> like glass, ceramic, cloth, concrete, fertilizer, leather etc at a tinker's workbench and sell them (do keep some for yourself tho, you'll need it). Also sell loose crystal shards, silver, gold, asbestos, fiber optics, fiberglass, and waste antiseptic (but again, not all of it, as you will need some for crafting).
-Don't bother scrapping stuff like pipe weapons and raider/trapper armor to get mods <2>. They're useless things and you'll never use them. Sell them instead. Same goes for crappy melee weapons like boards, rolling pins, pitchforks, and axes. They're not worth a lot, but every little bit helps.
-Sell chems and alcohol. Unless you're doing a junkie/alcoholic type character, chems and booze will only get you addicted and weighed down. Sell most of them for a nice profit. Do NOT sell Stimpaks, RadAway, or Rad-X unless you really have a lot and it's weighing you down. Also, store any bourbon or whiskey in your stash, as these are hard-ish to find and required for useful recipes later.
-Claim a workshop. Yes, it will cost you caps (usually 25), but you can get lots of materials to bulk and sell by setting up and powering the various collectors. Sunshine Meadows (outside Flatwoods) is a good one to start with and will provide you with lots of fertilizer. It also has a nifty machine that makes packaged food (which you can also sell some of, but keep some too. Salisbury Steak is the best option).
That's about all I've got for now. If you have any questions or think of anything I've missed, leave a comment. If you're on PS4 and want any in-game help, hit me up.
<1> Bulking materials also requires plastic. Morgantown High school is an excellent source of plastic. Hit the hallways, cafeteria, and gym on the first floor. This will net you a little over 100 plastic in one go, plus some XP for killing a handful of Scorched.
<2> DO keep and/or scrap things like: hunting rifles, shotguns, sledgehammers, machetes, knives if you like those, leather armor, metal armor, and combat armor. Keep any marine armor or power armor pieces you think you'll want later; sell any extras. Scrapping marine and power armor gets you no mods.
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