Workshops give you the ability to create, scrap, store and rearrange items to your heart’s content. At every settlement you can find a Workshop to build your ideal structures and layout. From a veritable paradise to fortified strongholds, the choice is yours.
After you take over a Workshop, you will automatically control that settlement where you can set about restructuring it however you wish. With the ability to farm the land for food, build stores and attract vendors, you can create a metropolis in the Commonwealth which can become a good source of money and other products for your journey. Or do nothing. It’s entirely up to you.
Open the Workshop menu and you will notice a green area at the edge of a settlement. This is the edge of the buildable area and every settlement has a boundary so it can only take so much construction. You can move, build or scrap whatever is inside this area and no further.
Every settlement has a different unlock condition. If an area is controlled by Raiders or any other enemies, you must clear out the settlement before you can unlock the Workshop inside. If there is already a resident population, you have two choices: placate the occupants or eliminate them all. Whatever you decide, the Workshop will become available afterwards. Do note that should an allied settlement (those with a resident population from the start) feel it is necessary, they will revoke Workshop privileges. Some Workshops can only be unlocked by completing a certain quest and some rare exceptions simply require you to walk up and activate the Workshop.
Every Workshop can be used to store all the Junk items you collect or build and scrap items. Junk items stored in a Workshop are automatically applied to the resources needed for building new items within the settlement. Some Workshops have limited functionality aside from the basics but most will share a standard set of features.