Salvaging is one of the major mechanics in Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator. It is an optional section that occurs on each of four nights starting on Monday after the management phase.
As the Cassette Man says during each salvage, each animatronic that can be salvaged was found in the back alley. After the Cassette Man explains what options are open to the player, they can either proceed with the salvage or throw it back into the alley.
If the player decides to throw an animatronic away, the entire phase will be skipped. This means the animatronic in question will not appear as a threat during the management portion, but the player will miss out on the salvage income. Additionally, throwing out even a single animatronic will lead to the termination of the player at the end of the game (considered the "bad ending"), as they are reprimanded for failing one of their most important duties.
If the player decides to salvage the animatronic, the Salvage section begins immediately. This process is simple; Cassette Man will play one out of five audio prompts through the tape, to which the player will be asked to monitor the animatronic for signs of movement or other responsiveness, and afterwards fill out the salvage report. This is done by checking any of the three boxes, "Yes", "No", or "Unsure", on the form itself, based on whether or not the animatronic responds. (In truth, there is no need to watch for tics and the player's response on the salvage form does not matter, as the animatronics will only react to the player looking away, never to the prompt itself. However, while the player can fill out the entire form at any time, the tape will only continue once the player has brought up and put down the form after each audio prompt.) When the player puts down the salvage report, regardless of answers or audio prompts, there is a chance the animatronic may have moved. There are three states: Neutral, where the animatronic begins the salvage; Attentive; and Hostile. If an animatronic is in its Hostile state, it has a chance to jumpscare the player at any given moment, immediately ending the salvage in failure, and causing a screen saying "You lost the salvage. And something is loose in your pizzeria..." to appear after the initial jumpscare. However, the player can protect themselves with a taser, which will reset the animatronic to its "Neutral" state. This can be safely done a maximum of three times, but more will damage the animatronic and reduce the salvage income (but has no penalties otherwise.) The Salvage is considered successful if the form is completed and all five prompts are played, after which the player will have the salvage reward added to their income for the next day. If the player is jumpscared by a Hostile animatronic, the salvage fails and no income is gained. Whether the salvage ends in failure or success, the animatronic will now show up in the management section of gameplay as an additional threat.
There is a chance during the catalog segment of gameplay that certain items may be marked down, with a quality of "Poor" or "Terrible." In addition to having higher-than-normal liability, buying any of these items has a chance (based on condition; worse condition raises the risk) that the item will contain one of the unsalvaged animatronics (whether their night has not yet come, or if the player threw them out.) If this happens, the animatronic immediately becomes active as a threat during the management segment; additionally, during the animatronic's Salvage segment, the animatronic will be replaced with a crude cutout of a winking smiley and a sign reading "There's No One Here (I'm Already Inside)", with the only option being to throw it out. No salvage income can be earned in this case. Additionally, once the "Rare Finds Auction" catalog has been unlocked, Lefty can be immediately purchased for $5. This will trigger the same scene on Lefty's salvage night and will immediately make him active as a threat, and will cause the player to miss out on the opportunity for $5000 that can be gained for salvaging him.
Should the player opt to salvage all of the animatronics (or have allowed them all in through other means), the game will continue to the true ending at the cost of a higher difficulty during the management phase due to the ever-increasing number of hostiles roaming the vents. Failing a salvage does not matter, only that, through one means or another, all four animatronics are active in the management phase by the game's final night.
The salvageable animatronics are Molten Freddy, William Afton, Scrap Baby, and Lefty, in that order. Molten Freddy hides in the discount ball pit. William Afton hides in the Nedd Bear animatronic. Scrap Baby hides within a stage. Lefty is a normal Catalog item in the Rare Finds Auction section.
- The animatronics' attack phases are similar to those of Foxy from first game, Nightmare Foxy from the fourth game, and Funtime Foxy from the fifth game, when in their curtain/closet.
- If the player chooses to throw the animatronic back in the alley, then the Tutorial Unit will say: "Don't forget Saturday. You want them all to be in one place."
- This is a reference to the completion ending, as the player is is charged with the task of salvaging the animatronics in order to bring them all to the pizzeria by the Cassette Man.