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There are a lot of ways to play through 2015’s Fallout 4, and no matter your play style, The Commonwealth is much safer with a companion at your side. There are more than a dozen diverse followers to choose from, all with deep backstories and individual character quests. Whether you choose to play through each of their storylines or stick with one for life, there is a lot to know about these Fallout 4 companions.
Fallout 4 Companions
Depending on whether you’re more interested in a shoot-em-up or sneak-based play style, certain companions can give you a real edge. Characters like Strong, while very useful as a distraction and tank, will not jive well with players aiming for subtlety. Dogmeat, the goodest boy in the game, will always be a fan favorite, but doesn’t pack the punch of Cait or Paladin Danse. No matter how you’re approaching your journey through the Commonwealth, a companion will provide a helping hand in battle and a friendly face along the way.
This former raider has an itchy trigger finger and a nasty drug addiction. Players will find Cait competing in the Combat Zone, where they will need to take down a mess of Raiders before starting up a conversation. Cait quickly becomes available as a companion once Tommy Lonegan offers the player her contract.
A good shot and vicious fighter, Cait is great to have on your side. She can pick almost any lock, and her skill with guns—not to mention her fists—is a great advantage. However her drug addiction can get in the way, ultimately leading her to seek your help in conquering it.
Cait prefers characters with a less-than-wholesome approach to the game. Lockpicking, pickpocketing, and drug use all make her happy, as do violence and selfish deeds. Overtly mean interactions are not her cup of tea, however, and murder is definitely a no-no for Cait. If you manage to reach the maximum affinity level, you’ll earn the Trigger Rush perk. This grants increased Action Point regeneration when the player’s health is below 25%. Cait is also a potential romantic option, so flirt away.
The first available companion in the game, Codsworth is the same robotic butler the playable character owned before the war. While not the strongest Fallout 4 companion, Codsworth is of particular use early in the game. Thanks to his vicious robotic weapons, low level Raiders, Gunners, and Ghouls won’t last long.
Codsworth can be found at your old home in Sanctuary. Once you’ve completed the “Out of Time” quest, you can recruit him as your follower. Codsworth can be hard to please: he likes generous acts and modifying your weapons and armor, but severely dislikes chem use, selfish interactions, lying, and stealing. For morally sound players, he should be an excellent early choice. Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with Codsworth, you’ll gain the Robot Sympathy perk. This grants +10 energy resistance to robotic energy weapons. If you’re planning on going up against the Institute, this perk will come in (Mr.) handy in no time.
Curie is one of several robotic Fallout 4 companions available to join you on your travels. She might look nearly identical to Codsworth, but this charming bot has much more personality than her butler cousin. Originally a Miss Nanny robot, Curie was modified to become a lab assistant in Vault 81. Curie may be scientifically minded, but thanks to her built-in laser weapon and can-do attitude, her helpfulness in a fight surpasses many of her more combat-focused counterparts.
To gain Curie as a follower, you’ll need to head to Vault 81, where she resides. Two related quests, “Vault 81” and “Emergent Behavior” will ingratiate Curie to you. Upon completing “Emergent Behavior” Curie can reach maximum affinity, and is available as a romantic option.
This will grant players the Combat Medic perk, which automatically heals the character for 100 hit points once a day when you fall below 10% health. Plus, once you’ve transferred her into a synth body, Curie is the toughest companion in the game. Her ability to take a hit, combined with her peppy attitude and enjoyment of all positive interactions, make her one of the best potential Fallout 4 companions.
For a tank who only occasionally voices his racist views, look no further than Brotherhood of Steel unit commander Paladin Danse. Danse wanders The Commonwealth in a full suit of Power Armor, which comes in remarkably handy in a fight. A number of connected quests involve Danse, including “Call to Arms,” Liberty Reprimed,” and “Airship Down.”
Danse’s issues with all non-humans can cause problems in interactions with many citizens of The Commonwealth, however his ability with a gun and high durability still give him an advantage as a companion.
To locate Danse, head to Cambridge Police Station and assist the Brotherhood in taking down their attackers. Once you’ve completed some tasks for the Brotherhood, Danse will be available as a follower. Upon unlocking his highest level of affinity, Danse becomes available as a romantic option and provides the Know Your Enemy perk. This grants 20% extra damage when fighting Ghouls, Super Mutants and Synths. Danse is happiest when the player is engaging in violent acts, and hates most interactions with non-human characters.
Everyone’s favorite stalker is one of the most interesting Fallout 4 companions available. A Railroad agent, Deacon can’t be added as a follower until players begin the Railroad storyline. Once you track down the Railroad Headquarters, Deacon—your own personal fanboy—will become available as a companion. He is all about stealth and subtlety, making him an excellent option for players looking to avoid overt combat.
You’ll have to stay allied to the Railroad if you want Deacon to stick around, so no Synth killing while he’s nearby. At least, not the good ones. Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with Deacon, players will gain the Cloak & Dagger perk. This grants an additional 40% duration for Stealth Boys and adds 20% damage to stealth attacks.
Unfortunately, all of Deacon’s many identities are apparently taken. You’ll also have to find another lover among the citizens of The Commonwealth, because Deacon has no romance options. He enjoys both nice and mean interactions, as well as hacking computers and picking locks. He is not a fan of violence, nor does he enjoy chem use, so you’ll have to stay on the straight-and-narrow while Deacon’s around.
One of the earliest available Fallout 4 companions, Dogmeat is a fan favorite. A German Shepherd without an apparent owner, Dogmeat can first be found at Red Rocket truck stop, which you will likely wander past early in the game. Dogmeat begins interactions with the player at maximum affinity, because he is a very good boy and he loves unconditionally. Thanks to this furball being completely unbothered by player interactions, you can murder, abuse drugs, and steal to your heart’s content. Dogmeat doesn’t mind!
Dogmeat is a great companion, but ultimately fails to provide quite as many assets as others on the list. He can locate loot for the player, track a scent for miles and can take down a number of minor foes, but—for obvious reasons—can’t equip a weapon, nor does he grant any perks. He does play with Teddy Bears when you place them in his inventory, however, so let’s not pretend Dogmeat isn’t the goodest damn doggo in The Commonwealth.
The unofficial mayor of Goodneighbor, John Hancock is all about protecting the weak and punishing the wicked. This snappy dresser is the only Ghoul available as a follower, and is one of the stronger and more conversational potential Fallout 4 companions. You can track this foul-mouthed Ghoul down in Goodneighbor, where he resides in the Old State House. He appears to wear attire owned by the real John Hancock, which is housed at the Old State House in real-world Boston.
Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with Hancock, he becomes available as a romantic option. Indulge those “impure thoughts,” lone wanderer, and enjoy the Isodoped perk that comes with the maxed-out relationship. This makes a player’s critical meter fill 20% faster, so long as you have at least 250 rads. Hancock’s taste for violence makes friendly interactions with him easier, and he’ll even give you the occasional chem when the mood strikes him. Drugs and violence? Now that’s a follower we can all get behind.
One of the few characters to span Fallout games, MacCready first showed up as the young mayor of Little Lamplight in Fallout 3. By the time Fallout 4 rolls around, the once-foul mouthed merc is much older, nearly as violent, but much more tempered. He can be found at the Third Rail bar in Goodneighbor, where a side quest will urge players to hire him for 250 caps—though he can be talked down to as low as 100.
Upon reaching maximum affinity with MacCready—a task that can’t be completed until you’ve finished the “Long Road Ahead” quest—players gain the Killshot perk. This boosts hit percentage for headshots in VATS by 20%. MacCready is a fan of violence, and his skill with a sniper rifle makes him a great choice for players looking to hang back and take out enemies without being detected. His character quest is one of the more wholesome Fallout 4 stories, and his high stats and charming dialogue make him a popular choice.
A delightful twist on the typical detective character, Nick Valentine is a favorite among players. His appearance might be off-putting at first, but Nick is a fascinating character with versatile skills and a rich backstory. A Gen-2 Synth, Nick is fully capable of both independent thought and critical thinking. This, along with his skills in hacking and both ranged and melee combat, make him a great companion and a better detective. If you have the Far Harbor DLC installed, an extra storyline with Nick will be unlocked.
In order to gain maximum affinity with Nick, you’ll need to complete the “Long Time Coming” quest. To find him, travel to Diamond City and speak with his assistant, Ellie Perkins. She will direct you to Vault 114, where Nick is imprisoned by Skinny Malone’s gang.
Once you free him and return him to Diamond City, Nick will become available as a companion. Upon reaching maximum affinity, Nick provides the Close to Metal perk, which grants an additional attempt when hacking and lessens the lockout time by 50% after failing a terminal hack.
This in-your-face reporter is the embodiment of the classic brash journalist character. Piper, along with her little sister Nat, run Diamond City’s best—and only—newspaper, Publick Occurrences. Piper is charming, clever and capable, and her interactions are some of the best in the game. She is constantly getting in to trouble while chasing the truth, but is armed with knowledge that many in The Commonwealth are too afraid to accept. She’s not a fan of stealing or murder, but you can improve your relationship with her through generous interactions.
You’ll run into Piper automatically the first time you head to Diamond City. Due to her unapologetic reporting, Piper got herself locked out of the city and requires your help in gaining re-entry. Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with her, Piper will grant the Gift of Gab perk, which doubles the experience gained from successful persuasion interactions and discovering new locations. Piper is also available as a romantic option, and her awkward attempts at flirtation only serving to make her more charming.
With one of the kindest hearts out of all the Fallout 4 companions, Preston Garvey is all about the Minutemen. He lives and breathes for this nearly-extinct faction, which you can revive through the course of his quests. Preston wants nothing more than to spread the love—he likes generous interactions, giving donations and establishing new settlements. Don’t steal or use chems when he’s around though, these are definite turn-offs for the cheerful Minuteman.
Players will run into Preston early in the game. Once you head to Concord, you’ll find him and a few survivors pinned down in the Museum of Freedom. Once you’ve completed “The First Step” quest, Preston will become available as a companion.
Upon reaching max affinity with him, Preston will grant players the United We Stand perk. This increases the damage players deal by 20%, and increases damage resistance by 20 points when facing more than 2 enemies at once. He can be romanced as well, an unsurprising addition considering how much Preston loves the Sole Survivor from the start.
Once you’ve partnered up with all the traditional options, why not go the Super Mutant route? Players can ask Strong to join them as a companion after they’ve freed him from his confinement at Trinity Tower. An absolute tank with a preference for rocket launchers, Strong is, well … strong. He can take down dozens of opponents while the player hangs back, or join him in the fray and leave a bloody mess in your wake.
Strong is the only base game follower on this list that approves of the murder of non-hostiles. In fact, he pretty much approves of murder in any form. Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with Strong, he’ll grant players the Berserk perk. This grants an additional 20% melee damage anytime your health drops below 25%.
Strong cannot be romanced, but he will accept you as his leader once he likes you enough. Jumpy players also might not enjoy Strong as a companion however, as it’s easy enough to mistake him for a hostile Super Mutant. Maybe a goofy hat would help?
Your own personal death robot, X6-88 is a capable Institute Courser available to join you as a companion once you’ve completed the “Mankind–Redefined” quest. He’s not much for conversation, but this Synth is a real talent with energy weapons and can spot enemies from a distance. You’ll first meet him at the Institute, but later you can track him down at the Synth Retention Bureau or northeast of Nordhagen Beach.
If you’re looking for a charming, funny or interesting companion, X6-88 might not be for you. While incredibly handy in a fight, X6-88 is one of the least complex characters in the expansive world of Fallout 4. Once gaining maximum affinity with him, X6-88 will grant players the Shield Harmonics perk.
This gives players a 20 point boost to their energy resistance, which comes in particularly useful in fights against Synths. He’s not a big fan of helping people in The Commonwealth or walking around in the nude (unlike some followers), preferring selfish dialogue options and tech-related interactions.
Expansion Fallout 4 Companions
There are a number of potential expansions for Fallout 4. If you’ve shelled out the cash for Automatron, Nuka-World or Far Harbor, a few new companions will come included. Each Fallout expansion is worth it for different reasons, from the building options provided by Automatron to the expanded map and storylines in Far Harbor and Nuka-World. The addition of new companions, along with connected storylines for each, makes these expansions all the more worth the extra cash.
Ada – Automatron DLC
In order to access this Fallout 4 companion, you’ll need to have the Automatron expansion downloaded. This heavily modified assaultron robot has a surprisingly tragic backstory. Made from spare parts from a number of abandoned bots, Ada can be found northeast of Wattz Consumer Electronics. The caravan she travels with, which repairs and sells mechanical parts, is being besieged by the Mechanist. Ada will request the aid of the Sole Survivor in the “Mechanical Menace” quest.
Thanks to Ada’s robotic nature, she is the only Fallout 4 companion other than Dogmeat who is completely unconcerned by the players actions. Want to do good and spread joy throughout The Commonweath? Go for it. Want to murder your way through your problems? Why not?
There are no perks to be gained by traveling with Ada, but she can be modified at at the robot workbench. If only it’s possible to modify some of the human companions.
Automatron – Automatron DLC
This is an interesting addition to this list, but if you have the Automatron expansion downloaded you’ll want to see it. Once players have access to a robot workbench, this companion can be constructed. Automatrons can be crafted by players in whatever way they’d like, using spare parts from robots salvaged from around the wasteland.
You’ll need to invest some perk points in order to properly craft your robotic companion. A number of impressive upgrades can be made to relatively basic chassis, but only if you’ve upgraded to perks like Armorer, Blacksmith and Science! Thanks to being a creation by the player, Automatron’s affinity never changes. When crafting them, however, players can select one of several voices for them, which will marginally change their personalities.
Old Longfellow – Far Harbor DLC
Players can access Old Longfellow, a seasoned hunter and skillful guide, once they have the Far Harbor DLC installed. While Longfellow’s distaste for the Children of Atom can make some quests difficult, Longfellow’s skill with a rifle and knowledge of Far Harbor comes in incredibly handy. Plus, despite years spent wandering the fog, this old legend still has all—or at least most—of his mental faculties.
Longfellow enjoys pleasant interactions, assisting settlements and–most of all–going against the Children of Atom. If you’re looking to gain his perk, players should avoid going against Far Harbor or engaging in random killings. Once you’ve managed to reach maximum affinity with Longfellow, he grants players the Hunter’s Wisdom perk. This reduces damage and energy resistance taken from animals and sea creatures by 25%.
Porter Gage – Nuka World DLC
Thanks to his superior armor and default weapon, Porter Gage is a tougher follower than many on this list. In order to access him, you’ll need to have the Nuka World expansion downloaded. His status as a Raider might give you pause, but don’t worry—no one will shoot Gage on sight.
He can enter all the places a typical follower can, mostly deviating from other followers in his preferences. He is a big fan of all things violent and cruel, and will quickly come to like you after a murder spree or two. Assisting settlements is a big turnoff for him, however, so some players will surely clash with Gage.
Once you’ve reached maximum affinity with him, Gage provides the Lessons in Blood perk. This grants an additional 5% of experience per kill and 10 points of additional energy damage, permanently. He is even a romance option, so long as you are down with choosing Raiders over the innocent citizens of The Commonwealth.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.