Bottom Line Up Front
There are 13 possible dedicated companions in Fallout 4, each with its own unique backstory and mechanics wherein the player can generate affinity with them and gain an extra perk. Some of these companions also have their own personal quests, which the player can help them with.
Surviving in the wasteland is hard enough at the best of times, never mind trying to venture through the hellscape all by yourself. This is probably why the developers in charge of every Fallout title ever released have included the ability to acquire companions along your journey.
These travel buddies have always been there, through the thick and the thin times of any avid Fallout player’s journey throughout the franchise, and for that, they hold a special place in all of our hearts.
However, not all companions are created equal. Some are simply just too annoying, somehow always standing in and blocking the doorway you need to get through as if their virtual life depends on it. Some are so stilted in their dialogue and worldview that the concept of nuance seems entirely lost on the writers who developed them; others are simply called Preston Garvey.
Other companions, on the other hand, make the game what it is, they alleviate the stress and burden placed on the player character by not only carrying some of your loot and shooting a couple of bad guys here and there, but they also help give the player a good laugh from time to time.
A valuable commodity in the wasteland, if you ask me. Therefore, with all this being said, in this Fallout 4 Companion guide, we’ll take a look at the companions who are available to the Sole Survivor during their revenge-fueled journey across the Commonwealth in Fallout 4.
First and foremost, we must deal with the elephant in the room; his name is funny, but we aren’t all 12 anymore, so let’s keep going. Hancock is the mayor of Goodneighbor and therefore a well-liked and respected figure in this town; his tricorn hat and red, boot-length captain’s coat combined with his ghoulish exterior also give him a look unique out in the wasteland.
I see this character as rather one-dimensional in terms of his story arc and potential for making the player laugh while in the middle of a horrid gunfight with some super mutants; therefore, I wouldn’t particularly recommend him to any player.
How to Acquire Hancock as a Follower
Should you wish to ignore my opinion, as many do and probably should, simply complete the quests’ Investigate Pickman Gallery’, ‘The Big Dig,’ and ‘The Silver Shroud,’ all of which can be found within the walls of Goodneighbor.
Should the player wish to build affinity with this companion, the use of chems and, for some reason, traveling to different locations while wearing no clothes will build a solid rapport with the ghoul mayor.
Once the player has danced through enough of the irradiated wastes while wearing no clothes with Hancock by their side, his affinity rating for the player will eventually max out, granting you the Isodeped perk. This perk gives the player a 20% higher chance of scoring critical hits while sitting at a radiation measurement of 250 or higher.
Check out our complete John Hancock Companion guide.
Deacon is the name given to an agent of the Railroad living within the Commonwealth; while we do not know his real name, we do know that he is a rather cool guy as he insists on wearing sunglasses indoors.
The main thing that drives this character is the Railroad’s mission of stopping the Institute and their treatment of the Synths throughout the Commonwealth. This disposition, therefore, places him against the Brotherhood of Steel and their Synth-hating ways.
With all of this being said, we simply do not know what is true and false with this possible companion, with he admitting that he is pretty fond of a lie or two.
How to Acquire Deacon as a Follower
Should the player choose to have a literal spy in their midst, they will have to complete the first two Railroad quests, entitled ‘Road to Freedom’ and ‘Tradecraft.’ Once these missions are complete, simply ask the man to accompany you on your journeys.
However, should the player decide to go against the Railroad by siding with the Institute or Brotherhood of Steel, they will lose Deacon as a potential follower, becoming his enemy instead.
To get the most out of this character, the player will need to build affinity with him. To do this, simply do things you think a spy would highly value; this can include picking locks, hacking terminals, lying to every person you meet, bypassing speech checks throughout the Commonwealth.
Once the player has built this affinity level to its maximum, Deacon will give the player the Cloak & Dagger perk, which grants a +40% stealth boy duration buff and a +20% sneak attack damage multiplier.
Here’s our complete Deacon Companion Guide.
This robot nurse can be found in the medical suite of Vault 81. Inspired by the famous scientist Marie Curie, Fallout 4 decided to construct a robot with the title Contagious Vulnerability Robotic Infirmary Engineer, or Curie.
This robot was responsible for all the data collected by the scientists at Vault 81 after they systematically poisoned and saved the entire vault’s inhabitants with all of the world’s viruses, therefore generating a cure-all for Vault-Tec in the process. However, all did not go to plan, with the vault’s overseer scarpering these plans right from the off.
Therefore, Curie became an ally of the vault’s inhabitants and actually managed to generate a cure for every disease found in their captive mole rat subjects. After this, her programming forced her to remain within the vault until the Sole Survivor came along and freed her from that steel prison.
How to Acquire Curie as a Follower
As Curie is most definitely a fan favorite, it is essential to know just how to acquire the robot as a follower. To do this, simply head on over to Vault 81 and complete the quests, Here Kitty Kitty and Hole in the Wall.
One of the best things about having Curie as a companion is her ability to randomly provide the player with some precious Stimpak’s while you are traversing the wastes; however, she does have some other great things going for her.
One example of this is her rather exciting story arc and how this links to her affinity with the player. You see, if the player does generally lovely things throughout the Commonwealth, helping people as they go and donating stuff to the less fortunate such as beggars, Curie will naturally build affinity with the player.
However, this affinity will cap at 499, unmoving until the quest Emergent Behaviors is completed. This quest involved the player taking Curie to the Memory Den in Goodneighbor and transferring her consciousness into a Synth body.
Therefore, this will allow the devoted scientist to continue her work in a better-suited body than her current frame. Once this quest is complete, her affinity will max out and give the player the Combat Medic perk. This perk will, once per day, give the player a +100 HP heal should their health fall below 10%.
Related: Comprehensive Curie Fallout 4 Companion Guide.
It seems we are well and truly on to the fan-favorite section of this guide. Dogmeat, a name given to the canine during the quests When Freedom Calls or Getting a Clue, is a throwback to Fallout 3. Another German Shepherd companion can be found seemingly out of the blue within the wasteland.
This version of Dogmeat can be found loitering outside of the Red Rocket Truck Stop, just south of vault 111, and is thus most people’s first companion in the game.
Not only is this companion a rather good boy, but he is also helpful to the main quest, helping the Sole Survivor, and Nick Valentine finds Kellogg during the Getting a Clue quest as he simply follows his scent.
How to Acquire Dogmeat as a Follower
Considering that he is man’s best friend and all that, Dogmeat is probably the easiest companion to acquire in the entire game. When approaching the Red Rocket Truck Stop, a quest will appear under the miscellaneous tab, instructing the player to Greet the Dog. Once the player does this, Dogmeat will remain a loyal companion forever.
As Dogmeat is just that, a dog, he cannot see the player as anything more or less than the best thing in his life. Therefore, Dogmeat will greet whatever the player does with unconditional love and affection, never negatively or positively influenced by the player’s actions in the slightest.
This, therefore, means the perk mechanic for this follower must be changed and acquired differently from all other companion perks in the game. Dogmeat’s perk, Attack Dog, is simply accessed via leveling up.
Once the player hits level four, his canine companion will sometimes latch onto enemies and drag them around, helping the player to take them down. This perk is then upgraded in effectiveness as the player rises through the in-game levels.
5. Preston Garvey
War, war never changes, and neither will my opinion on Preston Garvey. No matter what you say, I will always find the man more annoying than helpful, even though his perk is pretty cool.
Anyway, Preston Garvey is probably the second possible companion the player will come across in Fallout 4, stumbling upon him and his merry band while they are locked inside the Museum of Freedom in Concord, once again, just south of Vault 111.
Held there by a gang of raiders, you must help him and his innocent companions out of this jam to advance the main questline. Once you do this, you will learn that Garvey is a leader of the Minutemen militia group, an organization concerned with helping the many settlements dotted throughout the Commonwealth and the innocent, good people who run them.
How to Acquire Preston Garvey as a Follower
If you, for some reason, wish to punish yourself with the inane mutterings of Mr. Garvey, the Sole Survivor may need to get themselves checked out. Lacking that, the player simply needs to complete the quest, ‘The First Step.’
To gain affinity with this character then, the simplest way is to complete these settlement quests with him for the Minutemen. Protecting these innocent survivors will build affinity rapidly with the character. Also, should the player be seen as being generous during their playthrough or in any way good, Preston will also like that.
Once his affinity for the player is maxed out, the perk, United We Stand, will give the player a +20% buff to both damage dealt and damage received when facing three or more enemies.
6. Nick Valentine
Here we are, one of my favorite personal companions, good old Nicky Valentine, the hardnosed, Diamond City dick (the 50s for detective) who just so happens to be the most apparent synth you’ve ever seen in your life. But don’t worry, his robot heart is always in the right place.
Nick is not only a rather standout figure amongst the backdrop of the Commonwealth, but he is also a key element in the player’s journey to finding their son, playing a key role several times throughout the main questline.
How to Acquire Nick Valentine as a Follower
To acquire this film noir-style detective and have him permanently lend his services to the Sole Survivor, the player must advance the main questline enough until they reach the Unlikely Valentine quest in Diamond City.
Due to Mr. Valentine being a synth and therefore a robot, he has many useful little quirks hidden up his trench coat sleeves. Not only does he not take radiation damage, but he is also quite skillful when it comes to hacking those pesky terminals scattered throughout the wasteland. If you never actually learned how to do the hacking mini-game, a skill that, like me, will come in real handy.
This is also where his perk, Close to Metal, comes in real handy, as it gives the player one extra hacking attempt on terminals and halves the cool downtime between attempts on said computers.
To acquire this perk, however, the player must build affinity with the synth detective, giving items to the less fortunate, healing Dogmeat, picking locks, and making any other morally upright decisions during the game.
Doing this will build your affinity with the detective to a point where the quest Long Time Coming will be activated. Completing this quest will therefore maximize the companion’s affinity for the player, granting the perk.
Continue reading our complete Nick Valentine companion guide.
I know, I know, everyone already dislikes her. Therefore, I will not dwell too much on the Diamond City reporter. You first encounter Piper outside Diamond City, where she has apparently been locked out due to antics involving her paper and the city’s mayor. With the Sole Survivor’s help, she does manage to get back inside—sorry, Diamond City.
How to Acquire Piper as a Follower
In order to acquire this knock-off, Nick Valentine wannabe, the player must complete the quests, Reunions, or Story of the Century. The story of the century in question is actually why Piper agrees to travel with the Sole Survivor as she wants to observe this person out of time as they travel throughout the Commonwealth and adjust to their new world, all the while writing a story about it.
Other than bringing a moral standpoint to every single thing a person, place, or thing does in the Commonwealth, Piper does have some other unique qualities. First of all, her perk, Gift of the Gab, grants the player extra XP for discovering new locations throughout the Commonwealth and passing persuasion challenges. Therefore, this perk is best picked up early in the game for maximum efficiency and quick leveling up.
This perk can be obtained by acquiring affinity with Piper by picking myriad locks throughout the Commonwealth and generally being a nice person. She also has some innate ability to find synths in her midst, identifying Mayor McDonough right from the off and thus embroiling herself and you in the quest, ‘In Sheep’s Clothing.’
Here’s our complete Piper companion guide.
8. Paladin Danse
Now, when Fallout 4 first came out, and everyone went crazy for Paladin Danse, I was always skeptical. Not only did his proper and severe manner rub me up the wrong way, but he also just seemed to be in the way a great deal of the time. He is probably the size of three people with that Power Armor he is always wearing; I mean, where does he get all those fusion cores from?
Danse is a Paladin within the Brotherhood of Steel and highly identifies with their core beliefs, routinely spouting his immense dislike for synths and the Institute along your journeys with him.
This is, of course, played as ironic when one learns that he has been a synth all along, going by the unit designation M7-97, unbeknownst to him and everyone in the Brotherhood. He can initially be found at the Cambridge Police Station; wherein one can begin the Brotherhood of Steel questline.
How to Acquire Paladin Danse as a Follower
To acquire the hulking synth, simply head on over to the Cambridge Police Station to find him, activate the Brotherhood questline, and complete the quests, ‘Fire Support,’ ‘Call to Arms,’ and ‘Shadow of Steel.’
Due to his true nature, Paladin Danse is one of the most interesting characters in all of Fallout 4, allowing the player to engage with his story as much or as little as they want, depending on their outlook on synths.
Should the player manage to advance through the main questline enough to make it to the Blind Betrayal quest, they will eventually track down Danse after he fled upon finding out his true nature.
At the end of this quest, the player can choose to execute Danse or spare him. Should the player spare him, Elder Maxson will need to be persuaded to allow the Paladin to live; passing these speech checks will allow the Paladin to become your companion again and allow you to reach max affinity with him.
To reach this affinity level and acquire the Know Your Enemy perk, which grants the player a +20% damage buff against feral ghouls, super mutants, and synths, the player can simply enter power armor craft useful items and generally be a nice person.
Check out our comprehensive Paladin Danse Guide.
MacCready is one of the more interesting characters in the whole game, not because of his dialogue or companion mission, but because he is a character many avid Fallout players have already met. MacCready grew up in the capital wasteland.
Therefore, when the player was kicking around the D.C. area as the Lone Wanderer in Fallout 3, they may have run into little MacCready when he spent time in 2274 as the mayor of the children’s colony of Little Lamplight. After his tenure in Little Lamplight, he moved around the wasteland as a gun for hire before ending up with a wife named Lucy and a son called Duncan.
Lucy would subsequently die, and Duncan fell ill. Therefore, our former mayor would have to travel to the Commonwealth in the hopes of finding a cure for his little boy.
This is how the gunslinger ended up in the Commonwealth and in The Third Rail located in Goodneighbor, selling his mercenary abilities to people such as the Sole Survivor.
How to Acquire McCready as a Follower
With McCready being a mercenary for hire and everything, you will not be shocked to hear that recruiting the former mayor into the player’s services doesn’t take much. Simply pay the man 200-250 caps, and you have a friend for life.
Once again, McCready is one of those followers with a story all of his own and, therefore, will require the player to complete a quest to reach full affinity with him and access his perk. This quest, entitled, ‘Long Road Ahead.’
This quest will see the player not only wipe out a couple of Gunners along the way but also find the cure for MacCready’s son. Once this is complete, the player can raise their relationship with the former mayor to the max level by helping children and parents and stealing.
Eventually, you will unlock the Killshot perk, which grants the player a +20% buff to headshot accuracy while in V.A.T.S. One other good thing about having MacCready around with you is that he will occasionally stump up some extra ammunition or fusion cores for the player.
Want to know more about MacCready’s Companion? Check out our guide here.
This super mutant companion can be seen as a descendant of Fawkes from Fallout 3, another sentient, non-combative super mutant companion. To find this companion, the player will have to journey through all of the Gunners and other super mutants based out of Trinity Tower until making your way to the top, wherein you will find Strong locked inside a cage with a man named Rex Goodman.
When the player arrives on the scene, it appears as though Mr. Goodman has been attempting to teach these super mutants about Shakespeare. A trend not well received by anyone except Strong who has begun to internalize these lessons, taking it upon himself to find the ‘milk of human kindness, a line from Macbeth said as a metaphor. However, Strong has taken this line literally and thus now seeks said milk.
How to Acquire Strong as a Follower
The player must make it to Trinity Tower and complete the quest Curtain Call to acquire this companion. After this, the mutant is all yours.
In order for the player to gain his unique perk, Berserk, which grants the player a +20% buff to melee damage if their health drops below 25%, the player must build affinity with the mutant. The quickest way to do this is to defeat challenging enemies, thus earning his respect and affinity.
The award for the most exciting name in the Commonwealth certainly won’t go to this courser companion from the Institute. There is not much to be said for this rather bland companion, except that, to ensure the player remains able to access this follower, one must keep on the Institute’s good side.
How to Acquire X6-88 as a Follower
To acquire this synth as a follower, the player must complete the quest, Mankind – Redefined during the Institute’s main questline.
To earn affinity with this humanoid, the player can complete side missions for the Institute or enter and exit power armor in front of him. After reaching maximum affinity, he will grant the player the Shield Harmonics perk, giving you a buff of +20 points to energy resistance. Another thing to note about this companion is that he has the highest perception and endurance of any companion in the game.
If Piper is the caricature of a goody-goody, then Cait is the drunk Irish stereotype. She is fully concerned with causing mayhem and grief all around her, this companion can be found fighting for her life in the ring around the Combat Zone, near Goodneighbor.
With this being said, there are softer and nicer parts to her personality which unveil themselves as she and the player journey together.
How to Acquire Cait as a Follower
To acquire Cait, the player must clear out the rest of the Combat Zone, including the ones she was already fighting in the ring. Doing this will allow Cait to leave with the player.
Cait can grow an affinity towards the player should they indulge in chem usage as well as some lockpicking throughout the game. This will allow the player to reach a high enough affinity to unluck her companion quest, Benign Intervention.
This quest involves venturing through Vault 95 in order to find a cure for Cait’s chem addiction. Completing this quest will allow the player to hit max affinity and therefore unlock her perk, Trigger Rush, which regenerates A.P. 25% faster once the player’s H.P. is below 25%.
Check out our complete Cait Companion Guide if you want to find out more.
This is the first companion the player will meet during the game. Before the Great War, your robotic servant in sanctuary hills has apparently survived all the bombs and years the player spent under cryo-freeze. Therefore, when the player arrives at their old home, they will bump into Codsworth.
How to Acquire Codsworth as a Follower
This follower has already been programmed to serve the player prior to the Great War. Therefore, he will follow the player after they arrive in Concord and continue the quest, ‘Out of Time.’
Codsworth is not simply a robot butler; he is also the only N.P.C. in the game, which the developers programmed to be able to say the player’s name should it fall within the extensive database prepared by said developers.
Codsworth also grants the player the Robot Sympathy perk once max affinity is garnered. This perk gives the player +10 to D.R. against enemy robots and their energy weapons. To acquire said affinity with this companion, the player should modify weapons and armor at a workshop which he ‘loves’ apparently.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Who is the best companion in Fallout 4?
Answer: There is no definite ‘best’ companion in Fallout 4. However, the fan-favorite is seemingly Curie.
Question: How many companions can you have in Fallout 4?
Answer: As with all Fallout games, save particular exceptions; the player is only allowed one companion at a time in Fallout 4.
Question: How long does it take to beat Fallout 4?
Answer: To complete the game totally, the player will need to pay an average of 200+ hours with one character.
So, there you have it, a complete and comprehensive guide to all of the possible companions within Fallout 4. In my personal opinion, you really cannot beat the story arc of Curie or the destruction that Strong is capable of.
However, everyone’s choice of companion is subjective. Therefore, hopefully, this Fallout 4 Companion guide will help you choose your own favorite companion in the future and when you should swap out companions depending on what you need help with. Either way, good luck out there!