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Fallout 4 changed the game when it came to how Bethesda handled followers. The entire companion system was streamlined, doing away with follower quests and triggers, instead replacing it with an affinity system and companions that directly tie into the main story of the game.
This change came with both negatives and positives, but it’s hard to argue that having your followers directly influence the course of the Commonwealth isn’t a good decision. In the case of Deacon, he’s representing the Railroad.
So, if you’re planning on being an altruist and running with the underground Railroad, you’re going to be spending a whole lot of time with him. On the other hand, if you’re a Brotherhood loyalist like me, you might end up staring at him down the barrel of your gun.
Either way, I’ve compiled everything you’ll ever need to know about the Railroad’s most mysterious member in this Deacon Fallout 4 guide.
- Character Location: Railroad HQ
- Related Quests: Tradecraft
- Recruitment Cost: None (Meet the Railroad)
- Weapon: Sniper Rifle
- Faction Alignment: Railroad
Giving a descriptive overview of Deacon is difficult in that he doesn’t really have one. He constantly changes his appearance, and his tales are full of self-admitted lies to add to his mystique of being this enigmatic wasteland spy. That, in part, is what makes him so endearing.
The contrast between his simple shirt and jeans style and his unusual personality is a far cry from the power-armor clad but otherwise relatively uninteresting Paladin Danse. In fact, he is rivaled in intrigue only by the likes of Nick Valentine.
While we don’t know much about him, we do know that he was married to a synth at one point and, before that was a synth hater himself. The murder of his synth wife is what drove him to the Railroad, so at the very least, his motives seem to be genuine.
As a Railroad diehard, Deacon is only accessible to players while they’re working with the Railroad. If you haven’t met them, or you’ve made an enemy of them, you won’t be able to recruit him.
So, if you want to do a Brotherhood or Institute playthrough, make sure you get Deacon’s perk before you progress your faction questline.
Deacon’s Key Moments
Fallout 4’s companion system has been streamlined compared to New Vegas, the previous entry in the franchise. Rather than relying on key triggers, each character has a set list of likes and dislikes.
These likes and dislikes award or subtract points to a hidden affinity meter. The more affinity you get, the more unique conversations you get to have, and once you max it out, you get access to that companion’s perk.
This means that you don’t need to worry about anything being missable. Provided you haven’t made an enemy of a companion’s faction; you should have no problem completing their affinity and getting access to their perk regardless of what you’ve already done in the Commonwealth.
In the case of Deacon, you need to make sure you still have access to the Railroad’s questline. You only make an enemy of them very close to the end of the game with two of the other factions, at which point you probably aren’t worrying about getting companion perks, anyway.
Deacon’s likes and dislikes are perhaps some of the easiest to manage in the entire game. If you plan on doing a handful of Railroad-related activities, just bring Deacon along for the ride, and you’ll end up triggering his affinity checkpoints without even realizing it.
Just like the other companions in Fallout 4, Deacon’s general likes can be repeated indefinitely, but not repetitively. For example, you could hack a terminal and pick a lock back to back, and both will award affinity points.
However, immediately picking one lock after another will only award points for the first lock. Generally speaking, the cooldown on an affinity granting activity is 48 in-game hours.
Deacon likes when you hack terminals in his presence. Given that his whole personality revolves around being a spy, this isn’t too out of place. Thankfully, you’re going to be doing a whole lot of terminal hacking during your time in Fallout 4.
Even if you’re not planning on playing a Science character, you’ll still end up hacking some very easy terminals here and there. This, combined with the next activity, is what makes Deacon such an easy companion to max out.
Just like with hacking terminals, Deacon loves when you pick locks because of his spy persona. Also, just like with terminals, you’re going to be picking a bunch of locks throughout your playthrough.
Almost every single player will opt into either hacking or lockpicking, meaning 99.9% of you out there will have no problem generating Deacon’s affinity points just for doing things you were already going to do.
Complete Railroad Activities
Deacon works with the Railroad, so he likes when you do stuff for said Railroad. Obviously, you don’t even have to finish the Railroad questline for these affinity triggers to occur. Just do one or two of them and a handful of side quests, and you’ll be set.
Combining these Railroad side quests with either lockpicking or hacking is easily the fastest way to level up Deacon’s affinity.
If you grind them out, it’ll only take you a handful of hours to go from zero to max affinity. It can be done entirely in one sitting, regardless of whether or not you plan on sticking with the Railroad for the rest of your playthrough.
Plus, you get to keep Deacon’s perk if you earn it before making enemies of the Railroad, so it’s especially worth doing on non-railroad playthroughs.
Accept Quests From the Mechanist
Lastly, Deacon likes when you accept radiant quests from the Mechanist after you finish the Automatron DLC. This won’t come in all that handy in your playthrough, but it’s something that awards affinity points, so it’s helpful to know about.
Almost every single companion in the game doesn’t like cannibalism, Deacon included. He won’t think you’re a monster or anything for chowing down on some forbidden flesh, but he’ll certainly judge you for it. In all my years of Fallout, I’ve only ever had one cannibal playthrough, so I doubt this will affect many of you.
Deacon is one of the few companions that doesn’t like you using chems. This includes just popping them rather than getting addicted to them.
The negative points you get from this aren’t substantial enough to cut them out if you rely on them for your character, especially on greater difficulties, but bear in mind that he’s not a Buffout kind of guy.
Being Cruel to Synths
Just like every other member of the Railroad, Deacon is a synth-lover. I mean, his entire organization is dedicated to helping them escape the Institute. So, if you decide to go synth hunting, or you’re cruel to them in general, he’ll have a bone to pick with you.
This tends to go beyond his general dislike of chems and cannibalism, too, so don’t take him on any Brotherhood of Steel incursions unless you want to end up missing out on his companion perk.
Deacon hates murder. At least, murder in the traditional sense. If you end up going on an innocent killing spree, Deacon will leave you faster than you can reload that massacre minigun of yours.
There aren’t many situations that call for you to kill random non-hostile settlers and other NPCs, which is why doing so holds such catastrophic consequences with Deacon. The only questline that would relate to it is the raiders one from Nuka-World, but you should already know that your good-guy followers aren’t going to be fans of that, anyways.
Most of the companions in Fallout 4 don’t have companion quests. It’s typical that their stories tie directly into a given faction’s questline, as is the case with Deacon. Rather than having something specific he needs from you, he’s somewhat involved in all of the Railroad quests and can accompany you on most of them.
There is one quest. However, that can be considered “Deacon’s quest,” and that’s Tradecraft.
Tradecraft is the first quest in the Railroad storyline and the one that allows you to join the organization. It’s also the quest that gives you the Deliverer, arguably the best stealth weapon in the entire game.
Once you meet the Railroad, Desdemona will make you a “Tourist.” A Tourist is a volunteer that helps the group with odd jobs rather than a full-fledged member.
To prove yourself, you and Deacon will need to head to the Railroad’s old HQ in search of an item called Carrington’s Prototype. Retrieving the Prototype and completing the quest will give the player access to the Railroad’s current headquarters.
Meet Deacon Outside Lexington
First things first, you need to head just outside of Lexington to meet up with Deacon. He’ll explain that the two of you are going to speak with another Railroad Tourist called Ricky Dalton. Ricky lets you know that the old Railroad HQ is currently crawling with Institute synths.
At this point, you can either continue on with your mission or ask Ricky for a little bit of help. This help comes in three different forms, each taking the form of an escalatingly difficult Speech check.
Passing the easy check will have Ricky give you some extra supplies. The medium one has him provide overwatching sniper fire. The hard option involves Ricky creating an “explosive distraction,” killing himself in the process.
Enter the Base
Regardless of whether or not you decide to acquire Ricky’s assistance, you’ll need to discuss how you’re assaulting the headquarters with Deacon. You have two “options,” and I use that word very loosely here.
- Option One: Frontal Assault
If you decide to launch a frontal assault, you and Deacon will begin approaching the front of an old Slocum Joe’s that served as a disguise for the old HQ. There will be a whole bunch of land mines in front of the building, so don’t make the mistake I did and run on in without a care in the world.
Once you make your way inside, Deacon will try to escort you to a hidden elevator that will take you down to the Switchboard.
The Switchboard, later repurposed as the Railroad HQ, was a pre-war secret military bunker that housed PAM. The military hid the facility under the facade of being a Slocum Joe’s while working on developing PAM’s predictive AI capabilities.
Once you get to the aforementioned secret elevator, Deacon will notice that it has no power. Of course. So, you’ll be forced to take option two anyway.
- Option Two: Sewer Entrance
Option two, or the only real option, is to infiltrate the HQ through an old secret sewage pipe. You’ll get some interesting dialogue and lore bits from Deacon while you’re making your way through the sewer, so it’s worth listening to what he has to say.
Eventually, before the first combat encounter, you’ll reach a sign that Deacon points out as indicating a nearby Railroad cache. This particular cache is down the tube directly behind the sign, but you should look out for this sign on your other Railroad operations, too.
After this, you’ll encounter a group of synths that need to be destroyed. Do that, avoid some traps, and you and Deacon will end up in the heart of the old Switchboard.
It’s worth looking around here for some loot. In particular, there is a Fusion Core and a copy of the U.S. Covert Operations Manual.
Find Carrington’s Prototype
Continue on with the quest and, eventually, Deacon will open up a locked vault. Inside the vault is Carrington’s Prototype, as well as the dead body of an old Railroad agent. At this point, Deacon will offer you the agent’s pistol. Even if you turn down his offer, he’ll insist that you take it, leaving you no choice.
There’s no reason not to accept the pistol in the first place, as it has absolutely no implications in anything. It also happens that this pistol is the Deliverer, the single best stealth weapon in the game.
Grab the Prototype and head topside. Once there, you’ll need to take out any synths or turrets that you’ve left alive. This is also where Ricky will provide his extra support.
After clearing the area, Deacon will leave you to return to the Old North Church HQ, advising you to travel there when you can.
Return to Desdemona
Once you return to Desdemona in the Railroad HQ, she will offer you the opportunity to officially join the group. You can turn her down, in which case her offer still stands and can be taken advantage of later.
Otherwise, you will choose your Railroad codename, Tradecraft will complete, and you will have started the main Railroad questline.
Deacon’s Companion Perk
Cloak and Dagger
Once you get Deacon’s affinity to the max rank, you’ll gain the Cloak and Dagger perk. This perk, above most others, is a must-have for any stealth players regardless of whether or not they will be playing with the Railroad.
In fact, I would recommend that any Institute or Brotherhood fans go out of their way to get this perk before they start doing their faction’s main questline.
The effect of Cloak and Dagger is simple. It gives you a flat 20% buff on your default stealth damage and increases the duration of Stealth Boys by 40%.
This perk would be more than worth it for the damage buff alone, especially considering how important single-shot damage is for stealth builds. The 40% duration increase is just a bonus.
On its own, Cloak and Dagger isn’t particularly potent. However, it excels when it’s combined with the other perks that are commonly used in stealth builds like Mr. Sandman, Ninja, and Ace Operator.
Cloak and Dagger stacks after the effects of Ninja, meaning you can get up to 40% extra damage out of your stealth attacks by using those two. Stacking Mr. Sandman and Ace Operator on top of that will give you over 4.4x damage on every single ranged stealth attack you make with a suppressed weapon.
You can go even further than that and invest in pistol perks and VATS perks. Then you can use the Deliverer, which is silenced by default with a 25% decreased VATs cost per attack, to take advantage of a ludicrous number of different buffs.
If leveled correctly, this stealth/pistol hybrid is by far the best build in Fallout 4. You can wipe out entire rooms of enemies in a single VATs usage without any of them even knowing you’re there. Cloak and Dagger provide the foundation needed for all of that to happen.
How to Find Deacon in Fallout 4
Technically, you can find Deacon pretty early on in the game. Given that he’s such a dashing master of disguise, he’s actually in the background of a lot of key scenes in the game.
He keeps tabs on you right up until you find the Railroad HQ, which is when you can actually interact with him. Finding that HQ can be a bit of a hassle for new players, though.
If you’ve got any decent amount of experience with Fallout 4, you can skip this step completely and head straight to the Old North Church in Downtown Boston.
Otherwise, you’re going to need to follow the main quest and complete the Freedom Trail during the Road to Freedom quest. The quest can be obtained via a variety of different methods early in the game, but the objective remains the same for them all.
Without a quest marker, you’ll need to head to Boston Common to find a trail of red bricks in the shape of a line. You’ll need to follow this line through Downtown Boston, keeping track of it through debris while fighting off any enemies you come across. Eventually, it’ll lead you to the Old North Church.
Old North Church
The Old North Church, much like Slocum Joe’s, is just a disguise for a subterranean Railroad HQ. Inside the Church, take care of a few ghouls and turn right as soon as you enter the main hall.
Take the staircase down and make your way through the catacombs until you reach a seal similar to the ones you saw during the Freedom Trail.
The outer ring of this seal spins like a safe combination. Spin it to spell out RAILROAD, and the wall will open, revealing Glory, Desdemona, and Deacon all waiting for you on the other side, at which point you’ll start Tradecraft.
Deacon doesn’t have any natural affinities in combat himself. However, his perk lends itself to stealth builds, so that’s what I recommend you focus his loadout around.
With this kind of build, you’re going to want Deacon to act as the center of attention while you attack from the shadows, so gear him up in a way that allows him to do that efficiently.
Power armor can help his survivability, but that will make staying in stealth harder. Instead, consider kitting him out with some Ballistic Weave clothing and something like a Combat Shotgun so that he can divert attention by getting up in the enemy’s face, making your job easier.
Alternatively, you could lean into his default playstyle of using a sniper rifle. In which case, keep the Ballistic Weave clothes but play at range with him, taking out enemies from afar both in and out of stealth.
Barbara doesn’t appear physically in Fallout 4 and is only ever mentioned by Deacon. The two of them met at some point after Deacon left University Point. The two of them got married and attempted to settle down as farmers.
Later, Deacon’s old synth-hating gang, the University Point Deathclaws, found out she was a synth, much to both her and Deacon’s surprise. The gang killed her, prompting Deacon to massacre them in a grief-induced rage. This is the only story that Deacon tells you that he maintains, which is true..
Question: Is Deacon the Lone Wanderer?
Answer: Deacon constantly makes remarks regarding Fallout 3 and the DC Wasteland. He claims to have visited the area in the past and comments on Project Purity, Lyon’s Brotherhood of Steel, amongst other things from Bethesda’s previous Fallout game.
However, it’s exceptionally unlikely that Deacon is the same Lone Wanderer that serves as Fallout 3’s main character. First and foremost, his timeline of events doesn’t match up with the Lone Wanderer’s, and beyond his knowledge of the Capital Wasteland, there is no indication that he is the Lone Wanderer.
Question: Should I Go With Deacon’s Lie?
Answer: After completing Tradecraft and returning to Desdemona, Deacon will conjure up an elaborate story of your mission while embellishing the details of what actually happened. With a high enough Charisma stat, you can pass a speech check to convince Desdemona that this is what actually happens.
Whether or not you go along with the lie doesn’t matter. The end result of you joining the Railroad as an agent remains the same.
Question: Is Deacon Romanceable in Fallout 4?
Answer: No. Deacon is amongst a small group of followers in Fallout 4 that are not romanceable. This includes Strong, Codsworth, Nick Valentine, and X6-88, as well.
That’s everything you need to know about Fallout 4’s resident spy. Deacon is a very secretive character. A lot of what he tells you is false, and he doesn’t share much information on his past. However, it’s clear that his feelings towards synths are genuine, making him one of the game’s more endearing companions.
From a gameplay perspective, Deacon is a mixed bag. On the one hand, he offers one of the best companion perks in the game. However, two of the game’s four endings result in him becoming hostile to you, making obtaining said perk a time-sensitive matter for 50% of players.
He also doesn’t particularly excel in combat the way a companion like Danse does, so you can’t rely on him to carry you through tough encounters. You shouldn’t have to as a stealth character, though, which is the type of build that he’s based around