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Fallout 4 is a game with a ton of returning characters. Dr. Li, Elder Maxson, and the subject of this Fallout 4 guide: Robert MacCready.
Yes, that annoying little brat from Little Lamplight is all grown up now and can even be hired as a mercenary. I’ll be the first to admit that this is a stroke of genius by Bethesda. He’s the last person I would have ever expected to show up again, let alone as a full-fledged follower.
He’s also excellently written. That abrasive attitude of his has clearly developed and influenced his adult years. He’s a cap-centric killer and doesn’t do anything for free. He cheats, lies, and steals without remorse. However, he’s also a father now and wants to change his ways for his son. This internal conflict drives a lot of his character, and I can appreciate that.
So, without wasting any more time, here’s your definitive Fallout 4 MacCready guide. I’ve run through everything you need to know about MacCready from how his perk works to how you complete his sidequest. You’ll never need another guide again.
Bottom Line Up Front
- MacCready is one of the easiest companions to recruit in all of Fallout 4. Once you find him in Goodneighbour, all you have to do is hire him. MacCready costs 250 caps, although you can haggle that number down with high enough Charisma.
- MacCready’s likes are very easy to farm. He likes it when the player picks locks, steals, or asks for money. You’re going to be doing a lot of those three activities during your time in the Commonwealth, so don’t worry about farming MacCready’s affinity. You don’t need to. However, he does dislike it when you’re generous or kind in dialogue. So, don’t be doing any charity work on his watch.
- In terms of factions, MacCready is mostly neutral. He won’t leave you for working with any of them, but he is favorable towards the Minutemen
- MacCready has a personal quest called Long Road Ahead. This Fallout quest is unique in that it’s broken up into two parts. The first part is unlocked at 250 affinity and locks MacCready’s affinity rank to 499 until it’s completed. The second part is triggered at 750 and must be completed to both romance MacCready, and earn his companion perk.
- Character Location: Goodneighbour.
- Related Quests: Long Road Ahead
- Recruitment Cost: 250 Caps.
- Weapon: Sniper Rifle.
- Faction Alignment: Neutral.
Robert MacCready’s story starts all the way back in the Capital Wasteland in a place called Little Lamplight. Little Lamplight was a settlement located next to a cave system that led to Vault 87, hence the Lone Wanderer’s reason for being there.
The settlement is underground and populated entirely by kids. In fact, once a kid turns 16, they’re kicked out of the settlement and left to fend for themselves, usually by going to Big Town.
MacCready was the Mayor of Little Lamplight when the Lone Wanderer arrived at its gates, and he remained Mayor until he left on the day of his 16th birthday.
After leaving, MacCready wandered the wastes as a gun for hire, eventually meeting a girl called Lucy. The two fell in love and got married, eventually having a son named Duncan.
One night, while camping out in an old Metro Station, MacCready, Lucy, and Duncan were ambushed by Feral Ghouls. Lucy was killed in the attack with MacCready and his son narrowly making their escapes.
After the devastating death of his wife, MacCready swore to become a better person for his son. He built a homestead and began working the land instead of operating as a mercenary. During this time, his son developed an unknown disease that cause blue boils to appear all over his skin.
Over time, this disease sapped Duncan’s health, eventually leaving him barely able to stand.
Seeing his son fighting for his life inspired MacCready to replace his hoe for his old rifle. He left Duncan in the care of his friends and traveled to the Commonwealth in search of a cure.
While he initially joined up with the Gunners, MacCready left the group to become an independent operator after seeing the organization’s disregard for collateral damage. While independent, he met a contract named Sinclair. Sinclair was also looking for a cure for the blue boil disease, so the two worked together.
Their combined efforts eventually brought them to Med-Tek, where they discovered the cure they were looking for.
MacCready and Sinclair’s initial assault on the Med-Tek building was a failure. Sinclair’s infected friend died during this time, so they never made a second attempt.
Rather than go on a solo suicide mission to Med-Tek, MacCready set up shop in Goodneighbour with Hancock’s permission. Despite the fact that the Gunners were constantly driving off his potential client base, Daisy (the owner of the general store) became both a regular customer and friend of MacCready.
It’s during this time that the Sole Survivor stumbles across MacCready in the middle of a disagreement with some of his former Gunner associates.
MacCready is almost entirely faction neutral. As a gun for hire, he doesn’t mind you working with or for anyone, although he is a fan of the Minutemen’s mission and will like it when you complete quests for Preston.
Despite his supposed attempts to be a better man for his son, MacCready isn’t exactly a stellar role model. Case in point: he likes it when you steal items belonging to other people.
Doesn’t matter the value or the victim, he enjoys the thrill of the steal. Does this make him a bad person? Yeah, sort of, but it’s a great source of easy affinity. Plus, you’ll get some extra supplies for your efforts.
MacCready’s love of lockpicking goes hand in hand with his love of stealing. Granted, he likes it when you open any locks, not just owned ones. However, that doesn’t really excuse his bizarre morals, does it?
Like with Piper and Cait, this is very exploitable and makes earning affinity remarkably easy. You’ll find plenty of random locked containers while you’re out exploring the wasteland, so make sure you’re breaking into them. You’ll be surprised at how quickly you rise up those affinity ranks.
Working With the Minutemen
MacCready is a living contradiction. He likes it when you steal and extort caps out of people, but he also likes working with the Minutemen to help random people out in the Commonwealth.
I suppose this highlights MacCready’s endless struggle with his humanity. Deep down, he’s a good dude. He wants to help build a better world for his son, despite his previous thieving and killing ways. The fact that he likes furthering the Minutemen’s goals is a testament to this.
Passing “Mean” Charisma Checks
Just when things are looking up for MacCready’s karma, he drags it right back down.
Robert thoroughly enjoys it when you use your suave, rouge-like charm to extort Wastelanders for all their worth. Intimidation, asking for higher pay, and just being an all-around mean dude as parts of Charisma checks will all net you some extra affinity points for your troubles.
You’ll find yourself triggering this quite a bit just by asking to be paid for the jobs you do, so don’t feel bad about it. Bullets don’t pay for themselves, although a lot of Wastelanders seem to think that they just grow on trees.
Being Kind/Generous in Dialogue
In contrast to his fondness of being unnecessarily rude, MacCready dislikes it when you go the other way and are overly kind.
Doing jobs for free, turning down rewards, and otherwise being a goodie-two-shoes during your Charisma checks will lose you some affinity with him and, honestly, that’s fair enough. As I said, bullets don’t grow on trees and MacCready understands that.
Long Road Ahead
Get to 250 Affinity to Trigger Part 1
This quest isn’t called Long Road Ahead for nothing. It is actually a long road of a quest. It’s broken into two different parts, with each part triggering at different affinity levels.
The first part shouldn’t be too hard to get at all. It unlocks at 250 affinity. Just do some traveling with MacCready and you’ll end up activating it. You’ll know you have when MacCready walks up to you for a chat.
He’ll explain that he would like to kill the two Gunners that were threatening him back in The Third Rail. You will concur and agree to help murder them. The quest will activate and point you towards Mass Pike Intersection.
Travel to Mass Pike Intersection
Before you even think about traveling to Mass Pike Intersection for this quest, make sure you’re prepared. The dungeon isn’t some little Raider satellite station. You’ll be fighting against 10 to 15 Gunners, a Gunner Commander, as well as Winlock and Barnes, one of which will likely be wearing power armor.
It’s a difficult quest, especially for survival playthroughs. Even getting into it can be a nightmare, requiring you to find an elevator to actually get up to the intersection. However, if you fast travel to the area after discovering it, you’ll be teleported to a position right in front of one.
So, make sure you’re stocked up on meds, ammo, and equip some decent armor and weapons before you make your way over there.
Kill Winlock and Barnes
As I said, this isn’t exactly going to be a walk in the park. First, you’ll be dealing with those 10 to 15 regular Gunners. Gunners aren’t your run-of-the-mill Raiders. They have better armor and better weapons. In other words, they hit hard and take hard hits.
As if that wasn’t enough, you’ll also have to deal with an Assaultron. If you’re new to Fallout 4, then you probably haven’t had to deal with one before. They’re rare for a reason. Assaultrons will completely decimate you. At times, they can feel as strong as Sentry Bots.
I’ve had times when I’ve been dozens of hours into a playthrough, with good equipment and a high level, and still had a single Assaultron mop the floor with me. If you don’t want to have that same experience here, prioritize killing it. If you can, don’t let it get close to you. Use any explosives you can to try and burst its health down.
Assuming you’ve managed to deal with the Assaultron, you might think you’re done, right? Wrong. You still need to deal with the pseudo-boss of the dungeon, a Gunner Commander. He shouldn’t give you as much trouble as an Assaultron, but he’s not nearly as easy to deal with as a regular Gunner, so make sure you don’t take the fight too lightly.
You’re still not done, though! Now you have to fight the actual boss, or bosses, of the dungeon. Not only are Winlock and Barnes way tougher than regular Gunners, but one of them will be in power armor if you’re a high enough level.
If you somehow manage to make it out the other end of that gauntlet, MacCready will thank you and gift you back the caps you spent on recruiting him. That marks the completion of the first part of this quest, and you can now level his affinity over 500.
Get to 750 Affinity to Trigger Part 2
Part two of Long Road ahead triggers at the traditional personal quest milestone of 750. There’ll be a chunky length of time between you finishing part one and starting part two, so don’t think you’ll be able to jump from one to the other in one sitting.
Thankfully, this part of the quest isn’t nearly as hard as part one. You won’t be fighting enemies that are nearly as hard as Gunners, and there’ll be way less of them.
Once you get to 750 affinity, MacCready will finally tell you about his son. He’ll explain that he has a deadly disease and is the reason MacCready is even in the Commonwealth. He’ll tell you that he managed to find a cure, but that he needs your help to go and get it.
You’ll then be sent to Med-Tek Research.
Clear Out Med-Tek and Get the Cure
The cure is located on the lower levels of the Med-Tek building. However, a containment protocol is in place, preventing you from accessing those levels. Instead, you’ll need to make your way through the building towards the top floor.
This isn’t as bad as it might sound. Rather than Gunners, you’ll be fighting Feral Ghouls. Take your time and move upwards towards the executive terminals you need to override the lockdown.
Once you reach them, disable the containment lockdown and make your way back down to the lower levels. Take care of all the new Ghouls and pick up the cure. That’s all the hard work done.
Bring the Cure to Daisy
Once you obtain the cure, MacCready will tell you to bring it to Daisy in Goodneighbour to ship it out of the Commonwealth for Duncan. Daisy is a friend and regular client for MacCready, as well as a shopkeeper you’re probably familiar with by now.
So, head on over to Goodneighbour and hand the cure off to complete the quest. MacCready’s affinity will be unlocked and you’ll finally be able to both earn his perk, and romance him.
MacCready’s Companion Perk
Killshot has a very funny history. While it’s currently a good perk, it’s hardly the best companion perk in the game. However, when Fallout 4 first launched, it was the best perk not just of the follower pool, but every single one in the entire game.
Killshot is supposed to give you a flat 20% accuracy buff to your headshots in VATs. It’s simple and effective. However, someone at Bethesda managed to misplace a decimal point. So, instead of 20%, it gave the player an extra 2000% headshot accuracy in VATs. In other words, every single headshot was a 95% hit chance regardless of the range of the enemy, or the weapon you’re using.
This perk completely broke combat, so much so that Bethesda actually fixed it, which is a rare occurrence for Fallout 4 bugs.
Anyone playing on a version of the game after 1.3 will have the original, non-broken effect. Just because it’s not busted doesn’t mean it’s not good, though.
Killshot is a must-have perk for VATs based builds, including the infamous Deliverer infiltrator build (the best build in the entire game). While its value diminishes with less VATs-oriented playstyles, it’s still a flat buff with 100% uptime, making it a great addition to any build regardless of what you’re aiming for.
You should make a point of seeing MacCready’s personal quest through for access to this perk alone. It’s easily a top-five companion perk, so there’s no point in missing out on it, especially since MacCready is faction neutral.
How to Find MacCready in Fallout 4
The Third Rail in Goodneighbour
MacCready can be found in the backroom of The Third Rail – Goodneighbour’s resident bar. He’s not tied to any specific quest pointing you that way, but you’ll end up in Goodneighbour eventually if you follow the main storyline.
That being said, a lot of people might miss him purely because he’s tucked away in a back corner.
Goodneighbour is also the area that you recruit Hancock in, so it’s more than worth making a stop there if you haven’t already.
Once you make your way to The Third Rail’s back room, you’ll see MacCready having an argument with two Gunners. MacCready is an ex-Gunner himself that’s since gone independent, operating as a mercenary in Goodneighbour. The Gunners consider Goodneighbour its territory, so the two Gunners are here to get MacCready to back off.
Wait for that situation to sort itself out, then go and speak to MacCready. You can have a little bit of a chat with him if you want, but you’re able to recruit him right here and now. There’s no need to kill anything or complete any quests. He’s a mercenary, so cough up 250 caps (can be reduced with Charisma checks) and be on your way.
MacCready is a half-decent combat companion. He’s no Danse or Curie, but he’s far from the ineffectiveness of Piper. He sits in a comfortable mid-tier, thanks in part to the fact that he’s kitted out with a Sniper Rifle straight away.
This, and the resulting sniper playstyle, ties into his perk pretty well. While Killshot only works in VATs, it’s clear that MacCready both is, and should be used by, a far-ranged player.
So, either let him hang back while you take close engagements or sit back with him while the two of you take out enemies from afar. Just make sure you give him an upgraded Sniper Rifle whenever you can.
Lucy MacCready is Robert MacCready’s deceased wife. The two of them met in the Capital Wasteland some point after Robert was forced to leave Little Lamplight.
Upon their meeting, Robert lied and told her that he was a soldier despite actually being a mercenary. He did this to avoid scaring her off. In response, Lucy carved him a little wooden soldier that he has carried with him since.
Robert MacCready describes Lucy as “beautiful” and “a shoulder to lean on”. He claims that she gave him the strength and courage to carry on whenever he was struggling.
Eventually, the two married and had a son called Duncan.
Lucy was killed by Feral Ghouls one night prior to Robert’s arrival in the Commonwealth. She was camped out with Robert and her son in an old Metro Station. Robert barely managed to escape with Duncan that night.
Duncan MacCready is the son of Lucy and Robert MacCready. He isn’t in the Commonwealth, meaning he’s only ever mentioned by Robert.
Duncan developed a deadly disease at a young age. According to MacCready, Duncan has “blue boils all over his body”. We’re not told what the disease is, only that it’s pre-Great War and that MacCready is in the Commonwealth to both search for, and make enough money to afford a cure. However, the game hints at the disease being New Plague, a pre-war disease that Med-Tek was working on.
Robert left Duncan in the care of some friends to travel to the Commonwealth.
Question: Can You Romance MacCready in Fallout 4?
Answer: Yes, you can romance MacCready in Fallout 4. Despite the fact that a lot of players remember MacCready as a kid from Fallout 3, and the fact that he is a widower, MacCready can be romanced through a difficult Charisma check once you complete his personal quest and max out his affinity.
Question: Is MacCready a Good Companion?
Answer: Good in the gameplay sense? Yes, MacCready can hold his own in combat and his perk is very powerful. However, Robert MacCready isn’t exactly a morally good person. While he’s not evil, he’s selfish and abrasive, willing to do almost anything for a fistful of caps.
Question: Should I Hire MacCready?
Answer: Unless you’re doing some strict good karma role-playing, then yes, there’s no reason not to hire MacCready. Regardless of how you feel about him as a character, his perk is more than worth it. If you don’t like him, just earn it then banish him off to some empty, distant settlement.
If, for some reason, you’re worried about spending 250 caps on him, don’t be. He’ll end up giving you those caps back during a part of his personal quest.
Hopefully, you’ve managed to find a bit of value in this Fallout 4 MacCready guide. A character returning from a previous entry as a companion is new to the Fallout series, but incredibly welcome, even if it is in the form of the ex-snot-nosed Mayor of Little Lamplight. At least that means MacCready has a half-decent backstory.
Personally, I think he’s a deceptively well-written character. His conflicting natures are present in everything he says or does. On one hand, he’s a cold-hearted mercenary. On the other, he wants to try and be a good father. That’s the kind of motive and conflict that great characters are made out of.
Even if you’re not in it for the writing, MacCready can hold his own in combat, and his perk is great, so it’s more than worth maxing out his affinity regardless of how you feel about him.