John Hancock Fallout 4 Guide

John Hancock Fallout 4 Guide


There are only a handful of companions in Fallout 4 that aren’t tied to a faction, and Hancock is one of them. Instead, he’s an anarchistic ghoul, and also the mayor of Goodneighbour, although his governmental tenure is far different from that of McDonough in Diamond City. Rather than ruling through fear and control, Hancock prefers to let people live their own lives, intervening only when others are being taken advantage of.

When the player first meets him, they’re not able to recruit him. He’s also not the one to trigger his recruitment quest, making getting him as a follower something that is easily missed.

Instead, you need to steal from him by completing a quest called The Big Dig, and a follow-up quest in which you kill the person that hired you to steal from him in the first place.

I’ve included a guide for The Big Dig, and more, down below in this John Hancock Fallout 4 Guide. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about Fallout’s best ghoul since Charon, then keep reading.

Bottom Line Up Front

  • Hancock can be recruited in Good neighbour. You’ll have to complete a fairly lengthy quest before he joins you, though.
  • Hancock is, for the most part, faction neutral. Despite being a ghoul, he’s willing to work with the Brotherhood, although he dislikes it any time you help the Institute.
  • Out of all the companions in Fallout 4, Hancock might be the most difficult to garner affinity with. Taking chems is the only real sustainable way to farm his affinity, and that can be an expensive challenge for a lot of players.
  • Hancock doesn’t have anything in the way of a companion quest, so his max affinity perk isn’t locked behind any sort of progress gate.
  • You can romance Hancock once you max out his affinity. He isn’t exactly my cup of tea, but if you’re a ghoul lover then more power to you.

Key Details

Image from Fallout Wiki
  • Character Location: Goodneighbour.
  • Related Quests: The Big Dig/Recruiting Hancock.
  • Recruitment Cost: None (Quest Completion).
  • Weapon: Sawed-off Double Barrel Shotgun.
  • Faction Alignment: None.

Description Overview

John Hancock is the freedom-loving, drug-taking, anarchist-libertarian mash of morals that is the current mayor of Goodneighbour.

True to Goodneighbour’s reputation of being Diamond City’s troubled younger brother, he lets the people live life as they see fit, not imposing any sort of organized law as Mayor McDonough does. That’s not to say he doesn’t enforce the rare rule or two, but he’s fair.

Inspired by the Founding Father of the same name, John Hancock changed his name from John McDonough after he stumbled across the War of Independence garments belonging to the original Hancock himself.

His birth name isn’t just a coincidence, though. Hancock is the brother of Diamond City’s McDonough. He became a ghoul post-war thanks to an unhealthy amount of experimental drugs. Does this mess with pre-established lore and cannon? Yes, but Fallout 4 is notorious for that.

Believe it or not, Hancock wasn’t always the confident leader that he appears to be when the player encounters him. His brother seemed to regularly bully him as a child, a personality trait that continued into adult-hood as McDonough ran for mayor of Diamond City based on an anti-ghoul campaign (before Hancock’s transformation).

At this point, the two brothers parted ways as Hancock left Diamond City with others that were appalled by McDonough’s rhetoric. They eventually reached Goodneighbour, but again were treated as second-class citizens by the leader and crime boss of the settlement, Vic, along with his Triggermen.

It was only after taking an obscene amount of drugs and donning the revolutionary garments of the OG John Hancock that our Hancock overthrew Vic and became the mayor we know and love today.

Hancock’s Likes and Dislikes

Hancock’s likes and dislikes are a pain compared to those of other companions. You won’t have the easy option of just picking locks or hacking terminals as you do with Deacon or Piper.

Instead, you’re going to have to run around in your birthday suit while using copious amounts of drugs. That sounds like fun until you realize how long that takes and just how many caps Jet and Buffout cost.


Image from Fallout Wiki

As I said, Hancock’s likes come down to drugs, drugs, and more drugs. If you’re a chem-based build, you’ll have the time of your life. If you’re not already using chems, you’re in for a rough ride.

Using Chems

As a friend, Hancock displays some…. unusual behavior. For example, he’s very fond of you pumping your body full of different foreign substances capable of killing lesser people. Do enough drugs and Hancock will be so enamored that he’ll sleep with you.

What you interpret about his personality from this is entirely your call. It’s unique if nothing else.

Becoming Addicted

Further than just taking chems, though, Hancock likes when you get addicted to chems. Why? I’m not sure. He doesn’t sell them to you. Maybe it’s because that means there’ll be more Mentats and Jet to go around.

If you’re looking to increase Hancock’s affinity, using chems and eventually becoming addicted is inevitable. However, you should make a point of curing your addictions as soon as they develop. Not only will this remove the negative side effects associated with them, but it’ll allow you to get addicted to the same drugs all over again, further increasing Hancock’s opinion of you!


Regardless of the player’s gender, Hancock is a big fan of you wandering around in nothing but your tighty whities. In staying true to his party-loving, pseudo-anarchist personality, moving between load zones while wearing no clothing (although you can still wear armor pieces) will raise Hancock’s affinity with you.

In Hancock’s own words, he has “impure thoughts” about you, so it shouldn’t be surprising that he’d appreciate a free look at the goods.

This method of raising affinity with Hancock is farmable if you sleep two hours in between moving in and out of a load zone. Home Plate in Diamond City is a perfect location for this. Each run only gives you 7.5 affinity points (out of 1000 it takes to max out a companion), but it might be a quicker and easier alternative for some characters that don’t use chems.

Accepting Quests from the Mechanist

The majority of the companions in Fallout 4 like it when you accept radiant quests from the Mechanist at the end of Automatron, and Hancock is no different.

Just like with those other followers, this is far from an efficient method of farming affinity, but it’s an option you have at your disposal.

Accepting Quests from Settlers

That radiant “another settlement needs your help” type quests can get annoying and repetitive very quickly, but they’re a decent way to get some extra affinity with Hancock.

Personally, no amount of affinity will be enough to convince me to suffer through them, but you do you.


There isn’t much that Hancock doesn’t like. That’s not to say he’s moralless, but that he believes in letting people live their lives so long as they don’t impede the lives of others. His in-game dislikes reflect that.


Hancock might be a drug-loving pseudo-anarchist, but that doesn’t mean that he’s a bad guy. Case in point: he doesn’t like it when you steal something that isn’t yours. He believes that you have to work hard for your narcotics!

This goes for pickpocketing, too. The affinity loss for having sticky fingers isn’t massive, but if you’re a kleptomaniac, you’re going to struggle.

Working with the Institute

More or less every single follower in Fallout 4 hates when you work with the Institute, and who can blame them? Hancock is amongst this group, so you should make a point of maxing out his affinity before you start working through any Institute questlines.

Related Quests

Hancock has two quests related to him. Well, three technically, but only two of them are required to recruit him.

The first is The Big Dig, which is pretty lengthy but quite fun overall. The second quest, Recruiting Hancock, is a miscellaneous quest and only needs to be completed if you resolve the ending of The Big Dig in a certain way.

The Big Dig

The Big Dig can be considered as “Hancock’s recruitment quest,” although it isn’t immediately apparent that it serves that purpose.

Instead, it’s disguised as a dark and dingy heist. Sounds fun, and it is, except that it’s more Shawshank than Ocean’s 11.

Meet with Bobbi

Image from Fallout Wiki

You’ll end up being called by Bobbi No-Nose as you wander around Goodneighbour. She’s hidden away behind a door down one of the back alleys.

When you approach her, she’ll try and recruit you for a discrete job for admittedly pretty poor pay. You’re going to accept because, well, adventure and stuff. She’ll escort you inside, down to her basement, and into a homemade dig tunnel.

Clear Out the Mirelurks

At this point, she’s going to explain that she didn’t hire you to dig (thank god). Instead, you’re hired muscle and you need to clear out some Mirelurks.

This isn’t as easy as it might sound, especially for low-level players. You’ll need to take care of them, regardless, and return to Bobbi. She’ll then as you to meet her in Diamond City before she explains the next part of her plan.

Meet Bobbi in Diamond City

Image from Fallout Wiki

Once you and Bobbi No-Nose meet up in Diamond City, you’re going to get a promotion from bodyguard to jailbreaker. She’ll explain that you need to break a buddy of hers out of prison so that you can continue digging her hole.

She’ll also reveal that the whole point of this hole endeavor is to break into the mayor of Diamond City’s vault for a bit of good old-fashioned grand larceny.

Break Mel Out

Mel is being kept imprisoned in Diamond City’s prison. Getting him out is remarkably easy. There are a few ways to do so, including waiting for him to serve his time (literally only 24 hours from when you talk to him).

Alternatively, you can pick the lock, bribe the guard, steal the key, or go on a killing spree. Either way, bust him out and return to Bobbi back in her house in Goodneighbour.

Return to the Dig

The reason you broke Mel out of prison is that he’s somewhat of an engineering genius. He’s jury-rigged an Eyebot to be capable of emitting sonic waves capable of destroying walls, thus massively increasing the speed at which you can break into Diamond City’s vault.

You’re going to be escorting the Eyebot through a series of underground metros and areas that make up a dungeon. Mirelurks are going to be the only real enemy you come across, including a handful of Kings depending on your level. These Mirelurks Kings can very easily mess your day up, so tread carefully.

At one point, you’re going to be tasked with choosing which wall the Eyebot, named Sonya, should break. Breaking the wrong door will give you a level suit of power armor being guarded by a guaranteed spawn of a Mirelurk King. Once you grab the armor, you’re free to knock down the right wall.

Get Into the Strongroom

Once you finish playing Minecraft and get into the strongroom, you’re going to find out that you’ve been bamboozled! Bobbi was breaking into Mayor McDonough’s stronghold, just not the McDonough that you thought. Instead, she’s stealing from Hancock.

You’ll be met by a few of his men, as well as his right-hand woman Fahrenheit. She’s wielding a unique incendiary minigun that you’ll be getting your hands on by the time this quest is complete.

Resolve the Quest

Once you have a brief chat with Fahrenheit, you’re going to be presented with a couple of options. First, you can honor your contract with Bobbi to rob the join, killing Fahrenheit and being paid for a job well done. Alternatively, you can convince Bobby to walk away like a well-adjusted person. The third option, and my personal favorite, is to turn on Bobby. You’ll have to kill her, after which you’ll get a bounty from Hancock, Fahrenheit’s minigun, and the ability to recruit Hancock immediately.

If you do decide to stick by Bobby, although she’s a slimy snake, you’ll have to do a follow-up quest for Hancock before you can recruit him.

Recruiting Hancock

Image from Fallout Wiki

If you kill Fahrenheit, then Hancock will be pretty irritated. You did murder his friend in cold blood, so his response is fairly justified.

He’ll give you a chance to make amends, though, by hunting Bobby down and killing her. He’ll also ask you to compensate him for his losses for the fat sum of 1000 caps. Although, you can haggle him down to 200 caps if you pass enough speech checks.

Regardless of how much Hancock asks you to pay him, you’ll have to track Bobbi down to Hawthorne estate. Once you catch up with her, you have the option of offing her, finally completing the circle of betrayal and murder, or letting her go. I don’t know why anyone would let her live, but you do you.

Either way, return to Hancock. He’ll let you off the previously arranged repayment and join you as a companion, telling you that the time he’s spent as mayor has made him go soft.

Hancock’s Companion Perk – 150


Image from Fallout Wiki

In all honestly, Isodoped isn’t that great of a perk. It’s got a very niche benefit that requires you to actively be irradiated, something that the majority of characters want to avoid. For anyone playing a radiation-based or critical hit build, though, it’s pretty good. The perk will make your crit bar increase 20% faster for maintaining 250, or more, points of radiation. In other words, you’re trading 25% of your total health bar for 20% faster crits.

Now, that would normally be a terrible trade-off. Having 25% less health permanently for a crit boost you get to use once in dozens of shots is not worth it. However, if you have a critical hit build and you’re looking to maximize the number of crits you’re pumping out, Isodoped’s value skyrockets through the roof.

The same thing can be said for radiation builds. You’re already going to be maintaining more than 250 rad-points, so you might as well get Isodoped for the occasional bit of extra damage.

For every other character, though, this is going to be useless, so don’t feel pressured into maxing out Hancock’s affinity. There’s no time limit and Isodoped isn’t worth the effort.

How to Find Hancock in Fallout 4- 100

You don’t find Hancock so much as he finds you. Sort of. When you first saunter into Goodneighbour, you’re going to be approached by this random goon looking to give you a shakedown.

Now, you can either give in to his demands, tell him where to stick them, or do some shotgun negotiation. If you let the guy live, Hancock will step in and, rather viciously, stab him to death for his poor treatment of new arrivals.

He’ll then welcome you to Goodneighbour and encourage you to enjoy your stay. From here, you can finish the Big Dig and Recruiting Hancock to get him as a companion.

John Hancock’s Playstyle – 150

Like most of the other companions in Fallout 4, Hancock doesn’t have much in the way of a distinct combat style. It’s fully up to you what you want him to use. However, given his personality, he might mesh well with a chems-based character build.

Alternatively, his perk is a crucial addition to any radiation builds, and to a lesser extent, critical hit builds, making those viable options to use alongside Hancock.

As for the man himself, his default weapon is a shotgun, and that’s what I recommend you stick with. Give him a better boomstick, obviously, but let him continue to take those close-quarters engagements. Essentially, use him as a human shield to divert some of the enemy’s attention off of yourself.

Key Relationships and Quotes – 150


Image from Fallout Wiki

Hancock’s run-in with Vic was brief, and yet it played an integral role in the development of the ghoulish mayor that we know today. As Goodneighbour’s previous leader and notorious crime boss, Vic treated the drifters Hancock brought with him from Diamond City very harshly.

Eventually, he witnessed one of Vic’s men kill another refugee, sending Hancock into a drug-addled daze. When he came through, he was lying on the ground next to the clothes of the Founding Father John Hancock (hence the name and War of Independence getup).

At this point, Hancock decided to play revolutionary. He and his men ambushed Vic’s mobsters, stormed his headquarters, and hung him from his balcony. Hancock then assumed the mantle of mayor, addressing the people with the line “of the people, for the people.”

Mayor McDonough

Image from Fallout Wiki

Mayor McDonough is Hancock’s brother. The two grew up with each other, before Hancock managing to do enough experimental drugs to turn him into a ghoul. Even as children, Hancock had a level of disdain for his brother, referring to him as “entitled.”

Once McDonough began running for Mayor of Diamond city under anti-ghoul rhetoric, that hatred grew until Hancock eventually led an exodus into Goodneighbour, where he met with the aforementioned Vic.


Question: Can You Romance Hancock in Fallout 4?=

Answer: Yes, Hancock is completely romanceable. You will have multiple opportunities to flirt with him as you raise his affinity, and he will regularly make suggestive remarks about you regardless of what gender you’re playing.

Question: How Did Hancock Become a Ghoul?

Answer: Hancock is a very rare case of a ghoul being created after the Great War. He used an abundance of experimental drugs that eventually decayed his skin enough to ghoulify him. This is the explanation he gives for his appearance in Fallout 4 despite the story going against established Fallout lore.

Question: Is Hancock a Good Companion in Fallout 4?

Answer: Hancock is great if you want a companion that’s witty and well written. However, he doesn’t particularly excel at combat. His companion perk doesn’t stand out in any way, either. So if you’re looking for the best follower from a pure gameplay perspective, Hancock isn’t great.

That sums up this Fallout 4 Hancock companion guide. There isn’t much that I’ve left out, although it’s still worth chatting to him to get a better insight into his character and motivations.

As far as followers go, Hancock is pretty cool. He isn’t too deep or complex, but his charming personality more than makes up for that. Unfortunately, that’s all he has going for him. His perk is sub-par and he isn’t all that when it comes to combat.

Still, he’s a faction-neutral companion, and those are something of a commodity in Fallout 4. So, if you’re looking for a fun-loving buddy to travel through the Commonwealth with, Hancock is your guy. He’s far better than Cait and that horrid excuse of an Irish accent, in any case.

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