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Out of Fallout 4’s entire compendium of followers, none are quite as beloved as Nick Valentine is. This warn-down, sarcastic Synth detective is full of cynicism and wit, making him the perfect wasteland companion.
Nick Valentine is the favorite of both fans and Bethesda. While I disagree with that sentiment, I get why he’s so popular. That’s why I’ve put together this Nick Valentine Fallout 4 guide. I’ve compiled everything you need to know about the snarky ex-cop below, including how to recruit him and get his quest. So, if you’re looking to recruit Nick, keep on reading our Nick Valentine guide.
Bottom Line Up Front
- Recruiting Nick requires you to complete three separate quests. However, they are all part of Fallout 4’s main questline.
- Nick does not like the Brotherhood of Steel or the Institute, but he will not leave the player if they decide to work with either faction.
- Nick’s affinity is fairly easy to farm. He likes it when the player hacks a terminal, which is one of the most common tasks you’ll encounter in the wasteland.
- Nick is one of the few characters in Fallout 4 with a personal quest. You will not be able to max out his affinity until you complete this quest.
- Character Location: Diamond City.
- Related Quests: Unlikely Valentine / Long Time Coming.
- Recruitment Cost: None (Quest Completion).
- Weapon: Pipe Revolver.
- Faction Alignment: None.
Nick is arguably the most fleshed-out follower in all of Fallout 4, even though his Synth flesh is falling off. He has one hell of a backstory that directly ties into Far Harbor, making him possibly the best-written companion Bethesda has ever created.
He is a Gen 2 Synth, meaning before they were uncannily human, but after the generation, you spend the game fighting. Both Nick and Far Harbor’s DiMA were unique even amongst Gen 2s, though. Both of them were a part of an Institute experiment in which scientists allowed them to retain free thought and will. In this way, they were precursors to Gen 3 Synths.
Giving machine intelligence independent thinking skills is a recipe for disaster. That disaster struck when DiMA decided he had enough of the Institute’s oversight. He, along with Nick, escaped the Institute and into the wasteland. During this exodus, the scientists uploaded Nick with his current personality, that of a pre-war detective. As a result, all of his Institute-related memories were wiped, resulting in him and DiMA going their separate ways.
After wandering the wasteland for some time, Nick found himself being welcomed to Diamond City despite the general hatred for Synths there. He managed to achieve this feat by saving the previous Mayor’s daughter from kidnappers.
Since then, he has become something of Diamond City’s resident detective, solving the kidnapping cases that the city’s security force refuses to tackle. It’s during one of these cases that Nick and the Sole Survivor meet in Vault 114.
Given that he’s a Synth, Nick doesn’t particularly like the Brotherhood. However, he is mostly faction neutral, so you can play through the game with both Nick and whatever group you want, including the Institute. He might be unhappy with your choices, but he won’t up and leave you.
Nick Valentine and Far Harbor
Nick has something unique to him that no other follower in all of Fallout 4 can claim, and that’s his story tying into the events of a DLC. Similar to Veronica and Dead Money from Fallout New Vegas, Nick is intrinsically linked to the Far Harbor DLC. Specifically, he’s linked to the DLC’s Synth leader of Arcadia, DiMA.
Bringing Nick with you during the events of Far Harbor results in a wealth of unique dialogue with DiMA, giving us a lot of context regarding Nick’s backstory. While Nick doesn’t remember DiMA at first, the player can eventually convince Nick to accept DiMA as his brother and the two will occasionally greet each other when in the same area.
While having Nick will allow you to get more lore out of DiMA, it will not change or effect any of the DLC’s story beats. The events of Far Harbor will still play out the same, as will all of the possible endings.
However, that extra dialogue is worth its weight in gold when it comes to Fallout 4 companions, so any lore-fanatics out there should make a point of making sure that Valentine is along for the ride. After all, the DLC does start as a missing persons case.
Nick Valentine’s Likes and Dislikes
Thankfully, Nick is one of the few followers in Fallout 4 that likes it when you do regular, mundane tasks. Well, mundane in terms of a Commonwealth explorer.
Hacking terminals is something that you’ll be doing a lot of as you waltz around the world of post-apocalyptic Boston. Even if you decide to go the Locksmith route instead of the Hacker one, you’ll still be able to get into a few terminals here and there. Each one you successfully break will increase Nick’s affinity with you, making it super easy to get him to max rank when compared to a follower like Hancock.
Accepting Mechanist Quests
Aside from hacking terminals, Nick has two other specific likes that he shares with most other companions in the game. First, he likes it when the player agrees to any Mechanist radiant quests after the completion of the Automatron DLC.
These quests are time-consuming and not all that fun, but it is a way to kill two birds with one stone if needs be.
Accepting Settler Quests
Second, he likes it when you agree to help out any settlers you come across out on your travels, whether part of a Minutemen request or otherwise.
These quests are all incredibly similar and repetitive. While that makes them a pain to complete, it does make farming them rather efficiently if you put your mind to it. However, I still wouldn’t recommend relying on it to try and get a fast affinity with Nick, or any other companion for that matter.
Nick is as close to a “pretty good guy” that you’re going to get in Fallout 4. His morals and priorities are fairly straight up, despite being a Synth.
As a result, he isn’t fond of the player stealing or pickpocketing items belonging to other people. He doesn’t mind you picking locks that don’t belong to someone, but if the lock is owned, he also dislikes that.
There are a handful of followers that don’t like it when you steal, but the affinity loss is worth it in specific scenarios. If you’re on a survival game and you see a Stimpack or two, take the hit and pocket them for yourself. You won’t lose that much affinity.
For the two of you out there that invest in Endurance enough to get the Cannibal perk, Nick will be against the idea of going all Silence of the Lambs on any Raiders or Scavengers you come across out in the Wasteland.
Eating other people in front of him will incur an affinity loss, so try to avoid it if you can. There’s no real reason to play a cannibal character beyond RP, so even if you do have the perk, try and sustain yourself through other methods while traveling with Nick.
Working With the Brotherhood
Given that he’s a Synth, it’s only natural for Nick to dislike working with the Brotherhood of Steel. While he also doesn’t like the Institute, you will actively lose affinity with him for doing Brotherhood quests or acting favorably towards them.
The loss isn’t enough to prevent you from using Nick in a Brotherhood playthrough, and he won’t leave you for siding with them, but it is something that you should keep in mind before you commit to a faction.
Fight Your Way Through Park Street Station
Unlikely, Valentine sort of has two different dungeons rolled up into one. You’re going to have to fight your way through Park Street Station and into Vault 114. The entrance to Park Street Station is close to Swan’s Pond, so make sure you don’t trigger him. It’s also possible to start the Freedom Trail from this area if you want to get a head start on the Railroad questline.
Once inside Park Street Station, you’re going to have a pretty large group of enemies to deal with across different areas. The enemies in question are Triggermen. They’re wearing suits, making them easy to kill, but they more or less all use submachine guns. If you’re doing a Survival playthrough, these will ruin your day if you’re not careful.
For anyone on lower difficulties, fighting your way to the vault shouldn’t be too hard. However, on Survival, you’ll need to be very careful and deliberate. Not only will the enemy’s weapons destroy you, but there’s a distinct lack of bedrolls for you to save in.
Once you get into Vault 114, you’ll eventually encounter a unique NPC named Dino. Dino is guarding Nick and isn’t too bright. If you get close enough to him while sneaking, you’ll overhear him having a chat with Nick.
During their conversation, Nick convinces Dino that his gambling has irritated his boss. In response to this, Dino runs off to speak with the aforementioned boss. This leaves Nick completely unguarded, allowing you to free him.
Alternatively, if you don’t have the patience for all of that, you can just shoot Dino in the head and free Nick that way. It doesn’t make too much of a difference either way.
Confront Skinny Malone
After Nick explains how he got himself into this mess, you’ll need to leave the Vault with him. Before you do that, make sure you take the Speech Bobblehead from the room Nick is being kept in.
Once you start making your way out of the vault, you’ll end up face to face with Skinny Malone and his crew. This effectively serves as a boss encounter for the dungeon.
There are a few ways to resolve this situation. First, and my resolution of choice, is to not give anyone a chance to speak and fill the room with bullets the moment I can. More discerning players can go through Skinny’s dialogue to resolve the situation peacefully. This will give you and your party ten seconds to leave the room before Skinny’s crew opens fires.
Either way, deal with Malone, speak to Nick, then return to the Detective Agency in Diamond City to complete the quest.
Long Time Coming
Get the Quest From Nick
To trigger Long Time Coming, you need to have completed Dangerous Minds and reach affinity 750 with Nick. Once both of these conditions have been met, he will tell you about Eddie Winter, a pre-war crime boss that the original Nick has disturbing memories of.
He’ll then give you a holotape. One out of a set of 10 that you’ll need to collect to open Eddie’s bunker so that Nick can confront him. The other nine are located in various police stations around Boston. If you’ve collected any of them in advance, then you won’t need to seek them out again.
Collect the Nine Holotapes
The locations of the nine holotapes you need for Long Time Coming are as follows:
- Holotape 0: Located in the basement of the BADTFL Regional Office.
- Holotape 1: Given to you by Nick once you start the quest.
- Holotape 2: On the second floor of the Police Department in Malden Center.
- Holotape 3: Found downstairs in Quincy Police Station.
- Holotape 4: Holotape four is located on the first floor of the sunken part of Natick Police Station.
- Holotape 5: Located on the second floor of the Nahant Sheriff’s Department.
- Holotape 6: Found on the second floor of the East Boston Police Station.
- Holotape 7: Stored on the second floor of the South Boston Police Department.
- Holotape 8: Located in the far-right cell of Police Precinct 8.
- Holotape 9: Inside of an Expert locked safe on the second floor of the Coast Guard Pier.
Follow Nick to Andrew Station and Confront Eddie Winter
Once you’ve put in the enormous amount of effort required to collect all of those holotapes, speak to Nick and give them all to him. He’ll then set off for Andrew Station. Follow him there and go into the subway. Then you’ll need to follow him some more to get into Eddie’s bunker.
Once you and Nick get into the bunker, you’ll have three different ways to resolve the quest. None of the options matter, and Eddie dies regardless of his actions. You can either kill Eddie yourself, help Nick kill Eddie, or let Nick do all of the dirty work himself.
Regardless of what you choose, loot Eddie’s unique weapon from his corpse and talk to Nick outside to finish the quest. Once it’s complete, you’re free to max out Nick Valentine’s affinity.
Nick’s Companion Perk
Close to Metal
Despite Nick being considered the best Fallout 4 companion by a lot of people, he has arguably the worst perk out of the entire pool, both follower perks and otherwise.
It’s not a case of the perk being actively negative for the player to have. Examples like that are exceedingly rare. Instead, Nick’s companion perk is just useless.
The perk is called Close to Metal, and it affects the way you hack in the game in two ways. First, the lockout cooldown a terminal gives you for a failed hacking attempt is decreased by 50%. Second, you get one extra password guess while you’re hacking.
Not only do you not need more than the four guesses if you know how to play the hacking minigame, but even if you don’t, just guess three and back out of the terminal to try again. There is no situation in which this perk is beneficial in any meaningful way.
If you decide you want to invest in Nick as a follower, it definitely won’t be because of his perk.
How to Find Nick Valentine in Fallout 4
Head to Diamond City
Nick Valentine in Fallout 4
Pretty early on into your Fallout 4 run, you’ll end up getting a quest called Jewel of the Commonwealth. The quest has you going to Diamond City to find out more information about Shaun’s kidnapping. You’ll need to complete this quest to find Nick, so get to it.
Once you arrive in Diamond City and after a brief interaction with Piper, who at this point you can recruit, she’ll point you in the direction of the Valentine Detective Agency. So, that’s where you’re going.
At the Agency, Nick’s assistant will tell you that he’s in a spot of trouble and that she needs your help to rescue him. Being the generous savior that you are, you’ll agree to her request. This will trigger the Unlikely Valentine quest.
Complete Unlikely Valentine
Unlikely, Valentine tasks you with rescuing Nick from Park Street Station. It’s part of Fallout 4’s main questline, so it’s impossible to miss.
The mission can be fairly tricky on greater difficulties, especially on Survival. There are a ton of enemies all using automatic weapons and a distinct lack of beds for you to save with. Take your time, work your way through the dungeon, and you’ll eventually find and save Nick. Once you complete the quest, you and Nick will be back in Diamond City.
In Diamond City, you have another brief task to complete before you can recruit Nick as a follower.
Nick Valentine’s Playstyle
Despite being regarded as one of the best companions in Fallout 4, he doesn’t have much of a playstyle. Not only does he not excel in any areas, but his default weapon is a pitiful Pipe Revolver Pistol.
Given that his perk is also pretty useless, he hasn’t got much to offer in terms of gameplay or combat.
If you do want to try and use him practically, though, you’ll want to supply him with a better weapon. Anything from a Combat Rifle to a Laser Rifle will do, so long as it’s capable of outputting some decent damage.
You’ll also want to take care of his armor situation, so he doesn’t get downed every five seconds. He can’t actually wear armor, but his trench coat can be upgraded with Ballistic Weave later on in the game, so that will take care of that problem. Before that, though, you’ll want to have him in power armor as much as you possibly can.
DiMA and Nick Valentine are technically brothers. Both are Gen 2 Synths that were a part of an Institute experiment. The experiment was designed to see how a Synth reacts to independent thinking. That’s why both DiMA and Nick have free will despite being older generation Synths.
Eventually, DiMA tired of being experimented on. He devised a plan and escaped the Institute with Nick, but not before Nick had a fresh personality uploaded to him, effectively wiping DiMA from his memories.
Eddie Winter is a pre-war mob boss that served as a rival to the original, human Nick Valentine. He is the main antagonist of Nick’s personal quest, having turned himself into a ghoul in an attempt to gain eternal life.
During Long Time Coming, the player and Nick are tasked with collecting the password needed to access Eddie Winter’s bunker so that Nick can finally put the old mobster to rest.
Question: Can You Romance Nick in Fallout 4?
Answer: No, you cannot romance Nick in Fallout 4, much to the despair of players everywhere.
Question: Can You Repair Nick Valentine in Fallout 4?
Answer: At one point, before meeting the Sole Survivor, a mechanic offered to repair Nick’s synthetic body. Nick refused. He has maintained this stance ever since, preventing the player from repairing him.
Question: Does Nick Valentine Like the Brotherhood of Steel?
Answer: Unsurprisingly, no, Nick Valentine does not like the Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4. He dislikes the Brotherhood’s hardcore anti-Synth rhetoric, and the group dislikes that he has been given free will despite being a machine.
That’s all I’ve got for you in this comprehensive Nick Valentine guide for Fallout 4. Despite not being a favorite of mine, there are countless players out there that consider Nick to be the peak of Fallout 4 followers. The fact that he’s so popular despite having a poor perk and terrible combat skills speaks volumes as to how well-written his personality is.
Plus, Far Harbor is an entirely different experience if you play through it with him, making him arguably the most important companion in the entire game.
Whether you’re just a completionist looking to get all of the follower perks, or someone genuinely interested in using Nick as your main companion, I hope you’ve found this guide useful.