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Paladin Danse is Fallout 4’s resident Brotherhood of Steel companion, much like how Preston, Deacon, and X6-88 represent the game’s other three factions. This means that you need to do a Brotherhood playthrough (or Minutemen) to keep him as a follower into the endgame. So, if you plan on shacking up with the Railroad or Institute, you’re going to be out of luck.
Danse’s companion perk is locked behind a personal quest. This personal quest also happens to be one of the last quests in the Brotherhood’s main questline, and it sits right around the point of no return. So, if you want the perk and don’t want to keep the Brotherhood alive, you’ll need to be very careful about how you complete the quests surrounding it. It’s possible to do, but make sure you’re keeping plenty of backup saves.
As you can probably tell from that, Danse is a pretty complicated follower. Even recruiting him is an effort in and of itself. That’s why I’ve compiled all of my knowledge and experience into this Fallout 4 Paladin Danse guide.
I’m going to run you through how to recruit him, what his perk does, a bit about his back story, and more. So stick around, especially if you’re new to Fallout 4. Trust me, you’ll be saving yourself a lot of trouble and pain by being a bit prepared.
Bottom Line Up Front
- Recruiting Danse is a chore. It’s an ordeal that requires several quests, both for the Brotherhood and the game’s main questline. You need to meet up with him, complete two quests, then follow the main quest up to meeting Kellogg, then return to Danse and meet Maxson all before you can actually recruit him. However, Danse is arguably the most effective companion and his perk is great, making all that effort worth it.
- Danse is a pain to recruit, but he’s surprisingly easy to garner affinity with. He likes it whenever you enter a suit of power armor, as well as anytime you mod a weapon or piece of armor. These three activities are beyond easy to farm, making increasing Danse’s affinity incredibly simple.
- Danse is a member of the Brotherhood of Steel. Obviously. So, you have to be in the group’s good books in order to use him as a companion. If you’re planning on doing an Institute or Railroad playthrough, Danse will eventually be turned permanently hostile, even if you’ve already maxed out his affinity. However, he doesn’t mind if you work with the Minutemen as long as you don’t make an enemy of the Brotherhood.
- Danse, like Deacon, is intrinsically tied to his faction’s questline. He’s present for a lot of the Brotherhood’s quests, whether you want him there or not. Unlike Deacon, however, he has a personal quest that also happens to be one of the Brotherhood of Steel’s main quests. His affinity will be locked to a maximum of 999 until you complete this quest.
- Character Location: Cambridge Police Station.
- Related Quests: Fire Support / Call to Arms / Shadow of Steel / Blind Betrayal.
- Recruitment Cost: None (Quest Completion).
- Weapon: Laser Rifle.
- Faction Alignment: Paladin Danse.
Paladin Danse doesn’t just stand out because of his shiny power armor. He’s also about as dry as the Mojave Wasteland. If you like followers with a bit of wit and cynicism to them, then he won’t be your cup of tea.
You can’t particularly blame him, though. Danse grew up in an orphanage back in Fallout 3’s Capital Wasteland after the Brotherhood wiped the Enclave off the map. He survived as a child by savaging and trading, eventually saving up enough caps to open a stall in Rivet City.
Around this time, he met a lad called Cutler. The two quickly became fast friends and even signed up for the BoS when the recruiters came knocking.
A year into their service, Cutler went missing with his squad. Danse led an investigation into the disappearance and eventually tracked them to a Super Mutant hive. Upon storming the hive, Danse discovered that Cutler was exposed to the FEV, effectively mutating him into a Super Mutant at best, or a Centaur at worst. Left with no other choice, Danse executed his best friend.
So, you can forgive him for being sour. His experience left him with a deep hatred of non-humans. It also motivated him to climb the ranks of the Brotherhood, eventually obtaining the rank of Paladin and becoming one of Elder Maxson’s most trusted soldiers.
So trusted, in fact, that he was chosen to lead the chapter’s first reconnaissance squad into the Commonwealth. It’s during that reconnaissance that he meets the Sole Survivor.
Paladin Danse’s Likes/Dislikes
Entering Power Armor
Danse is second only to Piper in terms of how easy it is to farm affinity. Rather than liking lockpicking, though, Danse thoroughly enjoys it when you suit up in some power armor.
Unfortunately, this affinity gain is subject to a 48-hour cooldown. So, you can’t completely abuse or farm it, but you can take advantage of it.
In fact, combined with Danse’s other big like, farming power armor affinity while sleeping two days each time might actually be worth it for all players except those on survival difficulty.
Loves Weapon and Armor Modding
Weapon and armor modding is Danse’s other big like and one of the reasons his affinity ranks are so easy to consciously farm.
With Piper, you need to go out in search of locks to pick. In Danse’s case, though, all of the conditions you need to farm affinity are accessible in any one of your settlements.
Grab a suit of power armor, a bed, and some workbenches and clump them all together. Then, enter and exit the armor, mod a weapon, mod some armor, then sleep for a full two days.
This will give you a tasty chunk of affinity and can be farmed for as long as you want, up to 999 affinity points if you haven’t finished Danse’s personal quest.
Accepting Mechanist Quests
Most of the companions in Fallout 4 like it when you agree to do quests for the Mechanist post-Automatron. Danse is included in that group.
However, with how easy it is to efficiently farm his affinity, I wouldn’t recommend you bother with these unless you actually want to work on them for the quests themselves.
Working with the Minutemen or Brotherhood
Danse actively likes it when you do work for either the Minutemen or the Brotherhood. He’s a Brotherhood Paladin, so he obviously likes it when you act in favor of the BoS, but he also enjoys and believes in helping the people of the Commonwealth, hence his like of the Minutemen.
Danse doesn’t like it when you steal from other people, be that regular theft or pickpocketing. Most of the companions in the game share this dislike, but it’s not impactful enough for you to take notice of.
Like with stealing, most followers don’t like it when you decide to serve up a plate of Scavenger for dinner. Most players don’t run high enough Endurance to even have access to the Cannibal perk, but for the one or two of you out there that do, make sure Danse isn’t with you when you’re snacking.
Danse is one of the few companions in Fallout 4 that doesn’t like it when you do chems. Most followers don’t like you getting addicted, but Danse actively dislikes you taking chems of any sort.
Popping some Jet or Psycho in his presence will lose you affinity, so trying to use Danse with a chem-based build might be a bit of a problem.
Hates Working with the Institute
The Brotherhood’s whole reason for being in the Commonwealth is to wage war with the Institute. So, naturally, Danse is going to hate when you work with them.
The Institute is the enemy as far as the Brotherhood is concerned, so helping them is considered to be in direct opposition to the Brotherhood’s goals.
Trigger Fire Support
Fire Support is the first quest in the Brotherhood of Steel questline, and it’s also one of the earliest quests in the entire game. Most players will trigger it accidentally while traveling to Diamond City as a part of the Jewel of the Commonwealth quest.
About halfway between Sanctuary and Diamond City, you should get a Distress Signal on your radio. This will trigger the Fire Support quest. Listening to the signal will prompt you to make your way to Cambridge Police Station to help Danse’s BoS recon team hold off a horde of Feral Ghouls.
Defend Cambridge Police Station
If you’re low on ammo, feel free to hide and let Danse kill the Ghouls for you. None of the NPCs on his team (Scribe Haylen and Knight Rhys) can die right now, so there’s no pressure. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with well over a dozen Ferals over the course of a few waves.
Either way, clear out the Ghouls and speak to Danse. This will finish the Fire Support quest and trigger the Call to Arms one, the second quest in the Brotherhood of Steel questline.
Call to Arms
Follow Danse to ArcJet
Call to Arms triggers immediately following Fire Support. It’s the second Brotherhood quest and is mandatory for you to join the faction.
Speak to Danse after helping to defend the Police Station. He’ll tell you about a mission to obtain a Deep Range Transmitter so that his team can contact their Brotherhood chapter. The Transmitter is in ArcJet, and he wants your help to obtain it.
You can either travel to ArcJet with Danse, or go there separately. Traveling separately will involve you simply meeting him outside the building. However, traveling together will trigger a handful of scripted encounters and fights, so I would recommend going that route.
Either way, get yourself and Danse to meet up outside of the ArcJet building to continue with the quest.
Fight Through ArcJet
The inside of ArcJet is absolutely crawling with Synths. In fact, this is the first time a lot of you will encounter them in Fallout 4. If you’re not prepared for them, they will completely ruin your day. If you’re a glutton for hardcore, survival difficulties like me, this is going to be your worst nightmare. At least, it would be if you didn’t have Danse along for the ride.
Danse is a killing machine. He will single-handedly clear out all of the Synths if you let him, so feel free to sit back and watch the carnage. Just make sure you take a potshot here and there for some XP.
You’ll end up fighting through several rooms, stopping occasionally to speak with Danse or hack a terminal.
Eventually, you’ll end up at an elevator that you need to restore power to. You’ll need to hack a nearby terminal to do that, but it’s Novice locked so you shouldn’t have any issues with it.
Handle the Synths
Once you restore power to the elevator, you’re going to be presented with two options. Danse is currently holding off a massive wave of Synths, and you need to assist him. You can either A: return and help him fight them manually with some good old-fashioned lead, or B: use an engine-start button located by the terminal you just hacked to trigger the engine core rocket. This will fry all of the Synths to a crisp. Danse, on the other hand, will sit there and take a literal stream of rocket-fueled fire to the face before brushing it off like it was nothing.
Regardless of what way you handle the situation (are you really going to pass up on activating a rocket?), you’ll have restored power to the elevator, allowing you to travel to the top of the engine core.
Obtain the Deep Range Transmitter
At the top of the engine core, in the control room, you’ll encounter another group of Synths. Again, either wipe them out yourself or let Danse do all the hard work for you. One of the Synth corpses will have the Deep Range Transmitter you’re looking for. Loot it, then take an elevator to leave ArcJet.
Speak with Danse one more time outside of ArcJet to complete the quest. He will give the player the Righteous Authority Laser Rifle, a fantastic energy weapon, and ask you to join the Brotherhood. Regardless of your answer, he’ll return to Cambridge and the quest will complete.
Shadow of Steel
Head to Cambridge Police Station
After dealing with Kellogg and leaving Fort Hagen, you’ll be greeted by the sight of the Prydwyn finally arriving in the Commonwealth. Watch in awe as it passes overhead before settling at Boston Airport.
During this scripted event, you’ll get a transmission on your Pip-Boy. Listen to the transmission, then report back to Cambridge Police Station. Once there, speak to Danse and follow him up to the roof.
A Vertibird will be waiting to pick you up. Hop on and enjoy the fly to the Prydwyn.
Speak with Elder Maxson
After you disembark the Vertibird, you’ll need to speak with Lance Captain Kells. You’ll be ordered to attend Elder Maxson’s speech, so that’s what you’re going to do.
Attend the speech and listen to what Maxson has to say. Once he’s finished up, speak to him. He’ll bestow the rank of Knight on you and give you a fresh new suit of power armor. The armor is located down in bay 3 on the Prydwyn’s main deck.
Leave Maxson and inform Danse of these recent developments to finish the quest. This will also mark the point at which you can finally recruit Danse as a permanent companion.
This is your spoiler warning. There are big spoilers ahead for both Danse and the Brotherhood of Steel. If you want to leave this guide with Fallout 4’s surprises intact, skip this section. You have been warned.
Report to Elder Maxson
Immediately after completing Liberty Reprimed, you’re going to be summoned to the Prydwyn by Elder Maxson. Maxson is going on a mad one and demands to know whether or not you were aware that Paladin Danse was a Synth.
You obviously tell him no, at which point he explains that your previous hack of the Institute’s mainframe revealed that Danse is, in fact, a Synth.
He’ll order you to track down and find Danse, then execute him.
Meet with Proctor Quinlan
Once Maxson calms down, you’ll be sent to meet with Proctor Quinlan to try and ascertain the currently AWOL Danse’s location. During your discussion, Scribe Haylen will intervene and ask to speak with you in private.
She’ll beg you to spare Danse’s life before giving you his location, trusting you to help save him from the overzealous Maxson.
Haylen sends you to Listening Point Bravo, an old fallback location for Danse’s team. Once there, you’ll have to deal with a few Turrets and Protectrons before using an elevator to enter the post itself. Inside, you’ll find a melancholy Danse out of his power armor.
Deal with Danse
There are a handful of ways to deal with Danse and resolve Blind Betrayal.
First, you can go ahead and execute him. You can do this before or after you talk to him, it doesn’t make a difference. If you do this, make sure you take his Holotags from his body as proof of death.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to do the dirty work yourself, you can have Danse kill himself. He’s been doing all the killing for you up to this point anyway, so it’s sort of fitting.
You can either talk to him and convince him to commit suicide, or you can leave the bunker after he’s already seen you. When you return inside, he will be dead.
The third, and correct option, is to leave Danse alive. He’s loyal to the Brotherhood to the point of being willing to kill himself, so he’s hardly a security threat.
During the course of your chat, you can convince him that he is still loyal and doesn’t need to die. He won’t be able to stay in the Brotherhood, though. You can either tell him to leave the Commonwealth, or you can offer him to stay with you in one of your settlements. This option is your ticket to keeping Danse as a companion after Blind Betrayal.
If you let Danse live and leave the bunker, Maxson will be waiting outside. He followed you there, believing that you were going to be insubordinate. Oh, how right he was.
You’ll have to pass a few speech checks in order for him to stand down, but once you do, he’ll let Danse live but exile him from the Brotherhood. All BoS members will also now be hostile to him.
If you fail to convince Maxson, you’ll either have to kill Danse yourself or let Maxson do it. Again, this will prevent you from using Danse as a companion anymore because, you know, he’s dead.
Regardless of what way you deal with the Danse situation, you’ll be promoted to Sentinel by Elder Maxson, making you the second-highest ranking member in the entire chapter, and Blind Betrayal will complete.
Danse’s Companion Perk
Know Your Enemy
Danse’s companion perk is easily a top-five contender. It’s simply a base increase to your damage against certain enemy types, and I consider that kind of buff to be incredibly valuable. In every single build I run, Lady Killer and Bloody Mess are staple perks purely for an increase in damage, so getting the same kind of buff without stat requirements is fantastic.
The perk is called Know Your Enemy, and it gives you 20% extra damage against Ghouls, Synths, and Super Mutants. All of those enemy types are considered enemies of the Brotherhood, so the name is quite fitting.
There’s a lot of work involved in getting the perk, including following the Brotherhood main questline incredibly far, but the work is worth it for the perk alone.
It’s useful for every single player and every single build. With how many Mutants and Synths you come up against in the Commonwealth, that damage increase is going to be worth its weight in gold.
How to Find Paladin Danse in Fallout 4
Fire Support During Jewel of the Commonwealth
Finding Danse is super easy. Recruiting him, however, is a little more difficult. You won’t be able to bring him with you initially. Instead, you’ll have to complete two introductory quests, then continue with the main questline, then return to him afterward to complete a Brotherhood of Steel quest, and then you can finally get him as an active companion.
So, first, you need to complete the Fire Support quest. This is considered the first quest in the Brotherhood of Steel questline and can be completed as soon as you finish clearing out Concord.
You should end up triggering this quest during the Jewel of the Commonwealth quest. At some point during your exodus to Diamond City, you’ll get a distress signal in your Pip-Boy radio. Listen to the signal and you’ll hear a request for aid at Cambridge Police Station.
Head to the Station (it’s on the way to Diamond City), and you’ll encounter a Brotherhood of Steel team being overwhelmed by Ghouls. You’ve got to help them hold off the hoard, and I really mean horde. There are dozens of Ghouls in several waves that need to be killed. Although, if you’re low on ammo, you can hide and let Danse take care of them for you. He’s particularly good at that.
Once all the Ghouls are killed, speak to Danse and you’ll end up getting the Call to Arms quest. This will involve you and Danse heading to ArcJet systems to fight some Synths.
After that, you and Danse will part ways until you progress far enough to confront Kellogg in the main questline. After dealing with him, the Brotherhood arrives on the scene, prompting you to return to Danse at Cambridge Police Station.
The two of you will fly to the Prydwyn. Speak with Elder Maxson and you’ll finally be able to recruit Danse as an active follower.
Danse is one of the few companions in the game with a distinct playstyle. He’s also up there with Curie when it comes to combat effectiveness.
Both his build and his perk are designed with combat in mind. He never leaves his power armor, and his weapon of choice is a Laser Rifle. In other words, he is capable of taking and dealing incredible amounts of damage right from the get-go.
You don’t need to do anything or change his loadout, he’ll be mowing down enemies more effectively than you can immediately. On harder difficulties and Survival, Danse is the definition of a hard carry. He will pull your kicking and screaming body through the early and mid-game with ease.
He’s so good at being a killing machine that using him actually feels a little bit cheap, so keep that in mind if you value any sort of immersive difficulty.
Cutler was Danse’s childhood friend. The two made their livings as traders with Danse operating a store out of Rivet City in the Capital Wasteland. When the Brotherhood of Steel began a recruitment campaign in Rivet City, the two decided that it was a way out of their ordinary lives and enlisted.
A year into their service, Cutler and his squad went missing on a mission while posted to the Prydwyn. Danse spearheaded a three-week-long search effort that culminated in the discovery of a Super Mutant hive.
During the assault on the hive, Danse discovered that Cutler’s squad had all been killed with the exception of Cutler himself. Instead, Cutler was exposed to the Forced Evolutionary Virus and was beginning to mutate.
Danse, with a mix of disgust and despair, executed his friend to prevent him from mutating. The experience is likely the cause of Danse’s intense hatred of non-human, mutated species.
Arthur Maxson is Paladin Danse’s Commanding Officer and Elder of his Brotherhood chapter. It is unknown how Danse rose through the Brotherhood ranks, but it’s clear that Maxson has a great level of trust in him as he assigned Danse to lead the advanced reconnaissance team into the Commonwealth.
Upon discovering that Danse is a Synth, Maxson orders the Sole Survivor to execute him. Whether or not that execution takes place is up to the player during the Blind Betrayal quest.
Question: Can You Romance Danse in Fallout 4?
Answer: Yes, Paladin Danse is romancable in Fallout 4. Once you complete Blind Betrayal and provided you allowed Danse to live, you will be able to max out his affinity and enter into a relationship with him.
Question: Can I Keep Danse if I Side with the Railroad?
Answer: No, you can’t keep Danse if you side with the Railroad in Fallout 4. The only factions that you can keep Danse with are the Brotherhood of Steel and the Minutemen, provided you don’t make enemies of the BoS. Doing an Institute or Railroad playthrough will eventually result in Danse turning hostile to you.
Question: Is Paladin Danse Really a Synth?
Answer: Yes, Paladin Danse really is a Synth. If you kill him as a part of the Blind Betrayal quest, you will find a Synth Component on his corpse. This proves that he is a Synth beyond a shadow of a doubt.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got for you on Paladin Danse. He’s Fallout 4’s only Brotherhood follower and that’s going to get brownie points with a BoS loyalist like myself.
To some of you out there, Danse is going to come off as a little bit basic. Compared to some of the sassier followers out there, he’s fairly vanilla. His wit is dry, and that isn’t for everyone.
Even if you don’t like his personality, though, there’s no denying just how effective he is in combat. If there’s one thing you take away from this Paladin Danse guide, let it be that. Danse is a killing machine, so take advantage of him.
Or don’t, it’s really up to you. Fallout 4 still has plenty of other companions to offer.