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Despite being the fifth companion that the player actually meets, Piper is by far the most accessible of the bunch. That’s reflected in her likes and dislikes, as well as how useful her perk is for early-game players.
Being beginner-friendly doesn’t mean she’s boring, though. In fact, Piper is up there with Nick as a Fallout 4 fan favorite, including being a favorite of my own.
For that reason, I’ve put together a complete and comprehensive Piper Fallout 4 guide. I’ll run you through how to recruit the intrepid journalist, how to increase her affinity, whether her perk is any good, and more.
Bottom Line Up Front
- Piper, despite being the fifth potential follower you meet, is clearly designed as a ‘beginner-follower.” Her perk is most useful if obtained early, and her affinity is among the easiest to max out in the entire game. Recruiting her reflects that. All you have to do is follow the main questline, and you’ll meet her, giving you the chance to bring her along for the ride.
- Despite being faction neutral, Piper does have likes and dislikes regarding the various groups in the game. She dislikes the Institute and Brotherhood of Steel, but she won’t leave you for working with them.
- Piper’s likes and dislikes are simplistic. She likes it when the player picks un-owned locks, making this an incredibly efficient way to farm her affinity. Her main dislike is stealing and completing Brotherhood quests.
- While Piper does have a small recruitment quest, she does not have a personal quest tied to her affinity rank.
- Character Location: Diamond City.
- Related Quests: Jewel of the Commonwealth / Story of the Century.
- Recruitment Cost: None (Quest Completion).
- Weapon: 10mm Pistol.
- Faction Alignment: None.
Piper hasn’t got much of a backstory, which is a shame. It’s not every day you come across a budding investigative journalist in a post-apocalyptic America. We do know a little bit about her origin, though.
She never knew her mother, instead spending her early days outside of the Commonwealth with her father and younger sister, Nat. Her father was a member of the local militia in the town they grew up in.
eventually discovered a conspiracy being headed up by his superior, Captain Mayburn, in which the town’s gate would be left open for Raiders to ransack. In exchange, he would get a cut of the loot.
Upon his discovery, Piper’s father was murdered for his silence. Piper discovered this truth, although the local authorities refused to believe her claims. This is where we first see a glimpse of Piper’s characteristic hard-headedness as she refuses to take no for an answer. She created and circulated wanted posters for the Captain that detailed his crimes.
These posters caught the attention of the town’s Mayor, who accepted Piper’s evidence and had Mayburn exiled. Eventually, the Raiders showed up, expecting the gate to be open only to be mowed down by an armed and prepared security force.
After that, Piper and Nat saved until the duo had enough to move to Diamond City, at which point she took up a career in journalism.
After publishing an article accusing Diamond City’s Mayor of being a Synth, she is locked out of the city. This is when she meets the player as he attempts to find help in his search for Shaun.
Piper is, for the most part, faction neutral. She is recruitable regardless of what questline you choose, although she dislikes both the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel. After finishing your group’s final main quest, she will publish an article with the contents changing depending on which faction won the war.
Picking Non-Owned Locks
Piper is a snooping journalist. So, naturally, she likes it when you work your way into things and places you have no right to access. She’s not an immoral criminal, though, so she only wants you breaking into containers and through doors that people don’t already own.
Out of every single possible companion like in the entire game, this is by far the best. You’re going to be picking locks all the time in Fallout 4, so Piper liking lockpicking makes her affinity incredibly easy to max out.
Again, this is in line with her being an introduction follower intended to get you familiar with the game’s new companion system and mechanics.
Accepting Settler Quests
All of the goodie-two-shoes companions in Fallout 4 love it when you agree to help random settlers out in the wasteland. This mainly involves taking out a band of raiders before getting access to the workshop in the aforementioned settler’s farm.
Piper is no different, so if you’re in a Minuteman “, another settlement needs your help” kind of mood, make sure you bring her along.
Accepting Mechanist Quests
Unlike settler quests, the Mechanist’s radiant quests are a pain to complete and incredibly slow, especially on survival playthroughs.
I can’t think of a single situation in which you would farm these for Piper’s affinity, but the option is there regardless.
Piper may be a journalist, but that doesn’t mean she’s corrupt. She dislikes stealing in all forms, including pickpocketing.
She prefers to get her scoops the good old-fashioned, clean way.
Picking Owned Locks
You don’t even need to steal something for Piper to look at you disapprovingly, though. Even picking a lock that belongs to someone else is enough to put her in a bad mood.
So, while you’re farming Piper’s affinity, make sure you’re only picking non-owned locks out in the wasteland.
Piper hates cannibalism, and, well, that’s fair enough. Most of the followers in Fallout 4 dislike it when you chow down on your fellow humans, and that’s a completely justified stance to take.
Before you start snacking down on that raw raider whose body is still warm, consider telling Piper to take a quick jog to spare her the horror.
Piper Hates Working with the Brotherhood of Steel
Despite being a faction-neutral follower, Piper absolutely despises it when you work with the Brotherhood of Steel.
You can still recruit Piper and do a Brotherhood playthrough, but playing through the group’s mission with her as an active companion will make maxing out her affinity a much bigger chore than it should be.
Related Quests: Jewel of the Commonwealth
Finish When Freedom Calls
Jewel of the Commonwealth is the third quest in Fallout 4’s main questline and takes place straight after When Freedom Calls.
Once you get out of the vault and rummage through Sanctuary with Codsworth, make a point of walking down the road to Concord. Once there, help the Minutemen deal with the Raiders.
Once the Raiders and Deathclaw are dead, Mama Murphy will tell you to head to Diamond City, triggering the Jewel of the Commonwealth Quest.
Trek Across the Commonwealth
Getting to Diamond City is similar to traveling to Vegas in Fallout NV or even to Rivet City in Fallout 3. It’s a big exodus that will take you from one side of the map to the other, all while keeping you inside your appropriate level zone.
For most players, this isn’t much of an ask and will only take a couple of minutes, Stimpacks, and bullets.
For anyone playing on Survival, the task is a lot more arduous. I was playing on Survival with the Horizon overhaul mod installed, and it took me three or four attempts before I finally managed to get to Downtown Boston. I found myself frequently turning back for sanctuary due to a lack of health or supplies.
The difficulty of this quest on Survival is compounded by the fact that you can’t fast travel, so don’t be afraid to do some local exploring to level up before you take it on.
While you’re on the way to Diamond City, you’ll come across a Brotherhood of Steel distress signal from Paladin Danse‘s team. Follow the signal to the Cambridge Police Station to complete the Fire Support quest and start the Brotherhood questline. It’s on the way, so you might as well.
Speak with Piper
Once you arrive outside Diamond City’s entrance, you’ll notice that the door is closed, and a rather irate lady is screaming into an intercom. That lady is Piper, and she’s been locked out because she just accused the Mayor of being a Synth.
Both of you need to get inside, so go and ask her what’s going on. She’ll make up a story about you being a trader, and the guard manning the gate will open up.
Before you actually get into the city, you’ll need to stop and have a brief ethical and moral discussion with Piper and the Mayor. Resolve that any way you want, then head inside to the Diamond City Market.
Head to Valentine’s Detective Agency
At this point, Piper will have asked you for an interview as a part of the Story of the Century quest. You can go do that now, or you can head straight to Valentine’s Detective Agency located in the alley behind the Diamond City Market.
Either way, you’ll have to head there to speak with Ellie Perkins for help finding Shaun. She’ll explain that Nick has gone missing and that you’ll need to head to Park Street Station to find him.
That’ll finish the Jewel of the Commonwealth quest.
Story of the Century
Speak to Piper Outside of Diamond City
To start Story of the Century and recruit Piper, you need to speak to her outside Diamond City as a part of the Jewel of the Commonwealth quest.
Once you get through that whole ordeal, she’ll invite you for an interview inside of the Publick Occurrences building where she and Nat live.
The building is straight to your left once you enter Diamond City and go down the stairs.
Give Piper an Exclusive Interview Inside of Publick Occurrences
Once you meet up with Piper inside, she’ll call you “Blue” for the first time. If you’re wearing your Vault Jumpsuit, she’ll explain that’s why. If not, she’ll tell you that you’re clearly a Vault Dweller because of your Pip-Boy and that “fish out of water” look you’re wearing.
She’ll then ask you to do the interview. You can turn her down or accept her. It doesn’t matter either way, and the answers you give to her questions don’t impact anything significant.
Once you’re finished, Story of the Century will be complete, and you’ll be able to recruit Piper as a follower. I’d recommend you take her right away so that you can maximize the value of Gift of Gab and so that you get her unique dialogue regarding a lot of the main questline.
Piper’s Companion Perk
Gift of Gab
Piper’s companion perk is unique in that it’s not game-breaking or build-defying, but it’s still incredibly powerful and worth obtaining on all of your characters. It’s also incredibly handy for new, fresh playthroughs similar to how Piper is herself.
The perk is called Gift of Gab, and it gives you 100% more XP gain for every single Charisma check you make or location you discover. Bonus XP is one of the most powerful possible buffs in all of Fallout 4.
It’s one of the reasons why the Intelligence stat is considered the best to spec into. So, naturally, any perk that lets you double your XP from not one but two different sources is going to be desirable.
The sooner you get Gift of Gab, the more value you’re going to get from it. So, I’d recommend taking Piper as a companion as soon as you reach Diamond City to max out her affinity ASAP.
How to Find Piper in Fallout 4
Jewel of the Commonwealth
In a normal game, Piper would be the first companion the player encounters, used to introduce them to the follower system. In Fallout 4, I would argue she still serves that purpose but is actually the fifth possible follower that you’ll come across, with two of the previous four already being recruitable.
To have Piper join your party, all you have to do is follow the main questline. You don’t have to follow it far, though, as she is directly linked to Jewel of the Commonwealth, the mission that has you make your way to Diamond City for the first time.
Once you arrive outside of the city, you’ll find Piper outside, causing a ruckus because the Mayor has kicked her out. Apparently, she’s been slandering him in her local paper, and Mayor McDonough isn’t one for freedom of the press.
If Piper can’t get in, then you can’t get in, and that’s a problem. Talk to her, and she’ll trick the guards into opening the gate for the two of you. From there, have a brief chat with the tyrannical Mayor himself before heading on inside.
Once in Diamond City, you’ll need to visit Piper in her printing press right next to the main entrance. She’ll interview you for a story in an eerily similar vein to Moira from Fallout 3. Once the interview has concluded, she’ll offer to join you on your travels.
All Piper has in her inventory when you recruit her is her Cap, Red Leather Trench Coat, and a 10mm Pistol. That doesn’t exactly scream “combat effective” to me, and that’s because it’s not.
Between her non-combat perk and weak loadout, Piper doesn’t do much in gunfights. At least, not by herself. She’s outclassed by the regular raiders you find around Downtown Boston, especially on greater difficulties.
So, she has no distinct playstyle to speak of. As the game’s starting companion, that’s to be expected, but it does mean you’ll need to put some work in if you want to use her against higher-level enemies.
You can have her change both her outfit and weapon, so equip her however you see fit and in the best items, you can afford. Make a point of getting her some decent armor first. Her red coat might be iconic, but it doesn’t stop a bullet.
Once her survivability has been taken care of, kit her out with something like a Combat Rifle so that she’s actually capable of killing a Raider or two. Do that, and she might just stand a chance against some of the tougher enemies Fallout 4 throws at you.
Nat is Piper’s little sister and her only living relative that we know of. She used to live in a town outside of the Commonwealth with Piper and their father. However, when Nat was a baby, their father was murdered as a part of a Raider conspiracy. Piper warned the town about said conspiracy, allowing the settlement to successfully defend itself.
After that, Piper decided to save up enough money to move to Boston and pursue journalism. The two of them now live together in Diamond City, with Nat assisting Piper with the distribution of her Publick Occurrences newspaper.
Mayor McDonough and Piper have been in conflict constantly, with Piper regularly criticizing the mayor through her newspaper.
This has resulted in the Mayor imprisoning Piper on numerous occasions. She is so often in Diamond City’s jail that it is jokingly referred to as the “Piper Suite.”
More recently, Piper has written an article titled “The Synthetic Truth.” The article contains an interview in which Mayor McDonough is accused of being a Synth. This resulted in Piper being locked outside Diamond City, at which point she is encountered by the player.
Question: Can You Romance Piper in Fallout 4?
Answer: Yes, Piper is romanceable in Fallout 4. You will have the chance to flirt with her at various affinity checkpoints as you play through the game. Once you reach max affinity, you will have access to a difficult Charisma check to enter into a relationship with her.
Question: What Does Piper Like/Love in Fallout 4?
Answer: Piper has two distinct likes in Fallout 4. One is concrete; the other is more of a general like.
First, she’s a big fan of the player opening locks. Specifically, locks that aren’t already owned by other people. So, as long as a locked door or container isn’t red, you will get affinity with Piper for opening it.
Her second big like is when the player is generous through dialogue. If you routinely agree to do tasks for free or otherwise are a charitable soul, you’ll gain a lot of free Piper affinity.
Question: Does Piper Like the BoS?
Answer: No, Piper does not like the Brotherhood of Steel. Despite the group’s intentions to destroy the Institute, Piper dislikes it when you do missions for them. You will actively lose affinity with Piper if you do BoS missions while she is your follower.
Piper is among my favorite Fallout 4 companions, and that’s thanks in large part to her loveable, rouge-like personality. She takes pride in getting herself into trouble, and that comes off as remarkably charming in post-apocalyptic Boston.
While she isn’t particularly powerful in combat, I still find myself regularly bringing her along anytime I need to take care of some basic tasks or exploration. Her wit and cynicism are something I find myself actively missing whenever I use another companion.
If you’re new to Fallout 4, she’s easily the best companion choice to help introduce you to the game’s systems. If you’ve been around the Boston block before, though, her value shines through in her personality.
Either way, I hope you’ve found something of value in this Fallout 4 Piper guide. Take her for a spin yourself, and you’ll see why she’s so beloved by the general Fallout fanbase.