Fallout 4: how to romance Piper, Preston and other companions

By Brenna Hillier, Tuesday, 26 September 2017 07:52 GMT

Not for the first time, Wasteland wanderers can experience the squishier side of human life.

Fallout 4 offers you the chance to form a bond with another character, but it’s not as simple as turning up with gifts or remembering to explore dialogue options; as with real life, you’ll have to prove yourself consistently interesting and delightful. As part of our Fallout 4 guide, we have all the details.

Although this is a romance guide, it’s worthwhile forming a bond with any of Fallout 4’s companions you recruit, love interest or not; if you impress them enough, you’ll unlock a bonus character perk. Note that Dogmeat is an exception to this rule; his relationship status is always at maximum, and his perks are unlocked manually in the Charisma tree.

There are 12 potential companions, but – without going into spoiling territory – there are reasons why some of them are not available for romance. Apart from these restrictions, your love interests don’t much care about your gender, race, dress sense or looks – what they care about is your behaviour.

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How Fallout 4 relationships work

In order to romance a companion, you need to get them to the highest level of companion relationship status (they idolise you) and then engage in a dialogue, selecting the “romance” dialogue option and successfully passing a Persuasion attempt. Higher Charisma and Luck are a help, but you have a chance regardless.

Every companion and love interest has several levels of potential friendship with you, starting at neutral. Relationship status can dip into negative, and if you piss someone off enough they won’t travel with you any more.

Your relationship level with each companion changes depending on your character’s behaviour while in a particular companion’s view. You don’t need to be travelling with the companion for this to take effect; if your friends are all standing around Sanctuary Hills waiting for you, for example, they may alter their opinion on you based on what you do while you’re there.

If you’ve got multiple people around you at a Workshop, or working with you as happens during some missions if you bring a companion, they will each react individually to your choices. (you also get an unadvertised boost every time you ask a companion to travel with you, resetting after each quest)

If you wish to increase your relationship level with a companion or love interest, you should travel with them whenever possible, in order to maximise the opportunities for them to observe your behaviour. If you need to do something they won’t like, you should send them away. It’s best to ensure they’re a long way away or in another cell. Be sure to quicksave if you’re uncertain.

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Every time your relationship status with a love interest or general companion increases, you’ll get a message on screen (“Piper tolerates you”) and they’ll want to have a chat with you, allowing you to get to know them better. You’ll know if they have something on their mind because they’ll keep saying the same thing over and over again; face them and stand close to bring up the conversational prompts.

As your relationship increases, you may be given the option to flirt during these little chats. You need decent Charisma and Luck to pull this off successfully, but there are no negative repercussions for trying until you reach the final check.

If you want to know how things are going, open the Command menu (stand close to and face your companion, and press Cross/A) and select Talk. You can then select Relationship; the resulting dialogue changes as you grow closer, and in the early stages (neutral, tolerates) can offer clues on what sort of behaviour your companion is attracted to.

When you hit the highest rank of companion relationship (“idolises”) you’ll get one more dialogue before you unlock the companion’s ultimate perk. You should quicksave (or better, make a manual save) here so you can try your luck with the romance persuasion attempt multiple times.

If you’re successful, well done! You’re in a Fallout 4 relationship. When you sleep while your romantic partner is near, you’ll earn the Lover’s Embrace bonus, which grants a 15% XP boost for a limited time.

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How to raise affinity quickly and easily

Since your actions raise affinity, you’d think you could spam a particular action and reach maximum affinity fast, right? Wrong – Bethesda has implemented a cooldown timer on affinity increases. In the original release, you could reset the time with a quicksave and load – but this has since been patched. Darn.

That said, you can still speed up the process if you play mindfully and keep the cooldown in mind. See two locked doors right next to each other? Pick one, and come back to the other in a few minutes time. Travelling with a shady character? Just remember to steal something every time you arrive or leave a new secure location. For companions with two or more easily completed actions, you can double your profits.

Note as well that the cooldown does not apply to speech checks, presumably due to their rarity. Quicksave before conversations and make sure to pass every single one. This is especially helpful with MacReady and Cait, as almost every quest gives you up to three chances to ask for more and more money, which they both love.

Individual romance tips

Please note that you can simultaneously be in a relationship with every single romance-able companion if you like, with no negative repercussions. They’re all super okay with it.

In our advice below we mention what kinds of dialogue choices each companion likes, but please be aware that it varies depending on the situation. For example, Piper enjoys it if you’re sarcastic in response to people who dislike her, but she’d prefer you to be generous to innocents.

Your available romance options are:

  • Piper (human female)
  • Cait (human female)
  • Preston (human male)
  • Paladin Danse (human male)
  • Macready (human male)
  • Hancock (ghoul male)
  • Macready (human male)

Strong, Deacon, Codsworth, Nick Valentine and X6-88 are not available for romance, but do provide unique perks at the highest level of friendship – so it’s worthwhile raising their affinity anyway. As previously mentioned, Dogmeat’s perks are part of the Charisma skill tree as he is always at maximum affinity.

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How to romance Piper

Diamond City’s tireless investigator is a staunch companion who enjoys getting into trouble with you on quests and dungeon runs; pick every lock you see. She has a heart of gold, and will warm to Vault Dwellers who go out of their way to help others. She won’t tolerate dishonesty, exploitation or theft.

Piper has reasonable combat skills but is best kept away from the frontline to provide crossfire from cover. She can’t hack or lockpick, but chat to her if you need a health boost; she usually has a snack to spare for a friend.

To quickly raise Piper’s affinity, take her on dungeon crawls and pick locks as often as you can.

When Piper likes you enough, you’ll gain the Gift of Gab perk, which grants bonus XP for discovering new locations and passing Persuasion challenges.

    Piper likes to see you:

  • Make generous dialogue choices
  • Give items away for Miscellaneous quests
  • Pick locks in dungeons
  • Make sarcastic dialogue choices
    Piper hates to see you:

  • Steal
  • Pickpocket
  • Make selfish dialogue choices
  • Make violent dialogue choices
  • Pick owned locks (in towns)
  • Kill non-hostiles
  • Eat humanoid flesh

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How to romance Preston

Preston is available fairly early on in the game – you meet him in the first main mission – but you need to complete a couple of Minute Men quests before he becomes a companion. Note that Preston was bugged prior to the release of early Fallout 4 patches, so if you missed him as a companion, check back with an updated game to see if he’s keen.

Preston uses a laser musket by default, so he’s not the best damage dealer and very far from stealthy. You’ll probably want to ditch him later in the game, although he’s very decorative.

If you recruit Preston early, and leave him at Sanctuary Hills, you can rack up loads of friendship points whenever you mod your weapons. If not, it’s best to take him on Minute Men quests, as there’s very little else that impresses him that you can easily control.

Get friendly enough with Preston and you’ll receive the United We Stand perk. If facing three or more opponents, you’ll do 20% bonus damage and gain 20% damage resistance.

    Preston likes to see you:

  • Give items away for Miscellaneous quests
  • Modify weapons
  • Make generous dialogue choices
  • Make peaceful dialogue choices
  • Make sarcastic dialogue choices
    Preston hates to see you:

  • Eat humanoid flesh
  • Make selfish dialogue choices
  • Murder non-hostiles
  • Become addicted to chems
  • Steal
  • Pickpocket
  • Picked owned locks
  • Make violent dialogue choices

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How to romance Paladin Danse

Danse is a beast of a companion combat-wise, rocking around in Power Armor with a pretty damn decent default weapon. He’s a bit harder to take in the personality stakes, especially if you have any sympathy for Synths.

You meet Danse during the Brotherhood of Steel quests and he becomes available as a companion once you join the faction and prove your worth. If you stick with these faction quests, you’ll eventually learn something very interesting about him.

When Danse likes you enough, you’ll gain the Know Your Enemy perk. It grants 20% bonus damage against Feral Ghouls, Super Mutants, and Synths. Really worthwhile!

Unfortunately, Danse will not initiate his final affinity dialogue, offer a romance option or award his perk until you have progressed some way down the Brotherhood of Steel questline in Act Three and side with his faction. You will still be able to change to another faction’s ending after this point, but Danse will no longer be available as a companion if you elect to betray the Brotherhood.

The quickest way to raise Danse’s affinity is by installing armour mods and using power armour. If you make a trip to your home base between dungeons, tinker with some armour and climb back into your power armour, he’ll quickly come to love you.

    Danse likes to see you:

  • Make nice dialogue choices
  • Make violent dialogue choices
  • Enter Power Armor
  • Enter a Vertibird
  • Modify armour
  • Modify weapons
    Danse hates to see you:

  • Make mean dialogue choices
  • Make violent dialogue choices
  • Use chems
  • Eat humanoid flesh
  • Kill non-hostiles
  • Steal
  • Pickpocket
  • Pick owned locks

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How to romance Hancock

Hancock probably comes off as the bad boy of the romance pack, with his fondness for chems and violence. Don’t let this fool you; he has a heart of gold, and only wants what’s best for the citizens of the Wasteland.

It’s worth befriending Hancock, as his backstory is much more interesting than he initially lets on. Unsure why he doesn’t want to hang out with you? Look for Bobbi No-nose in Goodneighbour; you need to finish this quest to gain his affectiobs. You should probably make a back-up save before you go in

Impress Hancock and he’ll award you the Isodoped perk, which increases your critical generation speed by 20% whenever your RADS are 250 or higher.

The easiest way to raise Hancock’s affinity is to use chems regularly as you wander around with him. Carry Addictol to clear up any lingering affects.

    Hancock likes to see you:

  • Make generous dialogue choices
  • Give items away for Miscellaneous quests
  • Make peaceful dialogue choices
  • Use chems
  • Make violent dialogue choices
    Hancock hates to see you:

  • Steal
  • Make selfish dialogue choices
  • Kill non-hostiles
  • Make mean dialogue choices
  • Walk around naked

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How to romance Curie

Curie is a lovely female-voiced robot with a charming French accent. You recruit her simply by finishing the mission Hole in the Wall, which is triggered the second time you visit Vault 81.

And yes, you can romance the lady robot. Look, we don’t want to explain how this works, to be honest. Maybe you should just – use your imagination.

Get friendly enough with Curie and complete sidequest Emergent Behavior, and she’ll grant you the perk Combat Medic. With this perk, once per day your health will bounce back to full if it falls below 10%.

To quickly raise Curie’s affinity, shoot Dogmeat until he is critically injured, then hit him with a Stimpak. It’s easiest if you set up your home base at a small workshop like Red Rocket, install Curie there, and visit her between dungeons with Dogmeat as your companion. This allows you to command him to hold still, which is a great help.

    Curie likes to see you:

  • Make nice dialogue choices
  • Give items away for Miscellaneous quests
  • Make mean dialogue choices
  • Make peaceful dialogue choices
  • Heal Dogmeat
    Curie hates to see you:

  • Become addicted to chems
  • Make selfish dialogue choices
  • Kill non-hostiles
  • Steal
  • Pickpocket

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How to romance Cait

A fiery Irish redhead, Cait is a certified badass with a fondness for booze and chems. She’s not as straightforward as the other companions, because her loyalty mission changes her personality. As such, please take note of the extra info section below.

You meet Cait at the Combat Zone, and recruit her simply by surviving your trip to the cage on the stage and speaking to her contract owner. Get to know her and you’ll find there’s a heck of a backstory to the hardened mercenary.

If you manage to win Cait’s heart or even just her utmost friendship, and also complete the sidequest Benign Intervention, you’ll gain the Trigger Rush perk, which makes your Action Points regenerate faster when you’re below 25% health.

To quickly raise Cait’s affinity, pick locks, pickpocket, use chems and drink alcohol; with four easy actions, you won’t need to keep her around for long. After her sidequest, if you still need to raise your affinity, skip the chems.

    Cait likes to see you:

  • Make selfish dialogue choices
  • Drink alcohol
  • Make violent dialogue choices
  • Pick locks
  • Pick owned locks
  • Pickpocket
    Cait hates to see you:

  • Make mean dialogue choices
  • Eat humanoid flesh
  • Make generous dialogue choices
  • Make peaceful dialogue choices
  • Kill non-hostiles
    Chem use and donating chems to NPCs

  • Before Benign Intervention, Cait approves of these actions
  • After Benign Intervention, Cait disapproves of these actions

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How to romance MacReady

A mercenary who came to the Commonwealth from the Capitol Wasteland, MacReady is an incredibly useful ally for players who know how to be tactical. A crack shot with a sniper rifle who will spot enemies well ahead of you, you muggins, he’s best positioned carefully to flank and offer supporting fire as you attack the frontlines; a perfect pal for melee-happy goons.

Having fled the Gunners to go solo, MacReady is all about dose caps, which can make him a difficult prospect for good-aligned characters. Follow your money-loving heart enough and he’ll open up to you, revealing more depth than you might have believed.

You can recruit MacReady as soon as you have access to Goodneighbour; confront him in a side room at the Third Rail bar and cough up his fee to earn yourself a friend for life. When Macready idolises you you’ll gain the Killshot perk. This perk has, alas, been fixed so that it is no longer quite as wonderful as it was, but still provides a tasty accuracy bonus on headshots in VATS.

To quickly raise MacReady’s affinity,

    MacReady likes to see you:

  • Use Persuade to argue for caps or more caps
  • Steal
  • Pick owned locks
  • Make violent dialogue choices
    MacReady hates to see you:

  • Make peaceful dialogue choices
  • Make mean dialogue choices
  • Make nice dialogue choices
  • Become addicted to chems
  • Give items away for Miscellaneous quests
  • Kill non-hostiles

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