Don’t go it alone in Fallout 4. Here’s how to find and recruit useful and lethal travelling buddies.
Fallout 4 may be a single-player game but that doesn’t mean you wander the Commonwealth alone. During your travels you’ll have the chance to find and recruit different companions, some human, others not.
There are 13 companions in the base game, and a further three and a bit (we’ll explain) once you collect all the add-ons, as in the Fallout 4 Game of the Year re-issue. They all help out in battle, you can trade resources and gear with them, and they generally keep you company during the dark days.
As part of our Back to Fallout 4 guide, this page contains details on all the companions in Fallout 4, their likes and dislikes, and how to get them in your party. It’s worth doing as Companions unlock some of the best Perks in Fallout 4 if you make them friendly enough.
(If you’re wanting more than a friend to kick about the Commonwealth with, see our guide on romance in Fallout 4.)
Here are a few key things to know about companions in Fallout 4:
- You can only have one companion with you at a time, so when you meet another and decide to recruit them, you can send them back to any Settlements you’ve claimed in Fallout 4.
- Companions never die. They can get their ass kicked in battle and will kneel down and stop fighting if they take too much damage. You can use Stimpaks on them to heal them, or wait until the current battle is over and they will miraculously recover.
- You can give a companion a weapon and new clothing, and use them to carry some of your gear too. You can manually change their outfits and armour in their inventory menu. The starting weapon your companion has never runs out of ammo, but give them a different gun and it will run dry, so you’ll need to keep handing them bullets.
- Press Triangle and you can access your companion’s inventory, talk to them, dismiss them, issue commands or find out how they currently feel about you.
- Each companion has a specific Perk but to unlock it you must make them like you. Each companion likes and dislikes different actions you perform. Get them to like enough of what you do and you’ll unlock their Perk and have more dialogue – and romance – choices. Our guide on romance in Fallout 4 may help there.
- Some companions have a set of skills you’ll find valuable at certain times. For example, Valentine is great at hacking computer terminals. Talk to your companion, tell them you need them to do something, then point your crosshair at a target and send them off to do their thing. They’ll tell you if they can’t help with that particular issue.
How to recruit Codsworth, butler of the future slash past
Codsworth is the cheery home help robot who’s missed you for the past 200 years. All you need to do to recruit him is go to your house when you escape Vault 111 as part of the main quest line, have a chat, and then return to him after rescuing the Minutemen at Concord. He’s not the most useful of companions combat wise, tending to rush into melee and have his arse kicked but he’s always a light in the gloom. He’ll give you purified water if he likes you, and you can make him wear bowler hats.
- Perk: Robot Sympathy
- Likes: Giving items to people, healing Dogmeat, modding armour and weapons.
- Dislikes: Stealing from people and breaking into owned safes, suitcases and other locked items.
How to recruit Dogmeat, your faithful hound
Like Codsworth, you’ll find Dogmeat very quickly as part of the main quest line; he’ll wander up to you as you walk from Sanctuary to Concord, at the Red Rocket Station. Dogmeat can be useful, finding stuff and bringing it to you; he has a unique set of commands rather than a dialogue menu.He can be a pain in tight locations, getting in your way and blowing your cover if you’re taking a stealth route. He doesn’t seem to understand the “stay” direction very well.
- Perk: Dogmeat perks are unlocked on the Charisma tree, as he does not have affection levels.
- Likes/Dislikes: Actions have no effect on Dogmeat. He loves you anyway.
How to recruit Piper, the journalist
You first meet Piper as you try to enter Diamond City. She’s blagging her way back inside the city walls, and she uses you to get past the mayor. Once you’re in, go visit her office and she’ll ask you to help her with a story, the quest Story of the Century.
All you need do is answer her questions about your past. Doing so finishes the quest and she offers herself as a companion. Her Perk means you will get double XP when you discover new places and successfully use speech.
- Perk: Gift of Gab.
- Likes: Picking locks, healing Dogmeat and donating items to people. She also likes it if you’re generally mean to people, which is a bit weird.
- Dislikes: Piper doesn’t like you murdering people for no reason. Seems reasonable.
How to recruit Strong, the super mutant
To recruit Strong you must complete the quest Curtain Call. Head around Diamond City until you pick up a radio signal from Trinity Tower. It’s a distress signal from Rex, who says he’s enslaved by super mutants at the top of Trinity Tower and needs to be rescued.
You need to be very heavily armed if you want to succeed. Make sure you have plenty of ammo because the fight is long and tough. A good technique for fighting super mutants is to hit them first with a Molotov cocktail (fairly common) then use VATS to pick them off with a good rifle that uses .308 ammo. Take your time as you fight up the tower (you’ll face around 15 super mutants) including their leader, Fist. You’ll need grenades to take him out quickly.
At the top you’ll rescue Rex, the guy who made the distress call, and his buddy Strong. Strong is a friendly super mutant who reads Shakespeare. You’ll need to get to the bottom of the tower via a makeshift lift and kill another bunch of super mutants before you can recruit him. He’s lethal with a sledgehammer, but as he’s looking for the “milk of human kindness” he doesn’t like it when he sees you pick locks or lie/bully people in conversation. Yes, really.
- Perk: Beserk.
- Likes: Strong likes it when you kill random people and eat human flesh (good if you have the Cannibal Perk)
- Dislikes: Strong doesn’t like the Brotherhood of Steel, so dislikes you using Power Armor and getting in a Vertibird. He also frowns on lockpicking of any kind and successful speech.
How to recruit Nick Valentine, the private detective
It’s quite a quest line to find Nick, but it’s part of the main story. Firstly, visit the detective agency, as prompted by Piper when you enter Diamond City. Valentine isn’t there, but his secretary asks you to go find him at Park Station, kicking off the Unlikely Valentine quest.
You’ll eventually find him after a lengthy shootout with Triggermen, and escort him back to Diamond City. Answer all of his questions so he can put together a plan for finding your son, and this will start the Getting A Clue quest. Go to Kellogg’s and when you eventually get inside and find the secret room, Nick will offer his services as a companion. Nick will hack all but Master computer terminals for you, which is a great skill if you don’t have the Perk yourself.
- Perk: Close to Metal
- Likes: Healing Dogmeat, hacking a computer and donating items all make Valentine happy.
- Dislikes: Stealing and pickpocketing get the thumbs down, as does picking the lock of an item owned by someone else and murdering randoms.
How to recruit Preston Garvey, leader of the Minutemen
Preston used to be bugged, but he’s been fixed. He’ll be happy to join as your companion once you rescue the Minutemen at Concord as part of the main quest, then establish them at Sanctuary Hills via short side quest slash tutorial. If you advance the Minutemen faction questline too far he may run off to act as a quest giver in Taking Independence, and is unavailble to travel with you until the quest is finished – just a heads up.
- Perk: United We Stand.
- Likes: Modify weapons, hand out gear to people and he’ll respect you.
- Dislikes: He’s a goody-goody, so don’t pick locks, steal, murder, do drugs or generally be mean around him.
How to recruit Paladin Danse
You want Paladin Danse on your team because he’s a badass in a firefight. You’ll find him in the Cambridge Police Station, and he’s keen to help out new members of the Brotherhood of Steel. He appreciates force, so doesn’t object to violence when it’s necessary. You’ll need to finish the Brotherhood of Steel faction quest to unlock his perk, romance him, and discover his deepest secrets.
- Perk: Know Your Enemy.
- Likes: Modify weapons and armour, enter a Vertibird and Danse will approve.
- Dislikes: No stealing or picking the locks on items owned by other people. And winners don’t use drugs.
How to recruit Hancock, the Ghoul
Hancock initially seems like a nasty piece of work, but he’s a bad boy with a heart of gold, and a great companion if you favor violence. You’ll find him in Goodneighbor, and you can get him on board by working for him or completing a side quest for Bobbi No-Nose.
As he’s a ghoul himself, Hancock’s Isodoped Perk recharges your Critical hit meter 20 percent faster provided you have a radiation level of 250 or more.
- Perk: Isodoped
- Likes: He approves of your drug-taking, and also likes it when you make peaceful and violent dialogue choices, which is a weird contradiction.
- Dislikes: Don’t make mean dialogue choices around him.
How to recruit Curie, the combat medic robot
Sure, Curie looks like a Codsworth, but she’s a lot more useful and has a neat French accent. Her Combat Medic perk is well worth the work – if you drop below 10 percent health she’ll heal you by 100 points, although you can only use it once per day.
Curie can be romanced and has a very interesting side quest attached to her. Find her in Vault 81 (go back a second time if you haven’t come across her the first time) and talk to her to begin the quest Emergent Behaviour. Trust us on this, you want to do it.
- Perk: Combat Medic
- Likes: She likes it when you make mean, nice and peaceful dialogue choices, and give stuff away.
- Dislikes: As she’s a medic, don’t be killing any innocents. And don’t steal or pickpocket.
How to recruit Cait, the addict pit fighter
Cait is a rough and tumble redhead with the accent to match. Born into a hard world and dealt an even worse hand, she toughened and hardened and grew into a formidable fighter with little respect for soft living. take what you can get, that’s her motto; and that also includes taking drugs.
Recruit Cait by clearing the Combat Zone of raiders and chatting with management; it’s well worth the effort. Send her into a fight with her shotgun and she’ll do you proud, and her Trigger Rush perk means your Action Points regenerate faster if your health gets low. You’ll need to complete her Benign Intervention companion quest to unlock it.
- Perk: Trigger Rush
- Likes: Drinking alcohol, taking your clothes off, picking locks, picking pockets and bargaining for extra payment all please her.
- Dislikes: Murder of innocents, giving stuff away, helping out for free and being a jerk will upset Cait.
- Notes: Before Benign Intervention Cait loves to see you take drugs. Afterwards, she hates it.
How to recruit Deacon, the man of many faces
VG247’s official choice for best companion in Fallout 4 (spoilers through that link), Deacon is the faction companion for the Railroad, and is recruited when you join the Railroad. He’s a swell guy who changes his appearance at the drop of a hat, which means he’s also a source of free clothing if you raid his inventory.
If you’re stealthy type (have you seen our Infiltrator Fallout 4 build?) you’ll appreciate Deacon’s Cloak & Dagger perk; it nets you +20% sneak attack damage and +40% stealth boy duration.
- Perk: Cloak & Dagger
- Likes: Deacon likes seeing you hack, pick locks, pass speech checks for extra caps, and be nice (or mean but funny) to others.
- Dislikes: Don’t do murders or use chems around Deacon.
How to recruit MacReady, the sniping mercenary
MacReady is loyal to two things: money, and more money. Nevertheless, if your values align, this hotshot merc is a fantastic companion who will serve you faithfully, especially if you have the sense to position him for sniping your foes.
Receuit MacReady by paying him, obviously; he’s down in the subway bar in Goodneighbour. Make friends and you’re looking at a sweet 20%+ accuracy boost on headshots in VATS thanks to his Killshot perk. Nice.
- Perk: Killshot
- Likes: It’s all about money – make threats, steal, haggle for extra caps, and pick owned locks. Oh, and take your clothes off.
- Dislikes: Don’t murder innocents – but also don’t give stuff away, offer to work for free, or get addicted to chems; it’s an expensive habit, see.
How to recruit X6-88, the Institute Courser
If you like Synths but dislike freedom, X6-88 is the pal for you. Recruited after joining the Institute, an option made available late in the main storyline. As you’d expect from an edngame companion, X6-88 is quitye the badass; there’s a reason the Institute’s Courers are so geared and respected.
The Shield Harmonics perk you’ll unlock if you make pals with this guy increases your energy resistance by 20%, which is not bad, is it?
- Perk: Shield Harmonics
- Likes: He likes machines, so hack, mod your armour and weapons, use Power Armour and ask for mroe Caps to buy more tools and trinkets.
- Dislikes: Don’t use chems, give stuff away, heal Dogmeat or take your clothes off. Not sure why he cares about the nudity.
How to recruit Longfellow, the crusty old sailor whose name is probably a joke
If you have the Far Harbor DLC, you can easily recruit this helpful guy by completing the quest A Walk in the Park. He’s not a great help in combat, being armed with a rifle and a tendency to rush right onto the frontlines. One or the other, mate! Cait or MacReady are a better choice than this compromise situation. Try giving him a shotgun for better results.
Longfellow’s Perk, Hunter’s Wisdom, is very useful for wandering the wild; it nerfs enemy animals’ physical and energy resistance by 25%.
- Perk: Hunter’s Wisdom
- Likes: Longfellow likes it when you’re kind, peaceful and helpful, but also when you get drunk and ask for more money.
- Dislikes: Murders, chems, giving stuff away, pickpocketing, stealing and refusing requests all annoy Longfellow.
How to recruit Porter Gage, the Raider’s friend
If you fancy yourself a villain and have the Nuka World DLC, Porter Gage is the man for you. Far too clever to paint a target on himself, Gage prefers to act as the éminence grise to whoever commands the warring factions in the theme park. You need to complete the quest An Ambitious Plan to recruit him.
Gage has the Lessons in Blood perk, which grants you +5% XP for kills, as well as +10 damage resistance.
- Perk: Lessons in Blood
- Likes: Stealing, picking locks, refusing to help NPCs, modding your guns, acting selfish and being mean all please Gage mightily.
- Dislikes: Gage will not like it if you get drunk or use chems, and also dislikes you giving things away, helping NPCs and being kind.
How to recruit Ada and your own personal Automatron
If none of the existing companions please you, modify or make your own. The Automatron DLC offers a moddable robotic companion, Ada, and also gives you the opportunity to build one of your own from scratch, exactly as you’d like it to be. You can produce as many as you like, but only one can accompany you around. They make good settlement guards, though!
Neither Ada nor the Automatron companions have affinity levels, and do not offer perks. You can recruit Ada during the Automaton story missions, and must progress far enough to unlock robot crafting to make your own companion.