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Fallout 4: Faction guide

Everything you need to know about factions

Joining factions in Fallout 4 is like joining clubs or fraternities in college. They can instill a sense of comradeship and purpose. Unfortunately, many of the ideals in each faction are in conflict with other factions, so if you're looking to make The Commonwealth a place where everyone can be happy, you're out of luck. Once you get to know a given faction, it doesn't take long to understand its purpose. Its members won't strongarm you into joining, though specific quests will notify you of potential bridge-burning crossroads that will make you an enemy of an opposing faction.

The best way to learn about these Factions is to follow the Main Quest line. Completing those will naturally lead you to The Minutemen and The Institute. The paths leading to the two other factions are more subtle. To find The Brotherhood of Steel, you can either follow instructions from the airship that appears at the end of the Reunions quest or you can help out the brotherhood at Cambridge Police Station near the center of Greater Boston. For The Railroad, take on Road to Freedom, a non-mainline quest that automatically triggers while you're in the middle of one of the main quests.

THE MINUTEMEN

Conflicts with: The Brotherhood of Steel and The Institute

These self-styled protectors of The Commonwealth have a strong desire to grow a sphere of peaceful influence and harmonious community. They're wary of The Brotherhood of Steel's imposing military might and the mysterious Institute's subversive ideals.

If you love taking on quest after quest (especially repeatable ones), you should stick with The Minutemen. Many Minutemen quests will lead to settlements that will support the group's cause. Those settlements, in turn, will have more quests for you.

To further optimize your quest-centric playthough, you should align yourself with The Railroad first. Not only does it offer a rich bounty of quests, but completing the The Railroad's main quests will naturally steer you toward The Minutemen anyway.

In all, The Minutemen will make you a well-rounded citizen of The Commonwealth, one who knows how to build a settlement from scratch while also being a crack shot with your weapon of choice.

THE RAILROAD

Conflicts with: The Brotherhood of Steel and The Institute

The Railroad is similar to The Minutemen, though this ragtag groups  less covertly. Its members deprive themselves of the benefits of community resources from the settlements, but they are self-sufficient in technical know-how and muscle. It's is a good fit for anyone who'd love to join a resistance movement that already has its infrastructure in place. You just happen to be the resourceful adventurer who'll take its cause to the finish line.

The Railroad is also sympathetic to the individual rights of Synths, despite their artificial designs. If you believe that humanoid robots have a place beyond servitude in this world, then side with The Railroad.

THE BROTHERHOOD OF STEEL

Conflicts with: The Institute and The Railroad

This militant group has made a name for itself by efficiently salvaging technology and adhering to a strict honor-bound code and high-minded righteousness. The Brotherhood's propensity for self-serving fetch quests might be less noble than supporting and building communities for The Minutemen, but at least the rewards are plentiful.

Everyone fears the possibility of oppression from The Institute, fueled by its growing army of Synths, but if you want to defeat The Institute decisively with military might, join The Brotherhood.

THE INSTITUTE

Conflicts with: The Railroad and The Brotherhood of Steel

Taking on many quests for a specific faction can instill a sense of family and fellowship, but only The Institute can provide a feeling of family bonding in a biological sense.

If you believe that humanity blew its last chance at peace before The Great War, you'll find kindred spirits in The Institute. The Institute produces synthetic human/robot hybrids, built to serve humanity as well as control the peace — particularly against those who disagree with The Institute's idea of utopia.

Its well-protected base is a clean, almost disturbingly sterile environment, perfect for anyone who finds the above-ground ruins in The Commonwealth unsettling.

CARVE YOUR OWN PATH

You don't have to completely align yourself any faction in Fallout 4 to have a fulfilling life in The Commonwealth.

While you can learn a lot of ways to optimize a settlement from The Minutemen, you don't have to adhere to its values to build a little piece of land for yourself. You can blend into the world, take on jobs only when you need money, and pretend you're just like one of the many civilized NPCs in The Commonwealth. You can be the cold and shrewd gun-for-hire or the slightly more complicated, self-serving lone wolf with the heart of gold.

If you have a persona in mind — one that you want to adhere to for your entire playthrough — you can use that mindset to decide which quests to take on.

Will you converse with quest characters as you would in real life, or is Fallout 4 your outlet to behave opposite of your real personality? If you explore and kill enough, you can conceivably reach Level 50 without committing to a faction.