The Commonwealth in Fallout 4 can be a loner's paradise, but there's something to be said about the interpersonal enrichment you get from having a partner you can trust and depend on. Well, that and they can make you stronger.
There are 13 potential companions in Fallout 4, and they span the continuum from restless adventurers to opportunistic mercenaries to unwaveringly loyal robots. Given their varying personalities, pleasing each of them is an art of trial and error. This guide will help speed up the bonding process.
If you're lucky, a few well-timed flirtatious remarks can even lead to romance. But even without a romantic relationship, maximizing your bond with any companion results in a minor perk, a reward for reciprocating their loyalty.
Fallout 4's companions provide more than just emotional support, though. Using the trade option, for example, allows you to hand off items, should you reach your carrying capacity. You can also minimize their downed states (when they're low on health) by equipping them with better armor.
You might know of a number of hard-boiled detectives in popular culture, but none are as skilled with fists and a revolver as Nick Valentine. His backstory and conversation topics feature some of Fallout 4's best writing, so don't be surprised if you stick with him for a couple dozen quests in a row. Your mutual connection will trigger Close To Metal, one of the side quests.
Initial Location: In Vault 114, upon completion of the Unlikely Valentine quest.
Likes: Oddly enough, both acts of kindness and meanness. He also admires you when you donate items, heal Dogmeat and hack computers.
Dislikes: He's neither a fan of decisions that lead to peaceful or violent outcomes. He dislikes it when you eat corpses, murder non-hostiles or any acts of stealing.
Companion Perk: Close To Metal, which grants one extra hacking guess and 50 percent faster terminal cooldown when hacking. Requires maximum affinity with Nick Valentine and the completion of the Long Time Coming quest.
This travelling mercenary is as capable as they come — and he's especially good at taking orders. MacCready's behavior in battle might strike you as unusual, but that's because he's a pro at sniping, so make sure he has access to potent long-range rifles. As you bond, you can learn more about his backstory and even unlock a side quest.
Initial Location: The Third Rail bar in Goodneighbor.
Likes: Approves of decisions with violent outcomes. He is impressed when you steal, not counting pickpocketing.
Dislikes: He disapproves of kind behavior, meanness and decisions with peaceful outcomes. He doesn't like it when you murder non-hostiles, donate items or develop a chem addiction.
Companion Perk: Killshot, which increases VATS headshot accuracy by 20 percent. Requires maximum affinity with MacCready and the completion of the Long Road Ahead quest.
Hancock is the only Ghoul in your potential roster, and he is an exceedingly helpful partner. While he's one of the least judgmental companions, he doesn't take betrayal lightly. He's also one of the best dressed citizens of The Commonwealth.
Initial Location: Roaming the streets of Goodneighbor. He will also appear during the The Silver Shroud side quest.
Likes: Approves of generosity and decisions that either lead to peaceful or violent outcomes. He likes it when you use chems and donate items.
Dislikes: Disapproves of selfishness and meanness. He doesn't like it when you murder non-hostiles or walk around naked.
Companion Perk: Isodoped, which fills up your Criticals bar 20 percent faster when your radiation level is 250 or higher. Requires maximum affinity with Hancock.
This tough-as-nails Irish pit fighter has a bit of a temper, but she's grateful to have someone like you as a partner. Cait is burdened with demons and emotional baggage, more than your average 23rd century survivor. She initially approves of vices and destructive behavior, but that doesn't mean she's set in her ways.
Initial Location: Combat Zone in the theater district of Greater Boston.
Likes: Acts of selfishness and violence. She approves when you drink booze, steal and walk around in the nude.
Dislikes: Acts of generosity, meanness and maintaining the peace. She doesn't like it when you use chems or donate items, but this mindset changes after completing the Benign Intervention quest. She also disapproves of eating corpses and murdering non-hostiles.
Companion Perk: Trigger Rush, which grants faster AP regeneration when your health is below 25 percent. Requires maximum affinity with Cait and the completion of the Benign Intervention quest.
If you can partner-up with a Ghoul and a Synth, then you can certainly partner-up with a Super Mutant. This Shakespeare-educated brute is a huge help when you want to literally level a playing field in a pinch, thanks to his skill with a missile launcher. Your relationship with Strong will grow quickly as he witnesses frequent acts of kindness.
Initial Location: Trinity Tower, during the Curtain Call side quest.
Likes: Approves of generosity and decisions that lead to peaceful or violent outcomes. He likes it when you eat corpses and murder non-hostiles.
Dislikes: Disapproves of selfishness and meanness. He doesn't like it when you use power armor, a Vertibird, heal Dogmeat or pick locks.
Companion Perk: Berserk, which grants 20 percent more melee weapon damage when your health is below 25 percent. Requires maximum affinity with Strong.
To say that this robot is faithful to you is an understatement. Formerly your domestic butler, Codsworth's value hasn't wavered even after The Great War, especially when he's wielding his saw blade in melee battles. Trying to decide between him or Dogmeat as a companion during the game's initial hours is a good problem to have.
Initial Location: Sanctuary, most likely outside your former home.
Likes: Acts of generosity and kindness. He likes it when you modify weapons and armor, donate items and heal Dogmeat.
Dislikes: Acts of selfishness. He doesn't like it when you use chemicals, murder non-hostiles or perform any acts of stealing.
Companion Perk: Robot Sympathy, which grants +10 damage resistance against robot energy weapons. Requires maximum affinity with Codsworth.
If you seek an assertive and inquisitive companion, Piper is your gal. Mostly levelheaded and handy with a pistol, this Diamond City citizen will find your background as a vault dweller fascinating. Don't be surprised if an interview request is actually a pick-up line.
Initial Location: She's easily found once you reach Diamond City, whether the city is your current quest goal or not.
Likes: Approves of generosity and mean behavior. You can impress her by picking locks of unclaimed property and healing Dogmeat.
Dislikes: Disapproves of selfishness and decisions with peaceful or violent outcomes. She hates it when you eat corpses, murder non-hostiles or steal.
Companion Perk: Gift Of Gab, which grants double XP during speech challenges and discovering new locations. Requires maximum affinity with Piper.
This Institute Courser is the closest you get to having a personal Terminator in Fallout 4. What he lacks in personality he makes up in long range vision (for spotting enemies) and proficiency in advanced energy weaponry. You can impress him by showing interest in the best technologies The Commonwealth has to offer.
Initial Location: In the Institute, after the conclusion of Mankind Redefined.
Likes: Acts of selfishness and maintaining the peace. He likes it when you use power armor, hack computers and modify weapons and armor.
Dislikes: Acts of kindness and generosity. He doesn't like it when you enter the Vertibird, heal Dogmeat and walk around in the nude.
Companion Perk: Shield Harmonics, which grants +20 energy resistance. Requires maximum affinity with X6-88.
Like Preston Garvey, Paladin Danse will be your first commanding officer should you join his respective faction, The Brotherhood of Steel. His loyalty to you is only second to his loyalty to The Brotherhood. He will frown upon any conversation replies that run counter to The Brotherhood's ideals.
Initial Location: At Cambridge Police Station, upon the conclusion of Fire Support.
Likes: Acts of kindness and choices that lead to violent outcomes. He likes it when you use the Vertibird and power armor. He also approves when you modify weapons and armor.
Dislikes: A mean personality and choices that lead to peaceful outcomes. He doesn't like it when you use chems, eat corpses, murder non-hostiles or steal.
Companion Perk: Know Your Enemy, which grants 20 percent more damage against Feral Ghouls, Super Mutants, and Synths. Requires maximum affinity with Paladin Danse.
This member of The Railroad faction is one of your biggest fans. It's kind of surprising that the faction is willing to temporarily give him up for your use, given that he's their best field agent. His fixation with sunglasses underscores his preference for discretion and a stealthy approach to most any situation.
Initial Location: Old North Church, upon finding The Railroad faction.
Likes: Appreciates both nice and mean behavior. You can impress him by donating items, hacking computers, healing Dogmeat and picking locks.
Dislikes: Choices that lead to violent outcomes. He is not impressed when you use chems, eat corpses or murder non-hostiles.
Companion Perk: Cloak & Dagger, which grants 20 percent more sneak attack damage and increases Stealth Boy duration by 40 percent. Requires maximum affinity with Deacon.
Companion or not, Preston is one of the more important characters in Fallout 4. As the leader of The Minutemen, he will not only grant you a ton of quests (provided you align yourself with his faction), but he's also the catalyst for expanding settlements throughout The Commonwealth. If you have him as an active partner, you can impress him by establishing trade routes and establishing new settlements.
Initial Location: Found during the When Freedom Calls quest in the Museum of Freedom.
Likes: Acts of generosity, meanness and maintaining the peace. He approves when you donate items and modify weapons.
Dislikes: Acts of selfishness and violence against non-hostiles. He doesn't like it when you use chemicals, eat corpses or steal.
Companion Perk: United We Stand, which grants you 20 percent extra damage and 20 percent damage resistance when facing three or more opponents. Requires maximum affinity with Preston.
While classified as a "Mrs. Handy" robot, don't assume she's just a female version of Codsworth. She might be a medical and science specialist, but she's also adept with a flamethrower. And unlike Codsworth, you can flirt with this robot.
Initial Location: In Vault 81. You can kill three birds with one stone by completing the Vault 81 and Hole In The Wall quests, which will lead you to her.
Likes: She approves of kindness, meanness and decisions that lead to peaceful outcomes. She likes it when you donate items and heal Dogmeat.
Dislikes: She does not like selfishness. She is not impressed when you develop a chem addiction, murder non-hostiles or steal.
Companion Perk: Combat Medic, which grants you automatic healing of 100 health points once a day when your health is below 10 percent. Requires maximum affinity with Curie and the completion of the Emergent Behavior quest.
As man's best friend, it's no surprise that your affinity with Dogmeat starts at the maximum level. He isn't a meaningful damage dealer, but he's particularly helpful for distracting enemies. Dogmeat should be your go-to little buddy if you don't want to deal with a lot of companion conversations.
Initial Location: Red Rocket Truck Stop, just south of Sanctuary Hills.
Dislikes: Just don't shoot him!
Companion Perk: None.