Fallout 4: Best Companion Guide + Ranking Companions

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Fallout 4 is an action role-playing game published by Bethesda Softworks. The game came out in 2015, with its setting in the post-apocalyptic United States where the player assumes the role of the Sole Survivor. After finding out about the murder of their spouse and the kidnapping of their child, the player sets out to find their missing child. 

After its release, the game garnered positive reviews from critics, who praised it for its world depth, exploration, and soundtrack, among other things. However, we think the game owes a lot of its worldbuilding and positive feedback from players due to the companion system.

There are 13 unique companions included in the base game, who accompany and help the Sole Survivor throughout their journey. The Automatron add-on introduces two new robot companions, while the Far-Harbor and Nuka-World add-ons both introduce one companion. This brings the total companion count to 17. While one companion is mandatory, the others are completely optional. There are also a few companions that you must cross paths with, but don’t have to recruit. This means that it’s completely up to you which companions you want to recruit and travel with through the game.

New players may be wondering how to start their journey with companions. You may want to know how to find a certain companion after they’ve returned to their home base, or how the companion system works. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a Fallout 4 best companion guide. It not only explains the companion system in Fallout 4 but also ranks the companions from worst to best. That way, you’ll be able to make an easier decision on which companions to choose and recruit and decide on the best Fallout 4 companion. Oh, and we promise; no spoilers!

How do you find, recruit, and switch companions in Fallout 4?

The companion system in Fallout 4 is quite easy to get the hang of. You may have recruited a companion, but lost sight of them in the heat of the moment or after finding a new companion. Recruiting companions is crucial if you want them to accompany you on your next mission. Finally, switching out companions is important, because when you find a new companion, you’re forced to dismiss one that is currently accompanying you. You’ll want to know how to find that companion and get them back into your party.

Find a Companion

We’ve all experienced it. While exploring and fighting, you turn around and notice your companion isn’t there. This is the point where you ask yourself; can companions die in Fallout 4? Unlike some previous Fallout titles, the answer is no. When their health is completely depleted, the player will need to revive the companions. This means that companions can’t die in the middle of the battle (phew, that takes a lot of stress off our shoulders). However, if the companion’s faction becomes hostile towards the player, you will have to kill them to save yourself. 

There are several quick and easy ways to find your lost companions. One of them is particularly easy and useful if you have the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC. The Vault-Tec Population Management System is a great item that comes in the DLC, easily accessible by going to Power, and then Miscellaneous. The Access VIP Tracker option will allow you to find all of the companions on your settlement easily and place a marker on their location, so you can get there with no issue. 

However, if you’re a PC player and don’t have the Vault-Tec Workshop DLC, you can simply find your companions by entering a console command. You can access the console by pressing the tilde key (~), entering ‘prid’, and then your companion’s ID. After this, type “moveto player” and hit enter. After closing your console, your companion should be by your side.

Recruit a Companion

As we said before, you have to meet 6 out of the 13 companions available in the base game, and you must find the others separately. Dogmeat, your loyal canine companion, is the only one you must recruit, while the others are optional, and for good reason. I mean, think of his cute happy face! You’ll meet some of them doing the main quest, such as Codsworth, Cait, and John Hancock. It’s as simple as talking to them and asking them to join your team. The rest you’ll recruit through completing special companion quests and making a certain choice or just hiring them for a certain amount of money. Deacon, X6-88, and Robert MacCready are good examples of companions you can find that way.

Switch a Companion

If you’ve accidentally dismissed your companion while recruiting another one or simply want to travel with a different one, fear not. Talk to the companion currently in your party (if you have one) and dismiss them. After that, it all comes down to simply finding the companion you want to be in your party and asking them to join. Your previous companion is dismissed, and you’ve successfully switched out companions! Easy-peasy.

fallout 4

Rank List: Fallout 4 – Best Companion to Worst Companion

Now, after we’ve explained the basics of how the companion systems work, we’re going to list the best Fallout 4 companions. Of course, we’ll be taking into consideration companion perks and companion romance, as they are very important aspects of the game. Overall, we’re going to rank the companions, give a little bit of information about them, and list their perks. Let’s see what the best Fallout 4 companion is below!

#13: Strong


Players can find Strong in the Commonwealth in 2287. He is a super mutant imprisoned along with his teacher by other super mutants. If the Sole Survivor releases him, he joins the party. He’s a good addition to your party with his skills in using missile launchers and miniguns. He also offers the Berserk perk once he idolizes the Sole Survivor. This perk allows the player character to deal 20% more melee damage if your hit points are below 25% of the original value. Strong is not a romance option, but a great party member to have nonetheless.

#12: Paladin Danse


The Sole Survivor can encounter Paladin Danse in three locations: the Cambridge Police Station, the Prydwen, and Listening Post Bravo. He’s a commanding officer of a Brotherhood of Steel unit. Danse joins your party after you receive the quest The Tour of Duty. He’s a romance option and possesses the Know Your Enemy companion perk, which is available after completing his personal quest Blind Betrayal. The perk allows the player to do 20% more damage against ghouls, super mutants, and synths. To romance him and gain his companion perk, the player must reach the highest affinity level with Danse. Reaching this affinity level isn’t possible before completing his personal quest. Danse is a tank, able to take and deal damage in equal measure, so he can be very useful in battle.

#11: Preston Garvey

Preston Garvey

Preston Garvey is a Commonwealth Minuteman the player encounters in the Museum of Freedom or the Sanctuary City after completing When Freedom Calls. The prerequisite for recruiting Preston is simple: you only have to finish the quest called The First Step. Preston’s companion perk is United We Stand. It grants the player 20 Damage Resistance and a 30% increase to damage when outnumbered. However, he only grants this perk to the player after you reach maximum affinity with him. Preston is a pacifist, so solving problems through diplomacy is one of the best ways to improve your affinity.

#10: X6-88


Upon joining the Institute and completing the quest Mankind – Redefined, players will be able to recruit X6-88. This courser synth has great ranged capabilities and is great for direct assault or stealth missions. The Sole Survivor bears witness to this during the mission they are tasked with during their visit to the Institute. If you max your affinity with X6-88, he gives the Shield Harmonics companion perk. Shield Harmonics increases the Sole Survivor’s Energy Resistance by 20, making X6-88 a pretty average companion to have. He is also not a romanceable option.

#9: Deacon


Deacon serves as a spy for the Railroad organization, in whose headquarters the player first meets him. He vouches for the Sole Survivor in front of Desdemona and later offers to become a companion to the player. If accepted, and his affinity is maxed out, Deacon will grant the player the Cloak & Dagger companion perk. This perk gives the player sneak attack damage and increases the duration of the Stealth Boy item effect. Despite his positive attitude towards the Sole Survivor, Deacon is not a romance option. He’s a bit of a humor-pick, able to lift your spirits if you take him with you as a companion.

#8: John Hancock

John hancock

The player encounters Hancock in Goodneighbor, where he acts as the mayor. He’s a ghoul, which explains his zombie-like appearance. Despite that, Hancock remains confident, even commenting that it’s popular with the ladies and referring to himself as a “zombie pirate”. Hancock is a romance option after you max your affinity with him, and also grants you the Isodoped companion perk. This perk allows the player character’s Critical Hit value to increase faster with a 250 Radiation value. 

#7: Codsworth


The Mister Handy robot can accompany the player after they visit the Concord during the quest Out of Time. The Sole Survivor purchased Codsworth as a butler before the Great War in Sanctuary Hills. Upon reuniting with him, Codsworth expresses disbelief at seeing the player character. Overall, Codsworth deals quite a lot of damage in battle despite what you’d expect from such a kind robot. After reaching max affinity, he gives the player character the Robot Sympathy perk. It gives you 10 Damage Resistance against robots and other mechanical devices. The player can max out his affinity by modifying weapons or armor at their workshop. 

#6: Curie


You can find Curie in Vault 81. She is a Miss Nanny robot that the Sole Survivor finds scanning the same four walls where she was a lab assistant. She initially starts out with a robot form similar to Codsworth’s, but later gets her data and memories uploaded into a human body. The one simple requirement for recruiting Curie is completing the quest Hole in the Wall. She is a romanceable character and gives the Combat Medic companion perk. This means Curie allows the player character to heal 100 HP if their current HP value is under 10%. Considering the HP cap for Fallout 4 is 325 HP, this is a pretty good deal!

#5: Dogmeat


Everyone’s favorite furry companion is one of the first you meet in the game. At the Red Rocket truck stop, the player only has to ask Dogmeat to accompany them and he will become a part of the party. He’s especially helpful when traveling as Dogmeat will occasionally bite and hold onto an enemy. This is known as his companion perk, Attack Dog. It’s also interesting – and expected – that Dogmeat’s perk is the only one that can be obtained by simply leveling up. There are four ranks to unlock for the perk, each improving the effect of the perk. Dogmeat isn’t a romance option in the game, but who doesn’t love a faithful pet companion in any game?

#4: Cait


Cait is one of the more troubled companions on this list. Finding out about her past and her addictions is a chilling and sad experience. She gives off a tough girl vibe, but upon getting to know her, you’ll realize it’s all a facade. Cait is a cage fighter living in the Combat Zone, where the player first encounters her. After clearing this zone, the player needs to ask Cait to join them, and she will become a part of the party. As with every companion except Dogmeat, you must first max out her affinity to get her companion perk. The perk is called Trigger Rush and it allows the player character to regenerate their Action Points 50% faster if they’re below 25 points. Cait can also be romanced after maxing out her affinity points.

#3: Nick Valentine

Nick Valentine

Nick Valentine is a synthetic detective retaining the memories of a late pre-War detective. He excels in hacking computers and is not too bad in combat either. Nick can participate in fights as both a melee and ranged character. The Sole Survivor first encounters him in Vault 114 or Diamond City after completing the quest Unlikely Valentine. To recruit him, you must complete the quest Getting a Clue. Nick is not a romance option, but if you max your affinity with him and complete his personal quest Long Time Coming he will give you the Close to Metal companion perk. This perk makes use of his synthetic abilities by giving the player character one more guess to dial the password in terminals, as well as a 50% reduction to reset time after failing to hack. Because of this, he’s quite a useful companion to have around.

#2: Robert MacCready

Robert MacCready

MacCready is a mercenary the player character can hire for 200 to 250 caps upon encountering him in Goodneighbor. He used to be the mayor of Little Lamplight until he left when he was sixteen. After reaching the highest affinity, he gives the Killshot companion perk. It boosts the hit percentage for heads in VATS by 20%. A good way to build up his affinity is by stealing things – his specialty, as he can steal items undetected. However, make sure not to get caught, as he turns hostile when he is. MacCready is a romance option for the player character.

#1: Piper Wright

Piper Wright

Piper is a reporter in Diamond City who runs her newspaper, Publick Occurrences. Upon encountering her in the City, she is almost exiled for writing a newspaper article about the mayor being a synth. Upon helping her out, she invites the Sole Survivor to her office, where she interviews them. After completing the interview, she offers to join the player on their journey. With max affinity, Piper gives you the Gift of Gab, which doubles the experience from persuasion successes and finding new locations. This makes Piper a great companion to travel with if you want to level. Maxing your affinity with her also gives you the romance option. Her rebellious personality and useful combat skills make her, in our opinion, the best Fallout 4 companion.

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