As the ‘Sole Survivor,’ you explore the vast and dangerous realm of the Commonwealth to complete quests, fight with enemies such as super mutants and deathclaws, gain new abilities and experience to level up. To survive, you need to craft new weapons, explosives, and drugs from scavenged materials.
Although a player can go through these ordeals alone as a ‘Lone Wanderer,’ there are many possible companions you can choose from. These companions help you explore the Commonwealth with their different abilities and perks. They also have distinct personalities that make some of the companions more interesting than others. Some of them are even romanceable.
The game’s affinity mechanism determines Sole Survivor’s (player character) relationship status with the companion. Based on your actions during the gameplay, their affinity with you can increase or decrease. If a companion’s response to your action is positive, their affinity will grow and vice-versa. Upon reaching the maximum affinity with a companion, Sole Survivor receives a special perk or bonus that could be anything from extra hit points to increased efficiency in doing certain tasks.
Below is the list of 11 best Fallout 4 companions in the game, along with their affinity perks, likes, and dislikes.
11. Preston Garvey
Race – Human
Preston Garvey is an essential character in Fallout 4 and is the leader of the Minuteman faction. That being said, he is a tedious and boring character who lacks any personality. As soon as you recruit him as a companion, he will give you a quest and constantly force them onto you. It is annoying.
Preston can accompany you as a companion after you rescue him at Concord as part of the ‘When Freedom Calls’ quest and then help him rebuild the Minuteman faction in the subsequent side quest. During the mission, Taking Independence, Preston Garvey becomes the quest-giver and will not follow Sole Survivor until the quest is completed.
Perk – Upon reaching the maximum affinity with the Sole Survivor, Preston Garvey grants him the ‘United We Stand’ perk, increasing his Damage Resistance by 20 points and allowing him to deal 20% more damage when outnumbered.
Likes and Dislikes – Preston likes it when you help others during quests, recruit supporters for Minutemen, and customize your weapons. He will be ecstatic if you agree to defend Minutemen protected settlements. He dislikes all bad things, including stealing, extortion, taking chems, and murder. Even when you destroy the Institute, Preston will be outraged if it’s done without an evacuation order.
Race – Synth
Faction – The Institute
X6-88 is a synth male working for the Institute as an operative or courser. As typical of an Institute courser, X6-88 carries a laser rifle and is a formidable fighter. You can recruit him as a companion only after joining the Institute. X6-88 has one of the highest agility stat in the game; thus, you can possibly use him for stealth gameplay. He is the only companion who can accompany Sole Survivor in and out of the hidden headquarters of the Institute.
In short, X6-88 is the ideal companion if you decide to side with the most feared and secretive organization in the Commonwealth.
Perk – Upon reaching maximum affinity with X6-88, he grants the player character Shield Harmonics perk after which your Energy Resistance is increased by 20 points.
Likes and Dislikes – X6-88 gives a positive response when you help the Institute scientists. He likes modifying weapons and armor, hacking into computer terminals, and putting on power armor. The Synth will surely let you know his discontent when you walk around him naked. Don’t use chems, give anything for free, or help anyone selflessly.
9. John Hancock
John Hancock might not be the ideal companion to Sole Survivor, but his character is likely to make you admire him more and more. The only ghoul character in the list, Hancock, can be best described as loyal but chaotic and someone who doesn’t judge you for (many of) your evil deeds.
Hancock is a good fighter and uses his double-barrel shotgun and combat knife very well. He can sometimes be funny and unpredictable. While dealing with enemies, he may show his nasty streak. Hancock is the mayor of Goodneighbor, where you can find him wandering around on the streets. You’ll be able to recruit him after completing a Goodneighbor side quest. And yes, he is romanceable.
Perk – Upon reaching the maximum affinity with Sole Survivor, Hancock grants him ‘Isodoped’ perk that fills up the player character’s Critical hit bar 20% faster when his radiation level is 250 or above.
Likes and Dislikes – John Hancock is fine with your use of chems and nudity. He likes when you harm who deserves it. Don’t steal and attack innocents.
Faction: The Railroad
A master spy and top agent of the Railroad faction, Deacon is an ideal companion for those who like stealth gameplay. He is also one of the hilarious characters in the game. Deacon can be found spying on the player character long before you discover the Railroad HQ. To disguise himself, Deacon often changes his appearance and can be seen in different outfits throughout Commonwealth.
Perks – Deacon grants Clock & Dagger perk to the Sole Survivor once you reach the maximum level of affinity with the character. It increases player’s sneak attack damage by +20% and the duration of Stealth Boy by +40%. Affinity with Deacon can be increased by lock picking, hacking computer terminals, and helping synths.
How To Recruit Him? – You can recruit Deacon as a companion after joining the Railroad faction by completing consecutive quests, the ‘Road to Freedom’ and ‘Tradecraft.’
Dislikes/Hates – Deacon’s affinity with the player character can decrease based on your decisions or actions throughout the game. Deacon will instantly turn hostile and start attacking if you kill innocent people or settlers of the Commonwealth.
“One time, I got a face change and was a girl for a few months. You should’ve seen the looks back at HQ.”
7. Paladin Danse
Faction: Brotherhood of Steel
Paladin Danse is perhaps the best NPC fighter in the Commonwealth, making him a powerful companion to the Sole Survivor. Danse is the leader of Recon Squad Gladius, a unit of Brotherhood of Steel soldiers sent to the Commonwealth to investigate its technology.
He can take incredible amounts of damage due to his power armor and uses a standard laser rifle to launch attacks. (The Sole Survivor can acquire his armors after completing the mission Blind Betrayal).
Perks – Upon reaching the maximum affinity with Danse as a companion, the player character gains the ‘Know Your Enemy’ perk, allowing him to deal 20% more damage against synths, super mutants, and ghouls. Remember that siding with the Railroad or the Minuteman factions before completing the ‘Blind Betrayal’ mission will permanently lock this perk.
How To Recruit Him? – Paladin Danse can be gained as a companion after completing the quest ‘Shadow of Steel’ from the Brotherhood of Steel faction. You can find Danse and his remaining unit at the Cambridge Police Station.
Dislikes/Hates – Danse hates when Sole Survivor uses chems, offer bribes, and harass or attack non-hostile characters. He approves player’s actions against super mutants and Synth, and loves when you craft weapons and upgrade armor.
6. Robert MacCready
Race – Human
Sole Survivor has a hard time with most companions when he asks for more caps for quests/jobs, lockpick owned containers, and steal from others. But not with MacCready. As a mercenary, MacCready has absolutely no problems with taking shady orders from you. He is also among the best fighters in the game, along with the likes of Cait and Danse.
MacCready is actually the most effective sniper in the game, who can take out your enemies from a distance, given that you can arm him with an appropriate rifle. As a companion, he will randomly give Sole Survivor 10mm ammo and even a fusion core. Overall, MacCready is one of the most useful companions in the game.
Perk – MacCready’s affinity perk, ‘Killshot,’ increases player character’s V.A.T.S accuracy by 20%.
Likes and Dislikes – As a mercenary, MacCready approves most of your unlawful behaviors, including lockpicking, theft, use of threatening dialogue, and taking bribes. He hates donations, unprovoked violence, and when Sole Survivor develops an addiction to chem. While he appreciates Sole Survivor for committing various crimes, it’s a different story if you get caught.
Race – Human
Cait is easily one of the most interesting characters in the game. She is rugged, sarcastic, redhead, and a formidable fighter — it is pretty easy to fall for her, and yes, she is romanceable. Out of all possible companions, Cait has perhaps the saddest backstory. After suffering from an abusive childhood and then into slavery, Cait eventually landed in the Combat Zone fight club, becoming a fierce cage fighter. The Combat Zone is also the place where the Sole Survivor first met her.
Cait has an uncanny ‘Irish accent,’ uses chems, and allows you to do that as well (before quest Benign Intervention). These characteristics may or may not make you hate her later on in the game.
Perks – Upon reaching maximum affinity with Cait, the Sole Survivor gains ‘Tiger Rush’ perk. It allows the player character to regenerate AP (Action Points) 25% faster if his health is below 25%.
Dislikes/Hates – Cait likes when the player is mean and makes threats but hates murdering innocents, helping out for free, and giving free stuff.
Dogmeat is perhaps the most faithful companion you can get who doesn’t judge your actions as he is a dog. He is the first companion you meet (near the Red Rocket Truck Stop), and you may decide to tag him along for your journey.
While Dogmeat is not considered a typical companion in the game, he is exceptionally loyal and tries to protect you at any cost. He can be useful in finding and fetching stuff and can also entertain you with his playful tricks.
Dogmeat has a unique set of commands and interaction mechanisms with the player character that often don’t go well with a specific type of gameplay. He may sometimes detect containers and incoming enemies on his own without any instruction from the player. Upon finding an enemy or a container, he will give a warning bark and run toward its direction.
While Dogmeat doesn’t have much combat ability, he can momentarily incapacitate enemies (Attack Dog).
Perk – Dogmeat’s Attack Dog perk is unlocked by leveling up Charisma rather than maximizing affinity with the companion. The effects of the Lone Wanderer perk remain in effect with Dogmeat as a companion.
3. Piper Wright
Race – Human
Piper Wright is an eccentric journalist working for her own newspaper known as Publick Occurrences. Due to her quirky personality and a compelling backstory, Piper appeals to most Fallout series fans. She is, without a doubt, one of the most likable characters in the game. However, many found her obnoxious and annoying due to her ‘know-it-all’ attitude.
You first encounter her outside of Diamond City gates, trying to sneak into the city after being banned by the city mayor. Piper will then ask you to visit her office for an interview, and after its successful completion, you have an option to recruit her as a companion. She is equipped with a 10mm pistol and is quite decent in combat.
Perks – Piper’s affinity perk allows Sole Survivor to gain 2x experience for discovering new locations and successful persuasion.
Dislikes/Hates – You can rack up affinity with Piper by helping civilians, picking locks (unowned), joining the Railroad or the Minuteman. She disapproves of bribing, lying, and demanding Bottle caps from settlers.
Like most companions, Piper will instantly turn hostile if you kill a Diamond City security officer. She also doesn’t tolerate violence against traveling doctors.
2. Nick Valentine
An old synth prototype turned famous detective, Nick Valentine is sure one of the most interesting characters in the game. He is exceptionally skillful in hacking terminals and possesses decent combat abilities, and uses a .45 revolver. Nick can be best described as a character from film-noir.
If you decide to choose Nick Valentine as a companion, you’re are more likely to sympathize with him, especially from the point of view of Sole Survivor as both of them have a similar backstory. He can be funny and has one of the best voice acting among all the possible companions.
You will find Nick held captive inside Vault 114, located under Boston Common’s Park Street Station. After rescuing him from Triggerman operatives, you must safely escort him back to his office in Diamond City. From there, Nick gives you the next mission in the main questline (Getting a Clue), after the completion of which you have an option to recruit him as a companion.
Perk – Nick Valentine’s affinity perk, ‘Close to Metal,’ reduces the reset time of terminals to 50% after a failed hacking. It also grants Sole Survivor an extra attempt at guessing the password. To unlock this perk, the player must complete Nick’s final quest.
Likes and Dislikes – You earn his approval by helping others selflessly, healing Dogmeat, and hacking terminals. He hates when you steal, threaten, and commit murder.
Race: Robot (Miss Nanny)
Out of all possible companions to the Sole Survivor, Curie is a fan favorite. She is charming, adorable, and someone who is greatly concerned about the well-being of society. Curie (Contagious Vulnaribility Robotic infirmary Engineer) was originally a utility robot designed to serve as a guardian for Vault 81, where you will find her during your exploration.
In her original robot form (identical to Codsworth), Curie is not useful in fights, especially hand-to-hand combats. She carries a laser gun which makes her more of a long-ranged fighter.
After completing one of Curie’s personal missions, players can choose to put her into a synthetic body and make her a humanoid. As a synth, Curie is a far more effective companion with a high (but fixed) max-health stat of 670 and the ability to wear armor. She retains her laser gun.
Perks – After having her as a companion, Curie randomly provides stimpak kits to the Sole Survivor. Her affinity perk gives you a 100 HP boost in a day if you’re below 10%.
Dislikes/Hates – Curie shows her disapproval when you work for Institute or decide to destroy the Railroad faction. She loathes stealing, murder, or attacking non-hostile characters and flirting with others while in a relationship. Provoking settlers will instantly turn her hostile towards the Sole Survivor.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Recruit Companions in Fallout 4?
There are a total of 13 possible companions in the game (including four additional ones with add-ons). To be able to recruit them, Sole Survivor must complete their associated missions that could either be from the main questline or a side quest.
For instance, to unlock Curie as a companion, you are required to complete a side quest sending you to Vault 81 to find the cure to a deadly disease.
The game allows you to recruit all possible companions in one save, if you want to do so. However, as you progress in the main questline, at least one faction-specific companion will become unrecruitable or hostile towards the player depending on which faction you decide to side with.
Which Characters I Can Romance in Fallout 4?
Sole Survivor can romance with several possible companions in the game except for Deacon, John Hancock, Nick Valentine, Strong, Dogmeat, and X6-88. After reaching a certain charisma level, you can choose to romance with some non-companion NPCs as well, such as Magnolia and Gilda Broscoe.
Who is the Best Companion in the Game?
You might choose a companion based on his/her personality, abilities, and affinity perk. If you want a companion with exceptional close-quarters combat abilities, then you should go for Cait and Danse, while MacCready is the best sniper in the game.
Curie is an absolute fan favorite because of her adorable character and charms, but after transforming her into a humanoid form, she gains a decent combat ability that was earlier missing.