Fallout 4 has seriously ramped up the number and variety of companions that players can travel with through the wasteland. While many have welcomed this innovation, there are some who have complained about the primitive relationship mechanic. The various companions seemingly random preferences seriously affect play style in order to avoid missing out on the side quests that Fallout 4 companions have to offer. Others haven’t minded this too much, but some players have confessed to being simply bewildered by the sheer number of companions to choose from. Since Fallout 4 has been out for a while, some clear favorites in the companion department have emerged, whether because they complement a particular play style or because of the perks they provide, or both. We’ve compiled the top five for you below.
Dogmeat is a dog. An endearingly loyal German Shepard, Dogmeat is the first Fallout 4 companion, and he has widely been praised as both useful and a touchingly well-realized companion. Many gamers report becoming quite attached to Dogmeat, with some even spending up to 50 hours looking for him after they first sent him away! Dogmeat has a good carrying capacity and the ability to pin enemies in one place during combat. He is also quite adept at sniffing out items and interesting things to see in the wasteland. But by far the best thing about Dogmeat is that he has no discernable preferences. Whether you want to be kind or cruel, thief or merchant, suave or rude, Dogmeat simply doesn’t care. Dogmeat the dog is the one companion who allows you to be the Fallout 4 self you truly wish to be.
Cait is a former pit fighter and current drug addict. She has an intriguing mini-story, and there is the opportunity to gain extra XP and perks by romancing her. Cait is the ideal companion for those who like to play a dark protagonist. Cait’s preferences are such that you will gain brownie points with her whenever you are rude, merciless, violent, or larcenous. If your first reaction on hitting the Fallout 4 universe is to become a terror of the wasteland, Cait is the companion for you. Cait is good in combat (given the right equipment) and will provide the “trigger rush” perk, which makes Action Points regenerate 25 percent faster.
Apart from being one of the few companions with a surname, Nick Valentine stands out for his cool factor. Nick is a synthetic gumshoe in the best tradition of noir. With an interesting backstory, and the opportunity to wander the commonwealth solving mysteries and righting wrongs, Nick has emerged as a clear favorite with the Fallout 4 community. A solid gunfighter and entertaining wise-cracker, Nick is always good company, but he has a very strong moral streak. Stealing, murder, and rudeness will all make it that much more difficult to befriend him, and enough murder will see him leave you altogether. Nick’s perk is “close to metal,” which gives you one extra guess at passwords when hacking and halves the cooldown time for any computer you’ve been locked out of.
Preston Garvey is the leader of the Minutemen; the first faction that you will encounter in Fallout 4. Preston is often praised for his combat abilities, being very handy with a laser rifle and aggressive in combat. Many players have complained about his lack of personality, however, and his general moral strictness. Preston is basically a kind of paladin, and in order to get the most out of him, that’s what you’ll have to be, as well. The quickest ways to Preston’s heart are acts of charity, mercy, and kindness. If this doesn’t sound like a lot of fun, then Preston Garvey is probably not the right companion for you. If you are just that nice by nature, or you’re willing to put it on for a while, Preston gives the “United We Stand” perk, which increases damage resistance by 20 percent while increasing the damage the player inflicts by the same amount.
Piper is a crusading reporter who is strongly reminiscent of Lois Lane or April from TMNT. Piper is referred to the player by Nick Valentine, but she doesn’t seem to be all that necessary for solving the mystery that Nick says she holds the key to. The main reason Piper is favored is her likability. Most players report that Piper’s best feature in combat is the fact that the denizens of Fallout 4 just love to shoot at her, and they will ignore you to do it. Piper is one of the few characters who will not judge you for being immoral. Her perk, the opportunity for romance, and her enjoyable dialogue make her a much-favored companion for just wandering around exploring and talking to people. While not as psychopathic as Cait (hardly anyone is), Piper enjoys rebellious actions. The perk associated with Piper is the “Gift Of The Gab,” which doubles the XP gained upon successful persuasion or discovering new locations.
Whichever Fallout 4 companion you choose, you will still have an interesting and rewarding time. All the companions are well written and well-realized. This top five is really just the best of a good bunch. Of course, many players are going to have a favorite that isn’t on the list. Sound off in the comments if you think I’ve not done your favorite companion justice.
[Image via Bethesda]