I absolutely love travelling with companions in Fallout games. Sure, they may get in your way and aggro enemies you were trying to sneak up on, but there is something reassuring about taking on the wasteland with someone to cover you when things get dicey. The modern Fallout games have quite the roster of companions, and it’s especially interesting in Fallout 4 with the romance system. So since it’s one of my favourite parts of these games, here is my ranking of all the companions from Fallout 3, New Vegas, and 4!
Before we start, for full disclosure, here are the companions that I never travelled with, or at least not for a substantial amount of time. In Fallout 3, I swear I never even met Star Paladin Cross or Sergeant RL-3, although Sergeant RL-3 needs to be purchased by one, out of the way merchant. As for Clover, I honestly didn’t know that you could buy her from Eulogy Jones since my karma is never Evil enough to get that option. Same with Jericho, who calls me a “Lil’ goody two shoes out of the Vault.” Butch DeLoria is some I travelled with a tiny bit, but I didn’t even discover Trouble on The Home Front until my third or so playthrough. In New Vegas, I missed Lily Bowen because I thought she was only available for the quest “Guess Who I Saw Today” and I knew I could handle it without her. Raul Alfonso Tejada was a bit too much of a downer to last with me past the door of his cell. I honestly completely missed Roxie, the cyber-dog from Old World Blues.
And now onto the list, starting with my least favourite:
I don’t know why I dislike X6 so much, to be honest. I’m not sure he really belongs at the bottom of this list, but someone has to! His blind dedication to the institution is boring, especially since it’s an organization that totally denies his autonomy and humanity. It’s a weird self-sabotage and it frustrates me.
30. Porter Gage
One thing you should know about me is when I play Fallout, I’m a goody two shoes. I always choose the good guys, I always help the people of the wasteland, and I always get the good ending. So having a raider companion that delights in cruelty and immediately turns hostile if you don’t go along with the other raiders was never going to work for me.
29. Sgt. Montgomery
I don’t really remember him, so he loses points for being forgettable. Also for being in NAME OF DLC, which I found to be boring and drawn out.
Again: I’m too pure for this kind of companion! While Strong is more chaotic neutral than chaotic evil, his affinity points just didn’t line up with me at all. Not to mention he can be annoying and very, very repetitive.
I liked the idea of setting a slave free from their master, especially when he murders his previous master. But when it comes down to it, Charon was unremarkable and boring. He was okay in a fight but that was all, and I want more out of a companion.
26. Joshua Graham
Ah, the mighty and righteous Joshua Graham. I knew I wasn’t going to love him as soon as he started aggressively quoting bible verses at me on my way out of the Narrows. Luckily you’re only stuck with him for a short while, but let’s just say I was not impressed by the infamous Burned Man. Although his origin story is pretty badass.
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion. Remember, O Lord, The Children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem who said, “Raze it, raze it, even to the foundation.” O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed. How happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us. Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.“
25. Waking Cloud
The companions in Honest Hearts were generally pretty weak. But I particularly disliked Waking Cloud more than Follows-Chalk because of the way she stops, threatens, and insults you when you try to enter certain caves. Like…THIS IS LITERALLY WHAT I WAS TOLD TO DO. SHUSH.
24. Dean Domino
Dean Domino was the only character in Dead Money that I couldn’t convince to be my friend at the end of DLC and that annoyed me deeply. I passed all the skill checks in his dialogue but because I wasn’t always perfectly polite and patient with him, he refused to see it my way. You’d think that hundreds of years of being a ghoul in such a horrible place would make you see the more important things in life, but it apparently just made him more sensitive.
Follows-Chalk was a decent fellow. Helpful, informative, and eager. I also liked his perk that revealed map icons. But his biggest concern about the goings-on in Zion was a single baby Bighorner that got away from its mother? Please.
“No… no, the world’s always got another cage, waiting, keeping everything you want… just out of reach.“
I appreciated the philosophical and psychological aspects of Dog/God. He was fascinating to listen to and I really liked his peaceful resolution at the end of the DLC story. My main problem with him was his melee only fighting, so he would constantly run in front of me as I was just getting a limb off a cloud person!
21. Old Longfellow
Old Longfellow is generally lovable, but he’s also possibly the biggest cliche on this list. Oldest fisherman in the village, grumpy and unfriendly due to his super hard life on the seas and the loss of his wife and miscarriage of his child. But alas, the mighty Protagonist comes along and saves him from his backstory and makes him happy to be alive again! I did appreciate that after a 15-minute walk together, he offered me his entire cottage to live at and redecorate as I please.
We are definitely at the meh part of this list. I don’t have anything against Ada in particular, but I also don’t have overwhelming affection for her. Plus, I don’t like how she’s practically a required companion during the final stages of Automatron.
19. Christine Royce
Christine gets huge points for being a silent companion, not repeating the same 3 catchphrases infinitely. I also like the theory that she’s Veronica’s old Brotherhood girlfriend. Plus, she’s the only character at the end of Dead Money that you don’t have to talk round to your side as long as you passed the required ridiculous speech and intelligence stats throughout the whole story.
18. Paladin Danse
I would probably have put Danse in the top 5 if it wasn’t for his blind (heh) loyalty to the Brotherhood. Even when they turn on him and throw everything he’s done for them away (which was being the only Brotherhood outpost in the Commonwealth for years), he still treats them like the one hope of the planet. Get a grip, man!
17. John Hancock
I know a lot of people will probably disagree with Hancock being this low on the list since he’s a bit of a fan favourite, but I just didn’t click with him as much. He’s fun to have around and has some interesting things to say, but at the end of the day, he’s just alright in my books. He doesn’t even really have a companion quest, although the one he sends you on in Pickman’s lair was a pretty iconic one.
Fawkes is just a good egg all around. He offers to help you if you free him from his cell in Vault 87 and then he actually does it! He could easily just take off, killing us if he needed to. Not to mention the super epic moment when you’re crawling out of Raven Rock, and find him mowing down Enclave with a Gatling laser. He’s insanely tough and proficient in all types of combat and weapons.
I have a lot of respect for Deacon. One of the most frustrating things about him is not his fault, and that is when fans of Fallout think that his backstory about his wife and old gang is true, when he tells you that he is directly lying to your face in the game. I do resent him for lying, too, although he is true to his word about having an eye on you before you meet the Railroad.
Who’s a good boy? Rex is! Rex is a good boy! Even though his companion quest makes no sense because if you do a brain transplant, it wouldn’t combine their old memories and new memories! They would just become the dog that the brain came from! Because that’s how brains work! But an immortal cyber dog is still what dreams are made of.
There is so much to love about Cait. She’s a strong, kick-ass Irish babe who isn’t taking any of your shit. But her companion story is full of holes. She’s super addicted to chems, so why doesn’t she take addictol? Also if she’s super dependent on them, why would she leave her boss/owner, who keeps her supplied. Clearly, she doesn’t mind brawling, and I think that’s all he had her doing. I also don’t trust the mythos of Vault 95 because of the whole jet-in-a-prewar-vault controversy.
12. Robert Joseph MacCready
I love the idea of that little shit from Little Lamplight growing up, entering the real world, and turning into a pretty decent person. One of my few qualms with him is that I really don’t like the fact that, after finishing his companions quest, he doesn’t move back to be with his family and deliver the miracle cure himself. I don’t see why he’d risk so much and go so far to just hand it off to someone else. I get that the game wanted to keep him in as a character, but you could just have him disappear for a couple in-game days and then return with some story as to why he came back.
11. Arcade Israel Gannon
Arcades combination of being a good, benevolent doctor and also being a sarcastic, apathetic Nilihist. He’s so disillusioned with the idea of fixing the many problems in the Mojave, but damn if he’s not going to at least try to do his part! Also the fact that one of the few ways to recruit him is to have really low intelligence so he feels bad for you and basically wants to chaperone you.
“Hmm. Wow. You sound like you really do need some help. Look, I can help you out, but you can’t do anything stu- I mean, you can’t… help bad people, who want to hurt the locals in Freeside. If you do, I’ll leave. Does that make sense?”
10. Rose of Sharon Cassidy
“Caravans get butchered in the Mojave all the time, like mine. And so fucking close to Vegas, you could see it from the wall. NCR tries. It’s just that trying doesn’t mean a whole lot when you’re paying your respects to the dead.” Poor Cass, lost in the Mojave with no direction after her caravan was left in the dust. There’s something about seeking revenge with a whisky swilling cowgirl that really floats my boat. I always end up taking the route where you report the VanGraffs to the NCR because I’m too scared to be bad, but still. It’s the idea that I like.
Oh, mon petit cherie! A smart, beautiful scientist lady who stumbles her way through social norms to start a relationship with you? That checks all my boxes! She’s so cute and naive. One of the only things against her is the stupid, stupid vault she comes from with the stupid, stupid mole rat disease. I always do the glitch where you use the fact that you can walk away in the middle of a dialogue to drop the cure while simultaneously handing it over.
8. Preston Garvey
I LOVE PRESTON GARVEY. HE IS A PURE CINNAMON ROLL THAT ONLY WANTS TO HELP. HIS CONSTANT REQUESTS TO GO TO A SETTLEMENT IS BECAUSE HE WANTS TO BE ABLE TO REBUILD SOCIETY. SOCIETY DOESN’T GET REBUILT OVERNIGHT. IT TAKES HARD WORK, DEDICATION, AND A LOT OF DESK FANS.
I have a special place in my heart for Codsworth. The way he greets you outside the pre-war house, deep in denial about, ya know, the nuclear apocalypse is so pure. He just wants the damn vinyl wood floors clean! I also appreciate that he does have an affinity system despite being a less “evolved” AI. I guess spending centuries wondering what happened to the family you were programmed to protect would confuse his circuits. It’s adorable when he calls you mum as the female protagonist and even been when he called me Princess for a whole play through.
6. Veronica Santangelo
She just wants a dress. She’s only worn Brotherhood robes her whole life, never stepping out of line. But now that she’s starting to question their ideology, the first thing she wants is to just dress a bit more to her personality. I really love how she stands up to the Elder of her chapter and voices her opinions, regardless of the traditions she’s been taught. There’s no crystal clear good ending to her companion quest, which irks me, but it is more realistic. She’s someone I could legitimately be friends with since we have similar senses of humour and opinions on authority.
Why yes, number 5 on this list is a floating robot sphere that communicates in beeps and blips. He’s just so lovable! Especially the other version of him from Lonesome Road, which is basically a puppy following you around. I also really like his perk, Enhanced Sensors, which greatly extends the player’s detection radius, the equivalent of having a full 10 in Perception. Combined with Boone’s perk Spotter, which highlights enemies for you, sniping becomes insanely powerful!
4. Piper Wright
I love Piper Wright. She is basically the same person as my player character ends up to be. Wants to make the wasteland a better place, willing to get her hands dirty to do it, but also not above a sarcastic comment now and again. She protects her family at all costs but is not willing to let truth or justice be ignored. Also, she made me feel very special when she wanted to interview me. Basically, I have a huge crush on her and I love her.
3. Nick Valentine
“Hey, chin up. I know the night just got darker, but it won’t last forever.“
Why can’t I romance Nick!? He’s such a smooth talking, clever detective, with just enough of a tragic backstory to make you feel connected to him but not so tragic it’s cliche. I can romance a ghoul dressed as the first governor of Massachusetts and a slightly modified Miss Handy in a synth body, but not Nick. This just makes me love him even more though and he’s one of the companions I almost always travel with. Doing Far Harbor is almost a must with him because he adds a lot to the story. His companion quest is really fun and interesting, and he’s pretty good in a fight, especially if you arm him right.
2. Craig Boone
If you pick companions primarily for assistance in combat, Boone is absolutely the best one. Not only is his Spotter perk incredible, but he’s a great shot and starts off with an excellent gun. A scoped hunting rifle + tagged Gun skills + 8 in perception = best bodyguard ever! There have been so many times I’ve been walking along the road, hear Boone say his combat line, shoot once, and turn around in time to see a deathclaw go down. He’s super OP and I love him. His backstory is about as cliche as you can get, but I’ll forgive for all those times he’s saved my arse. Plus, you help him find closure in a sensible way, by murdering Legion en masse.
I think we all knew he would be number one on this list. He’s such a good puppy! The way he walks up to you at the Red Rocket, the times he pulls out a teddy bear to play with, and how he holds enemies in place, keeping them still and stopping them from firing. Plus, having him as a companion doesn’t count against the Lone Wanderer perk so you can get the benefits from both at once! I actually don’t travel with him that much because his little whimper when he gets hurt actually breaks my heart in half. So instead he lives a very lush life in Sanctuary with a ton of other dog friends, a dog house, and all the handkerchiefs I could get my hands on!