There's no better way to tackle Fallout 4's unforgiving wasteland than by going in with a companion. Not only do they come in handy when it comes to lugging around all your junk and extra weapons, but they also have insightful reactions to a lot of quests and their own personalities. Many of them can also be romanced in the long run.
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Once you reach maximum affinity with a companion, you receive a permanent affinity perk from them. Not all of them are necessarily useful, but there are many in the game that are severely underrated. Some companions also have specific talents, like hacking and lockpicking, which can come in handy when faced with a particularly challenging mission.
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17 John Hancock
Hancock is the weakest companion out there due to how useless he can be in combat. He uses a shotgun as his main weapon, which forces him to be at close range.
Hancock's affinity perk is Isodoped, which is also largely useless, as it gives a 20% quicker Critical Hit regeneration if you have more than 250 radiation damage. He can be found in Goodneighbor in the Old State House. Complete the quest The Big Dig and make sure to side with Fahrenheit to get on Hancock's good side, and he'll offer to join you.
Codsworth is the first companion you'll meet long before the bombs even drop. He has a limited arsenal of weapons like most Mr Handy robots, but he's decently useful early on. His slightly higher health pool from most human companions sets him apart.
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His affinity perk Robot Sympathy just makes you 10 points more resistant to energy attacks from hostile robots, which is so small you might as well pass up on it. If you still want him along, you can find him in Sanctuary Hills as soon as you walk out of Vault 111.
Included in the Automatron DLC, this companion needs to be built by the player. The Automatron also offers no special affinity perk. On the bright side, you can decide whether it specializes in hacking or lockpicking.
There's a variety of customization options available which sort of makes the Automatron a decent option, but it'll never quite be as good or immersive as another companion. Plus, even building one requires either luck to find all the mods on robot corpses or leveling up a bunch of crafting perks.
Ada from Automatron DLC a bit stronger than most human followers, and is highly customizable on the workbench.
Moreover, Ada doesn't care about what you do as the Sole Survivor. Like Dogmeat, she won't make judgments on your actions and you can ever have her steal owned items. Ada can also specialize in either hacking or lockpicking. To get her as a companion, you must finish her quest Mechanical Menace. Head over to Wattz Consumer Electronics to begin.
13 Old Longfellow
The go-to companion in the Far Harbor DLC is Old Longfellow. He can be found sitting around at The Last Plank, and completing the quest Walk In The Park will also grant you his cabin outside of Far Harbor as a settlement.
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Old Longfellow uses a lever-action rifle, which is a decently good option in battle. He's the best to pick up while in Far Harbor due to his affinity perk, which lowers damage and energy resistance of animals and sea creatures by 25%.
Cait is a former raider gone fighter at the Combat Zone, and can be picked up by simply entering the Combat Zone and wiping it clean from raiders. Speak to Cait and her manager after that, and he'll offer for her to join along.
Cait's strength doesn't necessarily shine in combat, due to her being specialized in melee and shotguns. However, her true utility is in her ability to pick locks. That being said, lockpicking is easy to level up on your own. Her affinity perk Trigger Rush is very niche, allowing you to regenerate AP points 25% faster if you're below 25% of your health.
11 Nick Valentine
Nick Valentine is a major character introduced during the main quest so it'll be impossible to miss him. Upon entering his office in Diamond City, you'll be granted the quest to go and rescue him. After finishing Unlikely Valentine, he can be recruited.
Nickspecializes in hacking, which can be a much more annoying feature than lockpicking and more difficult to level. Nickuses a pistol, which makes him decentand he also has more health than most human companions. His affinity perk Close To Metal is his weak spot since it only helps players who specialize in hacking terminals, giving you one extra hacking attempt and 50% shorter lockouts from terminals.
As you travel around Boston, you'll eventually receive a signal from Trinity Tower, where a man is being held hostage by super mutants. Complete the quest Curtain Call and you'll find Strong at the very top of Trinity Tower.
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Strong isa fantastic meat shield for any character build that rely on playing at a range. He uses melee weapons in combat, and while he charges in he gives you ample time to stay back and shoot the enemy. He has a high health pool as well. His affinity perk Berserk is very useful for any melee builds, as it gives you +20% melee damage if your health is under 25%.
Deacon isn't the best of the best when it comes to combat due his specialty in a simple pistol, but it's his personality and character that make up for it. His affinity perk Cloak & Dagger is one of the best ones in the game, especially for players who are going for a stealthy build. He grants you with a 20% boost in sneak attack damage and a 40% boost in stealth boy duration.
To get Deacon as your Companion, you'll need to join the Railroad and complete the quest Tradecraft. Finding the Railroad is part of the main quest, so it will be hard to miss out on meeting him.
8 Robert MacCready
MacCready is a powerful companion in combat, but pairs badly with characters that are specialized in sniping as well. It's best to pick him up only if you plan on going for a tanky build yourself.
MacCready can be found in Goodneighbor, at The Third Rail. He asks for 250 caps to have him as your companion, but if you have a decent charisma attribute then you can negotiate it down to 200. His affinity perk Killshot increases your accuracy by 20% while in V.A.T.S.
7 Piper Wright
Piper is another character found during the main quest, and it'll be impossible to miss her. She can be first met at the entrance to Diamond City. To easily get her as your companion, agree to give her an interview and complete her quest Story Of The Century. Alternatively, completing Dangerous Mindsby killing Kellogg will also unlock her.
Piper uses a simple pistol as her weapon, so she's quite weak. But her affinity perk is versatile. Her perk Gift Of Gab gives you +100% more experience for any successful charisma checks and when finding new locations.
X6-88 is one of the more exclusive companions. Only those who agree to join the Institute will gain access to him, and you'll need to complete Mankind - Redefined. He has a standard health pool, but hisInstitute laser rifle makes himexcellent in combat.
His affinity perk is weak but works for just about any build. Shield Harmonics gives you +20 points of energy resistance. Other than that, he's a character that likes cold, calculated and pragmatic decisions, so he's not the jolliest companion to have around.
5 Porter Gage
Included in the Nuka-World DLC, Porter Gage is your main assistant once you become the Overboss and complete the Gauntlet. He's a great friend to have around when actually freeing the various parks thanks to his powerful handmade rifle.
Due to Nuka-World being the last DLC, that makes him a nice combat companion. His affinity perk is also useful. Lessons In Blood gives you +5% more experience per kill and +10 points of damage resistance. These are perks any character or any build can benefit from.
4 Preston Garvey
Preston might not be as strong in combat as Porter Gage, but what he lacks in power he makes up with his affinity perk. It's useful to actually have him travel with you if you plan on focusing on settlements.
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Preston can be recruited after you've completed The First Step and helped his people escape the Museum Of Freedom in Concord. He wields abasic laser musket, so he isn't extremely versatile in combat. However, his affinity perk United We Stand is a must-have, since it increases your damage resistance by 20 points and damage by 20% when facing three or more opponents, which is almost a given in the game.
3 Paladin Danse
Many players tend to gravitate towards a rifle or sniper build, which leaves them open and vulnerable to damage. This is why Paladin Danse is an ideal choice for many, due to his standard power armor andlaser rifle. He's one of the best companions when it comes to combat and tanking tons of damage.
To recruit him, find him and his colleagues at the Cambridge Police Station. You can recruit him as a follower after completing the Tour of Duty, and joining the Brotherhood of Steel.
After Codsworth, Dogmeat is the earliest companion you'll meet in your game upon arriving at the Red Rocket truck stop. He's among the weakest in combat, but having Dogmeat means you can unlock the powerful Lone Wanderer perk, as well as make ethically questionable decisions without getting judged. Moreover, Dogmeat can sniff out loot for you.
Dogmeat can also incapacitate enemies in combat by pinning some of them down, so he brings in utility no other companion does in the game. His affinity perk is very niche, and basically boosts your damage in V.A.T.S. against enemies pinned down by him.
Curie is a very unique companion and definitely the best of the best. After she's upgraded from a Miss Nanny unit to a synth body, she comes on top with a whopping 670 hit points, compared to the standard 185 of most humanoid companions. She's very powerful and wields a laser rifle in her synth form.
To recruit her, you need to complete the quest Hole In The Wall within Vault 81. To get her synth form, you should complete her personal quest Emergent Behavior, which begins after you have a high enough affinity with her. Her affinity perk is Combat Medic,which grants you +100 hit points if your points a below 10%.
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