When you’re destined to save the world, your friends can be an integral part of your success. They pick you up when you fall down, point out bad guys for you, and they’ll even lug around all the awesome garbage you find.
The Fallout series has had companions since the beginning. While there’s plenty of debate about which game in the series has the best companions, there’s no denying that video games have come a long way from the days where your companion was mostly just a mount.
While Fallout 4’s companion affinity system is a little over-simplified—the “good” guys like it when you do moral or “good” things, the “mean” guys like it when you do more… questionable things—through their interactions with the player and their environment, you quickly learn that your traveling buddies are actually more complex than their affinity stats might lead you to believe.
However, as in-depth, colourful, and overall enjoyable as Fallout 4’s companions can be, sometimes they plain just don’t make any sense. While some instances can be explained away with theorizing about lore, or perhaps a deeper discussion into the human (or dog/synth/super mutant) psyche, the game itself doesn’t offer any answers, which can leave you confused as the credits roll.
Be warned, wanderers: here be spoilers in this list of 25 Things About Fallout 4 Companions That Make No Sense.
25 How Is Dogmeat So Healthy?
The nuclear war in 2077 completely devastated Boston, leaving it damaged beyond repair. Pockets of hazardous radiation cover the Commonwealth, and most of the animals you come across have been severely mutated.
Plenty of dogs you’ll find in Fallout 4 look like something out of a zombie movie, but despite wandering around a gas station for however long, Dogmeat seems remarkably healthy for a dog that has no owner and no discernible place of origin. For all anyone knows, Dogmeat might be a synth. That would at least explain the pristine fur coat.
24 Piper Leaves Her Only Family
After traveling with your companions for a while, most of them will reveal information about themselves. In Piper’s case, she mentions her community’s corrupt leader, and how she moved her younger sister Nat to Diamond City after their father perished.
Despite being Nat’s only caretaker, Piper immediately offers to travel with you, even though she believes Diamond City’s mayor is a synth and people being taken is a frequent issue. While her cause of wanting to find the truth is noble, abandoning her sister in a city she believes is under Institute watch doesn’t make a lick of sense.
23 What Happened To Kellogg?
During Fallout 4’s main quest, synth detective Nick Valentine plays host to the memories of Kellogg, the man who took the Soul Survivor’s son. When you talk to Nick after the memory extraction, Kellogg responds instead, taunting you before Nick comes to his senses.
Talk about an identity crisis.
Whatever your reaction, Nick seems pretty unconcerned about the whole thing. Even if you keep traveling together, it’s never brought up again, and there’s no more Kellogg appearances. It’s never explained where he went, or how he spoke through Nick. Who knows, maybe you just imagined it…
22 Deacon Watched You Leave The Vault
If you head in the opposite direction of Sanctuary, you’ll come across a small camp overlooking the Vault 111 entrance with a strange symbol painted on it. After following the Freedom Trail, you learn the symbol is Railroad code for “ally,” and that Deacon, a potential companion, has been spying on you throughout the game.
What’s the Railroad code for “creeped out”?
While spying on you makes sense—Deacon needs to make sure you’re trustworthy before recruiting you—how he could possibly know the Soul Survivor was alive and leaving the vault remains a mystery.
21 Why Can’t Preston Do It?
After Concord, you find Preston Garvey patrolling Sanctuary. He’ll ask you to help settlements, saying he would himself, but he’s got his hands full. Makes sense; he’s a good guy who doesn’t want to abandon a bunch of trauma survivors.
Only, once Preston becomes available as a companion and is willing to leave Sanctuary, the quests don’t stop. Obviously this is meant to give players something to do, but as far as characterization goes, it doesn’t really make sense that a guy so devoted to the Minutemen helping the Commonwealth won’t go to settlements himself.
20 Ada’s Dialogue In Automatron
Ada is an important aspect in completing Automatron, as she has the ability to open locked doors that the player can’t. While you could build your own robot, most players probably just bring Ada along.
The final battle must have damaged Ada’s memory.
However, even if she accompanies you to the fight with the Mechanist, when you talk to her after, she responds as if she wasn’t there with you, getting pummeled by junkbots and needing a repair kit every 20 seconds. This results in an unfortunate hiccup in immersion in an otherwise pretty awesome DLC.
19 MacCready’s Reactions To Children
Despite the harsh attitude, MacCready has a soft spot for kids. He’ll tear up at the abandoned nursery in Trinity Church, and the whole reason he’s even in the Commonwealth is to find a cure for his sick son, Duncan.
But if a quest involves children, MacCready’s inconsistencies come out. He likes helping Billy in “Kid in a Fridge”, dislikes it if you refuse, even though he verbally agrees. In “Hole in the Wall”, a kid named Austin gets sick, and MacCready dislikes giving him the cure. You’d think a guy with a sick kid would be more sympathetic.
18 Robots Like You Joining The Brotherhood Of Steel
If you have Nick in your company when the Brotherhood of Steel’s airship first flies over the Commonwealth, he’ll recite a line from Poe’s “The Raven”: “Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing.”
The Brotherhood: a sign of hope, or a bad omen?
Nick’s understandably worried—The Brotherhood aren’t quiet about their hatred of all things non-human. However, both Codsworth and Curie like you joining the Brotherhood, and express hope when they see the Prydwen. Both of them know who the Brotherhood are, so their more positive reactions seem hilariously out of place.
17 Danse Likes Siding With Ironsides
Sitting atop a building downtown is the USS Constitution, a frigate that’s manned (robotted?) by a friendly sentry bot named Captain Ironsides. The Constitution needs repairs, and after agreeing to help, you’ll run into a group of scavengers who want your help ending the robots so they can scrap the ship.
Siding with Ironsides unsurprisingly makes your pro-synth buddies happy. However, Danse—who hates anything not-human—is also strangely adamant about siding with Ironsides, saying it’s better than helping “these hooligans.” Testament to how little he thinks of scavengers, or inconsistent characterization? Either way, it’s kinda weird.
16 Do Dogs Even Have Pockets?
One of the best things about your companions is that they’ll carry garbage for you. Granted, some of them will make snarky comments, and more often than not they’ll walk away just fast enough that you can’t click on them when you’re overencumbered, but still.
Companions: carrying your stuff with only minor complaining.
Dogmeat never complains. Because he’s a dog. Which also begs the question… where, exactly, is he putting all your stuff? Unless you have a mod that lets him wear a backpack, there’s no visible trunk for your junk. Maybe it’s magic. Or maybe it’s secret synth pockets.
15 Why Does Deacon Keep Lying, Anyway?
Deacon is supposed to be confusing; he’s a spy for the Railroad, he has to be discrete. But one of the most consistent things about him is that he lies. A lot. And he spins his lies as life lessons: everyone is going to lie to you.
But Deacon’s case is extreme enough that he even makes the other Railroad members angry. While he opens up if you reach max affinity, he never once tells you why he started lying the first place, and there’s no chance to confirm what's true. Confusing—and a little heartbreaking.
14 “Mean” Companions’ Reactions To Glory
Every companion in Fallout 4 has their own range of likes and dislikes that makes them unique, though some are more extreme than others. Because of this, it’s rare that all your companions agree on something.
However, most of them agree on how you should treat Glory, a rescued Institute synth and Railroad agents, when she’s on her last breath. Even your companions who disliked you joining the Railroad, selfless acts, or synths, will dislike you brushing off Glory’s final wish. However touching the moment is, it still comes completely out of left field for some of them.
13 Cait Likes Saving Pickman
One of Fallout 4’s sidequests will bring you to Pickman’s, an art gallery near Goodneighbor that has some dark paintings, and some particularly… macabre installation art. The majority of your companions will express disgust and horror upon seeing it, and dislike you accepting the “gift” Pickman gives you if you spare his life.
Thanks, I hate it.
Cait doesn’t seem to mind, however. In fact, for someone who used to hang out with raiders and dislikes you going after them when they’re attacking settlements, she seems weirdly pleased that a creepy painter is turning them into “art.”
12 Thanks, But… Don’t You Have A Son?
In one of your affinity conversations with MacCready, he’ll confess to lying to his late wife, Lucy, about being a hired gun. Instead, he told her he was in the army, and in return, she carved him a toy soldier.
When you reach max affinity, MacCready gives the soldier to you. While it shows a softer side to him, it’s a strange gesture considering he has a son who would probably appreciate a toy his mother made more than the Soul Survivor could, no matter how close they are. But it’s the thought that counts?
11 Hancock: End Raiders, Side With Scavengers
Hancock’s moral code is pretty simple: of the people, for the people. He lives in Goodneighbor, a town that’s home to the rejects of society, including a synth, a Mr. Handy, and even an Assaultron robot.
Hancock’s maybe taking the pirate thing too seriously.
Despite loving you ending all the raiders in Nuka-World and his bitterness about being kicked out of Diamond City, Hancock seems weirdly more concerned about the well-being of aggressive Raider-Lite scavengers who want to end Ironsides and his crew than he is with kicking a bunch of peaceful robots out of their home.
10 Deacon And The Deathclaw Egg
Fallout 4 has a rare opportunity to get up a close-up with a friendly deathclaw by returning an egg to its nest, much to the bewilderment of your companions. Some, like Nick and Piper, like you “doing the right thing”, because “everything deserves a chance.” A sentiment often shared by the Railroad.
Deacon, apparently, doesn’t agree. While he admits he’s conflicted about some Railroad stances, he doesn’t approve of needlessly ending things, even if they’re “bad.” So while he’d undoubtedly think returning the deathclaw egg is crazy, Deacon outright disliking it seems a bit out of character for him.
9 Shouldn’t X6 Hate You For Joining Brotherhood?
There's some actions your Fallout 4 companions view as unforgivable. Hurting members of their faction, for example, or bringing an enemy near headquarters can cause them to open fire.
X6-88 has never listened to “Sunglasses at Night.”
Bizarrely, X6-88 won’t even “dislike” you joining them like he will the Minutemen. Maybe he secretly agrees with them? Or maybe it’s the sunglasses; they shield him against blatant betrayal.
8 Nick’s Interactions With DiMA
Nick’s character arc is about his struggle with his identity. He’s a synth prototype; presumably the only of his kind. He claims that his whole life isn’t even his own, but the pre-war detective whose personality was implanted in him. You can sympathize with him, but it’s hard to really understand what he’s going through.
But when first entering Acadia in Far Harbor, Nick’s immediate response to meeting DiMA—another synth prototype—is not intrigue, but cold distrust. While it’s true Nick hates the Institute, meeting DiMA brings out a rather uncharacteristic level of aggression in him.
7 Being Unable To Reason With Gage
Gage isn’t in any particular raider group, he’s just hates the in-fighting. In conversations with him, there’s an air of disapproval—even dislike—when he talks about raiders; he doesn’t fit in.
Despite this, at no point can you reason with Gage and get him to see a better way. If you choose to side with the enslaved traders, Gage immediately turns hostile towards you. Honestly, it’s probably just easier to blame this one on lazy writing.
6 Companion Reactions To Art Vs. Synth Art
That sounds exactly like something a synth would say...
It nets some weird reactions from your companions. Most like letting human Art get rid of synth Art, but don’t like you doing it yourself. Some like you encouraging human Art to shoot. For some weird reason, Cait likes it if you put human Art down, but despite hating synths, has no reaction to you doing the same to synth Art. Make up your mind, guys!
5 Cait Dislikes Helping Anyone… Except Dogmeat
Cait is all about selfish acts. Due to her untrusting nature, she expresses blatant disapproval at any acts of charity or kindness, and doesn’t like you giving away items to help others. If you like playing as the “good guy”, she’s a hard character to reach max affinity with.
Cait even likes it if you mow down Ashes, the escape-artist cat from Vault 81. But players who bypass the companion limit with mods have noticed that, despite disliking it when you selflessly help others, Cait likes giving Stimpaks to Dogmeat.
I guess even hardened cage fighters can’t resist Dogmeat’s charms.
4 I Just Met You, And This Is Crazy…
Through affinity dialogue, you’ll learn that Preston was at his lowest during your first encounter with him in Concord; he feels like a failure for not being able to help more people when one of his fellow Minutemen turned on them.
Despite having just been betrayed by a colleague, and how important the Minutemen are to him, Preston is pretty quick to hand the powerful position of Minutemen general to a complete stranger. Regardless if it’s naivety or simple desperation, it’s a level of trust that doesn't really fit in with the harsh realities of the post-nuclear wasteland.
3 Companion Reactions To Danse
Listen, I like my friends. But if my friend is friends with someone who actively wants me wiped off the planet, I can’t really support that. But for some of your Fallout 4 companions, that isn’t even an issue.
A friend in need is a friend indeed.
Nick, Codsworth, Curie, and Hancock—all characters Danse despises—stand up for the guy when Elder Maxson reveals Danse is a synth and orders his execution. While their sympathy is noble, the sudden loyalty to the guy who wants them gone comes completely out of the blue.
2 Piper’s Hypocrisy And Lack Of Evidence
While Piper’s heart is in the right place, her hunt for the truth leads to much hypocrisy. She dislikes when you stir up fear about synths, or act aggressively towards suspects without proof, but Piper’s newspaper, “Publick Occurrences”, does exactly this.
The only evidence Piper has that the mayor is a synth is that he sat in the same chair a synth sat in. While paranoia is rampant in Fallout 4, you’d think a journalist slash conspiracy theorist would have more solid evidence to back up her aggressive tinhatting—even though it turns out to be true.
1 “Strong Not Like This”
If you agree to help Strong in his search for “the milk of human kindness”, you’ll soon learn that he’s by far the hardest companion to reach max affinity. Sometimes your actions confuse him. In turn, his reactions make no sense.
What is aff-in-atty? Strong confused!
On more than one occasion, Strong will tell you he approves, only for the game to give you a “dislike.” Sometimes it seems tongue-in-cheek, like when he claims “Strong confused,” but oftentimes, his reactions are so bizarre that most players chock it up to a glitch.