The Fallout series has long established itself as one of gaming's powerhouse franchises, and alongside The Elder Scrolls, sits proudly as one of Bethesda's greatest accomplishments. From its humble roots in turn-based strategy on PC, to its modern-day status as a household name, Fallout boasts a quality that very few can deny. This standard of quality can be seen in the 2015 release, Fallout 4. Like many RPG titles before it, Fallout 4 offers a plethora of crazy things to indulge in, as well as huge amounts of story options, multiple quest lines and the most commonly discussed of all, various factions to join. Fallout 4 offers four key factions that can be joined, each with their own quests, items, story, characters, and experiences. The question that every player will find themselves asking is "Which faction is the best?". While this is very much subjective and varies from player to player, here is a comprehensive list of the pros and cons of each joinable faction, in Fallout 4.
8 Minutemen (The Good)
The Minutemen are almost the default faction for players to align themselves with, offering the most simple road to story completion. They offer the most clear-cut “good ending” in the game, allowing players to explore the wastelands guilt free. Pursuing the Minutemen's ending will also allow players to continue completing missions for the Railroad faction as well as The Brotherhood of Steel, assuming they maintain relations with each respective faction, making it an excellent choice for those who want to leave as many options available as possible. On top of this, aligning with the Minuet Men will also allow for the use of Minutemen squad reinforcements as well as the ability to call in artillery strikes during encounters. These abilities will give players an extra added edge in combat across the wasteland.
7 Minutemen (The Bad)
However, the drawback to siding with this faction is that players will have to eliminate the Institute faction to complete their story. The Minutemen quest line also requires players to make use of the shakily received crafting and base building mechanics within settlements, which (depending on a player's view of the building mechanics) may be enough to persuade you otherwise. Also, the weapons and equipment attained through the Minutemen cannot hope to compare to the likes of the Brotherhood of Steel, and their technological prowess pales in comparison to the Institute. While they may be seen as the "good guys" they certainly are not the most powerful.
6 Brotherhood of Steel (The Good)
One fairly clear plus to siding with The Brotherhood of Steel is their impressive weaponry, things such as their iconic power armor, as well as their awesome airship base that houses various NPCs. On top of these things, players can also earn access to a very nice suit of power armor much faster and easier than other methods such as spending caps.
On top of this, the Brotherhood of Steel can provide players with mods for their energy weapons courtesy of the Brotherhood of Steel's unique merchant, Proctor Teagan. Siding with The Brotherhood also allows players to form an alliance between Minutemen and The Brotherhood. However, if players become hostile towards the Brotherhood after the main quest line, then they are able to seek help from the Minutemen to destroy the Brotherhood as well.
5 Brotherhood Of Steel (The Bad)
The drawbacks to this faction are that completing their quest line will mean the destruction of both the Railroad and Institute factions, removing the opportunity to interact with either, post game. As well as this, the unique merchant Proctor Teagan does require the completion of certain quests within the faction to unlock access to his exclusive weapons. Unlocks such as the free power armor jet pack mod are also tied to quest progression, meaning that players will have to put in the time to take to the skies for free with the Brotherhood.
4 The Institute (The Good)
The Institute, being the most scientifically advanced of the factions, can offer players full healing capabilities free of charge, including the removal of radiation damage. As well as this, players are also able to call upon synth reinforcements to come to their aid in battle, much like the support they can call in from the Minutemen. The Institute's unique merchant also offers a decent selection of energy weapons for sale. So if that's your weapon type of choice, it would be wise to side with the Institute. On top of this, synths within the game world will no longer be hostile to the player. It is also possible to maintain relations with the Minutemen if players are able to convince them to stand down during the mission “Pinned".
3 The Institute (The Bad)
Aligning with the Institute will require players to eliminate both the Railroad faction and the Brotherhood of Steel. This will result in the loss of access to the Prydwen airship that houses the merchant Proctor Teagan, essentially locking off the ability to buy mods for energy based weapons. So before making an enemy of the Brotherhood of Steel, be sure to buy all the mods needed.
Another con to siding with the Institute is purely a moral one. The Institute creates synths that are placed in the wasteland, passing as humans to manipulate and control the societies of the wasteland. This makes them, by default antagonists in the story, and as a result, should not be sided with unless this character path is what one desires.
2 The Railroad (The Good)
One pro towards joining up with the Railroad faction is that they possess an extremely noble goal. This is to liberate all synth life, which they consider to be sentient and valued, from oppression. The Railroad will also provide players with access to some of the best armor upgrades attainable within the game, with the least amount of hassle. Joining up with the Railroad also allows players to maintain good relations with the Minutemen.
The Railroad will also allow players to cater more towards stealth with access to better "Stealth Boys" to allow sneaking by conflicts. It is always possible, much like with the Brotherhood of Steel, to stock up on the items you wish to have, and then simply turn on the faction and pursue another faction's quest line.
1 The Railroad: The Bad
The goals of the Railroad could just as easily be criticized as they could be praised. It could be argued that their sole focus on synth life neglects the needs of human life in the wasteland. However, this very much depends on your views. A more cut and dried drawback to joining the Railroad is that the unique merchants that can be accessed are not very well catered for play styles beyond stealth. While armor upgrades offered by the Railroad are extremely helpful, the selection of weapons and supplies from their merchants are far less catered to action play styles than say, the Brotherhood of Steel or the Institute. Joining with the Railroad will also result in players destroying both the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel, locking them out of accessing those respective quest lines and NPCs.