Companions are an integral part of the Fallout 4 experience ever since the release of the first game back in 1997. If you ask one of these companions to join your party, not only do they offer valuable information and combat assistance, but they also automatically give you buffs that are unique to their character. But when they leave your side, so do these perks.
So with this Fallout 4 companion perks guide, we’ll show you all of the buffs granted by characters in the game.
Fallout 4 Companion Perks – Full List
There are a total of 17 companions in this game. 13 of these are available in the base game, while the remaining 4 are only available through the game’s various DLCs.
Almost all of these characters have their unique perks, except Ada and the Automatron. These are the two robotic teammates that were introduced in the Automatron add-on.
With that out of the way, let’s take a look at our Fallout 4 companion perks.
Given By Companion: Cait.
The official description of this perk implies that the player’s Action Points regenerate +25% faster if their HP is below 25% of the maximum value. This is incorrect.
In reality, when a player’s Action Points themselves are below 25, they regenerate 50% faster than normal. This perk is fantastic for those players who constantly keep using the V.A.T.S. system and find themselves lacking the power to keep on going.
To gain access to Trigger Rush, players first have to gain 750 affinity with Cait. Once this is done, the character will talk to the player and tell them about her history with chem addiction.
This will then begin the quest ‘Benign Intervention,’ where you have to travel to Vault 95 to seek treatment for Cait. Once this is successfully completed, affinity with this companion will reach 1000 points, and the perk will be unlocked.
Given By Companion: Codsworth.
The Robot Sympathy perk gives players +10 damage resistance against energy attacks from robot enemies. This category also includes foes like Synths and Turrets.
There are multiple different missions in the base game, especially in the Automatron add-on, where you will encounter many robotic enemies. We recommending using this perk for these particular situations.
To get Robot Sympathy, players have to get maximum affinity with Codsworth. This does not involve any quest; you have to gain 1000 points by doing things this companion likes.
A quick way of accomplishing this task is to modify weapons or armor at a workshop. Codsworth loves these actions, and you gain 35 affinity points every time.
Given By Companion: Dogmeat.
Your trusty pet bestows you with the beginner-oriented Attack Dog perk. With this active, Dogmeat will occasionally bite and incapacitate individual enemies, allowing the player to get some good shots in.
If you decide to use the V.A.T.S. system when this is happening, you gain far greater accuracy than you usually would.
Unlike most other perks on this list, Attack Dog does not have to be unlocked via affinity. You gain access to this as you level up and purchase it in your perk tree. There are four levels to this:
- Level 1: Dogmeat bites and holds an enemy, giving you greater accuracy with V.A.T.S.
- Level 2: When biting an enemy, there is a chance that the enemy’s limb will be crippled.
- Level 3: Biting may also cause the enemy to start bleeding.
- Level 4: With Dogmeat in your party you gain 10% damage reduction.
Level 4 was introduced with the Nuka-World add-on.
Given By Companion: Curie.
With Combat Medic active, the player can heal themselves for 100 HP if their current health is below 10% of the total amount. This can only be used once per day.
This is not a particularly useful perk to bring with you into combat. Sure, the health recovery is good, but you can easily replace it with a few other health recovery items like Stimpaks.
To get this perk, players first have to gain 250 affinity points with the companion Curie to unlock the quest ‘Emergent Behavior.’ To progress forward with this, you also have to have met the NPC Amari in Goodneighbor and completed the main story quest ‘Dangerous Minds.’
See both of these quests to completion, after which Curie will be transferred into a Synth body. Now finally, reach maximum affinity with the companion to unlock Combat Medic.
Know Your Enemy
Given By Companion: Paladin Danse.
The Know Your Enemy perk allows players to inflict a bonus +20% damage against Ghouls, Super Mutants, and Synths. This is perfect for anyone who intends to side with the Brotherhood of Steel faction in the main questline.
If you decide to take this route, you’re going to encounter a significant number of Synths and other non-human enemies. Keep this active at all times to get an advantage whenever possible.
Know Your Enemy is unlocked after the player reaches a max affinity with Paladin Danse. Regardless of what the player does, this value will not exceed 999 until the ‘Blind Betrayal’ companion quest is completed.
Should you decide to side with either the Minutemen, Railroad, or Institute factions before completing this quest, the perk will be locked away permanently. So attempt this before you reach a critical point in the main questline.
Given By Companion: Hancock.
With Isodoped active, the V.A.T.S. critical hit meter fills up 20% faster, but only if you have a 250 Radiation value. Essentially this locks off a quarter of your health bar in exchange for gaining access to critical hits more often.
Maximum affinity has to be reached with the companion named Hancock in order to unlock this perk. And once again, there is no quest that has to be completed. You simply have to do things this companion likes, such as being violent or using chems often.
Our Hancock companion guide actually tells you how to reach maximum affinity with this character as quickly as possible. It also guides you on how to get the legendary minigun named Ashmaker as part of one of his quests. This is one of the more unique entries in our Fallout 4 companion perks guide.
Given By Companion: Robert MacCready.
Killshot gives you a 20% increased chance to land headshots while using the V.A.T.S. system. It’s a fairly simple Fallout 4 companion perk that lets you deal massive damage from much further away than would otherwise be possible.
To unlock it, players first have to be anywhere between 250 to 500 affinity with Robert MacCready. While in this range, the companion will talk to you and initiate the quest ‘Long Road Ahead.’ He wants you to assassinate two NPCs named Barnes and Winlock.
Once this is done and you reach 750 affinity, the second part of the quest will begin. MacCready’s son is sick, and he wants you to visit the Med-Tek Research facility and find a cure. Until this step of the quest is complete, the affinity value will not go past 999.
Close to Metal
Given By Companion: Nick Valentine.
This perk is perfect for hacking since it gives players one additional chance at breaking into computer terminals. By default you’re only allowed three attempts, but this gives you four instead.
Additionally, when you use up your turns and get locked out of a terminal, the amount of time you have to wait before attempting hacking again is reduced by 50%.
In order to get this perk, players have to reach 750 affinity with Nick and complete the main quest ‘Dangerous Minds’ to begin the ‘Long Time Coming’ companion quest.
Once this is complete, players can reach maximum affinity with Nick Valentine and unlock the Close to Metal perk.
Gift of Gab
Given By Companion: Piper Wright.
Gift of Gab gives players a +100% experience bonus for each successful charisma check that they make. Additionally, this bonus is also applied to the experience gained from discovering new locations in the world.
Maximum affinity has to be reached with Piper Wright before this Fallout 4 companion perk can be unlocked. You do not have to complete any quest to accomplish this; you have to do things that the companion approves.
Piper likes helping people, picking locks that are not owned by any NPCs, and using dialogue to avoid conflict. Joining either the Minutemen or the Railroad will also net you affinity, while joining the Brotherhood of Steel or the Institute will cause you to lose it.
Given By Companion: X6-88.
Shield Harmonic increases the player’s energy resistance by +20, and that’s about it. In my opinon, this is perhaps the weakest perk in this entire list, and I don’t see any point in trying to get it.
But in case you feel differently, it can be unlocked by reaching maximum affinity with X6-88. He’s a Synth that’s loyal to the Institute, so he enjoys actions related to tech and his faction.
Entering Power Armor, hacking computer terminals, and modifying weapons or armor are all things he likes. Killing Synth NPCs and working against the Institute will cause you to lose affinity.
United We Stand
Given By Companion: Preston Garvey.
With United We Stand active, the player’s damage resistance is increased by 20 points. They also deal an additional +20% damage when outnumbered by a ratio of at least 3 to 1. This is one of the most useful bonuses in the game, especially for players who like to run into the thick of combat.
There is no quest involved, but players nonetheless have to reach maximum affinity with Preston Garvey to unlock this Fallout 4 companion perk. Do this by performing Tasks that the companion likes.
Preston likes offering to help people during quests, helping settlers, and recruiting supporters for the Minutemen faction among other things. He basically enjoys helping others and not murdering NPCs needlessly.
Given By Companion: Strong.
For players who like to play melee builds, the Berserk perk is the perfect buff to have. With this, players deal +20% melee damage if their HP is below 25% of the total amount. So as you get closer to death, this allows you to finish the fight even more quickly.
To unlock this perk you have to reach maximum affinity with the Super Mutant Strong. This is another companion with no required quest, but you still have to perform strong likes.
He approves of killing enemies, eating corpses with the Cannibal perk, making aggressive dialogue choices, etc. Surprisingly for a murderer, he dislikes lock picking, stealing, and pickpocketing.
Cloak & Dagger
Given By Companion: Deacon.
Cloak & Dagger gives players a +20% bonus to sneak attacks and increase the duration of Stealth Boys by +40%. This perk is made specifically for those who prefer to play as a sneaky assassin.
To unlock this, all players have to do is reach maximum affinity with Deacon. There is no quest associated with this process; you simply have to behave like this character likes. Be sneaky, stay loyal to the Railroad faction, and make decisions that benefit Synths.
We have an extensive Deacon Companion guide that shows you how to gain affinity with him quickly. It also tells you how to get the unique Deliverer weapon, which works perfectly with this perk.
Given By Companion: Old Longfellow.
This Fallout 4 companion perk lets you inflict more damage on both land animals and sea creatures, by reducing their damage and energy resistances by 25%. This is unique on this list because instead of a buff that affects you, this debuff affects your enemies.
You have to get maximum affinity with Old Longfellow for this perk, who is introduced with the Far Harbor add-on. He enjoys drinking alcohol, accepting quests to help settlements and asking for more reward money during quests among other things.
Stealing, committing cannibalism, using chems, murdering non-hostile NPCs, and generally doing bad things is a good way to lose affinity with this character. So avoid being excessively evil with him in the party.
Lessons in Blood
Given By Companion: Porter Gage.
With Lessons in Blood active, not only does the player gain +5% experience per kill, but they also get +10 increase to their damage resistance.
To get this perk, players have to reach maximum affinity with Porter Gage, who is a part of the Nuka-World add-on. This character is a raider, so picking locks, stealing, pickpocketing, killing enemies in quick succession, and other violent actions are liked by him.
Joining the Minutemen, using friendly dialogue options, using chems or drinking alcohol are some actions disliked by him.
This has been eXputer’s Fallout 4 companion perks guide. At the same time while you’re here, why not also check out our article on Aluminum Farming in the game.
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