The wastelands are a dangerous and lonely place to wander in. If you're not one to opt for the Lone Wanderer perk and get terrified at night by lurking ghouls and other critters, having a companion tag along might be a good option.
As your relationship evolves, you unlock special Affinity Perks that give you awesome bonuses during your journey. Some of them are even available as romance options, and some are just kind of fun to have along when you feel a bit lonely. Let's have a look at the best companions, ranked from okay to the absolute best.
Piper is a reporter for her own paper called Publick Occurrences working from Diamond City. You first meet her when arriving to the city gates, where she's struggling to get in. Once you give her an interview, she'll be available as a companion.
Piper's weapon of choice is a pistol, and once you reach a high enough relationship level with her she'll grant the Gift of Gab perk, which gives you double experience for successful charisma checks or when arriving at a new location. She's decent in combat, and has a rebellious personality that dislikes any forms of authority.
If you decide to side yourself with the Institute, X6-88 becomes available to you as a companion later on in the game. He's a synthetic with very little human emotion. He'll dislike any acts of kindness and will like it if you act selfishly.
In combat, X6-88 will use an energy weapon, a Laser Rifle, and he'll do quite a significant amount of damage, making him one of the better fighters on this list. Once you've reached maximum relationship level with him he grants you with the Shield Harmonics perk which gives you an additional 20 energy resistance.
For anyone looking for a companion with similarly questionable ethics and principles, MacCready is ideal. As a mercenary and once a Gunner, you'll find at the Goodneighbor where you can hire him for a couple of caps. However, keep in mind that he won't level up his relationship with you until you've completed his personal quests.
He's an extremely skilled shooter and will use a sniper rifle to take down his enemies. After you've gained his affection, he'll grant you with the Killshot perk which gives you about 20% higher accuracy with headshots while in V.A.T.S.
7 Preston Garvey
If you value kindness above all, Preston is your man. You'll meet him in Concord, where he'll ask you to help him and his band of what remains of the Minutemen. As their leader, he'll ask you to help clear Concord and continue to ask you for help with new settlements.
His favorite weapon is a Laser Musket, which is quite effective despite its long reload time. He'll appreciate any kindness you show to others, as well as a willingness to help the innocent. He'll grant you the United We Stand perk, which gives you +20% damage and damage resistance against more than 3 opponents, which is among the best affinity perks out there.
Cait might not have her life completely together, with drug addiction plaguing her. However, she's an incredibly powerful and skilled companion, able to hold her own in a fight with a shotgun. She used to be a raider, so expected her to applaud you for any violent acts.
One of her greatest perks is that she can pick almost any lock you need opened, which greatly facilitates your life in the wasteland. After you've gained her trust, she'll grant you with the Trigger Rush perk, which helps you get your Action Points back faster when your health is under 25%.
The first companion you meet in the game is Dogmeat, a friendly dog that might not be able to do that much in combat but is more useful than you'd imagine. Dogmeat doesn't actually count as a companion, so you can unlock the Lone Wanderer perk freely while he's around.
He can find hidden items, and can incapacitate enemies in fights. He's not too concerned with your ethics, which makes him a pretty handy companion in that regard. Sadly he's not too useful in combat, other than as a distraction.
4 Nick Valentine
In Diamond City, the main quest will lead you on a hunt to find and rescue Nick Valentine, a detective that turns out to be an old synth prototype with his own free will. He'll like a companion that will be nice to others and seek to find out the truth by asking questions.
In combat, he'll prefer his revolver, but his greatest asset is his capacity to hack into terminals that you struggle with. After you've leveled up your relationship with him he grants you with the Close to Metal perk that gives you a 50% lower wait between hacking a terminal and one extra try during the actual hack.
Don't let Strong's appearance fool you. He might look like any other Super Mutant waiting to bash your skull in, but he's completely loyal to you once you recruit him at Trinity Tower. Due to his nature, he'll like both generous as well as violent acts, and will defend himself with assault rifles in combat.
He's incredibly strong with a sledgehammer, and can sometimes even pick up a gun from a body to take down the next enemy. His Affinity Perk gives you a 20% boost to weapon damage if your health is below 25%.
2 Paladin Danse
A man from the Brotherhood of Steel and a capable fighter always seen in his power armor, Paladin Danse tops this list among the best fighters you can have as your companion. He's able to tank incredible amounts of damage while dishing some back. Acts of kindness, but also violence, will be tolerated by him as he's a man of the military.
He uses a Laser Rifle to protect himself and can be recruited once you've joined the Brotherhood of Steel. His Affinity Perk gives you a 20% damage buff when fighting ghouls, super mutants and synthetics.
When you first meet Curie, she doesn't look anything like a human being. In her original Mr. Handy form she isn't much use in combat, but once you transfer her inside a synthetic body, she becomes the strongest companion in the game with the sturdiest health pools and damage outputs.
She appreciates acts of kindness and generosity, and in her Mr. Handy form will use a flamethrower on her enemies. Her Affinity Perk Combat Medic grants you 100 HP once every 24 hours if you drop under 10% of your HP.