Fallout Wiki
Fallout Wiki

Burning Cover is a Railroad side quest in Fallout 4. It is the aftermath of failing Underground Undercover and being branded an enemy of the Institute, which also fails all other active, related Railroad quests.

Quick walkthrough

Railroad side quest: Burning Cover
Report to Desdemona.
Find the Minutemen or talk to Preston.
Reward: 75+ XP

Detailed walkthrough

This quest is fairly straightforward and only requires talking to two people.

The Sole Survivor has blown their cover, and must speak to Desdemona for the next step. When talking to her, she explains that there is little hope for rescuing any synths now that communication with Z1-14 is lost, and that the Railroad numbers are too few to challenge the Institute directly. She instructs the Sole Survivor to work with the Commonwealth Minutemen, as she says they are the only army who has a history of having defeated the Institute before in battle. Desdemona also thinks they might be able to find another way into the Institute with the data found in the network scanner holotape.

The next step is to talk to Preston Garvey. Depending on how far the Sole Survivor has advanced in the Minutemen storyline, he will react differently, but ultimately he will agree to support the Sole Survivor opposing the Institute.

Quest stages

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
100 Report to DesdemonaMy cover with The Institute has been blown. I need to report back to Desdemona and see how we can proceed.
200 Find the MinutemenWith no access to the Institute, there's nothing more the Railroad can do to thwart the Institute. Desdemona says my best chance to stop the Institute lies with the Minutemen.
300 Talk to PrestonIf I'm to defeat the Institute it will be with Preston Garvey and the Minutemen.
400Quest finishedCompleted
9000Quest failedFailed


  • When asking Desdemona how the Railroad can proceed, if one has not dealt with the Minutemen before, or did not complete When Freedom Calls, then Desdemona will ask the Sole Survivor to seek out the remnants of the Commonwealth Minutemen in Concord and work with them in order to take down the Institute, automatically marking Concord in the Pip-Boy. In order to complete Burning Cover, When Freedom Calls must be turned in first.
  • Burning Cover will not disappear from the quest log if The Nuclear Option is completed, a quest which involves the Institute's destruction. Additionally, Burning Cover will act as if the Institute still exists.
  • Despite talking to Preston Garvey next after talking to Desdemona, this quest will still fail if the Sole Survivor is declared an enemy of the Railroad.
  • Preston will not immediately offer the next quest when ending this one. Fast travel away and back to gain access.
  • Once this quest is completed, the player character will be locked out of all future Railroad quests.
  • Even if the player character has been banished from the Institute, it is possible for this quest to not be activated if the player character has no standing relationship with the Railroad (i.e. has not completed Tradecraft). As a result, the quest Underground Undercover will be not be activated nor failed.
  • During this quest Desdemona will mention that the Minutemen fought and beat the Institute at some point in the past.[1] However, there is no record of this ever happening, or even that the two factions were in conflict.


  1. Desdemona: "And there's only one army that's ever beat the Institute: the Minutemen. Unfortunately, they're long gone now."