Gametitle-FO4Gametitle-FO4 NW
Gametitle-FO4Gametitle-FO4 NW
Protect the people at a minute's notice.Preston Garvey

The Commonwealth Minutemen is a faction in the Commonwealth in 2287.


The Commonwealth Minutemen is a civilian militia formed as a result of the efforts by various small communities to protect themselves against the numerous threats present within the Commonwealth. Inspired by the historical minutemen of the American Revolution[1], settlers armed and trained themselves and pledged to help defend each other. As the organization expanded, acquiring dividends in both soldiers and resources, they first gained recognition after successfully defending Diamond City from a super mutant attack in 2180.[2]

Upon gaining enough resources, the organization eventually assumed control of Fort Independence, transforming it into their main base of operations. Renamed as "The Castle," the group repurposed a large portion of the fort into an armory; in addition, they erected a large radio tower in the courtyard to broadcast the signal for 'Radio Freedom,' a radio station with the purpose of notifying all members of the Minutemen about communities in distress.

After operating for a significant amount of time, the Minutemen made attempts to establish the 'Commonwealth Provisional Government' by uniting the various settlements of the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, these talks ended in the 2230s when an Institute synth infiltrated a meeting and killed all of the settlements' representatives.[3] This event would later be dubbed the 'CPG Massacre'.

Later, in 2240,[4] the Minutemen were forced to abandon the fort, the reason being mirelurks suddenly assaulting the Castle with the intent to nest in and around it. Thinking it was a super mutant attack, General McGann locked himself deep into the armory behind a myriad of defenses. With this last-ditch effort to protect the armory from being entered, he effectively doomed himself to die by dehydration, a demise hastened by his consuming a fair portion of the bottles in a case of wine. Despite this, his act of defiance prevented the mirelurks from nesting within the armory bastion, preserving it well until the quest Old Guns.

The last leader of the Minutemen, General Becker, was killed at some point after his elected appointment as leader. Upon his death, the Minutemen began to experience internal strife, as the various groups couldn't agree upon a successor. The loss of the Castle only exacerbated the problem, and this disagreement on a new leader caused the political landscape to become incredibly fragile. The entire situation came to a head following the Quincy Massacre, many of the militias making up the group disbanding in disgust or turning to banditry, following the almost inevitable loss of popular (and its attendant material) support.

Following the whole ordeal, only remnants of the Minutemen and their supporters remained. With the exception of Preston Garvey, one of the few survivors to escape the massacre thus still loyal to the cause of the organization, the Minutemen had effectively ceased to exist as a cohesive group.

Some small mention of a battle/series of battles between the Minutemen and the Institute is mentioned by Piper and Desdemona, but there are no other references of this event or chain of events in the game.


The Commonwealth Minutemen have little formal organization, being more of a volunteer organization of settlers involved in a mutual defense pact of allied communities. The head of the organization was always known as a general, and was in charge of allocating assets and forces to those in need. The heads of the respective militia groups usually held the rank of Colonel. Previously, allied communities would call for help on a ham radio and an alert would be broadcast on the Minutemen radio frequency. However, with the loss of The Castle, and its radio transmitter, there is no central organization.


The Minutemen are a loosely organized group of settler militias. Members wear simple uniforms inspired by colonial era clothing and are often armed with whatever arms are available, such as pipe weapons and double-barrel shotguns. The signature weapon of the Minutemen is the laser musket.

The Minutemen also utilize artillery, giving them the means to project their power over great distances. At one point the group also possessed a functional sentry bot, which can still be found guarding The Castle's armory.

The Minutemen possess an advanced communication network, allowing contact between any allied settlements.

Interactions with the player characterEdit

Soon after escaping Vault 111, the Sole Survivor comes across the Museum of Freedom under attack by raiders. They must fight their way upstairs, where they are introduced to Preston Garvey, who is leading a group against the raiders. The Sole Survivor later meets with Preston who then invites them to join the Minutemen and the Minutemen questline starts. Throughout this questline, the Sole Survivor will be asked to lead the Minutemen and complete tasks to align more settlements with the Minutemen. In the case that the Sole Survivor does accept, they are promoted to the rank of general with Preston supposedly acting as second in command. Eventually, this will lead to Taking Independence, in which the Minutemen take back their former headquarters, the Castle. With all the Minutemen quests completed, new quests assigned by Preston Garvey will begin to cycle back through previously completed quests. This entails completing the same quests again.

The Minutemen are benign as factions go, and will stay friendly to the player character should they ally with the Institute, Brotherhood of Steel or the Railroad. However, the Sole Survivor can opt out of any of those factions and work specifically with the Minutemen for the main quest.

Upon completion of The Nuclear Option, soldiers from the army will patrol the Commonwealth's military checkpoints. The Sole Survivor will occasionally obtain the quest "Defend the checkpoint." This quest consists of mainly helping a Minutemen patrol defend a checkpoint against synth attackers, raiders, ghouls (eventually replaced by yao guai and deathclaws if the player character's level is high enough) or the Brotherhood of Steel, if hostile to them.

Faction warEdit

Depending on the actions of the Sole Survivor, they may initiate the War of the Commonwealth against other factions:

  • If the Sole Survivor enters into hostile relations with the Institute, a faction war between the Minutemen and the Institute starts and they can now enter the Minutemen route of the main quest. This route will lead to Defend the Castle against the synths and later on to the completion of the main quest with The Nuclear Option.
  • If the main quest was finished with the Minutemen or the Brotherhood of Steel and the Sole Survivor has or gains hostile status to the Brotherhood, the two factions will go to war. The War of the Commonwealth will end with the optional Minutemen quest With Our Powers Combined, where the Minutemen use their artillery to bombard the Prydwen. After the Prydwen is destroyed, the Brotherhood will launch their final assault to the Castle. Once the assault is over, the War of the Commonwealth will finally be over.

Notable membersEdit

Related questsEdit


The Commonwealth Minutemen appear only in Fallout 4.

Behind the scenesEdit

The faction is based on the 'Minutemen' who helped fight the British during the Revolutionary War. The original Minutemen from the Revolutionary War were select groups picked from local militias that underwent additional training in order to ready themselves rapidly ("at a minute's notice") in order to protect their fellow citizens, hence the name.


  1. Fallout 4 loading screen
  2. Fallout 4 loading screen
  3. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide: "Historians have noted the original name for this settlement was Fort Independence, but the people of the Commonwealth now refer to it simply as the Castle. This place has a long and storied history; it is one of the first forts in America and predates the Revolutionary War. In recent times, it served as the base of operations for the Minutemen as they attempted (and failed) to establish a Provisional government. In 2240, the Castle was partly destroyed by gigantic Mirelurk, and most of the Minutemen leadership died."
  4. Fallout 4 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide - Page 517
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+