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Permanent companions[]


All eight permanent companions in Fallout: New Vegas. From left to right: Rex, Cassidy, Raul (Vaquero outfit), Lily, Boone (assault armor), ED-E, Veronica, and Arcade.

It is possible to have up to two legitimately acquired companions in the party (one humanoid and one non-humanoid). All permanent companions have a unique quest line that can be followed in order to "upgrade" them, usually giving them new armor or new perks.

Humanoid companions[]

Non-humanoid companions[]

Dead Money companions[]

These companions are only available while playing the Dead Money add-on, they are only temporary and will not follow the Courier around as standard companions do:

Honest Hearts companions[]

These companions are only available while playing the Honest Hearts add-on, they are only temporary and will not follow the Courier around as standard companions do:

Old World Blues companions[]

See temporary followers.

Lonesome Road companions[]

  • ED-E, a manufactured duplicate of the original ED-E, armed with a modified arc welder. This version of ED-E cannot follow the Courier back to the Mojave Wasteland and is always classified as essential, even in hardcore mode, since it is pivotal to navigating the Divide and the story of the Lonesome Road add-on.

Temporary followers[]

Temporary followers are NPCs that can accompany the player character during quests, or they might even offer their support only for a limited time or within a certain area. Unlike permanent companions, temporary companions do not use the companion wheel, do not heal automatically, and with the exception of Deputy Beagle, do not have an option to exchange equipment.

  • Ulysses was originally planned as a permanent companion in the base game, one with a Legion-friendly personality, but was cut and eventually repurposed for the add-ons' overarching story leading up to Lonesome Road.
  • Betsy the Brahmin was planned as a companion but was cut from the game.


  • The world map in the Pip-Boy can show the location of one's current companions, who appear as small open triangles.
  • Acquiring companions is necessary for the achievements Ol' Buddy Ol' Pal (recruit one companion) and The Whole Gang's Here (recruit all companions). Additionally, there was a cut achievement called General Custer that was meant to be achieved for getting all companions killed.
  • After For Auld Lang Syne's completion, Arcade will leave permanently (either returning to Old Mormon Fort or staying with the Enclave remnants) until the attack on Hoover Dam.
  • Permanent companions are controlled via the Companion wheel.
  • One does not need to have their companions actively following to gain their perks; they can be told to wait. However, after waiting for a certain amount of time, companions will return to where they were originally recruited.
  • While actively following, permanent companions are treated as essential (unless playing on Hardcore Mode - see below). Companions are only essential while recruited, which means they can be killed both before they are recruited and after told to leave. In Hardcore mode, companions can be killed even while actively recruited, but do not require food or drink and are not affected by radiation or drowning.
  • Should one tell their companion to wait for them at the Lucky 38, they will be waiting in the presidential suite ready to be rehired at any given time.
  • Unlike in Fallout 3, where dismissed companions would walk all the way from their current location to their home, dismissed companions in Fallout: New Vegas are instantly transferred to their home location upon being dismissed. In addition, no companion checks against Karma when being hired, though they will check against reputation with one or more factions. Cassidy will leave if the Courier has a severely negative Karma, though it is still possible to hire her initially.
  • If siding with Mr. House, a Securitron will accompany the Courier during the final battle for the dam. However, this Securitron does not count as essential, and may die, even with Hardcore mode turned off.
  • Whenever completing a story quest, the next time conversation is started with a companion, they will talk about the quest.
  • There is a way to get all 6 humanoid companions - check Fallout: New Vegas exploits for the details.
  • Every permanent companion has a dedicated quest that upon completion augments them in some way, variously considered either a side or unmarked quest.
  • Companions will drop any weapons they had currently equipped if said weapon breaks.
  • Companions in the player's party deal damage based on the game's difficulty setting.
  • Using the console command "resurrect" on a companion (even while the companion is still alive) will strip them of any and all items given to them.
  • Companions will tend to take safer, if longer, routes to the player if separated, however, should the player be traversing steep ledges or cliffs they may fall resulting in them becoming unconscious, or die if in Hardcore mode. This is more prone to happen if one chooses to wait for the companion, however ED-E appears to be an exception to this.
  • The state of the armor and/or weapon that you give will not decrease when companions equip and use them.
  • The only way to kill a companion without Hardcore mode on (aside from console commands) is to serve them up as the replacement for Ted Gunderson in the quest Beyond the Beef.


Each companion also has a special attribute referred to in the game as Nerve. Nerve boosts the damage and Damage Threshold of each companion by 5% for each point of Charisma a character has. So Nerve grants a total bonus of +50% damage and damage threshold to companions with 10 Charisma and only +5% to both at 1 Charisma. A player character with a starting Charisma of 1 can boost their companion's nerve to the maximum by use of an Empathy Synthesizer, Intense Training, Party Time Mentats (+5), high Survival (so that alcohol adds +3 Charisma), or stacking moonshine with another type of alcohol.

In regards to weapons, each companion has their own Strength limitations, they will suffer accuracy penalties just like the Courier if trying to use a weapon that has a higher strength requirement than they possess. Furthermore, depending on a companion's preferred weapon type, damage can be increased even further by buying improved ammunition, or crafting it with Hand Loader or Vigilant Recycler. Giving an energy weapons-user certain optimized ammunition types added with Gun Runners' Arsenal can influence their overall carry weight in Hardcore mode due to the ammunition's reduced weight. Finally, weapons given to companions do not lose durability unless hit directly by enemies, therefore high-damage and high-degradation ammunition types are usually preferable unless said ammunition grants the enemy x2-3 damage threshold multiplier.

However, as Nerve is currently implemented, only the damage boost is ever applied to companions, limiting the usefulness of a high charisma build significantly.

Because Nerve only affects DT and damage, companion quests that bestow other bonuses upon completion (such as movement speed) are potentially less effective for those with high Charisma.

Weapons and armor[]


All permanent companions' default weapons have unlimited ammunition. If equipping followers with a better weapon, (DPS is checked) add ammunition and check its count from time to time - they seem to hold on to the new weapon when out of ammunition or switch to melee instead. Companions can use unique weapons with already built-in upgrades, such as the Ratslayer. Most companions use a weapon that's named after them. They share the same main characteristics as the standard version of the weapon and only differ in name, such as:


Permanent humanoid companions can wear and/or carry all types of clothing that is not associated with any faction. They can also wear all types of armor and power armor that is not related to a faction, even without having the Power Armor Training perk. They only change gear if they are given gear that has a better Damage Threshold than their own outfits. This may not always hold true, however; giving multiple copies of the same outfit to a companion may result in them equipping an inferior copy, despite the difference in DT.

Companions will refuse to wear or even carry faction-specific apparel, except apparel corresponding to their own faction. Giving invalid faction apparel to a companion will result in that companion immediately dropping the item (see Bugs for errors that occur with this); it is not returned, but must be picked up from the ground. This also applies to non-human companions who cannot wear armor, i.e. Lily Bowen, Rex, and ED-E. Only Boone and Veronica are able to carry or wear faction apparel. As a former member of NCR First Recon, Craig Boone will carry or wear any NCR faction apparel. Veronica, as a member of the Brotherhood of Steel, will wear Brotherhood power armor. She will also accept apparel specific to the White Glove Society, and giving her the items White Glove Society attire or formal wear, will result in her teaching the unarmed move Scribe Counter. She will not wear these items, however, because their DT is inferior to her default clothing.

Behind the scenes[]

  • All companions in the base game initially had a basic concept design made by Joshua Sawyer, while individual writers fleshed out the characters and designed their dialogue, quests and other content.[1]
  • Several remaining resources point to the game having at one point allowing the ability to have multiple humanoid companions. Primarily, this is found in disabled dialogue options, such as a conversation with Mortimer, where the Courier would have needed to specify which of their human companions they were offering to Mortimer.


  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 When entering the casinos on the Strip, they will take all companions' weapons. Exiting will not return their weapons they own.[verified]
    • On the PlayStation 3, this can be fixed by telling the companions to use melee or ranged and switch back to what they were using.
  • PCPC Arcade Gannon will sometimes not show the recruit dialogue when you have a nonhumanoid companion (Rex or ED-E). This seems to happen when Arcade is in the Lucky 38. The only way to fix this is to dismiss all companions, then recruit Arcade. [verified]
  • PCPC After dismissing Arcade to the Lucky 38 and re-recruiting Boone at the same location, Boone's default weapons shifted to those of Arcade's (Plasma defender & Ripper).[verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 Items in companion inventories will sometimes disappear from the inventory, yet the weight of the item(s) will still remain.[verified]
  • Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Sometimes, when entering combat from a distance with a melee enemy while your companions are also set to melee and placed right behind you can result in them getting stuck on the Courier and ultimately killing him/her when they try to attack the incoming enemy. [verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 Xbox 360Xbox 360 Companions who are poisoned will have the full effect of their poison "dumped" when using a stimpak on them. This can result in negative HP which cannot be cured with more stimpaks, and they will die as soon as you exit the companion wheel. (For weaker poisons, this may lower their HP, but since it doesn't go below zero, they don't die.) On the other hand, they will not use antivenom, so the poison may end up killing them naturally. This is especially a problem with Veronica, as she prefers unarmed combat. Patched in Fallout: New Vegas patch [verified]
    • A way around this is to turn hardcore mode off (if it is active). The poison will cause your companion to go unconscious a few times, but the poison will eventually wear off. After that, hardcore mode can be turned back on. The reason for this working is simply because, in casual mode, companions are set as essential and cannot die.
      • Note: Turning off hardcore mode at any point in the game will disable the hardcore achievement, so this solution is not recommended for anybody who is trying to get that achievement.
    • Yet another way is to tell the companion to wait, which appears to replenish the companion's health and remove the poisoning. The follower can then be asked to rejoin. This can be performed even during combat.
      • You may need to completely dismiss the follower from your party. After reacquiring them later on, if their health has not been replenished, have them engage in combat with an enemy (preferably weak and non-poisonous, to be safe). This should "reset" their statistics, and upon completing the combat encounter, they should auto-heal just as normal.
    • Temporary solution is sending your companion home or to the Lucky 38 then recruiting them again.
    • Alternatively treating them with stimpaks very quickly after they are poisoned will prevent their health from becoming negative and actually heal them instead of killing them. Note that it can take 20+ stimpaks to fully heal Rex.
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 The option to dismiss companions to the Lucky 38 will disappear even before Mr. House becomes hostile to the player. This can be fixed by disconnecting from the internet, then removing the latest patch and reloading the game while still disconnected from the internet. Installing the patch again will not allow you to send your followers to the Lucky 38.[verified]
  • Xbox 360Xbox 360 If a companion is given a weapon, and has equipped it, accessing the companion wheel to the option "Use Melee/Ranged" will delete the weapon from their inventory. When switching back the companion will go back to their unique ranged/ melee weapon. Highly suggest not doing this if companion is given a unique weapon.[verified]
  • PCPC Playstation 3Playstation 3Playstation 3 In hardcore mode, when a companion is nearing their carry limit, the player can still place ammo, (any under 1lb), in their inventory even if it exceeds the carry limit. When the player takes ammo out, unless it frees up the carry limit, the player cannot keep placing more ammo in. [verified]
  • PCPC If a companion is fired at with a minigun until rendered unconscious, and without ceasing to fire until the companion wakes up and is rendered unconscious again, their body will be flung up to the height limit, and will shortly thereafter respawn near the player. [verified]
  • PCPC Sometimes, when leveling up, your companion's health will remain the same. Using a stimpak will overheal them, giving them more health then they should. Entering and then exiting combat will fix this. [verified]

Fixed bugs (Patch[]

  • If you have several companions in the Lucky 38 at one time and leave weapons lying around, they may start to fight each other, and will die due to the fact that they are no longer listed as an essential. A solution is recruiting the one that the other companions are ganging up on, so that they are essential. Once that companion is knocked out the fighting stops. (Sandbox-AI caused human companions to attack non-humans if the latter carried consumable goods)
    • This may not be completely fixed in player/1.20.352: There was an instance of Rex and/or EDE attacking the human companions upon returning to The Lucky 38: This only seems to have been corrected after going back a couple saves and removing all remaining inventory from Rex; see more details at Rex attacking companions and NPCs.
  • PCPC Dismissing companions to the Lucky 38 can sometimes result in them staying in the same location instead of moving to the Lucky 38. So if you can't find your companions at the 38, check where you dismissed them. (As of Patch companions no longer walk to their residence but are teleported immediately).
  • The achievement/trophy The Whole Gang's Here doesn't count the companions you've currently recruited, but rather the total number of times you've recruited a companion. Furthermore, this count is not restricted to a single playthrough, so it will count "repeat" recruiting of a single companion. It is thus possible to recruit the same four companions over two playthroughs and get the achievement.
  • Sometimes when entering a casino, your companion will lose their weapons, and upon leaving, they will still not have their weapons. Mysteriously, the Courier will have it. It is impossible to give it back. The guns run on MCA ammunition, so they just clog up the inventory. To fix this, tell your companion to wait outside. This can happen to ED-E.
  • PCPC Xbox 360Xbox 360 When entering Lucky 38, Vault 21 or the Gomorrah courtyard with Veronica, she occasionally is removed from the game.