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Permanent companions[]


All 8 Fallout 3 permanent companions

Fallout 3 offers a selection of 8 permanent companions to accompany the player character. All companions, except for Dogmeat and Charon, have a Karma requirement that must be met in order to recruit them; if one's Karma rating is too high or too low, they will refuse to join the party until it changes to their preferred alignment (listed in bold below).

Pictured to the side, from left to right:

Barring certain exploits, the player character is only allowed one "human" companion and one "animal" companion, the latter of which is solely taken up by Dogmeat.


Unlike in previous Fallout games, companions don't gain experience and notoriety independently but are scaled to the level of the player character.

The player character earns full XP if they are able to deal at least 30% of the damage necessary to kill an opponent, otherwise, an enemy killed with the help of companions earns zero XP. Delivering the killing blow oneself is neither necessary nor replaces the minimum damage requirement.


Dogmeat and Vault-dweller

Lone Wanderer and Dogmeat

Companions come with their default weapons and armor and will use these, depending on what role they are asked to play (melee or ranged). They will also wear any weapons or armor they are given that is superior to their standard equipment. All human and ghoul non-player characters (so all except Fawkes, RL-3, and Dogmeat) are capable of wearing power armor. Armor and weapons worn by companions never degrade with use.

Companions have unlimited ammunition for their standard weapon (with the exception of Butch), but they will have to be supplied with the appropriate ammunition for any other non-default ranged weapon.

If a companion is given several weapons and the appropriate ammunition, they will generally choose a weapon based on the range of the projectile, then on either damage per round (DPR) or damage per second (DPS) but not by the in-game interface's DMG stat. For example, if Star Paladin Cross is equipped with a flamer, she will first attack with her default laser pistol because her target is out of the flamer's range. She will move towards the target to get into the flamer's range and then switch to it. There are exceptions, however. For example, Charon will always use Protectron's Gaze (a unique laser pistol) over the laser rifle, despite its reduced range AND damage per round rating.

Some companions will use any weapon if it is given to them (provided they have appropriate ammunition for it). There are some exceptions, such as companions cannot use the Gauss Rifle rewarded upon completion of the Operation: Anchorage add-on, but can utilize the sim-only version obtainable through glitching or console commands.

Companions have significantly more health than other non-player characters.

Enemies are able to shoot companion's weapons out of their hands (except their default weapons), so it is inadvisable to give them unique weapons.

Companions are restored to full health at the end of combat after all nearby enemies are dead. However, if they are injured outside of combat (e.g. a booby-trap), they do not heal (until after the next combat). They can also use stimpaks in their inventory in the middle of battle if they were given to them earlier. Dogmeat cannot carry stimpaks, but the player can speak to him in the middle of combat to heal him manually. Companions' health can be checked by viewing them in V.A.T.S. mode, or moving far enough from them to see their HP bar. Companions are not considered "essential" non-player characters, so they will die if their health is fully depleted. There is no way of reviving them unless using the 'resurrect' command via console, targeted on their corpse.

Some companions will enter sneak mode when the player character enter sneak mode, and end it when the player character does. They may also randomly enter sneak mode during combat, presumably to avoid enemy fire or to gain better aiming.


Companion Karma requirement Default armor Default ranged weapon Default melee weapon Hit Points Base S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Tagged skills Carries
Butch Esc
Butch DeLoria
Neutral Tunnel Snake outfit 10mm pistol
DPS: 54
Butch's Toothpick
dmg/attack: 10
DPS: 30
5 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
Small Guns,
None Leather armor Charon's shotgun
dmg/attack: 55
DPS: 82.5
Combat knife
dmg/attack: 7
DPS: 21
6 ST, 7 PE, 5 EN, 3 CH, 3 IN, 6 AG, 5 LK
Small Guns,
Evil (acquire), None (rehire) Dirty pre-War spring outfit Sawed-off shotgun
dmg/attack: 50
DPS: 112.5
Chinese officer's sword
dmg/attack: 10
DPS: 23.1
6 ST, 4 PE, 4 EN, 6 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 5 LK
Small Guns,
Melee Weapons,
Dogmeat FO3
None N/A N/A Teeth 500, 2,500→15,000
7 ST, 8 PE, 7 EN, 6 CH, 2 IN, 8 AG, 3 LK
Good N/A Gatling laser
dmg/attack: 8
DPS: 160
Fawkes' super sledge
dmg/attack: 32
DPS: 45.7
500, 3,000→15,000
9 ST, 3 PE, 8 EN, 5 CH, 3 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
Big Guns,
Melee Weapons,
Energy Weapons
Evil Leather armor Chinese assault rifle
dmg/attack: 11
DPS: 88
Nail board
dmg/attack: 8
DPS: 11.4
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 3 CH, 3 IN, 6 AG, 5 LK
Small Guns,
Big Guns,
Melee Weapons
Sergeant RL-3
Sergeant RL-3
Neutral N/A Plasma rifle, flamer N/A 350, 3,150→10,500
5 ST, 6 PE, 5 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
N/A 197.5
Star Paladin Cross
Star Paladin Cross
Good Power armor Laser pistol
dmg/attack: 12
DPS: 72
Super sledge
dmg/attack: 25
DPS: 35.7
5 ST, 7 PE, 6 EN, 4 CH, 3 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Big Guns,
Energy Weapons,
Small Guns
  • Companions can be used to store items, allowing the player to collect more items before becoming overencumbered.
  • For a detailed list of the companions' equipment, see Fallout 3 companion equipment.
  • Carrying capacity will be, e.g., 50 pounds less if given power armor (45 for armor, 5 for helmet). Capacity is determined by: (Base of 150) + (10 * Strength) - (Weight of inherent gear) - (Weight of anything else, including replacement armor or weapons)

Firing permanent companions[]

In most cases, companions can be dismissed/fired, and can later be found and rehired. When fired they always travel to a specific spot, usually not the same spot they were hired. In some cases, they can always be rehired by simply finding them and asking them to rejoin the player. Also in some cases, there will be Karma or other requirements. For example:

  • Butch will return to The Muddy Rudder in Rivet City. He requires Neutral Karma to be rehired.
  • Charon will return to the Ninth Circle in Underworld. He can be rehired regardless of Karma.
  • Clover will return to Eulogy's Pad in Paradise Falls (even if the player has killed Eulogy Jones and abolished slavery by wiping out everyone there). She can be rehired regardless of Karma.
  • Dogmeat will wait near the entrance to Vault 101. He can be rehired regardless of Karma.
  • Fawkes will travel to the Museum of History where he will wait just inside the front door. He requires Good Karma to be rehired.
  • Jericho will return to Moriarty's Saloon in Megaton (if the town was destroyed during The Power of the Atom, he will just wait at the ruins). He requires Evil Karma to be rehired.
  • RL-3 will wait near the entrance to Canterbury Commons (at the traveling merchants' stop near the trees). He requires Neutral Karma to be rehired.
  • Cross will return to the Citadel laboratory. She requires Good Karma to be rehired.

Temporary companions[]


Fallout 3's temporary companions

Temporary companions typically join the player character's company for the duration of a specific quest and no further. Most of them will follow the player character indefinitely until their related quest is completed, but not all.

Unlike permanent companions, they do not heal automatically at the end of a battle but must be given stimpaks through reverse pickpocketing or healed through dialogue (still requiring a stimpak from the player character's inventory). Most of them can use weapons and armors. And because they are non-player characters, they do not consume ammunition and can use any weapon as long as they have at least one round of ammo. There are some hostile non-player characters that could become friendly to the player and permanent companions, but they will still attack temporary companions, like Arkansas or the Protectrons in the RobCo facility. The traps or mines of allies, like the frag mines laid by the citizens of Big Town, will still be hostile to temporary companions.

Of the listed temporary companions, only Red, Shorty, and Sticky have dialogue options which allow the player to give them weapons or other inventory items.

James is scripted as though he were a permanent companion; for example, he uses up ammunition on playable weapons, something only permanent companions do. However, his package is "escort" instead of "follow", so rather than following the player character like a companion would, he will follow his own path while attacking any hostile enemies or critters he encounters.


Companion Default armor/apparel Default weapon S.P.E.C.I.A.L. Tagged skills
Bumble Blast Off pajamas None
3 ST, 4 PE, 3 EN, 3 CH, 3 IN, 7 AG, 7 LK
Explosives, Small Guns, Sneak
Cherry Sexy sleepwear Switchblade
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Barter, Small Guns, Unarmed
Paladin Hoss Brotherhood power armor Flamer or
Missile launcher
5 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 4 LK
Science, Unarmed, Small Guns
Doctor Li Doctor Li's outfit Knife
3 ST, 6 PE, 3 EN, 4 CH, 8 IN, 6 AG, 5 LK
Explosives, Medicine, Science
Initiate Pek Combat armor None
5 ST, 7 PE, 6 EN, 4 CH, 3 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Big Guns, Small Guns, Energy Weapons
Red Red's jumpsuit
Red's bandana
Reading glasses
4 ST, 6 PE, 4 EN, 6 CH, 7 IN, 5 AG, 4 LK
Barter, Medicine, Science
Rory Maclaren Wasteland wanderer outfit None
5 ST, 5 PE, 5 EN, 5 CH, 5 IN, 5 AG, 5 LK
Sarah Lyons Lyons' Pride power armor AER9 laser rifle
5 ST, 7 PE, 6 EN, 4 CH, 3 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Big Guns, Energy Weapons, Small Guns
Shorty Brahmin skin outfit None
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Barter, Small Guns, Unarmed
Sticky Wasteland settler outfit .32 pistol
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Barter, Small Guns, Unarmed
Sydney Combat armor Sydney's 10mm "Ultra" SMG
6 ST, 5 PE, 4 EN, 4 CH, 4 IN, 6 AG, 4 LK
Melee Weapons, Small Guns, Sneak

Operation: Anchorage[]

Broken Steel[]

  • Paladin Tristan (only during Death From Above)
  • Brotherhood of Steel Paladins and Knights (when inside the Enclave building trying to find the encrypted codes, and during Death From Above)

Point Lookout[]

Mothership Zeta[]


  • Companions are immune to radiation and will not be affected by any irradiated environments like the player character.
  • Human and ghoul companions can wear power armor despite not having the Power Armor Training perk like the player character.
  • To have a companion heal themselves, one must give them a few stimpaks. Companions only heal when they are behind cover. The only companion that will not use stimpaks is Sergeant RL-3 as he repairs himself after combat. Dogmeat will require the player character to use one on him.
  • Most companions will turn hostile if the player inflicts damage on them 4 times in a row, but after waiting for a while the process will restart. Once turned hostile, the player can talk to them for some last words (most of the time it will be their own last words) for example, Star Paladin Cross says "I am, disappointed, things have come to this".
  • Companions do not have the ability to jump, so going over a ledge or up a cliffside will force them to seek the nearest walkable path, even at a far distance.
  • If a companion cannot be found, one can try going to their default location (for example, the Museum of History for Fawkes) or also try the player character's house in Megaton. One other solution is to travel to any of the add-on locations. This will send the companion home (though sometimes this does not work with traveling to any area in Point Lookout). If all else fails, console commands can be used to move the player character to their location. Look up the desired companion's page, find their ref id, then type player.moveto [ref id].
  • The Contract Killer perk and the Lawbringer perks do not affect companions. When a companion kills a human enemy, there will not be an ear or finger on the corpse. However, when a companion fights super mutants, they do drop super mutant blood samples after completing Broken Steel.
  • Regardless of ever finding him in the first place, during the game ending slides (excluding add-ons) Dogmeat will still appear as the Lone Wanderer's companion.
  • The game files show that only half the companions that require a certain Karma to be recruited actually have that Karma rating themselves, e.g. Fawkes requires Good Karma to recruit but actually has Neutral Karma.
  • Companions will not leave the player character's party after any amount of time waiting so long as they are told to wait in either the player character's Megaton House or Tenpenny Tower suite.
  • Companions do not recognize the dangers of using vehicles for cover, they may ignore the warning explosion and engage in combat among and around cars that are ready to explode.
  • On PC, if a companion has been marked "essential" with console commands and they are made hostile (for example, if Jericho is made hostile by stealing from his house), once their health has been fully depleted and they go unconscious, they will no longer be hostile upon waking up.
Companions in Fallout 3