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The Castle garrison have spotted hostiles scouting the perimeter. We should find out what's going on.— Preston Garvey

Form Ranks is a Minutemen main quest in Fallout 4.

Quick walkthrough

Minutemen main quest: Form Ranks
Talk to Preston Garvey.
Recruit 8 settlements.
Reward: 350 XP
Leads to: Defend the Castle

Detailed walkthrough

After getting Banished from the Institute, talk to Preston Garvey about how to take down the Institute. Preston will state that the Minutemen are not strong enough to take on the Institute. They will need to recruit more settlements in order to have the manpower necessary to stand a chance.

This quest will stay active until the Sole Survivor has recruited eight settlements. If they have already recruited eight or more, then this quest will be skipped. To recruit settlements, listen to Radio Freedom or talk to Preston to receive information about settlements that have requested aid. Once there are eight settlements, the Castle will come under attack by the Institute, triggering Defend the Castle.

Quest stages

Quest stages
StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
10 Talk to Preston Garvey about the Institute.I should talk to Preston Garvey about how the Minutemen can help me destroy the Institute.
20 Recruit more settlementsThe Minutemen are not strong enough yet to take on the Institute. I should work on building up support across the Commonwealth.
50Quest finishedQuest Complete - Trigger Defend the CastleThe Minutemen are now strong enough that we can think about taking on the Institute.


  • This quest is skipped once the Sole Survivor talks to Preston Garvey after completing Banished from the Institute if they have already established enough settlements throughout the game. In this case Defend the Castle starts instead.
  • It is possible that, when this quest is skipped, Defend the Castle will not be initiated. Upon completing radiant quests for the Minutemen, they may be automatically completed without talking to Preston Garvey, once the objective has been completed. This is likely due to Preston being at The Castle after Form Ranks is skipped. Once the player character fast travels there, they may meet Preston, Ronnie or an unnamed Minuteman there, to initiate Defend the Castle.
  • If the Sole Survivor worked with the Brotherhood of Steel or the Railroad to complete The Molecular Level, they'll have to complete Inside Job, which becomes accessible right after starting this quest. Otherwise, this quest will never have enough settlements to finish.
  • Completing Ad Victoriam will automatically complete this mission and Defend the Castle.
  • The current number of Minutemen-aligned settlements (player character-owned with at least one settler) to trigger the quest can be tested on the PC console with show MinutemenOwnedSettlements. As this value is only updated upon handing in a Minuteman recruitment or radiant quest to Preston, one may have more settlements that meet the criteria than the system recognizes. Hence handing in a quest may result in this counter increasing by more than +1.