Fallout 4 is essentially the longest and most dangerous trek through a post-nuclear apocalypse wasteland. With all kinds of monstrosities lurking behind each corner, it is a journey best done with a companion watching your back. Luckily, in Fallout 4 you have a bunch of companions to choose from and take along on this arduous adventure. But can these companions die in Fallout 4? If they do then it can get quite lonely.
Fortunately, the companions in Fallout 4 CANNOT be killed while in battle. There are ways of lowering their affinity to the player for them to leave your companionship and then making them hostile so that YOU can kill them. But they won’t die/ be killed as your companion.
Below we will go into detail regarding the companion’s so-called immortality and will also shed light on some situations where you can make them hostile, so read along!
Killing / Dying Companions in Fallout 4
The base Fallout 4 experience has a total of 13 unique companions with their own set of storylines and utility. There are 4 more added to the mix with the Automatron, Far Harbor, and Nuka-World DLC bringing the total to 17 companions. These companions can be banded in a party to accompany you on your missions and even have their specific quests to go on. They will fight alongside you and provide unique commentary as well.
Contrary to the franchise’s previous entries like Fallout 3 and New Vegas, Fallout 4 doesn’t allow your companions to die. Companions are marked as “essential” when acting as active companions, meaning they cannot be killed. If their HP drops to zero in the middle of the fight, they will be automatically revived after the skirmish ends or you can revive them using certain items while in combat.
If you are playing in Survival mode, the companion must be healed when incapacitated, even after combat. If they’re not healed within a set period, or when the player travels beyond a certain distance, they will leave and return to their last used home base.
The reason for this companion immunity or immortality from the previous games is that Bethesda looked at past trends where players would reload their games if a favorite companion of theirs died in a fight. This was a major obstruction for many to the game’s progress, especially in Fallout 3.
Looking at all of this, they made the decision to remove this permadeath mechanic from Fallout 4. Whether you like this or not is a debate amongst the fans of the franchise.
Some Companion Death/Killing Facts
There are certain circumstances that can potentially lead to hostile companions or you end up killing them. We will go into some of these facts below:
- If the faction of the companion becomes hostile to the Sole Survivor they may need to be killed.
- Some companions lose their essential status when dismissed. They do, however, remain protected like other settlers and cannot be killed by NPC attacks (only by the player or their active companion or related action)
- Some companions lose their essential status upon reaching the lowest level of affinity and leaving the player character.
- If you murder an innocent NPC then certain companions’ affinity is lowered by 10% and will trigger dialogues where they show anger towards you and warn you to not repeat the heinous act again. This doesn’t apply to Strong as he likes to murder. Dogmeat, Ada, and the Automatrons are neutral to murder.
- Depending on the companion, they might leave after you committed the murder and initially won’t talk to you. Giving them time and no such action is repeated then they can be added to the party again.
- If you continue going on a murdering spree then the companion will leave you permanently.
- Depending on where a crime is committed, the companion may even become hostile toward the player character. For example, Piper and Nick will turn hostile if a DC guard/civilian is assaulted/killed, or if you trespass or steal. Hancock and MacCready will do the same if the mentioned crimes are done in Goodneighbor.
- Danse, Deacon, Gage, Old Longfellow, and X6-88 are the only companions who can be killed by the Sole Survivor via storyline choices or if they’re not recruited as companions.
- When companion affinity reaches the negative threshold, they will ask you to go straight. If it turns to hatred, they will threaten to abandon you, this can be mitigated by a persuasion check which gives you another chance at mending the relationship. If the persuasion worked and still your action lowered their affinity then it is goodbye forever and then you can end up killing them if you want. All of this doesn’t apply to Dogmeat, Ada, and the Automatron.
The way the companion system works in Fallout 4, there is no way for a companion to die owing to their “essential status”. Although if you push them hard enough then they will leave your companionship and since they are not on that list, they can be killed by you only. Certain companions are totally immune to these actions and will stay by your side no matter what. Now it is up to you whether YOU hate the character and want to kill the companion yourself.