Superdog: Fallout 4’s Dogmeat Can’t Die


Todd Howard has shared a lot of information about Fallout 4 [official site] so far this E3, but this latest titbit is easily the most important of the lot. Your faithful dog companion will never die. Despite the world being transformed into a nuclear wasteland, this makes Fallout 4’s universe the most beautiful of all the universes.

Dogmeat was notorious for getting himself killed in Fallout 3, so it’s nice to know we won’t need to worry about any such heartbreak in Fallout 4. The new dog has a few other tricks to go along with his indestructibility. Send him out to scout areas and retrieve objects for you, just as we saw in the Fallout 4 demo during Bethesda’s press conference.

What do you mean you missed the Fallout 4 demo at Bethesda’s press conference? You’ll need to fix that immediately. Look, it’s right here. Carve out 30 minutes from your day, make a cup of tea and enjoy the show. In fact, even if you’ve already seen it, it’s definitely worth a second look.

The game itself is due on November 10th.


  1. Infinitron says:

    The real question is if he goes unconscious like in Fallout: New Vegas, or just keeps on going forever.

  2. Llewyn says:

    I strongly approve of this. On at least one playthrough I simply avoided rescuing Dogmeat – as long as you don’t go close enough to trigger the fight he’s just fine. The rest of the time he was sent to sit, alone, in Megaton; aside, that is from his occasional need to be rescued from the entrance to The Vault.

    • Jeremy says:

      There is a console command, can’t remember what it is, that makes dogmeat unable to die in Fallout 3. The poor lad would just get knocked unconscious, and then come back when the fighting was all over.

      • Ejia says:

        setessential 1?

        • JarinArenos says:

          I’m a wimp. setessential was the first thing I did when picking up any follower at all. I couldn’t stand losing them to some stupid ambush or AI oddity.

          • Asurmen says:

            One of the patches or DLCs made them functionally immortal. You could unload Fat Boy rounds at them and they kept going.

  3. Joe The Wizard says:

    I literally cannot wait. LITERALLY. UUGGGGGHHHHHHH. Someone knock me out and wake me up November 9th so I can purchase and preload.

  4. Barberetti says:

    Give me 5 minutes with the G.E.C.K and I’ll soon fucking sort that out.

  5. Ethaor says:

    Isn’t there a “mortal dog” mod already ?

    • Xzi says:

      I sure hope so. Fallout 3 was easy enough already without having an immortal companion character. Betting there are even perks to strengthen dogmeat in Fallout 4, and why would you choose any others? Send him in to the fray have the player character sit down and play a game of solitaire.

      Bethesda sure seem to like letting modders develop their games better than they do.

      • Ancient Evil says:

        If you do that, the dog will just get KO’d until the end of combat like any other essential NPC, so no, you won’t be able to cheese your way through the fights like that.

  6. Freud says:

    Que hundreds of posts about verisimilitude on No Mutants Allowed.

    • Solidstate89 says:

      Shhhhhhhhh, quiet. Don’t utter those words. You’ll summon the savages.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      ‘Versimilar’ or not, I do not think that an immortal companion is a needed or welcome addition to a sandbox RPG. It seems Bethsoft wants to emulate Bioshock Infinite in a way to create ’emotional attachment’ the way Elizabeth was supposed to. I really hope there will be an option to leave the mutt at home.

      • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

        It sounds like they’re just trying to emulate themselves: nigh-immortal companions is why I tend to work alone in Skyrim. It’s ridiculous.

      • mike2R says:

        > I do not think that an immortal companion is a needed or welcome addition to a sandbox RPG

        Unless your talking a permadeath game, then I see it as just good design. All a killable companion means for most people is that there’s another condition in which they’ll reload.

        Its an irritant, nothing else, and AI companions tend to be irritating enough without adding avoidable extras on top.

        I’m sure there are people who’ll want killable companions, or who’ll play the whole game on a dead-is-dead basis. Good luck to them, but I think it is them that should be using the mods to get what they want, not all the rest of us.

        • zeruel241 says:

          I’d prefer it wasn’t too much to ask Bethesda to alter (at least) companion AI so they are not so suicidal rather than set them essential as a patch up, but if this dog is any indication, it seems it is.

    • Turkey says:

      Why would NMA give a crap about the Fallout franchise at this point?

      • Harlander says:

        Because it’s a nice, easy, ready-made thing to get angry about?

  7. Pich says:

    The game just got announced and we already have stuff to mod out

    • Ancient Evil says:

      As compared to most games where you wouldn’t really even have the option.

    • Jane Doe says:

      Yea well, anyone who ever bought a Bethesda game since Morrowind knows, that the game is a rough diamond, sometimes very rough, and takes about 6-12 months to be fixed and finished by the modding community. Its what makes Bethesda RPGs great, but its also what makes pre-orders pretty silly, since you get only half the game anyway.

  8. Nosada says:


    huh, …

    huh, …

    huh, huh, huh, …

  9. dangermouse76 says:

    I am hoping for a more, faction based ( FNV ) style where you can kill pretty much everyone. So I hope this doesn’t indicate this will be a wider policy with NPC’s.

    But that’s hoping Bethesda have taken some tips from Obsidian so I won’t hold my breath.

    • montorsi says:

      I’d hope not. We want them to stay in business, after all.

      • Werthead says:

        Given that FNV significantly outsold FO3 (a fact Bethesda seem oddly reticent to talk about, despit it being to their benefit since they pocketed 100% of the profit), that would not appear to be an issue..

      • Jane Doe says:

        After the anticlimactic Pillars of Eternity I have to agree with you. Please don’t take pointers from Obsidian about RPGs anymore. They are the new Wargaming with Armored Warfare now.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      I tried. I really did. But after Fallout 3 and Skyrim I simply cannot drum up any for of enthusiasm for this game.

      It’s a bit annoying really. New Vegas was so good and I just cannot bring myself to want this game at all.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        I get it. I can enjoy both. But the open nature of New Vegas was very well thought out and I think F4 would benefit from that approach to narrative.

        I don’t actually think it will happen they seem to have quite distinctive goals in terms of story.

    • Ancient Evil says:

      My guess is that some NPCs will be flagged as essential (Dogmeat being one), whereas you can kill the rest, just like in every other Elder Scrolls and 3D Fallout game, including New Vegas. I really don’t see how this is a Bethesda vs. Obsidian thing.

      • Ejia says:

        I could’ve sworn the followers in FO3/NV were essential. I probably set Veronica as bait for those snakedogs several times. Each time she got KOd she’d just wake up after a few seconds and punch more of them.

        • machineageproductions says:

          They are set essential. You can kill them yourself, which can be annoying because it can accidentally happen in VATS with a melee weapon. But, they’re set essential.

        • Antistar says:

          In FNV, followers are essential unless you have “hardcore” mode enabled.

    • dethtoll says:

      I’d hope not. if I want a game that funnels me down a set path to tell a story I’ll play a not-Bethesda game.

      • zeruel241 says:

        Indeed. I was extremely happy Bethesda made Fallout 3’s story such that I could kill my miserable dad myself and join up with Colonel Autumn in pacifying the wasteland where the Brotherhood miserably failed. If only Obsidian could have made such well thought out plot with New Vegas.

  10. yeastcapp says:

    Surely Peter Molyneux will sue? Didn’t he invent dogs for one of the Fable games?

    • MacTheGeek says:

      It’s okay. Dogmeat is brown. Molyneux only invented black & white.

  11. w0bbl3r says:

    As much as it really hurts to lose dogmeat when he has been a companion for 60 hours, making him invincible will take a lot of the heart out of the game.
    I spent ages working my way up to get the dogmeat pups ability in fallout 3, but when I got it I couldn’t bring myself to go fetch the pup, because it just wasn’t MY dogmeat.
    Luckily, fallout games are usually well-modded, and so someone will make him dead-able within an hour of release I am certain of it.
    Either way, I am actually looking forward to this more than Xcom 2. And that’s saying something. Going to be a lean christmas this year, with all my cash going on games. Good games as well it looks like, which makes a change.

  12. AngusPrune says:

    Except, of course, in the inevitable cut scene at the end where your faithful companion sacrifices his life so you might live.

    Bethesda writing, Bethesda writing never change.

    • povu says:

      Running into a heavily irradiated room to press a button to save your butt. Probably.

      • gunny1993 says:

        Whilst there’s a radiation immune mutant standing in the corner trying to be as obtrusive as possible

        • DelrueOfDetroit says:

          You mean the one you can get to go into the radiation filled room for you?

          • Stellar Duck says:

            That was a later change. Fawkes wouldn’t do it in the original game and you had to do it yourself for dumb arsed plot reasons.

            God, that fucking story still annoys me in it’s terribleness.

        • Antistar says:

          Prior to the Broken Steel DLC, you couldn’t actually get a radiation-immune companion to go into the chamber for you, no matter how much sense it made.

    • Ancient Evil says:

      I also object to Bethesda’s handling of your imaginary cutscene.

  13. tomimt says:

    Where’s the fun in that? It was half of the fun in original Fallout games to try to keep that mutt alive. I didn’t care a bit about anyone else, but pox on thee if you touch my dog.

    • All is Well says:

      This so much. I can’t remember if I actually succeeded in keeping him/her (I think it was a he, but who remembers) alive to the end of the first Fallout, but good lord did I try, reload after reload! I was genuinely upset when Dogmeat died. And to me that sort of seems like an integral part of the attachment: if there was no risk of him dying, I’m not sure I would have been so happy when he survived an encounter, or managed to do some insignificant amount of damage to an enemy.

      I don’t know if it’s just me getting old or something but it seems like CRPG:s are more and more like endless empowerment trips and there’s no real risk of loss or disappointment, which I find a bit bland to be honest.

      • dangermouse76 says:

        ” I don’t know if it’s just me getting old or something but it seems like CRPG:s are more and more like endless empowerment trips and there’s no real risk of loss or disappointment, which I find a bit bland to be honest. ”

        Funny you say that I have a friend who describes Fallout as a ” badass simulator ”
        Now thats just the way he likes to play, but also it’s his expectation of what he wants from these games. Not for me, unless I chose a play through in that vein. Options options options.

        • All is Well says:

          Yeah, to make it clear I don’t think that it’s an inherently bad thing or that people who like playing the nigh-invincible “badass” are philistines or anything silly like that. My (hopefully unjustified) feeling is simply that modern CRPG:s tend to cater to that experience, which is one I don’t find particularly fun, at least not for very long.

    • kalzekdor says:

      Fuck Ian.

      Hand him an SMG at your own peril. He’s killed Dogmeat once too often. The last time he burst fired at a Super Mutant Dogmeat was mauling, shredding the tenacious pup while doing nothing but pissing off the Super Mutant, I was done. I took all his items but a knife, planted some live dynamite on him, and let him run at the Super Mutants suicide style, to attempt atonement for his unforgivable actions. Go with Tycho and a shotgun, much more reliable.

      Weird rant aside, I was attached to Dogmeat because he could die, and he so easily did. It was immensely satisfying keeping that ragged dog alive against all odds. What would be the point if he was immortal?

  14. Timbrelaine says:

    I want to be excited about this game, but I could help but notice they haven’t fixed their plastic mannequin-style facial animation. Which has been embarrassing since Oblivion. Blech, folks. Blech.

  15. Tayh says:

    One of the first things I did in FO3, after finding Dogmeat, was to look and use a console command to turn Dogmeat invincible.

  16. gbrading says:

    I’m very glad; he was almost totally useless in Fallout 3 because he would alert mutants to my location and then die. If he’s invincible I won’t have to worry about looking after him. I hope you can order him to remain in Stealth mode too.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      That would be ideal. Having the same option for companions (or having stealth companions) is also sorely needed.

      Just so long as it isn’t Last Of Us style where when you go stealth enemies just ignore your companion.

  17. Werthead says:

    I completely avoided picking up Dogmeat in the first place in FO3 because I’d heard he was so hard to keep alive. In fact, I completed the entire game plus all five DLCs (put in about 100 hours) before I went and picked him up as pretty much the last thing I did in the game before shutting it down for good. OTOH, I recruited Rex ASAP in FNV. Loved the cybermutt and his corny romantic ending with Roxie:

    “There, she ran across Rex, who had been following the Courier, just as she had. They barked for a while, and realized they had a lot in common. The two of them constructed a litter of cyberpups, a small army of Boston terrifiers that gnawed and devoured anything in their path.”

    Actually, that’s the premise for New Vegas 2 right there.

  18. Arglebargle says:

    When Todd Howard speaks about games, I remember all his blather in the lead up to Oblivion. IE, I don’t believe a thing until I see the game. And see if the modders can fix it….

  19. carewolf says:

    Too bad. I was hoping they would be inspired by Final Fantasy and Saints Row and allow us to construct a custom weapon by combining Dog and a rocket launcher.

  20. Ejia says:

    And here I thought Dogmeat was already invincible in FO3 – I could’ve sworn the little mutt could take a mini-nuke to the face and would lose maybe only a notch of health.

  21. anHorse says:

    Well there goes the challenge and fun of keeping him alive which the first 3 fallouts had,

    I have not been a fan of how Bethesda handled essential npcs in the past, I hope this isn’t an indication of those problems returning

  22. Jason Moyer says:

    I thought the whole point of having a dog in a post-apocalyptic wasteland was to have him search for women for you in return for keeping him alive.

  23. Corwin71 says:

    Good. I liked having him around in Fallout 3, but I hate having to worry about him dying. Which is inevitable.

  24. Christo4 says:

    Anyone else wish that dogmeat was some kind of cyborg for which u had to replace different parts and if he got too damaged u had to find him another body and stuff?
    Like putting his brain in a ratmole.
    or a deathclaw

    • Werthead says:

      That’s pretty much what you did with Rex in New Vegas (and Roxie in Old World Blues). Well, not putting his brain in a ratmole, but you could fiddle around with him and upgrade bits and integrate his memories with other cyborg characters, resulting in some stat and character changes.

  25. aircool says:

    Hooray… I totally avoided Fallout 3 for precisely this reason. I do like realism in games up to a point, but losing an animal companion is too close to the bone for some.

  26. Dezmiatu says:

    I’m still waiting for the Fallout games to offer up the Pariah dog from Fallout 2 again. I love me some detrimental followers and the Jinxed trait.