Why I Hate Fallout 4’s Stupid Dog

(This post was originally written in the first couple of days after FO4’s release.)

I’m not very far into Fallout 4. I’ve mostly been pottering around with it, trying to find useful things to report to you, YOU, my favourite reader. So I’ve yet to gain any other companions than Dogmeat, the stupid idiot Alsatian. I hate him.

Let me declare my uninterests. I don’t like dogs. Dogs are awful animals, too stupid be let outside on their own, too yappy to be inside a building, and every single one of them is five seconds away from biting a child’s face off. (“Oh no, not MY dog, he’s the gentlest, sweetest thing!” Yeah, that would be how every dog that bites a child face off is described by the owners, just with a “was” in front.) Dogs are rubbish, and everyone who disagrees is wrong.

So Dogmeat didn’t have a strong headstart winning over my love. But he could have. I’ve tolerated dogs in videogames before, although never without knowing they’d have been better if they were a cat. Dogmeat had a chance. But good grief, what a disastrous piece of crap he is.

“Dogmeat’s found something!” No he hasn’t. The game most recently announced this to me when the dreadful animal was in a room empty but for a couple of mannequins. Okay, I suppose, technically a couple of mannequins are “something”, but if the game plans to alert me on this basis, it’ll get a little tiresome.

So maybe I should issue him a command to go find something. Or maybe I’ll die of old age in happiness, instead. E on the dog, select to talk to the dog, then wait to see if the next menu will appear, and if so, choose “fetch”. Ooh, a little cutscene before I can do anything! Finally, I can now ask him to look for something useful. “Dogmeat didn’t find anything.” INCLUDING THE BOX OF STUFF HE WAS STOOD NEXT TO WHEN I ASKED HIM.

Or how about the way he opens doors I don’t want opened? That’s good. Or when he barges into a small room and knocks everything over around me? Or how he interferes in fights, gets himself wounded, and uses up my stims? But best of all is the way he runs around my feet, constantly making me think another mole thing is attacking.

And worst of all, you can’t kill him. I’ve tried. Dismissing is the only option. Begone, Dogmeat, you useless pile of bones.

This post was funded by the RPS Supporter Program. Thanks for your funding.


Top comments

  1. Bluntie says:

    I registered simply to say this: You monster. <3
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    Qazinsky says:

    I am also using Dogmeat, my only other choice is too talkative for my taste and also taller. Now that might not sound bad, until you realize that one of your companions favourite hobbies is to pass by in front of you as you are trying to snipe something in the distance.

    The companions really need some work in the AI department, they should not pass in front of a stationary player and they should not run away from the player in an effort to travel to the same place when in actuality I am trying to run up and use your inventory, stupid mutt!

    I get that them moving around is an attempt to seem realistic, but that should always come secondary to staying out of the way for the player so that the player can loot and see unhindered.

    • JamesTheNumberless says:

      Is the game actually winnable/enjoyable without taking any companions around? I never enjoyed having companions in any previous Bethesda game. Except when the odd quest requires it, the solitude of exploration was always an essential part of the experience for me.

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        Qazinsky says:

        I cannot really answer that, I haven’t gotten very far, been mostly trying to get it to work on my desktop, seems my GPU has given up though. Just like you, I usually play without companions, but seeing as you need to actually pick up junk now, before I found out you could just store it all in the workbenches and still use it, the extra carry help from a companion was invaluable.

        I think it’s probably a good idea to bring a companion along at least in the beginning if you play on Survival, lots of early fights with tons of enemies you might not want to face alone with limited resources.

        I guess it is doable, especially if you don’t insist on playing on the hardest difficulty, you can always switch the difficulty ingame at any time to find the sweet spot.

      • Marblecake says:

        I’m roughly 7 hours in and have found that companions are (thankfully) unnecessary. I’m a solo sneak explorer, they’d only get in the way. When it’s time for sneaky action I just tell Dogmeat to stay. He can actually serve as a distraction while you sneak around…which I discovered by accident.
        But I don’t find him as annoying as John does. He’s like every other Bethesda companion ever: useless and often a hindrance. But at least he’s cute. At the gates of Diamond City he found a teddy bear and started playing with it. Serious d’aaawww moment.

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        DelrueOfDetroit says:

        There’s a perk that gives you a couple bonuses for not having a companion around, so that would be a yes.

        • CMDR FurryDragon says:

          in reference to what DelrueOfDetroit said. Contrary to popular belief, the Lone Wanderer perk, wich gives you the extra carry weight and damage boosts for not having a companion. Dogmeat does not acctually count as a companion in this regard, so even with dogmeat following you and the lvl 2 Lone Wanderer perk, you still get your damage resistance and +100 carry weight. The Lone Wanderer perk only factors in humanoid companions. Combine that with Attack Dog and he can be somewhat useful.

          But, I will agree completely that he is quite an idiot sometimes and I still prefer to travel without him as I’m a heavy stealth player as well.

      • Zenicetus says:

        I’m sure it’s winnable without one, because I’m at the point now where I’m just using a companion (Nick) mainly as a pack mule, and because he can unlock most computer terminals so I don’t have to.

      • jpm224 says:

        I’m currently playing Survival and just hit level 21. I’ll confirm what others have said about the game being quite hard in the beginning. I think those first few hours without Dogmeat would be extremely…frustrating.

        However, once you get some good weapons/armor and eventually take the Lone Wanderer perk (15% damage reduction and +50 carry weight), the combat benefits of a companion are more or less balanced out.

        Also, this: “Or how about the way he opens doors I don’t want opened? That’s good.”

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          And that’s not the maxed perk, you get even more bonuses down the line, including 25% more damage, more damage reduction that you listed ( can remember how much ) and carry weight.

          If companions could take more “aggro” and be much more resilient without ordering them to get into one of your spare power armors, yeah, they probably would be nicer to have around even with their poor shooting performance.

          I guess they’re cool if you are romancing them and you sleep in any bed you find though.

      • Stevostin says:

        They’re totally unnecessary but also all the complaints here are… questionable at least.

        – companions that you don’t control are a trademark of the series. That’s already how things were back in Fallout 1.
        – so yes, they can cross your line of fire, just like a real life gunfight issue.
        – now of course if you’re not a noob and you give them a good gun and ammo they’re much less likely to do it. And if they do, that means they really need a spot.
        – I am pretty sure dogmeat did find something (as in “something the game detected John Walker didn’t find by himself”) but that John Walker didn’t even see (because Fallout 4 actually don’t have any “shiny” lootable like other games (as everything practically is) so yes, you can miss some pretty easily.
        – there’s a perk to get bonus without companions
        – also they cost a lot on ammo if you want them to a meaningful addition
        – while they try to be stealthy when you are, they can be spotted, but you aren’t (like you were in previous game). You can develop some decoy tactics based on this
        – as opposite to any other bethesda RPG they are actually interesting (sometimes very interesting) and yes, you can romance them.

        Looking at RPS covering that game is pretty embarrassing. They understand too little about what happens. (not to say they’re always wrong: the game is indeed way too much fight over chat, lacks options, and that’s pretty sad).

        • Elliot Lannigan says:

          If John was not even alerted to the existence of the supposed “found” object, in what sense did the dog find it at all? You can “find” any object by mousing over it, no matter how obscured it is. Are we to understand that there are hidden objects that ONLY the dog can make visible? That would be cool, and while I have never seen that happen, I confess I switched to Piper as soon as I got to Diamond City and never looked back. If that mechanic is present, though, it’s actually inspired by the Fable games (whichever one added the dog). Which is a pretty unique and cool source of inspiration. If only the Fallout combat were as smooth and precise as Fable….or if only Fable had stories and characters as rich as Fallout.

          • krimhorn says:

            If John was not even alerted to the existence of the supposed “found” object, in what sense did the dog find it at all? You can “find” any object by mousing over it, no matter how obscured it is. Are we to understand that there are hidden objects that ONLY the dog can make visible?

            There are three ways that the dog can find items:
            1) he can find something that’s actually near you and draw your attention to it not entirely unlike this
            2) he can find something that’s near you and lead you to it providing you respond within a handful of seconds and move toward him at which point he reverts to acting like 1). There is a variant of this where he’ll actually pick the item up and bring it to you.
            3) very occasionally he can “find” something that doesn’t actually exist in the world and “uncover” it then act like 1). On occasion he will act like 2) and then “uncover” the item.

        • Jokah.D says:

          I agree to the most part but there is one EXTREMELY annoying thing about the companions that could easily and should be fixed.
          For some stupid reason, they’ve given companions ‘Right of way’. By that I mean they can literally push you around! There’s me in full metal suit crouched down at the top of a deep mining pit with lots of baddies I really don’t want to take on in one go and along comes my little doggy who pushes me about 4 feet until I fall off the edge and get hammered by the lot of them!
          In doorways too, you can’t get past them so your left franticly mashing buttons, trying to jump over them and yelling at your companion to get out of the f’ing way!!

          Awesome game apart from that imo.
          They should be pushed easily by us.

      • mrbright01 says:

        Easily. I play sniper, and I have companions for as long as it takes to get their perks, except for Deacon, who seems to prefer not to get in front of me and instead swings wide during combat (possibly because he is a rogue-like character?) I am level 45, and I regularly one-shot all but the most legendary of Deathclaws, and I have fought two at once and won despite a terrible Endurance score without undue concern. If you want to run without a companion, just specialize in one weapon type, and take perks that are useful for that weapon. I used silenced semi-auto rifles, so I have Sandman and Rifleman.

        There is a perk, Lone Wanderer, which gives you damage boosts and carry weight increases. Requires a Charisma of 3. All in all, you can survive without a companion, although it means you’ll have to be slightly more selective in the junk you pick up if you are low strength like me.

      • OmNomNom says:

        Yep, i never play with a companion. There’s a perk for extra carryweight and damage when you don’t have one.
        That, and the game becomes so easy (especially later on) that you won’t need a companion to dominate, they screwed up the general difficulty curve / loot reward system on this but its nothing a few good mods cant fix.

      • ignare brute says:

        The annoying thing with that (sensible) approach is that you loose the side quest tied to companions – and some of them are fun, given more depth to the whole story. That was already true for previous Fallout or for Elder Scrolls.

      • kaldac says:

        there is a perk for not having a companion at all so yup the game is very playable on your own.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        It’s actually much easier playing without. Some missions are hard or impossible to complete with a companion especially for stealth characters since all of the companions seem to be cursed with -5 sneak skill (obviously everything is easy for players who use PA all the time). But this is my first playthrough and I like to have all the recruitable companion characters along for some of the ride to hear their dialogue and such.

        It’s doable once you learn to command companions to wait somewhere out of the way, and I can’t for the life or me understand why Bethesda has chosen to make a simple “stay here” command so incredibly fidgety (look at companion, press E, press E again, press E again, press E again, press down arro- no I mean press E, no wait down arrow now) instead of simply having a hotkey that instantly does it (the answer of course is consoles but whatever). I haven’t looked for a mod that does this yet, but it’ll be the first thing I install on my next playthrough.

        It’s not just Dogmeat though, who is otherwise fantastic btw, it’s every companion character in the game. They’re great characters, but their AI, pathfinding etc. is abysmal.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Remember that you have another choice, maxing your lone wanderer perk and become the greatest pack-mule of all times ( with no need to bother with your companion’s inventory ), with an horribly overpowered amount of damage reduction AND increased damage output.

      It beats equipping a companion with the best weapon you can afford ( which he/she won’t be able to aim appropriately anyway ) by a mile.

      • Andy_Panthro says:

        You can also use the Lone Wanderer perk and keep Dogmeat around (but only him, no other companion).

        • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

          Well now, that’s quite huge then!

          • Mystic5523 says:

            And, since he can’t really die, I never waste any Stims on him. He fights until he’s knocked out and then I finish the rest.

    • alarinn says:

      The author of this article probably knows by now that Dogmeat doesn’t need meds at all. Just stand near him and he does a Wolverine on you. He does find a ton of stuff for me about 90% of the time. You just have to make you follow him NOW. The open doors things is funny sometimes when the other side of that door has a raider taking a dump. Otherwise, in cramped places he can get in the way.

      There is a perk that allows you to venture forth without a companion and get a combat bonus for it. I find having him is sorta like a Boy and His Dog I like having him with me. Now if you want to feel like Jar Jar Binks is with you, take the bot along. Talk about annoying.

      • Contrafibularity says:

        I hope you’re not suggesting that Mr. Codsworth or Curie are in fact Sith lords.

    • GibletHead2000 says:

      I just use Dogmeat as a walking Bag of Holding. I tell him to ‘stay’ before I enter anywhere important, and then go fetch him when I need to clear up the loot. Having low strength, it’s pretty much essential.

      I would very much like a ‘call dogmeat’ mod that lets me whistle for him instead of trudging back outside to find him.

  2. FriendlyFire says:

    Aren’t companions in Bethesda games always between “Shitty” and “OH MY GOD GET THE FUCK OFF”? I know I never managed to suffer through them in Skyrim and I doubt it’s improved much in FO4.

    • Stevostin says:

      Nope, and especially not in that game. Walker write so because he basically don’t get those games. They were some very good companions in FNV (actually most of them), those are very good, and even the one in F3 were useful for one thing.

      • April March says:

        There were indeed a lot of cool companions on FNV, that game that is by Bethesda only on a technicality.

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          gritz says:

          But most of Walker’s complaints about NPC’s in FO4 are just as apparent in NV, if not moreso since they can die on Hardcore mode.

    • rgbarton says:

      Well if your talking about pure characterization I think Fallout 4 companions are a great improvement. But yeah A.I. still needs work

      • Rizlar says:

        Mechanically they are also much improved. It seems a lot more polished and they just work, unlike in previous Bethesda games where it felt like you had to consciously manage/avoid killing them all the time.

        Some of this is accomplished by treating them a bit more loosely as game objects, teleporting them around to keep up with you. The only time you really have to confront this is when using a lift or something, they will run to get in the lift with you, but if you hit the button prematurely they will also just teleport in. In the rest of the world you won’t really notice them appearing behind you and it means that without paying attention to what your companion is doing they basically never get in the way and will always be roughly where you expect them to be.

        Behaviour is much improved, in combat they will stick to cover and take up positions nearby but far away enough that you are not constantly shooting them in the back of the head (coughcoughMeeko). If you don’t have a weapon drawn they will wander around, look at things, slouch at bars and chat to people. And if they wander off out of sight just get on with your business and they will be there when you need them.

        Telling them to do specific things within the environment is as simple as pressing ‘e’ while targeting them then pressing ‘e’ on an item/enemy/place you want them to wait. John clearly didn’t realise this when complaining about giving commands through conversation options.

        Anyways, the companion mechanics seem significantly improved from something like Skyrim where they were an incessant pain in the arse. Importantly it has reached a point where having them around while doing whatever it is you do just works, letting you enjoy their company without requiring any real management or them getting in your way. I’m surprised that this isn’t being mentioned in the comments, it’s a bit of a sea change in terms of experience.

        • Rizlar says:

          Wow that was a long comment. But it seemed worth putting this point across, that companions in F4 are easy company, a first for a Bethesda game!

  3. Isometric says:

    He’s no Lydia, that’s for sure.

  4. neoncat says:

    I wonder when games will stop including silly dog gimmicks and give you wonderful kitteh partners… or even just ditch all the humans and go with a fluffy protagonist of the master species.

    Speaking of which, RPS still needs to publish a list of the Bestest Best Cat Games. ^_^

    • Bugamn says:

      Nethack has feline pets. And if you are a knight you start with a pony.

    • GameCat says:

      I approve this message.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Does Hobbes, the Kilrathi buddy in Wing Commander count?

      • unacom says:

        No. He doesn´t carry anything and he will betray you later on.
        Maybe he will stab one of you Buddies while doing it…

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      I’m patiently waiting for the tiger mod.

    • Stevostin says:

      Dogmeat is a Fallout tradition. He’s there since Fallout 1.

    • Qazi says:

      Khajiit has no words for you.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      Best cat game I ever found was as kids we would tie tin cans to their tails and watch them freak out running down the street.
      Or around bonfire night, get some bangers and stick them up their…. nevermind.

      • aepervius says:

        Ah yes, the psychopathic game of inflicting pain , suffering and death onto animals which can’t defend themselves. Even if you were making this post in a jest, some people DO such stuff. You never had to bring a cat to a vet or SPCA to be euthanized because some asshole did exactly what you cited. The cry of pain of the cat I will remember my whole life. I hope the kids which did that got his comeuppance and suffered as much as he inflicted.

      • Jediben says:

        Yeah fuck off wobbl3r

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        gritz says:

        What the hell is wrong with you

      • Rednecksith says:

        Sicko. There’s nothing funny about an animal’s suffering. I hope anyone who does such a thing meets a terrible fate. I fully admit that if somebody did that to one of my animals, I’d kill them and not feel the least bit sorry. Getting rid of people like that should result in getting a medal, not jail time.

        Oh, and while I assume John’s negative opinion of dogs is being played up for entertainment value, it’s still completely wrong and based on ignorance. We’re not wrong John, YOU are. Period.

        “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” -Anatole France

      • Machinations says:

        You sound like a psychopath.

    • pantera924 says:

      have you dumbs never heard of Monster Hunter? you guys are missing out. guns, bows, swords, felynes(they are spelled like that in-game) crafting, huge monster battles, and pretty graphics. you should look into it.

      • Immobile Piper says:

        Is that some indie game I’ve never heard of?

        I kid, I’ve just never been able to find a copy for my console of choice as I don’t own the newer playstations. Seems like an awesome series for sure.

        • Creeping Death says:

          They’re primarily on the Nintendos now. MH3 is Wii and 4 is on Wii U and 3DS if you have any of those.

    • carewolf says:

      Any game that has cats in it is a cat pet simulator. You can always declare a cat your pet and order it around, and the game will have the cat react realistically.. By not following you around.

    • ignare brute says:

      In Neverwinter Nights (dont remember which), you had some cat-like companions, panther of sorts.

    • Caiman says:

      Someone today described cats as “social friendship parasites”. Perfect. If you took a cat along in these games it would bugger off after 2 minutes and you’d not see it again until the end of the game where it would miraculously appear again and reap the rewards of your hard work.

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      particlese says:

      In ESO, you can be a cat and talk to another cat while riding a bigger cat, possibly with another cat tagging along, and definitely with a smaller cat following behind making cat noises. You could even group up with and/or join a guild of many cats, if that’s your thing. The best part, though, is that the cats are — on the whole — frequently the funniest characters in the game, as long as you don’t hate them for their accent or talk of moons or their general cattiness or something. My main character only wanders around the right side of Tamriel so far, though, so I’ve not yet been overwhelmed by the sea of cat out west…

      • Fnord73 says:

        It strikes me: Why is there no Cat Simulator game? It would sell to millions and millions, judging by the internetz.

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    Oakreef says:

    I’ve had annoyances with a video game dog recently too. I like to play MGS5 with the HUD markers off because they clutter everything and make things a bit too easy. If you turn those off D-Dog is worse than useless. “D-Dog found a medical plant!” Where? He doesn’t mark it on the map, he doesn’t guide he towards it, he doesn’t do anything but make a marker appear and I have those things turned off. What’s worse is when he detects enemies it removes the “predicted field of movement” from your mapscreen, so he actually takes away information from you. That’s what I mean by worse than useless.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      Tl;dr “Why is this dog so useless when I turn off what makes it useful?”

      • SanguineAngel says:

        TL:DR why did they not design these features to be compatible with each other?

  6. X_kot says:

    At least he’s not wasting all of your SMG ammo and shooting you in the back while doing so (damn you, Ian).

    • Stellar Duck says:

      Never forget!

    • Magnvs says:

      Still a better NPC than anything Bethesda ever made!
      If anything compares, I’d say they’re about as useful as Miria.

  7. Vandelay says:

    I have been nodding in agreement to your opening paragraphs. What kind of “smart” animal lets you teach it tricks? A cat, the correct choice of pet, would tell you to fuck right off, if it could be bothered to learn to talk (that would just mean they would have to put up with understanding us inane humans and is not worth the effort when scratching the cupboard door is good enough to mean “I want food”, scratching the sofa means “I want out to piss/kill something” and scratching someone’s hand clearly says “get out of my face!”)

    As for Dogmeat, not played Fallout 4, but my experience of him in 3 was to shoot at a bandit near him when I first encountered him, with no prompt. He immediately decided I was a threat and then preceded to hunt me down. Attempts to run away just made him follow. Can’t remember if he killed me or I killed him, but either way it ended up with him never spawning as an ally again. Perhaps that was fortunate.

  8. Buggery says:

    John, repent your dog hating ways. Surely you have noticed that doG is the reverse of God.

    In all seriousness dogs are awesome and I think that perhaps you have issues if you can’t find a dog to like. They’re basically children. Other people have awful children. You would probably like your own, though.

    • Creeping Death says:

      Heh, comparing dogs to children isnt the best way to win someone over.

      Children are little fuckers.

      • Buggery says:

        Agree wholeheartedly but apparently you learn to love the ones you make. Not unlike farts.

  9. JiminyJickers says:

    You’re a monster John, haha.

    I found most of the time when he takes you to an empty room, there is a hidden safe somewhere.

  10. drewski says:

    I’ve always felt companions in the Bethesda engine Fallout games ruined the solitary experience for me. A legacy of the original games that simply didn’t need to be brought through to the FPS perspective. If I can’t have full party control, I don’t want a party.

    Also my attitude to birthday celebrations.

    • Stevostin says:

      Pretty much the opposite. If I can have partial control, I don’t want a party. A party you control is like 3rd person view to immersion: a deal breaker. I want to be free so I want to be able to have companion like a character in a book can. But I also don’t want to control both any other way than I could have for real.

      • Magnvs says:

        It would help if they had a minimum of competence or at the very least some will to live then.

        I also disliked Dogmeat XII initially, but soon realized he was by far the most tolerable of the NPCs, as he doesn’t make repetitive comments on everything I pick up or whenever we stand in a slightly radioactive puddle.

    • LionsPhil says:

      But you didn’t have full-party control in FO1, either. Quite the opposite: there wasn’t even any kind of NPC control UI, and it was all hacked into the dialogue system.

      And honestly I think it was better for it that these were people you could get to tag along, rather than more chess pieces.

  11. PampleMoose says:

    I just let Dogmeat lie whimpering on the floor now until I clear the room, and then he magically heals himself. He was using multiple stims per encounter before I worked this out. Not worth it.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      Yeah, he’s useless in a fight so I always ignore him until he gets back up by himself.

    • Stevostin says:

      If he’s worthless your damage output is way too low.

      Also there are armor for dogs. Find them.

      Also ideal use for this companion is rather hit & run.

      Indeed stimpacking companion is not for the end of the fights, but in the middle of difficult fights. After an encounter with a full camp of Super Mutant lvl 37 while level 17 myself with one companion, I can tell you than
      1- companion are useful, if nothing as bullet sponge
      2- steampacking them is good
      3- they’re AI is ok.
      I died quite a few time but we went through it.

      • AyeBraine says:

        I’m not entirely sure, but all armors I’ve found for dogs (both light and heavy) have zero damage resistances. They’re just cosmetic additions.

      • Shadow says:

        Dogmeat can also distract enemies, especially humanoid ones. Even without the associated perk, it’s convenient sometimes.

        That, and he can carry a decent amount of stuff.

        And given the Lone Wanderer perk works even if he’s tagging along, there’s pretty much no reason not to let him. He gets in the way every now and then, but that’s a very minor quibble.

        By the way, from the article I merely gather John got up on his wrong foot, got cranky and relived childhood dog issues.

  12. Jim Rossignol says:

    Mod in a cat someone, quick. Jesus.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      Cats are actually in the game, there’s even a cat lady. So cat companions are a matter of time. They will just look silly tearing up the throats of super mutants.

      • mechanixis says:

        True to life, cats in the game refuse to acknowledge you, cannot be interacted with, and spend all their time lazing around.

    • LionsPhil says:

      A model replacement would at least work thematically. Creature that rubs around your legs, getting in the way, then becomes generally aloof and unhelpful when you want it to do something? That’s a cat alright.

  13. yogibbear says:

    There’s a mission where you rescue a cat. OMG I thought I was going to unlock a cat companion…. Bethesda trolled me hard! :'( Still crying about it.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      I was just happy I didn’t have to touch it, it went home on its own.
      I did get a fusion core for it, which is worth more than any cat.
      The one thing I really wanted it for was to send to my settlement so my recently bought rottweiler could use it as a chew toy. I would have happily gone without the fusion core to see that.

  14. yogibbear says:

    Oh and yeah pro-tip you don’t need to EVER use a stim on a companion.

    • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

      Aye, on the opposite i actually discovered just NOW that i can use them!

  15. gunny1993 says:

    Huh, I always thought Dogmeat was a cat because he’s the most useless pile of fur ever to walk on 4 paws.

  16. Zenicetus says:

    You don’t need to Stimpack him, unless you just can’t stand watching the limping “I’m hurt” animation until the timer runs out and he returns to full health on his own. Which suggests… oh yes it does… that you’re not the dog hater you pretend to be.

  17. Jane Doe says:

    D-Dog from MGS5 finds landmines.

    Dogmeat doesen’t find them, but happily disarms them for you, preferably while you are close enough to witness his glorious deed.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      D-Dog is just better than Dogmeat in basically every single way.

      • aleander says:

        Yah yah, D-Dog is fun because he’s not actually a dog.

        • Jane Doe says:

          From what I’ve gathered by listening to my mercs, the matter of his heritage is still open to debate!

          But yea, he’s a better Dogmeat in every regard.

  18. catscratch says:

    That’s why it was such a good move to give you the Lone Wanderer perk, or whatever it’s called. The one that gives you more carry weight, damage resistance, and damage when you don’t have a companion. Hint: use it, and don’t have a companion.

    There frustration of dealing with the game’s shoddy NPC AI, especially when you want a stealthy character that, god forbid, actually uses some thought when it comes to dealing with opponents, goes out of the window when you have idiot NPCs breaking stealth and giving you away, or triggering mines and getting you blown up, or blocking escape routes and not getting out of the way, or just incessantly yapping the same bloody line over and over at you because “next-generation NPC interaction!”

    Not that this game is hard enough to warrant strategy once you get to a certain level and have at least a somewhat-optimized build. I guess if you use controller, the shooting’s more challenging, but with mouse and keyboard on PC, once you’re past level 20-something the game becomes pretty easy.

    Still a compelling game either way. The exploration, crafting, and world-building is top notch. Everything else, though…

    • mrbright01 says:

      If you haven’t done so, try picking up Deacon. I do a stealth sniper build, and he is the only companion I recall who moves AROUND me instead of passing through my line of fire. Might be a quirk, might be because he is a stealth style character.

    • Shadow says:

      Couple of critical points:

      * As it’s been clarified a hundred times on this comment section, Dogmeat doesn’t disrupt the Lone Wanderer perk’s effect.

      * Dogmeat doesn’t affect your own stealth. Even if he goes after an enemy somewhere, you remain hidden and free to carry out your first strike.

  19. Llewyn says:

    Dogs are rubbish, and everyone who disagrees is wrong.

    This quote makes me feel better about my long-standing opinions of you.

  20. vexis58 says:

    Human companions are taller and get in the way when you’re shooting stuff, but they can also use guns, so they tend to live longer in combat because they keep a safe distance rather than running face first into deathclaws. It’s a tradeoff. They sometimes say funny things in reaction to stuff that happens, but that’s only worth it until they start to repeat themselves. Sure they carry your extra loot, but you don’t REALLY need all of that stuff anyway.

    I always hate companions in Skyrim because they are completely incapable of avoiding traps, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten killed by one of those swinging spiked gate things that I assumed was safe because I stepped around the trigger. Haven’t had that problem yet in Fallout 4, but I once got stuck in the city for a while because my companion had aggroed on an enemy that might have been inside or on top of a building, and just stood there aiming her gun in its general direction, refusing to follow me. Eventually just left her there and kept walking.

  21. Crusoe says:

    Can we have a real discussion already about how awful Bethesda are in general in regards to path-finding and bugs?

    And how their shitty attitude has pervaded their broken games for around a decade?

    I’m enjoying Fallout, despite the bland tone and plethora of bugs, but someone needs to write a hard hitting piece about this already.

    A game can be broken in half due to a massive flaw, say, a widespread CTD bug. Is a game that’s cracked and creaking in a hundred places any less broken? No. No it is not.

    • Andy_Panthro says:

      It is quite buggy. My main issue is that I can’t run the game fullscreen at all (running it in a window is fine though). On top of that, my gun/pipboy/etc. sometimes turn completely invisible (using iron sights/scope tends to revert it back to normal though, or otherwise restarting the game). Oh, and I fell completely through a building in Lexington for no apparent reason. Thankfully I fell into a room somehow, and was able to get away injured but alive (I hadn’t saved in a while, now I save regularly).

      • crazyd says:

        I’ve gotten that invisible limb bug, best fix I’ve found is to switch to third person then switch back. Clears it right up without requiring a restart.

    • Stevostin says:

      It is quite buggy even for Bethesda. That being said, I totally disagree about the general stance as very few games have an AI that really creates its path rather than use some level design AI paths. Sure it doesn’t look as nice, and sometimes plays poorly, but the end result is a completely different experience where “anything goes”, and that’s worth it imo.

  22. mattevansc3 says:

    Can’t be worse than the bloody dogs from Skyrim. I was warrior specced but was high enough level to give archery a go. I found a nice little spot on a cliff overlooking a fort filled with bandits so I practiced my long range sniping skills. Headshot on the first bandit and as I’m lining up the second shot the stupid dog runs back up the cliff, down the side of the mountain, across the open ground and through the fort’s entrance. Instead of having the decency to fall on his sword and just get killed by the bandits for ruining my plans the stupid mutt decides at that point he’s ventured too far away from his owner and starts running back being closely followed by every f***ing bandit patrolling the fort!

    • Crusoe says:

      It is worse, because Bethesda had the gall to make this shitty dog immortal, whereas in Skyrim if the dumb mutt died, he stayed dead, thankfully.

      Also, the story you tell is from a game from 4 years ago, and the way FO4 Dogmeat acts, it feels like someone just copied pasted some code. Nothing has changed… except now, the demon dog cannot die.

      • mattevansc3 says:

        You didn’t need to use the “…except now”. Skyrim had Barbas, the demon (Daedra god) dog that would not die (except for one possible quest ending).

  23. TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

    “But best of all is the way he runs around my feet, constantly making me think another mole thing is attacking.”

    Or just constantly making any looting impossible as you’re stuck with it’s command prompts all the time.

    But yeah, you summed it up pretty decently at the start. Dogs were invented to make cats look good.

    • w0bbl3r says:

      If that’s the case, then it’s the one thing they completely fail at, because dogs make cats look as awful and useless as they are.
      I don’t remember the last time a cat scared off a burglar, or saved a soldier, or found children buried in rubble after an earthquake.

      • TacticalNuclearPenguin says:

        I remember a cat scaring off a dog that was attacking a children though, how does that sound?

        But really, what about jokes? Uh?

        Anyway, let’s avoid judging animals based on their utility for humans please.

        • Llewyn says:

          I think that’s a perfectly valid way to consider domesticated animals; it’s inherent in their history. I doubt anyone here is comparing dogs, domesticated or otherwise, with the big cats.

          The utility that dogs show stems from other traits that humans tend to see as valuable, including in other humans: the ability to learn effectively, both by training and by observation, and the desire to work as part of a team.

          Cats have other qualities, I assume, though I’m never exactly clear on what they are. Not that it matters though, the vast majority of pets – dogs, cats, rats, rabbits, whatever – are effectively the same because they serve exactly the same role in our lives: something to love.

          • TheMightyEthan says:

            Traditionally cats were kept because they kill rodents and other disease-carrying pest species. Now they’re kept because they’re awesome.

          • The Great Wayne says:

            Meh, cat lovers are just being manipulated by the toxoplasma gondii.

          • Llewyn says:

            @TheMightyEthan: Indeed, I wasn’t questioning why cats were domesticated. I’m simply uncertain what it is that supposedly makes them so awesome.*

            *I also understand why they make good pets for some people. But so do fish, and it don’t make them awesome.

  24. Bluntie says:

    I registered simply to say this: You monster. <3

    • Wyrm says:

      Never trust anyone who doesn’t like dogs. All John Walker articles are hereby disregarded.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      I guess it takes Monster to become F4 regular Monsutā Hantā, no?

    • Hodoor says:

      I also signed up just to say fuck off. Who doesn’t like dogs lol. If you can’t use him properly then dont use him. AI that doesnt listen all the time is nothing new to the series. They’re one of the smallest gaming studios around. Go play COD.

  25. NephilimNexus says:

    There is one advantage to Dogmeat and that is this: He never judges you. No matter how many people you backstab, swindle, steal from & murder in cold blood, Dogmeat will stay by your side. He doesn’t have any “morality” coding to his character at all. He’s fine with anything you do.

    That’s worth noting because you can lose Codsworth as a companion by being too much of a bastard. Yes, even your robot slave can tell you to screw off and refuse to work with you anymore.

    Dogmeat is more of a robot than your robot. He’s also quieter & less bothersome. He has no opinions nor commentary about anything. Finally, he is small. That’s important because, as others have pointed out already, companion AI in a Bethesda game will forever equal “run in front of the player’s gun while they’re shooting!” It’s so bad that they finally gave up and added a perk bonus to eliminate the damage that comes from this inevitable situation. Being only about 1/3rd the size of your regular companions means he’s only 1/3rd the accidental target as well. That really does help.

    • Chaoslord AJ says:

      I felt the same, the reporter chick was awful. Maximized, romanced then dumped her. The dog always smiles at me…

    • Zenicetus says:

      That’s true, some of the companions will cramp certain play styles. You can push it pretty far, but if you go far enough they’ll leave (I’ve heard, haven’t seen it yet).

      I’m using Nick, which works because I’m doing this run as the typical Hero that Bethesda seems to want me to be. But he wouldn’t work if you’re playing a more… shall we say… “ethically flexible” character. I’ve met at least two other companions where that would work better, but I like Nick’s style.

      Even though he sometimes gets in my way, he can take care of himself (with upgraded pistols) even in his ratty Detective trench coat and hat. And he unlocks terminals, which I hate doing.

  26. Premium User Badge

    Risingson says:

    I think you are taking your “being a dick in Fallout 4” experiment a bit too far.

  27. Swanky says:

    Caustic, indulgent, cat-loving – surely the ultimate RPS. I’ll leave it to others to judge for themselves if that’s a good thing or not.

  28. Chaoslord AJ says:

    So after trash-talking Myst it’s dogs now, bravo.
    I’m rather a cat-person myself but at least dogmeat looks friendly and unlike the other human NPCs he doesn’t judge you when you steal or take drugs, faithful companion indeed. (also bought the cat in Path of Exile which reminds me of my beloved first cat but it can’t attack or anything just cosmetic)
    Oh and by the way Bethesda could code something sneaky into the companions. Like with their other games the companions are awful at stealth.
    Descision is being stealthy or having a mule.

    • Stevostin says:

      You must play poorly. I do a lot of stealth with my companions. Some are better at it than others. I can use my companion to get seen and draw fire while I snipe his attackers. I must be super smart, or maybe I am resistant enough to the usual bethesda bashing crowd to see a good point where there is one.

    • Zenicetus says:

      It’s not that bad. Once you get a feel for situations where the companion will be a problem, it’s easy enough to tell them to stay put, and they’ll hold while you scout ahead. Same way it worked in Skyrim.

      I have a ton of complaints about various aspects of this game, but I didn’t go into it expecting any major breakthroughs in companion AI.

  29. Lightbringer says:

    The AI agent they use for every companion in the game is horrendous. The only thing they’re useful for is being a bullet sponge.

    • Stevostin says:

      You must play very poorly. I have Nick Valentine using the best laser rifle I found. He’s doing more damage than I do.

      • suibhne says:

        Same here. He dishes out the damage, uses cover appropriately, and even has tolerably good voice-acting. If it weren’t for the bug that makes him repeat some area-specific VOs ad nauseum, he’d be the best Bethesda companion ever. In fact, he might be anyway.

      • TheAngriestHobo says:

        You sure like that line, dontcha?

  30. Bringmeyourhalo says:

    Wow rock, paper shotgun. You have worse writers than fucking PC Gamer, which are for 12 year olds nowadays.

    • mattevansc3 says:

      The word you need to use is “is” not “are”. Are is used to reference more than one entity. When complaining about a site’s writing you may want to make sure your grammar is correct.

      • Veematoo says:

        This is a silly argument… I know this is REALLY off topic, but I’ve always found this argument to be completely fallacious. Do you have to be a good guitarist to say someone is bad at the guitar? Do you need to be good at directing movies to say Michael Bay doesn’t make good movies? Feel free to disagree with my opinion of Michael Bay, but only if you agree that your point of someone having to be good at something to critique another person regarding that skill is a bad point, because you can only call someone good at something if you have someone bad with which to compare them. Also, I don’t think this person was even commenting on the writer’s grammar. It seemed to be more about the content.

        On the subject of dogmeat… I love dogs, just not this one. Cait is my favorite because she’ll go ham on someone’s face with a baseball bat while I’m cutting them to pieces. Most of the companions seem to avoid melee except for her.

  31. racccoon says:

    Being 107hrs in, all assistants/companions are told bugger off!
    Unless absolutely necessary for a quest, which a few do.. Still even they are frigging annoying as they seem to always want to take out/leap ahead of you & interfere in what you want to take out, so therefore you lose the xp, the other annoying bit is in quest leading is they go so far ahead that you can’t potter about gathering and room sweeping. ;(
    My motto is any companion/assistant still gets the knock on the head, even though they kind of help but really are just extremely annoying, so I “can” them, period.

    • bungiecord says:

      curie is the best companion because she never says anything, and her voice is done so well i like hearing her ask “is that comic book educational? is there anything of science in there?” but thats really all she says and the occasional comment on me picking up junk. she always stays with me, never wanders ahead. so if im room sweeping shes right there with me as well. not to mention her romance is really really nice.

  32. Jokerme says:

    “Don’t trust a man who doesn’t trust a dog.”

  33. w0bbl3r says:

    Why I hate that wasteland trader’s stupid CATS;
    Because they are cats, and that means they hate me and every other living creature on the planet.
    And anyone who likes cats is a masochist who lives to be a hated slave, because that’s what cats do.
    Dogs are not too yappy to be indoors (mine makes no noise unless she is warning people away, which is her job, which she does unselfishly unlike cats), and can 100% be left outside and won’t bring in rotting corpses, or kill local wildlife to drop bloodily at your feet before strutting back in demanding food/milk/the blood of a newborn.
    Cats hate people, no two ways about it. They are users, and are actually as pointless as a pet as a fish. They can’t be trained to any degree (they are too stupid and selfish to listen), they can’t go on outings with you, and they have no regard for your health or safety. No regard for you at all actually, unless they want something.
    Dogs are actually smart enough to save lives in many many different situations, from war, disaster zones, detecting cancer, leading the blind, and just defending the home.
    Yep, dogs are the useless one’s, cats are great… SURE.

    I know the article was kind of a light-hearted dig, but I couldn’t read it after the first part about dogs.
    Although I do kind of agree about dogmeat; he is an idiot. But then, he is still better than the human AI companions, because they are worthless

  34. suibhne says:

    I’m a lifelong dog-lover, and I HATE this dog. He’s useless, but the game constantly [i]claims[/i] he’s useful. He whines and whimpers when he’s down, even tho it’s all fake – he happily gets right up after combat just like every other NPC, and the rest of them have the decency to shut the hell up when they’ve been temporarily taken out via Bethesda’s ridiculous gaminess.

    But worst of all is that he’s a purebred German shepherd, 200 years after the apocalypse. Think about that for a minute. 200 years after the total collapse of institutional society, there would be no purebred dogs left, anywhere. Period. A creature like Dogmeat could only exist in a world with a coordinated, intercommunicating network of breeders dedicated to preserving breed characteristics while still maintaining sufficient genetic diversity to avoid crippling in-breeding, and Boston and New York City don’t even remember each other’s existence in Bethesda’s world. It’s patently absurd.

    The original Dogmeat was a mutt. In contrast, Bethesda’s Dogmeat is a perfect symbol of their total failure at creating believable worlds.

    • rgbarton says:

      Wow way to go off on a tangent regarding a virtual dog…

      • SanguineAngel says:

        pretty great tangent though. One I sort of immediately vibe with (although I’m not sure I am in sync with the apparent anger which may or may not be real)

        • suibhne says:

          To be fair, my hatred* of Dogmeat has nothing to do with his breed – it’s all about the fact that he constantly gets in my way and never finds anything useful when the game tells me he’s found something useful.

          I absolutely agree with the post, below, about all the other immersion-breaking stuff. Dogmeat is just symptomatic of that, not particularly bad in himself. He’s way cuter than all the conveniently-still-running-after-200-years-even-in-office-buildings-where-all-the-other-computers-are-fried computers But he does illustrate Bethesda’s approach to world-building: “Ooh, that would be fun/cool/weird (regardless of the internal logic of the game we’re creating) – let’s do it!” Only rarely do they seem to ask, “What conditions would have to be true in order for this fun/cool/weird thing to occur in our gameworld?”

          Also, part of my reaction is clearly motivated by the fact that I’m much more of a FO1 fan than a FO2 fan. I don’t think Bethesda gets the FO setting, but you could easily argue that they’re much more inspired by FO2 than the original. C’est la guerre.

          *not actually hatred ;)

    • Zenicetus says:

      Okay, I agree he should have been a mutt. Blame the marketing department.

      Or maybe a short-hair was easier to animate than the long-haired mutt in the “A Boy and His Dog” movie? Hair physics isn’t exactly a big feature in this engine. Everyone has helmet hair, not just Dogmeat.

      But it’s no worse than any other immersion-breaking thing in the game if you look too closely and don’t just run with it. Like how every important computer terminal somehow has power and can access old files, even in a falling-apart building flooded with water. That bothers me a lot more than the dog, unless I put on the same blinders I need everywhere else to enjoy the game. And once I do that, it’s fun enough for me to enjoy spending some time here.

    • unacom says:

      Actually it would totally make sense to stumble upon a ghoul-network of dog-breeding enthusiasts. Complete with Dog-shows, dog-hairdressers and dog-undertakers. Throw in a “go to soandso and kill our cat-breeding neighbours”-quest and it would be absolutely Fallout-logic. I´d personally go for the “renege on your doggy-partners and side with the cats.” Just because I´m a) a cat person and b) thoroughly dislike american dog-culture. Especially if it is embodied in a german sheperd.
      There was this tame mole-rat in New Vegas. I really really wanted it to be a companion. If only to have a mole-rat.

      • Coming Second says:

        Would have been great if that had been attached to Dogmeat. Like after a while in-game, a ghoul comes up to you and demands the escaped mutt back.

        But this is all predicated on Bethesda giving a hate-me-jizz about proper world building. At least Dogmeat can claim to be slightly more plausible than Eddie Winters and kid-in-a-fridge.

  35. criskywalker says:

    Well, hate is a strong word… Just look at his cute face!

  36. braven5 says:

    Implying all dogs will bite a childs face off, when in actual fact millions of of dogs are loyal and affectionate, and its 1 in million with poor bad owner/trainers that are plain nasty.

    You can’t judge the masses by looking at the minority, that literally the equivelent of racism. Truth is Dog’s have often saved lifes without training, litterally dragging children out of burning building at the expense of there own lives.

    That said Dogmeant is not a dog, hes a AI companion in a game, therefore shares no common ground with a real dog, the way he opens doors drives me insane, especially as i usually closed it to keep the nasty bug out thats gonna kill me on survival mode.

    Dogmeat Grab perk is useful however, but beyond that no AI is really useful in 99% of games, not just betsada games, i truely think AI companions shouldn’t exist in fallout or elder scrolls games

  37. Carlos Danger says:

    Dogmeat, the best damn companion in the game. Finds shit for you randomly and doesn’t sit around judging you. If I lived in Sweden I would marry him.

  38. April March says:

    Dogs are great because they are entirely unlike humans.
    Cats are great because they are entirely like humans.

  39. jonahcutter says:

    “To hate dogs is to lack character.”

    -Abraham Lincoln

  40. mariandavid says:

    What an awful lot of things to say and every word of course is all wrong – coc I love my doggy companion: No angst, no ammo, no armour, no chatting and courage beyond belief.

    I am very sad after reading this and I think I will go and play with my poodle and not read RPS for at least two hours. That will teach them.

  41. Uninteresting Curse File Implement says:

    Are you SURE it’s the only available companion for you? Because the dog’s given to you by another character who should already be recruitable, and even to meet that other character you are forced to interact with another annoying thing who tries to force itself into your party on multiple occasions.

    • aepervius says:

      The dog is not given to you, you find it automatically at the rocket station as soon as you leave sanctuary for concord as the first mission. At that point codsworth might be recruitable but I am not even sure of that.

  42. klops says:

    This sort of writing also affects the general mood in the site. While RPS “will not tolerate spitefulness or rudeness”, these type of writings tend to bring more of it on the site.

    • Premium User Badge

      gritz says:

      It’s pretty much only Walker who writes this kind of thing, like he’s having to purge some nastiness once or twice a month.

  43. banananas says:

    And I’ve never understood why some people NEED pets in the first place. Why is everbody so mad about them? Why not just leave those poor animals in their natural habitat? They don’t need humans, humans need them, but they can’t refuse.

    Pretty selfish, isn’t it?

  44. wombat191 says:

    you people are a bunch of anti social cowards not liking or using companions when the game is clearly designed to use them.. while the y are eqquiped with the experimental MIRV launcher and consoled 10,000 rounds

  45. aro230 says:

    ciota pedał i skurwysyn (f***ing dumb, idiot and mother******.

  46. Coming Second says:

    Deacon is the best companion. Why? He has points in sneak. In other words, he doesn’t aggro every goddamn enemy within two miles when you’re trying to sneak up to them/around them.

    Also it stops the creepy stalking sod from cropping up everywhere.

  47. MrWhite says:

    Amen, my friend!

  48. Auldman says:

    The game is fun. I am enjoying it. Now that I have gotten that out of the way: Bethesda has some of the worst npc’s in their games I’ve ever seen! None of the companions I’ve come across have been anything other than bland. I know people love these games cause they can mod the sh** out of them but for the love of god before you make a new gun please add some spice to the dialogue and dog just is not interesting. I am sticking with Nick Valentine cause he doesn’t say much but he does look stylish. Bethesda might do to lure some of BioWare’s writers over for their next project (Yeah you’ll hate that comment fansters but you know it’s true).

  49. Alice O'Connor says:

    Dogs are even worse versions of babies, because they never grow up. At least babies might, one day, learn to make a rudimentary pasta sauce. Load of faff and babysitting for nothing.

    • TheAngriestHobo says:

      Clearly you have owned the wrong breed of dog. Labradoodles are renowned for their pasta sauce.

  50. grrrz says:

    So if I get this straight, this is a game where you can eat people, but where the games forbids you to kill a stupid dog, the same way it forbids you to kill children in fallout 3? the dog has the same status as little kids? this is just weird

    • Veematoo says:

      It’s just the one dog. It’s unkillable because it’s a companion. None of the companions can be killed. Any other dog you run into can be killed. So yeah… not weird.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        More to that point: you will kill (and likely eat) hundreds of dogs in Fallout 4.

        • Coming Second says:

          They are mean-looking mongrels and not a purebred german shepard, though. This is important.

    • Premium User Badge

      john_silence says:

      But have you noticed: in John’s second paragraph, you can accurately replace “dogs” with “children”. The only time the statement becomes inaccurate is when children grow up, so they’re not children anymore.
      Why do you assume a child/human has more value than a dog per se? The root of such attitude is hinted at when you write “stupid” before dog. I’ll be blunt: my dog is probably smarter than you are in many situations. And she’s an idiot