Murderous pet friends are the real meaning of Far Cry 5


There are many reasons why Far Cry 5 has wormed its way into my cold heart far more than I’d ever expected, but foremost among them are its recruitable animal followers. Why have a crack-shot sniper or rocket-spewing airplane pilot watching your back, when you can have a tame bear and unnaturally loyal cougar by your side instead? Sure, there’s a cute dog, but screw that guy – Peaches the mountain lion and Cheesburger the grizzly are the best friends an anonymous law-enforcer on a one-person crusade to rid Montana of murderous cultists could have.

Peaches the cougar and Cheesburger the bear are unlocked by completing specific setpiece missions, at which point they can follow you anywhere, unless you’re in a vehicle. (They’ll try to keep pace with a car but resort to magic teleportation for an aircraft). They will also fight for you. They are breathtakingly lethal. They are absolutely adorable.


Thanks to these guys, I’ve survived some significant skirmishes without firing a shot – I hang back on a hillside and tell them where to go and who to maul. They’re a blunt instrument of sheer muscle mass, sure, but watch Cheesburger roll around his back to put out the flames when someone lobs a molatov at him and you’ll realise they have brains as well as brawn. They’ll also help themselves to a lovely snack of cow or bison guts if they’re stood near a slaughtered animal during a quiet moment.

They’re even capable of enjoying a lovely campire singalong, soulful creatures that they are:

(Bass provided by the perpetual background sound of distant gunfire).

They are the sweetest pets anyone could have. I love them more than I love my own child. Don’t tell me your heart doesn’t melt when you watch this:

(Soundtrack from boundlessly enthusiastic BBC kids’ animal education show My Pet & Me).

There is a dedicated ‘pet’ button if you want to show these animals your love. This is everything I’ve ever wanted.


  1. Alistair says:

    This comes from Far Cry Primal. And in Origins you can pet your eagle and passing cats. Hopefully all Ubigames will have pets to play with now.

    • Stellar Duck says:

      In AssCreed 3 you could pet dogs, cows and so on.

      I have a collection of me petting all the animals in that game on my Steam profile.

    • gabrielonuris says:

      Yeah, I had a full army of wild beasts in Primal (to find and tame every animal possible was my personal achievement).

      That’s why FC Primal is the best Far Cry for me.

  2. Premium User Badge

    particlese says:

    Oh, neat! Pets outside of mmos do seem to need a good shot of diversity. Hats off to Ubi for taking the change there and for giving the bears, cougars, eagles, sea cucumbers (?), and dogs of war dedicated pat buttons while they were at it.

  3. Ben King says:

    My GF and I will still occasionally reach over to give head scritches to one or another of the cats on the couch and affectionately grumble “Tuushie” in our best Caveman/ Adam Jensen imitation.

  4. ukpanik says:

    The Joy, importance and real meaning of murderous pet friends of Far Cry 5 and why it dominates the charts.

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    Aerothorn says:

    As long as you don’t make Far Cry 5 game of the year, Alec. Don’t go there. Don’t become one of them.

  6. onodera says:

    More importantly, can you ride them into battle?

    • Werthead says:

      Far Cry 4 had weaponised elephants you could ride into combat. FC5, alas, has no such militarised mountable wildlife.

      • Grizzly says:

        FC Primal let you ride them into battle though.

        FC Primal is just really good.

        • onodera says:

          The worst thing about Primal was its hunter vision. The land is so colorful, but you are looking at it through a grey-and-yellow filter like half of the time.

    • April March says:

      We can only hope for a Russia DLC.

      • onodera says:

        I’ve always said we needed a Far Cry set in DNR/LNR. Urban/suburban sprawl interspersed with spoil tips, beautifil chalk cliffs on the Donets, lots of warlords that are completely mental… Not that many animals to skin, but now that’s no longer a requirement.

    • juan_h says:

      Mountain lions aren’t nearly big enough for that. I don’t know about the bear. The bear in the screen shot certainly looks big enough, but I think an actual Montanan bear wouldn’t be.

      • suibhne says:

        Probably not. The brown bears (“grizzly bears”) in the region top out at maybe 700 lbs., a lot smaller than even a light horse, and the black bears are considerably smaller. Brown bears elsewhere can be twice as big, but those are increasingly rare due to habitat destruction and hunting.

  7. iainl says:

    I had no interest in Facr Cry 5 before; I didn’t really get into 3 because I hated the animal killing it required. But a pet mountain lion I can tickle behind the ears is an easy sell.

    • Menthalion says:

      So you agree with Alec that everyone needs a Cougar or a Bear in their life ?

    • charmingtuber says:

      If animal killing isn’t your thing, don’t play FC5

      • nifft.batuff says:

        I like to shoot puppies in games. I guess it is less boring than shooting people into the face. I think I have to check FC5..

    • Werthead says:

      In FC5 you don’t need to kill any animals. Er, apart from that one bull you need to feed into a thresher for absolutely no apparent reason. And three fish for a to gain an NPC’s trust. But neither of those are essential missions.

      Certainly for main-game progression I don’t believe you need to harm any animals, and you get three animal sidekicks (although you can only take two with you at a time).

  8. aircool says:

    I glimpsed a GIF of someone throwing a shovel at a dog and killing it.

    This game is not for me :'(

    I’m the guy that won’t even attack wild animals in MMO’s etc… Made up monsters, fine… Nazi something-or-others, fine…

    It’s like in TV/movies… want to make us hate the bad guy… kill the good guys dog. Why? Can’t the bad guy be bad for whatever reason he’s the bad guy?

    /ramble off

  9. Chaoslord AJ says:

    Not my kind of gameplay though. I enjoy stealth-killing or sniping or drawn-out fire-fights. Having the bear rush in and maul everyone like in Primal seems to easy and unsubtle.
    I guess I just keep them for screenshots and remove them from battle.

    • Zenicetus says:

      I think that’s optional (telling a companion to target someone). I haven’t tried an animal companion except Boomer, but the companion AI is pretty good. If you’re crouched in stealth mode, they won’t attack unless ordered to, but they’ll respond if you get jumped.

      I’ve been playing mostly in stealth, just using a Fighter companion for responding to the occasional unavoidable group attacks, or distraction for surprise animal attacks. I assume the bear and cougar work the same way?

      • charmingtuber says:

        The cougar is meant to be stealthy. The bear has no chill, though. I just unlocked him, went to clear a stronghold, was marking all the enemies from stealth, and see the bear running up the road ready to take the whole team. I love the bear, but stealth is not his thing.

        • Zenicetus says:

          Yeah, I just read a description of the bear’s special qualities. He’s basically an aggro target, so he’s gonna run in and kill stuff.

          If he’s like the other companions, you could force him to stick to a targeted point with the “move here” command, and then release when you wanted. But I guess you wouldn’t use him if you didn’t want his abilities.

  10. awrc says:

    Aww why no love for Boomer? :( Who’s a good pupppers? Boomer is!

    • Menthalion says:

      Because he lacks opportunities for innuendo, unlike Cougars and Bears

  11. tslog says:

    The AI in FC 5 is such stupid insignificant pointless moronic nothingness, that not only does the combat suffer greatly for it, what your animal companions do to enemies matters just as little.

    Imagine this game good enemy AI. The rewards for using smart animal AI would be greater. Too bad both AI sucks pretty bad. Rendering the combat exercise a bore.

    FC 3 and 4 Didn’t have a great AI either but it was much better there than in 5. Where taking outposts and in world encounters felt good, not it’s a joyless shell.

  12. Ham Solo says:

    That cougar really is awesome. Always use it on stealth missions.

  13. vorador says:

    Press F to pat.

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    phuzz says:

    I’m disappointed that there doesn’t seem to be a mod for Fallout 4 that lets you stroke the cats :(

    • felis says:

      Last time I checked there were plenty of pussy stroking mods for FO4..

  15. axiomatic says:

    Boomer (the dog) is my favorite. Peaches is cool but the target reveal is way too useful in Boomer.