Your two legged companions are the more effective of the of the followers you can recruit. Like the mechanical followers, each of these folks has some sort of speciality that they excel at but they’re also a whole lot more versatile. For example, Raul is great at helping you keep your equipment working but he isn’t all that great in combat. However if you pop him into some good armor and give him an Cowboy Repeater he can hold his own in combat as well.
Recruited from: Freeside, The Old Mormon Fort.
All you need to do is speak to him with a high enough Speech score or a low enough Intelligence and convince him to come along on your adventure.
Better Healing: While you have Arcade around all healing items will recover 20% more health. Since this includes food, Stimpaks and Doctor’s Bags you can see that this is an incredibly helpful ability. It actually is doubly helpful on Hardcore difficulty since it lets you carry less healing items but know that they’ll heal you a good deal. Be mindful that this ability is incredibly useful even if you have a high Medicine skill as it will just increase your already impressive healing abilities.
For Auld Lang Syne: Like many of the other human companions in the game you’re going to have to convince Arcade to open up. Unlike the others his opening up is partially related to the main quest so you can save yourself using him (if you’re not fond of him) by simply waiting until later in the game to recruit him. In other words, his recruiting quest will open up automatically during the game even if you have no "like" points.
Once you’ve got him complete the following acts: complete the side quest “White Wash” by supplying Westside with water or wiping out the Scorpion gang and take him along for the “Render Unto Caesar” and when you enter the fort tell him you’re just checking it out. This should do all that’s required for the quest to start.
Alternately, you can take him to visit the crashed vertibird and Repconn HQ, and then install Yes Man into Mr House's mainframe and the quest will trigger.
During the quest, you must convince Doctor Henry (Jacobstown), Cannibal Johnson (Cannibal Johnson's Cave), Judah Kreger (Westside), Orion Moreno (NCR Sharecropper Farms), and Daisy Whitman (Novac) to join you for a meeting at the Remnant's Bunker. You may choose to tell Arcade to wait at the Lucky 38, as taking him to the bunker could result in losing him as a recruit-able companion - he'll choose a different way to serve in the coming battle. Once you've decided how to handle that situation, go to the bunker to complete the quest.
In the bunker, talk to Judah, who will prompt you to choose between NCR or Caesar's Legion. Choosing NCR nets you Daisy's Enclave power armor, while going with the Legion will give you Cannibal Johnson's suit.
Who doesn’t want their own personal doctor? Well even though he’s fairly useful in his own right you might find Gannon to be somewhat hard to use in combat. He’s only really useful at range, a position that Boone or Cass already fill admirably, only uses Energy Weapons with any amount of skill and must be put into heavy armor as soon as possible if you want him to survive. He’s at his best when wearing heavy armor while wielding a good Laser weapon.
All that changes if you’re playing in Hardcore mode as his ability is suddenly becomes ridiculously useful. His ability to keep you alive and functioning even after the worst combat failures is immensely helpful and it helps you get around any weight limit issues you might be facing. Simply craft the best stuff you can at the camp fires and let him boost its effectiveness.
(Cass) Rose of Sharon Cassidy
Recruited from: Mojave Outpost.
You will have to complete the quest “Heartache by the Number” with her. To do this you’re going to need to work with the Crimson Caravan Company by doing the “You Can Depend on Me” quest. Then you must either kill Ranger Jackson or clear the giant ants from the road for him. Finally you can talk to Cass to start up this side quest and upon completion she will be a permanent follower.
Whiskey Rose: When drinking Whiskey with Cass you both gain additional Damage Threshold as well as ignoring the negative effects of alcohol (ie. losing intelligence and addiction). This is an interesting but ultimately not that compelling of an ability. Carry around some liquor for when you need a temporary burst of damage resistance and then use this to help out. It’s pretty helpful against enemies that deal constant but light damage. With some good armor and this boost you can reduce enemies with pistols or sub-machine guns to simply waste ammo.
Calm Heart: Grants +50 Hit Points. Complete her side quest in as non-violent a way as possible to grant her this perk.
Hand of Vengeance: Complete her side quest to grant her this perk, it allows Cass to deal +15% damage with all guns. This is gotten for solving her problems with lots and lots of bullets and / or explosives.
Cass will tell you to go to the Cassidy Caravans Wreckage, which will trigger a few more travel plans that eventually uncover a conspiracy between The Silver Rush and Crimson Caravan. From here you have two options - kill Alice and Gloria, or refrain from violence to uncover the conspiracy. As noted above, you will receive a different perk based on which route you choose:
Go to the Crimson Caravan Company Main Office. Alice will just be standing there, making her an easy target. Then go to the Silver Rush. Kill the guardsman outside the building, blow open an entry to get inside, and then take out Gloria. She will be significantly more difficult to kill since she is protected by guards.
Go to the Crimson Caravan Company Main Office. There's a safe to the left side of the screen. Crack it open to receive the Crimson Caravan-Van Graff Agreement. After reporting this to Cass, go to Silver Rush and head to the restroom, then use a Stealth Boy. Sneak into the door that's blocked by a guard to find another safe containing the Letter to Gloria. Take this to Cass, and then talk to Ranger Jackson at the Mojave Outpost.
Cass is one of the better followers in the game based solely around her ability to multitask. Most of the companions are either good at ranged combat or melee fighting but she can actually do both. Admittedly she’s quite a bit better at ranged combat but the option is there. However she isn’t exactly all that great at taking hits so it’s best to keep her back from enemies.
Once she joins up with you slap her into some heavy armor, Metal Armor works but Combat or salvaged Power Armor is better. This solves the problem of her dying too quickly on you. Now slap a Hunting Shotgun into her hands (or something equivalent), give her some powerful slugs and then let her tear through enemies. She’s rather deadly with shotguns, especially if you get her Hand of Vengeance, and she can shred enemies like paper with this weapon.
In Hardcore mode it is imperative that you keep her out of melee combat. Don’t even bother recruiting her unless you’ve got the armor and weapon you want to give her. Stash them somewhere if you don’t want to carry them, recruit her and then fast travel to her. Get her into her new equipment, give her a bunch of Stimpaks to keep her alive and then set off for trouble.
Recruited from: Novac.
Speak to him during the night and he will ask you to help him find he person responsible for his wife’s disappearance. Complete the side mission “One For My Baby” by taking out the person actually responsible, not just a random person, and you will be able to ask Boone to come with you.
Spotter: This slightly odd ability causes all enemies you place your targeting cursor over to glow red. This makes it much easier to aim at enemies during night or in utter darkness. Sadly this is incredibly redundant since clicking the VATs button will automatically lock on to the nearest available targets in sight anyways.
I Forgot to Remember to Forget: To get this quest started you need to complete other missions with Boone as your follower. A few quick ways to do this is: Save the NCR hostages in Nelson during the “Back In Your Own Backyard” quest, complete the side quest “Booted” in Nipton and then deal with Silus or the traitor in Camp McCarran. This will give you enough clout with Boone to start up the quest, but you must first speak with Manny Vargas in Novac about the Bitter Springs Massacre.
When Boone later brings up Bitter Springs, suggest going there. He'll refuse but then bring it up again later. Suggest going there again, and he will accept. Stay the night in Bitter Springs and when you wake up, it's a pure hack-and-slash quest. Defeat all three waves of enemies and the quest is complete.
Upon completion of his side quest Boone will ask you a question. Your answer will determine the armor upgrade Boone receives. There’s no stat difference between the two armors, although they are cosmetically different, and each one will represent a different story outcome for Boone. Answering his question with the first answer choice will make Boone repentant while the second answer will make him bloodthirsty
Boone may be a bitter man but he’s definitely a huge asset to have around. Even with his basic unique gun he will shred enemies to ribbons, especially if you give him some armor piercing ammunition. But if you can get the Gobi Campaign Rifle or, even better, the Anti-Material Rifle he will utterly annihilate most foes in his path. This is not a man to be trifled with. To complete the picture slap him in some Recon Armor, give him some Stimpaks and you have a follower who will travel with you to hell and back.
Since Boone loves nothing more than staying out of the line of fire he’s a great choice for Hardcore mode if you need some more offense. He has pretty good amount of defense as well as excelling on offense. Give him a Ripper and an uber long rifle and he can handle enemies at all ranges. Just be careful since things like the Nightkin can kill him ridiculously fast because of how powerful they are so help him by disarming them.