Fallout New Vegas Companion Guide

Choosing the best Fallout New Vegas companion is a tricky job. You'll have to find these recruitable allies first and often jump though some hoops, complete side quest and more to get them to follow you. Each has a particular role in which they excel at,  as well as a Perk they give your character and potentially some problems they can cause as well. As such, it's important that you pick your two followers carefully to provide you with the greatest benefits.

There are many different ways to utilize the followers in New Vegas. For example you could make a veritable firing squad by having Ed-E and a ranged attacker complimenting your own ranged attacks,or you could have Rex and Lily along to act as distractions while you snipe enemies from a distance. Or you could let Lily do all the melee fighting while taking shots along with Ed-E from far back enough that enemies never have a chance. It’s all about how you want to deal with the enemies in the Wasteland.

If you need help your own character as well then then checkout our Fallout New Vegas Character Build guide as well.


Ed-E is probably the better of the two robotic allies you can have as a follower. Since these guys can’t be upgraded, the fact that Ed-E stays back while using his powerful laser blasts is something of a God send. For the most part he will hover near you until blaring his battle anthem and blasting any enemies who dare approach you. If you’re finding that he’s getting taken down too often tell him to hang back further so that enemies will have to run past you to get to him, giving you plenty of time to kneecap them.

Recruited from: Primm, Mojave Express Couriers.

Ed-E is sitting on the counter and must be repaired to get him to join up with you. You can repair him with a high enough Repair skill (65+) although using Science (55+) will make the Repair check easier. Or, if your Science skill is below 55 but above 35, you can fix Ed-E with Scrap Metal (3x), Sensor Module (2x) and Scrap Electronics (1x). These parts are scattered about and should be easy to find by just searching around.

Perk Granted

Enhanced Sensors: Increases the range at which the player can detect enemies. This is an incredibly useful skill for anyone who is using either the Sneak skill or planning on being a sniper. These sensors will pick up enemies before almost any of them have a chance to notice you especially when you’re indoors. While outdoors there is a chance that some rare few enemies will be able to spot you but this is the exception to the rule.

Side Quest

Ed-E My Love: This quest is surprisingly complicated to get started. Ed-E has a number of logs saved up inside of him and they’re unlocked after hearing certain keywords as well as time spent on the road. To start things off speak to Old Lady Gibson in Gibson Scrapyard in Novac about Helios. This prompts a recording saved within Ed-E.

From this point forward you need a mixture of killing time, such as by waiting or simply adventuring, and Ed-E hearing other key words. These words include Air Force Base, Archimedes, Eden, Enclave and Navarro. Speaking to Arcade Gannon in the Old Mormon Fort is a great way to get some of these as is simply traveling to Nellis Air Force Base. In either case after several of these logs the chance to end the quest will appear.

After this, wait for two in-game days and you should receive a transmission from Knight Lorenzo, who will direct you to Repconn Headquarters. On the top floor, loot the dead corpses to receive Brotherhood of Steel Mission Holotape, and Mission Statement XV-56.

Once equipped with those, go to the Hidden Valley and you should receive a message from April Martimer telling you to bring Ed-E to her at the Old Mormon Fort. If you do that, his weapons will be upgraded. Or, if you want an armor upgrade, take Ed-E to Knight Lorenzo. Note you must be on the Brotherhood of Steel's good side for this.


Rex is a surprisingly vicious attacker that closes in on enemies rapidly to hit with weak, but constant, attacks that carry a chance of knocking targets down. When he notices an enemy, and isn’t stuck in sneak mode, he will charge that enemy and attempt to knock it down repeatedly while trying to chew its face off. Since he moves in so rapidly most enemies won’t get a chance to deal too much damage at range but he’s still quite vulnerable to powerful melee enemies, like Nightkin. If you want to keep him alive help him by disarming these enemies’s and then shoot them while they’re down.

Recruited from: Freeside, The King’s School for Impersonation

Must complete the “Nothin’ But a Hound Dog” side quest to get him to join. To unlock this you must complete the “G.I. Blues” quest and then speak to King again.

Recruitment Quest

Nothin’ But a Hound Dog: This is a simple quest but it bears note that there are several ways to end it. You need to bring a new brain to Henry for Rex and there are a number of options. Depending on what brain you pick you will modify Rex’s stats:

1) Speak to Old Lady Gibson at the Gibson Scrap Yard in Novac. You can talk her into selling you the brain of one of her dogs, Rey, for 700 caps. If your barter skill happens to be 70+, you can talk her out of said brain, giving it to you for free. Bring this back to give Rex increased damage.

2) Head west out of New Vegas to find the Violet and Violetta trailer park. Here you will find a Fiend named Violet with a pack of dogs led by Violetta. Kill Violetta and take her brain back to give Rex improved movement speed.

3) At The Fort you can speak to Anthony about Lupa. This starts a one on one fight with the vicious dog while you wield a machete. Using Lupa’s brain makes Rex able to endure more damage in combat. However,the Legion-hating Boonewill refuse to travel with you when Rex is your companion.

Note that you can only receive one brain.

Perk Granted

Search and Mark: Having Rex around allows you to more easily find things lying on the floor as well as containers. By zooming into the environment you can see pretty much any free items lying about on the floor as well containers, safes, Hollow Rocks and dead bodies. This is useful but not really deciding factor in bringing him along.

Additionally, as noted above, Rex will receive different perks depending on which brain you chose:

* Rey's Brain - Faithful Protector (increase attack damage)
* Violetta's Brain - Unshakeable Tracker (increase speed)
* Lupa's Brain - Blood of the Legion (increase hit points)

Arcade Gannon

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.

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.

Perk Granted

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.

Side Quest

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.

(Cass) Rose of Sharon Cassidy

cass fallout new vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Cass is one of the better followers based solely around her ability to multitask. Most 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.

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.

Perk Granted

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.

Extra Perk

Calm Heart: Grants +50 Hit Points. Complete her side quest in as non-violent a way as possible to grant her this perk.

Extra 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.

Side Quest

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:

Violent Route:

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.

Non-Violent Route:

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.

Craig Boone

Boon fallout new vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

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.

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.

Perk Granted

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.

Side Quest

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


Lily is quite the well meaning force of mass destruction. Once you get her out of Jacobstown and into some fighting you will see that she has some issues. Every so often she flips right the hell out and goes berserk on your enemies, fighting at extra effectiveness but also forgetting to tend to her own health. If you let her rampage she will tear through enemies like a hot knife through butter but she greatly runs the risk of getting knocked out by powerful enemies. For example if she goes nuts on a Deathclaw things can get messy for her.

By speaking to Lily you can choose just how often these psychotic breaks occur. If you tell her to take her meds all the time she won’t have her breaks at all but she fights at about 75% effectiveness. If you tell her to take her medicine about half of the time she will only flip out when her health gets very low and she fights at about 100% effectiveness. But if you don’t concern yourself with her medication she will flip out whenever she loses about half of her health but she fights at 150% combat effectiveness.

You can often break her out of her berserk rages by entering Sneak mode. So if you’re sneaking around stand in one place, stop sneaking and then begin sneaking again. This should cause her to stop. Most of the time anyways.

Recruited from: Jacobstown, You will have to complete the side quest “Guess Who I Saw Today.”

Perk Granted

Stealthgirl: While Lily is hanging around all of your Stealthboys last for 200% their normal duration. So if they would normally last three minutes they’re going to last about nine minutes instead. In addition while she’s around all Sneak Attack Criticals do an additional 10% damage. There’s really very little reason not to use her if you’re planning on sneaking around.

Side Quest

As soon as you accept the Guess Who I Saw Today quest, you will be able to recruit Lily but she will soon leave to be part of Doctor Henry's experiment. Afterward, Keene will barge in and demand the specs for the experimental prototype. You can either choose to give him the specs, pass a speech check to talk him out of it, or fight. Either way, once the quest is over, you'll be able to keep Lily on as a companion.

Raul Tejada

Raul Tejada fallout new vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Raul’s main purpose is to maintain your equipment, keeping it in tip-top shape so that you don’t’ have to worry about paying to keep your stuff functional. This is doubly true if you have him upgrade from Regular Maintenance to Full Maintenance since it will allow you to save a lot of money on repairing your equipment.

Raul can actually fight although he’s only a little bit better than Arcade Gannon at it. While he’s a better fighter than Gannon the fact that you can give the Doc a powerful Energy Weapon with some Overcharged cells keeps him from being as good. Raul only uses things like Revolvers and Cowboy Repeaters and while these are awesome during the early or middle parts of the game they get considerably less useful by the late game. You’ll need to have him using armor piercing ammo almost constantly at this point.

Recruited from: Black Mountain.

He must be rescued from the Super Mutants that have taken over during the “Crazy, Crazy, Crazy” quest.

Perk Granted

Regular Maintenance: Slightly increases the amount of time it takes weapons and armor to decay. This is somewhere in the ballpark of about 15% slower decay and is incredibly helpful. If you’re planning on taking Raul he makes it okay for you to take the Built to Destroy trait thanks to this perk.

Side Quest

None, Raul has an unlisted Side Quest that you can complete to unlock a new outfit for him as well as a Perk but this isn’t a listed thing. To start this up all you have to do is talk to him enough and he will inform you of what needs to be done.

Extra Perk

Full Maintenance: While Raul is with you all weapons and armor decay 75% slower than they normally would. When paired up with Raul’s already impressive repair abilities this can keep your equipment fully functioning for incredibly long periods of time even if you have the Built to Destroy Trait or are constantly using sub-par ammo. Simply encourage Raul to give up on his life of violence to get this perk.

Extra Perk

Old Vaquero: Raul now deals an additional 30% damage with all revolvers and lever-action rifles. This is kind of useful if you’re expecting Raul to do a lot of fighting but… well you shouldn’t. Pick this if you like but Full Maintenance is definitely the better of the two. You can get this by telling him that you think he should continue using his guns.


Veronica fallout new vegas

(Image credit: Bethesda)

Veronica is probably our personal favorite of the various companions in the game. She has a winning personality, will punch the living crap out of your enemies and she acts as a portable workbench. While she can theoretically use Energy Weapons you’re going to need to equip a very powerful one for her to even be willing to equip it. This is due to the high DPS rating of her Power Fist weapon.

It’s fairly necessary that you get her into some good armor as soon as you can. Since she has Power Armor Training get her into some Power Armor (preferably the T-45d type) for both the great protection, the Rad Resistance and the improved strength. Pair this up with a Ballistic Glove or a Displacer Fist so that she can tear through enemies like a whirlwind of gore. Giving her Stimpaks will only help her stay conscious for longer.

A couple of things worth noting: giving Veronica a dress of any type, whether it be a White Glove dress or any other formal type of dress, will prompt her to teach you a special unarmed attack called Scribe Counter. This is an incredibly useful move any time you find yourself unarmed. Veronica can also equip the Chainsaw, a melee weapon obtained after killing Motor-Runner, the leader of The Fiends. This weapon is extremely deadly in the hands of Veronica, as she will default to the weapon's VATS attack when equipped and do massive damage to enemies as a result. 

Recruited from: 188 Trading Post.

To recruit her all that you must do is speak to her while she’s standing around at the trading post. Don’t make it sound like you hate the Brotherhood of Steel while talking and she will be quite willing to join up.

Perk Granted

Scribe Assistant: By speaking to Veronica this perk allows you to use her like a portable work bench. This is incredibly useful unless you’re planning on learning where every single one of these is otherwise. Even then her close combat skills, as well as sheer convenience, make up for this.

Side Quest

I Could Make You Care: To start this quest up you must have Veronica in your party and go to a few locations. Visit Nipton with her, speak to Julie Farkas in the Old Mormon Fort and lastly adventure near either the town of Nelson or Camp McCarran. There are a number of other locations you can use but these require you to complete side quests and aren’t quite as fast since “I Could Make You Care” only requires you to visit three out of a possible six or so locations.

Extra Perk

Bonds of Steel - Increases Veronica's armor by 4

Freelance Writer

Daniel is a freelance games journalist, but is also the Editor-in-Chief at Gaming Excellence. 

With contributions from