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This is a folder for the major factions and characters within the Fallout 4 Commonwealth. For other characters in other groups, look at their respective pages:

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Main Questline Factions

    In General 
  • A Commander Is You
    • The Minutemen are Ranger/Diplomat, combining generally weak militia troops with deceptively powerful laser weaponry and access to artillery fire support. Their military doctrine is extremely defensive; they focus on protecting settlements (and later, expanding artillery coverage across the Commonwealth) rather than on punching out their adversaries - but they have the strongest punch of any faction when they do take the offensive.
    • The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel are Brutes. They've got the only air fleet in the Commonwealth, better military technology than anyone else, and more power armor than the rest of the factions put together. Their favored tactics are to dominate the air with their vertibirds, then drop in armored heavies and go hard and loud.
    • The Institute are Spammer/Espionage with limited Elite/Guerrilla forces. They have large numbers of cheap, weak Gen 1 and 2 Synths, but they only resort to the Zerg Rush if they must; instead, their favored tactic is to infiltrate the enemy with Generation 3 Synths in the right places to sow havoc and weaken them, while keeping their actual location hidden from outsiders. They also have access to extremely elite combat synths called Coursers, but they don't have a lot of them, so they use them as agents rather than frontline fighters.
    • The Railroad are Elite/Guerrilla. They don't have a lot of soldiers, but they've got very good spies and saboteurs on par with Institute synths, and they have enough hoarded gear that the troops they do have are well-supported by power armor and Gauss weapons. Like the Institute, they try not to get into stand-up fights, but as Bunker Hill shows, they can win such fights if they must, particularly if they have the home-team advantage.
  • Faction Calculus:
    • The Commonwealth Minutemen - Cannons. The Minutemen combine generally weak militia troops with deceptively powerful laser weaponry and access to artillery fire support to get the job done. Unusually for a Cannon faction, their military doctrine is almost entirely defensive; They focus on protecting settlements (and later, expanding artillery coverage across the Commonwealth) rather than on punching out their adversaries - but they have the strongest punch of any faction when they do take the offensive.
    • The Brotherhood of Steel - Powerhouse. They've got the only air fleet in the Commonwealth, better military technology than anyone else in the region, and more Power Armor than the rest of the factions put together. Their favored tactics are to dominate the air with their Vertibirds, then drop to the Earth with armored heavies and go in hard and loud.
    • The Institute - Subversive. They have nigh-unlimited numbers of cheap and weak Gen 1 and 2 Synths, but they only resort to the Zerg Rush if they must; Instead, their favored tactic is to infiltrate the enemy with Gen 3 Synths in the right places to sow havoc and weaken them to the point they can be easily crushed, while keeping their actual location hidden from outsiders to prevent counter-attacks. They also have access to extremely elite combat Synths called Coursers, but they don't have a lot of them, so they prefer to use them as secret agents and assassins.
    • The Railroad - Balanced. They don't have a lot of soldiers, but they've got very good spies and saboteurs on par with Institute Synths, and they have enough hoarded gear that the troops they do have are well-supported by advanced armored coats and Gauss weapons. Like the Institute, they try not to get into stand-up fights, but as Bunker Hill shows, they can still actually win such fights if they must, particularly if they have the home-team advantage.
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Each of the four factions fill these roles to varying extents.
    • The Minutemen are The Optimists. Their original purpose was to defend settlements out of good will before getting themselves nearly wiped out, and can do so again with the Sole Survivor's help.
    • The Brotherhood can be seen as The Realists. Ten years after the war with the Enclave, with Owyn Lyons gone, his prioritization of helping people over retrieving technology has been merged with the more traditional approach of the Brotherhood. Under Arthur Maxson's lead, the BoS scaled back its duties from strictly being "peacekeepers of the wastes" to retrieving dangerous technology and fighting different threats that endanger the people of the wasteland.
    • The Institute are The Cynics. They believe it's futile for the Commonwealth to sustain itself on the surface and have plans to restart life from scratch. Alas, they've done so many things wrong in each attempt at realizing their end goal... that even their current leader finds it increasingly harder to justify their actions.
    • In a sense, the Railroad are The Apathetic. The idea of a secret organization seeking to liberate all Synths from the Institute sounds well and good. But the problem is, it's their only goal and don't have the manpower to do anything else.
    • The Conflicted may actually be the Sole Survivor. If they join all of the warring factions, they would soon realize that they don't have any real power to change anyone's way of thinking until the very end, but only on the faction they choose to fully commit to.
      • The Railroad also qualifies to some extent, what with their endless debates about earlier generations of Synths being deserving of freedom or not.
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble
    • The Minutemen are Sanguine, seeking to reach out to settlements to build up a network of support that helps all, and feel it is their primary mission to save the Commonwealth one settler at a time. Even when they are on the verge of being wiped out, Preston never loses his optimism about helping the people of the Commonwealth.
    • The Brotherhood are Choleric, similarly open about their beliefs, but focusing largely on the tasks of eliminating the Institute and their Synths as a way to bring peace to the Commonwealth. They are stubborn to a fault on this, that they would eliminate one of their own upon learning he is a Synth due to the danger he poses to the chapter.
    • The Institute is Melancholic, with rigid perfectionism to present "Mankind, Redefined" and a paranoia about surface life that puts them at odds with every other faction around.
    • The Railroad is Phlegmatic, while they seek to help Synths escape the clutches of the Institute and the Brotherhood, they prefer to stay in the shadows and don't even do much of anything in the game beyond decode a Courser chip unless the player chooses to either join them or openly antagonize them.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: No one's clear-cut "good" or "evil" in the Commonwealth, with even the Institute (the game's darkest faction) having their saving graces.

    The Commonwealth Minutemen 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/commonwealth_minutemen.jpg
United We Stand
"Protect the People at a moment's notice"
-Preston Garvey

An organization of volunteer soldiers who used to serve as the protectors of the Commonwealth but have since run into a bit of bad luck. The Sole Survivor and Preston Garvey can restore them to their former prominence.


  • The Alliance: They are a group of allied settlements and Wastelanders working together for the betterment of the Commonwealth and who oppose those who seek to lord over it like the Institute. And while they're not the beginnings of a NCR-like government by themselves, they can nonetheless help lay down the foundations for something like it. You can also choose to have them ally with any of the other three big players.
  • Archaic Weapon for an Advanced Age: 18th century artillery, effective against 23rd century power armor and laser weapons.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: It is implied that previously their Generals are almost always the toughest and most badass of them all.
  • Back from the Brink: The Sole Survivor can rebuild the settlements, the trust in the Minutemen, as well as recruit new soldiers until they're bigger than ever.
  • Badass Army: If the Sole Survivor chooses them to be, they eventually become a militia of well-equipped soldiers that can own a castle, several sets of Power Armor, and artillery. They will eventually be strong enough to take on both the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel.
  • Badass Normal: No Power Armor, not by default at least, or Synths with the exception of Sturges, who is a Synth though he's unaware of it, and there's likely a few more like that in their ranks, just normal, well-trained militiamen with weapons and equipment that are jury-rigged Schizo Tech at best. Despite their shortcomings and harsh start, with the Sole Survivor's help they can eventually become a powerful enough faction to militarily take on both the Institute and the Brotherhood. And once they do, they win against both factions in two utter Curb Stomp Battles.
  • Betrayal by Inaction: There's a lot of factors which caused the Minutemen to spiral to near-oblivion after the death of General Becker, but the biggest was probably the loss of morale. Minutemen didn't come to each others' aid anymore. Most starkly brought up with the Quincy Massacre, where nearby Minutemen chose to stand by as the town was overrun by Gunners. Interestingly, certain Gunner terminals in Quincy imply that this was not by choice but rather turncoat Clint had a direct hand in their non-response.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: If the Minutemen take out the Institute, everyone is shocked. Even the Brotherhood of Steel are nervous at the idea that they had enough firepower to do it. Desdemona will even smile at the player and admit that he really is a General. The Brotherhood are justified in being nervous, as the Minutemen have withstood a direct attack by the Institute with enough strength to immediately counter-attack and wipe out their Elaborate Underground Base. Not to mention, those artillery emplacements spread across the settlements are really the only genuine threat to the Prydwen in the entire Commonwealth — even the Institute has no true counter and has to hack Liberty Prime to bring it down — and the Brotherhood can't attack any one settlement to secure themselves without facing retribution from the rest.
  • Big Good: If the Sole Survivor helps to rebuild it, it becomes this for the Commonwealth. They are the only faction that will openly, without the use of covert moles, cooperate with another faction to take out the Institute — in this case they can cooperate with the Railroad.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Why get a bunch of your soldiers killed when you could just shell the place with artillery?
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Suffered three huge ones prior to meeting the Sole Survivor:
    • The first was at the Castle, where their leader was killed by a Mirelurk Queen and the Minutemen driven out, causing many internal disputes between them.
    • The second was at Quincy, where the Gunners attacked and killed many of them, collapsing what was left the Minutemen and leaving Preston's group as the only remaining active unit.
    • The third was at Lexington, where most of Preston's men and survivors from the Quincy Massacre were overrun by Feral Ghouls.
    • The fourth would have happened and finished them off at Concord by a gang of Raiders, if not for the Sole Survivor's timely intervention.
    • At the end of the game, they can be on the giving end against the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel. They've come a long way, indeed.
  • Death from Above: Their special faction power allows the player to call down artillery strikes via smoke grenades. It is also how they shoot the Prydwen out of the sky.
  • Decapitated Army: Two decapitations spelt the gradual downfall and eventually demise of the Minutemen. First was the loss of the Castle almost fifty years prior; with the loss of Radio Freedom, coordination became difficult. Second, eventually, the last minuteman with the charisma to hold the group together, General Bekker, died. The Minutemen were doomed after that.
  • Doomed Moral Victor: What the Minutemen became for their actions. Sadly, the Commonwealth mostly considered the group idiots for it rather than admiring their principles and bravery. That is, unless the Survivor turns things around in their favor.
  • Eagleland: Like NCR, they represent a great deal of the better part of the Pre-War world, albeit a more romanticized view of the USA's founding principles.
  • Elite Mooks: Minutemen are basically the player's version of them.
    • Also an inversion, as the Minutemen are the only major faction without some form of Elite Mooks. The Brotherhood has their many power armor troopers, the Institute have their Coursers, and even the Railroad has Heavies equipped with heavy weapons and armor. Minutemen in comparison are individually quite weak, unarmored, and equipped only with pipe weapons or laser muskets, but there are a lot more of them, and they have really big long-reaching guns backing them up.
  • Emergency Broadcast: Radio Freedom exists to alert Minutemen across the wasteland whenever a settlement is in trouble.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: The reason why the Quincy Massacre happened was because a Minuteman by the name of Clint betrayed them and joined the Gunners, helping to fight against his former faction.
  • Expy: They are very similar in the way they operate to Desert Rangers of both Fallout and Wasteland universes. Being a military-focused faction that offers protection to settlements around the wastes, and one that almost got completely destroyed by a more powerful faction. Unlike the Desert Rangers of Fallout, who elected to amalgamate into a relatively ideologically compatible and very powerful nearby state when their back was against the wall (the NCR against Caesar's Legion), the Minutemen can eventually recover from their destruction because they don't have that option.
    • They are also one to Owyn Lyons’ iteration of the East Coast Brotherhood from Fallout 3 in that both factions want to help regular people instead of lording over them, and both suffered from defections and ineffectual leadership after the death of their leader, until a new charismatic leader rebuilds them.
  • Fallen Hero: The Survivor can turn them into this if you have them ally with the Institute.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Player is named The Leader fairly early on.
    • Preston is quick to assume the role of The Lancer after meeting the Sole Survivor.
    • Sturges is The Smart Guy, who has the know-how for building settlements and later can reverse-engineer tech to get you into the Institute, although in his introduction he has trouble with a terminal computer.
    • Ronnie is The Big Guy, despite being the female of the group, and unlocks both the Castle Armory and artillery tech for the Minutemen.
    • The Chick ends up being the unnamed Minutemen Radio operator, coordinating the entire faction's movements through the radio.
  • Foil:
    • Similarly to the New California Republic, they're this to the Enclave. The Minutemen generally invoke a more virtuous, honorable memory of America rather than the twisted vision pushed by the likes of Eden. Though much like the Enclave, they were thought to be extinct. The Enclave also utilized super-advanced technology and futuristic Power Armor when attacking their opponents, while the Minutemen rely on cobbled-together weapons and 19th-century howitzers on the battlefield. Finally, the Enclave were profoundly racist towards Wastelanders, to the point of genocidal levels, and their hostility only served to gain them countless hosts of enemies that drove them to near-extinction. In contrast, the Minutemen are a largely egalitarian organization that actually performs public works and services (i.e. organizing safe and prosperous settlements while fighting off Raiders and Super Mutants) that gains them numerous friends across the Commonwealth.
    • They also serve as a foil to the Brotherhood of Steel. The Brotherhood has suffered some terrible tragedies (mostly on the West Coast) and under its new leadership, its Eastern branch has become darker and more conservative. The Minutemen have suffered the same sort of catastrophic losses, but can come back more idealistic than ever. In addition, while both groups want to bring order and stability to the Commonwealth, the Brotherhood's methods are top-down and paternalistic, while the Minutemen have a much more grassroots and democratic approach.
    • The Minutemen also serve as a rebuttal to the Institute as they trust the people of the Commonwealth to work with them as opposed to trying to rule over them. While the Institute claims to have made the land a better place with their ruthless methods, the Sole Survivor and Minutemen can make their own changes to build numerous new comfortable safe settlements.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: While they're pretty obviously based after the historical Minutemen who fought in the American Revolution, their general code and ethos, along with their intentionally loose command structure (being made up of a loose alliance of various tribal settlements), is also loosely reminiscent of the Iroquois Confederacy.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: From the perspective of the Brotherhood and/or the Institute. The Minutemen are ignored as an ineffective inconsequential citizen's militia, with even the Institute's SRB writing them off as a potential threat. But if those factions piss off the new General enough, they are going to find themselves on the receiving end of a very effective artillery bombardment, or their hidden base stormed and blown up through a forgotten back door getting kicked in.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: According to the series' lore, the Laser Musket is powered by the crank on the side. However, as the repair system seen in previous games (like 3 and New Vegas) has been removed and, as shown in New Vegas, weapons with effectively infinite ammo will easily dominate a gameplay session even with a repair system present. To prevent that, cranking the Laser Musket in actual gameplay just loads it with Fusion Cells instead of independently charging the weapon.
  • Gang of Hats: Naming their militia after its historical equivalent isn't, in itself, so odd. Dressing in approximations of 18th-century costume and calling their homemade laser weapons "muskets" is a bit more out-there.
  • Hero with Bad Publicity: A Downplayed Trope version. The Minutemen are thought to be extinct and most people think their ending wasn't very smart. Which isn't helped at all by how the organization was becoming ripe with tensions and infighting leading up to its Trauma Conga Line as a result of its shaky organization. This starts to turn around when the Sole Survivor rebuilds them and shows why they're the good guys.
  • Hope Bringer: Many in the Commonwealth see the renaissance of the Minutemen as a big deal; a greater chance at prosperity and safety that was slowly lost when the previous incarnation of the organization began falling apart. Doubly so if they retake the castle, as this gets Minuteman Radio up and running and they can coordinate their actions better. Everyone including Diamond City Radio and the SRB are surprised by it happening.
  • Iconic Item: The Laser Musket. It's one of the only single-shot weapons in the game, must be loaded (or cranked, so to say) each time you fire, but with a big enough crank capacitor, it can do truly massive damage. Combined with how many museum muskets are around Boston and the abundance of laser weapons found among the military checkpoints, pretty much every single Minuteman can hold one of these bad boys.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the nicest, if not the nicest faction in the entire Fallout series. The Trauma Conga Line they have gone through has only managed to strengthen their idealism in the long run.
  • Last Stand: The Quincy massacre where they refused to abandon their charges against much-much superior odds.
  • Les Collaborateurs: The player can effectively turn them into this if they side with the Institute or the Brotherhood of Steel.
  • Meaningful Name: The Minutemen were based on an actual group of people during the Revolutionary War, so called because just like the Minutemen, they were militia that were given extra training and were especially made to be prepared "at a minute's notice". This is why they wear old uniforms and look like revolutionaries. They get the chance to live up to the name if they launch an artillery strike on the Brotherhood, as the Brotherhood's Vertibirds reach the Castle in just about one minute.
    • Minuteman is also the name of a land-based nuclear missile, fitting for a series called Fallout. One of its warheads is even designated W87, and the game takes place in the year 2287.
  • Mildly Military: They have a more informal militia-style structure, much like their historical predecessor. There are obviously still ranks, but Post-War Minutemen units historically were often somewhat autonomous from each other. The semi-independent nature is sometimes a shortfall, since respect for the chain of command is not drilled into Minutemen, and loss of a strong General resulted in the organization eventually collapsing in the past.
  • Muggle Power: No Synths, no Power Armor (unless the player decides to assemble and maintain a fleet of suits personally), no secret underground networks, and no grand plans involving the Commonwealth: just a bunch of ordinary men and women with a genuine desire to help those in need. With your leadership, they can demolish both the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel.
  • Mysterious Past: Interestingly enough for a major Big Good faction in this series, virtually no details are given about how the Minutemen were initially formed. While the New California Republic and the Brotherhood of Steel are given extensive details on how they first came to be, that's not really seen with the Minutemen. The earliest known given details about the Minutemen's backstory is that they first rose in prominence when they saved Diamond City from a massive horde of Super Mutants in 2180.
  • New Era Speech: Downplayed compared to the Institute's, but the Sole Survivor can record messages for the Minutemen's radio station, Radio Freedom enticing people to join their settlements.
  • Noble Bigot: Some of their number are prejudiced against Ghouls and Synths, but it doesn't necessarily make them evil (just kinda dickish).
  • Noodle Incident: Piper can offhandedly mention prior battles between the Minutemen and the Institute, but this is never elaborated on or mentioned elsewhere.
  • Not So Different:
    • To the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel under Elder Lyons, as the Minutemen are more or less what Lyons hoped to reform the Brotherhood into.
    • To the New California Republic, especially in how they invoke a more optimistic and benevolent memory of America.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Sort of. The Minutemen are said to be citizen-soldiers and it shows, what with most of the roving patrols and reinforcements ranging from some laser musket-toting soldiers with the uniforms to guys in rags and baseball helmets wielding pipe guns. This tends to have them be at a disadvantage when fighting opponents in mid- to late-game.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: To all of their settlements. The Minutemen can effectively control much of the Commonwealth even before the ending if you do their quests. They also treat their position as a partnership with the settlements they ally with and even trade protection for supplies.
  • Reality Ensues: For all of their good intentions, their weak command structure and habit of overly focusing on compartmentalization led to the Minutemen over-extending themselves and a truly humiliating decline in regional power. At the start of the story, there's literally one active Minuteman left in the entire region.
    • The Sole Survivor has to do the vast majority of their settlement-building and related gruntwork despite being the ostensible leader of the organization. This is because they literally don't have the manpower necessary to do the work themselves for the vast majority of the game due to the Humiliation Conga they're still recovering from. Also, the Sole Survivor is the first Fallout protagonist to come from before the Great War, meaning that they're also likely the first protagonist in the series to have a classical education. Therefore, they actually know how to set up the needed resources for the Minutemen's settlements.
    • Even if the Sole Survivor manages to become General, it takes quite a bit of time before everyone among the Minutemen's ranks are either persuaded or convinced to recognize the authority vested, as seen in the Institute main quest "Pinned."
  • Redshirt Army: The Minutemen's second faction power is the ability to call back-up with a flare gun. Unfortunately, they tend to be under-leveled, so don't expect them to contribute too much in an actual fight.
  • The Remnant: As of the beginning of the game, Preston is the only surviving Minutemen who is still active.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Can potentially take down both the Institute and the Brotherhood of Steel despite having less advanced technology than either. This is most starkly on display against the Brotherhood, a faction of power armored Elite Mooks, who the Minutemen beat with 19th Century artillery.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The incorporation of Revolutionary War iconography is quite deliberate on their part. Like their revolutionary predecessors, the Commonwealth Minutemen are just ordinary folks who have to be ready to take up arms and fight off threats to their communities in a minute's notice. Their revolutionary predecessors probably didn't have to deal with killer robots, mutated wildlife and deranged Raiders, though. If the male Sole Survivor becomes their General, that symbolism is further extended, as the male Sole Survivor is a veteran of the US Army - which inherited the legacy of the original Minutemen via the Continental Army.
  • Sole Survivor: Preston Garvey admits it's not literally true but he's the only one who still identifies as a Minutemen.
  • Spiritual Successor: Of sorts to the "Commonwealth Provisional Government," a proto-NCR organization that the Institute purged some time in the past with Synth infiltrators before it could amount to anything substantial, though it's implied that it wasn't entirely the Institute's fault.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: The Minutemen have more than a few similarities with the New California Republic. And should the Sole Survivor opt to rebuild and lead them, they can partner up with the various settlements, effectively controlling much of the Commonwealth. In the process laying the foundations for something like the NCR to emerge.
    • Even more so, the Minutemen's M.O. is almost identical to the Desert Rangers' one in the original Wasteland.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Before you arrived, they were curb-stomped by Mirelurks, Gunners, Feral Ghouls and Raiders. After you save them? Not only can you effectively control much of the Commonwealth even before a Minuteman ending, but after said ending, the Survivor has the option of taking on the Brotherhood of Steel if they're deemed a threat by the Minutemen. And despite technological odds, win.
    • Post-ending, assuming you led them to victory against the Institute, Minutemen will start patrolling the roads in groups and manning old military checkpoints. These guys are much stronger than the guys you can call in with the flare gun; they're roughly the same level as the player character and pack fairly decent equipment, some even wear body armour. Reports from players say that they're often more than a match for most of the things that periodically attack the checkpoints.
  • Ultimate Authority Mayor: For all the Minutemen claim to be partners with a settlement, every single decision in the settlement is made by the Sole Survivor, from reasonable things like how it's defended, to what specific foods they grow and who does what job.
  • Unknown Rival:
    • To the Institute. They are basically the only faction whose destruction the Institute's main quest line doesn't require - the two barely interact if one follows the Institute quest line, requiring the player to only calm down a stand off between the Minutemen and an Institute recruiter sent to recruit a scientist, which can be done without firing a single shot. The Institute basically doesn't care about the Minutemen nor see them as a threat. Should you take charge of the Minutemen and lead them against the Institute however, they will take notice.
    • Similarly, the Brotherhood of Steel does not really take notice of the Minutemen since they aren't a threat to the normal Wastelander like Raiders or Gunners, and the Brotherhood considers the Minutemen to be civilians. This is potentially very shortsighted of the Brotherhood: the Minutemen have very big guns and are not afraid to annihilate the Brotherhood's flying fortress with them if the player wants their destruction.
  • Trauma Conga Line: Their headquarters was attacked by a Mirelurk Queen (which is as strong as Mother Dagon from Call of Cthulhu), their leader was killed, a power struggle broke out, most of the remaining members gave up, then most of the only survivor's team got overrun by Feral Ghouls and would've been finished off by Raiders. It's been a rough couple of years.
  • Weapon of Choice: Their favorite weapon is the Laser Musket. They're also quite fond of using large mortars.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: It's implied that the Minutemen were beginning to undergo this shortly after the Castle (and their last general) fell, with bouts of infighting and disagreements causing tensions amongst themselves. Under Preston and the Survivor's guidance however, the Minutemen can avoid this from happening again.
    • There are still signs of this during the Survivor's tenure as general. While the Castle and the settlements under your command show no danger of this happening, at least one group you'll encounter when you're on a mission to recruit a scientist for the Institute will be at odds with you. This and the tensions prior to the loss of the Castle are explained in greater detail in the Fridge section.
  • We Can Rule Together: One of their major principles. Most significantly, they can team up with the Railroad.
  • We Help the Helpless: Their number one creed and ethos.
  • Zerg Rush: Individual Minutemen are poorly-armed citizen militia and no match for the Elite Mooks of the other factions (the Minutemen lack their own counterpart too), but the thing with the Minutemen is, there are a lot of them, and when they come together and shoot at the same target, these threats don't last long against being pelted by bullets and lasers from every angle.
    • Subverted once you complete the quest "Old Guns", where the Minutemen acquire schematics to build artillery. They can then use these guns to destroy targets too fortified to defeat with small arms, such as the Brotherhood's airship.

    The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel 

    The Institute 
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    The Railroad 

Major Far Harbor Factions

    In General 
  • Faction Calculus: Far Harbor (Balanced), Acadia (Subversive) and The Church of Atom (Powerhouse)
  • Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Like their mainland counterparts, the Island has the three fit at least one of the four.
    • The Harbormen count as The Cynics. Considering how most of the population are generally distrusting of the other two, and how the Fog had gotten worse when the Church arrived, Far Harbor is rather unwelcoming to any real change.
    • Acadia can be considered to be The Realists. The Synths know very well about the dangers of the Island, and attempted to earn the trust of the Harbormen by giving them the Fog Condensers. Unfortunately, it didn't have the impact they desired and they're still a potential target to the Harbormen's misplaced fears.
    • The Church of Atom can be considered a very twisted variant of The Optimist. In a sense, they're this by technicality, since they simply want to spread Atom's teachings. Unfortunately, this would mean the destruction of both Acadia and Far Harbor by proxy.
    • The Apathetic are essentially The Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute. Both factions don't care whether Acadia is actually good or not, and the Brotherhood could either destroy it, or the Institute could warp them all back.
    • The Conflicted, as usual, is the Sole Survivor. No real further explanation needed.

    The Harbormen of Far Harbor 

The original residents of Mount Desert Island. The Harbormen mainly reside in the north of the Island in the titular community. While they used to be spread all over the Island, the Fog has driven them back to the Northern docks, with Fog Condensers provided by Acadia keeping the Fog at bay. Unfortunately, a recent change of leadership in the Children of Atom has sparked tensions between both sides, as the Children see the Fog as a blessing, while the residents of Far Harbor only see it as something that's killed countless members of their community and should be eliminated.


  • Badass Army: Downplayed, but the Harbormen are still alive not just because of the Fog Condensers.
  • Badass Normal: They're by and large just ordinary mariners and homesteaders struggling to survive in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds.
  • Deconstructed Character Archetype: All of the Harbormen are a deconstruction of the Determined Homesteader archetype. The fact that "Every Harborman is the captain of their own ship" has only resulted in a community full of arrogant and self-interested individuals unwilling to properly work together, and has made it nearly impossible for an actual organized society to form across the Island. The Mariner even notes that despite the Harbormen squatting on her docks, they still expect her to be responsible for all of its upkeep. This eventually results in her deciding to make her land publicly owned on the event of her death, which would basically force the Harbormen to actually start a properly organized community on the Island.
  • Fantastic Racism: Many of the residents of the harbor dislike Synths, despite Acadia's Fog Condensers being the only reason Far Harbor has not been overtaken by the Fog. Admittedly, the dislike of Synths is considerably downplayed compared to the levels of bigotry often showcased in the Commonwealth, with them feeling more apathy than outright hatred for Acadia's residents.
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride.
  • Gang of Hats: They're (appropriately) based around fishing and Colonial New England.
  • Had To Be Sharp: All Harbormen consider themselves meaner and tougher than any mainlander on account of their eminently more hostile environment.
  • Misplaced Accent: One harborman has a Lancashire accent for some reason. He even lampshades it, saying his family comes from Lancashire, but doesn't know where it is, speculating it's in the Capitol Wasteland.
  • Rite of Passage: In order to gain their respect, the Sole Survivor must complete the "Captain's Dance," a rite of passage that involves throwing yourself into a lake that you've sufficiently chummed and is full of all the Island's worst creatures that you could find. The quest is even named that, and apparently hasn't been performed in generations before the Sole Survivor came to the Island.
  • Torches and Pitchforks: If DiMa turns himself in and is executed, Allen Lee will attempt to incite an angry mob to wipe out Acadia. Whether he succeeds in doing so depends both on your Charisma and how many sidequests for Far Harbor you have completed at this point.
  • Vicious Cycle: According to Old Longfellow, the Harbormen are incorrect to believe that the Children of Atom are "feeding" the Fog. He's old enough to remember when the Fog was this thick, and agrees with Captain Avery in how it seems to move in cycles over the decades. There are long periods when the Fog is fine and hidden away in the deeper reaches of the Island... and then there's periods like right now, where the only inhabitable regions are those with Fog Condensers or are suitably far enough above the Fog line.

    The Synths of Acadia 

A community of runaway Synths located in the observatory atop the island founded by DiMA. In the past, they gave Far Harbor the Fog Condensers as a sign of trust. Unfortunately, the Children of Atom see the condensers as an affront to Atom, and Acadia's providing of them to Far Harbor threatens the community's neutrality as tension mount between the Children and the Harbormen.


  • Butt-Monkey: They're the weakest faction on the Island, and most of the endings to Far Harbor's main quest ends with their community razed to the ground.
  • Foil: Of sorts to the Railroad, in that while they also care about the plight of Synths (being Synths themselves), they're not afraid to go much further than just rescuing and defending their brethren. DiMA also lampshades this should the Sole Survivor ask him about them.
  • Gang of Hats: Downplayed, but being based in an observatory has resulted in them being primarily based around science and astronomy.
  • Mad Scientist: Averted. They're seen as this by the Children of Atom and Far Harbor, but it's more just that they have the most advanced technology on the Island and have the luxury of being able to actually continue research.
  • Non-Action Guy: They're the least violent out of the Island's main factions.
  • Not So Different: To the very Institute they ran away from. Weird boogeymen with advanced technology whom all the other factions distrust because of how secretive they are.
  • The Runaway: An entire community of them, essentially.
  • Schizo Tech: Like with the rest of the Fallout series, they have both really advanced and primitive technology. They rely on pretty old food planters to grow food for trading, but are able to alter Synths' memories and have advanced plastic surgery facilities.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: DiMA had done a lot of really questionable things as fail safes should Acadia be at the brink of collapse.
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    The Church of the Children of Atom 

Returning from Fallout 3, the Church of the Children of Atom have changed quite a bit in the intervening decade. Originally, they were only a cult of loony but harmless folks who worshiped an atom bomb in Megaton. Since then, they've become considerably more militant, swelling in numbers and going off on a vicious crusade across New England to "spread Atom's word". The Children are split into three main groups - the Crater of Atom faction (found in the Glowing Sea, they are peaceful if a bit rude to the Sole Survivor), the main Commonwealth faction (who are religious extremists that attack virtually anyone outside of their cult on sight), and the Mount Desert Island faction (one of the main factions in the Far Harbor DLC).

The events of Far Harbor revolve around a brewing conflict between the Children of Atom, Acadia and Far Harbor. Their fanaticism found the Fog, which they believe makes the Island Atom's land, and wish to spread it everywhere. Which is bad news to those who aren't immune to the Fog's radiation and the murderous creatures it spawns, sparking hostility with Far Harbor. The Children of the Atom also see the Fog Condensers as an affront to Atom. A recent change in leadership has led the Children to become even more militant, which combined with the death of a missionary at the hands of Allen Lee of Far Harbor has raised tensions to an all time high.


  • Always Chaotic Evil: The mainland Commonwealth faction of the Children will try to kill you on sight. Their continued hostility if the Sole Survivor becomes friendly with the Nucleus and/or Crater of Atom folk is also justified, both due to the limitations of widespread communication in the Wasteland and also because of the Church being highly factional & split into multiple independent cults.
  • Ascended Extra: They're now one of the most important factions in the Far Harbor DLC.
  • Body Horror: Hair loss, bloodshot eyes, and facial deformities are common features among the Children, most likely due to the prolonged effects of radiation exposure.
  • Call-Back: Some of the more antagonistic Commonwealth Children (like the group holed up in Kingsport Lighthouse) act more like the Apostles of the Holy Light in how they revere ghoulification.
  • Cargo Cult: Yes, they still worship radiation and nuclear warheads.
  • Church Militant: Justified, since they live in the Wasteland.
  • Corrupt Church: The Island's division of the Children has become this under Tektus' command.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Their over-reliance on radiation-based weapons can become this at times. Their near-constant use of Gamma Guns makes them a nightmare to fight, but they are rendered practically harmless by a Hazmat Suit or Power Armor, and they're pretty much guaranteed to die if they come up against Wasteland mutants of any kind.
    • Taken doubly so if you have Hancock with you, since radiation heals him. Nick Valentine, Strong, X6-88, Curie, Codsworth, any Automatron companion, and Danse, due to his Power Armor, will effectively No-Sell their weapons as well. Any companion, except Hancock, will no sell the gamma gun, since all are immune to radiation, even normal humans like Preston Garvey or Deacon, since it would be hard to heal their radiation.
    • The Children at The Nucleus have it better, since the Radium Rifles they have do physical damage as well as radiation damage, making them a harder fight.
  • Developers' Foresight: If you have a good reputation with the Nucleus, you can have extra dialogue with the Children of Atom at the Crater of Atom and at the Sentinel Site.
  • Defector from Decadence: The Far Harbor sect at least has one who's more literal than most, with him being a defector from the Enclave who found "salvation" with the Children.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Commonwealth sect of the Children can be encountered fighting the Gunners in random events across the Commonwealth.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Heavily downplayed, but their religious zealotry, military prowess and geographical position of being surrounded by enemies in what they see as a "holy land" paints the Far Harbor sect of them as an analogue to the various Crusader States.
  • Foil: They're a subtle one to the New Canaanites from Honest Hearts. The New Canaanites are nearly extinct after brutal attacks from the White Legs, and are Church Militant by consequence of having to survive in the Wasteland. They're also remarkably friendly to outsiders, don't try to pressure people into joining their faith, and hail from a faith that began before the Great War (Mormonism). The Children of Atom are a powerful Rising Empire in the region and are Church Militant even by the standards of Wastelanders. They also are suspicious/hostile to outsiders, frequently try to pressure people into joining their cult, and their faith was only created after the bombs dropped.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Somewhere along the line, Confessor Cromwell's congregation seems to have taken a pretty horrific turn.
    • One of the locations in the Glowing Sea is the Sentinel Site, where a group of the cult members went to search for Mini-Nukes. What they found was a fully functional nuclear launch facility, which they then started the launch sequence for. Thankfully, the launch pad was clear and the feral ghouls trapped within the facility killed them before they could load any of the remaining warheads.
  • Gang of Hats: Their obsessive love of radiation and nuclear-based technology/weapons.
  • Good Shepherd: Some of them are still largely benevolent and friendly. Unfortunately, even that is downplayed by their fanatical brethren.
  • Homage: Their more antagonistic factors paint them as a love-letter to the works of H.P. Lovecraft.
  • Glass Cannon: In the vanilla game, thanks to their radiation weapons, they can kill even a high-level player very quickly, since radiation damage isn't affected by level. However, because they only wear basic robes with minor radiation resistance, almost any weapon can put them down in a few hits. And if you're immune or very resistant to radiation because you're, say, wearing Power Armor or got a Ghoul/robot buddy with you, cleaning them up is reduced to a chore. However, Atom help you if they start using Nuka Grenades...
    • Far Harbor gives them the Zealot's Marine Armor and Radium Rifles, giving them a much needed edge against many of the inhabitants of the Island.
  • Humanoid Abomination: They're somehow immune to radiation, despite appearing completely human. It's worth noting that some humans in the early Fallout games were considered "mutants" and also had this immunity to radiation.
  • Internal Homage: The more antagonistic elements of the Mount Desert Island faction of the Children seems to be heavily influenced by the Children of the Cathedral from the original Fallout.
  • Large Ham: If the Gamma Guns don't notify their presence, their hamminess will.
    Child of Atom: He is coming with the clouds!
  • Maximum HP Reduction: Thanks to their radiation-based weapons and traps along with the revamped radiation system, they deal both this and Percent Damage Attack.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Not all of their beliefs can be waived off as mere zealotry.
  • Pet the Dog: The real reason they were so angry about Sister Gwyneth leaving wasn't because of her apostasy, but because they liked her and missed having her around. Convince her to return and ask for the Church's forgiveness, and they'll happily grant it.
    • Additionally, they're surprisingly accepting of others wanting to join their order (despite their general xenophobia), with the Archemist having being welcomed into their religion despite her having formerly been the doctor of Far Harbor (their current rival).
  • Religion of Evil: What they've become compared to what they used to be, killing anyone who isn't or doesn't want to be part of their cult.
  • Rising Empire: They're the most powerful force on the Island, and it's implied that a fair chunk of New England is firmly under their control.
  • Sinister Minister: What a large portion of them are now.
  • Token Good Teammate: In the vanilla game, the sect found in the Crater of Atom (a.k.a. "the Ground Zero to the Boston bomb") are the only non-hostile members of the Children of Atom in the Commonwealth.
    • Far Harbor introduces the Nucleus, their base of operations on the Island. As long as you stay on good terms with them, this reveals that they're still as friendly as they were in Fallout 3.
  • Took a Level in Badass: To the point that they can be an even fight for the Gunners, are a powerful Rising Empire, and can be just a veritable nightmare to fight.
  • Took a Level in Jerkass: The majority of them are now genocidal cultists that worship Feral Ghouls and murder anyone that disagrees with their faith.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Far Harbor reveals that after the more reasonable Confessor Martin went missing shortly after arriving on the Island, the megalomaniacal High Confessor Tektus took over, which likely helped lead to the current state of the religion.
  • Weapon of Choice: They almost exclusively wield Gamma Guns.
    • Far Harbor adds Radium Rifles to their arsenal. Unlike the Gamma Guns, Radium Rifles deal physical damage plus radiation damage, meaning that they can circumvent a player attempting to use a Hazmat Suit to No-Sell their usual torrent of Gamma Gunfire.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: What they see themselves as, being the only ones willing to spread Atom's love and ensure salvation for all.

Major Nuka-World Factions

    In General 

An army of three different Raider gangs who had pushed out any and all Trader resistance out of Nuka-World and turned it into their own personal playground, under the leadership of Overboss Colter. But seeing as you just killed him, now you're their Overboss.


  • Badass Army: The Raiders are all much stronger than the Commonwealth Raiders, wielding better weapons, equipped with better armor and are higher leveled than them as well as more hit points. Random encounters can have them engaging groups of Gunners and almost always winning.
  • Black and Grey Morality: The Nuka-World gangs are all vicious Raiders joined together out of greed, but the Operators and the Pack are both somewhat less evil than the Disciples.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: The three gangs would like nothing more than to throw each other under the bus if they could. One of the ways Nuka-World can end if you fail to unite them is to align yourself with one of them and then killed the rest.
  • Co-Dragons: Mason, Mags and Nisha, first to Colter and then to the Sole Survivor.
  • Enemy Civil War: Due to Colter's incompetent leadership, the gangs are all at each other's throats and barely acknowledge your authority in the beginning.
  • Evil vs. Evil: Ultimately, every single one of them is some variation of "bad."
  • Gang of Hats: The Operators are really sharp dressers who like cash and manipulating people. The Pack have a serious animal motif going on, to the point where they use stuffed animals as body armor. And the Disciples are blood thirsty Knife Nuts who liberally strew the remains of their victims around their territory.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The Sole Survivor can use Porter Gage's plan to gain their trust so as to lower their guard before massacring them all during "Open Season."
  • Loophole Abuse: The gangs are forbidden to harm one another. However, there is no rule about manipulating your rivals into harming each other and the general unspoken rule about murder is "don't get caught".
  • Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: Nuka-World has a pretty sizeable slave population consisting of the traders who used to call Nuka-World their home before the Raiders came in and took over.
  • Morton's Fork: It is impossible to keep all three gangs in your good graces, as there is an uneven number of parks and outposts you can claim before someone decides they're not getting a big enough piece of the pie.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Let's boil it down.
    • The Operators are the Nice ones, who're the gang Settlers will most want to reason with.
    • The Disciples are the Mean ones, being more likely to just kill you than negotiate.
    • The Pack is the In-Between, who like to dominate over their Settlers without killing them, but give no room for negotiation anyway.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The Pack and The Operators are this, which is lampshaded by random Disciples.
    Disciple: "I don't know what's worse - wearing a tie, or wearing a teddy bear."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The gangs do not get along very well with each other. Eventually, the faction with the least territory (inevitable since there's only five sections of Nuka-World you can divide among the gangs) will turn against you.
  • We ARE Struggling Together: It's clear that none of the gangs get along despite the alliance Colter originally put them up to, and constantly try to get under each other's skin to get around their law forbids them from killing each other.
  • Weapon of Choice: All of them wield Handmade Rifles in combat (though the Disciples still prefer to utilize their knives in close-quarters), albeit with them decorated differently depending on the specific gang wielding themnote .

    The Disciples 

An extremely vicious gang of Raiders holed up inside Fizztop Mountain. They are led by Nisha, and their symbol is five tally marks composed of knives. Most of them are women, and they're all primarily interested in violence and bloodshed.


  • Amazon Brigade: Not 100% exactly, but the vast majority of the Disciples are women. Like, one guy out of every ten women.
  • Ax-Crazy: These guys and gals are really, really into violence. They enjoy torturing their victims for as long as possible without killing them and decorate their base of operations with numerous pieces of gore and viscera. In fact, they ultimately come across more as a gang of Serial Killers than actual Raiders, being more interested in killing than raiding. Some Disciples will out and out admit to be addicted to murder.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Most of their outfits.
  • Bayonet Ya: One of their favorite weapons, other than their unique knives, is a .44 revolver with a bayonet attached.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Disciples frequently complain about their victims dying too quickly, making it clear they torture people just for the sheer hell of it.
  • Cool Mask: All of them conceal their faces with cruel-looking masks fashioned from sharp pieces of metal.
  • Dark Action Girl: All of their female members, with Nisha being the poster child.
  • Dead Guy on Display: They love this trope, far more than the other gangs. A Nuka-World park under their control will soon have many heads on pikes and spiky metal bits everywhere for decoration, and their home base in Fizztop Mountain is half-covered in blood.
  • The Faceless: You'll never see a Disciple's face. Not any living one, at least.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Their members are probably the most polite out of the three groups, even showing some surprising respect to the player character and generally don't insult them that much compared to the other two gangs. But make no mistake, these folks are some of the sickest, darkest, and most depraved excuses of humanity since seen in the entire Fallout series.
  • Hemo Erotic: A non-vampiric example, as they get off on the spilling of blood. Furthermore, if their leavings concerning the bodies can be taken into consideration, they like drinking the blood of their kills just as much as they bathe in it.
  • In the Hood: They also wear hoods in addition to their masks.
  • Knife Nut: As suggested by their symbol, and this is their preferred fighting style. In addition, the DLC brings with it a new knife weapon known as a Disciple's Blade which reinforces this trope.
    Disciple: Sure, we carry guns, but knives are where it's at!
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: As far as their leader is concerned, there is only one rule concerning killing members of the other rival gangs: "Don't get caught". Of course, there are those in her gang that don't quite get the message.
  • The One Guy: There's only about one male Disciple for every ten women you see, if that, so this trope applies to most of their sub-groups.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: The Disciples really like creepy helmets that have no eyeholes whatsoever.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Their masks and armor have a lot of blades and spikes on them. These people are really into their sharp edges.
  • The Unfettered: They are of the belief that rules are simply there to restrict you and would love nothing more than to let loose and murder wantonly.

    The Pack 

A gang of "colorful" Raiders present found in the Bradberton Ampitheater. They are led by Mason, and their symbol is a snarling dog's head. They're easily the most "tribal" out of the Nuka-World Raiders, and base their hierarchy around the animal kingdom while using attack animals in combat.


  • Animal Motif: Dogs primarily, but other animals such as Mole Rats are featured.
  • Ape Shall Not Kill Ape: Pack members are forbidden to shed each other's blood. Definitely played straight when it comes to a Pack member taking over as their new leader, since it's forbidden to kill the previous one. They humiliate and then exile them, instead.
  • Attack Animal: They keep a number of attack dogs and mole rats at their hideout.
  • Ax-Crazy: A developer at Bethesda described the Pack as "absolutely crazy." Even so, they still come across as relatively saner than the Disciples.
  • The Beastmaster: The Pack frequently use attack dogs, and seem to enjoy pushing the limits of what animals they can tame. One of the creatures they seem to trying to control even includes a Ghoulified gorilla. And hilariously enough, they've somehow managed to convert a live Feral Ghoul... into a chair.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: It's pretty hard to take a guy wearing a clown mask and bright orange fur trousers seriously. Even when he does have a big gun pointed at your head and has a veritable swarm of Mole Rats to back him up..
  • Blue and Orange Morality: Their attitude toward slavery. The Pack is of the opinion that there are no slaves in Nuka-World that didn't ask to be a slave.
  • Challenging the Chief: The Pack Alpha can be challenged by other Pack members for leadership, with the loser being humiliated and exiled from the gang.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: To get around their law forbidding any of the Raiders from killing each other, they hold their Klingon Promotion duels to end this way: Loser is humiliated and exiled. The last leader before Mason was tarred and feathered like a chicken. Bwak-kawk!
  • Foil/Evil Counterpart: To the Great Khans. Both are tribal groups with unique outfits that have served as professional pirates in the past. However, the Great Khans still have a sense of honor and simply want to live the rest of their lives out in peace while returning their tribe to its "glory days." The Pack are utterly merciless and have never really stopped being glorified Raiders (unlike the Great Khans), while also wanting to aggressively force their influence upon others.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Food items known as Mystery Bacon and Mystery Jerky can be found inside Bradberton Amphitheatre. That they are both called HumanBacon and HumanJerky respectively in the game's files suggests these are made from human flesh. Some strange meat, anybody?
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: They kind of look and act more like very colorful tribals than a traditional Raider gang.
  • Who Wears Short Shorts?: The Pack wears short shorts!

    The Operators 

A gang of pseudo-aristocratic Raiders present found in Nuka-Town USA's Parlor. They are led by Margaret "Mags" Black, her brother William, and their friend Lizzie Wyath. Their symbol is a bleeding heart inside of a crosshair. Primarily, they're concerned with making money over displays of strength or brutality, and their aesthetic is a lot of fancy candles, lights and vases around territory they own.


  • A Lighter Shade of Black: At least in the sense that they don't engage in any pointless acts of cruelty. They're perfectly fine with brutal violence so long as it accomplishes something or helps turn a profit, but the Operators consider it to be a means rather than an end.
  • Aristocrats Are Evil: They come across as more snobbish than their Pack and Disciple counterparts. Add to that, their leaders are quite perhaps the closest things to actual aristocrats in the post-nuclear wasteland.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The Operators wear suits with pieces of armor stuck on them.
  • The Beautiful Elite: There really isn't such thing as an "ugly" Operator, it seems. All of them are reasonably attractive, are well dressed and have well-groomed '80s hair. That last part is even lampshaded by Nisha and Dixie.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: Their rifles primarily sport a spiffy, polished chrome finish and cherry wood stain, in contrast to the crude paint jobs the Disciples and Pack give to their own guns.
  • Blue Blood: Their leadership came from the Upper Stands in Diamond City, before they were cut off from their inheritances by their wealthy parents and then exiled.
    Operator: Mags, William and Lizzie, all you have to do is hear them speak to know they weren't born into this life. But they sure as hell were born for it.
  • Cold Sniper: The Operators favor sniper rifles and are the most professional of the Raider gangs.
  • Consummate Professional: Compared to wild animals like the Pack and a gang of violent psychopaths like the Disciples, they definitely count as this. They also view themselves as this, seeing their so-called allies as, quote, "amateurs playing dress up."
  • Deadly Decadent Court: Deadly? Check. Decadent? Check.
    • Which makes their choice of a theatre called The Parlor as their home base a piece of brilliance on the writers' part. "Come into my parlor" indeed!
    • How decadent are they? They're the only people in the Wasteland who have napkins on their tables!
  • Evil Wears Black: Their uniform, if it could be described as such, is a black business suit-type outfit with varying grey and gold embossed patterns.
  • Faux Affably Evil: They may be less wild and insane than the Pack and Disciples, but they're still just as evil and despicable.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: The gangs all dislike and distrust one another, but it seems both the Pack and Disciples alike find the Operators especially grating in their snobbery. To be fair, this resentment is justified in its own way.
  • Foil: To the White Glove Society. Whereas the White Gloves were once tribals remade by Mr. House into sophisticated caricatures of Pre-War high society (who nonetheless try their best to live up to their reputation), the Operators were founded by rogues hailing from Diamond City's elite (thus as close to being "born on a silver spoon" in the Commonwealth as one could get outside of the Institute), but simply see their high society pretensions as a justification for their savagery.
  • The Mafia: They overall feel more like a mob gang than Raiders.
  • Manipulative Bastard: They rely on subterfuge and working in the shadows, and Mags has even sent two of her Operators (a woman, and - just in case - a man) to act as Honey Traps to try and seduce a high-ranking member of the Disciples.
  • Only in It for the Money: The only thing they want out of the Nuka-World Alliance is profit. And there's nothing they won't do to get it.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Compared to the other gangs, they are just out there to make profit, averting the Villain by Default notion of most Raiders.
  • Rich Boredom: The Disciples and The Pack seem to accuse the Operators of being a bunch of bored, spoiled little rich kids. Given the nice suits, their (arguably) better equipment, that they're in it purely for caps and the fact that the Operator's leadership started off as spoiled little rich kids - from Diamond City, no less - one could certainly see why.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Crudely-made pieces of armor crafted from rusted metal aside, they're often wearing the "Fancy Suit" item, a suit with faded embroideries all over it. They are pretty well dressed for a bunch of ne'er-do-wells.

Other Major Factions

    The Commonwealth Raider Gangs 

"Raiders" is a catch-all term for the countless gangs of murderous cutthroats scattered across the Wasteland. There are a multitude of Commonwealth Raider gangs and tribes, each centered around various "Raider Lords."


  • Adaptational Modesty: The Raider outfits in Fallout 4 are quite a bit more modest and practical compared to some of the more risque ones from Fallout 3. Overall Raider armor looks more like someone who might have been high at the time tried to do the best they could with random pieces of junk, and much less like outfits overtly inspired by fetish gear in tribute to Mad Max 2.
  • A Day in the Limelight: The Nuka-World DLC is Raider-centric, allowing the player to become an Overboss of three Raider gangs, well, raid communities in the Commonwealth.
  • The Apunkalypse: They consist of lawless and anarchic gangs running extortion schemes or just killing and looting.
  • Asshole Victim: The sympathetic ones aside, most Raiders are Serial Killers and murdering psychos that the player shouldn't feel that bad about killing.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Notorious for doing this, especially when trying to pursue you.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The Corvega Raiders under Gristle are in the process of handing one out to the last Minuteman and his remaining group of survivors at Concord. Fortunately, the Sole Survivor comes across them in time.
  • Dead Guy on Display: Raider strongholds tend to have a lot of dismembered corpses and decapitated heads on full display.
  • Developers' Foresight: All of the roughly 21 different Commonwealth Raider tribes have their own unique power struggles. Not only will Raiders mention the Sole Survivor wiping out competing gangs, but they will mention how this affects regional power struggles along with wanting to join up with new Raider groups - which will automatically notify the Sole Survivor of their locations on the Pip-Boy's map.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Raiders are heavy users of chems like Jet, which is implied to be one of the reasons they're so violent.
  • Fallen Hero: Some Raiders (most notably, the ones at Libertalia) were originally Minutemen that fell from grace.
  • Fantastic Racism: Most Raider gangs (the L&L Gang in particular) appear to despise the Railroad and its Synths, as evidenced by the missions "Butcher's Bill" and "To the Mattresses."
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: None of the named Raider Lords like Bosco. If Bosco is killed early on, then subsequent Raider leaders, such as Slag and Tower Tom, will express relief at his death.
  • Genius Bruiser: Some of the Raiders and Raider Lords are disturbingly smart, but are thankfully hampered by either having incredibly dumb subordinates, very narrow goals, or some variation thereof.
  • Hellbent For Leather: A good majority of Raiders wear punkish leather as some part of their outfits or as armor, befitting their criminal nature.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Some Raiders will, without any hint of irony, call each other lunatics or psychotic.
  • Mob War:
    • Terminal entries in gang strongholds indicate a large amount of competition between the various gangs in the Commonwealth.
    • Raiders can be encountered fighting groups of aggressive scavengers as part of random events in the Commonwealth.
  • Mooks: Raiders will typically be the most common human enemies encountered throughout the game, and generally appear with lower health and lower levels than the Gunners or the Super Mutants.
  • Post-Apunkalyptic Armor: Raiders wear scavenged leathers, hunks of metal, et cetera. Unlike earlier games, the Raider gangs in the Commonwealth have managed to obtain Power Armor frames and throw on plating.
    • Though this is somewhat downplayed in comparison to Fallout 3 or Mad Max 2. Raider attire in Fallout 4 looks more like an attempt to make practical armor from cobbled together junk, and less like leather fetish gear.
  • Promoted to Playable: In the Nuka-World DLC, Raiders are a joinable faction for the first time in the entire series.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Several Raiders come across as this.
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Fully upgraded Sturdy or Heavy Raider armor consists of welded metal plates and can easily be mistaken for Power Armor at first glance, but is actually weaker than even leather armor of an equivalent tier and upgrade level.
  • Schizo Tech: A lot of Raiders have nothing better than pool cues or handmade pipe guns and are half-naked with maybe a shoulder pad for protection. Others are wearing suits of Power Armor and armed with Fat Men. Justified in that their gear is whatever they can steal.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Some Raiders wear Spike Armor or Cage Armor, which provides a decent sum of Damage and Energy resistance and is lined with rusty spikes made from rebar.
  • Tragic Monster: Many Raiders are Trapped in Villainy by the realities of the Wasteland, and at times it's hard not to pity them.
    Nameless Raider: Just shut up and die already, I've got kids to feed!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Not uniformly, but compared to the Raiders of the Capital and Mojave Wastelands, most Commonwealth Raiders have access to much heavier firepower and gear (Fat Mans and Powered Armor).
  • Villain by Default: Except for some scripted scenes, Raiders are almost always hostile to the player character. And even then, after the scene finished, it will usually result in combat. Additionally, excluding some of those from Nuka-World and several other Raiders across the Commonwealth, most Raiders are depicted as bloodthirsty and psychotic monsters that revel in murder and causing suffering. However, there's still a noteworthy number of Raiders depicted as down-on-their-luck survivors forced into a life of crime by circumstance.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: While for the most part they're violent psychos, some terminal entries and dialogues you hear if you sneak up on them count. Notably, they appear strung out and even horrified at what they have done.

    The Gunners 

A ruthless army of mercenaries found operating in the Commonwealth, who have been warring with the Minutemen (and pretty much everyone else) for a long time now. Despite their claims about being skilled mercenaries, they're little more than slightly more-organized Raiders with very militaristic pretensions, even attacking many of the Sole Survivor's settlements after they're organized. They also have a "no-prisoners" mindset, will do any job for the right price, and are actively attempting to conquer the entire Commonwealth on behalf of some mysterious other party. Possible companion MacCready used to be a member of The Gunners.


  • Always a Bigger Fish: The reason they can't just up and kill MacCready for leaving the group is because that would require going to war with Goodneighbor.
    • They are themselves this for Raiders, once the Sole Survivor levels to the point where even high level Raiders are basically a cake walk.
  • Army of Thieves and Whores: They have delusions of being an elite crew of mercenaries, but the Gunners really are nothing more than a band of murdering, thieving Raiders with better weapons, armor and supplies. They literally attack settlements (and the player) on sight, which sends a clear message that they prefer to take what they want by force rather than trade their services as guns for hire.
    • They're not even above slavery, trying to buy a Ghoul child from the Sole Survivor during a quest to return the kid to his parents. If the player refuses, they come back and demand the kid and parents be handed over as property.
    • Tessa is a named Gunner who operates in the Quincy ruins. You can find a log entry in a terminal made by her superior officer complaining that Tessa still thinks and acts like a Raider and has zero discipline or respect for military tactics and protocol.
  • Asshole Victim: It's hard to sympathize with them even when compared to other Raiders, especially given how ruthless they can be.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: The Gunner Commander is noticeably tougher than his mooks.
  • Axe-Crazy: The Gunners basically take the place of a hyper aggressive army of thugs, only much more organized and better armed.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: On the giving end towards the Minutemen during the Quincy Massacre. The only surviving Minuteman was Preston and two other subordinates (who would later lose their own lives to the Feral Ghouls in Lexington), with the others all killed.
    • In "Hunter/Hunted," they are on the receiving end of one thanks to both Z2-47 and you.
  • Dangerous Deserter: More than a few of them are former Minutemen who lost faith in their mission to bring freedom and safety of the Commonwealth. In particular, their leader in the Quincy Ruins, Clint, still wears the Minutemen uniform underneath his new Power Armor.
  • Eagleland: As part of them being the Evil Counterpart to the Minutemen, they're decidedly Flavor 2, with them more or less representing the physical manifestation of virtually every negative stereotype ever given to the U.S. military.
  • Elite Mooks: Much is made of the fact the Gunners are tougher and better equipped than normal Raiders.
  • Energy Weapons: One of the main gameplay differences between Gunners and Raiders is that Gunners tend to use lasers (and the occasional plasma gun) while Raiders almost always use bullets.
  • Evil vs. Evil: The Gunners appear to be on bad terms with the Commonwealth sect of the Children of Atom, and can be encountered fighting the Children in random events.
  • Foil: They're essentially the Evil Counterpart to the Commonwealth Minutemen. The Gunners are a group of aggressive mercenaries and Sociopathic Soldiers intent on using extreme military discipline to conquer the entire Commonwealth. They're also one of the only factions to have access to Pre-War military tech, being that they mostly use Energy Weapons and even have some Vertibirds on their side. The Commonwealth Minutemen, in contrast, are a band of heroic militiamen and citizen soldiers that want to help unite the Commonwealth together by protecting settlements and laying the groundwork for a new society. They seem to rely mostly on Had To Be Sharp for training their soldiers and rely on cobbled-together weapons, 19th-century howitzers and anything they can grab for protecting the innocent. It's not that big a surprise that these two factions utterly despise each other and are in the midst of a vicious war.
  • Gang of Hats: They're more or less a mix of the Pre-War U.S. military and the German Hessians that fought against the colonial militias during the American Revolution.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Whoever is hiring the Gunners to ravage the Commonwealth and conquer it on their behalf. All that's known is that they're not native to the region.
  • Hate Sink: Considering how Raiders have now been suitably humanized to the point that the player may actually feel bad about killing them, the Gunners primarily exist to fill that now-vacant void of utterly hate-able antagonists. Being an army of enslaving mercenaries that massacre entire cities for kicks, the Gunners are the scum of the earth, comparable to the Paradise Falls Raiders in their demeanor.
  • Hufflepuff House: Like the four playable factions, the Gunners are a distinct organization with clear goals, a main settlement, and distinctive capabilities, but in game, serve as little more than elite Raiders. Justified, as they've already been hired by an outside party to conquer the Commonwealth on their behalf.
  • Killer Robot: The Gunners tend to have reprogrammed Mr. Gutsys and Assaultrons patrolling The Commonwealth with them.
  • Mildly Military: They use many of the trappings of a proper military outfit, but their superior discipline only extends to what they shoot at you and how well they shoot it, leaving very little room for things like honor or codes of conduct. They're just as amoral as the Raiders, and only somewhat less brutish.
  • Mook Horror Show: Z2-47 tears through an army of these guys during "Hunter/Hunted."
  • Outside-Context Villain: Downplayed, but it's mentioned that they're not native to the Commonwealth, and are also the only faction aside from the Brotherhood of Steel that are entirely armed with Pre-War military-grade equipment.
  • Private Military Contractors: They'll take on any job for the right price.
  • Rape, Pillage, and Burn: The Gunners regularly attack militia settlements, probably because they're being paid to, but also just as likely for the sheer hell of it. Once some of your settlements are large enough, they will start turning their attention there, so be careful. Even your Settlers will say that they are just a more organized, better equipped group of Raiders.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: A few of the even more violent and crazy Gunners ended up defecting and joining the Forged.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: For Talon Company in the Capital Wasteland. Unlike the Talon Company however, they often become Raiders themselves.
  • Tattooed Crook: Some Gunners have their blood type tattooed on their foreheads, presumably for medical reasons.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Winlock and Barnes, the two Gunners who confront MacCready in Goodneighbor when the Sole Survivor first meets him.
  • Token Good Teammate: A pair of non-hostile Gunners can be found protecting Dreth's caravan.
  • Villain by Default: Despite being mercenaries, the Gunners are always hostile to the player character and act like a well-equipped group of Raiders.
    • Justified in this case by the pre-existing war between the Gunners and the Minutemen, which the Sole Survivor basically walks into by siding with Preston in Concord. At the very least, the Talon Company has an excuse of attacking the player character on sight because they have been hired to do so and there is a bounty on your head. Gunners don't have such excuse.
    • Furthermore, the vast majority of the Gunners are mentioned as operating on behalf of another party from outside the Commonwealth, and likely are trying to prevent anyone else from interrupting their contract.
  • The Worf Effect: A building full of Gunners are used as punching bags in one Main Quest to establish how dangerous and powerful Institute Coursers are.

    The Triggermen 

The Triggermen are a group of Mafia themed gangs who mostly occupy the urban areas of Boston. The Survivor encounters them in Vault 114 when rescuing Detective Nick Valentine, whom they have kidnapped. They are lead by mob bosses such as Skinny Malone and Marowski.


  • Affably Evil: Skinny Malone and Marowski are fairly likable and reasonable crime bosses, especially in comparison to the various Raider and Gunner leaders.
  • Ax-Crazy: Skinny's girlfriend, Darla.
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: The entire gang wear suits and are one of the more organized gangs in the Commonwealth.
  • Can't Catch Up: Though their higher-than-average health, special damage resistance, and access to tommy guns makes them decently tough opponents at low-to-average levels, their health stops scaling and maxes out at a much lower level compared to Raiders, Gunners, or other more common enemies, making them comparative wimps at very high levels.
  • The Don: Skinny Malone is the head of the largest Triggermen gang in Vault 114, though there are other gangs lead by Malcom Latimer, Marowski, and Eager Ernie.
  • Equal-Opportunity Evil: The Triggermen have a surprisingly high number of Ghouls in their gang, probably about 25% of the gang itself.
  • Foil: To the Families in the New Vegas Strip, particularly the Omertas. Whereas the Families were originally tribals rehabilitated by House in the image of the Pre-War world, the Triggermen have a much stronger continuity with Pre-War America's crime rings. Which may have to do with the Commonwealth's relatively urbanized environment and some of the mobster ghouls being old enough to have been actual mobsters back in the day.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: If you talk Skinny into backing down, Darla will play it tough by insulting him for going soft before leaving to wander The Commonwealth on her own. If you convince her to walk away by bringing up her family, she has a Heel Realization, drops the hardass attitude, and decides she's better off going home to her folks.
  • Friendly Enemy: Skinny Malone has mutual respect for Nick Valentine, and honestly doesn't want to kill him.
  • Gang of Hats: They are a Mafia-themed gang, wearing suits and fedoras and carrying Thompson SMGs in combat. Justified because their oldest (ghoul) members were in the Mafia pre-war, and may very well be a direct descendent organization.
  • Ironic Nickname: Skinny Malone is anything but. Lampshaded by Nick.
  • Made of Iron: Most Triggermen have very large amounts of innate damage resistance to compensate for their lack of armor, which increases as the player gains levels. Fortunately, they have no such resistance to energy weapons.
  • The Mafia: Their theme. Some of the ghouls are old enough that they were in the actual Mafia before the Great War.
  • More Dakka: Most of the gang carry submachine guns, which can make infiltrating their base difficult for unprepared players.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • If the Survivor spares Skinny when rescuing Nick, Skinny can later be found wandering the wasteland alone, his gang having abandoned him.
    • The player can also convince Darla to leave Skinny by reminding her she still has a family.
  • Token Good Teammate: A friendly Triggermen member can be encountered out in the Commonwealth. Talking to him will point the Sole Survivor in the direction of Bobbi No-Nose and The Big Dig quest.

    The Forged 

A small but deadly gang of ex-Gunners who are based around Saugus Ironworks. They are obsessed with metal and fire.


  • Ax-Crazy: Above and beyond other Raiders and Gunners.
  • Bad Boss: While no Raider boss is an understanding employer, as such, Slag does things like cutting off the limbs of people who displease him. He's also thrown several of his Raiders into the furnace for a failure.
  • Dangerous Deserter: They're deserters from the Gunners and a dangerous bunch, though the Gunners aren't much better.
  • Fire-Breathing Weapon: Flamers and Molotov Cocktails are among their favorite weapons.
  • Gang of Hats: A fire/industrial theme. Forcibly invoked by Slag, who cuts off the limbs and feeds to the forge members who don't take a name that fits the theme.
  • Heavily Armored Mook: Members typically wear Spike Armor or Cage Armor, which provides a decent amount of damage and energy resistance.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: When you meet Slag, he's ordering his newest recruit, a local Farm Boy, to kill a captive just to prove that he's willing to kill.
  • Pyromaniac: A gang of them.
  • Spikes of Villainy: Like Raiders, they're fond of Spike Armor and Cage Armor adorned with spikes made from rusty rebar.

    The Commonwealth Super Mutant Collective 

The "local flavor" of Super Mutants found in the Commonwealth, the Island, and Nuka-World. No one knows for sure where they come from, but they're seen as bad news and regularly attack virtually everything in sight. They are organized into a series of marauding warbands found across the Commonwealth and a separate detachment on the Island, intent on expanding forth from their fortifications and seizing the entire region for their own.


  • Action Bomb: The dreaded Super Mutant Suiciders serve as these.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: Aside from Strong, Virgil, and Erickson, no friendly Commonwealth Super Mutants are seen over the course of the game. However, Enemy Chatter implies that at least some of them are more peaceful (read: more pragmatic and less mindlessly suicidal), and they just aren't encountered by the Sole Survivor and other local Commonwealth residents.
  • Angry Guard Dog: Their Mutant Hounds, which can be just as frustrating to fight as the Super Mutants themselves.
  • Ape Shall Never Kill Ape: Commonwealth Super Mutants are never seen fighting each other. They do let other members of their race die if they're sufficiently injured though, as they see them as too weak to be worthy of keeping alive along with being "not true Super Mutants" for getting mortally wounded in the first place.
  • Arch-Enemy: The East Coast Brotherhood of Steel seems to be this for them.
  • Bash Brothers: They have a collectivist mindset and will try to avenge their fallen comrades.
  • Blood Knight: Unlike the Vault 87 mutants, these Super Mutants will sometimes hunt humans for sport rather than just for food or propagation.
  • Body Horror: While the ordinary mutants actually have less of this than the other types, their Behemoths have strange body proportions and have one arm longer than the other.
    • The normal muties still have their creepy body designs, though, such what looks like tumors adorning their bodies and their heads being noticeably smaller in relation to their body size.
  • Composite Character: They combine traits of the Mariposa super mutants and the Vault 87 super mutants. They have an overall smaller physique than the Vault 87s, but retain their savagery and their tendency to get Stronger with Age, including becoming Behemoths (though the Commonwealth Behemoths are smaller than the Capital Wasteland Behemoths). However, their intelligence levels are much closer to the Mariposa mutants, including being able to use technology and craft weapons and armor, being able to speak in complete sentences and hold a conversation, and having a chain of command with leaders they obey. Their green skin tone is closer to the Mariposa mutants than the Vault 87s, and they decorate their lairs with bags of bloody gore of their victims as the 87s did.
  • Dumb Muscle: The vast majority of them are impressively stupid, though they're still noticeably smarter than their counterparts in the Capital Wasteland.
  • Dying Race: Brian Virgil was able to shut down the Institute's FEV lab before he fled to the Glowing Sea. While the Commonwealth Super Mutants are somewhat aware of their creation (they can even be heard muttering "No green stuff here..."), they have no visible way to propagate their species, dooming them to extinction. Unfortunately for the Commonwealth, they're still The Ageless, so they'll likely be a decent threat for the foreseeable future unless they have more Defectors From Decadence like Strong and Erickson.
  • Fantastic Racism: Interestingly, Enemy Chatter indicates that the Commonwealth Super Mutants don't just attack non-mutants because they're hungry; rather, they do it for the additional reason that they view all other "races" as inferior (the loading screens directly state that they see themselves as "the Commonwealth's master race") and are only worthy of getting hunted for sport or being used as slaves.
  • Fate Worse than Death: Most people in the Wasteland consider getting captured by Super Mutants this. Justified, since that will likely result in them being Eaten Alive.
  • Giant Space Flea from Nowhere: In a sense. From the perspective of the Commonwealth's inhabitants, they just appeared one day, and have been ravaging the entire region since.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: Most of them are psychotic because their minds can't properly handle the horrific mutations that their bodies have been subjected to.
  • Hulk Speak: Many of them speak like this, but not as heavily as the Vault 87 Mutants or the Second Generation Mariposa Mutants.
  • Hidden Depths: A rather surprising case. According to Strong, most Commonwealth Super Mutants operate in a collectivist mindset, equally sharing their resources among each other for a common goal and almost never fighting each other.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The main reason why they attack Commonwealth settlements is to take the residents away for food.
  • It Can Think: Some Super Mutants are surprisingly intelligent despite being members of what's essentially an entire (sub)species of brutish savages. Most notably, several Super Mutant bases show them having reprogrammed the locations' Pre-War turrets and spotlights to assist them in battle. They are also capable of following a chain of command, can erect fortifications, and even set up traps and ambushes - such as at Trinity Tower, where Fist deliberately used Rex Goodman's radio broadcast as bait to both lure in humans and weed out the weaker Super Mutants among his host.
  • Large and in Charge: The Super Mutants on the Island are lead by Grun, who is a Behemoth who presumably earned his authority through being bigger and stronger than the other Super Mutants.
  • Large Ham: They're pretty much an entire subspecies of Screaming Warriors.
  • No Indoor Voice: As noted above, they will often shout out warcries at the top of their lungs upon seeing you.
  • Proud Warrior Race: Commonwealth Super Mutants seem to operate in militant warbands ruled by the strongest member, and have their own subculture almost entirely based around combat prowess. However, they still operate in a collectivist mindset, sharing their resources equally amongst each other and frowning down upon theft and cowardice.
  • The Reveal: Sneaking around the Institute's BioScience division will reveal a lost FEV lab. The Institute are the source of the Commonwealth Super Mutants, as they injected many of the people they kidnapped with FEV in order to investigate biological mutations as part of their Synth research. It's also implied that they did this in order to keep the surface disorganized and unable to fight back against the Institute, along with creating an intelligent breed of Super Mutants for the Institute to use as lab rats/surface agents.
  • Right-Hand Attack Dog: Since they're the first breed of Super Mutant to have no Centaurs, they instead have mutated dogs called "Mutant Hounds."
  • Scary Impractical Armor: Downplayed from Fallout 3, as the majority of their armor has been redesigned to look like it could actually be useful in combat.
  • Shorter Means Smarter: They are noticeably smaller than their Capital Wasteland cousins but make up for it with (somewhat) greater intelligence.
  • Small Role, Big Impact: Much like their brethren in the Capital Wasteland, their presence in the Commonwealth has made it a hell of a lot harder for the natives to unite in a similar way that the West Coast had under the banner of the NCR.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: To the Vault 87 Super Mutants of the Capital Wasteland.
  • Taking You with Me: Super Mutant Suiciders have this as their M.O.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: Almost all of the Commonwealth Super Mutants seem to be furiously determined to strike back at humanity for having creating them in the first place.
    Commonwealth Super Mutant: You humans made us - Now suffer for your arrogance!
  • Took a Level in Badass: Downplayed. While their physical design actually has them looking less muscular than their counterparts in the Capital Wasteland, the majority of Commonwealth Super Mutants seem to be a hell of a lot smarter.
  • Tragic Monster: Considering how they were all once ordinary people that were forcibly and horrifically mutated into vicious monsters, it's hard not to pity them to a certain degree. Among the more notable examples is Swan, a Super Mutant Behemoth who was once an Institute resident-turned-test subject named Edgar Swann.
  • Unwitting Pawn: To the Institute. While their creation was originally an unintended side-effect of their synthetic tissue research, the Super Mutants are now sent into the Commonwealth to keep the region weak and divided. It's also implied that the Institute were trying to create more intelligent Super Mutants so as to come up with more effective surface agents to fight off dangerous threats like the Brotherhood of Steel.
  • Villainous Valor: For all of their savagery and bloodlust, one would never call the Commonwealth Super Mutants cowardly. Additionally, the Super Mutants themselves are shown to value the sharing of resources among them all and dislike fighting each other, to the point where they even deride humans for fighting among themselves when the Super Mutants are (comparatively) united.
  • Was Once a Man: Like all other Super Mutants, they were human... once.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: They care about each other to a surprising degree, and will yell out in anguish when one of their "brothers" is killed.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Despite the vast majority of them being Always Chaotic Evil, several are shown to have human-level intelligence and they have a rather deep and intricate culture.

    The USS Constitution Crew 

A group of robots who have commandeered the USS Constitution and are looking to set sail with it.


  • Ax-Crazy: The Protectron First Mate is incredibly eager to kill intruders. It takes multiple orders to stand down from Captain Ironsides to get it to stop suggesting they should kill the Sole Survivor on sight.
  • Camp: Only in Fallout will you see the USS Constitution be crewed by a bunch of English-accented robots who are looking to soar into the skies with it.
  • The Captain: Captain Ironsides.
  • Foil: To the robots of the National Archives back in the Capital Wasteland. Like them, the crew of the Constitution are robots who have adopted names and personalities fitting with old Pre-War figures and customs, and fight to defend themselves against invaders. The difference is that Button Gwinnett and his followers were actually programming to think they were the historical figures and think they're still fighting the war, while Ironsides and his crew are just putting on airs and are aware it's the modern day (though he still thinks the country is at war with China).
  • Future Imperfect: Zig-zagged. Ironsides is aware enough that he knows that 210 years have passed and the United States government is no more, but still thinks that the remaining crew must war with Communist China.
  • Gentle Giant: Captain Ironsides is a huge Sentry bot, but only considers violence to be a last resort.
  • It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context: Lampshaded In-Universe. Captain Ironsides is just as confused as the Sole Survivor is on how the USS Constitution got rocket boosters and ended up on top of Weatherby Savings and Loan. However, he's ultimately decided that it's not worthy of concern and they should just move on from it.
  • Large and in Charge: Captain Ironsides. He can't even fit below deck.
  • Large Ham: Captain Ironsides chews enough scenery to give even the Silver Shroud pause.
  • Man Versus Machine: You can side with the robots or the human scavengers. If you side with the scavengers, they'll turn on you anyway and force you to kill them in self-defense..
  • Nice Guy: Captain Ironsides is always humble and polite, even when the Sole Survivor says his plan will fail.
  • Nice Hat: Captain Ironsides wears a fancy bicorne hat. He gives you one if you help him.
  • Sliding Scale of Robot Intelligence: They pretty much run the gauntlet on this. Captain Ironsides and the Bosun are pretty intelligent & self-aware, while the majority of the crew (mostly Protectrons and a few Mr. Handies) are as mentally proficient as a brick. The First Mate, Mr. Navigator, and the Lookout all sit somewhere in the middle, with Mr. Navigator having a particularly interesting remark when the ship is sitting 100 meters in the air on the top of a skyscraper:
    Mr. Navigator: Many meters off course on the Z-axis!
  • Stealth Pun: They're literally a Wooden Ship of Iron Men, and their ship is floundered on a bank.
  • Suicidal Pacifism: Captain Ironsides will only retaliate against the Raiders and scavengers if they're an immediate threat, and then only to the extent that they're forced to retreat. Ironsides will acknowledge this as shortsighted, but explains that his programming dictates that he not harm citizens of the Commonwealth, which these aggressors are.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Both them and their sidequest bares several similarities to that of the Bright Brotherhood in New Vegas.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: The Bosun says he cheers the player on because he wants to, not because the Captain programmed him to.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: Literally! All of the intelligent robots aboard speak and act as if it's this era.

    The Pillars of the Community 

A religious cult based in the Charles View Amphitheater.


  • Dastardly Whiplash: Brother Andrew (or James, Matthew, or Simon depending on which system you are playing on) has that kind of mustache. Refusing his offer to join the cult and give up all your possessions reveals him to be the petty criminal scam artist that he is.
  • Scam Religion: It's incredibly obvious from the start that the cult is a ridiculous scam. If the Sole Survivor tells Brother Andrew that they're not stupid enough to fall for it, Andrew drops all pretense and immediately demands they offer everything they've got or have it taken from them.
  • Sinister Minister: Brother Andrew, the leader of the cult.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Brother Andrew is doing nothing more than trying to scam any clueless rube he can find out of their belongings by promising that joining the cult will lead them on a path to wealth and prosperity.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • Brother Andrew seems to think the Sole Survivor will still be intimidated into giving up all their goods... even if they're in a full suit of Power Armor and wielding army-destroying weapons. He can be speech-checked into letting you go, which ironically is easier if you're wearing a nice suit that's less threatening than armor.
    • Depending on whether you met the Pillars before a quest that requires you to save a woman from them, you'll meet Brother Thomas who replaces Brother Andrew and who tries to pull the same scam, while surrounded by the corpses you created last. Unlike with most quests you can actually point this out to him, and he immediately folds and takes you to her.

    The FMS Northern Star Raiders 

A band of ghouls inhabiting a shipwrecked vessel of foreign origin who are heavily implied to be foreign sailors stranded by the bombs - specifically Norwegian from their speech.


  • Derelict Graveyard: They are only encountered aboard the FMS Northern Star, which has been a wreck for centuries.
  • I Die Free: One of their quotes upon death translates roughly to "I'm coming home."
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: They're essentially post-apocalyptic Viking ghouls.
  • The Remnant: They appear to be all that's left of a stranded Norwegian ship crew.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: They're this to the Chinese remnant soldiers in the Capital Wasteland, only considerably more unhinged and angry.
  • Tragic Monster: Compared to most other Raiders out in the Wasteland, they seem more interested in being left alone and returning to their distant, possibly irradiated homeland.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: Of a sort. They're definitely not your usual Raiders.

    Vault 81 Citizens 

A Vault that, unlike many others, is not only still operational, but is also inhabited by the descendants of those lucky souls who escaped the fires of the Great War. But this supposed control Vault, where Curie can also be found, is not without its secrets.


  • Crapsaccharine World: Subverted. It's as stable as a control vault, because the Overseer at the time intentionally sabotaged the pathogen experiments and cut off communication with the other Vault-Tec scientists, stranding them with only mole rats and a robot for company for the rest of their lives.
  • Dissonant Serenity: The entire Vault is downright surreal to dedicated Fallout players because it's such a genuinely peaceful and pleasant place to visit.
  • Eccentric Townsfolk: Inverted. The Vault 81 inhabitants are disconcertingly normal compared to everyone else in the Wasteland. They're concerned about adultery, money, and being overworked, rather than being murdered or eaten. Though many of them are a bit wary about outsiders for fairly understandable reasons.
  • Everytown, America: As close to the genuine ideal of Pre-War America as you're going to get since the bombs.
  • Fantastic Racism: Inverted. They don't trust outsiders but the Overseer has convinced them to accept traders. The Sole Survivor can also prove to them that outsiders can be heroes too.
    • Held true if you bring in Nick Valentine or Hancock in as a follower, they'll make snide comments about their status as a Synth or a Ghoul, with Nick and Hancock making good retorts back to them.
    Resident: What the hell's that thing doing here?
    Nick Valentine: Is that what your parents used to say to you?
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Sort of, and in a similar manner to Curie in particular. In a sense, they're a living time-capsule of Pre-War American society.
  • Foil: To many different Vaults across the series.
    • To Vault 101. While the Lone Wanderer's original home in the Capital Wasteland continued following its intended objectives, similar as they might seem, Vault 81 long abandoned its original purpose.
    • To Vault 13 and Vault City as well. While its population is rather secluded and tends to keep to themselves, said population nonetheless remains very friendly and open so long as the Sole Survivor reciprocates.
    • To Vault 3. Unlike the one known control Vault in the Mojave which got overrun by the Fiends, and who were then killed to the last man, the denizens of Vault 81 are far from naive and are at least wise enough to not leave their front door open.
    • To Vault 21. Both Vaults were experimental vaults that were expected to result in the demise of the inhabitants, one way or another. While Vault 81 decided to abandon its experiment for the sake of its inhabitants, Vault 21's experiment proved to be perfectly compatible with surviving comfortably until they encountered Mr. House.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Curie notes that after the Overseer cut off their access to the civilian section of the Vault, the scientists had a change of heart and deliberately sealed their dangerous experiments away with themselves to protect the rest of the Vault, investigating what they could with what they had and living the remainder of their lives in peace. Even their deaths were from natural causes rather than suicide or infighting.
  • Last of His Kind: By 2287, it's one of the small handful of Vaults that still remain operational and well-kept. And it's not even a control Vault!
  • Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Some individuals are interested in actually leaving the vault, though they know it's very dangerous outside, because it's all they ever seen their entire lives. True to the trope, there's a shadowy side to their home that even they aren't aware of.
  • Properly Paranoid: Some of the Vault Dwellers' xenophobia is somewhat reasonable, since opening their Vault to outsiders would make them susceptible to attacks by Raiders and other villainous factions who'd want their bountiful Pre-War artifacts and resources. Conversing with Neil also reveals that many of them lack martial training of any sort, let alone the Had To Be Sharp mentality of the wasteland, which would not be ideal in Commonwealth.
  • Quirky Town: You don't get much quirkier in Fallout than a bunch of normal, nice, decent people with no trauma, horrible secrets or major mental baggage.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Gwen McNamara, the Overseer of Vault 81, qualifies as one of these. Dr. Olivette, the original Overseer, as well (especially since she turned out to be one of the only moral members of the Vault-Tec program in recorded history).
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Zig-zagged. While the Vault is shown to be undergoing tons of repair work by the time the Sole Survivor arrives and Overseer McNamara even complains at one point about how their Vault is slowly breaking down, 81 still comes across as surprisingly stable and has held up remarkably well over the centuries.
    • Averted with the hidden research wing of the Vault. Cave-ins are common and lighting is infrequent, with only a few isolated computer terminals and Curie's room being kept in decent shape.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Dr. Olivette, the first overseer, was not a Vault-Tec employee, but a politician, and one with a good conscience and was hired on because their first choice fell ill. As such, she planned on blowing the whistle when she found out about its purpose, but found that Vault-Tec had too many connections in the government. So, she sabotaged the experiment as best she could by removing the scientists from the emergency call list for when The Great War started. Three scientists and their robot, Curie, still arrived, though. She then ended up sabotaging the bacterial delivery nozzles and completely sealed them in, knowing it would eventually kill them but would save the rest of the Vault citizens.
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: In addition to being a more upbeat Vault 101, it has some similarities to Vault 21 from New Vegasa non-control Vault that despite the expectations of Vault-Tec and the Enclave, thrived.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: As it turned out, the Vault was originally intended to test various diseases on the unsuspecting dwellers, as much for developing biological weapons as it is for finding innovative cures. But only a handful of the scientists who were meant to oversee said tests made it inside before the bombs fell. Due to sabotage of the Vault's mission by the original Overseer the scientists were sealed from the Vault itself.

    Covenant 

Located roughly between Medford/Malden and Lexington, Covenant's a remarkably pristine and well-guarded settlement that seems... off on a closer look.


  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The entire settlement is arguably this once the initial facade falls away.
  • Continuity Nod: The test they administer (the S.A.F.E) is in fact the G.O.A.T. from Fallout 3's character creation sequence.
  • Crapsaccharine World: On the surface, Covenant looks like a gorgeous little Pre-War town, complete with a delightfully quirky robot that serves lemonade! But in reality, Covenant is an elaborate trap created with the sole purpose of rooting out Synths from the Wasteland, whereupon the suspects are kidnapped and subjected to nightmarish torture to root out their true identity.
  • New Tech Is Not Cheap: And Pre-War tech is even more expensive. Covenant is built like a fortress on the outside, but looks spotless and Pre-War on the inside. A glimpse at a terminal reveals the town's supported by an outside budget and is vastly more expensive to maintain than the shacks most people use for houses elsewhere in the Commonwealth.
  • Not Quite the Right Thing: The woman they accuse is indeed a Synth, but one small detail changes everything: the caravan she was part of belonged to Old Man Stockton, a Railroad agent using his caravans as cover-op for transporting runaway Synths. If the player is a Railroad member, he will outright confirm that Amelia is a memory-wiped Synth he adopted as his daughter. As such, there is ultimately more leaning against them than there is in their favor. After all, there is still no way to tell if a Synth is an Institute infiltrator or a runaway Synth that has been mind wiped by the Railroad and who no longer remembers that they are a Synth.
  • Properly Paranoid: Given that they are against the Institute, a certain level of paranoia is reasonable. Also, the woman they accuse of being a Synth actually is one, though whether this was a lucky guess or they were on to something with their psychological testing scheme is unclear.
  • Reality Ensues: Behind the scenes, they're getting run into the ground financially due to them deliberately lowering their prices for competition, the cost of making Covenant look like a Pre-War town, and the expenses of running the Compound. One of the Compound's terminals even mentions that, to use a business metaphor, they're only a few months away from bankruptcy.
  • Shout-Out: To Blade Runner, with a question test reminiscent of Voight-Kampff.
  • Stepford Smiler: A whole settlement of them, though some have more trouble keeping up the facade than others.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: Covenant was founded by survivors of Synths replacing friends and family and killing them on the Institute's orders, who now seek to weed out Synth infiltrators by kidnapping people who visit Covenant after asking them a series of questions that have a high fail-rate and then murder them.
  • Wacky Wayside Tribe: They're probably one of the darkest examples of this trope within the Fallout series.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: The player is free to simultaneously express agreement with their goal (take down the Institute) while opposing their methods (kidnapping and torturing suspected Synths).
  • Whole Plot Reference: Covenant's storyline is more or less based after both the towns of Andale from Fallout 3 and Hackdirt from The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Most of them are survivors who lost friends and family to either Synth infiltration, or getting in the way of Institute Coursers.

    The Atom Cats 

A small greaser gang located near Quincy who specialize in fancy paint jobs for Power Armor.


  • Bullying a Dragon: The Gunners think it's a brilliant plan to attack a garage where everyone owns a suit of powered armor.
  • Cool Garage: Their hangout is located inside a Red Rocket garage, and is installed with a power armor station.
  • Greaser Delinquents: A post-apocalyptic textbook example with their leather jackets, blue jeans, slicked-back hair and retro nicknames, and their love of customizing Power Armor like cars, to the point that they even have a short drag racing strip set up-for Power Armor racing! Subverted in that they are also avid poetry buffs who hold regular Poetry nights (about Powered Armors!)
  • Hot Paint Job: Their custom Powered Armor paintjob features orange flames over a dark blue background, which can also be purchased and used by the player.
  • Jive Turkey: They're always talking in greaser and beatnik slang.
  • Mighty Glacier: By default, they carry pipe guns, but a high-level player can encounter them with modded assault rifles, allowing them to put out a considerable amount of damage on top of their high defense and health.
  • Nose Art: An issue of Hot Rodder can be found in their garage, allowing the player to paint their Power Armor this way.
  • Nice Guy: One of the friendliest factions of the game, and who also help the nearby settlement of Warwick Homestead with repair jobs.
  • Powered Armor: They are dedicated to using and stylizing suits of pre-war suits of Power Armor.
  • Stone Wall: Being power armor aficionados, their power-armor wearing members are incredibly tough (their hit points are pretty decent as well), but their weapons start out as the standard pipe guns.
  • Warrior Poet: Literally. Besides being powered armor enthusiasts (with all that implies) they hold poetry nights.

    Diamond City 

    Goodneighbor 

Other DLC Factions

    The Rust Devils 
Introduced in the Automatron DLC, they're a deadly gang of Raiders with a penchant for robots. Coming from outside the Commonwealth, they serve as the antagonists for the second third of the DLC, having captured Jezebel, one of the Mechanist's Robobrains. Their main headquarters is the Fort Hagen Satellite Array and hangar, both of which they have converted into a massive fortress. However, the Sole Survivor and Ada clear them out in their quest to destroy the Mechanist. They're then reduced to minor antagonists found skirmishing with the other factions across the Commonwealth (mostly spawning close to places where robots are scripted to appear, like some of the Pre-War military checkpoints).
  • Ace Custom:
    • They employ various custom robots. Of particular note is AHAB, a Sentry Bot equipped with flamethrowers and a Deathclaw skull for a head.
    • Their leader uses a unique set of Tesla Power Armor (different from regular powered armor with Tesla mods in that it increases the damage dealt by energy weapons rather than dealing energy damage with unarmed attacks).
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. They use Robot Armor (armor shells scavenged from Assaultrons, Sentry Bots and Protectrons) which provides protection superior to Metal Armor and is nearly equal to the lighter Synth Armor (ballistic protection is better, but energy protection is slightly worse).
  • Decapitated Army: Averted. Even after the death of their leader Ivey, they will still be active in the Commonwealth.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Their headquarters is located underneath the Fort Hagen satellite array.
  • Elite Mooks: They're noticeably harder to fight than normal Raiders (for what're pretty obvious reasons).
  • Gang of Hats: They're Raiders with an affinity towards robots. Wearing robot parts as armor, using robot parts for weaponry, siccing robots on Wastelanders, etc.
  • Mecha-Mooks: They use robots to supplement their forces.
  • Renegade Splinter Faction: They are basically Raiders with a fascination for robotics and will attack anybody who isn't them, even against other Raider gangs (this can occur in a few random encounters whenever regular Raiders are present, but most likely happens near the General Atomics Factory).
  • Shout-Out: It's possible that they're named after the tribe of the same name from the popular apocalyptic fiction festival "Wasteland Weekend."
  • Skeletons in the Coat Closet: They frequently decorate their custom robots with skulls.

    The Trappers 

Far Harbor's version of Raiders. They have a coastal/fishing theme, and are largely cannibals. They're said to be residents of the Island rendered insane by the Fog.


  • Ax-Crazy: They're insane even when compared to the drug-addled Raiders, and can often be heard laughing maniacally or growling like animals in combat.
  • Gang of Hats: They have a coastal/fishing theme. They wear scavenged fishermen/diving gear, use lobster traps for helmets, and even carry harpoon guns and pole hooks into battle.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Trappers have no qualms about eating humans (or even Synths that look like people), something not even Raiders are crazy enough to fall to.
  • Spikes of Villainy: The Trappers' signature armor is noticeably spikey and bulky. Quite fitting, as they're insane, even compared to Raiders.
  • Villain by Default: Like Raiders, they are always hostile to everyone.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: Averted compared to Raiders. Trappers don't seem to care when some of their own are killed.

    The Robobrains of Vault 118 

Built below the Cliff's Edge Hotel, Vault 118 was intended to encompass two different wings under one Overseer - one to house members of the highest class of society (Hollywood actors, business tycoons, scientists and artists), and the other to house the lower classes. Because of budget cuts, however, the majority of the Vault was made up of robotic staff and only the wealthier half of the Vault was ever finished. Thinking of ways to cheat death, the wealthy inhabitants had their brains placed into Robobrain bodies and have spent their time doodling around for the intervening centuries. The Sole Survivor comes to visit them in order to solve a murder mystery based here.


  • Ace Custom: Their Robobrains are mentioned as being specifically superior to the Robobrains found elsewhere in the Wasteland. Most notably, the formerly human inhabitants are still relatively sane and (unlike other Robobrains) retain their personalities and humanity. Their robotic bodies are also small enough to comfortably fit through Vault corridors. Justified as well given how among the Vault's inhabitants is Bert Riggs, who was one of the lead developers behind the Robobrain.
  • Beware the Silly Ones: They're just as deadly as any Robobrain if pushed. Especially the actual murderer.
  • Camp: Wonderfully so, with them rivaling the crew of the USS Constitution in this regard.
  • Dysfunction Junction: Even on good days, the residents of the Vault get along like a bag of wet cats.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Their hotel is still a Vault, after all.
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Played with. They're more or less aware that over two hundred years have passed since the Great War. On the other hand, they seem incredibly oblivious to the fact that the world they knew actually ended. Not to mention how they tend to much ado about their Pre-War wealth, which means very little if at all in the outside world as the US Dollar is nonexistent.
  • Internal Homage: To the Sierra Madre, albeit Played for Laughs. Both are Pre-War tourist attractions inhabited by the upper crust of society, with the latter then having their human bodies lost with them being preserved in a new form (Vault 118 had the Robobrains, while the Sierra Madre had the Holograms). It's especially notable when one takes into account how one of the inhabitants had a rivalry with Vera Keyes before the Great War.
  • Mecha-Mooks: The entire staff is robotic (mostly Mr. Handies and Protectrons).
  • Police are Useless: The entire plot of the murder mystery here is due to the robotic security staff being so incompetent that they couldn't catch a Robobrain (which rolls around on incredibly loud tank-treads) killing another in the main room of the hotel. Possibly Justified by the robotic security staff having been hacked by the murderer.
  • Ragnarök Proofing: Justified because it's been actively maintained by its robotic staff over the decades. On the other hand, the parts of the Vault that aren't frequented by the inhabitants (like the Overseer's Office) look a bit worse for wear, mainly because of neglect.
  • Underground City: Downplayed to the extent that it's only an Underground Hotel.
  • Upper-Class Twit: Everyone, or at least those still around at any rate. The lower class wing of Vault 118 was never completed, while the Overseer shot himself rather than spend the rest of his life having to put up with the Robobrains.

    The Hubologists 

A religious sect that first discovered in Fallout 2, and are now encountered in Nuka-World. They are searching the park for a decommissioned UFO ride they believe is a spaceship that can take them to their promised land.


  • Ambiguous Situation: The story's pretty vague on whether or not this Hubologist sect is descended from the division seen on the West Coast, or just arose on the East Coast by itself.
  • The Bus Came Back: As an organization, they hadn't even been mentioned after Fallout 2.
  • Church of Happyology: The Hubologists are heavily inspired by a certain religion which was founded by a certain science fiction writer, all the way down to a certain idea of spirits of the dead plaguing the living.
  • Famous Ancestor: Their current leader is the direct descendant of the founder of Hubology himself.
  • History Repeats: Their fate is strangely similar to that of the Hubologist sect from Fallout 2.
  • Scam Religion: Has some pretty heavy shades of this, which is justified because that was the founder's original intent for Hubology. They aren't particularly nefarious, though - just weird as all get-out.
  • Schmuck Bait: Per the scam religion element of the sect, you can pay the Hubologists an increasing amount of caps to advance in rank. And your reward for going all the way to AHS-8? Advanced radiation poisoning and a massive boost in Intelligence... for all of 24 hours.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Their involvement in the DLC ends in one of two ways. Have everything they need to get their UFO working? Congratulations! You have a working Gravitron. Don't have everything you need, but what the hell? Congratulations! You just blew the heads off the entire cult. Gage loves the latter outcome, by the way.
  • Your Head Asplode: What happens to all of them if the "UFO" doesn't work properly.
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