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Fallout 4: main story and side quest checklist

Fallout 4 is huge. Let’s make sure we see and do all the essentials.

With Fallout 4 back thanks to the new VR version, we wanted to make sure that new players are up to speed on all the main story missions and side quests.

Fallout 4’s Commonwealth is pretty big, but more importantly it’s extremely dense. There’s so much to see and do, and plenty of it doesn’t even register in your quest log. The least we can do is put together a checklist of the game’s main content, so you’ve got some idea of what’s out there and how far along you are.

Below you’ll find a list of main story quests, provided by factions and companions, as well as the most important side quests. We’ve also included a few notes on how to find these quests where appropriate.

This is a far from comprehensive list of what’s available in Fallout 4; think of it as a map pointing you to the key branches of what’s on offer.

Fallout 4 Main quest path

    Act 1

  • Out of Time
    – Initial quest
  • When Freedom Calls
    – Completion leads into Minutemen quests
  • Jewel of the Commonwealth
    – Initiated before completing previous quest
  • Unlikely Valentine
  • Getting A Clue
  • Reunions
    Act 2

  • Dangerous Minds
  • The Glowing Sea
  • Hunter/Hunted
  • The Molecular Level
  • Institutionalised

At this point the main quest can go in one of four directions, depending on which factions you’ve been working with, which faction you chose to help you with The Molecular Level, and whether you choose to continue in your current allegiance or switch sides. You’ll notice three of the faction questlines contain one quest with the same name; you can’t please everyone, and you will end up pissing off one side or another, no matter what you do. See our how to get the best ending guide for further information – and spoilers.

Minutemen and base building quest path

The Minutemen are all about settling the Commonwealth peacefully. Somehow this involves a lot of shooting? Preston is your best friend here.

    Main quests

  • Sanctuary
    – Talk to Sturges to begin this tutorial quest
  • The First Step
  • Taking Independence
  • Old Guns
  • Inside Job
  • Form Ranks
  • Defend the Castle
  • The Nuclear Option
  • With Our Powers Combined
    Extra quests

  • Returning the Favour
    – Pick up at Abernathy Farm
  • Rogue Courser
    – Only available after main quest is complete
  • Taking Point: [settlement] (repeats)
  • Raider Troubles at [settlement] (repeats)
  • Ghoul Problem at [settlement] (repeats)
  • Kidnapping: [settlement] (repeats)
  • Greenskins: [settlement] (repeats)
  • Clearing the Way: [settlement] (repeats)
  • Resettle Refugees: [settlement] (repeats)
  • Defend [settlement] (repeats)
  • Defend Artillery at [settlement] (repeats)
  • Stop the Raiding [settlement] (repeats)
  • Resources (water, food or power) at [settlement] (repeats)
  • Suspected Synth [settlement] (repeats)

Brotherhood of Steel quest path

Big armored blokes are always worth chumming up to, and the Brotherhood are the biggest of the lot.

    Main quests

  • Reveille
    – triggers at the start of Act 2 if you have not previously encountered the Brotherhood
  • Fire Support
    – Granted by picking up military radio frequency AF95 near Cambridge
  • Call to Arms
  • Semper Invicta
  • Shadow of Steel
  • Tour of Duty
  • Show No Mercy
  • From Within
  • Outside the Wire
  • Liberty Reprimed
  • Blind Betrayal
  • Tactical Thinking
  • Spoils of War
  • Ad Victoriam
  • The Nuclear Option
  • A New Dawn
    Extra quests

  • The Lost Patrol
  • A Loose End
  • Duty or Dishonor
  • Blood Bank
  • Reactor Coolant
  • Getting Technical
  • Learning Curve (repeats)
  • Cleansing the Commonwealth (repeats)
  • Feeding the Troops (repeats)
  • Quartermastery (repeats)
  • Leading by Example (repeats)

The Railroad quest path

Sympathetic to synthetics? The railroad is the place for you.

    Main quests

  • Road to Freedom
    – Granted after listening to a conversation outside Nick Valentine’s office
    – Follow the red line on the ground to the Old North Church. The password is “Railroad”
  • Tradecraft
  • Underground Undercover
  • Operation Ticonderoga
  • Precipice of War
  • Rockets Red Glare
  • The Nuclear Option
  • Burning Cover
    Extra quests

  • Memory Interrupted
  • Boston After Dark
  • High Ground
  • Mercer Safehouse
  • Randolphe Safehouse
  • Concierge
  • Weathervane
  • Jackpot
  • Lost Soul
  • Butcher’s Bill 1
  • Butcher’s Bill 2
  • Variable Removal
  • To the Mattresses
  • A Clean Equation

The Institute quest path

Optionally kicks off at the end of Act 2 of the main quest – if you choose to get involved.

    Main quests

  • Synth retention
  • Battle of Bunker Hill
  • Mankind Redefined
  • Mass Fusion
  • Pinned
  • Powering Up
  • End of the Line
  • Airship dawn
  • Nuclear Family
    Extra quests

  • Building a Better Crop
  • Plugging a leak
  • A House Divided
  • Pest Control (repeats)
  • Hypothesis (repeats)
  • Appropriation (repeats)
  • Reclamation (repeats)
  • Political Leanings (repeats)

Companion quests

You’ll recruit most of your companions in the main story or faction quest lines. We’ll list exceptions here as we find them.

  • Story of the Century
    Piper recruitment. Granted on arrival at Diamond City.
  • Curtain Call
    Strong recruitment. Granted when investigating Trinity Tower.
  • Benign Intervention
    Cait’s loyalty mission. Granted once you reach medium loyalty.
  • Emergent Behavior
    Curie’s loyalty mission.
  • Long Road Ahead
    MacCready’s loyalty mission.

Private detective cases

A unique quest chain accessible from files in Nick Valentine’s office, one after another; talk to Nick and Ellie for more information.

  • The Disappearing Act
  • The Gilded Grasshopper
    Collect the folder then listen to Marty’s holotape to initiate.
  • Long Time Coming
    Nick Valentine’s loyalty quest

Major side quests

These are the big quests we think you should go out of your way to see, either because they’re extra inetresting or rewarding in some way.

  • Confidence Man
    Speak to Vadim at the Dugout Inn in Diamond City.
  • Diamond City Blues
    Speak to Darcy or Henry at the Colonial Taphouse in Diamond City.
  • The Secret of Cabot House
    Quest chain. Speak to Edward Deegan at Diamond City Markets.
  • The Silver Shroud
    Speak to Kent Conolly in the Memory Den in Goodneighbour.
  • The Big Dig
    Speak to Bobbi No-Nose in a back alley in Goodneighbour.
  • Here there be Monsters
    Speak to Donny on the docks near the Shamrock Hotel in Boston.
  • Last Voyage of the USS Constitution
    Speak to Lookout, a Mr Handy robot found in Charlestown.
  • Human Error
    Visit Covenant, a settlement in the mid north.
  • The Devil’s Due
    Look for a holotape in a side yard of the Witchcraft Museum in Salem.
  • Kid in a Fridge
    Follow the voice south of University Point.
  • Vault 81 / Hole in the Wall
    Find Vault 81 in the west of the map.

Read more here: VG247