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A Review of Companion Mods in Fallout: New Vegas

Fallout New Vegas Companions

I love Fallout New Vegas, it’s probably my favorite video game. I have done every ending, and at least one of them twice. I like building different characters with different stat make ups and persona’s that help me determine how they would react in situations. I have seen most everything there is to see in the game. I say most because I’m still surprised on occasion, this happens with a big open world. So recently when I got back into the game, again, I decided to start modding it.

There are all kinds of mods of all qualities and size out there. There are little things like giving ED-E the Light Step Perk so the hovering robot no long sets off floor traps, because duh. And giant things that basically change the whole game and how it’s played. The computer I’m playing on currently isn’t super powerful so I can’t do some of the heavier mods like the big texture change ones or pretty much anything involving Freeside. Also, I’m not big into weapon, armor, or skin mods because I just don’t care enough about the subject matter. Where I thrive is quests and companions.

I looked at several articles and videos, that were all the must play mods for New Vegas. I compared them to each other and then compared them to their popularity ranking on the New Vegas Nexus site. I did my first mod play with entirely too many active mods and played for a while till things were just too buggy to continue. I cut a bunch of the fat and decided to focus on companions. I wanted to finish all I could for each one and see what happened, I wanted to know all about them. I’m going to give my opinion on each companion mod as far as I went with it.

Oh and in order to do it in one go I had to use a mod that allowed me unlimited companions, though it actually caps out around 7-ish depending on type, then it starts freaking out and crashing. Also, get the anti-crash and anti-stutter mod, even if you aren’t into modding, because obviously.

I hope this helps those who are looking for something fresh out of Fallout: New Vegas, you know, while we wait for Fallout 4 to exist.

Sunny Smiles

You may remember her as the one who taught you to shoot and use a campfire in Goodsprings. The is a mod that allows you to ask her along as one of your followers, and she will even bring her dog Cheyenne if you want. I believe you must complete the Run Goodsprings Run quest in order to get her to come along with you, of course on the side of Goodsprings or she will likely be dead.

She is a pretty good shot, and the dog is good in a fight too, but other than fire power it doesn’t add a lot to the experience. Because it’s an original character altered there is no added voice acting. There is no added loyalty quest that I found. No special actions, no random chit chat, I don’t even thing she had an ability you could use. She just followed you around and shot thing and carried stuff.

You might want her because you can get her quite early in the game compared to other companions, so she gives you some extra offense, but she doesn’t really add anything to the game otherwise. She wasn’t bad but I don’t think I’ll play her again.

Because of my experience with Sunny there were two other companion mods I didn’t even try. One That allows you to get the Great Kahn Mellisa to come with you and one for Joanna in Gomorrah. I figured they would lack the same things sunny did and I wouldn’t enjoy them much.

Private Gilbert

This is another per-existing character turned companion mod, but a lot more fleshed out. Private Gilbert is one of the two hostages at Boulder City. After you free them (which you would have to do if you want her to follow you, of course;) she gives you the opportunity to recruit her. She has a house you can use and is very customizable, all the way down to picking her Tag skills. You can give her magazines and books to increase her skills in areas, and there are numerous easily accessible options for her. She can even help you pick locks, among other things. AND there is dialog. Because she was such a minor character and had almost no in game dialog before hand they could easily give her a voice. She chit chats and comments on locations and things just like most of the other companions.

The upside is also the downside. In my opinion there is TOO MUCH customizability, and options, and menus, and things to chose from. I don’t want to create a second character to follow me, I’m already working on me. Plus the whole lockpick thing sound great but I found it more annoying than anything. Anytime you go to pick a lock you now have a dialog box pop up asking if you want to pick it or if you want Gilbert to. I suppose I could get used to that but I didn’t want to have to. But the one time I needed help on a lock and I asked her to do it I was told she had no bobby pins.

So you have to provide her with the supplies, and not just the bobby pins, she doesn’t have a weapon unless you give her one, or ammo, or possibly armor. Now it might have had to do with a mod conflict but I could give her bobby pins, for some reason mine don’t show up in my inventory so I can’t trade them to her. I also couldn’t find it as a dialog options because she has so many it felt like I was swimming through words. I have no idea what her lockpick skill was even set to because so much work for a companion!

If she had a quest I never found it. All in all, I thought her more trouble than she was worth. But if you like the idea of designing your own companion and are willing to sift through all her options then give her a shot. I won’t install her again though.


One of the more popular companions, with good reason. You can get him just outside of Goodspings before you leave the starter area it just requires a Repair of 20, then he basically recruits himself. He’s a good shot, a chatty fellow, has some commentary, and has good humor. He is overall well made. His initial quest goes the way of the main quest line, as you finish one quest you get another, a total of 3. Also, there is at least one side quest that you don’t have to do. His voicing is great, and I really like his perk which makes all canines friendly toward you.

If you have a problem with chem use you shouldn’t be playing this game, but even if you do, you won’t like Niner. He is a chem user, recreationally. But he does share, when he hits up he will offer you some too. I think it’s a neat feature. Chems are ever present in the game, there are recipes to find new ones, lore or existing ones, and you can even teach other characters how to make them, or just make your own. They all help you in one way or another but you can become addicted with has definite downsides. But he is the only companion I know of that actually uses them, and I think that was a missing element out there.

I mentioned he has a side quest. It happens when you get to the Mojave Outpost after you progress his initial quest. I had a glitch on it the second time, and I’m not the only one who has experienced this issue. You are supposed to talk to a guy and convince him to leave a room in order for Niner to do his thing. The glitch doesn’t allow you to interact with the guy, so you can’t progress the quest. Not a big deal except as a part of the quest Niner puts on a set of armor that looks like NCR armor as he is pretending to be a member of the NCR. He will not take off or replace that armor after it is put on until you finish the quest.

The only thing I found he would wear instead was Brotherhood Power Armor. Then toward the end of his main quest line he is supposed to put on new clothes to go gambling on the strip and he says he does, but it didn’t actually happen. The first game I did with him I didn’t have that glitch so I didn’t have that problem. He would wear whatever was the best armor that I gave him and switched to his gambling clothes no problem. Just something to watch out for. I advise you save before going into the Main building at the Mojave Outpost if you are on the quest just in case it bugs.

The only other issue I had with him is his last quest. It’s kind of a dud. It’s not bad, it’s just not exciting, or special. It just kind of ends. He will keep following you, and he’s good to have in your crew, just don’t expect a lot of excitement coming from him. He’s more about humor.

I say definitely give him a try. He is well made, different, useful, and funny. Probably my second favorite Companion Mod.

Vanessa Wilder

be I glitched. The quest is to help her with her heart condition, and you need to find a book on the subject and then subsequently a surgeon. Through this point things weren’t so bad, she was a bit tight lipped about herself and family and such but maybe that’s her character, that’s fine. Once the quest with the heart surgery is done through things get a bit odd.

Whoever wrote the text accompanying her voice must have had English as a secondary language, because ow! It hurt my eyes more and more frequently toward the end. Then the last quest gets all strange at the end and she gets angry with you for no apparent reason and says you can’t be friends because you are just going to want to have sex with her all the time. What? She also assumes your character is a guy, even if it’s not, there is no alternate coding as far as I can see, unless again, it’s a glitch. At this point her reasoning and dialog don’t make a lot of sense. I finished it out but I felt kind of confused and cheated like the character that I really enjoyed in the beginning was broken now and not the same person I knew.

Also before this there were two scenes they put in where they added music to. One during the surgery, and one where she danced for you in the Atomic Wrangler. The music is some kind of modern alternative or metal type thing that doesn’t belong in the game at all and is very off putting. Then there later being an option to reference a Hole song, and when I say reference I mean in the dialog options, while talking to her you can say “do you know that band “Hole.'” I mean seriously? I don’t mind easter eggs to the real world when done right, but these are not right.

All in all, I like pre-surgery Vanessa, and believe she is worth a shot. Mostly because she can shoot things with that awesome gun, and her comments are fun sometimes. Oh and if you have Cass in your party at the same time they are designed to play off each other’s dialogs. It’s quite amusing at times. But she rapidly drops downhill in design and reasoning after the surgery, which should have been a fade to black scene and wasn’t! So if you can tolerate her random collapses, even when you are trying to talk to her, team her up with Cass and don’t do her main quest. But do get her guitar, it’s amusing too. If I play her again, that what I will do, run with Cass and not fix her heart.

Delilah – Wasteland MD

Oh Delilah! Great concept all around. She is a young girl who was partially raised by her uncle who was a medicine man tribal and has been given a bit of medical training by both him and Doc Mitchell. She is another one you can pick up in Goodsprings. She is in the house next to the General Store where that guy is always working in the yard. Her main quest is all about helping her improve her craft. She wants more medical training so she can be a full doctor one day. She has 4 chems she can make that are added by the mod and are very unique. She will make them so long as you can provide her with the ingredients, not all of which are easy to come by.

As you take her along her quest and take her to different doctors to train with she will learn how to do various things for you. The more she learns the more of a walking, talking, free clinic you have following you. She can learn to cure poisons, addictions, heal you to full, and set bones. If you have a medicine of 50 or higher you can teach her a thing or two as well, and she will jump her skill up 15 points. If you do the quests where you try to help with patients you can have her do it instead of you if she has the higher skill, which is quite handy at times, and cheaper/quicker than having to get supplies to do it with your low medicine skill.

She has a side mission that isn’t marked as a quest but is put in your notes. she has a hunger for knowledge and likes to read, there are 8 books you can find throughout the world and you can give them to her to read. It takes her about two days to read it, and don’t worry she doesn’t become useless at this time, everything really just happens as normal, you just can give her a new book while she’s reading one. When she finishes reading the book she has a particular S.P.E.C.I.A.L. stat that increases with the book.

Well, with most books. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas gave her the Day Tripper Perk instead of a stat bonus, which while I think it is appropriate for the book, I don’t see it as useful to Delilah. One of the books, Flowers for Algernon, is located in Deadwind Caverns, which is a Deathclaw nest in a cave. It’s very difficult and scary, there is even a Legendary though I was able to avoid him and still get the book. That book increases her Luck by 1.

The only real downsides are because she is primarily an intelligence based companion (similar to Arcade Gannon) she isn’t the best in combat and can’t carry a lot. Plus her carry weight is taken up by medical supplies, ingredients, and the books you find for her. Her random dialog lines are few and quite repeated, plus she doesn’t have a while lot of location commentary. But the most annoying thing of all, her voicing. It’s less the voice and more the poor quality sound of her voice. It sounds like she’s talking to you through an intercom the ENTIRE TIME! You kind of get used to it. But if you simply can’t stand it there is actually an alternate voice mod out there that replaces her voice line for line with another, less annoying one.

I think she is totally worth it, adds a lot to the experience, and is super helpful to have around to keep you alive. I will probably play with her from now on, but next time I’m gonna try out the alternate voice mod for sure. That being said, she is my 3rd place, just slightly behind Niner.


If there was anything more than the one initial quest to Desmond, I never saw it. Considering you don’t encounter him until the Atomic Wrangler in Freeside I expected a doozey of a quest line. It’s pretty much go take vengeance on this one Fiend for killing my friend. There are a lot of Fiends outside and inside but it’s not worse than most other Fiend encampments. It has more loot. What line of dialog he has were either depressing, pessimistic, or hateful. I found him to be a downer with no real purpose. After I got to a point where I was pretty sure there wasn’t going to be another quest or it would have shown up by now, I ditched him. Maybe I missed something, maybe I glitched, but somehow I think I didn’t.

I don’t think he’s worth the download, unless I just missed a huge chunk of what he is about somehow. I won’t play him again though.


You meet him at the 188, and he says he’s a bounty hunter who has lost his bounty, and you can convince him to join up with you and you both go after it together. He is created by someguy who has a whole amazing series of quest mods known as the someguy series. Russell has topically, intelligent commentary on just about everywhere in the Wasteland, and also on any other someguy content. He is a bounty hunter so he is good with a gun. Of note, his initial quest location/clue requires the picking of a very hard lock (100 skill check). Edit: Which I learned you don’t actually HAVE to do. Supposedly there is a key close by, which I didn’t find. That makes sense.

Following his bounty quest line is very long and takes you into some extremely dangerous areas, some of which were created by someguy. He even created an entire zone where the NCR is trying to settle but are having trouble with tribals and there are little quests. It’s all very well done and very involved. There is a big battle in the town that you can take part in and I glitch out every time so I am unable to complete it or his quest line. Someguy posted a workaround but I can’t get that to work either.

Being unable to ever finish the quest I can’t give a full review but I still think it’s worth it. He is good with a gun, and while he may be foul mouthed and slightly pessimistic he actually is a good guy when you get talking to him. Some of this is only shown as you progress his quest line, he will talk to you about choices you have made. While he is not a fan of the NCR he doesn’t hate them or their people, Legion however, he detests.

Willow – A Better Companion Experience

They were not kidding. Willow is one of the most detailed, well designed companions there is, she is my favorite. She has a full story, fleshed out personality, lots of comments both random and topical, and will become your best friend. Not an exaggeration, that’s what her quest does, you earn “Happy Points” with her for doing things and you can become her “BFF.”

You can earn or lose points based on actions or things you say to her. You can also earn points by giving her little gifts, which you can only figure out by the random things she talks about. There is also a series of random collectibles you can find a give her, as well as a series of bears. You can only give her one item a day so don’t wast it on the non-collectibles if you have one of the uniques in you inventory. The two collectible series are set up like challenges, and in addition to those two you can also give her Gecko meat and Pencils, though the pencils you have to give her all at once. Most everything is explained in game. One thing of note, you don’t get anything extra that I noticed if you get all the bear or random collectibles.

You first meet her at a tent just before you get to the Nipton Road Rest stop. She asks you to help her recover three items. She isn’t a full companion until you get her gun back for her. She is good with a gun and great at cooking. The 3rd Bungalow at Novac is opened up and you can rent it for 150 caps, you can set her home marker there. It’s got a sortomatic set up for your items as well as several options buttons for Willow. In the Bungalow or the tent you found her in you can get her too cook things for you if you have the ingredients.

Aside from her initial quest and challenges there is an optional romance quest which if completed will turn into full on Willow nudity followed by a blackout scene. There is also a quest to plants some things in front of the Bungalow. She has lots of dialog options but not overwhelmingly so. You can set up different outfits for her to wear inside the Bungalow and talk to her anytime about switching them. As you finish quests and challenges you will be given unique rewards. There are just so many things to her it’s amazing. She even recognizes when you have been together for an in-game month and gives you a gift for your anniversary! One of the earliest gifts you get from her is a hat that matches hers. It’s called the Smooth Talker Hat. It gives you +10 Speech and +10 Barter! It is super useful, especial early on when you haven’t spent a lot of skill points yet.

One of the more interesting quest bits is her unarmed skill. She will tell you she can’t fight unarmed at all, and if she doesn’t have a gun, with ammo, she will run away in the beginning of the game. She gives you a quest that lets her improve upon that skill. You can get her trained by Ranger Andy, Veronica, and/or Lucius (sp?). If your unarmed is high enough you can teach her some things as well. You can also give her the unarmed skill mags and books and she will read them and learn. The quest finishes when her Unarmed skill hits 100. You get a pair of unique spiked knuckles out of it too.

She loves to cook and is good at it, as I mentioned, but she loves it so much she likes to make new recipes. She already has quite a few unique recipes to begin with, including her Dog biscuits. She will give you a shopping quest, there are 3 merchants she wants to visit, once you complete it she will tell you she needs to make regular visits to them to try making new recipes. Anytime I’m close by one I be sure to stop in for her. I’ve only gotten one recipe out of it but at least it’s proof it works. Sometimes she might not talk to the merchant and if that’s the case, talk to her, she will want to borrow 20 caps to shop with.

There is also a dog you can buy. She talks about a dog she lost to Geckos, thus the recipe for dog biscuits and the hatred for Geckos. You get to a point where you can buy a dog named J.T. from her old traveling companion “The Big Guy.” Do so. He may just be a dog and not give you a perk, but it’s another companion to fight at your side and carry stuff, also he makes Willow happy.

There is so much about her I’m probably missing things. But she is so involved and well designed that I really feel more attachment to her and empathy towards her character than probably any other companion or character in the whole game, mod or not. She is great, the only time she might not be is if you are anti-NCR, because she is from the NCR, and she will warn you about that.

In short, if you only go for one companion mod, go for Willow, she is my favorite for sure, and completely worth the install and doing her quests.

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