The Commonwealth isn’t home to one kind of group – there are many different types of characters in Fallout 4 who have joined arms for a specific cause. Some of those causes are well-organized and highly objective, while others are plain insane and malicious.
Fallout 4 Factions
The more organized and central to the plot of Fallout 4 are the four Factions: Brotherhood of Steel, The Railroad, The Institute, and The Minutemen.
The rest are either settlers, citizens of small communities, or groups and gangs. Groups and gangs in particular pose a significant threat in the game, and are often hostile to the main-player.
This guide tells you everything you need to know about every Faction, Group, and Gang in the game.
Brotherhood of Steel
The Brotherhood of Steel is one of the most famous factions, and arrives at the Commonwealth with their own self-perceived idea of being the white knights in shining Power Armor.
However, their strict code and unyielding conviction make them a huge threat to anyone who sides with anything other than a human.
The Brotherhood of Steel has three primary ranks: the Scribes, the Lancers, and the Soldiers.
The Soldiers are further divided into multiple ranks, with normal soldiers wearing decent armor, while Knights and Paladins wear the all-powerful Power Armors, making them a considerable threat if you side with rivaling factions.
The Brotherhood of Steel also takes support of Vertibirds – flying vehicles that are mounted with two miniguns. Though the individual bullet of these miniguns don’t do much, the immense fire-rate is enough to mow down any kind of threat.
Want to join The Brotherhood of Steel, read our How to Join Brotherhood of Steel guide.
The Railroad is a small faction that wants to free the synths that lurk around in the Commonwealth. Their motives seem benevolent initially, but the Railroads often take extreme measures to ensure their cause is maintained.
They’ll even go as far as to save harmful and malfunctioning synths and fugitives, believing all of them could catapult humanity. The Railroads take particularly dislike the Brotherhood of Steel and the Institute.
Most Railroad members wear thickish armor and carry normal weapons, though some of their agents can be seen carrying powerful Gauss Rifles. Want to join The Railroad? Read our How to Join The Railroad Faction guide.
The Minutemen were once the most popular group of folks in the Commonwealth, but their pride was their fall. Now, they seek a new leader, and are looking to rebuild. Their main objective is to unite the entire Commonwealth, and fend off any foe who opposes this idea.
They are mainly benevolent, will come to aid anyone who seeks help, and are fairly neutral towards all races so long as they don’t pose a threat.
Most Minutemen are limited to normal clothes, and will use anything as a weapon, ranging from your everyday piper weapons to the iconic Laser Muskets used by some of the veterans. Also, don’t underestimate their artillery power.
Want to join The Minutemen? Read our How to Join The Minutemen guide.
Mysterious, enigmatic, and unknown, the Institute are the boogeyman of the Commonwealth, appearing in shadows and snatching apparently random people. Their cause is widely unknown, but they are known to be the creators of all synths.
Most view the Institute with distaste, and they are sworn enemies of both the Brother of Steel (who have arrived to eradicate them) and the Railroad.
The Institute have a wide variety of assets available to them. The lowest amongst them are the synths, who use laser weapons. Then, you have the Institute Coursers – advanced synths who carry out very specific tasks, and are usually equipped with powerful tech like Plasma and Radiation weapons.
For more help on The Institute, read our How to Join The Institute guide.
Gangs and Groups
Triggermen are the Mafia of the Wasteland. They prefer style over substance, which is why you’ll see them wearing fedoras, sporting suits, and shooting at you with Tommy guns. You’ll find them running all kinds of shady businesses across the Commonwealth (though mostly near the cities), and they never want to be polite when you meet them.
You can easily take care of a Triggerman with any conventional weapon due to their lackluster protection.
Gunners are a mercenary group, and some of the most well-armed ones in the entire Commonwealth. They have a great arsenal of good combat weapons and high damage resistant armor. Though the Gunners see themselves as mercenaries, they are in actuality a highly militarized gang of thugs.
It’s unlikely you run into a friendly Gunner, so be prepared to face them. A group of Gunners is usually accompanied by a powerful robot, so make sure you have some good firepower in your inventory to counter them.
You’ll find the Gunners at Mass Bay Medical Center, Hub City Auto Wreckers, and many other locations throughout the Commonwealth.
The Raiders are the common scum of the Commonwealth, and have a loose doctrine that dictates violence, selfishness, and no mercy. They attack and loot anyone they see, and wander the Wastelands for unfortunate victims.
You’ll come across Raiders and Raider strongholds very often in your adventures, and it’s likely that your settlements get attacked by them every now and then. Raiders use crude steel armor, melee and Piper weaponry, though occasionally they can be equipped with Raider Power Armor.
The Forged are fairly similar to Raiders, but don’t have as many numbers. What truly gives them their own identity is their excessive obsession with the destructive power of fire. Forged tend to carry conventional weapon, but almost all of them also carry Flamers, and will find an excuse to use them.
These enemies can be found in and around Saugus Ironworks, and will attack all trespassers.
Super Mutants are big and scary, but they’re also extremely stupid. Their rage and aggression goes to abnormal extents, and have an inherent hatred for humans, save for a very rare few.
They will attack on site, and are often found in groups. Most Super Mutants have fairly crude gear, but their wide variety of powerful weapons – ranging from average rifles all the way to Fat Mans – make them a big threat.
Super Mutants also have a huge variety in them. Some will use melee weapons, others will be suicidal, carrying bombs and running towards you to explode.
Some groups are also accompanied by Supter Mutant Hounds, and a rare few have the presence of a Super Mutant Behemoth. These are gigantic Super Mutants with exceptional strength and health, but they are even stupider than their smaller brethren. Use your Fat Man Mini Nukes against these towering stupidities.
Most synths are controlled by the Institute, but you’ll find plenty of rogue synths around the Commonwealth. Very few are friendly though. Synths tend to use Laser weapons and Stun Batons as weapons. Despite their aggressive nature, they don’t pose a huge threat.
Mercenaries lack the power and numbers of the Gunners, but the groups are similar in many aspects. You’ll only find the Mercenaries in Parsons State Insane Asylum.
Children of Atom
The Children of Atom is a weird cult that worships nuclear material and the radiation it emits. They are fairly territorial and will attack on sight if you are trespassing. Unless a quest sends you to the Children of Atoms, be ready for a firefight.
The Children of Atom congregate in the Crater of Atom, though smaller groups can be found throughout the Commonwealth.