What’s the one thing you need if you’re struggling for survival in a post-apocalyptic world that's reeling from the effects of nuclear disaster? Food, radiation protection, and survival gear are all wrong answers because a dog is what you need.
Fortunately for our Fallout hero, a dog is what they get in the form of Dogmeat.
Dogmeat’s appearance isn’t uniform across the Fallout games. He’s sometimes a large black dog, a wolf-like dog, or a German Shepherd, but the basic gist remains the same across the series.
At some point during your travels, you get the chance to find and recruit Dogmeat by helping him out and taking an interest in his wellbeing.
Typically, his owner died sometime in the past, or he just didn’t have one. Though initially spending his days guarding his territory and terrorizing anyone who comes near, he eventually takes up with you and joins your journey for survival as a party member.
Unlike other party members (and JRPG dogs), Dogmeat can’t equip gear or use weapons that you couldn’t normally fit on a dog, but he still holds his own in combat with no trouble, so long as you make sure to look after him.
In return, Dogmeat looks after you, alerting you to the presence of enemies, helping you find items, dealing huge amounts of damage in combat, and generally just being your best friend, especially in Fallout 4.
The world might be dark and deadly in Fallout, but Dogmeat is a good reminder that a loving dog by your side makes every day just a bit easier.