I made a similar guide for New Vegas; I figured I should do one for Fallout 4 as well.
Each of the 4 factions have unique questlines that further their goals. At various points, the factions turn on one another. This guide will assist in getting as far into each faction’s questlines before the ‘point of no return’
This one’s easy. The Minutemen questlines and objectives are almost completely separate from every other faction, so you can do all of their quests without stepping on the toes of anyone else. Their ending is basically the ‘fail safe’ ending should you piss off every other faction in the game. Their ending also allows for every faction (minus The Institute) to remain alive and friendly.
Do all of their quests. Upon completing Old Guns, the Minutemen questline comes to a standstill. You can continue onto their ending once becoming hostile with The Institute. The Minutemen never become hostile with, or cross paths with The Railroad. There is an optional quest of ‘taking care of’ The Brotherhood of Steel after handling The Institute if you become/are hostile with them at any point.
Easily the fastest and quickest route to the ending of the game, given the few quests this faction gives. There are some quests that would have you side against the Minutemen, but you are never ‘hostile’ or ‘banished’ from the faction.
The Railroad is just as easy as The Minutemen, really.
Let’s get the easy part out of the way: if you are ever banished from The Institute for whatever reason, The Railroad questline and ending is gone. The Railroad requires you to stay ‘undercover’ within The Institute until the very end. It is essentially the “work with The Institute but backstab them in the end” option.
You can do all of their quests without ever stepping on the toes of any other faction. It’s until you reach Underground Undercover that you begin a questline that ultimately places you at odds with The Brotherhood of Steel.
This quest has you contact a mole in The Institute whom is helping The Railroad. This quest is put on hold with a “continue working with Father” prompt, which has you furthering The Institute’s questline whilst material and arms are gathered for an insurrection. It’s through this natural progression that you become enemies with The Brotherhood of Steel (more on that in The Institute and BOS sections).
Whilst working for The Institute, you can fail Underground Undercover if you become enemies with The Institute at anytime, leading you to either side with The BOS (if you aren’t yet enemies) or Minutemen to end out the game. Siding with The BOS leads to the destruction of The Railroad.
The point where you decide between The Railroad and Institute is after “Powering Up”:
End of the Line
This quest has you either stamp out The Railroad or warn them of The Institute’s intentions. By this point, your only factions left to side with are The Railroad, Institute, or MInutemen. You can warn the Railroad and continue with no hostilities amongst the three remaining factions.
From this point on you can get up to the second to last mission with The Railroad before turning on The Institute. Otherwise, you can kill The Railroad leaders at anytime to continue with The Institute questlines. Either of the two factions end with taking out The BOS. You can either take out The BOS with The Railroad before turning on them, or turn on them earlier and fight The BOS with The Institute.
The easy stuff out of the way: The Institute can easily become hostile at any point if you:
- Attack them in-base
- are ‘caught’ in the tunnels during “Underground Undercover” (Railroad quest)
- board the vertibird during “Spoils of War”, thereby beginning the trek to the Mass Fusion building
- warn The BOS during Mass Fusion and side with them (beginning “Spoils of War”)
- side with The Minutemen during “Pinned”, a late Institute quest
- badmouth Father either when first meeting him, or after “Battle of Bunker Hill”
The Institute questline can be taken far, but the first point where they put you at odds with an opposing faction is:
The Mass Fusion building contains a piece of technology intergral to both The BOS and Institute’s plans. The game will warn you with a prompt that proceeding to the building will make you hostile with The BOS. Once you are at odds with The BOS, you can still work with the Institute and Railroad until right before the final mission (Nuclear Option).
Alternatively, you can warn The BOS of The Institutes intentions, thereby starting their concurrent quest ‘Spoils of War’ that is basically their version of Mass Fusion (more on that in their section). This ends all relations with The Institute and simultaneously fails The Railroad questline, forcing either a Minutemen or BOS ending.
End of the Line
This mission begins after “Powered Up”; Father tasks you with taking out The Railroad. He doesn’t give you an exact time-frame of when to do it, but this mission explicitly places you at odds with The Railroad. From here, you can either do as he says and go directly to the faction HQ and wipe them out, or continue working undercover with them, effectively stalling this mission.
Both The Railroad and Institute aim to take out The Brotherhood of Steel. You can take out The BOS before turning on The Railroad, and then end the game with The Institute. Or you can take out The Railroad earlier, and then take on The BOS with The Institute. You can also get banished from The Institute and then just do the Minutemen ending, but by this point the BOS will be hostile. So you’re locked into taking them on with any of the three remaining factions.
You have until the final mission (Nuclear Option) to turn on the Railroad and achieve The Institute ending.
The Brotherhood of Steel
Along with The Institute, The BOS has the longer of the questlines with the most activities.
The furthest you can go in-game while remaining cordial with The BOS is up until you have to go into the Mass Fusion building. That mission requires you to either pick The BOS or Institute. That mission was outlined in The Institute section, but to repeat:
Given by The Institute; puts you directly at odds with The BOS. You can choose to warn the BOS of the Institute’s plans when given this mission, leading to a direct betrayal of The Institute. It begins the same quest from the BOS perspective:
Spoils of War
Mass Fusion, but given by The BOS. Just as above, you directly go against The Institute’s goals and are banished as a consequence. This banishment also ends the Railroad questline, at which point you have to end out the game with the Minutemen or BOS.
Spoils of war can be obtained by doing The Institutes quests as normal, then effectively turning on them during ‘Mass Fusion’. Otherwise, it is normally unlocked after “Tactical Thinking”:
Destroy the Railroad. Tactical Thinking is unlocked immediately after the preceeding quest: “Blind Betrayal”. Even when unlocked, you are only locked out of some radiant quests The Railroad gives, but not yet enemies with them. Its after speaking to Kells that you become an enemy of The Railroad.
It is possible to finish Spoils of War before ‘Tactical Thinking’, at which point The BOS questline will stall until you do all the preceeding quests. If ‘Tactical Thinking’ has been completed before ‘Spoils of War’, you proceed to end out the game with The BOS. Otherwise, you will have to do all missions before ‘Spoils of War’ to get their ending.
There is an interesting bug whereby you can activate ‘Tactical Thinking’, but not speak to Kells (thereby not making The Railroad hostile). The BOS questline continues after ‘Spoils of War’ so long as ‘Tactical Thinking’ is active in your questlog. This way it is possible to eliminate the Institute via The BOS, but still have The Railroad alive. Do note that this does have some bugs where The Railroad leader will basically be a mute for the rest of the game
“The Molecular level” and “Battle of Bunker Hill”
There are two quests in the game that seemingly pin you against other factions. They don’t, but I figured it’d be a good idea to talk about them.
The Molecular Level
You have to build a relay to enter The Institute with one of the three factions.
Doesn’t matter who you build it with. After exiting The Institute, you get a holotape with data each of the three factions wants. Also doesn’t matter. I gave the tape in to The Minutemen first, but got it back immediately when I asked for it. “I’ve already analyzed all the data” was what I was told. I don’t know if giving it to The Minutemen first adds two copies to your inventory, but I had no issues handing it to The Railroad and BOS afterwards, in either order.
Battle of Bunker Hill
Given by The Institute; you are to go to Bunker Hill and retrieve 4 synths. You can either free the synths (Railroad), kill the Synths (BOS) or retrieve them (Institute). If you are friendly with all the factions up to this point (very easily done) you will not be attacked by…anyone. You can just walk directly to the objective.
Even if you are friendly and decide to start shooting at factions, you will not become hostile with anyone. FO4 creates hostilities between factions via attacking important characters within the groups, or via quests. Even attacking nameless grunts in their respective HQ’s will not make factions permanently hostile, as you can just sleep for a week in-game to turn them neutral once more.
The only possible faction hostilities you encounter off this mission is when turning in the quest to Father at The Institute. If you pick the confrontational and brash dialogue choices, Father bans you from The Institute. Otherwise, no matter your options in dealing with the synths, you can still stay on good terms with dialogue choices.
You can stay neutral with all factions up until “Mass Fusion”, at which point you are forced to decide between The BOS or Institute. The companion quest to this from The BOS side is “Spoils of War”, and unlocks either by turning on The Institute in ‘Mass Fusion’ or playing through The BOS questline.
If going through The BOS questline, “Tactical Thinking” (the quest before “Spoils of War) will be the first quest you encounter that forces you to eliminate a faction. You can temporarily bypass “Tactical Thinking” by playing with The Institute up until “Mass Fusion”, but ‘Tactical Thinking’ is a requirement for ending the game with The BOS and a pre-requisite to unlocking their final quests.
You can get the best of The Institute, Railroad, and Minutemen by siding with The Institute during Mass Fusion, and playing up until the last mission with The Railroad. Quicksave, and turn on The Railroad. End with The Institute. Reload, and proceed with The Railroad quest by taking out The Institute. Reload once more and get banished from The Institute, then end the game with The Minutemen. All three will have the BOS dead.
If you turn on The Railroad before they take out The BOS (2nd to last mission) you can take out The BOS either with The Minuten or Institute. If you don’t wish to fight The BOS whatsoever you either side with them during Mass Fusion or go the Minutemen route by getting banished from The Institute early on.
Here we come to an end for Fallout 4 All 4 Factions & Questlines + Goals Info hope you enjoy it. If you think we forget something to include or we should make an update to the post let us know via comment, and we will fix it asap! Thanks and have a great day!
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