The Fallout franchise was always consistent with how it presented its factions and characters in the post-apocalyptic Wasteland of the United States of America. Brotherhood of Steel is “an old” faction that first appeared in Fallout 2 and stayed within the Fallout lore until Fallout 76. Commonwealth Minutemen are a faction that was introduced in Fallout 4, and their storyline clashes with the aforementioned post-war technology-focused paramilitary. This article will discuss the pros and cons of each faction in Fallout 4.
Long-term, and if you consider the game’s story, Minutemen seem like the better faction, strictly from the moral standpoint. Regarding gear, Brotherhood of Steel historically has one of the best weapons and armor, from which the player character can acquire power armor training and amazing energy weapons. However, the BoS faction that values technology over everything is problematic in its own way – more than most notable factions in the Fallout franchise, including the Fallout 4 game.
The pros and cons of picking the best faction for Sole Survivor can be complicated, but Fallout 4 gives the player multiple choices on which path one will choose in the post-apocalyptic Commonwealth Wasteland. If you’re interested, stay with us until the end.
Who is the Brotherhood of Steel?
The factions in the Fallout franchise have been quite frequent over the course of several games, each having its own agenda and ways to survive the ruthless post-apocalyptic world.
Some factions and groups were more ruthless than others, and Brotherhood of Steel is the former option – they are ruthless and obsessed with technology. Of course, each game saw different versions of the Brotherhood, but their ways of survival made them sustainable over the course of two hundred years.
Agendas have changed over the years, and the Brotherhood has as well. However, from the beginning, at least when Roger Maxson established the faction after the Great War, the Brotherhood of Steel was a military order with a strict hierarchy and chain of command.
Their mission and vision rely on imperialistic values and are mostly isolated from the rest of the world. However, they are one of the most influential factions in the franchise, and their impact is strongly felt among the U.S. Wasteland.
Brotherhood soon became pioneers for technology and, consequently, energy weapons and armor. Their scientific research saved many people but also made them some great enemies. In Fallout 4, the Brotherhood of Steel faction is led by the last Maxson descendant, Arthur, who becomes the Elder after Brotherhood Outcasts and the remaining faction from the Fallout 3 version of the BoS reunite.
They operate from the Prydwen, a mobile command center and headquarters of the organization that flies across the Boston Airspace. In Fallout 4, Brotherhood of Steel is still one of the most advanced factions in all of the U.S. and holds incredible power against the competition, but what is so good about them? Let’s discuss further.
Pros of joining Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4
Absolutely the best weaponry
First of all, from the get-go, the Sole Survivor will realize that energy weapons are arguably the best and most sufficient weapons in Commonwealth Wasteland. Of course, traditional weaponry like rifles, shotguns, or even military gear like assault rifles can be insanely overpowered, but throughout the Fallout franchise, energy weapons always showed superiority among the competition.
Plasma pistols, pulse bombs, and energy rifles can be absolutely bonkers and are how most players will go. Fallout: New Vegas had a whole “shtick” of creating the Courier with the affinity of energy weapons, incredible speech, and intelligence, which would break the game with how overpowered it was at times, and Fallout 4 is pretty close to that.
Yes, you can “build” your Sole Survivor focused on energy weapons and science, but BoS is the best faction to provide you with the best resources.
Power Armors are historically important for the Fallout lore. They were first engineered before the Great War by the United States defense contractors, which are considered rare and precious in the Wasteland. Of course, the armor is prevalent among the Brotherhood of Steel group and Enclave, who are technologically superior to other factions.
Power Armor is unique because it represents the pinnacle of human engineering, and they are so powerful that only a few beings or weapons can destroy them. T-45-powered combat infantry armor is one of the earliest designs, but it’s also incredibly important. Fallout 4 has many variations of the power armor, like T-51b, T-60, and T-65 power armor.
To acquire it in-game, Sole Survivor must join up with the Brotherhood of Steel faction or at least solve their quests to get the power armor training so the player character can equip and use the gear. This is the case in most Fallout games – BoS is the only faction that provides power armor training.
The best parts of the Fallout games are quests that the player character solves to gain access to new gear and determine the story path of the Sole Survivor. Shadow of Steel, The Lost Patrol, and Show No Mercy are quests that will earn Sole Survivor a place among the BoS and access to the game’s best gear.
Brotherhood of Steel is historically one of the most impressive factions in the Wasteland
Now, this is strictly from the story lore standpoint. The aforementioned details of Maxson’s foundation of the faction and the mission to secure technological and scientific inventions are remarkable and have been for hundreds of years. Of course, each Fallout game represents different BoS factions all over the U.S. Wasteland, with some of them being in less favorable positions than others (Fallout: New Vegas).
However, Fallout 4 showcases the power BoS has in the East side of the United States, which is important in the game and ultimately for Sole Survivor’s journey.
Cons of joining Brotherhood of Steel in Fallout 4
BoS are discriminatory towards other species
After the nuclear warfare that destroyed the United States, the radiation and other factors infested some of the survivors, who turned into numerous species. Super Mutants, ghouls, and synths are new species ‘born’ from humans who needed to find their place in the United States Wasteland, but some of the factions refuse to work with them.
Of course, the reasoning behind that reluctance stems from fear and blatant discrimination, which Brotherhood of Steel possesses in waves. They want to exterminate feral ghouls, synths, and super mutants from the Wasteland since they think of them as abominations. In a post-apocalyptic world that suffered so much, seeing a faction so against other species is strange, even in the Fallout franchise.
They are using their technological superiority to overpower other factions
Because they hold such power over other factions, especially regarding technological prowess and science, it’s not surprising that BoS is using them to belittle other factions.
Also, BoS has that affinity to take away advanced technology from others, which makes them hypocrites in every sense of the way – only BoS can have advanced technology, no one else.
Sole Survivor must destroy the Institute and Railroad factions to fully join BoS
If Sole Survivor joins BoS, they will most likely go against other factions that are fundamentally the opposite of them. The Institute and the Railroad come to mind since they do harness synths and vast technology (only the Insitute in this case), but they also want to destroy anyone in their way, and that includes smaller factions like Minutemen.
There is an ending where your Sole Survivor could strike an alliance between BoS and Minutemen, but that will be discussed later because it’s not applicable in this context.
BoS are ruthless
BoS is an imperialistic paramilitary faction that uses advanced technology to invent medicine and other supplies for the betterment of the Wasteland, but only they can do it, and no one else. Weaponry and armor are exclusive to them, not everyone else, and if someone opposes their will, they will perish.
They are powerful but, in most cases, quite “evil” from a moral standpoint.
What is the Minutemen?
The Commonwealth Minutemen are a volunteer militia who focus on protecting their communities and citizens but also care about the politics of their region.
Their whole purpose stems from the fact that they genuinely care for the people around them but don’t have that much power, especially after the Quincy massacre, which made them weaker.
Sole Survivor meets Minutemen in the Museum of Freedom, where they discover their history, vision, goals, and ultimate mission. Minutemen build settlements and are trying to establish some kind of fortress after losing ‘The Castle’ in South Boston, and are quite ideologically similar to Followers of the Apocalypse in Fallout: New Vegas.
They want peace for everyone, regardless of race, species, and background.
Pros of joining Minutemen in Fallout 4
Minutemen are the first group Sole Survivor meets in Fallout 4
When Sole Survivor starts their journey across the Commonwealth after escaping Vault 111, they will encounter Minutemen fighting off raiders near the Museum of Freedom. The player will have the option to immediately join the Minutemen and will kickstart the main quest line, which mostly revolves around Sole Survivor helping Commonwealth citizens.
They are open, will teach about settlements (Preston Garvey), and showcase how the Commonwealth works with many factions existing.
Minutemen are good
As mentioned, Minutemen are ideologically similar to Followers of the Apocalypse in Fallout: New Vegas, who try to make the Commonwealth suitable for everyone living there. They genuinely want the Commonwealth to prosper, including other races and species.
If Sole Survivor wants to go full “goody two shoes,” they will most likely become one by joining Minutemen and their cause.
Squad reinforcements and artillery strikes
In Fallout: New Vegas, after helping New California Republic troops with their problems, the Courier gets the NCR radio with which they can call for help and reinforcements if the situation calls for it.
In Fallout 4, Minutemen give Sole Survivor the ability to call up the squad reinforcements and artillery strikes, which could prove to be very useful against the enemies. It’s a really cool addition to joining and working with this faction.
Minutemen are neutral throughout the Fallout 4
This is an interesting aspect of the Fallout 4 game because if the player character joins up with Minutemen immediately, they can still create an alliance with other factions and even solve their quests, use their weapons, and more.
Minutemen are all for peace, and if other factions are flexible enough to help the citizens of the Commonwealth, they will ally with them, including BoS – there is a unique ending for that scenario.
Cons of joining Minutemen in Fallout 4
Elimination of the Institute
The Institute has its faults, but it’s against the goodwill of Sole Survivor to eliminate the whole faction for the ultimate completion of the Minutemen ending. Sole Survivor restores the Minutemen to full power, but at what host?
Settlements and crafting
The core of the Fallout franchise is storytelling and meeting great characters along the way. The game’s most “mechanical” aspect revolves around role-playing and solving problems of the Wasteland, tipping the scales in one or new directions. Building settlements isn’t, hence why older Fallout players complained when this was added to Fallout 4.
Minutemen are pioneers in building and protecting settlements, but it gets boring quickly. Most players would rather spend their time exploring the Commonwealth than waste it on building settlements that don’t impact the story.
The weapons and equipment are not as good as the ones from BoS and others
Small militias such as Minutemen have decent resources, but their weapons cannot compare to the likes of BoS and the Institute. They have signature laser muskets, double-barrel shotguns, and more, but these are not as good as energy weapons and other weaponry that BoS have.
Brotherhood of Steel or Minutemen – which faction is better?
All in all, Fallout 4 is a huge game. It has a ton of content that some players appreciate more than others, but in the end, Sole Survivor will get its ending the way you want it.
Choosing BoS does have its pros, like weaponry, armor, and influence, but morally, BoS is not the faction you want to join long-term – they use their resources maliciously in more cases than not.
Minutemen is a better faction for players who want to have more options in their playthrough since they are mostly neutral and don’t mind Sole Survivor going to other factions and exploring the Wasteland. They are morally much better than BoS because they want everyone to prosper, the good citizens of the Commonwealth. However, their settlements, weaponry, and armor are what would drive some players away from Minutemen.
There is an option where the Minutemen, BoS, and the Railroad factions can coexist – if the Sole Survivor doesn’t trigger the ending quests of the aforementioned factions and helps the Minutemen destroy the Institute, the ending will see all three factions working together.
It’s a good compromise at the end of the day – especially for Fallout games.