Why should the Sole Survivor of Vault 111 get all the fun? It’s time to dress up Dogmeat; cue a dressing room montage!
The post apocalyptic world of Fallout 4 is hard. Almost everything is trying to kill you, from the hideously mutated former humans and the oversized (and very ornery) wildlife, through to the radiation storms and the irradiated water table; hell, that slightly irradiated carrot you find might be the thing that tips you over the edge. And whatever you do, don’t give your companions explosive weapons; even your friends will kill you, given enough fire-power and ignorance to their ineptitudes.
Sometimes then, doing the mundane things in Fallout 4 brings immense pleasure in the ruins of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It’s easy to steamroller through the quests on offer and rush through to the end, but it’s far more satisfying to saunter through and bring a touch of everyday life to the radiation-racked world:
- Food too irradiated? Then why not gather a few ingredients and cook them together into a tasty meal; it will nix any residual rads, and will definitely increase the positive benefits of the cuisine over its base components.
- Not enough food to cook with? Then plant some crops in your settlements and become a farmer; you can even go foraging through the wilderness for new and exciting ingredients, or hunt some meat to roast.
- Got a load of junk rattling around? Then find yourself a workbench and craft it into something useful; improved weapons, tougher armour, or perhaps some amenities to help your settlements grow and prosper… or maybe just a kennel for man’s best friend.
When you’ve done all those things, then a good old-fashioned game of dress-up can be both fun and rewarding. A sea captain’s hat may look silly, but it’ll grant you a +2 bonus to Endurance when you’re wearing it, and that gumshoe’s fedora will give you an extra point towards Luck. And the glittery red dress? Well that just makes you irresistible, and puts 2 extra points in your Charisma (regardless of whether you have the figure for it or not).
But what about our furry friend; can you dress up Dogmeat in Fallout 4 and make him stylish enough to rival Menswear Dog? Why yes, as it happens, you can.
How to dress up Dogmeat – what can he wear?
You might be shocked to hear that Dogmeat doesn’t have as wide a choice in outfits and accessories as his human best friend. There are one or two items that both you and your canine pal can wear, but largely you’re going to have to find some pooch-specific clothing to dress up Dogmeat in.
That sadly means no doggy Power Armour, but here’s what you can choose from:
- Dog collar: This one seems obvious, but they’re a little hard to find. Generally you can only find collars on other trained dogs in the wasteland; you won’t find them on wild mutant mutts, but a raider’s attack dog is a better bet. They come in a variety of styles and colours, including your stereotypical spiked or chained ‘bad boy’ collar, for that intimidating look.
- Muzzle: If that collar you’ve got isn’t making Dogmeat look tough enough, then why not pair it with a muzzle? Seems counter-intuitive, as the raider hound you’ll have taken it from will have been trying to bite you, but there you are.
- Dog armour: Don’t get too excited – the dog armour in Fallout 4 doesn’t actually add any defensive bonuses for Dogmeat – it just changes how he looks, and adds a little to his carry weight. Largely pointless and not that nice to look at, you’re probably going to want to skip these, but again they can be found on raider dogs.
- Dog helmet: There is – to our knowledge – only one dog helmet in Fallout 4 that you can dress up Dogmeat in, and like the armour, it’s purely cosmetic. It’s found a little south of Concord, and you’ll probably stumble across it in a quest called The Fridge.
- Bandanna: This is getting more like it. Bandannas come in all variety of colours, from tough-looking skulls and camouflage-print and the raider-matching insignia of the gunners, through to some lovely primary colours and even a Stars and Stripes bandanna – if you want to dress up Dogmeat all patriotic-like.
- Goggles: Dogmeat looks awesome in goggles, and you can grab yourself a matching pair, but keep in mind while the Sole Survivor can wear all sorts of glasses and goggles, Dogmeat can wear only one variety: the welding goggles. They grant a +1 bonus to Perception for the player and it’s unclear if this is passed on to Dogmeat, but doggles are amazing anyway!
How to dress up Dogmeat – the process
It’s pretty easy to kit out your faithful canine companion in Fallout 4, but it’s not immediately obvious how you do it. First of all, you’re going to need to talk to Dogmeat to bring up the ‘Trade’ option and then from there, place the items in his inventory.
Now with some of your human companions, that’s job done. Piper, for example, doesn’t come equipped with any weaponry at all, but pop a 10mm pistol in her inventory and she’ll start using it straight away; and if you put other items in a companion’s inventory for them to carry, then there’s a chance they might start using it. You might find they start charging round in your Power Armour if you leave a Fusion Core in there, or kill you with friendly fire from a missile launcher; you heard the warning about explosives earlier.
Dogmeat’s a dog, though, and doesn’t have opposable thumbs, so he’s going to need your help. Highlight the item in his inventory that you want him to wear, and look at the bar at the bottom for an ‘Equip’ option to appear; when it does, hit the corresponding button and he’ll dress up in the item.
If you’re not getting an ‘Equip’ option then you’re not giving him the right item, and I spent more time than I’d care to admit arguing – entirely fruitlessly – with the game over why wraparound goggles and welding goggles must be just as easy for a dog to wear as one another.
Bonus 1 – give Dogmeat a teddy
It’s adorable. We promise you, it’s the best thing you’ll do in Fallout 4.
Bonus 2 – give Codsworth a hat
Much like dressing up Dogmeat, you can dress up robo-buddy Codsworth with a very small subset of items: specifically, one or two types of hat. We’ll leave it up to you to figure out which ones – hint: think which hat is most appropriate for his accent – but it’s pretty amusing when you do.