Fallout 4: Every Faction Ending Ranked

Fallout 4 has two main endings, but your choice of faction will have consequential effects on the game, here is how we ranked them.

Fallout 4 - All Faction Endings Ranked

Ending, quests and factions Spoilers ahead!

While there are two main endings, they depend only on whether you completed the Nuclear Family or The Nuclear Option. However, the most noticeable effects of the variants come from the choice of the faction you side with at the end. That includes which faction controls the Diamond City and which flags you will see in the newly changed world. Fallout 4 also features different cutscenes at the end depending on the sole survivor’s gender. Yet, that is always included and a nice touch to the whole story.

All main ending options and their conditions:

  • Complete The Nuclear Option for the Brotherhood of Steel, The Minutemen, or The Railroad factions.
  • Complete Nuclear Family for the Institute Faction.

We ranked all four Fallout 4 faction endings and what major endings they are associated with. Also, we included some additional information you may find useful when deciding what is most suitable for your character’s story and game’s world.

All Endings Ranked for Fallout 4

The best ending is when you side with Commonwealth Minutemen in Fallout 4. Their ending is also considered canon since it’s the only option that allows you to save almost everyone, preserving relationships and companions. Commonwealth Minutemen is also the faction that you can’t truly destroy. The Minutemen are the sole faction with only the Commonwealth’s best interests in mind. They need a strong, consistent leader, a role your character can easily fulfill.

Fallout 4 - Liberty Prime - Brotherhood of Steel Ending Mission

A notable place to mention deserves the Brotherhood of Steel and Railroad. They are morally ambiguous factions with interesting questlines and beliefs that mirror each other. Also, Brotherhood of Steel can provide you with power armor and a giant robot called Liberty Prime.

Every Faction Ending in Fallout 4 Ranking:

  1. Commonwealth Minutemen: Most Cannon, good ending
  2. Brotherhood of Steel: Questionable ethics but great questline ending.
  3. The Railroad: Bloody ending
  4. The Institute: “The evil ending.”

4 The Institute Ending

  • HQ: The Institute (underneath the C.I.T. ruins)
  • Notable Locations: The Institute, the Commonwealth
  • Founded by: Surviving members and faculty of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology in year 2110.
  • How to Find: During the Institutionalized main quest. Follow the main questline.
Fallout 4 - Institute Faction Leader - Father Endings

The institute members are the descendants of the Commonwealth Institute of Technology survivors who see themselves as protectors of knowledge. As a result, they developed many advanced technologies. That includes synthetic humans, teleportation, and technology to preserve life and information in the dying world of Fallout 4. They aim to control, command, and monitor the Commonwealth people by any means necessary.

The institute forces you to destroy the Railroad and the Brotherhood of Steel to establish domination in the Commonwealth and the Diamond City. Synthetics will now patrol settlements, the institute flags will dominate, and their research will continue undisturbed. While the Institute can be called “an evil faction,” you can lean to that narrative and eventually inherit it. Eliminating two factions has fun quests and epic battles. Consequently, in the end, you will live in the institute and have something of a family, taking care of Saun.

Most players don’t choose the Institute faction for their first playthrough. If you plan to beat the game multiple times, it’s worth trying this Fallout 4 ending at least once.

How to Get the Institute Ending?

Fallout 4 Lab Coat

Like the Railroad faction, you start by heading to Mass Fusion near the institute. Firstly, you must recruit for the institute during the Pinned quest, a person the Commonwealth Minutemen faction is trying to protect. How you solve this will determine if the Minutemen will become allies to the institute or simply exist alongside each other. You can become allies by negotiating with the Minutemen troops. Therefore, the game is designed to never destroy Minutemen, so if you kill the troops, the two factions will only have a questionable relationship.

Next, you follow the questline of the institute and slowly destroy Railroad and the Brotherhood of Steel. While you can use the first one to destroy the Brotherhood, the mission where you do it has far more epic battles and objectives in the Institute questline during the Airship Down quest.

3 The Railroad Ending

  • HQ: The Switchboard and Old North Church
  • Notable Locations: The Commonwealth, Old North Church, Ticonderoga
  • Founded by: Wyatt rebuilt (years 2266-2267) the organization from scratch following the HQ massacre and members leaving.
  • How to Find: During the Molecular Level main quest when investigating the area around Park Street Station.
Fallout 4 - Railroad Faction Leader - Desdemona

The Railroad is an underground faction that aims to save all synthetics from instituted slavery. It also represents the opposite of the Brotherhood of Steel faction. Organized like a pyramid, its structure is designed to keep the faction secrets. Field agents have false identities, the HQ quarter’s location is a heavily protected secret, and only high-ranking members can access all the information and coordinate railroad operations with Desdemona at the top.

During the Railroad questline, you’ll need to become an undercover agent who befriends the Institute to learn their secrets and infiltrate the faction from inside. They are the group mainly focused on eliminating all factions but the Minutemen and saving synthetics from Institute slavery. As a result, you quickly become permanent enemies of the Brotherhood of Steel.

Fallout 4 Companion Piper Wright

While it may seem like the Railroad faction are the good guys here, the means they use to get the power and dominate the Commonwealth is the most bloody path. We ranked them as the third because you could achieve the same results with less bloodshed. Nevertheless, relations with the Minutemen are not affected if you decide to join the railroad.

The reactions of most companions are positive with this ending, but not all will make it in the end. You’ll lose X6, and Paladin Danse will no longer be a companion after you destroy the brotherhood.

How to Get the Railroad Ending?

Fallout 4 Best Charisma Build

There is only one way to beat their faction questline without much variation in the result. You start by visiting Mass Fusion near the institute, and from there, you will learn about the railroad at the beginning of The Molecular Level quest from Doctor Amari, who suggests the faction might be helpful. Following this path, you will eventually get the Road to Freedom quest and meet the Railroad leaders to join the faction.

As mentioned, the Railroad questline requires you to work as an undercover agent and follow the institute questline. However, mistakes can cost you a lot. You must pretend to be an ally to the institute. If at any point you fail and become hostile to scientists before the Nuclear Option mission, you will not be able to get Railroad ending in Fallout 4. Regardless, they will remain your allies.

If you manage to fulfill the whole plan of the Railroad, you will turn synthetics against their creators, blow up the institute, and eliminate the Brotherhood in a series of bloody battles.

2 Brotherhood of Steel Ending

  • HQ: The Prydwen
  • Notable Locations: Cambridge Police Station, The Prydwen, Boston Airport
  • Founded by: Arthur Maxson in the year 2283
  • How to Find: Protect the settlers from Gristle’s raiders in the Museum of Freedom during Out of Time Quest.
Fallout 4 - Brotherhood of Steel Faction Leader - Arthur Maxson Endings

Compared to others, Brotherhood of Steel is a new faction in Fallout 4 led by Arthur Maxson. They have a military structure and represent anti-communism beliefs. However, all synthetics and non-humans are not welcome in their vision of the future. They operate from a mobile command airship called the Prydwen, which took six years to complete from parts found in Adams Air Force Base.

While their ethics might be questionable, the Brotherhood ending is outstanding and feels unique compared to the intertwined paths of the Institute and Railroad factions. And that’s why we ranked it as the second-best faction in Fallout 4. Additionally, their intolerance of non-human people, like ghouls, makes them a more interesting choice for a unique ending. If you like military order and want to play a character who is somehow “evil,” it’s a great alternative instead of the Institute, leading to The Nuclear Option.

Moreover, the Brotherhood of Steel faction unlocks the Liberty Prime robot and the Power armor, which are more reasons to opt for them. With this ending, everyone is happy to see the institute gone. Virgil is the only person who refuses to speak with the main character. Companions remain with you.

How to Get the Brotherhood of Steel Ending?

Fallout 4 How to Get Hellfire Power Armor

You have theoretically only one option for the Brotherhood: to become allies with Commonwealth Minutemen while destroying the remaining two other factions. While it is possible that after the main story competition, you still can become hostile, fight against Brotherhood of Steel, and, as an effect, destroy them, leaving Commonwealth Minutemen as the only faction.

To side with the Brotherhood of Steel, follow the main quest and complete their missions to destroy the Railroad and the Institute. Once that is accomplished and after the epic battle with the giant robot, you will be promoted to the sentinel position. However, the Brotherhood of Steel will continue with its goals in the Commonwealth after that.

1 Commonwealth Minutemen Ending

  • HQ: The Castle
  • Notable Locations: Concord, Sanctuary Hills, The Castle
  • Founded by: Volunteer militia
  • How to Find: Protect the settlers from Gristle’s raiders in the Museum of Freedom during Out of Time Quest.
Fallout 4 - Commonwealth Minutemen Faction Leader - Preston Garvey

Commonwealth Minutemen is a military faction that has left its glory days behind. Led by a general and split into smaller groups commanded by colonels for in-field operations. They adapted some aspects of the former National Guard but with the elements of democracy. Commonwealth Minutemen exist to defend the Commonwealth people and are considered “the good faction.”

Firstly, the Commonwealth Minutemen’s ending gives you the most choice on who you want to preserve and what factions to destroy. As a result, you can even choose the ultimate “save them all” option, where you maintain as many allies as possible, including factions and companions. To add more reasons why we ranked the Commonwealth Minutemen faction ending in Fallout 4 as the best is that their final quest, “Defend the Castle,” opens up a smooth transition to a bigger conflict for the main quest, leading to the Nuclear option.

How to Get the Commonwealth Minutemen Ending?

Fallout 4 - The Nuclear Option Ending

You can get this “save everyone” ending if you trigger hostile relations with the Institute while ensuring good relations and not destroying the remaining two factions, The Railroad and Brotherhood of Steel. Start with Brotherhood. You can follow each faction’s quest path as long as you don’t accept the Brotherhood’s Tactical Thinking quest, Railroad’s Underground Undercover, or Mass Fusion quest from the Institute to achieve the best ending. Rather, destroy the Institute with the Minutemen by accessing it through the sewers.

Brotherhood may be concerned by the Commonwealth Minutemen’s power after you helped them, but you can easily dismiss them if you play their questline up to the Tactical Thinking quest without starting it. Finally, you will be given the Defend the Castle quest from Preston Garvey, and you can follow the Minutemen and main quest paths.

Alternatively, if you become hostile to the Railroad or the Brotherhood of Steel at any point, they will be destroyed before the game’s end. To become hostile with The Railroad, do not trigger the evacuation signal before destroying the Institute. To destroy the Brotherhood of Steel, simply become hostile to them at any point. The Choice is yours.

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