Rather than only serving as the Sole Survivor’s meat shield and pack mule, the companions of Fallout 4 can participate in combat just as competently as the players themselves. As such, players stand to gain a lot from equipping their companions with serviceable armor and other equipment.
Equipping items on companions
Equipping a companion with an item starts with, as one would expect, giving them said item. This can be done through interacting with the intended recipient, opening their trade menu, and passing them the equipable item as normal.
The AI companions tend to have minds of their own when it comes to using the gear that they’re given, often automatically equipping the best items available, or occasionally equipping nothing at all. In any case, players can force-equip certain pieces of gear through their companion’s trade menu.
While in this menu, highlighting the item in their inventory and pressing equip — which defaults to T on a keyboard — will force them to put it on. Doing so will unequip anything that was already equipped in the new item’s place, putting the former item up for grabs in their trade menu. Note that unique and otherwise unobtainable pieces of equipment, such as Piper’s red jacket, cannot be claimed after replacing them on a companion, and will instead remain hidden in their inventory.
Certain items will only equip properly on certain companion types. For example, while human companions can equip just about any clothing item or piece of armor that the player themself can wear, Mr. Handys and Ms. Nannies, like Codsworth and Curie, respectively, can only equip hats while in their robotic state.
Dogmeat, as the name would imply, is a dog, and as a result, he can’t equip most human clothing items that are given to him. However, some raider attack dogs don dog armor and dog helmets that can be looted and equipped on Dogmeat. Additionally, salvaged bandannas can be wrapped around Dogmeat’s neck as a makeshift collar.
As super mutants have outgrown almost all human clothing, Strong is particularly difficult to provide armor for. However, specially designed mutant armor, such as helmets, gauntlets, and cowls, can be found in some super mutant encampments and given to Strong instead.
Struggling to find any of these pieces of equipment. Try adding them in with ID commands.