Fallout Synth

Fallout 4 is a big game. It’s filled with things to do, places to visit and people to meet. It’s also filled with enemies who want to wipe you out and/or feast on your bone marrow. Maybe. I haven’t taken much time to question their real motivations.

The greatest threat in Fallout 4 is The Institute and its legion of Synths: highly advanced synthetic humans capable of mimicking us perfectly. A recurring theme in the game is the question of “is this a human I’m talking to, or a Synth?” Well, intrepid NAG readers, I’ve taken it upon myself to answer this question for the good of all. I’m cracking the lid on a Commonwealth conspiracy, so beware of spoilers that will blow your mind!

Seriously, in case that wasn’t clear, there are spoilers ahead.


Man’s best friend? Or man’s best cold, calculating, unfeeling machine? Dogmeat is clearly more than meets the eye, because this “dog” exhibits abilities that even the American Kennel Club don’t award points for.


How about the fact that Dogmeat “finds” you by “chance”? That’s too coincidental. Clearly The Institute has been following your character for years, and needs to get more in-depth surveillance. Have you noticed that Dogmeat is immortal? I know that Alsatians have a glossy coat and robust frame, but it’s not that glossy and robust. Please don’t test this at home, but what other dog is willing to play fetch with an exploding grenade? Twice.

Conclusion: Clearly a Synth-dog.


A Diamond City journalist with a nose for the truth, actively campaigning to inform people of the Synth threat. Maybe she’s campaigning just a little too hard…


What better way for a Synth to infiltrate the ranks than by loudly shouting about how much Synths suck? That’s a rhetorical question. Other red flags include her ability to maintain a functioning printing press in a post-apocalyptic world where skilled labour and precise machining both died out in spectacular fashion. Also, nobody but a cold, fashion-savvy machine could rock an outfit THAT snappy.

Conclusion: Obviously a Synth

Nick Valentine

Unquestionably one of your coolest companions, Nick perfectly embodies the hard-boiled, film-noir-style private detective. But there’s something off about him…

I mean, look at that face. That face is full of gears and servos and wires and stuff. It’s also cracking because its synthetic skin is being improperly cared for. And his eyes! His eyes have neon tubes in them! However, there’s something else weird here: nobody is scared of Nick. Even with all the Synth paranoia, no one screams or hides their children at the sight of him.

Conclusion: Nick is clearly a normal human with bitching’, incredibly lifelike 3D tattoos. Not a Synth.

This teddy bear

If you go down to the toilets today, you’ll find a Synth in disguise!

I’m not an expert on Synths and I’m not too well-versed in teddy-bearology, but there’s clearly something wrong with what’s going on above. Maybe Synths ingest solids to blend in with humans, and must flush their systems later? Maybe this is some kind of bizarre sleeper-agent Synth, infiltrating the closets of small children / raider chieftains? Wait, does this mean the toys in Toy Story are Synths too?

Conclusion: It all fits. Your toys are watching you.

Rick Deckard

The main character of the 1982 sci-fi thriller Blade Runner isn’t in Fallout 4. That’s a shame, because Deckard would improve anything if he was in it. Seriously, watch Steel Magnolias and imagine Deckard in it.

Rick the robot

If Deckard was in Fallout 4, he’d clearly be a Synth. The film Blade Runner is famous for, among many other things, the ongoing dilemma regarding who is human and who isn’t. Form your own opinions, but I think it’s pretty obvious that Fallout Deckard is a machine and doesn’t even know it.

Conclusion: Deckard is a replicant Synth.

The Sole Survivor

Yes, the Sole Survivor. None other than the playable character himself/herself. Could he/she be a Synth?

Sole Synth

Many things point towards the fact that the Sole Survivor is the true enemy all along. For one, the main quest can be ignored indefinitely, despite the supposed dire implications of doing so. What kind of human would delay such an important mission for arbitrary reasons? The kind of human who’s actually an unsympathetic machine, that’s who. More to the point, the Sole Survivor is able to modify settlements in Fallout 4. You leave the Vault with the ability to build wind turbines, but not picket fences. Clearly, you’r so far removed from humanity that you’ve forgotten how to construct an icon of suburban America.

Conclusion: Clearly a Synth. In the character creator, you can morph your face at will. Just like the T-1000.

Random Settler

Alright, alright: I’m casting a bit of a wide net here. But the Synths are a real threat even in the settlements you painstakingly build. So, I picked a random settler in a random settlement, and investigated.

I picked this “settler” because of his perfectly maintained moustache. Maybe I’m profiling a bit, but relentless persecution is the only way to win the war on Synths. Still, I chose to be a little more thorough in my investigation and conducted a simple test.

The test: Once in an isolated area, I bludgeoned the settler to a pulp and consumed their flesh using the Cannibal perk. Results showed regular amounts of squishy human meat, but no synthetic components.

Conclusion: Oops. Sorry buddy, that one is really my bad.

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