What equipment do you give your NPCs?

Trying to create a standard load-out for my followers, here’s what I’ve come up with so far - would love to hear what others think:

Weapons / equipment:
   1x AR-15 with:
     - combat knife
     - shoulder strap
     - holographic sight
     - adjustable stock
     - suppressor
   5x STANAG 30-round magazine 5.56 NATO 
 100x Additional rounds  
   1x Two-way radio
   1x Gas mask (not usually worn)
  12x Bandage
  12x Hemostatic powder
   1x Small plastic bottle - antiseptic
   1x Small plastic bottle - saline solution
   1x Asthma inhaler (if asthmatic)

Clothing / armor: 
   ++ Underwear & socks
   || Kevlar vest 
   ++ Leather touring suit
   ++ Steeltoed boots
   ++ Knee pads
   ++ Elbow pads
   ++ Tactical gloves
   ++ Ballistic glasses
   || Tactical helmet

I also let them keep any jewellery/watches/etc they were carrying when they joined up, you know, for the flavour. Two of my four followers are asthmatic (what are the chances?), hence the inhalers. 5.56 ammo is by far the most common, hence the AR-15s. Not sure what skill is required to reinforce kevlar vests and helmets - or if it’s even possible? And I’m sure there are flaws and omissions in my list, but what are they?

Many characters are weak, and so have a very limited carrying capacity. Firearms are loud, and I don’t really trust companions with them.

Furthermore, companions don’t know how to run, so any tactic that relies on running away and attacking (or running away to escape) is doomed to fail. Thus, apart from the first day companion (if recruitment is successful), I don’t use them in conflicts, but mainly for base construction and vehicle dismantling (in which case they need to have enough carrying capacity to carry the tools needed, for the most part). I use them for other camp activities as well, such as crafting and butchering (where you have to remember to give them a bone sawing capable saw, of they’ll just “finish” the task immediately. The can also be sent off on logging.

However, I’ve used fire fighter turnout gear as the basis. I also very rarely use firearms protection gear, because it’s heavy and I rarely engage enemies capable of using firearms (when planning to do so, I gear up for the occasion).

I don’t find asthmatics to be that uncommon. My current original companion is asthmatic, and one of the beggars is as well.

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The load-out above weighs 21.2 kg, and the weakest of my followers (STR 5!) can carry 44.6 kg.

Hence the silencers, which help a little. And I don’t trust my followers to survive in a melee…

I spread them out and tell them to “guard this position” while I engage the enemies - as more Zs are drawn into the battle my NPCs cut them down very effectively. I could not imagine clearing out a city without their help, it would take far too long. I’ve never had any issues with them hitting me or themselves. Labs are a different matter; four followers makes it crowded in the narrow corridors, leading to pathing issues, and “guard this position” doesn’t work as well in that environment, due to the restricted LoS. I prefer to only bring one or two followers on those missions.

My workaround for this was to have a vehicle nearby. The second you jump into a vehicle, your companions will disengage and book it to jump on/in.

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You can always get your companions to just hold position somewhere further away from any hoards and kite over small numbers of Z’s to them. Which could be combined with Mantar’s parked car strat as well, just get them to hold near your whip and if you accidentally kite off more than you can chew you’ve still got that plan B escape route no matter what.

Anyways, my kitting strategy for the homies has always been the same: I take the best gear for myself. As I level up my gear, the crew gets hand-me-downs. For weapons, I try to let them use whatever they have the most skill in when they first join and stick with that, really just for RP.

I’ve never even considered using any standardized kits or anything like that. If my whole crew all has the same gear it’s only because those are just the best things I could craft so I made one for everyone.

I have never given my companions firearms or bows, I don’t trust them to not friendly fire my player character and IMO one person with a gun on the crew is enough.

My only other critique of your gear list, the touring suit is not armour, your should be leveling up your tailoring to make some actual armour. But the LTSs are a good source of leather for that project so you’ve got that going for you.

That’s kind of what I do; I try to deploy them in an arc to give them a wide field of fire, but close enough that I don’t have to run back to them. We fight together, and I’ve never been shot by my followers - though it has happened that I’ve hit one of them by mistake, which makes me feel genuinely guilty :anguished: I’ve told them not to shoot unless they “can aim really well”, and to “engage enemies without moving”. The combined firepower of the five of us is pretty awesome, especially when you include the Barrett or Milkor I carry as secondary into battle. Despite their quirks and occasional idiotic behaviour I find them invaluable on a mission:

  • They cover me while I’m reloading or switching weapon.
  • They heal me and each other when we get injured.
  • When the battle is over they help gather the corpses for dismembering/burning.
  • They help sort out the loot*.
  • They help disassembling vehicles and furniture for material**.
  • They repair our vehicle while I’m sleeping.
  • They will shoot monsters also from a moving vehicle.
  • They warn me about approaching dangerous creatures.

That’s more out of laziness; it’s quicker to check that everyone is ready for a mission if they all carry the same kit. Mind you, one of them carries a 7.62mm weapon - just because. Before we head out I’ll fetch a pile of ammo, bandages and hemostatic powder, as well as four bottles each of antiseptic and saline. I talk to each in turn, refill what’s missing and swap out their bottles, and we’re ready to go. If needed I’ll repair/reinforce their clothes and clean and lubricate their guns. It’s less hassle than it sounds, and helps set the mood for the upcoming battle.

I have tailoring 8, and it never seems to go higher (been stuck at 0% for more than a season). Wish I was able to reinforce firefighter belts but I can just barely repair them - without getting any skill gain. I prefer to use found equipment and armor, because that’s how I imagine the apocalypse; don’t really see myself making military grade++ gear in my home workshop… or even a hacksaw blade! Military bases are great for finding multiples of the same gear, which makes up much of my standard equipment.

*) Let’s say you’re looking for a particular item, for example a hacksaw. Once you’ve cleared out an area, create a single tile custom loot zone with the filter “hacksaw” and cover the entire safe area with a “Loot: Unsorted” zone. Then tell your followers to sort out items nearby. Wait a few minutes. If there is a hacksaw in the area it will be found and placed before you - a lot less tedious than having to look through every pile manually.

**) Which reminds me: I should include a set of basic tools in my load-out. I think hacksaw, entrenching tool and hatchet? I always need moar solar panels and extra-light frames so rarely pass up on any electric or solar car I run into.

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While I don’t use companions on mission (as stated before), I do have a toolbox with me in my vehicle (plus bottle jack, heavy tow cable, jumper cable, and tire iron, and a foldable handjack) for any vehicle job needed. I tend to repair up vehicles to give them enough wheels to be towed back to base for dismantling (I have an insatiable need for steel plating for base construction). One of the vehicle’s cargo tiles is for such equipment, while the rest are for hauling (Unsorted loot). When I’ve used companions I’ve temporarily disabled the “normal” loot zones in the vehicle and tied other zones to those tiles to get the companions to haul loot.

Of course. And an arc welder. I was referring to what tools the NPCs need to carry to be able to assist me when dismantling/repairing vehicles, cutting a short-cut through the trees or digging for treasure clay. If, after a long day on the road, we bump into, say, a solar car, I want to be able to drop a dismantle vehicles zone on top of it and go to sleep while my followers chop it up. They should have their own tools for this.

I strongly recommend against ever having more than one companion dismantle vehicles at a time (in the same area). There’s a long standing crash bug caused by faulty accounting logic for vehicle parts that usually just results in disjointed vehicles, but crashes the game if one companion is left dismantling the vehicle when it has already been removed completely.

The code uses the index in the parts vector to determine which part to remove, but removal of a part earlier in the vector shifts all parts one step downwards, so a companion may finish the task by removing a completely different part that’s now at that index (e.g. a frame, leading to vehicle splitting). If the index is no longer in the vehicle parts range (again due to parts being removed by others in the mean time) the companion “finishes” the job and goes idle (and wastes some time removing nothing).
In certain circumstances a companion may be tasked with removing the part at index 0, another at index 1, and a third at index 2, but the companion at index 0 may remove that part, start with the new index 0 (which was at index 1), the companion working at index 1 removes the part at index 1, which is no longer the part he started working on), and finishes the task, as there’s only index 0 left, and that is being processed. Because the part originally at index 2 was something that takes a long time to remove, the companion working at index 0 finishes the job, and the vehicle is deleted as there’s nothing left of it. The companion who originally started at index 2 finally finishes the job, tries to access the vehicle, and the game crashes.
As can be seen this scenario requires 3 companions, and I’m unsure if the situation can be repeated with only two, but I won’t take the risk.
If you suffer from a crash because of this you can reload the latest save and order the crash causing companion to stop dismantling, but it’s possible for that not to be possible, e.g. because it takes too long to move to where the companion is, or you’re returning to the reality bubble so everything happens when you the bubble activates the companions.
It ought to be possible to hack the save to set the companion to be idle as a last resort.

Ok, thanks for the warning!

Naginata and best armor available. Nothing else

I just use military bunkers for the spare uniforms and vests and hoard all those m16’s

few hundred bullets and if I feel crazy Ill take the time to mod their guns with a much as I can

Not bad but the npc’s really have to be treated like a turret you can dress up.

Every time I take them into town I savescum since they do something really stupid when I turn a corner right into a hoard.