Permanent companions require a few requisites to be met in order for them to be willing to join company. For a few non-player characters, there is more than one possible way to get them to accompany the player character. There is a maximum number of companions one may have. Take the player character's Charisma stat and divide it by two. This calculates the Chosen One's number. Example: 4 Charisma is 2 companions. With the perkMagnetic Personality the Chosen One gains one more allowable companion.
Once a non-player character is recruited, their dialogue menu changes to a list of tactical and combat-oriented options. New from Fallout is a "Combat Control" button in dialogue, which allows manual change of an non-player character's armor, weapon, distance, and tactics.
The picture to the right is the in-game dialogue box for controlling companions. For permanent companions, the options are shown as follows:
Use Best Weapon
At first, this seems to do nothing, because the companion originally only carry their default weapon. However, they can be gifted a better weapon (and ammunition, for guns), then the non-player character will make use of that weapon instead. Alternatively, the companion can pick up weapons found on the ground.
Use Best Armor
This control acts the same as the one above; equip the companion with better armor in place of their default one (if they had one), granting them the corresponding bonus to Armor Class (and Strength in case of any power armor).
Berserk - The companion will always attack, never fleeing from battle, no matter the level their health drops to.
Aggressive - The companion will attack while their health is in an acceptably decent range. If it falls too low, they will ultimately flee from combat.
Defensive - The companion will be more mindful of their health, running when they are injured, even if just slightly.
Coward - The companion will always run from a battle they think they cannot handle, regardless of the opponents.
Custom - There are six options with 5 sub-options that can be chosen by the player concerning the non-player character's disposition. The possible options for each is listed below.
It is interesting that most permanent companions are male, others have no gender specified, except Miria.
At numerous occasions throughout the game, the Chosen One may find their companions blocking the exit to a room. This problem can be solved by entering the companions combat controls and changing their distance to the player, followed by entering combat, thus having them move away from the exit.