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Human Error is a side quest in Fallout 4.

Quick walkthroughEdit

Side quest: Human Error
Go to Covenant and talk to Honest Dan.
Search for clues around Covenant.
Attack the Covenant Compound with Dan.
Kill Dr. Chambers and rescue Amelia.
Kill Honest Dan.
Find Old Man Stockton
Return to Jacob
Reward: 350+ XP
300/?/? caps
Covenant as settlement

Detailed walkthroughEdit

The Sole Survivor might hear about Covenant from settlers or a passing trader, which will put its marker on the map and a quest entry to "Investigate Covenant." Upon approaching the gate, the Sole Survivor is greeted by Swanson. He explains that, to enter Covenant, visitors have to pass a test to filter out "undesirables." By pressuring for information and successfully passing increasingly difficult speech checks, details about synths and The Institute can be learned. Swanson will be adamant about administering the SAFE test, (an adapted Vault-Tec G.O.A.T.) to make sure the Sole Survivor is not a synth. After taking a seat at the table and answering all the questions, the gate to the settlement will open up.

Unlike other settlements around the Commonwealth, Covenant is surrounded by tall concrete walls peppered with defensive turrets, and the houses and the yard are in pristine condition. The Sole Survivor even mentions how everything looks almost pre-War. Several companions will voice suspicions that the village is hiding something, although none of them seem aware of its true nature. Speak to Honest Dan. He'll explain he has been hired to investigate a missing caravan and find Amelia Stockton, the missing daughter of the prominent Stockton family. He also suggests the inhabitants of Covenant might be involved in both cases. He also offers to split the reward in exchange for help in the investigation. After doing so, Dan will give the player character what he knows in the form of a note, caravan details. Passing speech checks with him may net more caps and info.

Exit Covenant and head northeast along the road to find the remains of the missing caravan and recover Deezer's lemonade and if carefully looking at the road close to the scene, discover a blood trail which the Sole Survivor suggests heads towards Covenant. Questioning the inhabitants of Covenant yields little info, they are adamant about having nothing to do with it, they are also oddly nice, almost saccharine.

To find more clues, enter the house on the far end of the settlement to discover a holding cell, a bookcase with self-help material and a locked computer. Outside, at the side of one of the houses, is a bedroll left by the caravan staff, which can be investigated, but it isn't clear enough who it belonged to.

Hack the computer when no one is looking to find out Covenant's real purpose. Hacking the computer when not sneaking will turn the whole town hostile. It is also possible to gather information by speaking to one of the settlers, Talia McGovern, and convincing her that Honest Dan is a synth after passing a few Charisma checks. Alternatively, enter the shop and take the piece of paper from the trash can or pass increasingly harder speech checks with Penny Fitzgerald to reveal the clues. Another alternative is to either pickpocket the key from Jacob Orden or pick the lock to the house directly left of the gate and find the piece of paper near the door. If pickpocket is too risky, between the hours 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. the doors to the first house on the left when entering Covenant will be open (in general, all of the buildings in Covenant can eventually be entered without the need to pick a lock, through the expedient of following the residents around until they open the doors on their daily schedule). On the table is a key and a paper that has Jacob's password. Residents may become hostile if they see stealing. One can also find the location of the compound at the office terminal. The door and the computer are both Master locks.

Once learning about the existence of the compound, the Sole Survivor can either talk to Dan or go alone. When they try to exit Covenant, Jacob will be at the gate and will try to convince the Sole Survivor to drop the case, even going as far as offering a bribe.

To find the compound, head to the fishing spot west of Covenant on the other side of the lake and enter the outflow pipe. If the Sole Survivor told Honest Dan about the compound, he will be waiting inside and will follow. Continue along the pipe to face armed guards and turrets. By successfully passing a speech check, the Sole Survivor is escorted deep inside the complex to meet Doctor Roslyn Chambers. Otherwise, fighting through the complex becomes necessary. On the way there clues about people being held captive and ongoing experiments/torture can be found.

Once confronted by the doctor, she explains her intentions of trying to reveal hidden synths who infiltrated the populace by creating and perfecting the SAFE test. A sort of psychological test involving studying reactions of the subject to several situational questions. Improving the test involves establishing a "baseline" and then requires various forms of psychological and physical torture to incite reactions from the subject. She also explains, the reason for capturing Amelia is because they believe she is a synth infiltrator. She may offer to pay the same caps reward offered by Honest Dan.

At this point, the Sole Survivor has several choices:

  1. Deciding to side with the doctor, if accompanied by Honest Dan it will cause him to become hostile and killing him will be necessary. Also, inspecting Amelia's body reveals she was indeed a synth. Return to Jacob to win Covenant as a usable settlement. There is also a reward of 300 caps from the completion of this quest.
  2. Deciding to side with Honest Dan and free Amelia will turn the doctor and the rest of the compound hostile, making it necessary to kill them all. Amelia is in one of the cells up the stairs which can be opened by using the computer terminal or by picking the lock. Speak to Dan to receive a reward. By passing increasingly harder speech checks, more reward can be earned. Choosing this option will also turn all inhabitants of Covenant hostile, except for Deezer and Dora (cat). Kill all hostiles to win Covenant as a usable settlement.
  3. A third option will make itself available, if the Sole Survivor does not bring Honest Dan to the compound, and has already joined the Railroad. After freeing Amelia, as they would when siding with Dan, they can turn the quest in to Old Man Stockton, who can be found at Bunker Hill. He will give the same 300 bottlecap reward offered by the doctor and Honest Dan, although there is no way to increase the reward through speech checks. If the player character has already completed Boston After Dark, the Sole Survivor can remark about making a habit out of helping him. The quest cannot be turned in to him if Honest Dan accompanies the player character, however; he will simply say that he already contracted someone to find the missing caravan. Upon returning to Covenant, all inhabitants will be hostile, and it will be necessary to kill them all except Deezer to receive Covenant as a settlement. If choosing this option, almost everything inside the compound will be considered stolen, making it very complicated to use this settlement. Old Man Stockton is a nonessential character and can be killed. If he has already been killed and the Sole Survivor chooses to save Amelia, without bringing Dan to the compound, the quest will say "Failed" immediately after the "Find Old Man Stockton" objective appears and it becomes impossible to complete.

A "fourth" option is also available to the player character. If they arrive at the compound without Honest Dan and have already joined the Railroad, they can engage Amelia in conversation before freeing her or letting her be killed by the doctor and she will direct the player character to Old Man Stockton, claiming he will give a reward for freeing her. The quest will update as though the player character has freed Amelia and the quest marker will lead them to Old Man Stockton. If the player character leaves Amelia in her cell and turns in the quest to Old Man Stockton, the quest will complete, only in this case, upon return to Covenant, all inhabitants will be friendly to the player character. If the player character has passed the speech check at the compound, all inhabitants there will remain friendly as well. Although everyone is still alive, this option offers the least amount of rewards, as there is no way to obtain Covenant as a settlement.

Quest stagesEdit

StageStatusDescriptionLog Entry
200 Search Covenant for cluesHonest Dan's been hired to find Stockton's missing caravan. He wants me to investigate Covenant looking for clues. He knows the little settlement's involved.
250 Find the location of the secret CompoundWhile investigating Covenant, I found evidence that Stockton's caravan was taken to a "Compound." Now I just need to find its location.
270 Find the Covenant CompoundWhile investigating Covenant, I found the location of a mysterious "Compound." It's possible they know something about Stockton's caravan there, although I've found no proof of it.
300 (Optional) Speak to Honest DanWhile investigating in Covenant, I found proof that the survivors of Stockton's caravan were taken to a nearby "Compound." I can let Honest Dan know or go to the Compound by myself.
306 (Optional) Take Jacob's bribeThe leader of Covenant, Jacob Orden, bribed me to stay away from the Compound and drop the search for Stockton's caravan.
307 I tried convincing Jacob Orden to give me the Stockton caravan survivors peacefully. He said he couldn't make that deal, but he'd send word ahead to the Compound so I can make my case to them.
310 Search for any caravan survivors
315 Compound goes hostileConflict with the armed guards at the Compound was inevitable. Now I have to fight my way through them to find any survivors of Stockton's caravan. Especially Amelia Stockton.
320 Follow Manny
350 Talk with Doctor ChambersAt the Compound, I convinced Manny to escort me to Doctor Chambers so I could discuss Stockton's caravan with her.
500 Talk with Honest DanHonest Dan and I found a survivor from the Stockton caravan massacre. I should talk with Dan for my cut of the reward.
600 Find Old Man StocktonI rescued Amelia Stockton from Doctor Chambers. Her father, Old Man Stockton, is at Bunker Hill. I should see him about getting a reward.
700Quest finishedIcon checkQuest complete - Turned in quest to Honest DanIt turns out, Covenant has been working on a Synth detection test. Poor Amelia Stockton was kidnapped and tortured because of it. After what Honest Dan and I did, I doubt I'll receive a warm welcome back at Covenant.
720Quest finishedIcon checkQuest complete - Turned in quest to Old Man Stockton
740Quest finishedIcon checkQuest complete - Sided with Doctor ChambersDoctor Chambers paid me to let Covenant continue to perfect their Synth detection test. Amelia Stockton was executed. Sacrifices had to be made.
770Quest failedIcon crossQuest failed

Companion reactionsEdit

  • Curie loves "against synth genocide" and she also likes it if asking her to "spare Amelia" or if "negotiating" with Manny. She will dislike if Chambers is killed after rejecting the offer.
  • MacCready likes when the Sole Survivor takes the bribe from Jacob Orden, choosing the "spare Amelia" dialogue option and likes siding with Chambers. He dislikes refusing the bribe, siding against Chambers and "looking for compromise."
  • Piper likes when "looking for a compromise" before leaving Covenant with Jacob and when negotiating with Manny, she will hate siding with the doctor. She likes when asking to spare the daughter and when killing the doctor. She loves telling the doctor no deal.
  • Nick likes "sparing Amelia" and loves the "against synth genocide" options and dislikes if working with Chambers. He also dislikes it when taking the SAFE test to enter Covenant.
  • Hancock likes choosing "look for compromise" with Jacob, likes "against synth genocide," likes "sparing Amelia," hates siding with Chambers and loves if Chambers is killed.
  • Deacon dislikes the "look for compromise" option and likes rejecting the bribe. He also loves "against synth genocide" and will hate siding with the doctor.
  • Danse loves the "Institute must die" option. He hates the "against synth genocide" as well as the "spare Amelia" option. He dislikes if rejecting her offer but also says "wrong move soldier" if accepting her offer, although this has no actual effect on the relationship with him.
  • Cait dislikes when "looking for compromise" with Jacob. She likes accepting the bribe from Jacob and even comments about getting some caps without a fight. She likes it when agreeing that the Institute and synths need to be wiped out, and dislikes it if one doesn't accept Chambers' offer. However, she does like it if Chambers is killed.
  • Strong agrees that the Institute needs to be wiped out. He dislikes asking about sparing Amelia, but on the contrary also dislikes her getting killed after siding with the doctor. However, he likes if refusing Chambers' offer.
  • X6-88 likes "against synth genocide," but dislikes "spare Amelia."
  • Codsworth likes "look for compromise" with Jacob, and likes "against synth genocide" as well as "spare Amelia" with Chambers.
  • Preston likes the "spare Amelia" option and loves siding with Dan. Preston dislikes asking for more caps while speaking with Dan after rescuing Amelia.

NotesEdit

  • After releasing Amelia from her cell, talking to Honest Dan and selecting "What if she's a synth?" will prompt him to pay the Sole Survivor. One can then walk out of the conversation and repeat the process and Honest Dan will pay the Sole Survivor again. This can be repeated multiple times to gain many thousands of caps. Responding with any of the other three dialogue choices also works.
  • If Amelia, after being released, steps on a mine laid by the player character (e.g. one originally intended to take out compound guards), it will detonate and kill her, triggering a sudden and violent deterioration in relations with Honest Dan.
  • Pickpocketing Amelia quickly after she escapes or looting her body if sided with the doctor shows she carries a Synth component revealing she was, in fact, a synth.
  • Talking to Old Man Stockton to finish the quest (if siding against Covenant and skipping the optional "talk to Honest Dan" part of the quest) reveals that Amelia is not, in fact, his daughter (or an Institute synth replacement of his daughter), but a synth that the Railroad had freed. He also muses that she may now suspect she is a synth, because of what has happened to her.
  • Killing both Dr. Chambers and Amelia and having left Dan behind will fail the quest and Covenant will remain hostile.
  • There is a railsign above the entrance pipe to the compound indicating 'danger,' implying the Railroad is aware of the compound.
  • If entering Covenant late in the game, and have destroyed the Railroad/sided with The Institute, the residents of Covenant will be immediately hostile - but not until after taking and passing the S.A.F.E. test and walking through the gate. As a side note, if having Curie as a companion in such a situation, she will also become hostile.
  • It is possible to start the quest by just speaking with Dr. Chambers in the compound straight away, shortening the quest greatly, leaving basically only the final choice and the reward pick up to completion.
  • The player character will not be able to interact with the cooler containing Deezer's lemonade near the missing caravan until the quest becomes active.
  • If The Nuclear Option is completed, this quest will fail.
  • When receiving Covenant as a settlement after siding against the compound, some beds and items will still remain "owned." The owned flag on beds can be dropped if a settler is assigned to it. Junk items could also be stored or scrapped. Trading a stolen item with a settler then retrieving it will also remove the owned flag on item. PC users can also use the command setownership to manually remove the flags.
  • If the player character sides against the compound and receives Covenant as a settlement, any turrets surviving the fight will turn friendly but cannot be scrapped or moved. Destroyed turrets will not disappear after a set period of time and can only be removed via the console commands disable or markfordelete.

Behind the scenesEdit

  • The SAFE test is actually the G.O.A.T. from Fallout 3, with all references to vaults (and the 10th question) removed.
  • The development of the SAFE test to detect and remove synths (machines physically indistinguishable from humans) from the populace and many parts of this mission and dialogues, are a direct reference to the movie Blade Runner (based on the Phillip. K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?"). The SAFE test is a direct reference to the Voight-Kampff test, which tests the subject's responses to situational questions by measuring preconscious empathetic reflexes and childhood memories that are usually absent from synthetic people.

BugsEdit

  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone ps4Icon ps4 Honest Dan may disappear after completing the main quest line, making this quest impossible to start.[verified] For potential workarounds using console commands, see this Steam User Forums thread.
  • pcIcon pc After talking to Dr. Chambers and agreeing with her, one can quickly run up to Amelia and tell her everything will be okay. By doing this one can complete both the main quest and also the Optional quest to free her.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone ps4Icon ps4 After fighting one's way into the compound and reaching Dr. Chambers, a dialog takes place. If the Sole Survivor sides with Honest Dan and Amelia, Dr. Chambers will say "you'll just have to kill me". But she won't become hostile. [verified]
    • This bug can be exploited to gain an addition like from Strong, making three possible consecutive likes for him. Simply kill Dr. Chambers, as Strong approves of killing non-hostiles.
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone At the caravan, for the optional objective, Deezer's Lemonade might not spawn or be interacted with. If this happens, it cannot be acquired.[verified]
    • pcIcon pc A possible fix is by using the console command setstage 22a08 205.
    • Another workaround is to pick up "Deezer's Lemonade" by commanding a companion to check the cooler, trade with the companion and one will find the lemonade in the Aid category.[verified].
    • It's also possible for Deezer's Lemonade and the cooler to spawn but leaving the player unable to pick up the item or open the cooler. In this case both the console command or companion solution will work.
    • If all else fails, reset the quest. Use sqt to get the ID of the Human Error quest and then resetquest <quest_id> to reset it.
    • On Xbox One it is possible that neither the can nor the cooler will have mass, despite being spawned and being able to grab the can and lift it, and the companion command will not work. However, there is a possible fix on the console- since it is possible to pick up the lemonade, one can carry it to nearby Taffington Boathouse, drop it, go into crafting mode, and store the item in the workbench. You can then remove the item from the workbench, and the quest step will trigger as it should.
  • pcIcon pc ps4Icon ps4 A patch of asphalt near the caravan is active, and can be examined for a message about a trail of dried blood. This doesn't seem to be correctly implemented, as there is no visible blood or trail to another clue. Interestingly, there is a splash of a green fluid nearby, like bloodsplatter from something whose blood glows in the dark. This is either a coincidence or intended to be a clue about the synth. However, since synths are medically indistinguishable from humans their blood would not splatter green. In the game files under \setdressing\glowingblood\Glowingoneblood01.nif is the base for the glowing blood activator. [verified]
  • pcIcon pc Dr. Chambers' dialogue won't start if Honest Dan is already dead [verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone ps4Icon ps4 The gate leading into the covenant might already be open even if it's the first time visiting the place, and all the characters act like having already been there and Honest Dan is nowhere to be found, making the quest impossible to complete or even start. This may be caused by completing the main storyline before obtaining the quest. [verified]
    • pcIcon pc One fix is to kill all residents, thus gaining access to the workbench, then resurrecting residents in order to gain settlement if quest can't be started.
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone After finishing the quest Swanson can't be killed unless he is within the borders of the settlement. Since he will rush out to attack the Sole Survivor, it may be necessary to kite him back to the gates.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone Wearing a power armor helmet with the Targeting mod or using berry mentats makes Dan hostile when inside the sewer, and the rest of the NPCs inside the compound. Need to unequip the helmet before going in. Also, make sure that if the Sole Survivor has a companion equipped with power armor with the Targeting mod that the Sole Survivor has them exit their power armor also.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone ps4Icon ps4 After freeing Amelia, the doctor won't turn hostile and will hang around saying "I will not beg for my life," and "All I did was for the greater good!"[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone ps4Icon ps4 Penny Fitzgerald may not talk to the player, only saying "enjoy your stay" when interacted with. Sleeping seems to fix the issue. It's possible there are other simple fixes.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc If clearing out the compound before finding any clues leading to it or it's existence, and freeing Amelia, Honest Dan wont spawn at the Covenant, and the quest will stay bugged and impossible to complete. The Sole Survivor may get stuck at "Look for caravan survivors" even after freeing Amelia.[verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone Wearing power armor with a Tesla torso mod inside of or around the entrance to Covenant will make nearby inhabitants turn hostile. This occurs before or after finishing the quest "Human Error". Solution is to exit the power armor before entering.[verified]
  • xboxoneIcon xboxone pcIcon pc ps4Icon ps4 At the and of the quest, when talking to Honest Dan. If the conversation is interrupted just after getting the reward by walking away, the player can talk to him and claim the reward again, this can be repeated indefinitely.[verified]
    • The Charisma checks for more money are not reset with this method.
  • pcIcon pc After completing the main story the quest will not be initiated. It can be solved through the console with resetquest 00022a08, then talking to the mayor of the town, and using again the console with setstage 00022a08 200, setstage 00022a08 740 and talking again to the mayor. This will complete the quest having sided with Covenant and allow to unlock them as a settlement. [verified]
  • pcIcon pc xboxoneIcon xboxone Entering the house to the immediate left of the gate through the unlocked door by the northwest corner of the town and stealing the key and password on the end table will cause everyone in town to become hostile when leaving the house, even if remaining undetected. [verified]
  • ps4Icon ps4 When first coming to the Covenant, Swanson might not ask the required questions to gain access to the town. Instead, the gate will already be open and Dan will not be available, making the quest unavailable. [verified]
  • pcIcon pc When you take Jacob's password, it is possible that everyone in Covenant will become immediately hostile regardless of whether or not you are hidden when you steal it.[verified]
  • ps4Icon ps4 When stealing Jacob's password, Covenant house key, Safe report, or Covenant office key it is possible the entire town will turn hostile regardless of whether or not you are hidden when you steal them. Sleeping does not seem to help. If this is the case a map to the compound can be pick pocketed off of Ted Huntlet. [verified]