It seems the 'tick' marks that appeared on the HUD compass have changed from Fallout 3/NV to Fallout 4. Friendly NPCs no longer show up as green ticks, and it seems enemies only show up as red squares if you are in the Caution or Danger status while sneaking (as in, you've already been discovered).

I have a couple questions on this...

  1. Are the old style compass tick marks truly out of the game? There's not a display/HUD setting I'm missing, correct?
  2. Is there a better way to "find" people (and determine if they are friend or foe from a distance) other than using V.A.T.S.? In the previous games, when entering new towns, settlements, places of interest, etc., I'd typically look down at the compass to try to see which direction any NPCs were. Now, I find myself immediately hitting the button for V.A.T.S. to see who is in the vicinity.
  • 2
    I hope any answer addresses an easy way to figure out where your companion ran off to without a green tick for them.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 2:04
  • Not an answer but a recon scope can tag enemies which makes them marked even when hidden from view. There is also an upgrade to the power armor helmet that does the same thing. But you still have to get them under your cross hair first. Man I miss ed-e
    – l I
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 3:56
  • 1
    @z' Yeah, after I asked this question I saw another question come up a bit later about recon scopes. It's definitely nice that you can mark enemies so you can get a feel for their walk patterns and such. But, I don't think that will slow down my instinct to just resort to V.A.T.S. to try to find enemies initially. I never realized how much I used the compass to find NPCs until now...
    – king14nyr
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 18:02
  • This seems like a big oversight. I always pump up my perception on character creation for the reason of marking enemies on the compass. After doing the same thing this time around, and then discovering that enemies don't get marked on the compass from your perception, I feel like I should've put those points somewhere else. Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 16:28

2 Answers 2


1)For the most part yes the old tick marks are gone which is very annoying I liked the old tick marks so much for both finding enemies and for finding where a friendly npc wondered off to.

2)Not really you can use the recon scope or power armor helmet upgrade to tag them so you can see where they are going and stuff but that requires having them in your sights to tag them. As for now VATS appears to be the best way to see who is near by which is a shame.


I always assumed that the red/green flags was a tool to make up for all the subtle cues that are impractical to put into the game, but you would have in a realistic environment that would notify you of the presence and location of other living things. Now the only methods to locate beings is direct visual or a PFM sneak check that tells you how much you are being noticed. Bethesda had to make a hard call on what is more immersion breaking, to lump all the subtle cues into a compass flag or to leave the player to only their eyes to find people around them. I think they chose dead wrong, they might as well officially declare the protagonist as hearing impaired. I hope someone makes a mod that puts the compass flags back in.

  • I don't disagree with this at all, but I'm not sure it's an answer. Sort of assumes the answer to (1), which is no, and then I guess ignores (2)?
    – DCShannon
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 23:19

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