If I give a gun that uses the same ammo type as the default gun carried by companions/settlers, will they still run out of ammo?

For instance, all settlers carry a standard pipe pistol using the .38 bullet. If I give them an upgraded pipe auto pistol or pipe rifle will they now need bullets?

  • 1
    I'm curious if you've noticed them run out of ammo with other guns. I haven't tested that yet myself.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 4:27
  • @DCShannon I'll have to keep a closer eye on them to see. Typically my perimeter turrets kill stuff way before my settlers see them
    – l I
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 4:32
  • That covers settlers, what about companions?
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 4:41
  • @DCShannon I found a thread on reddit that suggested modding the companion weapons and giving it back to them and they can use it with their infinite ammo. I'm going to try that tomorrow.
    – l I
    Commented Nov 13, 2015 at 6:14
  • @DCShannon so you are saying that you believe that settlers do not use ammo? Or the .38 ammo type at least (due to beginning with a pipe pistol)? This seems at odds with the answer provided by Corey for companions, but they could be a special case?
    – nickson104
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 13:52

4 Answers 4


Piper uses a standard 10mm pistol. I crafted a much stronger one to give to her hoping she would use it instead of her normal 10mm. unfortunately when i equiped it to her she pulled it out, then when we got into combat went back to her default 10mm :(

  • thanks for testing, looks like giving alternate guns stlil requires ammo
    – l I
    Commented Nov 15, 2015 at 3:08
  • If it's like NV, the 10MM ammo Piper uses for her default gun is actually different from normal 10MM ammo. Same as how there's special "companion arrows" in Skyrim. The thing I do is basically have her use the ammo that I used to use in my old guns, ie, I changed my sniper to .50 cal ammo, so I have a lot of spare 308, so I try and find something worthwhile that's a .308, etc.
    – Tarkenfire
    Commented Nov 16, 2015 at 7:16
  • 2
    I've tried this with other companions, and they will use the new weapon, but only if you give them ammo, which they then consume until it is gone, at which point they switch back to their default gun with its magic ammo.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 1:03
  • 1
    @DCShannon Is it a magic gun too? My companions only have the guns I give them. And I've generally kept them full of ammo. So I don't know exactly what will happen when they run out yet.
    – Iszi
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 19:53
  • 1
    @Iszi You can't see the gun in their inventory, so yeah it's a magic gun too.
    – DCShannon
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 20:07

Yep, unfortunately you do need to give the companions ammo. Sometimes I've noticed when looting a body or a "dungeon" rewards chest (like they always had in Skyrim, except these are commonly the Army green steamer trunks) Cait will ask me for small rounds/ammo if she ran out on her AsSault Rifle. Surely enough she burns through ammo quite quickly. I'd suggest running her with melee (since she WAS a pit fighter and a damn good one at that) with decent armor with boosting stats like Strengthened or something. Best of luck!


For settlers things work slightly differently than with companions. As noted in previous answers, companions do use ammo for their equipped weapon, other than their default.

Settlers still require ammo to use a gun but it doesn't seem to get consumed when they fire. This means they only need to carry 1 ammo... equip someone with a minigun and 1 ammo, they can blast away all day!

There do seems to be some exceptions for this though. Mini nukes for the fatman do actually get consumed and I'd guess (although haven't tested) that this is also true for missiles.


Guns do require ammo for your follower to use if it is not the default weapon they come with. My follower picked up a gamma pistol and a few rounds along our travels, and ran out of ammo shortly after. They switched back to their default weapon and can't use the gamma pistol until I give them more rounds.

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