I was wandering around Megaton, when I decided to put Dogmeat's fetching skills to good use. I asked him to go fetch me some ammo (while still in Megaton) and he immediately wandered of into a guardrail. I shook my head at Fallout 3's amazing [cough] AI mechanics, but did nothing else otherwise.

In the meantime, I entered Craterside Supply (Autosave 1), left again (Autosave 2), and then fast travelled to a different location (Autosave 3), and finally entered a new building (Autosave 4 - automatically deleting my first Autosave).

At this point, I started to wonder where Dogmeat was, as he had not returned. I decided to wait a full 24 hrs (another Autosave), but still he didn't return. I fast-travelled to Vault 101, where he usually waits when you dismiss him, or if he dies and you have the "Puppies" perk (Get a new Dogmeat). I went back to Megaton, waited a bit longer, but still nothing.

Needless to say, the save where I sent him off has long since been deleted. So my only hope of finding Dogmeat is, well, finding him.

So where has he gone?

EDIT: Dogmeat has reappeared, after a few more hours of playing (I had just written him off as glitched out at this point) outside of Craterside Supply. I think that roughs up to about 1 in-game week, with all the fast travelling and waiting involved.

As mentioned previously, I had sent him off to look for ammo, and when he reappeared, I entered into the dialogue with Dogmeat, as if he had returned. This seems like the normal reaction, but a) he didn't return with anything, and b) the length of time he was gone seems excessive.

So to re-iterate the question; is this normal? Did he glitch out, and if not where did he go for so long?

  • 1
    Open your world map. Is dogmeat shown on there?
    – imulsion
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:41
  • I did not know that was an option in Fallout 3
    – Ben
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:44
  • @imulsion so far the only links I have been able to find about Dogmeat on the map is the original location where you first meet him (the Scrapyard)
    – Ben
    Feb 9, 2016 at 23:59
  • I meant opening the world map in your pip-boy. In NV your companions appear as blips on the map if they aren't with you. I can't remember if it's the same in F3 but it's worth a shot
    – imulsion
    Feb 10, 2016 at 0:09
  • 1
    @imulsion yeah I understood that. Unfortunately I don't think that's available in the base game :(
    – Ben
    Feb 10, 2016 at 0:31

2 Answers 2


The pathfinding for NPCs in F3 (and in Bethseda's Skyrim) is sometimes a little dodgy... and to be fair, the terrains in these games can be very complicated, especially around elevation changes.

As a result, the programmers have some "cheats" to get friendly NPCs to logical places (you wouldn't want Dogmeat to reappear in the middle of a hostile bandit camp, for example). You may notice, for example, that in Skyrim you can use dragon powers to sprint/dash FAR ahead of a companion and then turn around to see them impossibly running into frame right behind you.

One of the larger-scale cheats is what you noticed -- Dogmeat disappearing for a looong time and only reappearing when you return to a familiar and safe place.

  • 1
    That does sound fairly reasonable. However, in this instance (as I mentioned in my question) I did wait a full week in-game, standing in Megaton. Is this still relevant?
    – Ben
    Jan 29, 2017 at 1:51
  • It is still relevant, although a week is definitely a long absence. It's hard for me to say definitively since I didn't work on that game, but I'm guessing that after the code failed to find a safe return for him for some time, it triggered the "companion wandered off to a safe place" code. Usually this means you find them back at your apartment, but it may have chosen Craterside because it was closer. Dec 1, 2017 at 20:35

he may have gone back to vault 101, that's happened to me without warning before. most of the time it shows a message saying he's returned to the vault, but not always. he could've gotten stuck in something also while he was looking.

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