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I just told Macready to equip some power armor, and now he appears to use his ammo supply differently than when out of the armor. Specifically, when out of the armor, I can equip him with a weapon and give him one unit of ammo for that weapon, and he'll have an infinite supply of ammo for that weapon. When in the power armor, however, he'll take one shot with the weapon and immediately switch back to his default sniper rifle. This occurs no matter what type of weapon I equip for him. Is this a glitch, or is there something I'm missing?

EDIT

I've confirmed that when he's in the power armor and I give Macready more ammo with the weapon, he keeps the weapon equipped until he uses all of the ammo. Again, glitch or by design? I should add that I'm level 89, if that matters.

EDIT 2

Ok, so I don't know what I was thinking. I verified that I was wrong about Macready having infinite ammo when out of the power armor. When traveling as my companion, his ammo is used up for any weapon I equip for him. In any case, the answer provided gave a link which describes how companions differ from settlers, which was appreciated.

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    Is he functioning as a companion or as a settler? – Nelson Jan 18 '18 at 9:07
  • He's a companion. – Alan Jan 19 '18 at 3:24
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What you describe is not normal.

Source

A companion should be consuming ammo when these conditions are met:

  1. The companion has a weapon equipped in their inventory (a weapon that can be seen equipped in their inventory when trading with them).
  2. The companion has at least 1 (one) ammo that can be seen when trading with them used by the type of weapon equipped.
  3. The companion is the current active follower companion.

The ammo consumption is expected when you give your companion a weapon. Are you using any mods that is changing this?

  • Actually, the source you provided indicates that this behavior IS normal. That a companion will consume ammo until used up and then switch to their default weapon, whereas settlers will have an infinite supply when given only one unit of ammo. How I did not notice that difference until now, boggles my mind...I don't recall ever having to supply my companions with ammo before when equipping them with a weapon. Anyway, if you change the first line of this answer to "is normal" I will accept this as the answer. Thanks for the link! – Alan Jan 19 '18 at 4:22
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    @Alan In OP's post: "when out of the armor, I can equip him with a weapon and give him one unit of ammo for that weapon, and he'll have an infinite supply of ammo for that weapon". This isn't normal for a companion. That's why I asked him if Macready is a companion or a settler. – Nelson Jan 19 '18 at 5:53
  • Right. I've been focused on Macready being in the power armor, thinking THAT was the exception, when my first premise about him having infinite ammo when out of the armor was the exception. I'm going to have to verify that part, maybe I'm wrong there. In any case, you set me on the right track to understand what's supposed to happen, so thanks again. – Alan Jan 19 '18 at 7:41
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    Well today I learned that I don't need to give settlers more than one ammo, that simplifies things! – Robotnik Jan 21 '18 at 7:25
  • @Robotnik The best part is the infinite grenades. Handing everyone a single Frag/Plasma/Cryo/Nuka grenade makes them really strong already. Add to that a rapid fire plasma/assault rifle/minigun makes for an amazing defense. Provisioners are like this too. I deck them out with Armored clothing Mk5, all the best armor, and they can hold their own pretty well across the supply lines. – Nelson Jan 21 '18 at 15:10

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