When you first meet Preston Garvey, you will learn that he is the only remaining member of the Minutemen. However, they were once a force for good in the commonwealth. They used to have a large membership, and they helped protect the various settlements from the horrors of the wasteland. The Minutemen are sort of legends from the past. They used to keep the people of the Commonwealth safe, but no one has been able to count on them for years.
Two major incidents contributed to their downfall. One of which is called “The Quincy Massacre”. It involved an assault on the Minutemen by the Gunners that killed many of their membership. The other involves the loss of their main base, “The Castle”. The Castle was once a fortified base used by The Minutemen, but it was taken by a Mirelurk Queen.
The Minutemen are modeled after the historical Minutemen of the American Revolutionary War. They wear colonial style clothing, and their home city Concord is full of American Memorabilia. A walk through The Museum of Freedom will show various Revolutionary War memorabilia such as mannequin soldiers and antiques. The Minutemen of history fought for the freedom of the colonies, and the Commonwealth Minutemen fight for the freedom of the settlements.
Perks of Joining the Minutemen
All factions offer perks, but the perks of joining the Minutemen are available to you almost from the start of the game. You will be given power armor and a minigun before joining them. Once you are made General of the Minutemen, Preston will be available to you as a companion and he will give you a flare gun. The flare gun can be used to call in reinforcements in times of need. You will have to be in the general vicinity of recruited settlements for this to work though. Preston is useful in combat, and if you are completing Minutemen quests, you will be able to report to him immediately, which can cut out a lot of travel time. An indirect perk of joining the Minutemen early on is that their quests can help guide your early exploration and leveling.
How to Find and Join the Minutemen?
When Freedom Calls
Shortly after leaving the vault, you can walk back to Sanctuary and find your old home. You will be delightfully greeted by Codsworth who has been tending to the house for the past 200 years or so. After some conversation he will tell you about a town called Concord that he thinks you should visit, and it will be marked on your map. If you do not talk to Codsworth immediately after exiting the vault, you will probably come across Concord anyway, as the path leading from the vault leads straight to it. As a side note, look out for the Red Rocket Gas Station along the way if you wish to take the dog as your companion.
Once you make your way to Concord, you will find raiders inside the town attacking a building. Once you will clear the raiders from the streets and approach the building you will meet Preston Garvey. He will ask you to come inside and clear out the raiders inside that are attacking them. After doing so, you will find Preston Garvey, along with several others, holed up in a room on the second floor. He will introduce himself and the Minutemen to you and ask that you finish making the streets safe for his people. There is also a bobblehead located on a desk in this room. There will be more raiders along with a deathclaw in the street. You can travel to the roof of the museum to retrieve some power armor before taking them on. After this, simply walk with them to Sanctuary.
- If you talk to Sturgis upon arrival at the sanctuary, he will ask if you will build beds for those living there. If you accept, you will start the quest “Sanctuary”. The quest is intended to act as a basic tutorial for the settlement system. You will be given a series of items that need to be built for the settlement.
- The first task will be building 5 beds. This will require wood and cloth. You can probably scavenge the necessary materials from the Sanctuary itself. Once you enter into building mode, you can scrap fallen trees and other items in the Sanctuary. You will next need to build a water pump which can be found under the resources section. Next up will be providing food for the settlers. You will need 5 fruit or vegetable items in your inventory. You should have little trouble finding Tato plants in the surrounding area. There are also a few melons growing behind one of the houses in Sanctuary. Once you have planted the crops, you will have to assign one of the settlers to them in order to actually produce the food.
- The last task will be to build some defenses for Sanctuary. You may have to do a bit more scavenging for this one, as you will need oil for turrets. One turret was enough to satisfy the requirements. Once you have finished these you can talk to Sturgis, and you will be finished with this quest. You will notice that your actions have caused the happiness meter to rise. You can continue making improvements to Sanctuary and build up your settlement.
Main Story Quests
- This quest will only be available after you have completed a few of the minor quests involving defending small settlements from raiders. Preston will tell you the story of how the Minutemen used to occupy a fortified base called “The Castle” until a giant creature took it from them. Now that the Minutemen are rebuilding their ranks, he thinks it is time to retake the Castle. Once you are ready, you can order Preston to assemble the troops outside the fort.
- The Castle is located east of Diamond City, so it will be a bit of a trek. The “beast” turns out to be the Mirelurk Queen, and she is quite tough. Make sure you are well equipped before you face her. When you arrive, you will find the Minutemen waiting just outside. You can choose to barge in, attack from both sides, or draw them out of the fort. You will first face a barrage of mirelurks. After this initial wave, you will have to walk around the Bunker clearing out the nests of eggs.
- There is a flamer and flamer fuel in the surrounding wall which you may want to grab before fighting the Mirelurk queen. Once you have cleared most of the nests, the Mirelurk Queen will emerge from the water in front of The Castle. If you find yourself struggling with her, I found that attacking her from places along the wall that she can’t fit through is quite useful. Once you have defeated her, you will have to make the radio transmitter operational again. All you need to do is build enough power generators to produce 10 power units and link the generators to the transmitter. Walk up to the radio transmitter to activate it, and you will have completed Taking Independence.
- To accept this quest, you must wait three in game days after completing “Taking Independence”. Speak to Preston, and he will tell you that there is a situation of some kind at the Castle. When you show up, you will meet a woman named Ronnie Shaw who will then tell you, with plenty of attitude, about the armory hidden inside. She will walk to a barricaded door in the courtyard that cannot be opened. She will send you to another entrance where you will find an archway that is blocked by rubble. All you need to do is enter workshop mode and scrap the obstruction.
- As you walk through the tunnels, be careful not to trigger the frag mines. You will find a power core along the way as well. There is a sentry bot called Sarge guarding the armory. I recommend using cover and waiting for him to either stop shooting or shoot at Shaw before attacking. You will find the armory after this. Shaw will unlock the door through a terminal, and you will be able to enter. There will be ammo and an assortment of weapons of which you can take your pick. Make sure you find the smoke grenades, as you will need them later on.
- The last part of the quest involves building a cannon and test firing it. After you are done in the armory, you will need to enter building mode and find the artillery in the special category. After placing it, Ronnie will ask you to test the artillery on a nearby building. You will need to walk to the building, throw the smoke grenade inside, and step back. Make sure you are tuned in to Radio Freedom, as they would like to confirm the strike over the airwaves. From now on, you will be able to use the smoke grenades to call in artillery whenever you choose.
- You will have to complete “The Molecular Level” quest in the main story before you can start this quest. In that quest you should have worked with Sturgis to build a teleporter. You and Sturgis will work together to teleport you inside The Institute and insert a Network Scanner Holotape into one of the Institute’s terminals. You can insert it into any of the terminals. All you need to do to finish the quest is leave The Institute and return to Sanctuary. You can stay longer to interact with The Institute if you want.
- This quest requires you to build the ranks of the Minutemen. It will only happen once you have made enemies of the Institute. You need to recruit 8 settlements for the minutemen. If you have been completing the periodic quests recruiting settlements to the Minutemen, then you should already have some of them. If you don’t yet have 8 settlements recruited, then you can complete these quests until you do. If you already have recruited 8 settlements, then you won’t need to worry about this quest.
Defend the Castle
- Once you have recruited at least 8 settlements, the Institute will decide that the Minutemen are a threat to their organization. You and the Minutemen will have to gather at the Castle and set up defenses. You are going to need to build up the defenses as much as possible before the Institute forces arrive.
- The Institute will assault the castle by sending waves and waves of synths and coursers. You’re going to need a ton of firepower for this, so come prepared. They will come at the Castle from all sides. Once you have defeated the last of them, the quest will be finished.
The Nuclear Option
- This mission marks the end of the Minutemen storyline. Preston decides that the Institute needs to be destroyed following their attack on the Castle. You will be tasked with sneaking into the Institute. Sturgis will tell you that he has opened a sewer grate that leads into the institute. The sewers will contain turrets and synths as you journey throughout. You will have to make your way to a terminal and use it to give the targeting details to Sturgis.
- He will teleport the Minutemen inside with you, and you will then fight your way to the advanced systems room. The room will be locked however, and you will have to travel to Father’s area and use his terminal to unlock it. Once you return to the advanced systems room, you will have to fight your way to the reactor. You will enter the reactor chamber and activate it, and Sturgis will teleport you to the relay room. After speaking with Sturgis and the synth version of Shaun, he will teleport you to the detonation site. From there, all you need to do is press the button and watch the fireworks.
- While playing through the Minutemen storyline, you will receive a myriad of quests related to defending other settlements. They all will function mostly the same. Preston will inform you that another settlement needs your help. You will travel to that settlement and speak to the settlers there. They will tell you their troubles, usually a group of raiders or ghouls that have been harassing them, and you will complete a relatively minor mission dealing with them. The ones that I felt were worth noting are listed below with a few tips.
- There are also repeating quests that you will receive. Occasionally a settlement will randomly be attacked, and you have the option to go and defend them. These are not proper quests but are still important to maintaining the various settlements.
The First Step
- The Corvega Assembly Plant is packed full of raiders, so come prepared. You can enter through a secret drainage pipe located near the street.
Returning the Favor
- There will be a couple raiders inside the Air Force base with miniguns, so be sure to take them out first.
Taking Point: Sunshine Tidings Co-op
- The area contains only a few ghouls. The area should contain what you need to build the transmitter.
Raider Troubles at Nordhagen Beach
- The raiders are located on a racetrack where synths and robots race. They will become hostile once you attack the base. I recommend taking them out first. After that the raiders should not be too much trouble.
Ghoul Problem at Somerville Place
- The school is heavily populated with ghouls. It also contains a glowing one. I found that running from him and stopping to fire a few shots here and there was effective.
Taking Point: Starlight Drive-In
- The area is populated by molerats and mines, so be careful. The pool of water in the center will give off radiation when nearby.
- This one is unique, as it is a settlement of mutants asking for help. Not only that, but they want you to kill their less civilized mutant counterparts. This one is worth doing for the intrigue alone.