The first DLC for Fallout 4 is here, and with it you can build and control you very own robot pal! In fact you can build loads of robots, but with all the different options and combinations it's a pretty complicated system. We've got the lowdown on all the different mod slots for your robots, as well as how to trigger the DLC in the first place.
You can't start building a load of robots straight away; first you have to initiate and complete the first quest in the DLC story. Sadly if you bought the DLC season pass Automatron won't have automatically downloaded, so you have to do that manually. If it's installed properly it'll be listed as an add-on in the game's home screen menu. If it's not showing up then try restarting the game and/or whatever you're playing on.
Once you load up your game you should have a new Caravan Distress Call to listen to on your radio. Following that to Wattz Consumer Electronics will lead to a fight with some hostile robots, and a friendly one called Ada (do not shoot Ada). Killing the attacking robots and agreeing to help Ada will net you the schematics for the robot workbench, which will now live in the special section of your settlement workshop menu. Voila, you may now build yourself a robot workbench, provided you have the necessary materials, notably aluminium.
You can pick up bits from robots you destroy and slap them on your own ones at the workstation, but there's probably going to be a point when you need to start crafting your own. In order to do that you need at least one point in the Science perk and one in the Robotics to build the basic limbs and so on, but that's a bare minimum and will still lock off some of the higher end stuff. For adding armour you need to put some points into the Armorer perk, and outfitting your robot with guns rather than melee weapons requires Gun Nut.
In terms of the materials you need the most, it's a similar shopping list to the one you need for electronics. Aluminium and steel are needed for the base (especially for armour) and a lot of ceramic, circuitry and adhesive. You should also invest in oil and rubber. Luckily the Rust Devil hideout and the Mechanist's lair a lot of the stuff you need to get going.
There are seven different slots that you can swap components into for your robots, with the base parts coming from five different standard robot types (Mr. Handy, Protectron, Assaultron, Sentry Bot and Robobrain). A couple of them are just stylistic changes, but they mostly actually have a point to them. You can discover new options for customising your robots by taking out any you meet and then looting bits of them for the subsequent wreckage.
This is, surprisingly, an optional feature on a robot. Any you build will still function without a head, it just won't function that well. There are a variety of different heads available, but if you want a robot with the assaultron's laser attack then you have to specifically attach the assaultron laser head.
The type of head you have also changes the engagement distance on your robot i.e. how close an enemy has to be before the robot notices it and goes in for the kill as well as their general accuracy with attacks (the robobrain head has the best of both of these, but also presents an ethical quandary around where you're sourcing the brains from).
You can also add armour to the head, which, depending on the type, can add chances to explode or paralyse the enemy and provide other buffs, as well as improving different defense scores. Worth noting is that for a Mr Handy head you can add or remove the three extra eyes, and strap spiked or serrated armour onto them too.
Aside from the base build for the torso, which will change some of your robot's stats, you also get to choose front and back torso mod slots, which you slap different types of armour into. Along with legs, the torso mods can most dramatically change the carry capacity of your robot, but if you're going for heavy armour that'll also reduce the speed. Some types of armour you can put on are serrated, barbed, or otherwise enhanced to buff your robot's attacks, by adding stuff like bleeding or energy damage, radiation, or increased chance to stagger.
The torso also has a slot for a 'Misc Torso Mod', which is actually pretty useful. You can give your robots the ability to hack or pick locks, buff them for different types of damage, and – the most useful – generate fields that apply to allies within range, including health regeneration and stealth fields. Neato.
Like the head, putting any arms at all on your robot is not actually necessary for it to be functional, but it won't be able to interact with its environment or damage anything.
Both arms have two main slots (one each for the arm type and hand attachment) and then a mod to strap armour over each of those. The armour types are functionally similar to the ones you can apply to the other parts of your robot, but the most interesting part of the arm builds are the hands slots. These are open to a huge variety of different weapons, including ranged weapons that shoot arcs of electricity, miniguns, and flamers, as well as creatively horrible melee weapons like chainsaws, giant drills, the flaming blade of a shishkebab, and something called a hammer saw. These, in different combinations, will affect your robot's damage scores.
The jet from a Mr Handy, when placed in the legs slot, can have three arms attached to it that can be weaponised and armoured. These, however, appear to dependent on keeping the Mr Handy thruster, so you can't have a robot with a sentry bot's legs and two sentry bot arms and three extra arms on top as a kind of wheeled helicopter of death.
This can make a significant difference to your robot's speed and carry capacity. Switching from some protectron legs to Mr. Handy jet propulsion will make your robot a lot faster and more agile, but if you were planning on loading it up with all your surplus junk then their max carry capacity is now much more limited. Legs can also be armoured to increase damage resistance and/or buff damage in different ways.
This doesn't change a thing about your robot's stats, but there are a surprising number of options. You can use the factory settings voices from the standard robots you meet, or some cheerful beeps and clicks like that R2–D2 fella, as well as a couple of different male and female ones – although why anyone would want 'Possessed Male Voice' is a question for another day.
This is another optional feature, but it's the most fun. Yes, you can give your robot a custom paint job, because if some raiders see you with a robot that's just metal they won't be impressed, but if you roll up with one painted bright blue they'll be all "Oh my god, Gary, put down your chunks of irradiated mole rat and check out this dude's cool robot pal!" and then instead of fighting one another you'll all laugh and high five and become best friends (this isn't actually a feature of the DLC but it should be).