Followers (Skyrim)

Lydia, a housecarl and one of the known followers in Skyrim.

Followers are various characters found throughout Skyrim. They can travel with, battle for, perform tasks for, and carry items for the Dragonborn.

A subclass of followers is non-humanoid followers, such as dogs, armored trollsDG, rieklingsDR, steadfast Dwarven spiderDR, and steadfast Dwarven sphere.DR These followers can neither carry nor equip items, except in the case of rieklings. The interaction with these followers is limited to the wait/follow commands and dismissal, the only exception again being rieklings.

It is only possible to have one humanoid follower at a time, unless additional followers are gained via a quest or conjuration (see Multiple Followers) In most cases, there is no penalty for dismissing a follower and then recruiting the companion later.

Followers specialize in a variety of skills ranging from combat, magic, Sneak, Smithing, Speech, Alchemy, and Enchanting. However, skills outside of combat, magic, and Sneak cannot be directly benefited from.

Certain followers can also serve as Skill Trainers. Many followers can marry the Dragonborn, and most can join the Blades after being relocated to Sky Haven Temple. With the addition of Hearthfire, some may also serve as a steward for homesteads.

Contents

  • 1 Leveling
  • 2 Combat
  • 3 Death
  • 4 Commands
  • 5 Morality
  • 6 Equipment and inventory
  • 7 Multiple followers
  • 8 Followers
  • 8.1 Housecarls
  • 8.2 Faction followers
  • 8.3 Mercenaries
  • 8.4 Quest reward followers
  • 8.5 Miscellaneous followers
  • 8.6 Non-humanoid
  • 8.7 Quest followers
  • 9 Trainer followers
  • 10 Trivia
  • 11 Bugs
  • 12 External links
  • 13 Appearances
  • Leveling

    Followers will match the current Character Level of the Dragonborn up to a certain level cap which varies from follower to follower. The vast majority of followers cap at level 30. Roggi Knot-Beard and Sven notably cap at level 20.

    Torvar, Ria, Athis, and Njada Stonearm of The Companions, Adelaisa Vendicci, and Beleval and Agmaer from the Dawnguard add-on cap at level 25. Mjoll the Lioness, Illia, and all mercenary hirelings (including Erik the Slayer) cap at level 40.

    Erandur, Cicero, the members of The Circle (Aela, Farkas, and Vilkas), and all Housecarls cap at level 50. In Dawnguard, Serana caps at level 50 as well. As a result of patch 1.9, followers who would level with the Dragonborn to level 81 will no longer experience a level cap, and will continue to level with the Dragonborn. They include J'zargo, the Dark Brotherhood Initiates, and in the Dawnguard and Dragonborn add-ons, Celann, Ingjard, Durak, and Frea have no level cap.

    If patch 1.6 or later is not installed, followers, along with all other levelable characters, are locked at the level at which they first encountered the Dragonborn, and will not continue to level up. The only way to fix this leveling error is to use console commands on the PC (disable then enable the character while they are not active followers) or use the Wabbajack to turn them into an animal, then wait for them to change back. This resets their stats to the Dragonborn's current level. This does not appear to reset their inventory or quest scripting. Essential characters cannot be transformed, and one can therefore not reset their stats without using console commands.

    There are a couple very specific occasions in which certain followers will level up due to scripted events in quests. For example, Farkas will level up to the Dragonborn's current level in the quest "Proving Honor" after his scripted transformation. Likewise, Aela will level up after her transformation in the quest "The Silver Hand." This is because the game de-spawns Farkas and Aela and replaces them with a transformed version, then re-spawns them later, which is the same process that occurs when manually using the console to disable then enable a character. Similarly, Erik the Slayer and Cicero "level up" after the first encounter with them, as the version met during the first encounter is actually a different version of the character than the one that can become a follower.

    Targeting a follower and typing setlevel 1000 0 1 81 will make that follower level up with the Dragonborn until they reach level 81. Replacing the last number in that command with a number other than 81 will change their level cap to the given number.

    It is notable that followers with a lower level cap, such as Jenassa, have more stats (Health, Magicka, and Stamina) and skill points (One Handed, Sneak, etc.) per level than other followers with a higher level cap, such as Aela the Huntress, or even followers with no level cap, such as Frea or Ingjard. As such, it is wise to have a similar follower with a lower level cap, such as Jenassa, up until they reach their level cap, then trade for a similar follower with a higher level cap, such as Aela, to be more effective.

    Combat

    Morale widely varies from follower to follower. Some, like the Housecarls, Companions, mercenaries and Dawnguard members, will invariably fight to the death, while others, like Roggi Knot-Beard and Sven, will often flee from combat if seriously injured.

    All followers favor two-handed weapons over one-handed weapons, even if they are unskilled in two-handed weapon usage. Therefore, letting followers whose primary combat skill is one-handed weapons have two-handed weapons in their inventory should be avoided. Additionally, followers appear to favor magic staves over melee weapons and will default to using a magic staff if given one, only switching to a melee weapon after spending several seconds in close combat.

    Most non-magic-using followers have a bow as part of their default, non-removable equipment. This bow shoots an endless supply of iron arrows, which are not visible in the follower's inventory. To have a follower shoot more powerful arrows, a single arrow of that type should be put in their inventory. This will allow them to use an endless supply of that arrow type. Followers will automatically choose the most powerful arrow type available in their inventory.

    Followers can dual-wield melee weapons, but only if there is no shield in their inventory, and only if a Forsworn Sword, Forsworn Axe, Falmer War Axe, Falmer Sword or a pickaxe is wielded along with another melee weapon (the Housecarl of Falkreath, Rayya, can dual wield scimitars). They will also dual-wield magic staves, regardless of whatever else is in their inventory. Frea is an exception to this for she automatically begins with two war axes, and will not require a Forsworn weapon or pickaxe to dual-wield. She will use any two weapons given to her should her axes be pocketed from her.

    If the Dragonborn enters sneak mode, humanoid followers will follow suit. While in sneak mode, they will not attack unless attacked first. Animal followers, e.g. dogs such as Barbas, Meeko, Vigilance, or the stray dogs, however, do not understand the concept of "stealth" and will charge straight at an enemy as soon as they see one, even if the Dragonborn is hiding.

    Death

    Enemies will tend to ignore followers once their health is depleted, and turn their attention to the Dragonborn or any other allied characters. This condition is easily spotted, as the follower will drop to one knee and stay in that position for a short period of time.

    Once they have regenerated a sufficient amount of health, they will stand up and rejoin the fight. However, this does not mean that they cannot die by physical attacks from characters. In some cases, especially when left no other target, enemies will continue to attack a follower until death. Additionally, in a near-death state, a follower is not in danger of being killed outright unless hit by an attack from the Dragonborn or another follower. Extremely powerful attacks, especially area-of-effect attacks such as those from Dragons, can also kill a follower.

    The Companion's Insight reward from "Black Book: The Winds of Change" allows players to use attacks without fear of hurting their allies, making it harder for non-essential followers to die, as it eliminates the possibility of friendly fire.

    Some followers are marked essential, specifically: Aela, Barbas, Frea, Erandur, Mjoll the Lioness, Derkeethus, Serana, Cicero, Farkas, and Dark Brotherhood Initiates. They cannot be killed by any means except poison — should their health be depleted, they will fall to the ground, and will get up after a certain amount of their health has regenerated. This makes them especially valuable as distractions for difficult battles.

    It is important to remember that enemies employing poisonous attacks can kill followers since the poison continues its effect even after the follower drops to their knee. Caution is advised if encountering high level Falmer, Chaurus, poisoned traps, etc.

    To avoid a follower's death in this scenario, the best course of action is to lead attackers away from the area where the follower is trying to recover. Followers may also be given several healing potions or Potions of Cure Poison to carry in their inventory, which they will automatically use if the need arises. In some cases, the best course of action may be to tell a follower to wait before entering a particularly dangerous area.

    Followers can be revived using the console command resurrect.

    Commands

    A player giving commands to a follower called Lydia

    Permanent followers can be given several commands.

    Initiate conversation (outside of combat), and tell them "I need you to do something." The Dragonborn may also hold down the "select/activate" button while pointing at the follower. This method can be done at a distance and is a great way to call the follower to the Dragonborn's position while they are in their "wait" mode.

    They can:

    • Attack another individual or creature.
    • Wait at a given location, or just simply wait.
    • Use an object.
    • Open a locked door or container.
    • Pick up individual items or take everything from containers.
    • Sleep in a bed.
    • Sit on chairs and benches, although they will, unless told to wait, usually stand back up.
    • Activate a shrine to receive its blessing.
    • Perform jobs such as wood chopping, excluding mining.
    • Leave the Dragonborn's service.
    • Pickpocket: The Dragonborn must remain undetected.

    There are some additional benefits from using certain commands. These are:

    • Followers can pick up skill books that the Dragonborn may not want to read just yet. These can be safely taken from their inventory and read at a later date.
    • Followers will illuminate dark areas with a torch, provided there is one in their inventory.
    • Followers do not require lockpicks to pick locks.
    • As a vampire, ordering a follower to sleep will allow the Dragonborn to feed off them.

    If told to wait, a follower will wait roughly three days before they get to leave the Dragonborn. They will then return to their home or the location where they were originally found.

    Morality

    Morality varies from character to character, much like their morale. Certain followers, such as Farkas, are lawful citizens and will report the Dragonborn to the guards if they witness a crime, or simply leave their service. Other followers, such as Jenassa, will readily commit any crime they are ordered to do and will ignore any criminal behavior by the Dragonborn. Some will report the Dragonborn for a serious crime, such as murder, but not for a petty crime. All followers, regardless of their morality, will not have any possible interactions while trespassing, saying only "You're not supposed to be in here" when spoken to. (Cicero and Serana are the only exceptions). They will still fight for the Dragonborn, however, and commands can still be issued by activating them from a distance (holding the "activate" button) and telling them the desired task.

    If not hidden, the Dragonborn will be held responsible if a follower is asked to perform an illegal activity. However, it is possible for the guards in a town to attack the follower while leaving the player character alone. Interfering with the battle will be seen as a crime, though.

    There are four possible values for morality.

    • 0 – Any crime, where the follower will commit any requested crime.
    • 1 – Violence against enemies, where the follower will commit crimes against a hostile character and also commits property crimes, but will not attack innocent characters.
    • 2 – Property crimes, where the follower will only commit property crimes such as theft.
    • 3 – No crime, where the follower will refuse to commit crimes. However, they will not report crimes you commit even if they are witnesses, unless you steal items they own.

    Equipment and inventory

    Mjoll the Lioness, wearing a steel plate helmet and boots as well as ebony armor and gauntlets. She is wielding a Dwarven Shield and Grimsever.

    Followers always equip the best possible weapons or armor given to them. More specifically, the weapon with the highest damage value and the pieces of apparel with the highest armor value are equipped.

    Followers will not use equipment that is the same in armor or damage value as their starting equipment unless it has been improved by smithing or enchantments.

    On occasion, a follower may equip a weapon that they are not skilled in over one they are. For example, Mjoll the Lioness is better skilled in Two-Handed weapons over One-Handed, but if given a sword with a higher damage rating than a battleaxe, she will equip the sword.

    Each follower tends to have their own preference of armor. For example, Aela has no preference and will use heavy armor if she receives it, even though she is a marksman whose default armor is light. A Dark Brotherhood Initiate, however, strongly opposes the use of heavy armor unless it is significantly better than their current armor. This is because the initiate prefers light armor, matching their skills.

    If a follower insists on using an undesirable piece of equipment, the only way to prevent this behavior is to remove it from their inventory.

    Ironically, the default equipment of many followers does not correspond to their actual combat skills. For example, Aela's default armor is Heavy Armor, despite her being skilled in Light Armor, and Erik the Slayer's default equipment is Iron Armor and a one-handed sword, despite his true skills lying in two-handed weapons and light armor.

    Enchantments on weapons work normally, except Soul Trap and Fiery Soul Trap, since followers cannot fill soul gems, but followers will only benefit from the following enchantment effects on their apparel and armor:

    • Fortify Carry Weight
    • Fortify Health
    • Fortify Health Regeneration – only works during recovery phase/out of combat
    • Fortify Heavy Armor
    • Fortify Light Armor
    • Fortify Magicka
    • Fortify Magicka Regeneration
    • Fortify Stamina
    • Fortify Stamina Regeneration
    • Fortify Unarmed
    • Muffle
    • Resist Fire
    • Resist Frost
    • Resist Magic
    • Resist Poison
    • Resist Shock
    • Waterbreathing – followers can never drown even without Waterbreathing, however, having it will stop them surfacing for air.

    Inventory

    Followers can be used to carry almost any item, either via the inventory menu or picking up world items. However, they also have an unspecified weight limit, which restricts how much they can carry. In the inventory menu, items that would over-encumber them appear grayed out. Quest-related items cannot be given to followers for storage.

    An exploit is possible to make them carry over their limit. First, place the items in any container and then order the follower to take everything in the container. After this, every single item will be in the follower's inventory. However, these items will be marked as stolen. If these items are dropped and picked up again in plain sight, it will be considered a crime. Alternatively, entering a new area will remove the "stolen" label.

    An alternative exploit is to drop the items on the ground and instruct the follower to pick up each item one at a time. While potentially time-consuming, it is a handy method when containers are not present or handy.

    Followers will retain their inventories even after the Dragonborn dismisses them. In this way, it is possible to use them for limited storage. If they are killed, the stored items can be looted from their body.

    Ammunition

    If a follower is using their own default bow, placing just a single arrow in a follower's inventory will give them an infinite supply of that type of arrow.

    Enemies may also exhibit this behavior: Shooting an enemy with an arrow more powerful than their own arrows has a small chance of adding that arrow to their inventory, allowing them to equip the more powerful arrow and return fire with an infinite supply.

    Effect dismissing has on equipment

    If the Dragonborn sends their follower away, i.e. dismisses them, and later decides to recruit him/her again, the Dragonborn will find the follower wearing their original equipment. The Dragonborn can fix this by either leaving the area or by simply taking away any piece of equipment from them, which will in turn "reset" them, causing them to equip their best available equipment. If the Dragonborn chooses to “reset” their follower, they will use new or better equipment again.

    Multiple followers

    Followers are supposed to be limited to one at a time; however, there are several ways to avoid this limit. Quest characters triggered to follow the Dragonborn, the Dark Brotherhood Initiates, Cicero, Serana and summoning more than one Atronach, zombie or Dremora. The latter is only possible with Conjuration at its maximum level. For more information, see Multiple Followers. Theoretically, if all DLCs are installed, players can have a maximum of fifteen followers at one time, though this can be undesirable in cramped spaces.

    It is also possible to use the spell/power gained through the Dark Brotherhood questline for an additional follower. The Spectral Assassin will stay by the Dragonborn's side until it is defeated in battle or another familiar/atronach is summoned. It will travel with the Dragonborn across Skyrim.

    Followers

    Housecarls

    Housecarls are essentially bodyguards who protect noble and important figures from threats. Becoming Thane of a hold will grant a personal housecarl. In the base game, almost all available housecarls are Nord warriors, however, Hearthfire adds additional housecarls for The Pale, Falkreath and Hjaalmarch. All Housecarls have a level cap of 50.

    All Housecarls are one-handed warriors, with the exception of Valdimar, who is a sorcerer. A Housecarl's main skills are Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Archery and Block, again with the exception being Valdimar (Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Alteration, Destruction and Restoration).

    Housecarls will invariably fight to the death, and can be told to attack anybody or anything. However, they possess a set of morals. For example, if one is to trespass on the Red Wave, the follower will tell the Dragonborn that the latter is not supposed to be there, despite this act not actually charging the player with a true crime.

    HFHFHF
    Name Location Prerequisite Class Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Argis the Bulwark Vlindrel Hall, Markarth Thane of Markarth Warrior Nord Yes Yes No No 0
    Calder Hjerim, Windhelm Thane of Eastmarch Warrior Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Gregor The White Hall, Dawnstar Thane of The Pale Warrior Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Iona Honeyside, Riften Thane of The Rift Warrior Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Jordis the Sword-Maiden Proudspire Manor, Solitude Thane of Haafingar Warrior Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Lydia Breezehome, Whiterun Thane of Whiterun Warrior Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Rayya Jarl's Longhouse, Falkreath Thane of Falkreath Warrior Redguard Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Valdimar Highmoon Hall, Morthal Thane of Hjaalmarch Sorcerer Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0

    Faction followers

    Completing certain quests for a faction will grant access to some followers from that faction.

    College of Winterhold

    level

    Name Max Main skills Class Location Quest Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Brelyna Maryon 30 Alteration, Illusion, Conjuration, Sneak Mystic Hall of Attainment Brelyna's Practice Dunmer Yes Yes Yes No 0
    J'zargo None Destruction, Illusion, Heavy Armor, One-handed Sorcerer Hall of Attainment J'zargo's Experiment Khajiit No Yes No No 0
    Onmund 30 Destruction, Illusion, Heavy Armor, One-handed Sorcerer Hall of Attainment Onmund's Request Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0

    The Companions

    The members of the Circle all cap at level 50. The remaining Companions will cap at level 25.

    Name Max level Main skills Class Location Quest Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Aela the Huntress 50 Archery, Light Armor, Sneak, One-handed, Speech Ranger Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Nord Yes Yes Yes Yes until the questline is complete 3
    Athis 25 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Dunmer Yes Yes No No 3
    Farkas 50 Smithing, Speech, One-handed, Pickpocket Blacksmith Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Nord Yes Yes No Yes until the questline is complete 3
    Njada Stonearm 25 Block, One-handed, Speech, Pickpocket Warrior Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Nord Yes Yes Yes No 3
    Ria 25 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Imperial Yes Yes Yes No 3
    Torvar 25 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Nord Yes Yes No No 3
    Vilkas 50 Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Jorrvaskr Glory of the Dead Nord Yes Yes Yes Yes until the questline is complete 3

    Dark Brotherhood

    level

    Name Max Main skills Class Location Quest Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Cicero 50 One-handed, Sneak, Archery, Light Armor Assassin Dawnstar Sanctuary Hail Sithis! Imperial No No No Yes if spared during The Cure for Madness 0
    Dark Brotherhood Initiate (There are 2 initiates, one male and one female) 100 One-handed, Sneak, Archery, Light Armor Assassin Dawnstar Sanctuary Hail Sithis! Nord No No No Yes 0

    Dawnguard

    Having Dawnguard installed adds several more followers, both humanoid and non-humanoid, to the game. Most are dependent on which faction the Dragonborn decides to side with during the Bloodline quest, thus A New Order needs to be completed.

    max

    Name Level Main skills Class Location Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Ingjard None Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Fort Dawnguard Nord No Yes Yes No 3
    Durak None Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger Fort Dawnguard Orsimer No Yes Yes No 3
    Agmaer 25 One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor Bandit Fort Dawnguard Nord No Yes Yes No 0
    Beleval 25 One-handed, Two-handed, Block, Light Armor Bandit Fort Dawnguard Bosmer No Yes Yes No 0
    Celann None Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Fort Dawnguard Breton No Yes Yes No 3

    Mercenaries

    Mercenaries are typically found in taverns across Skyrim. They cost 500 to hire for any length of time, and will fight to the death. Dismissing a mercenary will send them back to the tavern they were found, unless they were married, asked to become a steward or recruited into the Blades. All Mercenaries reach their maximum level at 40, the exception being Teldryn Sero, who caps at level 60. They will charge the Dragonborn 500 more septims if dismissed and asked to follow the player again, although they may be free of charge if they're particularly fond of you or you only dismissed them a short time ago. They will also follow the player for free if they are a Blade member.

    DR
    Name Main skills Class Location Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Belrand Destruction, Light Armor, One-handed, Restoration Spellsword The Winking Skeever, Solitude Nord Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Erik the Slayer Light Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Barbarian Rorikstead Nord No Yes Yes No 0
    Jenassa Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger The Drunken Huntsman, Whiterun Dunmer Yes Yes No No 0
    Marcurio Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Sneak Mage Bee and Barb, Riften Imperial Yes Yes Yes No 0
    Stenvar Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Candlehearth Hall, Windhelm Nord Yes Yes No No 0
    Teldryn Sero One-handed, Light Armor, Destruction, Conjuration Spellsword The Retching Netch, Raven Rock Dunmer No Yes No No 0
    Vorstag Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Silver-Blood Inn, Markarth Nord Yes Yes No No 0

    Quest reward followers

    These followers typically have a quest attached to them and it must be completed in order to gain them as a follower.

    Level

    Castle Volkihar

    Name Max Main skills Class Location Prerequisite Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Adelaisa Vendicci 25 Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, Light Armor, One-handed, Sneak, Speech Citizen East Empire Company Rise in the East Imperial No Yes Yes No 3
    Ahtar 30 Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Castle Dour Kill the Bandit Leader Redguard No Yes No Yes 3
    Annekke Crag-Jumper 30 Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger Darkwater Crossing Kill the Bandit Leader Nord No Yes Yes No 3
    Aranea Ienith 30 Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Conjuration Mage Shrine of Azura Side with her during The Black Star Dunmer No Yes No No 0
    Eola 30 Destruction, Sneak, Alteration, One-handed Nightblade Hall of the Dead, Markarth Help her in The Taste of Death Breton No Yes Yes No 0
    Erandur 50 Restoration, Speech, Alchemy, Conjuration, Smithing Priest Windpeak Inn, Dawnstar Spare his life in Waking Nightmare Dunmer No Yes No Yes if spared during Waking Nightmare 3
    Faendal 30 Archery, Light Armor, Sneak, One-handed, Speech Thief Riverwood Help him in A Lovely Letter Bosmer No Yes Yes No 3
    Frea None One-handed, Alteration, Light Armor, Restoration Warrior-1H Skaal Village The Fate of the Skaal Nord No Yes No Yes 3
    Golldir 30 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Hillgrund's Tomb Help him in Ancestral Worship Nord No Yes Yes No 3
    Illia 40 Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Conjuration Mage Darklight Tower Help her in Repentance Imperial No Yes Yes No 3
    Kharjo 30 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior Ahkari's Khajiit Caravan Retrieve his Moon Amulet Khajiit No Yes No No 3
    Lob 30 Warrior-1H Largashbur The Cursed Tribe Orc No Yes Yes No 3
    Mjoll the Lioness 40 Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Riften Retrieve Grimsever Nord Yes Yes No Yes 0
    Ogol 30 Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Sneak Warrior-1H Largashbur The Cursed Tribe Orc No Yes Yes No 3
    Ralis Sedarys 60 One-handed, Light Armor, Block, Sneak Rogue(1H) Kolbjorn Barrow Spare him at the end of Unearthed Dunmer No Yes No No 3
    Roggi Knot-Beard 20 Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, One-handed, Two-handed Miner Kynesgrove Find Roggi Knot-Beard's Ancestral Shield Nord Yes Yes Yes No 3
    Serana 50 Sneak, Conjuration, Light Armor, One-handed Vampire Fort Dawnguard Kindred Judgment Nord No No No Yes 3
    Sven 20 Alchemy, Enchanting, Smithing, Archery, One-handed, Two-handed Bard Riverwood Help him in A Lovely Letter Nord No Yes Yes No 2
    Talvas Fathryon 25 Conjuration, Restoration, Destruction, Alteration, Sneak Conjurer Tel Mithryn From the Ashes Dunmer No Yes Yes No but is protected 3
    Ugor 30 Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger Largashbur The Cursed Tribe Orc No Yes No No 3

    Miscellaneous followers

    These followers have no specific quest attached to them. Gaining them as a follower may sometimes be a trivial affair, such as Brawling against them and winning the match. Their levels cap at 30.

    Name Main skills Class Location Prerequisite Race Marriage Blades Steward Essential? Morality
    Benor Heavy Armor, Two-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-2H Morthal Beat him in a brawl Nord Yes Yes No No 0
    Borgakh the Steel Heart Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Sneak Warrior-1H Mor Khazgur Pay her dowry or persuade her Orc Yes Yes No No 3
    Cosnach Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H Silver-Blood Inn, Markarth Beat him in a brawl or give him a drink Breton Yes Yes No No 3
    Derkeethus Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger Darkwater Pass Free him from captivity Argonian Yes Yes No Yes 3
    Ghorbash the Iron Hand Archery, Light Armor, Block, One-handed Ranger Dushnikh Yal Convince him to travel with the Dragonborn Orc Yes Yes Yes No 3
    Uthgerd the Unbroken Heavy Armor, One-handed, Archery, Block Warrior-1H The Bannered Mare, Whiterun Beat her in a brawl Nord Yes Yes Yes No 3

    Non-humanoid

    Non-humanoid followers can be used alongside any humanoid follower, which means that the Dragonborn can have one human and one non-human follower simultaneously. Most non-humanoid followers cannot be given items and thus cannot use equipment, the exception being Riekling.

    DGDGDGDRDGDRDR
    Name Type Location Preresquisite Essential Morality
    Armored Troll Troll Fort Dawnguard A New Order, 500 No 3
    Barbas† Daedra masquerading as a dog Outside Falkreath Begin Speak to Lod Yes unless attacked with the Rueful Axe 3
    Bran Armored War Dog Fort Dawnguard A New Order No 3
    CuSith Death Hound Castle Volkihar The Bloodstone Chalice 3
    Garmr Death Hound Castle Volkihar The Bloodstone Chalice 3
    Meeko Dog Wandering near Meeko's Shack None No 3
    Riekling Riekling Thirsk Mead Hall The Chief of Thirsk Hall No 3
    Sceolang Armored War Dog Fort Dawnguard A New Order No 3
    Steadfast Dwarven Sphere Dwarven Sphere Kagrumez During "The Kagrumez Gauntlet" No 3
    Steadfast Dwarven Spider Dwarven Spider Kagrumez During "The Kagrumez Gauntlet" No 3
    Stray Dog Dog Random location/With hunters No 3
    Vigilance Dog Markarth Stables 500 No 3

    † Barbas does not count as a true follower since he is tied to his quest, but unlike other quest forced companions (e.g., Farkas), the Dragonborn's current animal follower will not be dismissed.

    Quest followers

    These characters are scripted to tag along during a relevant quest, and do not cause your main follower to leave your service but they will not accept commands and their inventory remains inaccessible.

    DGDGDRDRDRDR
    Name Relevant quest Method Quest type Can follow you around Skyrim/Solstheim Essential? Morality Usable in other quest?
    Esbern and Delphine Alduin's Wall Proceed as per usual in the quest, tell them to follow you when asked and do not enter Sky Haven Temple. Main quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Barbas A Daedra's Best Friend Follows you by default when you find him outside Falkreath. He is immensely powerful and can kill most enemies in a few hits, but will always shove you into a corner and bark incessantly if you drag him away from the quest. Also does not have any concept of 'stealth' and can be a potential witness if you commit crimes. Daedric (Clavicus Vile) Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Eola or Verulus The Taste of Death Meet Eola at Reachcliff Cave or persuade Verulus to accompany you. Daedric (Namira) Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Mercer Frey Speaking With Silence Proceed in the quest and leave Snow Veil Sanctum. Thieves Guild Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Maurice Jondrelle The Blessings of Nature Asks your permission to be a follower after you acquire the Nettlebane and run a second errand for Danica Pure-Spring. Side quest Yes No 3 Yes
    Thonnir Laid to Rest Talk to him and accept his help. Side Quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Enmon The Heart of Dibella Offers to accompany you to find his daughter. Side quest Yes No 3 Yes
    Fjotra The Heart of Dibella Rescue her from the Forsworn Side quest Yes No 3 Yes
    Farkas or Vilkas Purity Agree to help either cleanse the beast blood. Vilkas will also tag along during Purity of Revenge. The Companions Yes (will replace your main follower but can be recruited later on) Yes 3 Yes
    Brynjolf Trinity Restored Wait outside Nightingale Hall after Karliah enters. Thieves Guild Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Serana Bloodline Escort her out of Dimhollow Crypt but do not go to her father. She remains scripted to follow you and is extremely powerful in Conjuration but will not accept orders until or unless you complete this quest. Dawnguard main quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Katria Lost to the Ages Proceed to the summit of Arkngthamz and talk to her before solving the tonal lock. Exit the area using the waterfall to the west and drop down the steep incline. Leave the ruins and she will accompany you for as long as you wish to. Being a spirit, and thus ethereal, she is invincible against anything. However, the option to issue her orders is absent and if you want to change her equipment you will need to pickpocket her during her initial conversation. Dawnguard side quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Anska A Scroll For Anska Side quest No (she will follow when you fast travel, but will leave after) No 3 No
    Avulstein Gray-Mane Missing in Action Side quest Yes (once you exit Northwatch Keep, immediately fast travel before they appear outside). Yes 3 Yes
    Thorald Gray-Mane Missing in Action Side quest Yes No 3 Yes
    Geirlund Missing in Action Geirlund will meet with Avulstein outside Northwatch Keep only if the Dragonborn has requested Avulstein's help. Side quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Vidrald Missing in Action Vilrald meets with the Dragonborn when they are united with Avulstein outside Northwatch Keep. This only happens if the Dragonborn has him as a companion. Side quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Hadvar or Ralof Unbound The person who accompanies the Dragonborn is determined by who they side with after the initial encounter with Alduin. Main quest No Yes 3 No
    Karliah Blindsighted Talk to her in Irkngthand. Brynjolf will also follow you. Thieves Guild Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Sinding Ill Met by Moonlight He will briefly accompany the Dragonborn during the quest if he is rescued and the hunters are killed. Daedric (Hircine) No No 3 No
    Valdr Hunter and Hunted Heal him then talk to him, this allows you to choose whether or not he can accompany you into the cavern. Side quest No No 3 No
    Orthorn Hitting the Books Free him from his cell, and talk to him. College of Winterhold No No 3 No
    Aela the Huntress Totems of Hircine Agree to help her find the Totems of Hircine The Companions Yes (will replace your main follower but can be recruited later on) Yes 3 Yes
    Frea The Temple of Miraak Once you enter the Temple of Miraak, Frea will follow you throughout the temple. Dragonborn main quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Tolfdir The Eye of Magnus Once you reach the College, Tolfdir will immediately follow you to defeat Ancano. College of Winterhold No Yes 3 No
    Chief Yamarz The Cursed Tribe If he survives after you kill the giant, using a calm spell will make him follow you. Using console commands can make him permanently follow you. Side quest Yes (using console commands) No 3 Yes
    Tharstan Lost Legacy Agree to help him and explore Vahlok's Tomb. Dragonborn side quest No Yes 3 No
    Neloth The Path of Knowledge He will follow you once you enter Nchardak Aqueduct. Dragonborn main quest No Yes 3 No
    Fenrig The Book of Love Agree to help him bring to his lover Ruki. Fenrig will appear once you get near Ruki. In order for him to follow you, quickly fast travel once you get to a certain area near Ruki. Side quest Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Bilgemuck The Chief of Thirsk Hall Give Bilgemuck meat and lead him back to Thirsk Mead Hall. Dragonborn side quest Yes (except he will not follow you to Skyrim) No 3 No
    Bujold the Intrepid Retaking Thirsk She will follow you inside Hrothmund's Barrow. Dragonborn side quest No Yes 3 No
    Gleda the Goat A Night to Remember Will follow you back to Ennis after taking it away from the giant Grok. Daedric (Sanguine) Yes Yes 3 Yes
    Nazir and Babette Death Incarnate Both of them will follow you to find Astrid. Dark Brotherhood No Yes 3 No
    Malborn Diplomatic Immunity If he survives, Malborn will follow you until you escape the Thalmor Embassy. Main Quest No No 3 No
    Golldir Ancestral Worship Agree to help him defeat Vals Veran. Side Quest No No 3 No
    Galmar Stone-Fist Battle for Whiterun Once you enter Whiterun, Galmar and Ralof will follow you to Dragonsreach. Civil War No Yes 3 No
    Derkeethus Extracting an Argonian Escort him out of Darkwater Pass. Side quest No Yes (bugged) 3 No
    Stormcloak Soldier Rescue from Fort Neugrad Once you rescue them, they will follow you. Ralof will also follow you once you meet him at the courtyard and kill the rest of the Imperial Soldiers. However, once you meet Ralof, the rescued Stormcloak Soldiers will not follow you anymore. Civil War Yes (do not go to the courtyard) No 3 Yes
    Stormcloak Soldier Rescue from Fort Neugrad Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Stormcloak Soldier Rescue from Fort Neugrad Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Stormcloak Soldier Rescue from Fort Neugrad Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Imperial Soldier Rescue from Fort Kastav Once you rescue them, they will follow you. Hadvar will also follow you once you meet him at the courtyard and kill the rest of the Stormcloak Soldiers. However, once you meet Hadvar, the rescued Imperial Soldiers will not follow you anymore. Civil War Yes (do not go to the courtyard) No 3 Yes
    Imperial Soldier Rescue from Fort Kastav Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Imperial Soldier Rescue from Fort Kastav Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Imperial Soldier Rescue from Fort Kastav Civil War Yes No 3 Yes
    Stormcloak Soldier Sovngarde Agree to help and bring him to the Hall of Valor Main Quest No No 3 No
    Veezara Bound Until Death Before he tells you to escape and fight the guards, he will briefly follow you. Dark Brotherhood No Yes 3 No
    Any 3 Blade Recruits Dragon Hunting They will follow you to the location where the dragon is Blades No Depending on the essential status 3 No
    Any rescued NPC Rescue Mission The rescued person will immediately follow the Dragonborn as soon as they are rescued. They will follow the Dragonborn until they are brought to their destination. The Companions Yes Depending on the essential status 3 Yes

    Trainer followers

    Some potential followers are also Trainers who can train the Dragonborn in particular combat skills, allowing them to increase the skill level for those skills. The training is not free, but once these trainers become the Dragonborn's followers, they may receive training without any permanent cost; If the Dragonborn asks a follower to train him or her in a particular skill, after receiving the training, they may access the trainer's inventory and recover the spent gold. The following followers are also trainers: (Note: all but Faendal and Talvas Fathryon are Companions, who require the Dragonborn to complete the Companions quest line before they become recruitable as followers.)

    • Aela the Huntress, Archery expert trainer (trains to level 75)
    • Athis, One-Handed expert trainer (trains to level 75)
    • Faendal, Archery adept trainer (trains to level 50)
    • Farkas, Heavy Armor master trainer (trains to level 90)
    • Njada Stonearm, Block expert trainer (trains to level 75)
    • Vilkas, Two-Handed master trainer (trains to level 90)
    • Talvas Fathryon, Conjuration master trainer (trains to level 90)

    Trivia

    • Almost every humanoid follower, with the exception of Cicero, Serana, and the Dark Brotherhood Initiates can be recruited into the Blades, whereupon they will be given a free set of Blades Armor and a Blades Sword. A maximum of three followers can be recruited by speaking to Delphine at Sky Haven Temple. After followers have been initiated as Blades, they will no longer return to their home or starting location, instead taking up residence at Sky Haven Temple (with the exception of Derkeethus, as he is bugged to stay at his home). The free set of Blades Armor will replace the follower's current armor, even armor given to the follower. This makes it impossible to get the items back. Higher level weapons, however, will still be chosen by the follower over their new Blades weapon.
    • Followers, dead thralls, and animal followers cannot follow the Dragonborn into a Dark Brotherhood sanctuary, with the exception of Cicero or a Dark Brotherhood initiate as a follower. This also includes particular quests where the follower will not enter the location the Dragonborn entered, such as Snow Veil Sanctum or Nightcaller Temple.
    • There are only two Bosmer, Khajiit and Redguard followers, one Argonian follower, and no Altmer followers.

    Bugs

    Click to show a list of bugs
    • Follower Google Doc — For a full list of followers, their stats, advantages, and perks. This only includes humanoid followers from the base game. Followers found in
    • Dawnguard,Hearthfire, andDragonbornadd-ons are not covered.
    • Follower Google Doc #2 — For a more up to date full list of followers their stats, advantages, and perks in game. The
    • Dawnguard,Hearthfire, andDragonbornadd-ons are covered. However please note a few stats of theDawnguardandDragonbornDLC followers are missing. This is the most near complete list of all humanoid followers in the game. Feel free to edit and update this guide to make it as accurate as possible.

    Source: Elder Scrolls