Skyrim seems to be a game that is permanently in the spotlight. Every single time it drops out of the charts, another edition seems to be released. Skyrim Special Edition allowed newer generation consoles to experience the world of Skyrim in higher quality, but wasn’t accepted as readily on PC due to the original version with mods being arguably better. The Nintendo Switch is the latest console to welcome the game with open arms.
Now that it’s unlikely Skyrim will be released again, we figured it’s about time we did a write up of the best followers in Skyrim. These non-playable characters (NPCs) will join you on your epic adventure through the dangerous and snowy lands of Skyrim. While it’s important that you choose an adventuring companion that suits your own personality and style, some have advantages over others.
Without further adieu, here are what we believe are the 10 best followers in Skyrim (in no order!).
This may be my bias towards dogs, as I really love dogs, but Barbas should definitely be taken with you on your adventures. However, he isn’t actually a real dog though, as he’s a shapeshifting Daedra. You can find him near Falkreath as part of a quest, and if you don’t kill him or return him back to his master, he will stay with you for the rest of the game.
Did I mention he’s invincible? This is due to it being a quest NPC, which makes him a fantastic decoy in fights. He will be able to take down weaker enemies with ease. It’s worth noting though that if you’re trying to sneak around, he may alert nearby enemies. You can give commands like ‘stay’ though, to combat this issue.
The best bit is that because Barbas isn’t technically a follower, you can have him and another regular follower at the same time!
Golldir is easily obtained once you discover Hillgrund’s Tomb. He’ll be waiting inside with a quest available to you. Once you complete it he will be available to you. He specialises in heavy armor and one-handed weapons.
8. MJOLL THE LIONESS
Mjoll is a Nord warrior who can be found in the thief-infested town of Riften. To earn her companionship you must first retrieve her sword that she has lost. She will then trust you enough to follow you on your adventures. She’s definitely worth the effort, as she can never be killed – even by friendly ‘fire’!
She has a level cap of 40 and will max out Two-handed skills and heavy armor. She’s perfect for players who wish to deal out their damage on the backline, as she’s a great tank.
As you’re exploring she will tell you all about her past life, so as long as you don’t mind travelling with a chatterbox, Mjoll is a must-have. Avoid tallying up a hefty bounty in Riften though…
Vilkas is available to you as a follower once you have successfully completed with Companions quest line. He’s a master at using heavy armor, two-handed weapons, archery, and blocking. His HP is also very high, at over 600, which makes him another great tank option.
Stenvar the mercenary boasts a large stamina pool so that he can fight for as long as possible in a battle. He has excellent stats in heavy armor, two-handed weapons, archery, blocking, stamina, and health – he’s the ideal candidate for a strong follower. He can be found on the second floor of Candlehearth Hall, in Windhelm.
5. AELA THE HUNTRESS
Aela is a Nord werewolf follower who becomes available once the Companions questline is completed. She’s fantastic at doing long-range damage with her bow, but also has decent one-handed weapon skills to do decent melee damage. She has a level cap of 50 and her sneak skill can reach 97. She’s the perfect follower for hardcore stealth players.
Aela will never judge you on your crimes, even if she does decline to attack or steal from the innocent. Kill whoever you want, and steal whatever you want, Aela will never leave your side or raise her sword towards you.
Jenassa is likely the first follower you will encounter on your adventures, as she resides in Whiterun. She’s proficient in archery and has good light armor skills. What she lacks in sneak, Jenassa makes up for in stamina and HP. She’s easily recruited in Whiterun by paying 500 gold to the Drunken Huntsman.
Due to all of the Housecarls having identical stats, we decided to place them under one heading. They are all proficient in blocking, heavy armor, one-handed weapons, and have almost 700 HP! They are pretty easy to obtain, as all you need to do is become a Thane of the specific town, which you will get by doing main quests.
J’Zargo is one of two available Khajiit followers available to have as followers. He’s arguably one of the strongest followers in the game due to him not having a level cap – he will continue to level up with you as you slay mighty dragons, and complete crucial quests. He specialises in Restoration and Destruction spells, which makes him synergise really well with melee-focused players. When he’s level 50 he will max one-handed and heavy armor skills, which allow him to become a semi-decent tank if he’s out of magicka.
Equip him with high level staffs to ensure he casts the appropriate level magic.
Forget Cicero if you’re planning on playing as a law-abiding citizen, as you will need to join the Dark Brotherhood to acquire Cicero’s services.
Cicero is quite the companion; he has a high-pitched voice, loves to dance, and engages in dark humor. However, if you find that this doesn’t annoy you, you will get to experience one of the most developed NPCs in the game.
He caps out at level 50, specialising in one-handed weapons, light armor, archery and sneak. He’s a very versatile combatant but can be just as effective as a long-ranged damage dealer.