Bethesda’s masterpiece, Skyrim, is a very interesting game. There’s never a lack of activities you can partake in, and there are literally thousands of different ways you can go about in the game. But even with that much to do, the Skyrim adventures could get lonely. This is where Skyrim followers come in – they’re entertaining characters that you can take along with you for an adventure. They can travel with you, they can fight for you, they can carry some of your items, and they can perform tasks for you, depending on the Skyrim follower you choose.
Whether you just want someone to add to the entertainment, or you’re looking for a support character or tank to help you on difficult quests, the Skyrim followers list has something for you. The downside to that is that there are simply too many followers for you to learn about, and chances are you won’t have the patience to try out all of them.
Therefore, we’ve created a list of the top 16 best followers in Skyrim. There’s something for everyone, and we’ve made sure to include a variety of them. If you aren’t sure which one to take along for an adventure, make sure you read our list of essential followers Skyrim, and you’ll be able to easily choose afterward!
Best Skyrim Followers
There are plenty of reasons why Cicero is one of the best companions you can get in Skyrim. To begin with, he’s an assassin, one that has very high stats. He’s also got one of the most well-developed personalities in the game. Sure, considering he does betray the Dark Brotherhood, he’s not everyone’s cup of tea. But if you’re willing to look past that, he’s well worth taking along for the ride.
To get him, you should finish the Dark Brotherhood questline, then spare him at the Dawnstar Sanctuary. Note, however, that you could kill him, and you’ll get one of the two unnamed initiates of the Dark Brotherhood. Both of them have Cicero’s stats, and killing him also gives you his Jester set that’s heavily enchanted. Another thing to note is that Cicero is marked essential – he’s one of those Skyrim followers that can’t die, as they simply fall to the ground, only to get up after a minute or so.
If you’d like an archer, you could choose Aela the Huntress as your companion. You can find her in Jorrvaskr, home of the Companions. You can just ask her to follow you, but note that you’ll need to have the faction’s questline completed before you can do that.
As an archer, Aela is brilliant. However, there’s no denying that her synergy is better with certain player types. For example, if you’re a mage, and your gameplay relies on keeping your distance, or if you’re an archer, you’ll easily get overwhelmed. However, if you’re one of those frontline fighters who grabs a Warhammer and sprints to battle, she’ll be more than happy to shoot a rain of arrows on your enemies from the backline. She may not be as well-developed as a character like Cicero, but for some players, she’ll be an excellent companion.
Just like you, J’Zargo is an aspiring student of the arcane arts. He can be found in the College of Winterhold, and he’s a Khajiit mage. In terms of his skill set, he’s got some of the game’s highest magic skills, and the ace up his sleeve is a maxed out Destruction stat.
If you want to get him as a companion, it’s pretty easy. Just like most of the other purposeful Skyrim followers, he will ask you to do a few favors for him. Note, though, that they’re pretty easy and quick. Once J’Zargo considers you to be his friend, you can ask him to follow you. When it comes to Skyrim follower stats, J’Zargo is strange. There are tanks such as Frea and Farkas, yet it is J’Zargo that has the highest HP stat of any companion. Given how high his stats are, it’s a bit strange that he only uses Apprentice-level spells, but as a companion, he’s still a powerful one, and a great character.
Now that we mentioned Farkas, let’s discuss him and Vilkas. They’re both companions that are residents of Jorrvaskr and have very similar fighting styles. It’s usually a matter of which voice actor you like more.
In terms of their game effectiveness, both Vilkas and Farkas are Nord warriors, ones that will get right in your enemy’s face and soak up plenty of damage. There are two main player types that fit well with them – two-handed talents, so you can quickly incapacitate just about any enemy, or archers and mages, so you can stay at a distance while they get up close and personal. Outside of the Companions questline, they don’t develop an awful lot, so they’re only useful as helpers, not friends. Yet, they’re excellent options to keep around, especially if you’re early in the game.
Mjoll The Lioness
If you’re hanging around with all the thieves in Riften, you might’ve noticed Mjoll the Lioness. She’s one of the most interesting Skyrim female followers in the game, and she’s taken it as a personal goal to get rid of all the corruption in the town. There are two things to do if you want her as a companion. First, you must earn her favor, and then, you must retrieve her lost sword. That may sound like a bit of trouble, but she’s well worth it. She’s another one of the essential characters we mentioned earlier, also known as Skyrim followers that can’t die.
She has a level cap of 40, and she’ll max out both the two-handed skills and her heavy armor, and with 580 health, she’s an excellent tank if you’re a long-ranged player. Also, if you’re interested in her personality, she’s very pleasant, and she’ll tell you a lot of stories about her past.
Yes, this is a best Skyrim followers list, but we just had to include Sven. He’s a Nord bard that plays the lute, and you’ll encounter him in Riverwood, at the Sleeping Giant Inn, when you’re just starting out. You have two choices – either help him win the heart of Camilla, and have him available as his companion, or help his rival, Faendal, and Sven becomes unavailable.
He’s of the citizen class, topping out at level 20, and none of his skills ever surpass level 45. He’s not made for battle, which is obvious since the first time you see him, he isn’t even wearing body armor. It’s like he woke up that morning and decided he wants to go on an adventure with absolutely no preparation at all. He’s still a fun pal to tag along with, though.
If we’re discussing Skyrim followers and animals, Barbas is very far from a dog. He’s actually all but a shapeshifting Daedra. You can find him on the road outside of Falkreath, and he’ll follow you until you either kill him with the Rueful Axe, or you return him to his master. Yes, you got it right, Barbas is an invincible quest character.
You can use him as a decoy, but he’ll also make quick work of any weaker enemies, as well as make your fights with stronger ones easier to manage. Other than that, he’s a poor choice for thieves given that he can detect you when you’re stealing. Last but not least, technically, he isn’t a follower, so you’re getting an additional companion in the game.
Serana is another one of the essential followers Skyrim has to offer, and she comes in the Dawnguard DLC. She’s one of the Daughters of ColdHarbour, and she pledged herself to Molag Bal, becoming a pure-blooded vampire. Until you finish the main Dawnguard questline, don’t expect her to have the full set of follower commands.
She’s a powerful necromancer and can raise corpses to help you in battles. Also, give her a strong dagger or sword – she resorts to a melee weapon if she runs out of magicka. Outside of the combat, she can also interact with her environment, or you can have her bite the Dragonborn and turn them in a Vampire Lord.
Teldryn Sero is the Dunmer on our Skyrim followers list. He’s a mercenary and spellsword that you can hire for 500 coins. He tops out at a level 60, making him a force to be reckoned with. His skill set and class make him an even bigger threat, as he is both a savvy swordsman, and has Firebolt and Flame. To round out his skill set, he’ll give you some unique comments on various cities as you travel through the game.
Another one of the essential followers Skyrim gives you to choose from, Frea is a Nord shaman you can find in Solstheim. She’s only available if you own the Dragonborn DLC, though, and she doesn’t have a level cap. You could pass a persuasion check, or bribe her after “The Fate of the Skaal”, and she’ll become a permanent follower. She’s smarter than most followers, and can dual wield weapons, making her a great companion.
Cosnach is simply put, a drunken Breton. He’ll challenge the Dragonborn to a fistfight, and bet 100 coins. If you beat him, he’ll follow you for free. He has a level cap of 30, and he’s an interesting character, yet merely an average warrior. Also, he’s pretty rude and will always beg for money for drinks. You’ll easily find better followers, but he’s great if you want to have a laugh every now and then.
If you’re looking for a fighter, few are better than Stenvar, a rugged mercenary. He’s got quite a lot of Stamina that allows him to stay in the fight. His stats are great in heavy armor, two-handed, archery, block, health and stamina, and he’s a really strong follower. You can find him on the second floor of Candlehearth Hall, in Windhelm. If you want a beefy tank that does a lot of damage as a Skyrim follower, this is the one to go for.
Jenassa is actually one of the first followers you’ll come across. Like Aela, she’s a master archer, and her light armor and archery skills are very high. Her downside is that she’ll sacrifice sneak for stamina, but she does have Aela beat in both stamina and HP. If you’re interested in having her as your Skyrim follower, you can find her in Whiterun, in the Drunken Huntsman. She can be recruited if you pay her 500 gold.
Not many players prioritize Lydia, given that you encounter her the moment you start the game. She is hands down one of the most popular Skyrim followers, primarily because of how fast she becomes a follower in the game. Her dialogues are fun, and you can more or less find her dialogues turned into memes pretty often. She brings in 671 points of health during the higher level in the game. Her combat skills are on point with one-handed armor handling, to name a few. To acquire her as a follower, the player needs to complete the Dragon Rising quest successfully. She can also help you carry all of your loot without any complaints.
The character of Erandur originates from being a cult leader to a Daedric Prince. But, following shady dealings, Erandur gave up his old life to dedicate his life to becoming a healer to Mara. You can get him on your side as a follower after completing Waking Nightmare’s quest and helping Erandur out in the process. He is exceptionally qualified in combat and fire spells if that is something you’d need along the way. Taking Erandur as a travel partner can be a little morose, mainly because he whips up stories from his dark past.
If there’s one of the easiest followers that you can get for yourself is Annekke Crag-Jumper. All you have to do is complete one quest to get this darkwater crossing native. You can find this character located in a mining settlement where you can find her wandering round on the streets or the entrance of the mine. To win her on your side, the player needs to combat and kill a nearby bandit leader. Keep in mind that she works well with low-level players as her level generally maxes out at 30. She is exceptionally talented in fights and combats, so you wouldn’t regret getting her on your side.