In many of the Elder Scrolls games, it’s been fun to be able to have AI-controlled companions.
They not only help the player feel less alone in The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim’s sometimes dark and cold world, but they also carry the weight of traveling with the player, both in a literal and figurative sense.
Skyrim is a big, varied place where many people go on adventures in search of knowledge, power, and wealth.
Some of them may join up with the Dragonborn in their search, but not all followers are the same.
Some don’t have the qualities they need to be truly useful, so they just get in the way. Others, on the other hand, can be strong shields, deal deadly damage, or help heal their allies.
Who are the best NPCs to follow in Skyrim? Players should try to find them.
18. Flame Thrall
Flame atronachs can be fought in different parts of the Northern Province. They are often hard to beat because they keep shooting flames at you.
They can also be brought back for a short time with Conjuration spells, but one of them stands out from the rest.
Flame Thrall is a Master Conjuration spell that always calls forth a stronger version of the normal flame atronachs.
This means that this fiery ally won’t go away unless its master sends it away or it dies in battle.
Since Flame Atronachs can be called back again, they could be the best follower in Skyrim if someone needs a lot of fire damage and a living torch that can’t be killed.
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Marcurio is a mercenary who can be found in The Winking Skeever bar in Riften. Players can hire him for a bit of money.
But he doesn’t fight with a sword and shield. Instead, he’s a mage with a surprising number of spells. He likes to use lightning-based spells to attack, which makes him a great ally when you want to kill enemy mages because lightning magick drains their Magicka bars.
Marcurio also knows several restoration spells, such as Close Wounds and Fast Healing, which help him stay alive longer. He also knows Turn Undead, which he will use to control large groups of Draugr and other undead enemies.
The mercenary with magic has good skills in Alteration, Destruction, and Restoration.
So, he’ll be another ally who can help at medium and long range but has trouble when enemies get too close. His healing spells are very flexible and can be used anywhere.
16. Armored Troll
After completing a certain part of the Dawnguard DLC questline, players who have the DLC can hire an armored troll or armored frost troll as a follower from Fort Dawnguard.
Even though these brutes can’t talk, sneak, or interact with humanoid NPCs, they sure pack a punch in battle.
Most of the time, fighting a troll is boring because they heal themselves quickly, but now players can have that same trait on their side with a tough animal companion that has armor on top of its tough hide.
The Armored Troll doesn’t have skills like a humanoid character, but as you might expect from a troll, it has a powerful set of basic melee attacks.
Their armor makes them pretty tough, so they can keep going on their rampage.
15. Brelyna Maryon
Brelyna Maryon is the first person on this list. She is an apprentice at the College of Winterhold.
Berlyna is a powerful mystic who mostly keeps to herself. She can be very helpful when fighting low-level enemies.
Once you help her with an experiment as part of Brelyna’s Practice quest, you can ask her to be your follower.
If a Dragonborn has the Amulet of Mara, they can also marry Brelyna.
Keep in mind that she is part of the quest line at the College of Winterhold, so you will run into her once you get there.
During fights, Brelyna casts fire spells like Flames and Firebolt. She can do a lot of damage to enemies, but she doesn’t have a lot of HP, so be careful when attacking stronger foes.
Also, she is not a melee type at all. You can give her a weapon, but she will still use spells to attack.
If you like dogs, Barbas is the one you should follow.
Barbas is a supernatural creature that looks like a dog right now. You can find him near Falkreath by the road.
Barbas is fun to play with, but he is also very useful because his bite can kill weaker enemies right away. Don’t worry that Barbas will die in the middle of the battle, either, because he has a few ways to heal himself.
When Barbas takes a lot of damage, he will leave the fight, hide until his health bar fills up, and then come back to your side quickly.
This is a huge benefit because it means your friend can’t die.
Barbas is not very sneaky and will run around, so it’s not a good idea to sneak up on enemies with him as your follower.
But there is one strange thing: even though he talks a lot and barks all the time, his enemies won’t be scared off by this. Go figure!
Having a warrior as a follower can be very helpful at times. Most definitely, Ingjard is that.
She is a brave Nord fighter who likes heavy armor and two-handed weapons. This is just one of her many strengths.
At Fort Dawnguard, you can find Ingjard, but you can’t make her your follower right away. Instead, you need to do the Prophet’s quest and then come back to her.
One good thing is that, unlike other guards at the fort, she is not afraid of vampires. So, if you are a vampire, you will only be able to talk to Ingjard.
Even though she can do a lot of damage to her enemies, Ingjard may be slow because she uses heavy weapons that require a lot of strength.
This makes her very weak against agile and quick enemies, who will use the fact that she isn’t fast enough against her.
Ingjard doesn’t mind the cold because she is a Nord, and she is 50% resistant to frost, which can come in handy on your travels.
Since Ingjard has a strong sense of right and wrong, she won’t break the law for you, so don’t try to force her to do so either.
12. Teldryn Sero
Teldryn’s armor is the first thing you’ll notice about him.
Teldryn Sero is a mercenary you can hire for 500 gold to follow you. You can find him in Raven Rock at the Retching Netch inn.
Even if you give him better armor, Teldryn will still wear his chitin helmet, which protects his whole face. He is a skilled killer who likes to use elf weapons.
Teldryn is a good fighter who can use both spells and weapons with one hand.
During a typical fight, he will switch between close combat and casting spells. Teldryn can quickly heal himself if he gets hurt, which is great if you are in trouble.
He can also call up a Flame Atronach, which makes him immediately switch to Destruction magic.
Teldryn is a very interesting person who will give you something to talk about as you travel. He’ll be happy to tell you all about his adventures.
Even if you fire him, you can always hire him again, and often for free.
11. Annekke Crag-Jumper
If you are a thief or a warrior, Anneke Crag-Jumper is a great ranged follower that can fit your play style.
Annekke is a Nord archer who loves going on adventures, so she will be happy to work with you. Darkwater Crossing is where you can find her.
When you finish the Kill the Bandit Leader quest, Annekke can join your group. But I do have to say that you may have to talk to her more than once before she gives you this quest (what a pain!).
Annekke is good in battle, and she likes to wear light armor so she can move quickly.
She is a monster with both a bow and arrows and single-handed weapons. Annekke does have a weakness, which is that she is not very good at sneaking around.
But Annekke’s great spirit and willingness to go on many adventures with you should be enough for you to think of her as a follower.
She talks a lot, but that doesn’t mean she’s boring. Annekke wants more excitement in her life, which is always a nice thing to see.
Erandur might not be the life of every party, but he is good at casting spells and will be a loyal follower to a Dragonborn.
He is a healer from the Dunmer race, and you can find him in Dawnstar at the Windpeak Inn.
He used to be a member of a cult, but those days are over. Erandur still thinks about it, and he often talks about his friends who have passed away.
If you want Erandur to follow you, all you have to do is finish the Waking Nightmare quest. Easy!
As a healer, he mostly attacks from a distance with spells like Flames and Firebolt. But Erandur is used to fighting close up, and he is also a good melee fighter.
He prefers to fight face-to-face with a mace. On the other hand, Erandur might not be the best choice for players who want a fully developed follower who will interact with them and their surroundings.
He isn’t funny very often and mostly talks about death, but he makes up for this with his skill in battle.
9. Aela the Huntress
Aela the Hunter is one of a kind.
She is a Nord werewolf who won’t get cured of being a werewolf even though she has the chance to do so. You can find this member of The Companions in Jorrvaskr.
She is a great archer who can help you a lot if you like to fight with your hands. Depending on the situation, Aela wears light armor and sometimes uses weapons that only require one hand.
It’s important to say that she is very good at sneaking up on people. But she isn’t the best tank and has no idea what to do with a shield.
Since Aela is a thief herself, she will let you do anything you want. She doesn’t care if you steal from people or kill them.
Don’t tell her to break the law though, or she will refuse right away. If you want this rebellious werewolf to follow you, you have to finish the main quest line for The Companions.
You can also get married to Aela the Huntress, which will let you wear the same armor as she does. How sweet!
Farkas is a very valuable follower because he is both a Nord who has turned into a werewolf and a skilled warrior.
He is part of The Companions and, along with other experienced fighters, is a member of The Circle.
Farkas spends his days in the Wind District of Whiterun, in a place called Jorrvaskr. Every Dragonborn should be happy to go on adventures with this guy since he is a fierce warrior.
If you want him to be your friend, you have to do the main quests that The Companions give you.
Farkas is a very honest person who won’t let you do anything wrong as long as he’s your follower.
He wears a lot of armor and prefers weapons that only need one hand. But Farkas might not be the best choice if you want someone who talks a lot.
He doesn’t talk a lot and seems like a bore sometimes. When you make Frakas your follower, you might also be disappointed to find that he doesn’t turn into a werewolf as often.
Which is a pretty gross shame.
7. Mjoll the Lioness
Mjoll the Lioness is a very interesting person, and you will like her quickly.
She has a good heart and tries her best to be as fair as she can. Once you meet her, you’ll see that she hates the Thieves Guild and the Black-Briar family.
Mojll is most of all an adventurous person who has been to many places. She loves to talk about the things she saw on the road, so if you choose Mjoll as your follower, you will hear a lot of interesting stories.
Mjoll hangs out with Aerin in Riften near the Bee and Barb Inn and at Aerin’s house, so this is where you will find her.
Once you find her sword, Grimsever, she will follow you. The Lioness fights with both a bow and a sword, so she can help even when she’s up against stronger enemies.
Mjoll is a great tank because she can’t be killed. However, keep in mind that she can pause the fight to heal herself.
But don’t worry, Mjoll will quickly get back to her job and continue to tank through any number of enemies. You can also marry Mjoll, but she will come with her sister, Aerin. People say, “Two for one.”
So make sure your home has enough room for both of you since Aerin will also be staying there.
6. Argis the Bulwark
Argis the Bulwark is a true Nord who is calm and strong. He is a fun friend and a fierce warrior who will go on many adventures with you.
You will meet him in Markarth at Vlindrel Hall. If you become the Thane of Markarth, he can be your housecarl.
Given his skills, it’s not surprising that Argis likes heavy armor and weapons that only need one hand.
Argis the Bulwark can fight any enemy in the game, and he will protect your character like a real housecarl.
You can also get married to Arigs the Bulwark if you want a tough and beautiful partner.
Don’t forget that you have to wear the Amulet of Mara and talk to Argis. Only then will you be able to choose to get married.
Even though Argis may not be as fully developed as some of the other followers and may not be able to interact with his environment, he still has great dialogue and will keep you entertained throughout the game.
But I should mention that Argis the Bulwark thinks of you as a close friend, and if he dies while you are traveling, you will get a small inheritance from that.
Eola is one of the most disturbing people you will meet in Skyrim because she is the leader of a cult in Reachcliff Cave that eats people.
Eola is a very skilled fighter who is a member of the Breton race. She can switch between using Magicka and close combat.
She is useful in a lot of ways, especially because she can sneak up on an enemy. Eola can also bring the dead back to life and use them in battle, which gives you a big edge.
If you want Eola to follow you, keep in mind that she likes light armor and weapons that only need one hand.
It’s very easy to get her on board. You only have to clean the Reachcliff Cave, and when you’re done, Eola’s cannibalistic cult will ask you to join.
Remember to kick Eola out of the Reachcliff Cave once your adventures are over, or she will go back to being the leader of the cult on her own.
If you send her out of the cave, she will be in danger. And that’s not what you want for your friend, is it? I mean, she eats people, but still…
Since she takes long walks through the woods, there is a chance that animals will eat her, so make sure you leave her in a safe place.
Jenassa is one of the first people you’ll meet when you start exploring Skyrim.
She is a mercenary, and you can find her in Whiterun at the Drunken Huntsman pub.
If you want this skilled archer to join your team, you can pay 500 gold to get her. As was already said, Jenassa is very good at using a bow and arrow. She can put on both big and small pieces of armor.
Recruiting her, though, will show you that she prefers to wear light armor. Jenassa can also use two weapons at once, which is a very useful skill.
She also picks up arrows as she goes, and any kind helps her. This is one of the most useful skills she has.
Jenassa can use bows, one-handed weapons, and shields, among other things. She is a good follower who will help your character level up from the start.
She is also a fierce fighter who can fight almost anyone you meet in the game. But she can’t do anything magical. You can even get married to Jenassa if you want!
If you decide to do this, she can keep being both your follower and your wife. Once Jenassa is your wife, she’ll open a shop and give you 100 gold every day.
Cicero is both bothersome and very interesting. So, Cicero should be your travel companion if you want a follower who will give you some of the strangest and most entertaining conversations in Skyrim. This will keep the game interesting.
The fact that Cicero is dressed as a fool is already a good sign. And it’s clear that he has some kind of mental illness, but I think it’s the funny kind.
I guess it makes sense since he also watches over the Night Mother, who is a dead woman in a coffin.
The Night Mother is in charge of the contracts that the Dark Brotherhood makes, so this guy has every right to be a little worried.
You are in for a treat if you still want Cicero to be your follower.
This can be done by letting him live. Once you finish the Hail Sithis! quest, you can then hire him.
At the exit of the Dawnstar Sanctuary is where you will find Cicero. He is a dangerous killer who knows how to cast spells and use weapons with one hand.
It’s important to note that Cicero’s cute jester outfit, which looks good when he starts dancing, doesn’t give him any protection, so you’ll need to give him armor as soon as you can.
J’Zargo is a very good follower. He is a Khajiit, and he is a student at the College of Winterhold right now.
J’Zargo is well on his way to becoming a great mage, since he is very proud but also eager to learn.
Despite this, he knows there are still a lot of things he needs to learn. If we look at how he always tries to beat his fellow students at the College of Winterhold, that’s more than clear. So, having J’Zargo with you is a very good thing.
How then can you join him? The steps are easy to follow. Just go to the College of Winterhold and look for J’Zargo.
Then you have to finish the chain of quests he gives you. If you want to know why J’Zargo is so high on the list, there are a few things.
First of all, J’Zargo is the follower with the most health. Second, he is good at making illusions, restoring things, and destroying things.
On the other hand, tanks might not like J’Zargo’s skills because he might not do a lot of damage to enemies, which could be a deal-breaker.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that a pureblood vampire is at the top of this list.
Serana is a great follower who will keep you safe and give you fun things to do.
Serana is one of the last of her kind. During your travels, she will often talk about the weather, which is kind of cute.
As a real vampire, she will cover her face with a hood if you and she are outside.
It’s easy to get Serana on your team: just run into her in the game. It shouldn’t be too hard, since she’s a key part of several questlines (like Awakening, where you’ll meet Serana in the Dimhollow Crypt).
One of the reasons to choose Serana is that she can raise the dead.
She can bring the dead back to life and make them fight on your side.
She often uses spells in battle, but when she runs out of mana, Serana becomes a melee warrior.
Serana’s spells will change depending on your level, so she will also change as you do.
Serana is also good at sneaking around, and she does it better than most other followers in Skyrim.
A great choice in every way.