If for some reason, you are yet to play Skyrim on one of the 7 million different gaming consoles it has been released on at this point, then honestly, well done, you are the magical unicorn Todd Howard, lead developer of the game must be searching for.
However, if like the majority of the world, you too have played Skyrim at least once in the decade-plus since its release, then you are aware of the beauty and sheer size of Skyrim’s playable map. This map, being so large, can get a bit boring when walking by your lonesome through seeming miles of wilderness. The boredom is only broken by the odd necromancer or mountain goat.
Now, this is all true, but what if I told you that this doesn’t have to be the case there is a way that you can surround yourself with myriad different characters throughout your playthrough.
Some will drive you slightly mad, some will make you wish you didn’t save Whiterun from that dragon, and lastly, some which will make you question your outlook on life.
These very different yet brilliant followers included in Skyrim can not only help bring a bit of levity to your gaming session, but they can also help out with your general advancement in the story, coming in clutch right when you need them. alternatively, however, they may also stand right in the middle of a door you have been trying to walk through for the past five minutes resulting in you attacking them in a blind, red bull-powered rage.
Either way, a welcome addition to the exploring party, right? Well, let’s take a look and see. Here is a list of some of the best and worst followers Skyrim has to offer.
Skyrim’s Worst Followers
Now, not to start off on too negative a note, but I just needed to mention this one very quickly. And I promise that it has nothing to do with who he is as a person, but Roggi and his silly Knotted Beard are not invited into the hallowed halls of Valhalla with me.
Whilst he does have high skills in some trades such as smithing and alchemy, these skills are still fairly low. Combined with his measly combat skills, Roggi results in a possible follower who is capped at a whopping 20. This not only makes him the lowest rated possible follower in the game, but it also makes him the most useless for how most players make their way through this particularly hard-wearing isle of Tamriel.
He is also fond of doing a sort of disappearing act in the middle of battles which I could only put down to the Nord in him (yes, I always pick Imperial). In all seriousness though, this companion is effectively useless, and therefore, unless you are doing some weirdly formulated playthrough wherein you must create a merry band of knot bearded NPCs to fight Alduin, not worth your time.
The next entry in this list is quite a hard one to write because as a character who you just seldomly bump into from time to time, I have no ill will towards Farkas. I would stretch to even calling him bearable, that is after you pass the trials to enter the Companions.
That being said, however, the fact that Farkas is literally a master in Lightweight armor and yet wears heavy armor annoys me so much. I mean, the man has heavy armor and block skill of below 20, and yet for no explicable reason, he refuses to dress appropriately.
For this baffling lapse of logic, I believe he should occupy this spot. The last thing I will say on Farkas is not necessarily his fault and might be a bit unfair, however, this is my article, and therefore my opinion matters. The fact that he is the lesser brother has played a factor in his placement on this list. He’s just not Vilkas.
Whilst we are on the subject of potential followers from the Companions, let’s talk about Njada. Now, if like me, you believed the hype when you first logged into Skyrim and discovered the Companions, then you are not to blame for your disappointment in Njada.
After all, you first come across a group of Companions taking on a giant with relative ease, way before you know who they even are, so one should assume they are pretty talented fighters all around. Add this to the sheer amount of boasting the members do of their exploits and the silly tasks the Dragonborn must complete before being granted membership, a reputation begins to form. Enter Njada.
Not only does this character have one of the lowest level caps of any potential follower in Skyrim, but she also has no discernible perks or skills which make her an asset in a battle. This took into consideration alongside her obvious contempt for the Dragonborn and everything they do creates a recipe for disaster.
The inclusion of Cosnach in this section of the article is not because he is weak or particularly annoying. He is really just a nothing follower. He isn’t amazing or terrible at anything or overly funny or annoying. He is just forgettable and in such a massive game with myriad potential companions up for grabs, he’s just not worth your time or effort to recruit.
Although this all should be enough for you to write him off, I feel duty-bound to inform you of his skills. With a level cap of 30, a One-Handed of 78, and a Heavy Armour of 79, this generic tavern brawler will not have any songs written about him.
Now, this is the one included in the worst-of list that I feel may cause a little contention. Cicero, whilst annoying to me, maybe one of your favorite companions in Skyrim, and if so, well you wrong, sorry.
To me and many of those I have had the delight of discussing this game with over the decade since its initial release, Cicero is not even in the discussion of favorite characters. I am pretty sure each and every person I have discussed the jester with has killed him the very first chance they get.
With some breaking their gameplay via console commands to kill him early. But why is he just so insufferable? Well, some may say that his high-pitched voice, wacky dances, and ‘cute’ outbursts add a little bit of levity to otherwise boring situations, however, I would argue this point. Instead, I view his voice as something similar to nails on a blackboard and his dances don’t land in the desired way either with me or many others.
I must say though, as a character, he is surprisingly well fleshed out and developed. This combined with a high skill cap of 50 and mastery of the One-Handed and Sneak traits should create a brilliant companion. Sadly though, to me his is simply too annoying to live, never mind defeat Alduin with.
Skyrim’s Best Followers
Aela The Huntress
Now, we are just going to get this one out of the way quickly. Aela the Huntress often tops the list of best followers in Skyrim. This may be due to the fact that most Skyrim players, at the time of the game’s release that is, were young boys/men in their teenage years, and therefore, Aela’s somewhat revealing dress sense could have aided in her popularity initially.
However, if one looks past the surface, you will find a follower who is not only a master in Archery (a rare trait for a follower in Skyrim), but she also has a decently high Light Armour skill. Also, due to her classification as a Thief, she has a decently high Sneak skill which maxes out at a whopping 97.
One bonus that Aela also has over most of the follower companions in Skyrim is her ability to, on the fly almost, give the player the powers of a Werewolf via her lycanthropic bite. This alone would be a pretty sweet reason to have her along but combined with her other skills and ability to train the player in Archery up to level 75, she is a follower to be reckoned with.
Yet another mention which I feel we must get out of the way. Whilst brilliant and cute, Barbas makes one of the more interesting companions in the Isles of Skyrim. When the player first meets the little companion, you are led to believe he is merely a dog, until he starts to speak that is.
Soon after, the player will find out he is also an entity or part of the Daedric Prince Clavicus Vile. After meeting this Daedric Prince’s god form, the player will begin a questline for the said prince. Not only is this quest quite interesting and fun, but it also has great rewards at the end of it so how can we not love Barbas for recruiting us for such a mission.
Barbas is not just a simply Daedric dog however, he is also able to deal a surprising amount of damage to enemies, presumably from having a very high Bite skill? One other amazing trait possessed by Barbas is his inability to die no matter who knocks him down.
If you, like me, can get a little haphazard with your dual sword-wielding antics, this might be the follower for you as it saves you the risk of either resurrecting them via the mythical console command section or loading a past save.
Lastly and most importantly in my opinion regarding his petition to be the best follower in the games, Barbas does not take up the one follower slot that Skyrim gives the Dragonborn. This means the player can have another follower in tow. The more the merrier right?
This Khajiit from the mages guild will become your follower after you complete his quest, J’zargo’s Experiment. This quest is one of the more unique ones in the Skyrim game as it can be completed almost by accident as you traverse the wilderness and caves of the Nordic Isle.
The mage is particularly obsessed with fire cloak spells and to that end, he has created ten of his own that must be tested on the undead specifically as he believes they will be particularly effective. Do this simple quest for the mage and he will follow you for the rest of your days. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
To find this mage, one simply needs to pop on over to the College of Winterhold. In this college, he will be found in either the Hall of Attainment or the Hall of the Elements. Once you find him though, some players have reported that his personality can either take time to gel with or simply cannot be tolerated as the Khajiit can come across as a little overconfident and somewhat arrogant.
That being said, however, his skill in many spellcasting disciplines makes him an invaluable asset when it comes down to the wire. With the ability to cast pretty intimidatingly powerful destruction spells and healing ones for the players’ benefit, J’zargo is certainly a follower to follow.
This vampire, whilst also being surprisingly gifted in almost every offensive discipline is also, as you would expect, one of the most powerful and unique potential followers in the game.
Serana becomes available as a follower almost from the beginning of the Dawngaurd DLC, although you may lose her for a time during the DLCs main questline, she will always come back and in the end, stay with you for the rest of the game should you require. One additional benefit that Serana has above all other followers in the game is her unique access to vampiric spells such as Vampiric Drain.
Also, much like Aela, Serana can turn the character into a vampire upon request and yet does not appose to your wanting to maintain your lycanthropy should you so choose. This unique ability, if I am honest, was a bit of a novelty when the DLC was first released, bringing with it the ability to become a vampire.
In reality, this ability can be a tiny bit annoying, with sunlight resulting in the player becoming weaker and bloodlust resulting in guards and other NPCs either attacking you on sight or fleeing. Still though, at least you have the demand options.
One other thing I should mention about Serana is that she may be one of the most lusted over followers by the players of the game, however, she is not included within the marriable NPCs in the game.
This decision, therefore, forced, yes, I said forced, the modding community to come to the rescue of many gamers across the world by developing a marriable Serana mod. Now, this is a wee bit odd in some people’s opinion however one positive can be drawn from this; if a character is liked enough to make the public cry out for their hand in marriage, surely, they must be a good companion out in the snow-covered mountains of Skyrim.
Mjoll The Lioness
This follower can be met in Riften and be recruited via the completion of her quest. This involves the hunting for, finding, and returning of her beloved sword from the ruins of a Dwemer city called Mzinchaleft. Once this quest has been completed, Mjoll will become your loyal follower and friend.
With a max level of 40 and maxed out Heavy Armour and Two-Handed skills this beefy, unkillable tank is certainly a follower to be reckoned with especially if you like to charge headfirst at your enemies, taking stabs, arrows, and spells to the face as you do so.
The only drawback to her character is her incessant need to clear out the unsightly elements of the Riften populace, therefore whilst also having to put up with her discussing it at length, the player must also accept that being a good little Dragonborn within the city of Riften’s walls is just part and parcel of the deal.
I will admit, however, that the reason I love Mjoll so much is due to her inclusion in one of the best Skyrim playthroughs on YouTube that I watched before being able to purchase the full game as a young, poor teenager at the time. the affinity and comedy YouTuber Sips brought out with her is something very nostalgic for me.
Question: How many followers can you have in Skyrim
Answer: This answer can and always has with Elder Scrolls games, been changed with mods. However, with that being said, the base game only gives you the ability to have one humanoid follower, and then additionally you can have a non-humanoid companion such as Barbas.
Question: Can followers be detected in Skyrim?
Answer: Sadly, for those of us who like some of the followers who have a lesser gift in the sneak department, the answer is yes. Lydia is notorious for this in the Skyrim community along with the brothers Vilkas and Farkas. Therefore, if you’re thinking about doing a thief/sneak character build, these followers may not be for you.
Question: How can followers be recruited into the Blades?
Answer: Almost all followers can be initiated into the blades by Delphine at Sky Haven Temple. You simply need to speak to her, and she will be more than happy to initiate up to 3 followers. Some cannot join, however, and these are ones you could probably predict for yourself such as Cicero, Serana, and the Dark Brotherhood Initiates.
Skyrim Followers Guide: Conclusion
So, there you have it, a guide to all of the best and worst followers throughout the shiveringly cold Isle of Skyrim. Hopefully, you don’t see one of your favorites included in our worst-of list and your personal favorite has been detailed to your liking, without missing any of the key aspects of their personalities you love so much. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore with your favorite sword-wielding buddy!