Skyrim exists as a testament to how much dedication gamers and developers alike can put into a game when they're truly passionate about it. With most gamers still adventuring through the Nord's homeland some eight years after its release, it's hard to question the quality and engrossing charm of Bethesda's massive fantasy RPG (minus a few bugs and horses being able to traverse at 90 degree inclines).
Every rock, plant, and troll have excruciating detail pumped into them, and the followers in the game are no exception. Accompanying you through every frozen waste, pine forest, or dank and dangerous dungeon, followers offer some added muscle and companionship through the lovely in game world.
While some followers really shine, other fall flat, especially when they're competing with spell casting cat-men and drunk, disgruntled barbarians.
Followers are judged by a certain set of criteria: aside from combat effectiveness, followers are also rated on how good of a companion they actually make while traveling with them; meaning their dialogue and any interactions they have with their surroundings and the Dragonborn.
It's hard to narrow down a list with so many options available, so if any Dovahkiin out there don't see their favorite follower, give us a holler in the comments letting everyone know why your favorite adventure companion rules.
Now lay down your tent and set up camp, because here is Every Skyrim Follower Ranked Worst To Best.
As a Nord warrior that specializes in heavy armor and two-handed weapons, Ingjard is a pretty useful follower. Being a Nord, she already has a fifty percent resistance to frost, meaning that she is somewhat resistant to the dangers present in the icy climes of Skyrim.
Ingjard can be recruited after the quest “Prophet” is completed, part of the main quest in the Dawnguard DLC. Even though she is a mighty Nord, her two-handed weapon preference means that she can be pecked at by enemies that attack quickly, due to some of her long-winded attack animations.
She is one of the few followers in the entirety of Skyrim that will still unquestioningly follow the Dragonborn if they’re a vampire, speaking volumes to her loyalty in a game, whereas most NPCs and followers flee at the very sight of a bloodsucker.
She also doesn’t have a level cap, meaning that she will grow as powerful as the Dragonborn will allow through the course of their travels. Still, in the gist of the massive game, she's pretty typical.
As an extremely drunk warrior who is found being a belligerent barbarian at the Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth, Cosnach is a Breton warrior who likes to imbibe just a bit too much.
Talking to his employer across the street reveals that Cosnach is getting plastered because of the increasing amount of Foresworn attacks on trade caravans, meaning that the trade business is slow. If the Dragonborn is so inclined, they can challenge him to a fight, resulting in him becoming a follower.
Cosnach can also be considered for marriage, if gamers decide that booze-soaked deadbeats are their thing. Players can also give Cosnach drinks, making him dance for joy, and even watch him argue drunkenly with his employer about his sixteen hour drinking binges.
Originally serving a cult that was dedicated to a Daedric prince, Erandur left his old life of shady dealings with the demonic side of Skyrim and dedicated his life to Mara, becoming a healer.
He becomes available after helping him in the quest “Waking Nightmare”, where his power becomes apparent; he specializes in fire spells and utilizes a mace when melee combat becomes the only option.
He’ll also dual wield like a mad man if players are so inclined to give him another weapon, and he’ll even whip a bow out every once in a while if he isn’t able to reach enemies with his spells.
While being pretty mediocre combat-wise, Erandur is also a serious downer when it comes to being a travel partner; he’ll often mention his dark past and his inability to deal with the death of his friends.
“Skyrim is now host to giant, flying lizards and two-legged cat-men and you’re surprised by me?” Barbas does have a point, and it’s hard to deny the allure of a talking dog.
Barbas is actually a mystic creature (having taken multiple forms through the Elder Scrolls games), who serves as a companion to one of the Daedric princes. He is first encountered on the road to Falkreath, approaching the player and partaking in humorous dialogue.
Combat-wise, Barbas’s bite is pretty lethal, meaning that he can down most minor enemies with one or two lunges. However, if players are looking to utilize stealth, Barbas is a poor selection considering that he isn’t capable of sneaking.
Plus he constantly barks, making him tolerable for only so long before players start seeking a less conspicuous companion.
11 Brelyna Maryon
Brelyna is one of the apprentices at the College of Winterhold where she is mostly introverted and a bit of a crank, and overall a subpar spell caster. After some talking and quest progression, she actually becomes quite polite and-- if players equip the Amulet of Mara-- a marriage prospect.
Brelyna can be lethal in combat as well, able to increase her defense using oakflesh and throwing some serious fire spells around. She is also able to summon flame and frost Atronachs to assist in combat. Apart from her powerful magic, she has an extremely low health pool, meaning that watching her get her butt knocked down repeatedly is almost a guarantee when fighting tougher foes.
Plus, she doesn’t really have much melee skill to speak of, instead opting for spells that can render her vulnerable to attack in the midst of casting.
As a member of the Circle, Farkas can kick some serious butt in the land of Skyrim. He’s part werewolf and part Nord, meaning that he is a threat when it comes to combating the game world’s many threats.
In addition to his combat prowess, Farkas is a master trainer when it comes to heavy armor, so if you’re looking to stomp around in a suit of ebony, Farkas is your man. Farkas is also your man if you want to marry a dude with a hankering for spiced mead with an ungodly amount of body hair.
Combat ability and training expertise aside, Farkas is also stricken with lycanthropy, meaning that he is totally a werewolf, as evidenced by the smeared mascara around his eyes and the fact that you actually watch him turn into a werewolf mid quest before he rips a bunch of dudes to shreds.
Considering that Farkas can turn into a werewolf, it’s pretty lame that he rarely does this when acting as a companion, if at all.
The brother of fellow lycanthropic Nord Farkas, Vilkas is the one that apparently got the brains out of the genetic pool. Able to hold a conversation past a few words as opposed to his brother, Vilkas is also a master level trainer, this time in the art of two-handed weapons.
Also like his brother, Vilkas can be married if a mutant wolf man with a more advanced vocabulary tickles your fancy.
Vilkas does offer some more in depth dialogue options compared to his brother, and is considered the most intellectual member of the Companions. He does well in battle against foes, but does lack the same punch that his brother packs, even though he teaches warriors to use some of the most powerful weapons in the game.
While not as powerful as his brother, he is still quite effective in combat, and provides slightly more companionship on the road due to his chatty nature and expanded lexicon.
8 Agris The Bulwark
As one of the only male housecarls in the game, Agris the Bulwark is a pretty worthy companion and also has a gnarly name that would totally suit a Skyrim speed metal band (really hoping this is a thing). He becomes available as a follower once the Dragonborn is appointed a thane of Markarth.
He is also available as a marriage option, coming straight out and telling the Dovahkiin that he loves them. Apart from being a super sweet dude, Agris is pretty dang effective in combat, able to level some of the more powerful foes in the game without much help.
He also has quite a bit of unique contextual dialogue that makes him a joy to bring on travels. If Agris is killed on the road, the Dragonborn will receive a note of inheritance and 300 Septims; even if you get him iced, he’s still throwing you some cash.
7 Aela The Huntress
Aela is yet another member of the Companions. She is a master trainer in archery and a good choice for any Dragonborn looking to join the Thieves Guild or Dark Brotherhood. The most fanatical member of the Circle, Aela is the only member of the Companions who refuses to be cured of her lycanthropy after one of the main quests.
She constantly talks about being a werewolf and all the bloodshed and hunting that it entails, whether the Dovahkiin is still a werewolf after all is said and done or not. She can also be considered as a marriage option, if you don’t mind hearing about the benefits of being a werewolf every few minutes.
Aela is a great choice for any gamer who wants to utilize the shadows and long ranged combat in the dangerous world of Skyrim, but traveling with her can become tiresome when all she does is talk about the hunt and turning into a wolf-woman.
As a Dunmer assassin for hire who really, really likes killing things, Jenassa can be found at the Drunken Huntsmen In Whiterun. She’s a great pick for any gamer who plans on killing a lot of people, innocent or not, as Jenassa doesn’t really care who you’re killing, as long as you’re killing.
She does have to be paid in order to recruit her services, but it's well worth it; she’s good at sneaking and uses a variety of weapons when putting down the many foes of the Nord’s homeland.
Strangely enough she can also be selected for marriage, which seems like a super risky proposition. If you have to pay her 500 septims just to fight by your side, why would you ever consider getting hitched?
Regardless, her travel banter is fittingly dark and brutal, making her a fun companion for the road.
With possibly the most baller name in all of Skyrim, J’zargo is a Khajiit apprentice mage who players can find at the College Of Winterhold. He’s an extremely powerful mage who uses a variety of skills and elemental attacks in battle that can make even the most hardened enemies as soft as microwaved butter.
While J’zargo can come off as somewhat of a jerk, he is still a good companion to have on the road. Extremely cocky, he’ll repeatedly spout off how great he is, while still mentioning every once in a while that he definitely has a lot more to learn before he becomes a great mage.
It’s cool that Bethesda made a Khajiit one of the strongest magic followers in the game when they’re usually reserved to the more shadowy guilds and professions, and it's even cooler that he's a tool about it.
Eola is a complete butt-kicker and has some of the most disturbing dialogue and affiliations in the game. The leader of a group of cannibals, Eola is undeniably freighting and will only join you as a follower after you clear out a certain cave and join her cannibalistic cult.
Apart from, you know, eating people, Eola is also skilled in combat, summoning a flame atronach at the beginning of most conflicts and using a variety of other spells, including resurrecting fallen enemies to fight on the side of the Dragonborn.
She is also adept at sneaking and is effective with one-handed weapons when combat gets up close and personal. Additionally, she mentions that she has tried draugr and finds it disgusting, a detail that the writers lovingly weaved in for those that travel with her.
Incredibly annoying but unquestionably effective, Cicero is the keeper of the Night Mother, the rotten body in a coffin that commands the Dark Brotherhoods assassins’ in their selection of contracts.
He also hints at the fact that he has totally slept in that coffin with the night mother, meaning that that jester outfit probably stinks to high heaven.
If players can tolerate his bizarre behavior and insane ramblings, which he pretty much does nonstop, they’ll find an effective and terrifying assassin in combat who will randomly break out in dance at the most inopportune times.
Cicero also has a multitude of unique and interesting dialogue if brought along, meaning that he can keep the game’s long, winding trails interesting.
Probably the most recognizable housecarl from Skyrim, Lydia is pretty awesome when it comes to companions in the game. Either using melee weapons or a bow, Lydia is effective in combat situations when fighting alongside the Dragonborn.
Where Lydia really shines is when she becomes the Dovahkiin’s wife, contributing unique perks that make her one of the most desirable mates in the game.
If the Dragonborn chooses to marry Lydia, she will open a shop in town, contributing 100 Septims a day to the player derived from the store’s profits. Like most spouses that are left at home, Lydia will prepare a home cooked meal for the Dovahkiin, commenting that she “added some extra mead for taste."
The way to any Dragonborn’s heart is through his or her stomach, and some extra mead in a home cooked meal never hurt anyone. Besides this, most gamers are also pretty sure that she adds another secret ingredient: love.
As one of the only pure-blood vampires to exist in the Elder Scrolls universe, Serana is a central component to the main quest in the Dawnguard DLC.The fact that she’s a pure-blood also means that she is immensely powerful, able to kick the poop out of pretty much anything the hectic world of Skyrim can throw at her.
Serana is also one of the most advanced followers in the game, and will interact with the environment in complex ways and often comment on the state of the Dragonborn’s surrounding or situation.
Combat-wise, she’s a powerful necromancer that will raise all types of dead enemies to fight alongside her in battle, switching to melee weapons once her mana pool runs dry. With her complex conversation options, unique vampire quirks, and sick necromancer abilities, she is easily the best follower in the game.
Are there any followers that we forgot? Who is your favorite companion in Skyrim? Let us know in the comments!