The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim followers guide

Are you tired of being set on fire by evil necromancers? Have all those decorative jugs become just too much for you to carry? Then you need a genuine Skyrim follower! For just the price of a few gold or a demeaning fetch quest, you too can enjoy the company of an ally so devoted that they’ll gladly get the crap kicked out of them while you cower behind a rock and chug potions. We’ve cataloged all potential followers in the game, allowing you to base your decision on crucial factors like skill set, weapon type, beard length, and breast size. Choose your glorified dragon bait today!

Some quick facts about followers:

Followers do a fairly good job of... following your lead. While they do have an annoying habit of getting in the way of your fireballs/arrows and standing in doorways, you’re usually much worse off without them. 

Followers can carry a significant amount of weight. This comes in handy if you don’t have anywhere to stash your loot between dungeon raids.

Don’t worry about losing a follower if you want some alone time. Dismissing only sends the character back to from where they came. You can simply find them and ask them back. 

If you turn around and you can’t find your buddy, chances are they aren’t dead - just lagging behind. Try waiting a few hours (using the back button). 

In most cases, enemies will only temporarily incapacitate your followers and not outright kill them. Be careful not to accidentally finish the job with a stray spell or arrow; once followers are dead, they stay dead. 

Don’t forget to upgrade your followers’ weapons and armor. If you give your follower a piece of equipment that is more effective than their stock equipment, they will use it. 

Followers aren’t just for combat. You can order them to do things like pick locks and pockets as well. 

You can only have one follower and one dog at a time.

In order to marry a follower, you first have to complete any related quests in order to gain their respect, then equip the Amulet of Mara. The amulet can be purchased from Maramal the priest in Riften for 200 gold. He can be found at the inn or the temple. 

Note: We are only covering the permanent followers. Those who join up temporarily for specific quests are not listed. 


Members of the College of Winterhold

Members of the Dark Brotherhood

Followers for hire

Quest/Task-locked followers

Daedric-related followers



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  • anil-kumar - July 4, 2012 9:24 a.m.

    can anyone tell how to complete season unending mission(neogiating a truce)?game is getting stuck watever reply i give..
  • liam-oneal - January 31, 2012 4:12 p.m.

    i dont think j'zargo is a good compainion while you are fighting an enemy with j'zargo as a compainion he will run away while ur fighting
  • DragonKingofEarth - January 21, 2012 9:38 p.m.

    Also overall if your strong i can see only 1 reason to have followers to carry your stuff other than that theyre a waste
  • DragonKingofEarth - January 12, 2012 6:44 p.m.

    The stray dog can be found outside of helgen but u gotta be at least level ten and this is how i find the dog fast travel get across helgen and search the wild he will be fighting something random like wolves or a bear but if u want to keep em never tell him to go home and it makes sense that hes near helgen
  • RandomIdoit - December 24, 2011 11 p.m.

    having a follower could really who would you reccommend for someone that will have (I'm not too far in the game, yet) good magic skills, good one-handed weapon skills, and good armor (really good light, and decent heavy) skills?
  • inkyspot - December 13, 2011 10:22 a.m.

    i think that patch messed up the xbox version of the game, some missions are totally non playable.
  • DrRock - December 12, 2011 10 a.m.

    I'm on my 3rd follower right now. First guy I can't remember his name was a very lived side kick. I got the housecarl Lydia next and she was decent for the amount of time I had her but she also fell victim to a dragon in Skyrim. The 3rd follower I have and still are with is Erandur. I accidently killed him but my magic mace but just did a reload and changed my tactics and I also have "Heal Other" magic spell so when his health gets low I just stand behind him and heal him and let him take the brunt of the damage along with my flame atronach. I think I'm going to go look for a dog to add to my party and see how that goes. As far as stealth goes I haven't had a single issue with any of my followers running into battle without me. As long as I stay crouched they do to. Now if I get seen and an enemy attacks me the followers go into battle. Even my summoned dead enemies don't run into battle unless I get seen.
  • D0CCON - December 10, 2011 1:10 p.m.

    By the way, for marriage to work, you must talk to Marammal first. Wearing the Amulet of Mara without talking about marriage with Marammal will not give you marriage prompts with characters.
  • majorsuave - December 10, 2011 5:53 a.m.

    You missed the quest related dog Barbas. You can acquire him by doing a quest for Lod in Falkreath. Once with the dog you have to accompany through a cave to complete the first part of the quest. After you are done, if you accept the 2nd part, the dog will tag along even if you don`t follow up on the quest right away. Good thing Barbas can never be killed, and I am not sure if he can be knocked out of combat either, I had to watch him take on 4 bandits (2 of them in plates) and he kept on fighting until I snapped out of stupor to help him. Bad thing with Barbas though: he keeps on glueing onto me, sometimes pushing me off, shifting target to the next object. Add a regular follower and one atronach with Barbas and you have a deadly party.
  • liam-oneal - January 31, 2012 5:25 p.m.

    barbas isnt a permenant follower
  • jackthemenace - December 10, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    Well, i'm a sneak build, so I've never really bothered having companions, since I thought they'd get me noticed super-easily, but if that's NOT the case (at least, with sneak-trained followers) I may well give it a go. Shame there aren't any decent khajiits for my gay cat-man to marry D:
  • Ravenbom - December 9, 2011 7:24 p.m.

    The dogs suck. They wouldn't be so bad if they weren't so barky. They need to take a cue from Dogmeat in Fallout 3.
  • IChooseUAntistaMON - December 9, 2011 5:52 p.m.

    The Mage in the Tavern in Riften is Unreal
  • Xerxes667 - December 11, 2011 9:27 a.m.

    BEST SCREEN NAME EVER! has Mr. Antista commented on it?