The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim followers guide

Members of the Dark Brotherhood

Assassins are good to take around if you’re a stealth build yourself, as they are the less likely to blow your cover than other followers. Under that condition, we’ve listed them both as yay. However, if you aren’t using a sneak build, you should probably avoid these two. 


Training: One-handed, archery, light armor, sneak

Requirement: Join Brotherhood, spare his life during main questline 

Marriage: No

Location: Dawnstar Sanctuary

Yay!: Cicero has similar skills to the Dark Brotherhood Initiate, but he makes more entertaining comments as he follows you. 

Dark Brotherhood Initiate

Training: One-handed, archery, light armor, sneak

Requirement: Join Brotherhood, complete “Hail Sithis” quest. 

Marriage: No

Location: Dawnstar Sanctuary

Yay!: Initiate’s have the same skill set as Cicero, which comes in handy if you’ve killed Cicero. You can choose between a male and female initiate. 

Followers for hire

Each of these followers offers their services for a mere 500 gold. In most cases, dismissing these followers means you’ll have to pay another 500 to recruit them again. 


Training: Destruction, restoration, one-handed, light armor

Requirement: 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him 

Location: The Winking Skeever in Solitude

Yay!: Belrand is a mixture of warrior and mage, with an ability to heal. This makes him an extremely useful ally for nearly any build. 


Training: Two-handed, block, archery, light armor

Requirement: Convince his father, pay 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him 

Location: The farm in Rorikstead

Nay!: If a follower specializes in two-handed weapons, we prefer they also dabble in heavy armor. This is not the case with Erik, so we would avoid him. 


Training: Archery, sneak, one-handed, block, light armor

Requirement: 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire her

Location: The Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun

Yay!: Janassa is one of the few followers with five skill specialties. She is primarily an archer, with enough back up skills to make for a good melee warrior. Specializing in sneak makes her a valuable ally for players that like to use bow-centric sneak attacks.  


Training: Destruction, restoration, conjuration, alteration, sneak

Requirement: 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him

Location: The Bee and Barb in Riften

Yay!: Marcurio is a good choice for players seeking a mage but who aren’t a member of the College of Winterhold. 


Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him

Location: Candlehearth Hall in Windhelm

Yay!: Stenvar is a great tank due to his heavy armor, block, and two-handed skills. He can also deal damage at a distance thanks to his archery skill.  


Training: One-handed, heavy armor, block, archery

Requirement: 500 gold 

Marriage: Yes, if you first hire him

Location: Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth

Yay!: Vorstag is quite similar to Stenvar, only he specializes in one-handed weaponry. A solid warrior. Plus, he can be found drunkenly dancing, so there’s that...

Quest/Task-locked followers

These characters will follow you only after you’ve completed a quest/task/favor for or relating to them. The size and difficulty of the task varies, so we’ve factored that into our yays and nays.

Ahtar the Jailor

Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: Agree to kill the leader at Broken Oar Grotto

Marriage: No

Location: Many places in Solitude. We found him in Jala’s house.

Nay!: Ahtar is a good tank build, and his default weapon is his executioner axe.  However, he can be quite difficult to track down, and because he’s nothing too special, we would avoid him. 


Training: Two-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: Beat him in a brawl

Marriage: Yes, if you first beat him in a brawl

Location: Wandering the streets of Morthal

Yay!: Benor is a great tank, and his task is simple. As such, we recommend him. 

Borgakh the Steel Heart

Training: One-handed, heavy armor, archery, sneak

Requirement: Use speech skill, pay her dowry, or complete a small quest 

Marriage: Yes, after she becomes a follower

Location: Training in the orc stronghold of Mor Khazgur

Nay!: Unless you are an orc yourself, you’ll have to complete a quest before you can converse effectively with the residents of Mor Khazgur. Considering that in addition to the work you need to do for Borgakh in particular, we suggest passing on the orc. That, and her skills of heavy armor and sneak seem contradictory. 


Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: Beat him in a brawl or buy him a drink

Marriage: Yes, if you first do the above

Location: Silver-Blood Inn in Markarth

Yay!: Cosnach is a tank build that prefers shields, so we definitely like him. Plus, drunkards are always entertaining. 

Ghorbash the Iron Hand

Training: One-handed, block, archery, sneak, light armor

Requirement: Complete a short quest for him

Marriage: Yes, if he has become a follower

Location: Training in the orc stronghold of Dushnikh Yal

Yay!: Ghorbash’s light armor, sneak, and archery skills make him a good follower for stealth builds who haven’t joined the Brotherhood. 


Training: Enchanting, Alchemy, Smithing, Archery

Requirement: Complete “Love Triangle” in his favor

Marriage: No

Location: Sleeping Giant Inn in Riverwood

Yay!: Sven is one of the few non-combat followers. Of course he can fight, but his real purpose is to round out players who don’t share his unique skill set. 

Uthgerd the Unbroken

Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: Beat her in a brawl

Marriage: Yes, beat her in a brawl

Location: The Bannered Mare in Whiterun

Yay!: Because Whiterun is one of the first locations you’ll find in the game, and beating Uthgerd in a brawl is easy, we recommend her as a follower. 


Training: One-handed, block, heavy armor, archery

Requirement: Clear his dungeon

Marriage: No

Location: Hillgrund’s Tomb in Whiterun Hold

Nay!: Warrior followers are common, and most don’t require you clear an entire dungeon first before joining you. As such, we recommend you leave Golldir and his problems alone.  


Training: Destruction, Restoration, Conjuration, Alteration

Requirement: Clear her dungeon

Marriage: No

Location: Darklight Tower in The Rift

Yay!: Illia is a powerful mage and a great choice for those who don’t have access to the followers in the College of Winterhold. Just make sure she doesn’t get too close to the enemy, for she has no armor skills. 

Adelaisa Vendicci

Training: Speech, Smithing, Enchanting, Alchemy

Requirement: Complete the side quest “Rise in the East” given by Orthus Endario. 

Marriage: No

Location:  East Empire Company at the Windhelm docks

Nay!: Adelaisa has a rare skill set for a follower, and is recommended if you are already completing her associated side quest. However, there are a couple other followers with similar skill sets that are easier to obtain (such as Sven). 


  • 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?

Showing 1-14 of 14 comments

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