In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you can recruit NPCs to follow you while exploring. Followers will perform tasks, carry equipment, and fight by your side, whether you unlock them by completing quests or paying for their services.
There are a total of 71 creatures and NPCs available as followers in Skyrim. In Skyrim Anniversary Edition, the number of followers available for recruiting increases to 86.
Based on attributes, fighting style, and other benefits, who’s the best follower in Skyrim?
There are only 5 followers that will continue to level up with the player: J’zargo, Celann, Durak, Ingjard, and Frea. J’zargo from the College of Winterhold offers the best advantages to the player in Skyrim in fighting style and attributes.
The Khajit NPC is the only follower from this list who continues increasing all three attributes with each level. In addition to this, J’zargo is flagged with a moral value of 0, meaning that they’re willing to perform any crime under the Dragonborn’s command.
However, if the player has installed the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, Frea will offer better stats since J’zargo will cap at level 30 like the rest of the College of Winterhold followers. Frea is available as a follower after the Dragonborn DLC’s main questline is complete.
Who is the Best Follower in Skyrim?
In this article, we’ve chosen the 10 best followers in Skyrim based on their fighting style, level scaling, and additional perks boosting their skills.
|Follower||Fighting Style||Maximum Level||Perks|
|J’zargo||Mage||Same as player||None|
|Frea||One-Handed||Same as player||Critical Shot (rank 1)|
Dual Flurry (rank 2) Fighting Stance
Hack and Slash (rank 2)
Mage Armor (rank 2)
Magic Resistance (rank 2)
Recovery (rank 1)
|Serana||Vampire||50||Augmented Frost (rank 1)|
Bladesman (rank 1) Custom Fit
Hack and Slash (rank 1)
Magic Resistance (rank 1)
|Teldryn Sero||One-Handed||60||Adept DestructionAgile Defender (rank 3)|
Armsman (rank 3)
Augmented Flames (rank 1)
Bladesman (rank 1)
|Durak||Archery||Same as player||Critical Shot (rank 1)|
Extra Damage 1.5
Hack and Slash
|Celann||One-Handed||Same as player||Bladesman (rank 1)|
Extra Damage 1.5
Hack and Slash
|Ingjard||Two-Handed||Same as player||None|
Farkas is a member of The Companions in Whiterun, available after the Dragonborn completes the faction’s questline. His health and stamina will scale with the player, but he can reach a maximum level of 50.
He prioritizes One-Handed weapons and, given his position as a member of the Companions’ inner circle, he can also turn into a werewolf.
Farkas can also offer Master training in Heavy Armor.
Illia is found in the Darklight Tower, located southwest of Riften, where you must complete the Repentance quest to unlock her as a follower.
As a mage, Illia relies on Destruction spells as a primary skill, however, the player can still equip her with one-handed weapons and shields. Her leveling maxes out at 50.
Ingjard is added to the game as part of the Dawnguard DLC, specializing in Two-Handed and Heavy Armor.
She will be available as a follower while completing the Prophet quest when siding with the Dawngard, and can also become your personal steward for any of your homesteads.
Unlike the other Dawnguard followers available, Ingjard doesn’t have additional perks.
Celann is part of the Dawnguard DLC and prioritizes Heavy Armor and ranged weapons. He will also attack with One-Handed weapons in close combat.
His Health and Stamina will continue to scale with the player, and like other followers from the Dawnguard, he has perks that boost his main skills.
Durak is an NPC found in Fort Dawnguard that prioritizes Archery during fights and specializes in Light Armor, Block, and One-Handed.
Durak has 5 fighting perks that boost his Archery and One-Handed skills, and his Health and Stamina attributes will scale with the player’s level.
Cicero prioritizes one-handed weapons and light armor as part of their bandit build. He specializes in One-Handed, Sneak, Archery, and Light Armor.
The player encounters Cicero during the Dark Brotherhood questline, where they will eventually have to decide on whether to spare his life or kill him during The Cure for Madness quest. He can also serve as a steward for the Dragonborn.
Cicero will only scale up to level 50 as a follower.
4. Teldryn Sero
Teldryn Sero prioritizes One-Handed and Destruction spells for battle, and he has 8 perks boosting his fighting skills. The player can find him in the Retching Netch in Raven Rock and hire him for 500 gold.
Like J’zargo, Teldryn Sero will perform any crime as a follower. However, his attributes don’t scale as the player levels up, and his maximum level caps at 60.
Serana is arguably a highly popular follower in Skyrim due to her powerful fighting skills as a vampire, being able to scale with the player until level 50. Aside from using the vampire-exclusive skills, Serana resurrects corpses for a battle to fight for her and the Dragonborn.
The player can choose Serana as their follower after the Dawnguard questline, although the game will have her follow you through specific quests.
Frea is available through the Dragonborn DLC where you’ll first encounter her in The Temple of Miraak once you’ve triggered the main quest in Solstheim. Compared to other NPCs, she has perks that improve her fighting abilities, but her attributes won’t scale as the player levels up.
In addition to this, Frea won’t commit any crimes as a follower.
Frea will also have unique dialogues with some situations and environments and will become a forced follower during The Temple of Miraak quest.
J’zargo is arguably the best follower in Skyrim due to his strong fighting skills, willingness to perform crimes, and how easy it is for the Dragonborn to unlock him as a follower.
J’zargo is a mage found in the College of Winterhold who prioritizes Destruction spells for combat and can wear Light Armor gear if the player leaves it in its inventory. He prioritizes shock spells and can summon wards for self-defense.
The Dragonborn must enroll with the College of Winterhold and complete J’zargo’s Experiment quest to unlock him as a follower. In contrast to other followers, all three attributes will continue to increase as the player levels up.
If the player has installed the Unofficial Skyrim Patch, J’zargo will have a maximum level of 30.
Who Is the Most Interesting Follower in Skyrim?
Serana and Frea offer the most interesting dialogue options and interactions for the player, since they’re essential NPCs to the Dawnguard and Dragonborn DLC questline, respectively. This means that they will become forced followers of the player in specific quests.
After these main storylines are complete, Serana and Frea can become followers of the player.
Who Is the Best Mage Follower in Skyrim?
J’zargo is one of the best mage followers in Skyrim given how he’s able to continue leveling up alongside the player and uses shock Destruction spells, decreasing the target’s Stamina.
Another strong option is Illia, who uses frost Destruction spells, causing significant area damage to enemies, although her usefulness can be reduced after level 50 due to her level cap.
Who Is the Best Tank Follower in Skyrim?
Celann prioritizes Heavy Armor and will level up alongside the player, so it’s advisable to equip him with stronger gear in order to increase his resistance in combat.
Vilkas and Farkas are two followers in the Companions that will also prioritize Heavy Armor, but both have a maximum level of 50.
Who Is the Best Trainer Follower in Skyrim?
The following list includes all candidate followers who can also offer skill training. These NPCs will still require payments for their training services, but the player can look into their inventory and take back the gold.
|Aela the Huntress||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Expert Archery|
|Athis||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Expert One-Handed|
|Farkas||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Master Heavy Armor|
|Njada Stonearm||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Expert Block|
|Talvas Fathryon||Solstheim||Master Conjuration|
|Vilkas||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Master Two-Handed|
All Skyrim Followers
We’ve listed all followers in Skyrim whose maximum level is at least 30. The list won’t include all new followers added by the Anniversary Update and also excludes creatures that can function as followers.
|Name||Fighting Style||Location||Requirements||Other notes|
|Aela the Huntress||Archery||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Complete the Companion’s questline||Marriage candidate|
Expert Archery trainer
|Annekke Crag-Jumper||Archery||Darkwater Crossing||Steward candidate|
|Aranea Ienith||Mage||Shrine of Azura, Winterhold||Complete The Black Star in her favor|
|Argis the Bulwark||One-Handed||Markarth||Become Thane of the Reach||Marriage candidate|
|Belrand||Spellsword||Winking Skeever, Solitude||Hire for 500 gold||Marriage candidate |
|Benor||Two-Handed||Morthal||Win a brawl against him||Marriage candidate|
|Borgakh the Steel Heart||One-Handed||Mor Khazgur Stronghold||Pay her dowry or pass a Speech check||Marriage candidate|
|Brelyna Maryon||Mage||College of Winterhold||Enroll in the College of Winterhold|
Complete the quest Brelyna’s Practice
|Calder||One-Handed||Windhelm||Become Thane of Eastmarch||Marriage candidate|
|Celann||One-Handed||Fort Dawnguard, Dawnguard DLC||Side with the Dawnguard|
Complete the Prophet quest
|Cicero||One-Handed||Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary||Complete the Dark Brotherhood’s quest line|
Spare his life during The Cure for Madness quest
|Cosnach||One-Handed||Markarth||Give him a drink or win a brawl against him||Marriage candidate|
|Derkeethus||Archery||Darkwater Pass||Complete Extracting an Argonian quest||Marriage candidate|
|Durak||Archery||Fort Dawnguard, Dawnguard DLC||Side with the Dawnguard|
Complete the Prophet quest
|Eola||Mage||Hall of the Dead, Markarth||Complete The Taste of Death quest||Steward candidate|
|Erandur||Mage||Dawnstar||Complete Waking Nightmare in his favor|
|Erik the Slayer||Two-Handed||Rorikstead||Hire for 500 gold||Steward candidate|
|Faendal||Archery||Riverwood||Complete A Lovely Letter in his favor||Steward candidate |
Common Archery trainer.
|Farkas||One-Handed||Jorrvaskr in Whiterun||Complete the Companion’s quest line||Marriage candidate|
Master Heavy Armor trainer
|Frea||One-Handed||Skaal Village, Solstheim from Dragonborn DLC||Complete Dragonborn’s DLC main quest line|
Pass Speech check
|Will join as a follower in several Dragonborn DLC quests|
|Ghorbash the Iron Hand||Archery||Dushnikh Yal Stronghold||Pass Spell check||Marriage candidate|
|Golldir||One-Handed||Hillgrund’s Tomb, Windhelm||Complete Ancestral Worship quest||Steward candidate|
|Gregor||One-Handed||Dawnstar||Become Thane of the Pale||Marriage candidate|
|Illia||Mage||Darklight Tower, Riften||Complete Repentance quest||Steward candidate|
|Ingjard||Two-Handed||Fort Dawnguard, Dawnguard DLC||Side with the Dawnguard|
Complete the Prophet quest
|Iona||One-Handed||Riften||Become Thane of the Rift||Marriage candidate|
|J’zargo||Mage||College of Winterhold||Enroll in the College of Winterhold|
Complete the quest J’zargo’s Experiment
|Jenassa||Archery||Drunken Huntsman, Whiterun||Hire for 500 gold||Marriage candidate|
|Jordis the Sword-Maiden||One-Handed||Solitude||Become Thane of Haafingar||Marriage candidate|
|Kharjo||One-Handed||Ahkari’s Khajiit caravan||Complete Amulet of the Moon quest|
|Lob||Archery||Largashbur Stronghold||Complete The Cursed Tribe quest||Steward candidate|
|Lydia||One-Handed||Whiterun||Complete Dragon Rising quest||Marriage candidate|
|Marcurio||Mage||The Bee and Barb, Riften||Hire for 500 gold||Marriage candidate |
|Mjoll the Lioness||Two-Handed||Riften||Complete Grimsever’s Return quest||Marriage candidate|
|Ogol||One-Handed||Largashbur Stronghold||Complete The Cursed Tribe quest||Steward candidate|
|Onmund||Mage||College of Winterhold||Enroll in the College of Winterhold|
Complete the quest Onmund’s Request
|Ralis Sedarys||One-Handed||Kolbjorn Barrow, Solstheim from Dragonborn DLC||Complete Unearthed quest|
|Rayya||One-Handed||Falkreath||Become Thane of Haafingar||Marriage candidate|
|Serana||Vampire||Start the Prophet quest||Will join as a follower in several Dawnguard DLC quests|
|Stenvar||Two-Handed||Windhelm||Hire for 500 gold||Marriage candidate|
|Teldryn Sero||One-Handed||Raven Rock, Solstheim from Dragonborn DLC||Hire for 500 gold|
|Ugor||Archery||Largashbur Stronghold||Complete The Cursed Tribe quest|
|Uthgerd the Unbroken||One-Handed||The Bannered Mare, Whiterun||Win a brawl against her||Marriage candidate|
|Valdimar||Spellsword||Morthal||Become Thane of Haafingar||Marriage candidate|
|Vilkas||Two-Handed||Jorrvaskr, Whiterun||Complete the Companion’s quest line||Marriage candidate|
Master Two-handed trainer
|Vorstag||One-Handed||Silver-Blood Inn, Markarth||Hire for 500 gold||Marriage candidate|