Dragon Age: Origins Best Companion – Whom to Choose

Dragon Age: Origins Best Companion
Who doesn't love the found family trope?

One of the most pivotal parts of the Dragon Age franchise is the companions we traverse the world with. Highly unique, fully developed characters who have their own personalities, wants, desires, and goals in the world of Thedas. Their banter and dialogue with the player character, NPCs, and other companions are often laden with humour and insight about the world around them. Depending on our behaviour and choices throughout the story, we can become friends, lovers, or enemies with our companions. Some will become our ride or dies, always featuring a spot in our combat party. Others will be regretfully relegated to the main camp because our personalities don't align.

When Dragon Age fans talk to each other about the games, the first question they'll usually ask is, "who did you romance?". This question highlights how crucial good companion characters are to our opinion on the game and our enjoyment when playing it. As a roleplaying game, it's only natural that the characters around us provide the deep and enriching gameplay we're looking for.

The title of Best Companion is highly contested and widely different depending on whom you ask. Luckily, we're here to provide you with the information you need to better decide who sits at the top and bottom tier. Not only will we discuss the strength of our companions, but perhaps more importantly, our connection to them on a roleplaying level. It's important to note that the companions won't be discussed according to rank (worst to best) but in the order in which you meet and acquire them throughout the game.


Alistair is the first companion we're introduced to; our fellow Grey Warden and 'Golden Retriever' boy. His introduction is littered with humour, and it's apparent that he's all about comedic relief, with a good dash of naivety mixed in. This personality choice is a good thing, given the depressing and sombre beginning to the game.  

Alistair is an ex-templar recruit who joined the Grey Wardens before you did. He appears to have some growing up to do and is viewed in a childlike manner, with sickeningly sweet optimism and a follow, not lead mentality. However, he's caring, considerate, and will support you whether he likes it or not. If given the right abilities, he's also a perfect tank, which often gives him a guaranteed spot in your party unless you want the job yourself.

In short, you're either going to view Alistair as a whiney child or a sensitive optimist. He succumbs to some typical fantasy tropes such as the secret bloodline and the boy who would be king. You'll help him navigate these waters and ultimately decide where his future lies. You also get the chance to romance him if your character is a woman, which ensures more fluff, sweetness and humorous innocence.

Why Alistair Is Great:

  • His upbeat and kind nature is refreshing compared to many companions who are decidedly more cynical or pessimistic.
  • He's with you from the beginning of your journey as a Grey Warden and a constant companion to you. He's the only one who truly knows the trials that come with being a Warden.
  • Overall, he's a great tank, and since most players would rather not play that role, he's an excellent automatic pick.
  • His interactions are often funny and telling, not only about Alistair but also the personalities of the other companions.
  • His romance is sweet and feels a lot like teenage love; intense and rose-tinted.
  • You end up choosing his future for him, whether that's for your gain or to save him from a position he wouldn't enjoy.
  • He best aligns with morally good characters and will approve of thoughtful and kinds decisions.

Pick Alistair If:

  • You need a tank for the party. It's already his default, and he's good at it.
  • You want a companion who can help lighten the room. His comedy and innocence help combat the often-bleak atmosphere surrounding you.
  • You want to romance the definition of a Golden Retriever Boyfriend. You'll have to take his hand and guide him through the intricacies of love (and it's worth it).
  • You want party banter that often consists of gently bullying Alistair for his naivety and idealism.


You meet your faithful Mabari hound in two ways, depending on your race. Human nobles owned the Mabari during their origin story, and through the tragedies that await your Cousland character, your hound remains by your side. If you're a dwarf, elf, or human mage, you're imprinted by Dog after the battle at Ostagar after healing him in a side quest. Don't worry, you get the chance to assign him a name, but we'll keep calling him Dog for now.

There are many great things about Dog, but it's hard to ignore his shortcomings. The main issue is that his party interaction and communication with the player character is severely limited as a dog. You can have some conversations with him, but they quickly become repetitive and don't develop as the story progresses.  Eventually, it whittles down to asking him to search for items and giving him pets, so he knows he's a good boy.

Additionally, his small talent tree is limited, and he cannot provide the same utility as other party members. This limitation means the damage output of other companions is far superior to Dogs.

Why Dog Is Great:

  • He's the only animal Dragon Age have ever included as a companion; that alone makes him unique and exciting!
  • Almost everyone loves dogs, and having your very own canine companion in a fantasy setting checks the box on many fantasies we have as kids.
  • His interactions are humorous; each companion has their opinions on Dog and lets us know about it. He also has a habit of giving Morrigan dead or rotting things as 'gifts'.
  • He's classed as a warrior, so he can take a couple of hits without you panicking and pulling him from the fight. We promise he won't die for real.
  • He even comes equipped with a small talent tree to gain abilities like a taunt, a lunge, and an overpowering move as he levels up.
  • While he can't wear armour, you can loot Mabari War Paint which works the same way, providing buffs for Dog and changing his appearance to show the paint.
  • Depending on your location, Dog can mark his territory at 'Landmark Trees', which buffs his strength, willpower, and constitution.
  • Dog can search specific locations to find a variety of unique gifts, codex entries and items.

Pick Dog If:

  • The thought of a canine companion charging into battle with you is too good to be true.
  • You want to use his searching ability to find additional codex's, items, and gifts.
  • You don't mind missing out on party banter and interactions that another companion could provide in Dogs place.
  • You're early in the game and still filling your companion roster. Until you know the set-up you're looking for, Dog can be a decent inclusion to help fill a position.


Morrigan is one of the most iconic characters from Dragon Age and is undoubtedly its version of marmalade; you're either going to love her or hate her. Her personality is abrasive, and she's highly opinionated, which means your decisions have a good chance of gaining her disapproval. In addition, she often clashes with other companions, evidenced through their party banter, which can turn people off her without giving her a chance.

 We meet Morrigan after the battle of Ostagar, where she and her mother, Flemeth, save us from the fight and heal us at their home in the Korcari Wilds. When we set off for our big quest, Flemeth sends Morrigan to help us, much to her disappointment and Alistair's.

Many of her weaknesses as a character are directly linked to her personality and how she presents herself. Those who aren't willing to complete her questline and take the time to get to know her will be left thinking she is a narcissistic and opinionated antagonist whom you'd rather not have in your party.

Morrigan can be romanced by male Wardens, which is hard-earned but very rewarding. Initially, she views love as a weakness and prides herself in not wasting her time seeking it, but surprises herself when she develops feelings for the player. Her romance is rewarding as you show Morrigan she is capable of love and that it doesn't have to be a weakness. Unfortunately, it doesn't end happily, which can be good or bad depending on whether you want a happily ever after storyline.

Why Morrigan Is Great:

  • She's a powerful mage who and an asset to your party composition.
  • She has one of the most interesting personalities and is an enigma to understand, always seeming to have an ulterior motive.
  • Her banter with other companions can be argumentative, and she revels in challenging companions on their viewpoints and beliefs.
  • Her romance is perhaps the most rewarding of all the romance choices, and through it, she sees the most character development out of all the party members.
  • She is a pivotal character to the game's storyline, and her decisions, along with yours, shape how the following games play out.

Pick Morrigan If:

  • You enjoy passive-aggressive characters who won't apologize for how they behave towards others.
  • You enjoy puzzles and challenges, as she is both in equal parts.
  • You want a companion who can be hard to trust initially but eventually becomes a close comrade and possible lover.
  • You need a strong damage dealer in your party with good utility.
  • You want a companion that will challenge you and your decisions.



We meet Leliana in the Lothering Tavern, where she explains that through divine intervention, she is meant to meet the Grey Wardens and aid them in their quest against the Blight. A talented rogue and bard, she helps initially fill that position until our list of companions expands.

Leliana is like Alistair in that she is often naïve and appears innocent, despite being a bard, trained in manipulation, assassination, and espionage. This might appear to clash with her personality if it weren't for her religious awakening after seeking refuge at a cloister and becoming a Chantry Lay Sister.  This newfound destiny softens Leliana, which some people may enjoy, and frustrate others.

Both male and female Wardens can romance Leliana, providing a sweet and gentle relationship similar to Alistair's. However, if you romance Leliana and another companion, you can see that beneath her serene appearance, there is a woman who remains sharp-tongued and keen to fight.

Additionally, throughout the game, you have the chance to 'soften' or 'harden' Leliana's personality based on your choices and responses to her. Because of this aspect of her development, she needs to be neutral or bland initially to serve as a 'starting point' to her journey and better show the effects of your softening/hardening. Of course, you may or may not like the Leliana you have after making these decisions, so it's worth choosing carefully.

Why Leliana Is Great:

  • Her character can challenge other companions (namely Morrigan), creating some great banter between them.
  • Her character development is influenced by your choices, depending on what you think is best for her. Unfortunately, not many companions have this quality to them.
  • She gives you an insight into Chantry religion that other companions don't. Moreover, it provides context on how religion can work in a world of mages, Blights, and multiple species.
  • She is gentle and kind, despite the world she has seen and experienced. It takes a lot for someone to remain compassionate after being hurt many times.

Pick Leliana If:

  • You're looking for a rogue to fill your roster, but you already have too many melee characters. As a ranged rogue, Leliana gives you all the same benefits as any other rogue and the added safety of being outside of melee range.
  • You want a character with a personality you can directly affect. Hardening/softening her character will permanently change her in the future.
  • You're looking for a gentle romance with a female companion.
  • You're interested in her religious beliefs and how they impact her interactions with other companions.          


You may have failed to pick Sten up as a companion during your first Origins playthrough. Caged up in Lothering near the beginning of the game, you can choose to free him, and now indebted to you, he remains in your party and helps you on your journey.

Sten is a quiet, stoic two-handed warrior who appears cold in his mannerisms. As a member of the Qunari, Sten has a lot of interesting dialogue based around his homeland, morals, and experience as a Qunari warrior who is so far away from home. It can take a while to win over his approval, as his prejudices and opinions are often hidden behind his quiet and observing demeanour. Once you manage to crack that egg, though, he shows a softer side of himself which can be charming and helps you warm up to him. As a two-handed warrior, Sten is an intimidating foe in the frontline. He's helpful in close combat and decent in terms of the damage he can dish out.

What lets Sten down most of all is his personality and party interactions. If you're not a fan of dry wit, then you're going to struggle because that's his humour in a nutshell. Additionally, if you want a companion with more personality and inflexion in their voice, Sten will be a hard miss. It's a shame that our first introduction to the Qunari is a companion who isn't fully fleshed out and is a bit of a confusing mixture of Qunari viewpoints and cynicism.

It's a massive letdown that Sten is so one dimensional. If you've played Dragon Age: Inquisition, you see the missed opportunity even more clearly after experiencing Iron Bulls bigger than life personality. Sten was an experiment and came with his pros and cons.

Why Sten Is Great:

  • He's completely different from the other companions due to his background and world views. It opens a dialogue about Dragon Age prejudices and the fear of an unknown and fearsome country. It often leads companions to become more reflective and is less about humour.
  • He has some interesting interactions that bring context to other parts of the world. You can't learn about Sten without learning about the Qunari.
  • He's a character that doesn't like you off the bat, and it feels like you have to earn his friendship, whereas other companions like you immediately.

Pick Sten If:

  • You need a warrior in your party, and you don't like Oghren.
  • You're willing to spend the time to get to know him and become his friend.
  • You're a fan of dry wit and clever humour.
  • You like ominous, threatening men.


Wynne is an older woman and mage that you can recruit at the Circle of Magi. Her age has given her wisdom and perspective, and she is happy to share both with you during interactions and party banter. She also serves as a powerful healer in your party, which becomes crucial at greater difficulties.

As the oldest companion in your team, Wynne comes across as a grandmotherly mentor who is keen to give advice to your Warden and give her two cents during player choices. Unfortunately, this can cause fans to dislike her, as her advice can often come off as preachy or as if she knows better than the others. It's particularly evident when she shares her disapproval over certain romance choices and can feel like being chided by a parental figure.

Despite that, Wynne wishes only the best for you and is a comforting figure to have close by. She recognizes the responsibility on your shoulders and tries to help ease it with her soft-spoken and patient nature. Unfortunately, it's also this soft-spoken way of hers that can push her to the backbench in place of more evocative companions. She also lacks an overarching internal conflict like the other party members, making her character less well-rounded and more one dimensional.

Why Wynne Is Great:

  • She provides a comforting presence in the camp and looks out for your wellbeing, which other companions often ignore.
  • She treats Alistair like a child, which can be hilarious to watch and makes for some funny party banter.
  • She's as tragic as she is sweet, with the revelation of the spirit aiding her and her quickly approaching death causing a bitter-sweet feeling when interacting with her.
  • Her arguments with Morrigan are entertaining and highlight the difference between Circle mages and apostates.

Pick Wynne If:

  • You enjoy the thought of having a grandma in battle.
  • You want to see a different perspective on storyline situations from someone older and wiser than the rest.
  • You want to watch her baby Alistair


Zevran is an Antivan Crow; an assassin hired to kill you, who becomes your companion after failing to do so. He's untrustworthy at first, but as you travel through Ferelden and come to know him, he becomes a close friend and a potential lover for male and female Wardens.

Zevran is a powerful rogue from Antiva, and the only elf in your party, making for some interesting dialogue and banter between companions. However, as you grow closer to him, you learn that behind his arrogance is a softer and sometimes more romantic side than what he presents to the outside world.

Why Zevran Is Great:

  • His arrogance and smooth-talking qualities make him interesting to talk to and can be a little ironic, considering he remains arrogant despite failing to kill you.
  • He enjoys poking fun at Alistair, focusing primarily on his lack of experience with women and general innocence.
  • He provides more insight into the world outside of Ferelden, and this different perspective makes him dynamic and unique.
  • He's quick to joke, making for funny banter between companions.
  • He's childish like Alistair but in different ways. He enjoys innuendos and mischief, in contrast to Alistair's whiny and gullible nature.

Pick Zevran If:

  • You need a melee rogue in your party.
  • You don't want to use the default rogue (Leliana)
  • You want to romance the smooth and romantic assassin. His casual approach to relationships and sex evolves into a stable and deep connection to the Warden.
  • You enjoy innuendos and crass humour.


Oghren is a crude, drunken dwarf you encounter during your visit to the dwarven city, Orzammar. His most prominent personality trait is his love of alcohol, which can polarize players and their fondness for him. A two-handed berserker, Oghren is useful in battle and a good butt at the end of the joke outside of it. Unfortunately, his drinking is the focus of his personality, so he can seem one dimensional to fans looking for a little more in their companions.

As the only dwarf in the party, he offers information and perspective on dwarven culture, which other companions can comment on. This helps build the context of the world around you, so it's helpful to keep him close by. Most of his interactions are humorous, based on the fact that he's a drunken fool. It isn't until later that you understand the tragedy of his alcoholism and where it comes from when you become closer to him.

Why Oghren Is Great:

  • He's the typical stereotype of a dwarf. A big drinker who loves to fight, swear, and offend those with delicate sensitivities.
  • He works as an effective warrior in your party.
  • His personal/loyalty quest gives you hope that he could change and get a handle on his drinking and general direction in life.

Pick Oghren If:

  • You need a damage-dealing warrior, and Sten is too one-note for you as a companion.
  • You enjoy crass humour and crude jokes.
  • You enjoy having a companion that can bring the tone down in the room.


Shale is only available as a companion if you've downloaded "The Stone Prisoner" DLC, so not every fan will have come across them. Shale is a grumpy stone construct created by the dwarves in the past and long abandoned in a small town in Ferelden, frozen in place and forgotten.

Released by the Warden and recruited as a companion, Shale is a grumpy and jaded personality who despises birds and loves gems and shiny rocks. You never quite know what will come out of their mouth, which makes for funny banter between companions.

Through their questline, you discover that Shale was once a female dwarf that volunteered to become a golem. This was previously unknown to Shale and provides additional information to help flesh out their character. However, some fans will still dislike the constant moaning and disdain that is Shale.

Why Shale Is Great:

  • A powerful warrior in battle, their talents are unique compared to other warriors in the party.
  • Shale is a piece of dwarven history, and after existing for over a thousand years, their banter and view on the world around them is funny and illuminating.
  • Their disdain for almost everything is hilarious, and you look forward to their opinions wherever you go.

Pick Shale If:

  • You want a unique warrior in your party.
  • You want to hear about all the things they hate or don't understand.
  • You're looking for an interesting dialogue between companions surrounding Shale's creation and existence in Thedas.
  • You want to slowly gain their friendship, which initially seems like an impossibility.
  • You enjoy being called 'it'.


Overall, the best companion for you depends on what you're looking for. Dragon Age: Origins comes with various fleshed-out characters, each unique in their backgrounds, personalities, and storylines. Each has their own dialogue options with the player character and a variety of banter with other companions so they can be placed in whatever lineup you prefer. Some are romanceable, and others can only become good friends, which is important to keep in mind. Regardless of your favourites, these companions are sure to stay with you long after you've played through the game.

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Self-proclaimed Grey Warden , Connor enjoys long raids on the beach, scenic drives aboard the Normandy, and quiet nights fishing in Azeroth. This gamer puts his +5 intellect boots on one at a time.
Gamer Since: 2002
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Valheim, Hades
Top 3 Favorite Games:World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Dragon Age: Origins, Mass Effect 3

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