[Top 15] Skyrim Best Followers That Are Excellent (And How To Get Them)

Skyrim's Finest

Skyrim is the ultimate fantasy-adventure experience in all of gaming. There, I said it. It presents you with an absolutely breathtaking world which you can explore from top to bottom, filled to the brim with secrets to unravel, mysteries to solve and things to do.

The game gives players the amount of freedom and exploration to be whatever they want, whether they want to pursue the life of  an adventurer or a fisherman.  If you choose the former, you can take on the world of Skyrim and all its hostilities from Draugr to Dragons, you name it. This is where the followers come in.

Skyrim itself is a hostile place and danger lurks around every corner, and can quite often prove to be too much for the player to handle on their own. The followers in this game are some of the companions and friends you make along your travels that can become your traveling buddies and help you take on the harsh world of Skyrim.

Though there are dozens of followers available in the game, we have narrowed down the 15 best that will be the most helpful in the entire game!


15. Mjoll, the Lioness

How to get Mjoll as a follower: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5zXPQS-rrA

Mjoll is an extremely talkative Nord that you can meet as soon as you enter  Riften, as she is standing to the immediate right of the gate, talking to Aerin. Either that, or she will be inside the Bee and Barb tavern doing the same thing. She can only be accessed as a follower if the player is level 14 or above.

As far as her character goes, she is quite chatty and likable, and is very much opposed to the Thieves Guild and Dark Brotherhood, possessing a strong sense of compassion and justice. As a follower, she’s a great damage sponge and can soak up a ton of damage and deal a lot in return as well, making her a great distraction for enemies. If you want a follower that is likable and good hearted, Mjoll the Lioness is always a great option.


Mjoll, the Lioness excels in:

  • Being a great distraction for the enemies
  • Dealing considerable damage 
  • Taking a bunch of damage while you can focus on the main objective or can fight the enemies from behind them
  • Being a tank to help you in your objective


14. Ingjard

How to get Ingjard:

(could not find a Youtube video about her or her quest)

Ingjard is an amazing follower of pure Nord stock, giving her an inherent buff which makes her 50% resistant to frost damage. This allows her to go toe to toe with most ice damage dealing enemies in the game and also makes her a perfect companion to go exploring the icy tundras of Skyrim.

Though her weapon of choice, a two-handed warhammer, makes her more susceptible to fast attacks by smaller and faster enemies, there is one trait of Ingjard that makes her a dime in a dozen; loyalty. Ingjard is one of the few followers in this game that will always remain by your side, no matter what you do. Want to be a vampire, werewolf or just a mad man that murders everyone in sight? Ingjard will always have your back.


Ingjard excels in:

  • Giving the player a friendship akin to the Fellowship of the Ring
  • Being a strength build and dealing great damage
  • Becoming an extremely powerful follower as she has no level cap
  • Becoming a true friend to the Dragonborn


13. Vilkas

How to get Vilkas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ViyfXwpcXk

Being the Master at Arms for Jorrvaskr and for the Companions, Vilkas is also a master trainer at two-handed weapon wielding, making him a very useful follower. Upon completing the Companions questline, players will find that they now have the option to choose Vilkas as a follower.

Though he isn't as strong as his brother Farkas, he is still a better choice overall as he not only deals great damage, he is also quite a fun person to travel around Skyrim with and is still fairly effective in a battle. However, he has 0 tolerance for crime. Even if he is active as your follower, he will draw his sword and confront you if you have a bounty in any hold you visit, although he won’t attack you unless you provoke him.


Vilkas excels in:

  • Being a decently strong and balanced follower
  • Being a good companion for the road
  • Always being there to level up your two-handed skill upto master level


12. Jenassa

How to get Jenassa: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=06OVEXFSD7s

Jenassa is a creepy weirdo that only hangs around the Drunken Huntsman in Whiterun. However, there is no quest tied to her, meaning that she can be one of the very first followers that the player can get in the entire game. All that is required is for the player to go up to her and pay her 500 gold, provided they have it of course.

Though she may not be the strongest, she is a very effective early game follower that the player can use in the beginning of the game while they themselves slowly build up their own repute. She is also an archer that can provide very useful ranged damage. It should be noted, however, that once she starts attacking an enemy, she will not stop even if they and the player have both sheathed their blades.


Jenassa excels in: 

  • Being an effective early game follower
  • Providing ranged damage
  • Being a loyal follower that will always side with the player regardless of how they want to play the game
  • Having an unlimited supply of arrows as she can pick up stray arrows from the ground
  • Being super practical as she can wear both light and heavy armors


11. Erandur 

How to get Erandur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waOZAT0N7Ng

This Dunmer mage can be found in Dawnstar at the Windpeak Inn and through speaking to him there, you can trigger a quest where you side with him to help the townsfolk against a malevolent force that invades and haunts their dreams. Completing the ‘Walking Nightmare’ unlocks Erandur as a follower.

Clad in just robes, Erandur cannot take much damage but he can surely dish it out as he is a very proficient magic wielder, commanding flames to do a great amount of damage. He uses a fire staff and the firebolt spell masterfully. He can even use archery when he is far beyond the range of spells and once he runs out of magic, he will bring out his mace to deal melee damage. He just doesn’t quit!


Erandur excels in:

  • Dealing all kinds of damage; magic, melee and ranged
  • Wielding fire damage very well
  • Being an unrelenting fighter as he busts out bows and melee weapons when his magic runs out
  • Being a healer and a magic wielding support character


10. Eola 

How to get Eola: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=az4YqCchGb4

I’ll admit it, I hate this character. The road required to get this character to be your follower is one that is fairly disgusting and very immoral and negative. Unfortunately, getting Eola as a follower is pretty worth it as she is very useful in quite a few areas.

For the low price of your morality and eating human flesh, Eola comes to you as a master of sneaking and can also resurrect the dead in order to fight for you. Though she is fairly weak due to lack of heavy weapons and armor, he can still prove to be very useful.


Eola excels in:

  • Being an expert in sneaking
  • Summoning Daedra and reanimating corpses to fight for you
  • Making you feel like a terrible person


9. Illia

How to get Illia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9BWAiSZUuo

Illia is not only one of the few magic based followers in the game, but she is also one of the best! Her quest follows you teaming up with her in order to defeat her mother who seeks to turn herself into a Hagraven. Upon defeating the mother, she can join the player as a follower from the Darklight Tower.

Illia is a great example of a glass canon follower. She is an Imperial battlemage with a great affinity for destruction magic, especially with frost destruction magic. She is quite masterful with Ice Spike and Ice Storm and can deal great damage to a group of enemies with the latter. However, she is very susceptible to close and personal encounters and can take a lot of damage in these exchanges so the player must be mindful of this.


Illia excels in:

  • Destruction ice magic
  • As a support character
  • In dealing very effective ranged damage to both individuals and groups


8. Aela the Huntress

How to get Aela: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ViyfXwpcXk

Aela is a fan favorite follower amongst the players of Skyrim and is also one of the top choices for marriage as well. She is a very strong character and is one that is very useful as a follower as she is not only a formidable archer that can always support you from a distance, but also one that can use almost any weapon that you give her, provided they are better than her default sword.

Aela can definitely handle herself, and can take on many characters at once. She is also a very loyal follower as she will tolerate the players actions, whether it is thieving or even murdering innocents. She goes on and on about the perks of being a werewolf and everything that entails, so if you don’t mind hearing about that all the time, definitely give Aela a shot.


Aela excels in:

  • Being a support character that can deal great range damage
  • Leveling up your archery whenever you need it. She is a master trainer at archery
  • Being a very loyal companion
  • Being a confident and bold follower that is not afraid to do damage and take damage


7. Cicero

How to get Cicero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xLO9CufTFE

Here is a controversial pick. Most people that you ask about Cicero will tell you about how useful he actually is, and I wholeheartedly agree. Besides how annoying he is, as a follower, he is without a doubt one of the best. The only reason I’ve ranked him at 7 is that in my experience, the others are just better.

Cicero can be unlocked as a follower if you choose to spare his life during the Dark Brotherhood questline and is one talented fighter. He really gives it his all but while many find him unbearably annoying, I love him. His personality is easily the most unique in Skyrim and his affinity for randomly breaking into dance at the most inappropriate moments is hilarious. 

Also, he has a vast and varied pool of dialogue, with special lines about certain places and locales around Skyrim, making long trips and adventures around the country with him very fun.


Cicero excels in:

  • Being a very deadly assassin
  • Being a very quick and useful warrior
  • Dancing
  • Making your journey around the land of Skyrim much less boring


6. Teldryn Sero

How to get Teldryn Sero: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIMZg8wtNss

500 gold. That’s all it costs to get one of the best followers in the entire game! This Dunmer mercenary can be found at the Netching Retch in Solstheim and is a great follower to have regardless of where you are in the game. And, since he is found in Solstheim which is an endgame area, it means that he is leveled for the endgame, making him very powerful!

He wields Elven weapons with Chitin armor which makes for a weird but practical combination. While using one-handed weapons, he can simultaneously use magic which works to make him a versatile and tough opponent for the enemy to deal with. Couple all this with the fact that he is a chatterbox that can keep a conversation going for a long time, you have yourself a great follower.


Teldryn Sero excels in:

  • Being a versatile fighter with many tricks up his sleeve
  • Using both weapons and magic to deal damage
  • Makes traveling around Skyrim significantly less dull


5. Lydia

How to get Lydia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7fYk5Dzpo4

Skyrim’s most dejected and bored housecarl is one that many players don’t like but one that is definitely one of the best followers in the entire game. Quite possibly the first housecarl/follower you will come across in the entire game, Lydia can be unlocked for these roles after playing just the beginning part of the Whiterun quest line.

The hate she gets is due to the fact that she sounds very bored whenever you do talk to her and her deadbeat tone of voice when she reminds us that she is ‘sworn to carry our burdens’. She’s a well rounded follower that levels with the player and is one that can be used from the very start to the very end of the game, giving her a very companion-like feel to her. Also, marrying her gives unique perks to the player


Lydia excels in:

  • Being a follower throughout your entire journey
  • Being a well rounded character suited for pretty much every combat encounter in the game
  • Being a solid fit for any adventure


4. Argis the Bulwark

How to get Argis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LNwHQrIBOI

Argis the Bulwark is a great follower for one reason only: sheer strength. This man is an absolute tank and has considerably more power than other shield and sword wielding followers. He can be found in Vlindrel Hall in Markarth and can also become a housecarl.

Argis is just super efficient with pretty much all kinds of melee weapons and also can wear heavy armor, one of the few followers that can. This makes him almost unstoppable and an absolute monster to deal with. He also has entertaining dialogue which makes him good fun to have around and speak to on your long adventures through Skyrim.


Argis excels in:

  • Heavy armor and melee weapon usage
  • Being a fun companion to have during your adventures
  • Being a damage sponge
  • Dishing out a ton of damage
  • Easily killing weaker enemies


3. Frea

How to get Frea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uG1q980xlBc

Frea is an absolute monster of a follower that you can find in Skaal Village in Solstheim as part of the Dragonborn DLC. Frea is one of the only followers in the game that have the ability to dual-wield 2 one-handed weapons together, making her an absolute nightmare to deal with on the battlefield. She also has the ability to continually level up throughout the entire game with the player.

She is a great choice for players who want to use only 1 follower throughout their entire journey in the game due the fact that she levels up with you. However, she is only available after the last mission of the Dragonborn DLC has been completed, and even then,the player needs to have  leveled up speech up to a certain point.


Frea excels in:

  • Being a ferocious warrior
  • Dual-wielding any 2 one-handed weapons
  • Having the ability to wear heavy armor
  • Already using 2 great weapons as her defaults
  • Being a follower that will follow the player all the way to the end
  • Leveling up with the player


2. J’zargo

How to get J’zargo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUWiKrrkPfY

Hold on, I can explain. J’zargo may not be the strongest follower in the game, but he is definitely one of the standout characters in Skyrim. He is extremely arrogant and can come off as a jerk, but once he is unlocked as a follower, you really do come to value his friendship and his hilarious lines.

One of his lines sees him saying that he is more dashing than the entire races of men and elves. It's just so much fun to have him around and to hear his witty replies to everything and he makes for really fun conversation. However, in combat he is no slouch. He has access to a wide array of destruction magic in all 3 disciplines of it so he makes for a great support character.


J’zargo excels in:

  • Making you laugh 
  • Always giving you amusing replies 
  • Being a great support character with his wide range of spells
  • Hyping himself up for everyone to hear


1. Serana

How to get Serana: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=by3wnFIQeDA

Serana is one of the only pure vampires to be found in the entire game and is a vital component of the Dawnguard DLC main quest line. With her being such an important character in the game, she is also one of the most advanced followers as she has a massive amount of dialogue options and will often talk about the place she is in as well as commenting on the Dragonborn’s situation.

Combat wise, she is incredibly efficient and deadly, using her necromancy powers to resurrect all manner of deceased foes to help the both of you out in any battle situation. Once she has depleted her magic reserves, she will bust out an axe and charge head first into melee combat to help you out. 

With her deadly vampire and necromancer abilities, advanced follower features, complex dialogue options, ability to comment on things and importance in the main story of Dawnguard, Serana is easily my pick for the best follower in all of Skyrim.


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Being naturally attuned to magic and bearing the strength of a thousand men, it's safe to say I'm used to adding a creative flair to my stories, always striving to tell engaging tales.
Gamer Since: 2005
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Whatever I can get my hands on
Top 3 Favorite Games:The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Dark Souls 3

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