For many gamers, Skyrim remains the golden standard of the western RPG. No other game has employed elements of adventure, awe-inspiring audio-visuals, and hilarious bugs quite like Skyrim. However, traveling around the expansive landscape can become a lonely experience. Playing Skyrim solo might be a little overwhelming. Thankfully, Bethesda solved this problem before anyone could complain by including companions throughout the game who can fight and explore alongside you.
With a game as large as Skyrim, it can be a daunting task selecting the best among the companions to raise their sword in your defense. However, with this simple guide, exploring the world of Elder Scrolls can be just a smidgen easier. This guide hopes to explain how to choose the best follower in Skyrim.
There are followers all throughout Skyrim more than willing to fight alongside you. In order to find them, however, you need to look up their location and how to recruit them.
There are several guides online that explain the location and talents of each and every follower in Skyrim, as well as how to recruit them. Understand what every follower needs before proceeding.
Many followers can only be recruited by paying them. Mercenaries might not require intense quests to recruit, but they may require a lot of gold. In order to recruit these fiscal-minded followers, you need to find gold in Skyrim.
This means looting corpses, completing tasks, selling items, or just stealing from rich nobles. However you get gold, make sure the person you're trying to buy is even worth your time by meta-gaming their stats -- more on that later.
Housecarls are among the easiest companions to retrieve. Whenever you become Thane, they will aid and support you across your journey. They are consistently useful companions who will aid you on your adventure.
If you aren't willing to do research into what followers are the best for you on a meta-game basis, Housecarls are a consistently good, safe companion to have. Just know that every Housecarl has the same stats, so regardless of which one you choose they are all, in essence, the same functionally.
The Companions quest is one of the first you can do in the game, and lets you find a ton of useful, powerful people who can help you along your way. Most of them are capable of unleashing a lot of damage, as well as -- spoilers for a game nearing its tenth anniversary -- can transform into werewolves.
Of note is Farkas, who has above-average stats and incredibly high defense. Plus, he isn't hard on the eyes, either, if you're interested in that sort of thing.
Another is Aela the Huntress, who, while all around useful, is an incredible archer who can take out loads of enemies long before you even encounter them. Also, very easy on the eyes and ears.
Look up the stats to every follower. You can easily compare the stats of any follower who offers to assist you or replace your current follower with a quick search online. If a follower offers to follow you who has weak stats, you probably should just pass up their offer of assistance.
However, most followers in game are fairly balanced, so, ultimately, you will need to consider what stats you want. Well-rounded stats? Super-focused on one stat? The choice is yours. Just choose wisely.
Followers come with equipment. Many do not come with the best equipment. If you're going to be using the same follower for a long period of time, it might be wise to give them improved equipment in order to make them even stronger.
It is recommended, however, that you take any rare loot you give them before switching companions. Especially if you give them Daedric Weapons or Armor.
When playing Skyrim, no character can ever be the strongest in-game. It's important to consider: do you want to min-max your character, or balance them out? Choose a specific "class," such as rogue or berserker? Choose a specific skill? Or are you interested in being a well-rounded fighter?
The same is true for selecting the best follower. What are your intentions? Are you hoping to have a brawler to help you brawl through adversaries? Or are you hoping on balancing out your team? Choosing a rogue to assist your fighter? Choosing a mage or healer to aid you as you run headlong into combat? Or vice-versa? Consider your play style and what you want out of a follower.
Many followers are available primarily through marriage events. By marrying someone, you gain them as a companion. Forever. This will require you to get used to this follower, since you'd be wed until death do you part. Unless you've modded the game to add polygamy as an option.
One useful companion you can gain through marriage is Mjoll the Lioness, who you can marry following her quest. This will make it easier to find her, as she'll be hanging out in your house.
Many followers will only join you after you complete a quest involving them. This means you will have to prepare for each pre-required quest the same way you'd prepare ordinarily. What will the quest require? Will you need any particular equipment to make the quest easier for yourself?
By completing or partaking in these quests, you will be able to gain these followers. The problem is... you need to complete the quest, first. Make sure the quest is suited for you.
J'Zargo is the best follower in Skyrim. Just facts.
This battlemage can only be recruited by going to the College of Winterhold and completing one of his quests. After that, he will join you.
This character has maxed out heavy armor, one-handed weapon, destruction, restoration, and illusion spell stats. He has the highest health of any of the followers. While he is only an apprentice mage, few are as durable or as dangerous as J'Zargo.
Seriously. Recruit him. This is how you get the best follower in Skyrim.