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

Skyrim, Skyrim followers, Serana, Cicero, housecarl
Followers ranges from insane to the undead. Choose wisely!

Skyrim is a land that is filled with beauty and creatures who can’t wait to unalive you when they get a chance. This is why you need followers who know when to be quiet while you take out enemies from afar. Or they can simply act as a distraction for bears so that you pick pretty mountain flowers on the side. 

In this list, we are going to cover the strongest followers for each milestone in the gamel. For obvious reasons, we are going to leave out housecarls and quest-related followers that cannot be recruited to keep it interesting here (Sorry, Barbas). Remember, the only bad follower is a dead one. And Lydia. So, here are the top 15 best Skyrim followers to NOT sacrifice to Boethiah!


15. Vigilance

How to find and get Vigilance

A man’s best friend is sometimes a dog.

You can “rent” Vigilance from Banning in Markath for 500 gold but  Banning is rumored to be involved in a cannibalistic cult. So, the word on the street is that he’s been feeding the dogs a “special” diet to make them more ferocious. I guess that makes him a great follower?

Vigilance levels with you up to level 50 so you can get him early in-game as long as you have the gold. For animal lovers, it is against advice to use him as he has no Armor ratings and he will go down very quickly. However, Vigilance can be a perfect distraction with his high health! Just be sure to hit fast!


Vigilance excels in:

  • Barking
  • Being a distraction


14. Rieklings

How to find and get Riekling followers

Rieklings pledge their allegiance to whoever their Chief is. While they are not as high-leveled as the other followers on here, they are proof that there is strength in numbers. Yeah, sure, they will sometimes get in the way but to have three friends who will just appear in times of combat randomly really does improve the gameplay experience. 

The Rieklings usually prefer ranged attacks with their spears. If you replace their spears with better arrows, they will use those instead and do more damage. With their numbers when in combat, they have managed to hold their ground against higher-leveled enemies.

The Rieklings excel in:

  • Archery
  • Group hugs


13. Kharjo

How to find and get Kharjo

Find his Moon Amulet and he’s yours until you dismiss him.

Kharjo is one of the only two Khajiits that you can recruit as a follower in Skyrim. This furry warrior is a bodyguard to Ahkari’s caravans that usually travels between Dawnstar and Riften. 

His combat style is versatile with one-handed weapons and heavy armor being the prefered choices. His skills are much more balanced and in line with his warrior class, when compared with Erik the Slayer. Heavy Armor will allow him to take more damage and efficiently make him a better help during combat, especially with his max level being 30. 

Kharjo excels in:

  • One-handed
  • Heavy Armor
  • Archery
  • Block


12. Ralis Sedarys

How to find and get Ralis Sedarys

You can’t find anything if you dig alone.

Ralis Sedarys is a Dunmer on an expedition mission in Solstheim. He is determined and keeps his eyes on the prize: the relics of Ahzidal. Your interactions with him are mostly money-related because you will be the person who is funding this excavation. He seems more inconvenienced rather than upset that the miners kept ending up getting killed at his dig site so that says something about his character.

Ralis is one of the only two followers available with the perk “Dual Flurry”. This means he can deal 50% more damage when he dual-wields, making him a great offense follower. If this fits your play style, you might want to consider sparing him but he will be the most expensive follower in this game since you have to pay a total of 11,000 gold for his excavation. And he calls you “boss” which is nice too.

Ralis Sedarys excels in:

  • One-handed
  • Getting possessed


11. Dark brotherhood Initiate 

How to find and get Dark Brotherhood Initiate

Find them after completing the Dark Brotherhood quest line and upgrading the Dawnstar Sanctuary. 

You can find both male and female Dark brotherhood Initiates at the Dawnstar sanctuary after it’s fully decorated and finishing all the Dark Brotherhood quests.

With most followers’ levels being capped at level 50, the Dark Brotherhood Initiates are one of the few followers that can level past that with you. They are also marked as essential NPCs so they cannot be killed. This is incredibly helpful when you are high-leveled and your Skyrim difficulty is at “Legendary”.

The Initiates are skilled at One-handed weapons and Light Armor. One thing about them is that they will do absolutely anything, except kill their own. But despite being assassins themselves, they’re noisy when all you want to do is to kill someone quietly.

Dark Brotherhood Initiates excel in:

  • One-handed
  • Light Armor
  • Sneak
  • Archery


10. Frea

How to find and get Frea

She will free everyone from Miraak.

In the Skaal Village on Solstheim, you can recruit Frea, a Skaal shaman. Frea was the daughter of Storm Crag-Strider who was the previous shaman for Skaal. When he sacrificed himself to Harmaeus Mora, Frea had to step up to lead the village. You can recruit her after finishing the Dragonborn questline.

Frea is one of the two followers who with the perk “Dual Flurry”, meaning she can do mean damage when dual wielding. She is handy to have in late-game because she has no max level and cannot be killed due to her “essential” status. Her preference for Heavy Armor while dealing a lot of damage makes her a good ally when dealing with high leveled enemies. 

Frea excels in:

  • One-handed
  • Heavy Armor


9. Uthgerd the Unbroken

How to find and get Uthgerd the Unbroken

Brawl her in the Bannered mare and win!

You can find Uthgerd the Unbroken in Whiterun’s local bar, Bannered Mare, and she will almost immediately challenge you to a fist fight. She’s going to be a Karen the entire time until you’ve beaten her, literally. You’ll find that she actually has quite a sad backstory where she accidentally kills a boy while trying to join The Companions. 

She is a brave warrior with a max level of 30 that you can easily recruit early game just by winning the brawl. Her strength lies in One-handed and Heavy Armor, so she is great at close combats which makes her a great distraction in early-game. Plus, you also get full access to her home in Whiterun after winning the brawl. 

Uthgerd the Unbroken excels in:

  • One-handed
  • Heavy Armor
  • Block


8. Mjoll the Lioness

How to find and get Mjoll the Lioness

If you find Aerin, you find Mjoll

Mjoll the Lioness is a brave ex-adventurer with a taste for justice for Riften. When you walk into Riften, you can hear her complete disgust for the amount of corruption that goes around Riften between the infamous Thieves Guild and the higher-ups. She is also known for having Aerin around her often. 

True to her intimidating exterior, Mjoll braves the fighting grounds with Two-handed and Heavy Armor skills. For ranged attacks, she would use any staves that you give her with high accuracy. 

Mjoll the Lioness excels in:

  • Two-handed
  • Heavy Armor
  • Block


7. Vilkas

How to find and get Vilkas

Vilkas will be available after The Companions questline ends. 

Vilkas is your fellow Shield Brother of the Companions in Whiterun who really does not like you in the beginning. After completing the Companions questline, he does warm up to you and he can be recruited to be a follower. 

His combat skills are primarily two-handed and heavy armor, making him quite sturdy and tanky, especially in melee combat. His skills also extend to him being a Master level trainer in Two-handed. You can still use his training services even when he is your follower. Fun fact, you can take back any money you paid him right after! Free training! 

Vilkas excels in:

  • Two-handed
  • Heavy Armor
  • Archery


6. Teldryn Sero

How to find and get Teldryn Sero

He’ll do anything. For a good price.  

If you need a spellsword for hire, might as well get the best in Solstheim: Teldryn Sero for 500 gold. His skills in One-handed and Destruction are what make him a great brother in battle. He also summons a Flame Atronach at the beginning of each battle, giving you an extra hand. 

Teldryn makes it clear that he’s in this line of work for the money when recalling the story of his previous employer. His ex-boss was a Nord from Skyrim that paid very well. Not much is known about what happened but from what Teldryn said, it’s very likely that the Nord did not make it after going into a bandit encampment. 

Teldryn Sero excels in:

  • Destruction
  • One-handed
  • Conjuration


5. Cicero

What Happens When You Spare Cicero

Finish the entire Dark Brotherhood questline and spare him to get to this joker.

There is no in-between when it comes to Cicero. Love him or hate him, he is one of the most exciting and powerful followers in the game. His slow descent to madness as the Keeper of the Night Mother’s coffin has always been so fascinating to those who are interested in the mysterious workings of the Dark Brotherhood. 

There is no denying how annoying Cicero is but he does make it up on the battlegrounds. He is skilled at One-handed weapons and Archery. So, if you choose to spare him, he will be a deadly follower to have. He also dances randomly from time to time, which can be entertaining too.  

Cicero excels in:

  • One-handed
  • Archery
  • Sneak
  • Light Armor


4. J’zargo

How to find and get J’zargo

Find him at the College of Winterhold. 

J’zargo is one of the Khajiit apprentices that you meet when you start the questline for the College of Winterhold. He comes off as a little impatient and arrogant when we first meet him. He is willing to use any means to be the best. 

The main thing for J’zargo is that he has no level cap so he levels with you indefinitely, making him one of the strongest followers. Despite being a mage, J’zargo is extremely skilled in Heavy Armor and One-handed. Add in high health and fast regeneration, and he’s essentially the perfect tank.

The only downside is most of his destructive spells are still apprentice-level spells that don’t fare well in long combats with other mages even though he dual casts them. He also favors low-level shock spells which is a bummer because it doesn’t allow him to reach his full mage potential. 

J’zargo excels in:

  • Heavy Armor
  • One-handed
  • Destruction
  • Illusion

3. Aela the Huntress

How to find and get Aela

She can be recruited after finishing the Companions’ questline like Vilkas.

Aela the Hunteress is one of the Companion’s best warriors who are also part of the faction’s inner circle. She prides herself in the company of warriors and fellow Companions. You’ll find out that she comes from a long legacy of female Companions so, to her, it is an honor to be a part of the Companions. 

Aela’s best skills are Archery, sneak, and Light Armor and she will equip anything that has a better rating than what she initially has. She is a versatile fighter who’s not afraid of close combat or going for long shots. She is also an Expert level Archery trainer so if you have her as a follower, feel free to train with her. Then, go into her inventory to take the money back.

Aela the Huntress excels in:

  • Archery
  • One-handed
  • Sneak
  • Light Armor


2. Serana 

How to find and get Serana 

You can recruit her after finishing the Dawnguard’s questline.

Serana is one of the rare pure-blood female vampires who went through a horrific ordeal with the deity of vampires, Molag Bal to become a vampire. Her mother hid Serana from her father.  Her father discovered a prophecy that could let vampires roam free in the sun. Serana would have to be the sacrifice in order for the prophecy to come true.

She is everything you would not expect a vampire to be. While she is an immortal being, she is not immune to complex feelings about her family and her existence as a vampire. It does make you empathize a little bit more with her. 

As a mage, she is powerful with conjuring andraising nearby corpses for battle. Her signature “Drain life” spell will persist even if she is no longer a vampire. Despite her high Sneak skills, she is relatively useless at sneak attacks because she gets aggressive when enemies approach. 

Serana excels in:

  • Conjuration
  • One-handed
  • Sneak
  • Complaining


1. Faendal

How to find and get Faendal

Sabotage a love triangle in his favor and he’ll shoot for you. 

Faendal is the first possible follower that you will come across in the game. He is located in Riverwood, right outside of Helgen where you will first escape from. He is the better choice when it comes to taking sides in the love triangle because Sven, his rival, has much weaker stats that will not benefit you in combat.  

You can do your best to level up three different skills with him alone. After you paid him for Archery lessons, you can up your pickpocketing skill by trying to pickpocket back the money. His house also has an Apprentice lock which you can use to gain a few levels while you’re there. 

Faendel excels in:

  • Archery
  • Light Armor
  • Block


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