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Followers are NPCs who agree to join you on your adventures. Some are trained hirelings, mercenaries who will fight in exchange for gold. Others might be ordinary townspeople inspired by your example who agree to follow you if asked. They help in combat and also carry excess inventory.

Most followers can be issued commands. Target your follower, then press and hold E to enter the command state. While in the command state, you can tell your follower to:

  • Wait at a specific spot on the ground.
  • Use an object in the world, such as a lever or a chair.
  • Attack an enemy.
  • Open a locked door or container.
  • Pick up items in the world.
  • Exit the command state by pressing Esc.

Note that not all followers can be commanded, and some commands may not be carried out, either because they are physically impossible for your follower (such as picking a lock that is beyond their skill), or because they object to the command (such as being asked to attack a member of their family).

Be warned, the guards will hold you responsible for any crimes you command a follower to commit!

While followers will attempt to remain at your side, there are some places in Skyrim where they cannot accompany you (such as jail). They will wait outside for you to reappear, but after waiting 3 days, your follower will leave.

Should a follower ever leave your service, they will return to their normal lives. You can always ask them to come with you again (although Hirelings may demand a new fee).


[edit] Followers

A few followers also happen to be trainers. All of the housecarls are potential followers as well.

[edit] The Elder Scrolls V: Dawnguard

[edit] Mercenaries and sellswords

Also known as "Hirelings". Hirelings are mercenaries found in the major citites of Skyrim. There is one hireling in each city, usually found in the tavern. Because of their combat experience, hirelings are among the most capable followers. Each hireling has a unique personality and skill set.

Unlike other followers, Hirelings work only for money. If you dismiss the hireling, replace them with another follower, or leave them waiting for too long (such as while serving a jail sentence), you have a small window of time during which you can hire them back at no cost. Otherwise, you will have to pay their fee to hire them again.

Hirelings include:

[edit] Opportunistic followers

Occasionally, the Dragonborn can have more than one follower at one time. On occasion, their availability can be exploited. They do not respond to follwer commands]] nor can they be traded with. They do not automatically sheathe their weapons in concert with the Dragonborn and trying to give them items by planting them in their inventory does not work. These NPCs are considered essential, so they can't die.

[edit] Mercer Frey

Quest: Speaking with Silence – Meet Mercer outside Snow Veil Sanctum. He will tell you to take the lead and go inside. Don't enter the sanctum, and he'll follow you until you complete the quest, including any detours you make.

[edit] Delphine and Esbern

Quest: Alduin's Wall – Inside the Sleeping Giant Inn, Delphine will ask if you want to travel together or separately, select traveling together and they will both follow you until you complete the quest, including any detours you make.

[edit] Barbas

Quest: A Daedra's Best Friend – As long as you do not return The Rueful Axe to Clavicus Vile, Barbas will follow you.

[edit] Exploit

If you follow these directions You will have a small army of followers

  1. First you will start the Thieves' Guild questline. Go through that questline until you and Mercer Frey go to Snow Veil Sanctum to kill Karliah. He will ask you to lead, but don't go inside, and you will have 1 extra follower.
  2. Go about halfway through the main questline until you find Esbern in the Ratway. Take Esbern to Delphine. Delphine will ask you if you want to travel together or separately. Choose to travel together. You now have 3 Glitched followers.
  3. Start the Dark Brotherhood questline. When you have to go to the Dawnstar Sanctuary to kill Cicero, don't kill him. Instead, leave and tell Astrid that Cicero is dead. You then complete that questline and proceed as far as buying at least 1 upgrade for the new sanctuary.
    • Return to the sanctuary, and make your "real" (the one you specifically chose) follower stand next to Cicero
    • Dismiss your follower
    • Ask him/her accompany you once again
    • Before he/she is done talking, quickly ask Cicero to follow you as well (this may take a few tries)
    • Repeat this for the two Dark brotherhood initiates. You will now have 6 extra followers.
  4. Either buy a dog from the Markarth stables, or find Meeko's Shack south of Solitude. Now you have 7 extra followers.
  5. Go to Falkreath and talk to the blacksmith, Lod and agree to help find his dog. When you find the dog, Barbas, he will ask you to go the shrine of Clavicus Vile. Clavicus will then ask you to retrieve the Rueful Axe. If you like 2-handed weapons, retrieve the Rueful Axe but don't return it. You now have 8 extra followers.

Your followers are: