Skyrim: Can Companions Die?

How much protection should you give your companions?
Skyrim Elder Scrolls V Dragon Battle
Image via Bethesda Game Studios/Microsoft

There’s definitely no shortage of companions in Skyrim. There are about 66 total followers that players can choose from, not counting animal companions and pets that will follow and fight for you under the right circumstances. If you want a follower in Skyrim, you’ll have no trouble finding one; not all companions in Skyrim are created equal, however. Many followers have larger health reserves than others, and have varying combat styles. This can make choosing a follower all the more difficult, as many followers are more useful in combat than others. Many players are grateful for their companion’s presence in battle, but how many hits can a follower take before they can’t get back up? Keep reading to see if companions can die in Skyrim!

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Can Companions Die in Skyrim

Companions are invaluable to many Skyrim players, but that doesn’t mean they’re invincible. Companions are, for the most part, mortal. Although most followers in Skyrim can die, there are actually a select few that cannot die from anything besides some crazy potent poisons. These followers are marked as “essential” in the game, because their characters are essential to Skyrim’s storyline in one way or another. All followers in Skyrim can die by any means except for these following companions:

  • Aela
  • Barbas
  • Frea
  • Erandur
  • Mjoll The Lioness
  • Darkeethus
  • Cicero
  • Serana
  • Farkas
  • Dark Brotherhood Initiates

Even these “immortal” essential followers can die however, just not as easily as their other fellow followers. It doesn’t matter whether your companion is animal or human; all companions can die in Skyrim. Despite their depressing mortality, however, animal companions can, at times, prove to be even more valuable than non-animal followers. If you think you’d like to have a furry friend by your side in Skyrim, despite their fragility, then you’re in luck! Keep reading to discover all the best animal companions in Skyrim!

The Best Animal Companions in Skyrim

Animal companions can’t carry your stuff, but they can offer their loyalty and unique fighting styles! It’s recommended that you buy a house prior to getting an animal companion, so you’ve got a place to store all your heavy loot before going off on adventures. In addition, it’s a good idea to have a safe place where you can leave your new animal friends if you only want them as pets, not as combat partners. Here are all the best animal companions and their species in Skyrim:

  • Meeko (Dog)
    • Meeko is an adorable dog that is incredibly easy to gain as a follower! Meeko doesn’t require any gold or dangerous quests to endear him to you as a companion; all Meeko wants is a loving new owner. Many players will simply keep Meeko in their house as a pet, due to his less-than-steller health reserves. Despite this, Meeko has a huge heart and an even bigger sense of loyalty, Meeko will never leave you alone in a fight!
  • Vigilance (Dog)
    • Vigilance is another big hearted canine that players love to keep as a pet. Vigilance only costs 500 coins and has a larger health reserve than many players expect. Vigilance may not have the greatest attack stat of all the Skyrim followers, but he makes up for it in appearance and in health! You’ll never be lonely again with this faithful canine by your side.
  • Steadfast Dwarven Spider (Spider)
    • Not many players realize that having a spider for a follower in Skyrim is even possible, let alone beneficial. Unlike many animal followers, the Steadfast Dwarven Spider can deal potent shock damage to its enemies! This spider doesn’t have much health, but it’s incredibly fast and can deal a hefty amount of magical shock damage to enemies.
  • Death Hounds (Dogs)
    • Death Hounds are just as scary and aweomse as they sound. These dogs are terrifying to look at, and are even more terrifying to face in battle. These hounds are not only unique for their appearance and wicked name, but because there are two of them! Having two followers at once is something many Skyrim players have been dreaming about for years, and they can finally achieve their dreams with the Death Hounds! These hounds don’t have much in the way of health, but they don’t need to when their fighting style is as aggressive and vicious as their’s.
  • Steadfast Dwarven Sphere (Ancient Dwarven Machine)
    • This tiny little ball of metal doesn’t technically count as an animal, but it does count as a non-human companion in Skyrim. Don’t underestimate this little sphere, however, as it can take out a room full of enemies in seconds. The Steadfast Dwarven Sphere looks exactly as it sounds and has a pretty big reservoir of health. In addition, the Steadfast Dwarven Sphere also can do heavy damage to enemies, either with its melee attacks or with its hidden crossbow.

Related: How To Get the Best Mage Followers in Skyrim: Elder Scrolls V

Skyrim gives players a lot to choose from when it comes to companions! Whether you want an animal, a humanoid follower, or an oddly adorable ancient dwarven machine, Skyrim’s got you covered! The mortality of companions can make getting one seem unsettling, but that just means you’ll have to make sure they stay protected while on adventures. If you ever find yourself stuck or in need of answers in Skyrim, just refer back to Gamer Journalist’s dozens of guides on the game!

About the author

Allysen Pierce

Allysen Pierce is a freelance writer with a passion for gaming who has been a part of the Gamer Journalist team since May 2022. Her main passions are horror games and dating sims (especially combinations of the two), but she has been known to play literally anything that is put in front of her. Her current favorite games include Skyrim, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Cult of the Lamb, Slaughter Horse, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. When she's not playing games (or writing about them), she can be found reading, baking, watching horror movies, or playing with her cat.

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