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I was helping Vilkas go to the temple and on our way I made a pitstop at a dungeon.
Inside the dungeon he would get hit only once and be down on the floor with barely any health...

So, I'm curious if followers have levels and if so how to do you check it and get them leveled?

Generally I don't take a follower because they ruin my sneak attack, don't do anything useful or end up getting killed because they stand right in front of me.

If there is a similar question on here please direct me..I've searched but haven't been able to find anything useful as of yet.

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I read this from uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Followers: "If you have an attachment to a certain follower and wish to continue to use them after they have become obsolete, you can use the Wabbajack to force their stats to be updated." I'm going to try it when I get the Wabbajack. –  oscilatingcretin Jul 22 '12 at 17:17

3 Answers 3

up vote 24 down vote accepted

Followers have stats just like the player in skills and health. Those values are static and are set the first time you enter/load the zone that they are in. There are also maximum level caps for followers should your level be higher than that the first time you encounter them.

For example, most people meet Lydia very early on and she'll end up being locked in with 100 health and skills in the 20s, so she won't be as effective as Jordis (the housecarl you get in Solitude) whom you'll usually meet much later on since the house costs 25k gold to purchase.

If you are on the PC, there is a way to force an NPC to level up by resetting them:

  1. First, remove all the gear from the follower (at least the ones that you want to keep).
  2. Walk up to them, be as close as possible, open the console with the ~ key
  3. Click on your follower. When you do so, a string will appear at the top of your console that represents your follower's reference ID.
  4. On your console, type disable, then follow it up with enable

After this, your companion will be 'reset' to match what your current level is. Their health and skills should be improved.

Finally, keep in mind that all followers fall under a general category: warrior, thief, or mage. Lydia, for example, is a warrior and will never gain a sneak skill above 15 no matter what level you meet her at.

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Sweet! I didn't know they were static, that makes a lot of sense. Going to try that with the console. ty –  Avien Dec 16 '11 at 17:46
    
@Avien no problem. If you want to find a follower with a specific skill set, repeat steps 1-3 and use the command getav [insert skill/stat] to see what the actual value is. For example, getav health –  z ' Dec 16 '11 at 18:00
    
Ok, thanks again. That will definitely be useful :) –  Avien Dec 16 '11 at 19:13
    
Yes, followers DO have levels. –  Adam S Dec 19 '11 at 5:38
    
uesp.net disagrees - uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:Followers - and links to a detailed spreadsheet with the max level for each follower –  McKenzieG1 Dec 20 '11 at 22:01

From the UESP wiki's "Skyim Followers - Follower Stats" article:

A follower levels up according to the PC's level up to the follower's maximum level (which varies for each). With few exceptions, each follower has a maximum level, and a specific set of primary skills, which are dictated by their class.

Prior to patch 1.6, a follower's skills, health, and other stats were set when they were first spawned (which is typically when you enter their starting cell, become a Thane, and so on) and would not increase as their level increased. Prior to the fixing of this failure of stats to update with patch 1.6, players could update a non-essential follower's stats so they would increase based on their current level by using the Wabbajack to polymorph them into another creature, after which their stats would update upon recovering their original form. Players of the PC version could also use certain console commands to fix any follower's inability to update their stats with each level.

So in most cases, leveling up the player character will also make your follower level up, (the maximum and by how much, will depend on the specific follower and their NPC class).

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While you can't change the archetype of a follower you can modify their skills. If you are a assassin/thief type character and you still want Lydia to sneak around with you. Open console, click on Lydia, type "forceav sneak 100" this will set her sneak skill to 100.

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+1 thanks, Lydia keeps bothering me that she doesn't sneak and I keep getting discovered. –  Jakub Dec 20 '11 at 18:54

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