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(Related to this question) what is the ideal set of armor for Lydia? I know she's a heavy armor kind of gal, but from the other question its obvious bigger isn't always better. Should I smith her armor so it is unequivocally better, or will she still prefer, e.g., an ebony helmet?

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In my experiences, companions equip the item with the highest sale value, not the highest armor rating. It appears the same thing applies to weapons. Can anyone confirm this?

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Ah, this is an astute observation; I'll have to try it out next time I'm in game -- thanks! – fbrereto Feb 4 '12 at 5:07
This might explain why Lydia started to animate corpses instead of fighting after giving her expansive wand for keepsake! :/ – Shadow Wizard Feb 5 '12 at 9:45
I actually tried this in-game and Lydia still preferred a base-level ebony helmet to a smithed dragonplate one... what gives? – fbrereto Feb 12 '12 at 5:36

I've loaded her up with full Daedric before, no problem. Don't see why Ebony would be any different. I think the only requirement is that it be better than her default Steel Armor. NPC equipment behavior is strange though.

Also, if you ever have an issue where she's equipping something that's a downgrade (which you're just pack-muling on to her), just trade the weaker piece of equipment off her. You may juggle your weight around, but it will keep her in what you're wanting her to wear.

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