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I'm aware that Lydia's preferred loadout is Heavy Armor and a One Handed Weapon with a Shield.

I didn't know this when I first got Lydia, and somehow managed to equip her with a two-handed weapon and have only given her this type of weapon since then.

Lydia is currently PWNING FACE with her Two-Handed Ebony Waraxe. Would she PWN MORE FACE if I equipped her with an Ebony Shield and One handed Ebony Sword?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Lydia initial skills are as follows:

  • 76 One-Handed
  • 72 Heavy Armor
  • 58 Block
  • 53 Archery
  • 44 Two-Handed
  • 20 Smithing, Light Armor, Speech
  • 15 Lockpicking, Sneak, Alchemy, Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Illusion, Restoration, Enchanting

You can get your followers current skill, though I'm not sure if they are upgraded, using Ask Follower Skills mod by melbourne47. The layout in my screen seems to be broken but it looks like this:

It adds a new dialogue option 'What can you do?'

The optimal loadout for Lydia at the beginning is the set you suggested but it might be different if she's been using Two-Handed for a while.

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Is this the mod screen shot? If so real nice. +1 – ヴァイシャリ Feb 23 '12 at 16:39
I'm playin on the xbox 360, so I cant use some fancy smancy mod to see her stats (nice idea though), and I'm level 44. I've been using her for roughly 40 levels, with a two handed weapon the entire time. BUT arn't the followers glitched to not improve? So that would mean she'd still be much better off with a sheild and one hander if I'm understanding properly. – Ender Feb 23 '12 at 16:53
@Ender You're right I sometimes forget how odd it is to play such a buggy game on consoles. Followers can be unglitched to keep leveling as you can see here [ ] but unfortunately only for PC. – Renan Feb 23 '12 at 17:41
@Renan there is actually a fix I found for console games too, it involves using the wabbajack and can be found here [ ] but I don't have the wabbajack yet (DONT TELL ME HOW - NO SPOILERS :P ) so that option is still greyed out for me. – Ender Feb 24 '12 at 5:09

The basic rule of thumb is that two-handed weapons sacrifice defense for the sake of doing more damage. Companions tend to use shield properly as well, so adding a shield will generally increase their survivability.

What your companion should use greatly depends on you. If you're a heavy melee fighter, then one of you should have two-handed (for more DPS) and one of you should have shield/one-handed (for drawing aggro and such). If you're anything where you won't be on the front lines, then her survival is more important than her damage, so shield/onehand is a better choice.

That said, Lydia has higher stats in shield/one-hand, so a companion that is better in two-handed would be better if you want two-handed and someone like Lydia for shield/onehand.

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