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Is the amount of followers limited?

I have one Mage follower right now, and he fights well and holds a lot. But can I have another companion?

  • Has anyone tried the Fallout 3 trick where you use the dog to have as many followers as you like? The trick was to get the dog, find someone who will follow you, sack the dog, 'hire' the new follower and then hire the dog again. There is so much of Fallout 3 physics in the game, I thought may be it might work. I haven't tried yet cos I haven't got my dog yet...
    – user14719
    Nov 18 '11 at 15:13
  • @TomWijsman lets take this question and Mark's answer as a reference, otherwise we will short-circuit and destroy gaming.se :)
    – DrFish
    Dec 1 '11 at 15:31
  • 2
    @Bora: I don't understand your circuit logic, we have something called merging... Dec 1 '11 at 16:23

You can only have one follower at a time: if you want a different one, you need to dismiss the first one before you recruit them.

There is one exception to this: there are situations when you already have a follower when a person needs to join you for something quest-related. In this case, the quest-related follower might join you in addition to your current follower. However, there are situations where he or she will just replace your current one instead.

At any rate, this is temporary, and the second follower will leave when the quest is complete.

Followers can be found all over the world: it'll be hard to avoid finding followers. There are 45 in total:

  • 6 mercenaries: generally one per hold city
  • 5 housecarls: one per Thane appointment in the cities where you can buy a house
  • 7 members of the Companions
  • 3 members of the College of Winterhold
  • 2 members of the Dark Brotherhood
  • 9 quest-related or dungeon-related followers
  • 13 followers you can recruit if you've done them a favor

In addition to a single follower, you can buy a wardog in Markarth Side for 500 gold, which acts as another member of your team. There are two dogs you can choose from: Vigilance and Meeko. You can also pick up a stray dog after a random encounter.

Finally, while they're not followers, the Conjuration school naturally gives you access to spells that summon the forces of Oblivion fight for you for a period of time (or permanently, at the higher levels).

  • 2
    the second follower thing is only sometimes true, other times, they displace the current follower (who will then go home)
    – l I
    Nov 17 '11 at 12:26
  • @yx. Ah, interesting: haven't run into that. I went and hedged my answer on that part.
    – user3389
    Nov 17 '11 at 12:31
  • it is obviously wrong, that you can only have one follower at a time. See other answers.
    – DrFish
    Nov 22 '11 at 7:11
  • @Bora If you actually read the other answers, they're incorrectly using very liberal definitions of followers: followers mean one specific types of NPC. If you discount "yourself" and conjuration as not being followers (because they aren't: you don't follow yourself and conjuration creates summons), my answer is exactly the same as the others. With the benefit of being not misleading.
    – user3389
    Nov 22 '11 at 10:09
  • The question is about companions, not followers, as I understand.
    – DrFish
    Nov 22 '11 at 10:34

You can have 3 as a baseline, with the extra's coming from abusing the conjuration skill.

  1. Yourself
  2. Follower/Merc/Huscarl etc.
  3. Dog (The dog Barbas cant die, he just cowers at low health. Dont finish his quest means he follows you forever)
  4. Conjuration skill: a zombie or atronach. (Master level spells lets you raise or summon a permanent zombie/atronach as a "Thrall")
  5. Conjuration 100 Perk: Dual Summons/Zombies. Use Thrall spells.
  6. There are mercs/followers who have conjuration. Say hello to a friendly Atronach.
  7. That "Master Necromancer" you just killed? Make him a Dead Thrall, he'll raise his own zombie from the slain.
  8. You kill a few Master Conjurers as well. As your second Thrall, summons you up another atronach.
  9. Follow the main quest to get a Dragon Shout which summons... some more aid ;)
  10. Spectral Assassin? Can be summoned once a day and stays around until defeated, he is pretty hard to kill because he is a spirit and you get him in the dark brotherhood quest line (doesn't count against other companions but there have been glitches on PC)
  11. If your have the Spectral Assassin, you have an ill-tempered horse as well. Too bad Shadowmere can't enter dungeons/cities.

Theoretically, you could get up to 14, which requires 2 Master Necromancer Thralls and your conjuration follower to raise their own conjuration-using zombies. Hell with chain raising, your party size is only limited by time and number of conjurer corpses you have available.

So in summary, 5 or 6 permanent followers, with an additional 4-to-infinity available temporarily in battle.

Note: In dungeon tunnels it gets very crowded. If you don't use a follower, you drop down by 2, but everyone in the party is expendable. Go Ice Storm happy ;)

  • 2
    You aren't a follower of yourself, and conjuration creates summons, not followers. Followers are specific types of NPCs; this is just stretching the definition to mean anything that also attacks things.
    – user3389
    Nov 22 '11 at 10:07
  • Steadfast Dwarven Spider (gained during some quest) is my forever friend, along with Serana. Maybe a glitch?
    – Shaun Neal
    May 6 '20 at 3:52

Here's a video showing how to have 3 human followers, a dog, and spirits with you:

  • 3
    Could you add some context and an explanation of what's in this video for people? Nov 22 '11 at 13:40
  • 1
    It's a video showing how to have 3 human followers, a dog, and spirits with you.
    – skyrimtank
    Nov 23 '11 at 0:02
  • 3
    +1 to @DoozerBlake. The answer should not rely on the video to be self-explanatory.
    – Iszi
    Jan 29 '12 at 22:23

Partially strange but currently in the game I have two followers, one mage that I had hired and Mercer since he was lazy and wouldn't open the darn cave door, so now I just wander the country side with them completing miscellaneous tasks for the time being. So I would say its possible to have more that one follower that is human.

  • To get mercer to open the door you have to walk right in front of the door and press activate.
    – user18464
    Jan 17 '12 at 4:03
  • Dunno why this is down-voted. It is a case example of how to have multiple followers at once, which is the subject of this question.
    – Iszi
    Jan 29 '12 at 22:24

I was somehow able to get two human followers (non-quest). One acts as a "normal" follower, which in this case is my housecarl from Solitude, but the other which is Cicero is a regular follower with the strange exception of being one that ignores the fact that I already have one following me around. I know its Cicero and not the other one because when I try to add another follower he/she will refuse saying that I already have a follower UNLESS I dismiss my housecarl, which allows me to pick up a new one. Now, before you ask yes I finished the entire Dark Brotherhood questline and yes I can customize his equipment and give him orders. And no I haven't dismissed him yet to see if it would allow me to pick him up again.

  • Interesting. I may just play-test this, if I can bring myself to go through that long quest line again just for testing's sake.
    – Iszi
    Jan 29 '12 at 22:24

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