When I am out in the wilds with a companion, e.g., Aela the Huntress or Mjoll the Lioness, how is it decided who gains how much experience by defeating foes?

Do all the kills my companion achieves get attributed to me, are they splitted up, or does each companion level up on his own?

If I wanted to level up fast, is it better to avoid using companions?

  • 2
    Am I missing something about the Companions, or isn't it the same system employed everywhere: no one gains experience from killing things? At least not because of the killing part. Your attack skills increase by landing blows, your armor skills increase by taking damage, your sneak increases by hiding from people, etc. When your skills have increased enough, you level up. There's not really a huge point to power-leveling, either, as many dungeons scale in difficulty with the level at which you first enter.
    – brymck
    Nov 30, 2011 at 3:06
  • @Bryan Not talking about huge, I want shiny perks. BTW: If you had posted this as an answer instead of a comment, I would have selected this as the accepted answer :p
    – k0pernikus
    Nov 30, 2011 at 3:15
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    No worries, I was honest in asking whether there was some different system for the Companions, as my stealthy little mage hasn't done much with them fightin' types. In any case, you level up quite quickly in the early game (after midgame it becomes very easy to power-level cheaply), and while followers may kill things instead of you, you move through dungeons quicker anyway. IMO, the best approach to Skyrim is to do whatever and ignore the leveling consequences (whereas Oblivion required much forethought).
    – brymck
    Nov 30, 2011 at 4:51
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    @Bryan: in other words: you can focus on actually playing the game ;-) Nov 30, 2011 at 7:27

1 Answer 1


You do not gain experience from kills in Skyrim. Whenever you use a skill in a meaningful manner, you gain a little bit of experience in that skill. Gain enough experience and that skill levels up, giving you experience towards your next level.

Having a companion may make leveling slower solely through the fact that they take the kills and you have less opportunity to exercise your skills, but their kills do not attribute anything to you at all.

  • I see. I am not really used to such a game mechanic :)
    – k0pernikus
    Nov 30, 2011 at 3:15
  • 4
    Well, not that they take the kills an sich, just that they also deal damage, which leaves you with having to deal less damage. Your answer is correct, but the wording in the second paragraphs shouldn't include kills imho.
    – Konerak
    Nov 30, 2011 at 12:48

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