I'm concerned with the information I've gathered about followers, namely the tidbit about how a follower's stats and level are set to yours when you acquire them. I've heard of console commands that supposedly reset a follower, allowing you to level them up with you as you progress through the game, but I don't play Skyrim on PC.

That being said, I got Lydia when I was level 3-5, I don't remember, and I really like her. I'm not sure why, and it's not important, but I'd like to keep her with this particular character at least, for his entire playthrough. Is there any way playing on Xbox 360 or PS3 to allow her to level with me? I'm aware I can continuously upgrade her gear, but I'm concerned as I reach the end levels that won't be enough to keep her up-to-date with the encounter scale.

  • 13
    "I really like her." - Sounds like someones in love...
    – Coomie
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 8:17

10 Answers 10


Yes, you may absolutely use a strong and powerful Lydia for the entire game. I'll explain below.


As mentioned in the other answers here, the game locks followers around the level you are when you acquire them. Because of Lydia's typically early acquisition in the game, she is leveled extremely low and will become useless if nothing is done while you become stronger.

EDIT: As of patch 1.6 this problem has been fixed. However I am not positive if the fix affects current saves, so this solution may still need to be used for your currently under-leveled followers from games started pre-1.6


The Wabbajack - A staff granted for completing the Daedric Quest: The Mind of Madness

The quest is extremely easy and doable at any level. You must have access to Solitude. I'll let you do your own research on the quest itself. To the point:

  • Important: Release Lydia from your service first.
  • Use the Wabbajack on Lydia until she morphs into a another creature: A goat, bunny, daedra, whatever. It's important that she morphs.
  • Use the Wabbajack again to morph her back. If she returns wearing her default armor, the attempt has been successful and she will be re-leveled to your current level.
  • Re-hire Lydia as your follower.

Why? The act of morphing her to another creature, and then morphing her back resets her stats to your level. Yay.


  • Defintely quick save or save before attempting to use Wabbajack on Lydia. The wabbajack is random and has many effects including Instant Death.
  • Take any rare items from her before the transformation attempt, as she sometimes loses them on her return to a human state

That's it. I've put in over 200 hours in Skyrim and I've had Lydia the entire time. Currently on Master @ level 55 and Lydia is basically her own demi-god. Have fun.

  • @tiddy will this remove all items from her inventory? Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 19:15
  • Not typically. I've done this probably 15-20 times and she'll lose the occasional sword or shield. Possibly some armor. It's never her entire inventory. Just save and see how it goes.
    – tiddy
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 19:41
  • I have to try this on Faendal. Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 20:16
  • 9
    I should note that some followers are actually level capped, regardless of your level when you first acquire them. Lydia and all housecarls I believe cap @ 50, with the mage J'Zargo being the only one that levels to 81. A lot of followers cap @ 30
    – tiddy
    Commented Jul 25, 2012 at 20:39

While I can't find specific string in patch notes, many users reported and UESP wiki notes that followers level as intended post patch 1.6.

In case you still have problems with old followers or somehow unable to upgrade, you can either regenerate follower with console commands on PC or use wabbajack on other platforms to make follower transform to creature and then back, thus re-rolling their stats (this will be noted by follower reverting to their original gear). Stats will be updated to their current level.


No, followers won't level with you (see this question). This means she will rapidly lose effectiveness at combat. You can still take her with you, but she will be crawling around on the ground most of the time simply due to her low level.

Instead, if you purchased the Whiterun house, you can just leave her there as a "second wife". Just dismiss her and she will wait in your house until you return.

  • 4
    And amazingly never get in a fight when you drag Aela back.
    – Alan B
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 16:50
  • 2
    Technically, saying that followers don't level with you is incorrect. Their level increases, but their stats don't. This is an obvious bug, hopefully Bethesda will fix it in future patches.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:10
  • @Kotekzot can you source that this is a bug?
    – Ender
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:21
  • @Resorath I know I can keep her as a pet (I mean wife!) but I like the idea of her joining me in my adventures. :(
    – Ender
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:22
  • @Ender, no I can't, but it stands to reason that stats would increase along with a character's level, otherwise it's nearly pointless for their level to increase at all.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:31

It is entirely plausible to use lydia for the entire game. While certain other followers may have better stats a followers true worth is determined by the gear you provide them with and as long as you give her good gear she can be fit for endgame. Since all followers will not die unless you yourself kill them they are all worthwhile. The only exception to this is if you play a mage character, in which case you should avoid melee followers such as lydia unless you make sure to take away her sword so she uses archery. Although that seems counter productive it will prevent you from accidentally killing your own follower when using AOE spells.


The only way I know of involves using console commands. (See UESP for those commands.) However, depending on your playstyle, you might be able to stick with Lydia anyway. She tends to run into combat and draw attention, so if you're a ranged or melee character you can wail away on enemies while she distracts them. This will obviously be less and less effective at higher levels, as she start dying more quickly. Also, I like to give her any staves I come across, so she may decide to stand behind you firing chain lightning and ice bolts, which I think is pretty fun.

If your character is stealth/melee-oriented, however, keeping Lydia around is probably a bad idea. I have a stealthy archer that does OK with her, but if you're planning to sneak up to enemies to backstab them, leave Lydia at home or tell her to wait a few corridors back.


As has been said a few times already, as of patch 1.6 followers level up correctly(both their level and their stats). Lydia will level with you up until level 50. At that point she has 671 health, 50 magicka and 214 stamina. She has 100 skill in 1H, block, and heavy armor with 98? skill in archery. If you give her well smithed heavy armor(helps to have good alchemy and enchanting too so you can use a powerful set of smithing gear and a strong smithing potion when improving gear) enchanted with magic resistance and elemental resistances plus heavily upgraded weapons she can be practically invincible. This may vary depending on your difficulty settings, mainly in regards to a follower's damage output. During my first run on apprentice she could solo a legendary dragon with little trouble. On my expert run I tried setting her against Karstag(Dragonborn DLC). Normally I give her about a dozen potions of ultimate healing in addition to her enchanted legendary armor and legendary dragonbone weapons(sword and ebony arrows for the bow). In this case I gave her my potions too, doubling her normal supply to 20+. She managed to take him out after a long fight, but used up either all or almost all the potions.

The reason I think damage output drops when you increase difficulty is based on something I observed in Vilkas. I was playing a nord on master and accidentally got my 2H up to 30, so guards were talking like I use a skill I actually avoid using. Can't have that. Thankfully I was harbinger. Took Vilkas with me as I fast traveled back and forth between Markarth and Riften, making alteration legendary many times while getting free training in 2H. Before that I made him some good gear in case a dragon decided to attack Riften during our travels ( similar level 50 stats as Lydia, but favors 2H versus 1H and trades a bit less health for a bit more stamina). After he got me to 90 2H I dropped him back off at Jorvaskr and went to the abandoned house or something to beat on potent frost atronachs with a dragonbone or daedric battleaxe until I got it to 100 and made it legendary. It was during a random encounter with some companions in the wilds of Skyrim that I saw the unexpected behavior.

uesp.net says that follower damage is unaffected by your difficulty level, but Vilkas wasn't doing the damage he should have been if that was the case. His dragonbone Battleaxe should be doing over 300 damage with a normal attack(base 26 plus 76.67 times 3 with his 100 2H skill) and double that with a power attack. I saw him hit a full health horker ( 175 health) and not kill it in one blow, just leave it with a bit of health (say he took off a little over 150 leaving about 25 left). The second blow finished off the horker. This suggests to me that a follower's damage output scales to the player's difficulty level(their physical and magical damage resistances appear fine as they still seem quite tank like).


I used Lydia for the whole of the main quest. Just upgraded her armor and weapons when I got better stuff. Had no problems. Got bored with her dialog so eventually dismissed her (I was about level 20 at that point).


Lydia is on par with just about any other follower, assuming they are the same level. Lydia's max level is 50. So, as long as you are under 50, Lydia is just fine.

You can easily beat the game before level 50.

So, yes, you can beat the game with only Lydia, without significantly handicapping yourself.


Well, since you can play the whole game alone, and it is pretty easy (depending of the character, ofc), having a follower will only help you.

I don't know if having a follower will make all that difference, but, for sure, she will die eventually. Also, there is a chance that she will just "disappear" as it was reported here before.

About the gear scaling with your level or her level, i know nothing about it, but as i said, having a follower, most of the times, will only help you. The amount of help varies, but there is always a help.

  • 1
    Unless you're playing a stealth character. In that case, most followers are a huge burden.
    – kotekzot
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:11
  • While I do appreciate the attempt, this answer doesnt fit the format of my question.
    – Ender
    Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 17:23

Just enchant her daedric legendary weapons with absorb health and her daedric legendary armor with health regen and fire/frost/shock resistances. And there you have it. An invincible end game Lydia.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .