Companions System Guide—The Basics

06/05/2021

Learn about the new Companions System, part of the upcoming Blackwood Chapter, with this basics guide from the ESO development team.

What are Companions?

Companions are non-player characters who can aid you on your adventures throughout Tamriel. Once called to your side, these stalwart allies will assist you in combat.

Fighting alongside your Companion will improve their effectiveness and taking actions they approve of will build rapport. As you earn their trust and strengthen your bonds of fellowship, your Companion may share personal quests with you. You may also give them Companion-specific gear and customize them in a wide variety of ways, including setting their abilities, mounts, costumes, outfits, and more.

Recruiting Companions

Finding & Unlocking Companions

So long as you have access to the Blackwood Chapter, you can unlock two Companions through completing associated quests in the Blackwood zone. 

  • Bastian Hallix can be found south of Deepscorn Hollow along the southwest coast of Blackwood
  • Mirri Elendis can be found north of Doomvault Vulpinaz in northern Blackwood

Once their quests are completed, you will receive their respective Companion collectibles.

Mirri Elendis & Bastian Hallix

Companions Menu

Companions can be found in the Collections menu under a new Collectibles category called “Allies” within the Companion subcategory. You may have either a Companion or an assistant active at any one time, and Companion collectibles may be activated from the Collections menu or Quick Slotted for ease of use.

Summoning & Interacting with Companions

Companion Summon Locations

You can summon your Companions almost anywhere in Tamriel, however, there are some notable exceptions. In population-limited instances such as dungeons, group arenas, and trials, each Companion present counts against the population cap as if they were a player. In these areas, players will always take priority, and your Companions will be auto-dismissed as needed as other players zone in. 

Areas or Situations that Restrict Companions

Companions cannot be summoned in PvP areas, Solo Arenas, or in housing instances. Additionally, Companions cannot be summoned while you’re in combat or if your current character has not yet completed the associated introductory quest (even if the collectible has been unlocked by another character.)

Additionally, if the relationship between your character and Companion deteriorates into very low rapport states, your Companion may voluntarily unsummon themselves and be unavailable to the associated character for a time.

Note that Companion visibility may also be briefly suppressed in some situations where they are unable to navigate to you, such as when you’re swimming. Finally, server performance may also affect Companion availability.

Travel most of Tamriel with your Companion

Interacting with Companions

To interact with your Companion, simply initiate dialogue with them and select the Companion menu dialogue option. This menu provides you with detailed information regarding the status of your Companion as well as tools for adjusting their combat behavior and visual customization. Beyond the Companion menu, dialogue with your Companion is also a way to get to know them better, and their responses will vary based on rapport, quest status, and other factors. 

The overview option of the Companion character tab provides a summary of Companion information, including level, slotted abilities, rapport status, Companion perk details and outfit application status. 

Companion in Combat

Companions Joining Combat

Companions can respond to a wide array of situations that occur while adventuring with you, both in and out of combat. While they will always respond to some critical triggers, you may adjust the frequency your Companion's will vocally respond by opening the settings menu, selecting gameplay, and adjusting the "Companion Reactions" setting between Infrequent, Normal, and Frequent.

Directing Companions in Combat

While Companions will always attempt to engage in combat when you are attacked, utilizing pet commands allows you to direct the Companion to engage with specific targets or tell them to pull back, respectively. By default, on keyboard and mouse you can do this by holding the “Y” key and left- or right-clicking, or on controller by pressing the L3+R3 buttons along with the left or right bumper.

In addition, performing a heavy attack will also cause your Companion to switch to your target.

Companion Ultimate

Companions will utilize their ultimate when it's available and conditions are met by default. Conversely, you may choose to have them wait until directed to utilize it. The Companion Ultimate Auto Cast setting in Gameplay section of the Settings menu allows you to set the Companion to wait until you direct them. You can do so by clicking on the new ultimate icon which is present next to your hotkey bar when a Companion is active on keyboard or pressing L3+R3 with no bumper input on controller.

Fight together in Blackwood and beyond

Companion Combat Actions

In combat, Companions will also attempt to block incoming heavy attacks, interrupt interruptible abilities, and break free from crown control effects, however, their timing is not perfect, and they do have a cooldown between uses.

Companion Death & Recovery

If a Companion dies in battle, they can be revived by using a soul gem. However, any Companion who is still defeated at the end of combat will recover within a few seconds of the battle concluding.

Customizing Companion Combat Abilities

Just like with your own character, when it comes to combat, you can customize how your Companion fights. The skills tab of the Companion menu provides a list of available skill lines and associated abilities which may be slotted into the Companion’s active ability bar. These abilities may have usage restrictions, such as requiring a specific weapon type be equipped or a target being below a certain health threshold. Companions attempt to use their abilities in priority order from left to right if they have a valid target and meet any associated requirements of the ability. 

Companion abilities utilize a cooldown system to determine frequency of usage, with various abilities having an array of cooldown times.

Companions have a large pool of unlockable abilities available to them, which are similar to some abilities you may recognize from various player skill lines. These abilities provide the opportunity for you to customize your Companion's combat role, including tanking, healing, damage, and any hybridization desired to perfectly complement your own ability configuration. 

Companion Cosmetics & Appearance

Customizing Companion Appearance

You can customize your Companion using many of your own cosmetic collectibles. This includes mounts, costumes, and outfits. Companions have a default mount which they will utilize when you mount up, but this can be overridden through the Companion menu in your Collectibles UI. Costumes you have unlocked may be applied through the Collectibles tab as well, with any associated applied dyes being shared across your and your Companion's appearance per costume.

Companion Outfits

Visiting an outfit station allows you to configure a dedicated outfit slot, with each Companion having a dedicated slot per account. You can apply this outfit through the overview screen of the Companion UI.

Please note that Companion's head armor is always hidden and will not be displayed regardless of equipment or cosmetic override settings. Additionally, a small subset of mount, costume, and outfit collectibles may not be usable by the Companion based on gender, race, or other restrictions. 

Companion Progression

Levelling Up Companions

As you fight with your Companions, they will gain experience and level up. With the exception of their personal quests and rapport, which collectively represents the relationship between each character and the Companion, all Companion progress is account-wide. 

Companions are level one when unlocked, with a limited set of ability bar slots and a maximum potential level of 20. Companions level up via experience gained directly from combat.

As Companions gain combat levels, their hitpoints and overall power (which affects weapon and spell damage) increases automatically, additional ability bar slots unlock, and more class abilities become available. This includes the ultimate slot and ability, which unlock at combat level 20. 

Experience increasing effects such as holiday bonuses and consumable boosters applied you will provide an indirect benefit to the Companion as well.

Companion Skill Lines

Companions have access to several skill lines, each with associated abilities. Most Companion skill lines have three active abilities which can be acquired through leveling up of that skill line. Companion abilities do not require skill points to unlock and do not rank up or morph over time.

  • Class Skill lines increase with the combat level of the Companion.
  • Weapon skill lines increase through combat experience based on the equipped weapon(s).
  • Armor skill lines increase through combat experience based on the equipped weight of the armor on the Companion. 
  • Guild skill lines increase through completing specific solo daily quests associated with the guild, for the active Companion.
  • Racial skill lines do not include active abilities and are immediately applied based on the race of the Companion. 

Each Companion unlocks with some progress in a few skill lines based on their background, as well as with two combat abilities pre-slotted, so they are immediately combat ready. You can change these as desired. 

Companion Rapport

Gaining & Managing Rapport

Rapport with Companions begins at cordial, starting with the introductory quest, and may go up and down over time, depending on your actions with the active Companion. All Companions have strong personal preferences which you can learn about through dialogue and experimentation in the world.

As rapport increases or falls, various thresholds will be met, with corresponding changes in the Companion's dialogue with you. At higher tiers of rapport, the Companion will be inclined to share personal information with you and ask for assistance with associated quests. At lower tiers of rapport, the Companion may choose to part ways with you for a time.

Check in on your Companions to see rapport levels

Rapport adjustments are displayed in real time in the loot stream and have limitations on how often they can be triggered for both positive and negative rapport events. You can always see the current rapport status on the overview window of the Companion UI.

Companion Equipment

Equipping Companions

Companion equipment is distinct from player gear with no overlap between them. Companions unlock with a set of un-traited white equipment based on their background. Selecting the equipment option of the Companion character tab displays any Companion equipment in the player's inventory, which may be equipped on the Companion via the UI on the left. 

Companion equipment does not include level, cannot be enchanted, does not require repairs, and does not include an inherent style appearance, but instead inherits the style of the Companion it's applied to. 

Finding Gear for Companions

You can purchase white Companion equipment from Weaponsmith, Woodworker, Armorer, Leatherworker, and Tailor merchants throughout the world, allowing you to customize your Companion role accordingly.

Fine (green), superior (blue) and epic (purple) quality Companion equipment with traits can be obtained as rare drops from monster throughout the world, particularly from bosses if you have active Companions present. This equipment is tradeable, so players may buy and sell it as desired. 

Note that Companion gear cannot be crafted, deconstructed, improved, or researched.

Companion Gear Traits

Companion equipment above white quality can come with unique traits:

  • Quickened (Cooldown Reduction)
  • Prolific (Ultimate Generation)
  • Focused (Critical Strike Chance)
  • Shattering (Penetration)
  • Aggressive (Damage Done)
  • Soothing (Healing Done)
  • Augmented (Ability Buff and Debuff Duration)
  • Bolstered (Reduce Damage Taken)
  • Vigorous (Max Health)

Companion Quests & Rewards

Companion Quests

In addition to the Blackwood quest objective which introduces and unlocks the respective Companions, each Companion has two associated personal side quests which will become available to you once you’ve established sufficient rapport with them. 

Completing the second Companion quest will unlock a houseguest collectible of the Companion, allowing them to be placed and utilized similarly to other houseguest collectibles.

Additionally, completing any Companion side quest will result in a large rapport boost. 

Companion Perks & Keepsakes

Companion Perks

Each Companion has a unique associated non-combat perk which benefits you when the Companion is present. 

Mirri's Expertise: Treasure Chests found through Treasure Maps and in the Overland have a 30% chance to provide additional loot from hidden compartments.  The treasure from these hidden compartments may contain additional gold, sellables or recipes.

Bastian's Insight: Potions looted from chests and monsters have a 30% chance to be improved by Bastian's Insight. 

Companion Keepsakes

By completing meta-achievements associated with each Companion, you can unlock a keepsake collectible for each Companion which provides the benefits of the non-combat perk even while the Companion isn't active. These collectibles are located under the Upgrades section of the collections menu. 

Companions Coming Soon

Companions will arrive with the upcoming Blackwood Chapter in June, but once unlocked, you’ll be able to take them to almost every corner of Tamriel. Are you excited to recruit your new adventuring ally? Let us know via TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Blackwood arrives on PC/Mac and Stadia* on June 1, and on Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 on June 8. Pre-purchase Blackwood now to receive unique bonus rewards and gain immediate access to the Nagahide Welwa Ravager mount. Don't miss out!

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