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The Elder Scrolls Online Breaks Down Its Companion System Ahead Of Blackwood Release

Joseph Bradford Updated: Posted:
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Companions are one of the major features coming with this year's Elder Scrolls Online chapter update. Coming with Blackwood, companions are a way to inject an NPC in the leveling process with a player, while still sticking to the core of what has made the Elder Scrolls series so popular over the years: its storytelling.

As the ramp up to launch heats up for ZeniMax Online Studios, the team is diving deeper into the mechanics that players should come to expect when calling upon their companion for the first time. There are two companions at the start, Mirri Elendis and Bastain Hallix, both of which the team has talked about at legnth in the past. To even get on the radar of your desired companion, you'll need to finish their companion quest. These quests will then unlock the companion in your Collections menu.

Summoning your companion then is just as easy as summoning your traveling banker, simply select the companion in the menu and they will appear. From there you'll be able to adventure the world with your companion by your side - with a few caveats. Dungeons, instances, trials and group areas will force your companion to despawn - especially in population limited instances - as players spawn in around you. Other instances, such as Solo Arenas, housing instances and more will restrict being able to summon your companion. Server performance may also dictate companion availability, according to ZeniMax.

You can also direct your companion in combat using the pet menu, and companions themselves will always have some sort of skill line they will use (which Kevin talks a bit about in his Blackwood preview last month). Companions also have their own ultimate attack, which will be used when it's ready. However, you can also use the ultimate when you deem it needed if it's good to go.

"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."

Companions also have progression paths to work on, both leveling and building your own personal rapport with your helper. Leveling is done directly through combat. Fight with your companion and they will level with you. It's that easy really. 

Rapport is a bit more nuanced. Your decisions and actions in the world will influence what your companion thinks of you. Do something they don't like and your rapport will drop with them. Alternatively, do something they do like or approve of and it'll increase. If your rapport drops too low, you might lose access to the companion entirely for a time.

There is a lot to unpack with the companions themselves, from equipment to their own quests once you've hit certain rapport levels. Companions will be hitting the game once Blackwood goes live on June 1st for PC and Stadia, while Console players will be waiting until June 8th.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore