ESO Companions Guide, 2021 - Everything You Need To Know
Introduction to Companions
The Companions system arrives with Update 30 otherwise known as the Blackwood Chapter. Companions are meant for players to transition into content and to be provided with self confidence to eventually play with other players in much harder content. New players may also intuitively learn from playing around with their Companions in regards to skill rotations or the basics of gear. Solo players will also be provided with a nice option to complement their build as well.
Veteran players may also enjoy the lore and simply adventuring with Companions in tow or perhaps using them as handy tanks in base Veteran content.
Companions won't be as good as players or as smart as players as the developers don't want Companions to entirely replace actual players.
As proof of this, a Companion does a rather minuscule percentage of a fully optimized DPS Player in a Veteran Trial:
Companions take up a player slot in groups meaning a 12-man raid team of players need to consist of 6 players with 6 companions total. Or a 4 man group for dungeons needs to consist of 2 players with 2 companions, vice versa.
Companions can Break Free and do the basic core combat abilities such as Blocking just like Players. Where can you take these Companions? Anywhere in PvE including 4 man dungeons/Arenas and 12-man raids/Trials! They are not allowed in solo Arenas or PvP zones including Cyrodiil, Battlegrounds and Imperial City.
Companions cannot exactly fulfill mechanics, Aetherian Archive for example, they cannot stand on one of the 12 pads required to be pressed by a a Player Character to advance through the next area.
Companions have healthbars and can also die but you can resurrect them with a Soul Gem. You can heal and shield your Companions while also being able to direct their aggro like you can with the Sorcerer's Pets.
You will need access to the Blackwood Chapter zone from Update 30 as of June 1st, 2021 in order to unlock Companions. No further real life purchase or ingame upgrade is needed beyond access to the Blackwood Chapter.
Southeast of Leyawiin is Deepscorn Hollow where you will need to rescue Bastian Hallix and unlock him as a Companion through the initial quest.
Slightly northeast of Leyawiin is Doomvault Vulpinaz where outside you can run into Mirri Elendis and help her rescue her fellow travelers to unlock her as a Companion through the initial quest.
Like Banker/Merchant Assistants, Companions can be summoned by Quickslotting them or through the Collections Menu under the "Allies" category. They are account wide once acquired through some steps in the Blackwood Chapter (they are not on the Crown Store as they come with Blackwood).
Interactions (Companion Menu)
With the release of Blackwood, these two Companions Bastian and Mirri will serve as a foundation for the high potential Companion system. Their leveling progression is from Level 1 to 20 which affects their combat prowess.
You can access everything they have including looking at their Level, Equipment, Skills and other things by talking to them and going into the Companion menu through the dialogue option.
Companion Keepsakes & Perks
By progressing through Companion Achievements and quests, you can unlock each Companion's "Keepsake" which provides Bastian's and Mirri's unique Perks even when you're not traveling with them.
Your Companions' gear is Companion specific so you can find different Companion gear pieces ranging from white to purple quality items in various locations throughout the world. For example you can get a green Companion Restoration Staff from a World Boss.
Companion gear don't have levels, enchantments nor do they require Repairing like Player gear. You can purchase basic. white-quality Companion gear from NPC Clothiers, Blacksmiths and Woodworkers.
You cannot wear your Companions' gear and you cannot give them your Player gear. Unlike The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you cannot make your Companions carry all of your stuff for you. You are, after all, each other's Companions of an equal level.
Companion Items category has been added to the Inventory UI.
There also different types of Companion Gear, note that you can mix and match different pieces of these whether it’s an Aggressive helmet piece with a Vigorous chest item piece as these aren’t item sets but simply item pieces that have different traits that buff specific aspects of a Companion's setup whether it's more damage, more Health or more Ultimate generation and so forth.
Similar to players, Companions have access to: One Skill Bar, three jewelry slots, seven armor slots, they also have access to their own Companion versions of skill lines including weapon skills, armor skills, guild skills and class-type skills along with at least one racial passive.
Companions cannot barswap as they only have one bar.
Companion Item Traits
There are a total of 9 item types for Companion gear traits, note that the value of traits will be doubled on Two Handed weapons when compared to One Handed weapons just like Player weapons. Armor pieces like Chest, Legs and Head do not follow the Player gear rule of increased trait effects such as Infused.
|Aggressive||Increases Damage done by X%|
|Augmented||Increases duration of Buffs and Debuffs by X%|
|Bolstered||Reduces Damage taken by X%|
|Focused||Increases Critical Strike Rating by X|
|Prolific||Increases Ultimate generation by X%|
|Quickened||Reduces ability cooldowns by X%|
|Shattering||Increases Penetration by X|
|Soothing||Increases Healing Done by X%|
|Vigorous ||Increases Max Health by X%|
Companion Skill Rotations
Your Companion's DPS, tanking or healing rotation is based on the order of the skills arranged in their Skill Bar that's exactly the same as a player's skill bar. Some skills will also have prerequisites that need to be fulfilled such as a Companion being below a certain amount of Health for them to use it (like a heal) .
You can manually use a Companion's Ultimate ability by pressing a keybinding (default is Y on Mouse & Keyboard):
Take note that EVERY COMPANION SKILL has a COOLDOWN as opposed to GCD per cast for Players.
This will force you to think even more about what skills to slot for your Companions when going through setups.
Companions' unique "Class" skills are heavily inspired or drawn upon from Player Class skill lines whether it's a Nightblade or a Dragonknight, for Mirri and Bastian respectively.
Bastian Hallix (Class Skills)
- Unleashed Rage (Ultimate) - Bastian builds up rage, then unleashes it in a devastating explosion around them. The Explosion deals X Flame Damage to enemies and stuns them for 4 seconds, while also releasing four lines of fire in a cross formation that deal an additional X Flame Damage to any enemy hit.
- Crag Smash - Bastian Hallix hurls a chunk of rock at an enemy, dealing X Physical Damage.
- Fiery Flail - Bastian lashes an enemy with flame, dealing X Flame Damage and setting them Off Balance for 7 seconds.
- Scorching Strike - Bastian slashes an enemy with flame, dealing X Flame Damage and an additional X Flame Damage over 8 seconds.
- Kindle - Bastian launches a searing fireball at themselves or an ally to cauterize their wounds, healing for X Health.
- Basalt Barrier - Bastian calls the earth to their defense, granting a damage shield for them and their nearby allies that absorbs X damage. While the shield holds, healing received is increased by 20%.
- Searing Weapons - Bastian charges their weapons and their allies' weapons with volcanic power, increasing their damage done with Light and Heavy Attacks by 20% for 8 seconds.
- Drake's Blood - Bastian draws on their Draconic blood, healing for 25% of their Max Health and reducing their damage taken by 20% for 8 seconds. Used when Bastian is below 75% Health.
- Crushing Claws - Bastian calls forth talons from the ground, dealing X Flame Damage to enemies nearby and immobilizing them for 4 seconds.
- Blazing Grasp - Bastian launches a fiery chain to grasp an pull an enemy to them. Used when the enemy can be moved and is further than 10 meters away.
- Tough - Increases Max Health by 3% and Damage Done by 3%.
Mirri Elendis (Class Skills)
- Impeccable Shot (Ultimate) - Mirri marks an enemy and exposes their weakness, causing them to take 20% more damage for 3 seconds. While the enemy is exposed they build up to a single killing shot, unleashing a massive bolt that deals X Physical Damage.
- Shadow Slash - Mirri slashes an enemy, dealing X Magic Damage and setting them Off Balance for 7 seconds.
- Warp Strike - Mirri flashes through the shadows and ambushes an enemy, dealing X Magic Damage.
- Slayer's Blade - Mirri thrusts a magic blade with lethal precision to finish off an enemy, dealing X Magic Damage. Used when the enemy is below 25% Health.
- Ghostly Evasion - Mirri surrounds themselves in a phantasmic aura, dodging the next attack made against them while also reducing their damage taken by 20% for 8 seconds. Used when Mirri is below 75% Health.
- Masque of Torment - Mirri terrifies nearby enemies, causing them to cower in fear for 4 seconds.
- Twilight Mantle - Mirri shrouds themselves in refreshing shadows, healing for 25% of their Max Health and becoming invisible for 6 seconds, causing most enemies to stop attacking them. Used when Mirri is below 50% Health.
- Life Absorption - Mirri steals an enemy's life force, dealing X Magic Damage and healing themselves or an ally around them for X Health.
- Blood Transfusion - Mirri infuses an ally with blood, healing them forX Health over 8 seconds.
- Life Siphon - Mirri siphons the vigor from the blood of enemies nearby, dealing X Magic Damage and healing themselves and their allies for X Health.
- Dynamic - Increases damage done by 3% and healing done by 3%.
Companion Weapon Skills
- Staggering Swing - Companion slams an enemy with an upward swing and sends them flying, dealing X Physical Damage, stunning them and knocking them back 4 meters.
- Sunder - Companion slices all enemies in front of them with a mighty swing, dealing X Physical Damage and additional X Physical Damage over time.
- Sever - Companion spins around and strikes an enemy down, dealing bonus X Physical Damage. Used only when the enemy is below 25% Health.
- Rejuvenation - Companion shares their staff's life-giving energy, healing themself and a nearby ally for X Health for over 8 seconds.
- Mending Incantation - Companion slams their staff down to activate its blessing, healing themselves and allies in front of them for X Health. The blessing also grants X Spell and Physical Resistance.
- Mystic Fortress - Companion calls on their staff's strength to protect themselves or the lowest health ally around them, granting a damage shield that absorbs X Damage. Used when the Companion or ally is below 25% Health.
- Provoke - Companion thrusts their weapon with discipline precision at an enemy, dealing X Physical Damage and taunting the enemy to attack them for 15 seconds.
- Bashing Bulwark - Companion rushes an enemy and rams them, stunning them for 4 seconds.
- On Guard - Companion bolsters their defenses, granting a damage shield that absorbs 25% of their Max Health for 6 seconds.
- Swift Assault - Companion floods an enemy with steel, battering them with five consecutive attacks that each deal X Physical Damage.
- Spinning Steel - Companion launches themselves in a lethal spin, dealing X Physical Damage to nearby enemies. Deals triple damage to enemies below 25% Health.
- Razor Cape - Companion envelops themselves in a ring of floating razors, dealing X Physical Damage to nearby enemies every 2 seconds for 8 seconds. The razors also shield them from attacks, reducing their damage taken by 20%.
- Destructive Blast - Companion blasts an enemy with magic dealing X Magic Damage. Flame Touch knocks the enemy back 8 meters and stuns them for 2.5 seconds. Frost Touch taunts the enemy for 15 seconds. Shock Touch deals additional X Shock Damage to all other enemies around them.
- Elemental Barricade - Companion slams their staff down to create an elemental wall in front of them, dealing X Magic Damage over 8 seconds.
- Arcane Nova - Companion releases a surge of magic to enemies around them, dealing X Magic Damage. Fire Nova applies the Burning status effect. Frost Nova applies the Chill status effect. Shock Nova applies the Concussion status effect.
- Piercing Arrow - Companion plants a masterfully aimed arrow in an enemy's vital spot, dealing X Physical Damage.
- Trick Shot - Companion fires a burst of arrows in one shot, dealing X Physical Damage to enemies in front of them. Enemies hit are immobilized.
- Viper's Bite - Companion shoots an arrow covered in Baandari poison at an enemy, dealing X Poison Damage and additional X Poison Damage over time.
Companion Armor Abilities
Your Companion is required to wear at least 5 pieces of each armor type to use their respective armor abilities just like players however just like players, the Armor Passives will be in effect regardless of how many specific-type pieces you wear (3x Light, 3x Medium, 1x Heavy would have all Armor Passives active).
- Haste (Ability) - Companion focuses their magical energies inward, resetting the cooldown of all their other abilities.
- Flow (Passive) - Increases Healing Done by 1% for each piece of Light Armor equipped. Decreases the cooldown of Break Free by 5% for each piece of Light Armor equipped.
- Vanish (Ability) - Companion disappears in a puff of smoke, becoming invisible for 6 seconds. Used when below 50% Health.
- Flexibility (Passive) - Increases Damage Done by 1% for each piece of Medium Armor equipped. Decreases the cooldown of Roll Dodge by 5% for each piece of Medium Armor equipped.
- Bulwark (Ability) - Companion becomes an unstoppable defender, blocking and reflecting all attacks for 5 seconds. Used when below 75% Health while fighting a difficult monster.
- Firmness (Passive) - Increases Healing Received by 1% for each piece of Heavy Armor equipped. Increases the amount of damage blocked by 1% for each piece of Heavy armor equipped.
Companion Guild Skills
- Sniping Silver - Companion fires a Dawnguard Vampire Hunter's crossbow bolt at an enemy, dealing X Physical Damage. Deals double damage if the enemy is an Undead, Daedra, or Werewolf.
- Ritual of Salvation - Companion brands the earth underneath them with a rune of protection for 8 seconds. Standing within the rune reduces the damage they and their allies take by 20%. If the attacker is Undead, Daedra, or Werewolf the rune reduces damage taken by an additional 20%.
- Biting Trap - Companion sets a sharpened blade trap in front of them, which takes 1.5 seconds to arm and lasts for 8 seconds. When an enemy triggers the trap they are immobilized for 4 seconds. If the enemy is an Undead, Daedra or Werewolf they take X Physical Damage.
- Starfall - Companion calls a comet down from the constellations to blast an enemy, dealing X Flame Damage.
- Reverse Entropy - Companion envelops themselves and an ally with stabilizing magic, healing them for X Health over 8 seconds.
- Parallel - Companion barters with Oblivion for power, generating 50 Ultimate.
- Crimson Font - The Companion conjures a fountain of blood to sustain themselves and allies around it, healing for X Health every 1 second for 16 seconds. Allies near the found can activate the Blood Funnel synergy, healing for 50% of their Max Health.
- Savage Instinct - The Companion ignites the fires of hate in an enemy's heart, dealing X Magic Damage and taunting the enemy to attack them. An ally targeting the enemy can activate the Savage Implosion synergy, causing the enemy to implode after 2 seconds dealing X Magic Damage to them and other nearby enemies. Used when the enemy is not already taunted.
- Skeletal Aegis - The Companion surrounds themselves with a whirlwind of bones, granting a damage shield for 30% of their Max Health for 6 seconds. While the damage shield holds an ally near them can activate the Bone Wall synergy, granting them a damage shield for 50% of their Max Health.
Companion Leveling & XP
All these skills look pretty amazing but how do you level both your Companion and their skills?
Your Companions' Class Skills increase in rank with their general progression in Combat Level.
Companion Weapon Skill Lines increase from XP gained in combat with the equipped pieces.
Armor Skill Lines increase through XP gained in combat based on how many of the respective armor types they have.
Guild Skill Lines can only be leveled through completing the Guilds' daily quests.
One of the biggest concerns from players is if Companions can negatively affect XP gain for Players who are in groups.
This is how Companion XP gain will work:
- Player A will gain 100 XP from killing a Monster.
- Player A's Companion will gain 1/4 of their Player's XP, in this case 25XP.
They do not "steal" your XP much like how other Players can in increasing numbers, instead their XP gain is based on your XP gain which means you can stack XP buffs for yourself so your Companion levels faster although XP gain seems not grindy at all in the first place for Companions.
Companions have a "Rapport Level" (Relationship Level) which has a diverse range from having a huge disdain for you to really liking you. You can increase or decrease the Rapport Level by committing acts that goes against their morality or character. For example, Bastian is more of a noble character and won't like you pick-pocketing people but Mirri is more roguish and will be fine with that.
Both Companions will have their own dialogue options for their background quests/stories, random quips as you adventure together and other neat features. Note that you can actually adjust how much they talk in your Game Settings:
The demeanor and how fast the Companions can temporarily desummon themselves/leave you will change based on your Rapport Level. If you have very low Rapport with your Companions, they may also be unavailable to your Character for some time.
Examples of what Companions can say to you should you have very bad Rapport with them:
"I can suffer fools, dull blades, bland food and miserable weather. But you...you are testing my patience."
"If you're afraid I'm going to let you die, I've thought about it."
General Rapport Guidelines (Bastian)
Note that there may be more beyond this list.
Bastian's Rapport will INCREASE should you do the following:
- Visit Eyevea
- Read a book from a bookshelf
- Do a Mages Guild Daily Quest
- Harvest a Psijic Portal
- Scry for Antiquities
- Visit Artaeum
- Kill bandits/cultists in random overland encounters
- Kill Worm cultists at the beginning of a Dolmen event
Bastian's Rapport will DECREASE should you do the following:
- Murder an innocent/friendly NPC
- Use Blade of Woe on an innocent/friendly NPC
- Steal Items
- Pick-pocket NPCs
- Loot Thieves Troves
General Rapport Guidelines (Mirri)
Mirri's Rapport will INCREASE should you do the following:
- Visit a Daedric themed Delve or Public Dungeon
- Do a Fighter's Guild Daily Quest
- Craft an Alcoholic Beverage
- Read a book from a bookshelf
- Excavate Antiquities
- Steal Drinking and Scholarly-related treasures
- Murder Goblins
- Murder Large Snakes
Mirri's Rapport will DECREASE should you do the following:
- Harvesting Insects
- Killing an innocent/friendly NPC using the Blade of Woe
- Visiting the Dark Brotherhood Sanctuary in the Gold Coast
- Completing a Dark Brotherhood Sacrament
You can customize your Companions' appearance with the Outfitting system at the Outfitting station, costumes (not Polymorphs) and yes this includes Crown Store costumes although their headgear is always restricted.
You can also assign them any of your mounts and they will keep up with you well. They will crouch with you and sprint with you should you do so as well. You may also place your Companions (and talk with them) into your Houses and have them on set paths just like other House guest NPCs.