The Elder Scrolls Online Companion Guide

The Elder Scrolls Online Companion Guide

Companions Make Powerful Allies

When the Blackwood DLC was introduced in 2021, The Elder Scrolls Online treated us to the ability to have a NPC (non-player character) to become an ally.  Companions are available for ‘use’ during most PVE activities but are not available in PVP areas.  

Each companion has a particular skill set true to their character but can be used in any of the three ESO roles – Damage, Healer, or Tank.  Each companion can also use any armor and weapon you’d like.  Additional customizations are available not only in their role and abilities, but also in mounts, costumes, and outfits.

To level a companion you only need to use them during combat.  Companions level to 20.  Leveling is 15% of the player xp earned through combat.  In the beginning, each companion has 2 usable abilities.  A third ability is unlocked at level 2.  A fourth ability is unlocked at level 7.  A fifth ability is unlocked at level 12.  The companion’s ultimate ability is unlocked at level 20.  As the companion’s combat levels increase, their health and overall power (including weapon and spell damage) increase automatically.  

To activate a weapon skill line, you simply need to equip that weapon.  The following is a summary of all the weapon skill lines of Companions.

Weapon Skill – Bow

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Bow Trick Shot

Trick Shot

The companion fires a burst of arrows to pin enemies in front of them dealing Physical Damage and immobilizing them.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Bow Piercing Arrow

Piercing Arrow

The companion plants a masterfully aimed arrow in an enemy’s vital spot dealing Physical Damage.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Bow Viper's Bite

Viper’s Bite

The companion shoots an arrow covered in Baandari poison at an enemy dealing Poison Damage and additional Poison Damage over time.

Weapon Skill – Destruction Staff

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Destruction Staff Destructive Blast

Destructive Blast

The companion blasts an enemy with magic dealing Magic Damage.  The Flame Blast knocks them back and stuns them.  The Frost Blast taunts them.  The Shock Blast deals additional Shock Damage to all other enemies around them.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Destruction Staff Elemental Barricade

Elemental Barricade

The companion slams their staff down to create an elemental wall in front of them dealing Magic Damage over seconds.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Destruction Staff Arcane Nova

Arcane Nova

The companion releases a surge of magic to enemies around them dealing Magic Damage.  The Fire Nova applies the Burning status effect.  The Frost Nova applies the Chill status effect.  The Shock Nova applies the Concussion status effect.

Weapon Skill – Dual Wield

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Dual Wield Swift Assault

Swift Assault

The companion floods an enemy with a steel battering them with five consecutive attacks that each deal Physical Damage.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Dual Wield Spinning Steel

Spinning Steel

The companion launches themselves in a lethal spin dealing Physical Damage to nearby enemies.  The companion deals triple damage to enemies below 25% Health.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Dual Wield Razor Cape

Razor Cape

The companion envelops themselves in a ring of floating razors dealing Physical Damage to nearby enemies.  The razors also shield them from attacks reducing their damage taken.

Weapon Skill – One Hand and Shield

ESO Companion Weapon Skill One Hand and Shield Provoke

Provoke

The companion thrusts their weapon with disciplined precision at an enemy dealing Physical Damage and taunting the enemy to attack them for seconds.  This is used when the enemy is not already taunted.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill One Hand and Shield Bashing Bulwark

Bashing Bulwark

The companion rushes an enemy and rams them stunning them for seconds.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill One Hand and Shield On Guard

On Guard

The companion bolsters their defenses granting a damage shield that absorbs seconds.

Weapon Skill – Restoration Staff

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Restoration Staff Rejuvenation

Rejuvenation

The companion shares their staff’s life-giving energy healing themselves and a nearby ally for Health over seconds.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Restoration Staff Mending Incantation

Mending Incantation

The companion slams their staff down to activate its blessings healing themselves and allies in front of them for Health.  The blessing also grants Spell and Physical Resistance for seconds.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Restoration Staff Mystic Fortress

Mystic Fortress

The companion calls on their staff’s strength to protect themselves or the lowest health ally around them granting a damage shield that absorbs damage.  This is used when the companion or an ally is below 25% Health.

Weapon Skill – Two Handed

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Two Handed Staggering Swing

Staggering Swing

The companion slams an enemy with an upward swing and sends them flying dealing Physical Damage stunning them for seconds and knocking them back for meters.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Two Handed Sunder

Sunder

The companion slices all enemies in front of them with a mighty swing dealing Physical Damage and an additional Physical Damage over seconds.

ESO Companion Weapon Skill Two Handed Sever

Sever

The companion spins around and strikes an enemy down dealing Physical Damage.  This is used when the enemy is below 25% Health.

Companion Armor And Gear

Companion armor has no gear level however it can be found in different equipment qualities like green (fine quality), blue (superior quality), and purple (epic quality).

Gear can be obtained through merchants like weaponsmiths, woodworkers, armorers, leatherworkers, and tailors.  You can also purchase gear from guild traders.  While using your companion, companion gear may also drop with enemy defeats.

Companion gear is different than player gear in that it cannot be crafted, improved, transmuted, reconstructed, or enchanted.  Companion gear never needs repair.

Companions have their own gear traits with each offering benefits.

  • Aggressive – this trait increases the damage done by 1.7%
  • Augmented – this trait increases the duration of buffs and debuffs by 1.3%
  • Bolstered – this trait reduces the damage taken by 0.9%
  • Focused – this trait increases the critical strike rating by 569
  • Prolific – this trait increases the ultimate regeneration by 13%
  • Quickened – this trait reduces the ability cooldowns by 1.3%
  • Shattering – this trait increases the penetration by 650
  • Soothing – this trait increases the healing done by 0.9%
  • Vigorous – this trait increases the max health by 1.3%
You need THREE items of your chosen weight gear for your companion to start the companion Armor skill line.  Armor skill lines increase through combat experience based on the equipped weight of the armor.  The following reviews all the skills and abilities available in the companion’s armor lines.

Companion Heavy Armor

ESO Companion Heavy Armor Skill Bulwark

Bulwark

The companion becomes an unstoppable defender blocking and reflecting all attacks for seconds.  This is used when the companion is below 75% Health and is fighting a difficult monster.

ESO Companion Heavy Armor Skill Firmness

Firmness

The healing received increases by a % for each piece of Heavy Armor equipped.  The amount of damage blocked increases by a % for each piece of Heavy Armor equipped.

Companion Medium Armor

ESO Companion Medium Armor Skill Vanish

Vanish

The companion disappears in a puff of smoke healing to full Health and becoming invisible for seconds.  This is used when the companion is below 50% Health.

ESO Companion Medium Armor Skill Flexibility

Flexibility

The companion disappears in a puff of smoke healing to full Health and becoming invisible for seconds.  This is used when the companion is below 50% Health.

Companion Light Armor

ESO Companion Light Armor Skill Haste

Haste

The companion focuses their magical energies inward resetting the cooldown of all their other abilities.

ESO Companion Light Armor Skill Flow

Flow

The healing down increases by a % for each piece of Light Armor equipped.  The cooldown of Break Free decreases by a % for each piece of Light Armor equipped.

Companion Guild Skill Lines

Companions also have three guild skill lines that include the Fighters Guild, the Mages Guild, and the Undaunted.  These guild skill lines increase through completing specific solo daily quests associated with the guild.  The following reviews all the skills and abilities available in the companion’s guild skill lines.

Companion Fighters Guild

ESO Companion Fighters Guild Skill Sniping Silver

Sniping Silver

The companion fires a Dawnguard Vampire Hunter’s crossbow bolt at an enemy dealing Physical Damage.  This also deals double damage if the enemy is an Undead, Daedra, or Werewolf.

ESO Companion Fighters Guild Skill Ritual of Salvation

Ritual Of Salvation

The companion brands the earth underneath them with a rune of protection for seconds.  Standing within the rune will also reduce the damage they and their allies take by a %.  If the attacker is an Undead, Daedra, or Werewolf the fine reduces damage taken by an additional %.

ESO Companion Fighters Guild Skill Biting Trap

Biting Trap

The companion sets a sharpened blade trap in front of them which takes seconds to arm and lasts for seconds.  When an enemy triggers the trap, they are immobilized for seconds.  If the enemy is an Undead, Daedra, or Werewolf they take Physical Damage.

Companion Mages Guild

ESO Companion Mages Guild Skill Starfall

Starfall

The companion calls a comet down from the constellations to blast an enemy dealing Flame Damage.

ESO Companion Mages Guild Skill Reverse Entropy

Reverse Entropy

The companion envelops an ally with stabilizing magic healing them for Health over seconds.

ESO Companion Mages Guild Skill Parallel

Parallel

The companion barters with Oblivion for power generating Ultimate.

Companion Undaunted Guild

ESO Companion Undaunted Guild Skill Crimson Font

Crimson Font

The companion conjures a fountain of blood to sustain themselves and allies around it healing for Health every second for some seconds.  Allies near the fountain can activate the Crimson Funnel synergy healing for 50% of their Max Health.

ESO Companion Undaunted Guild Skill Skeletal Aegis

Skeletal Aegis

The companion surrounds themselves with a whirlwind of bones granting a damage shield for a % of their Max Health for seconds.  While the damage shield holds, an ally near them can activate the Bone Aegis synergy granting them a damage shield for a % of their Max Health for seconds.

ESO Companion Undaunted Guild Skill Savage Instinct

Savage Instinct

The companion ignites the fires of hate in an enemy’s heart dealing Magic Damage and taunting the enemy to attack them for seconds.  An ally targeting the enemy can activate the Savage Implosion synergy causing the enemy to implode after seconds dealing Magic Damage to them and other nearby enemies.  This is used when the enemy is not already taunted.

Setting Up Your Companion’s Abilities

Companion abilities are used in priority order: 1 – 5.  As you have more abilities open, you may want to consider putting lesser-used abilities first as they are bypassed if the requirements are not met ie:  if an ability can only be used at 25% health – having it in the first position increases the chances of that ability being used when the criteria has been met.  

You can target an enemy with your companion (holding ‘Y’ on the keyboard and left- or right-clicking OR pressing the L3+R3 buttons along with the left or right bumper) or if you heavy attack an enemy, they become the target automatically.

Companions will utilize their ultimate when it is available and conditions are met by default.  However, you can choose to have the companion wait until directed to use it.  If you visit the settings-gameplay menu, you can set the companion to not ‘auto-cast ultimate’. 

Building Companion Rapport

All companions have a rapport status.  Based on the activities you perform with your companion and their individual likes/dislikes, the rapport will either increase or decrease.  At higher rapport levels, the companion may share with you some of their personal histories and ask for your help with personal quests.  At lower rapport levels, the companion may decide to part ways with you for a period of time.

Each companion has associated personal side quests which will become available to you once you’ve established sufficient rapport.  Completing the second Companion quest will unlock a houseguest collectible for the companion allowing them to be placed and utilized similarly to any of the other houseguest collectibles.  Completing any companion side quest will result in a large rapport boost.

Each companion has a unique associated non-combat perk that benefits you when the companion is present.  By completing meta-achievements associated with each companion, you can also unlock a keepsake collectible which provides the benefits of the non-combat perk even while the companion isn’t active.

Activities that increase or decrease rapport also may have individual cooldown timers.  Visit each companion tab for their individual preferences.

Take An Individual Look At Each Companion

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