ESO COMPANION GUIDE BASICS
To start out there are 2 companions that you can obtain in Blackwood, these are Mirri, and Bastian. They each have their respective quests or ways to unlock them. For Mirri you need to complete the Shattered and Scattered quest located at the Doomvault Vulpinaz. For Bastian you need to complete the quest Competition and Contracts.
Now when you unlock these companions you can go to your Collections tab, Allies section, and call them to your side, then you can interact with them by talking to them.
They will have dialogue options available and the responses are based off of rapport with them. Then you will see the companion menu. The companion menu will break down each section and contain everything companion related for you. You will have their rapport meter, skills tab, companion gear or loadout, and collectibles that they can wear. We will talk more about the companion menu later on in the guild, because first let’s talk about…
WHEN CAN YOU USE YOUR COMPANION?
You can have your companion in every piece of content except solo arenas and pvp or battlegrounds. So the arenas are Maelstrom Arena and Vateshran Arena. Please note that your companions will take up a group member slot if you do group content with them. So what that means is if you went into a dungeon you can have you and your companion and 2 other group members, or 2 people and 2 companions. This means that you can take them in trials, but Zenimax did say that companions aren’t designed to replace a player in content. The reason being is they want to still encourage players to play in groups and that’s fairm Because if companions were op, then you wouldn’t need anyone with you. So just keep that in mind when bringing your companion along.
COMPANIONS SKILL MENU
Mirri’s skills resemble that of a nightblade, and Bastian’s skills resemble a dragonknight. Each companion will have 3 class skill lines that use unique companion skills. All of these skills are variants of the actual Nightblade and Dragonknight skills, but they do different things and have different names. In each of the class lines you have 3 active abilities, and your companion’s ultimate ability is in the first class line.
With companions you also have access to all the weapon skill lines as well, these need to be unlocked via equipping your companion with the correlating weapon. Each weapon line has 3 active abilities in it. Both companions have the Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor lines as well, These have 1 active ability and 1 passive. In order to unlock these lines you need to equip 3 pieces of the correlating armor weight to unlock the line.
OTHER SKILL LINES
You also have access to the Fighter Guild, Mages Guild and Undaunted Lines as well. These will be unlocked via completing a Fighters Guild daily quest, Mages Guild daily quest, and one of Blogrolls Undaunted Challenges for the Undaunted.
And lastly you have the racial line which has a passive for each companion.
LEVELING YOUR COMPANION
First off the max level for companions is level 20. You level your overall companion combat level up through combat. They will earn a fraction of exp in combat that you earn. From my testing I’ve found every 3k exp is about 445 exp for the companion. I also tested with an exp scroll and I believe the value went up slightly but It was difficult to tell.
Now: Leveling their skill lines. And turns out this is really simple to do. This isn’t set up like your actual character, where if you don’t have a skill equipped on your bar, you won’t level that skill or line. With companions you will level your class lines the same amount regardless if you have a skill from it on the companions skill bar.
Check the image above, about Mirri Skills. You will see that Soul Thief, Living Shade, and Deadly Assassin all have the same level but I only have Deadly Assassin skills on, which is fantastic.
Now in order to level your weapon lines you just need to get combat exp with that weapon equipped for your companion. In order to level up your armor lines you need to make sure you have 5 pieces of that armor equipped in combat. The more armor pieces you have beyond that increases that skill line gain. And then lastly in order to increase your Guild Lines you will need to do Dailies Quests for those guilds.
Now real quick you will see your skill bar for companions says ability priority. We will go over that more in the combat section of the guide. For now what you need to know is that you will have 2 skill slots unlocked at level 1, then your 3rd skill will be at level 2, your 4th skill will unlock at level 7, your 5th skill will unlock at level 12, and your ultimate will unlock at level 20. That is also your companions overall level. And so to wrap up the leveling section, I believe that doing the normal leveling techniques will help level your companions as fast as possible. This is Skyreach, Blackrose Prison, Public Dungeons, zombie farms, just methods that give kill exp, because companions only level through combat with companions.
So this leads us to companion gear. What kind of gear can they equip, can you sell it?
Companion gear is unique to only companions. This gear is a new type of loot that will drop from various activities around the world, like killing bosses and enemies, it cannot be equipped by your player, only by your companion and the quality of companion gear goes from white to purple. This gear cannot be upgraded, it cannot have the traits changed like player gear traits. Also companion gear can be sold on guild traders, so that might be a decent way to make gold.
There are 9 companion gear traits:
Aggressive: Increases damage done by x percentage.
Augmented: increases the duration of buffs and debuffs by x percent.
Bolstered: reduces damage taken by x percent.
Focused: increases the critical strike rating by x.
Prolific: increases ultimate generation by x.
Quickened: reduces ability cooldowns by x percent.
Shattering: increases penetration by x.
Soothing: increases healing done by x.
Vigorous: increases max health by x.
You can mix and match gear traits and weights, and all of these traits are applied to every gear, light medium and heavy armor and all jewelry and weapons.
Companions skills are utilized on a priority system and a cooldown basis. So for instance your companion isn’t going to be spamming a skill, there will need to be a step by step rotation that you lay out for your companion. This is set up in priority in which you want them to use the skills you place. So putting a skill at the number 1 slot means that your companion will prioritize that skill if it is able to be used. Then each subsequent spot is less priority. For instance Mirri will go to slot 1 and use that skill, then slot 2, slot 3, slot 4, and slot 5. The ultimate can be used by pressing the Y key on the keyboard.
Something to keep in mind when setting up your companions rotation or set up is to think of all situations involved with it. For instance Mirri has an execute that only is used if the enemy has 25 percent health. So a smart thing to do is to put that at priority number 1 since that will not be used at all when enemies are above 25 percent health but used first when they are. You also have to take into account how your companion gear traits will work as well. These can be combined to get your skills cooldowns lower and lower.
CONTROLLING YOUR COMPANION
When you go into Settings -> Gameplay, you can control your companion’s overall behavior, that controls how often your companion will react to their surroundings.
Companions will always try to engage in combat when you get attacked or start combat, but you can use commands that will direct them to do something specific that you want.
The Y Key
One thing that you can do is hold the Y key (On keyboard) and press the left and right mouse button, and that will engage them on a specific target. For the controller it will be pressing the two sticks along with the right or left bumper. You can also heavy attack a target, and your companion will start attacking the enemy that you heavy attacked.
Another thing that you can do is control specifically when they will use their ultimate ability. Also on Settings -> Gameplay, you can either enable or disable the Companion Ultimate AutoCast option. If left on, the companion will cast their ultimate as soon as they can, in combat. But if you want to control when they use their ultimate, you can turn that off and just press the Y key (On keyboard) when you want them to use their ultimate ability.
This system is pretty neat and all it really is about, is how much your companion likes you or doesn’t. If you get your companion to a point of terrible rapport they can actually leave you, but doing certain things that you think they will like will boost rapport. For example, Bastian probably wouldn’t like you stealing things, so you will lose rapport if you do in his presence, but Mirri does like to see you stealing things and you will gain rapport with her. So you need to keep this in mind when raising their rapport. Keep in mind that your actions will only affect the rapport if the companion SEES you doing the action, meaning that they must be summoned at the time.
One really cool thing is that we can actually customize our companions! You will be able to customize them with costumes you have, and with all motifs, outfit styles and dyes that you know on your account. The only thing that you can’t do is put a helmet on them because Zenimax said they want to keep that the way it is to keep intact some sort of character for your companion. Now you can also give them a mount (Including the same mount that you are using) and they will mount up with you in the world. You don’t have to worry about increasing their mount speed, as it is always the same as your own.
Each Companion has two personal side quests that will be available as you build rapport them, and they can also be used as house guests.
Another cool thing is that each Companion has Companion Perks that are little bonuses to you when they are active. But also, when you complete achievements tied to the Companions, you will unlock their Keepsakes, and that will make their special skills to be active even when the companions are not with you.