Mage Companion Gearing Guide

If you came here looking for the Pocket Mage Companion Gearing Guide, this is it.

 

Mage companions in Skyrim primarily use destruction spells for combat.  Their armor skills are generally lower than thief and warrior companions, so they are more vulnerable to being injured by physical damage(read: bows and melee weapons.)  Mage companions will generally avoid melee combat until they are unable to retreat, are caught in close quarters by multiple enemies, or are attacking an enemy resistant to their preferred.

The biggest concerns for mage companions is being attacked in melee range and shock based damage, and consuming too much magicka.  This guide should help you gear them.

A small note on mages:  Not all of them favor one armor over another.  You will likely need to experiment to see what armor they prefer to wear.  They will always wear whatever is a larger armor value to them.  Experiment with heavy and light armors to decide which is stronger for them.

Alternatively, for PC users, you can use the console to decide a few things about your mage companion.  Open the console(use tilde).  Click on your companion, then type this into the console:

getav light armor

getav heavy armor

On to the guide.

Headgear

  • Loot/Buy Option:  Light Helmets or Heavy helmets of Fortify Destruction.
    Enchanting offers great alternatives for mage companions. If you cannot create a decent helmet yet, settle for either a light or heavy helmet of fortify destruction.
  • Enchant Option: Fortify Destruction, then Fortify Magicka(Using both requires 100 enchanting and the right perk for two enchants.)
    Fortify destruction reduces the cost of spells from the destruction school of magic.  This is the primary method of attack for mages, and running out of magicka often means that they will be forced to yield much more often.
  • Quest Option: Nahkriin or Konahrik.  Nahkriin can be found near the end of the main/blades-greybeards questline.  This mask increases maximum magicka by 50 and reduces the cost of destruction spells by 20%.  This mask is not as powerful as what is achieveable through enchanting, though you can settle for this if you do not have the skill to create a helmet nearly this powerful.  Konahrik can be found at the end of the Dragon Priest Mask questline, as a reward for collecting all the other masks.  Konahrik’s mask has the power to knock back enemies, cast flame shield, and heal the wearer when they are in danger.  It also has a chance of summoning a friendly dragon priest, which can devastate enemies.  I do not recommend Morokei, the mask that provides 100% faster magic regeneration.  Magic will not regenerate while casting spells, which severely cuts its effectiveness since your mage companion will be casting near non-stop.  The mask at the end of the Dragon Priest’s quest line,

 

Body Armor

  • Loot/Buy Option: Light or Heavy armor of Fortify Destruction.
  • Enchant Option: Fortify Destruction and Fortify Destruction & Magicka Regeneration.These two enchants will actually work on the same item.  At 100 enchanting, you can create a chest piece that reduces the cost of destruction spells by 35%.  Between this item, the mage companion’s skill in destruction, and the helmet from above, your mage companion should be able to cast spells at a significantly reduced rate.  Use either light or heavy armor, depending on your particular companion’s armor preference.

 

Footwear

  • Loot/Buy Option: Light or Heavy Boots of Shock Resistance.
    Shock damage rapidly depletes magicka, resistance to it helps curb magicka loss and keeps your mage companion at his ideal ranges.  If you can’t enchant, these will work.
  • Enchant Option: Resist Shock and Resist Fire(Dark Elves) or Frost(Nord).
    If your caster is neither a dark elf or a nord, pick either frost or fire.  Dark elf companions should pick up fire resistance and nords should pick up frost resistance and maximize their resistances as early as possible.

 

Gloves

  • Loot/Buy Option: Heavy or Light gloves of Resist Shock until 100%, otherwise Resist Frost/Fire or Fortify Destruction
  • Enchant Option: Fortify Heavy/Light Armor and Fortify Magicka.
    There aren’t many choices here for enchantments.  Bolster your mage’s preferred armor type here and boost their magicka for longer fights.  If you come across some gloves with  resistance your companion lacks, or the rare pair of fortify destruction gloves, swap to those instead.

 

Shield

  • Loot/Buy Option:  Don’t worry about shields too much.  Mages won’t use them often enough for it to be somthing you can use for reliable attributes.
  • Enchant Option:  If your companion runs out of magicka, he will swap to his melee weapon(or staff) and his shield, or his ranged weapon.  I don’t recommend stressing too much about having a great shield, or having a shield at all really.  You can apply resist (element) to the shield, which may help mitigate damage while your companion is either running away or charging blindly ahead.