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Having already been introduced to the new Companions System coming to The Elder Scrolls Online as part of its Blackwood expansion, we're now treated to this guide that goes over the finer points of the system. But before we get to it, here's a quick trailer:
And here's an excerpt from the article linked above:
COMPANION IN COMBAT
Companions Joining Combat
Companions can respond to a wide array of situations that occur while adventuring with you, both in and out of combat. While they will always respond to some critical triggers, you may adjust the frequency your Companion's will vocally respond by opening the settings menu, selecting gameplay, and adjusting the "Companion Reactions" setting between Infrequent, Normal, and Frequent.
Directing Companions in Combat
While Companions will always attempt to engage in combat when you are attacked, utilizing pet commands allows you to direct the Companion to engage with specific targets or tell them to pull back, respectively. By default, on keyboard and mouse you can do this by holding the “Y” key and left- or right-clicking, or on controller by pressing the L3+R3 buttons along with the left or right bumper.
In addition, performing a heavy attack will also cause your Companion to switch to your target.
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.
Companion Combat Actions
In combat, Companions will also attempt to block incoming heavy attacks, interrupt interruptible abilities, and break free from crown control effects, however, their timing is not perfect, and they do have a cooldown between uses.
Companion Death & Recovery
If a Companion dies in battle, they can be revived by using a soul gem. However, any Companion who is still defeated at the end of combat will recover within a few seconds of the battle concluding.
Customizing Companion Combat Abilities
Just like with your own character, when it comes to combat, you can customize how your Companion fights. The skills tab of the Companion menu provides a list of available skill lines and associated abilities which may be slotted into the Companion’s active ability bar. These abilities may have usage restrictions, such as requiring a specific weapon type be equipped or a target being below a certain health threshold. Companions attempt to use their abilities in priority order from left to right if they have a valid target and meet any associated requirements of the ability.
Companion abilities utilize a cooldown system to determine frequency of usage, with various abilities having an array of cooldown times.
Companions have a large pool of unlockable abilities available to them, which are similar to some abilities you may recognize from various player skill lines. These abilities provide the opportunity for you to customize your Companion's combat role, including tanking, healing, damage, and any hybridization desired to perfectly complement your own ability configuration.