Does Diablo 4 feature followers or mercenaries to hire?

Diablo 4 followersBlizzard Entertainment

Followers and mercenaries have been a major part of the Diablo series, but does Diablo 4 feature any kind of follower system? Here’s what you need to know.

Ever since we summoned our first Golem from a spellbook in Diablo 1, it’s been fun to fight alongside AI companions in the series. In fact, followers have become a staple in the Diablo franchise, with each game pushing the envelope further.

However, Diablo 4 makes many changes to the series, placing more focus on multiplayer, open-world design, and live service elements than earlier entries. Here’s what you need to know about how Diablo 4’s follower system, and how it’s different from what’s come before.

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Diablo 2 mercenariesBlizzard Entertainment
You can become quite attached to your mercenary in Diablo 2.

Mercenaries and followers in Diablo

In Diablo 2, players could hire mercenaries to aid them in battle, equipping them with armor and weapons to keep them protected and prepared to face the forces of Hell.

Each town offered a different style of warrior and certain classes benefited from some mercenaries’ combat abilities more than others. For example, the more fragile Sorceress was well served by hiring a powerful Barbarian to rush into combat while she pelted demons with spells from afar. On the other hand, classes that favored close-quarter combat benefitted more from a mercenary who could provide them with ranged or elemental support.

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In Diablo 3, mercenaries were replaced by full-time followers who each had their own storylines, unique abilities, and fighting styles. The player character met the Templar, Scoundrel, and Enchantress during the first Act of Diablo 3. They then joined their party as companions on their quest. Based on their abilities and personalities, every follower had a unique set of dialog when paired with each of the Diablo 3 character classes.

The Crusader class shares a lot of the same values and abilities as the Templar, so they get along on well. The same goes for the Wizard and the Enchantress. However, classes like the Necromancer have little to say to characters like the Scoundrel, at least at first. In time, every class becomes fast friends with all three of the followers, but the fun is in the journey – and listening to their hilarious banter.

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Like in Diablo 2, certain follower combat styles suit different classes. Barbarians and Crusaders benefit from ranged or elemental support from the Scoundrel or Enchantress, while more magic-focused classes will find the tanky Templar a useful combat buddy. It can be fun to pair classes with followers that compliment their style or offer something that’s otherwise lacking.

followers in diablo 3Blizzard Entertainment
The Enchantress, Templar, and Scoundrel are all helpful followers in Diablo 3.

Followers in Diablo 4

Diablo 4 abandons the follower system from Diablo 3 and also doesn’t include any mercenaries for hire either. This may be disappointing to fans of these mechanics from earlier Diablo games – but they could be added at a later date.

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However, Diablo 4 does contain followers, but these are mostly characters who join the player during storyline missions rather than hirelings or permanent party members. Leah was an example of this from Diablo 3, however, in Diablo 4 this system is used much more frequently than in previous games.

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The devs have ensured that many storyline quests feature a companion, while some feature two or even three. This helps support the player in combat and keeps the exposition flowing while players delve deep into dungeons.

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This new system doesn’t feel as tactical or refined as it did in Diablo 3, but Diablo 4 is much more focused on co-op and players will be encouraged to form parties with other heroes exploring the world, rather than NPCs.

erys in diablo 4Blizzard Entertainment
Followers will arrive in Season 2 of Diablo 4.

Season 2 Followers in Diablo 4

At Gamescom 2023 it was revealed that followers will be introduced in Diablo 4 Season 2: Season of Blood. Players will be able to recruit a vampire hunter called Erys, who was shown off in the Gamescom trailer. Erys will be voiced by Gemma Chan and looks like she’ll have a significant role in the Season 2 content – which already looks to be more substantive than Season 1’s.

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Whether or not we’ll be able to use Erys to play through the whole game and all endgame content, or just the extra Season 2 content remains to be seen. However, for Diablo 4 fans hoping to eventually see a follower system added to the game, their prayers may finally have been answered.

Could this also hint to the Blood Knight class eventually coming to Diablo 4? Season of Blood launches on October 17, 2023.

If you want more Diablo 4 content, be sure to check our other guides below:

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