• Alex Hopley

10 Most Annoying Video Game Companions

Updated: Oct 13

Sometimes it’s better to adventure alone

They’re a comforting presence, the video game companion. Turn around just before you enter a dungeon and you’ll meet their vacant, somehow heart-warming stare. They will fight by your side, they will heal your wounds, and they will carry your burdens.

Though, not all companions elicit the same response. Some are, for lack of a better term, annoying. Their voice lines pierce your ears, you find them knocked unconscious against the weakest of foes, and they become more of a burden than that which they are sworn to carry.

Not all of those who made this list are quite so terrible. Most, probably end up on the more mildly infuriating styles of annoying. That, however, is more than enough to earn my wrath, so let’s have a look at the companions that should’ve just stayed at home.

10. FL4K’s Jabber Sidekick – Borderlands 3

It is by no fault of the Jabber’s own that he makes this list. FL4K’s apelike friend in Borderlands 3 is a charming, if grotesque little chap, idly itching his stinking bum at any chance he gets. I found myself using the jabber for the majority of my first Borderlands 3 run. There was an unmatched glory in watching a monkey throw an explosive barrel at a kaiju sized monster that I’ll never forget. Yet, the Jabber proved to be an incessantly annoying problem in Borderlands 3 as a result of a bug in the game. At any cutscene – even during some of the most important story points in the franchise – I could see a floating gun trundling through my screen, covering characters’ faces and taking away from my immersion. The ghost of the Jabber haunted the cutscenes. I could not see the little bugger, but his gun was there for all to view. Every. Single. Time. For that sleight alone, he makes this list.

9. Dogmeat – Fallout 4

Woah, woah, woah, let’s all calm down. I love Dogmeat as much as the next guy. In fact, I love dogmeat so much that I never wanted to pick up a different companion in Fallout 4. That is why he makes this list. His adorable little face was too darn cute to get rid of. Every time I thought I was strong enough to travel with Codsworth, Nick Valentine or even Strong the supermutant, Dogmeat’s quiet whine sent me running straight back to him a moment later. He was loveable to the point of infuriation. My weak heart wouldn’t let me travel with any other Fallout 4 companion for the majority of the game.

8. Elizabeth – Bioshock Infinite

Well, I really am at it with the ‘hot takes’ today. Elizabeth is a great character in terms of Bioshock Infinite’s story. Though it is plagued by a convoluted end, most of Bioshock Infinite’s narrative works well thanks to the duality between Booker’s coldness and Elizabeth slowly becoming accustomed to the violence seen in Columbia. Elizabeth wouldn’t be on this list at all were it not for the piercing lines she repeats throughout combat. Most infamously, ‘Booker Catch!’ At first, Elizabeth lobbing random things at my head seemed a blessing. Extra money, extra ammo, all these things were useful at first. But, as time went on and my need for these things declined, so did my patience for her support. Side note: but how does she never hit Booker in the head? Their throwing and catching abilities are immaculate, it’s like a circus act.

7. Lydia – Skyrim

Probably the most famous character on this list so far, Lydia is many of our introductions into what a companion is. Meeting her inside Dragonsreach in Whiterun opens our eyes to a wondrous level of new experiences. She fights with the dragonborn, travels wherever they go, and would even marry them if they wore the one thing known to woo all: an amulet of mara. Yet, when it comes to a certain task, Lydia turns on us all. Her line ‘I am sworn to carry your burdens’ is a sarcastic masterpiece. Of course she hates carrying 20 pieces of dragon bone and scale, who wouldn’t? That must weigh a ton. Still, compared to the rest of Skyrim’s companions – who make little to no protests about lugging around our excess loot – she seems an irritating exception. Lydia appears offended the Dragonborn would even ask her to fulfil one of her duties.

6. James – Mass Effect 3

Okay, we’re moving past annoying single features or lines now and onto the characters that really seek to annoy. James is perhaps the most mind-boggling addition to the Mass Effect franchise. Besides having Freddie Prinze Jr play him, what was the point of James? Like Jacob and Kaiden before him (who already suffer from being boring) he is a muscly man who likes to shoot things, with not much to offer apart from that. His introduction is irritating too, as he nearly kills Shepard in what can only be described as horrible driving.

At this point in Mass Effect’s trilogy, there is neither space nor time for new characters, especially such boring ones. This only serves to make it comedic as James complains that you don’t visit him in the ship. Yeah of course I don’t buddy, not when Garrus freaking Vakarian is two floors up.

5. Roman – Grant Theft Auto 4

I suppose you could argue Roman isn’t a traditional companion, but this is my list so sorry he’s on here. As much of a loveable, loudmouth that Roman is, this act gets old quite quickly. In contrast to Niko’s serious persona, Roman’s character becomes stale over time. The endless calls, the distractions from Niko’s storyline eventually become too much. Sorry buddy, I can’t go bowling, maybe next time.

4. Fi – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.

As we come up to the ten-year anniversary of Skyward Sword I think it’s important to remember the Legend of Zelda companion that was somehow more annoying that Navi. Yes, Navi was loud. Though, ‘HEY! LISTEN’ will only plague your ears if you hit C-Up to talk to her. Fi, however, is an unavoidable torture machine. All her beeping, repetitive declarations of what is in a room, and the percentage of finding said thing, adds up to make me miserable at the sight of Fi. Her incessant babbling appeared to be the main point of her character, as apart from the occasional dance whenever Link played the harp, she appeared utterly pointless to Skyward Sword. This uselessness adds up to perhaps be a bigger sin than her sheer annoyingness. At least, both earn her a place on this list.

3. Roach – The Witcher 3

‘What?’ I hear you cry. ‘Roach as worse than Fi?’ Well, I’m not sure if that’s true, but for this list it is. I only had to suffer through Fi for thirty hours, whereas I suffered with the directionless Roach for at least a hundred. Roach can get lost just about anywhere. If don’t believe Roach can be annoying, I can show you the picture the standalone Gwent game used for her card. It shows the idiotic horse miraculously atop a roof. Not only does Roach spawn in awkward places, her pathing struggles with anything that isn’t a wide, open road. She halts and rears at the slightest bend, will throw you off if a wolf so much as breathes in your direction, and seems to want to be as far away from Geralt as possible. For the only thing resembling a companion in the Witcher 3, Roach is as useful only so far as the game lacks a useful fast travel system. Eventually, the use of Roach for me boiled down to her helping Geralt reach the next signpost to teleport from.

2. Any single person you have to follow for a mission – Assassin’s Creed Franchise

While the most recent games have mostly done away with characters that can’t keep up with you, I’ve never been more aware of my precious, finite time on this earth being wasted than when I’m watching a slow talking Italian man walk placidly through the streets of Renaissance Florence. The game is about free running as much as it is assassinating for Pete’s sake, can we not have some NPCs who can keep up with us? Not to mention how restrictive these missions are. You have to follow your companion, or you will be desynchronised. They die? Desynch. You fall off a building creating too much distance? Desynch. These missions wouldn’t have made the list were it not for the sheer amount of them Ubisoft stuffed Assassin’s Creed games with. There are so many that you spend as much time trailing after random NPCs in Assassin’s Creed as you would travelling with Lydia, James, or most of the other members on this list. The trailing missions, whether with a friendly or hostile NPC, are the bane of Assassin’s Creed and I’m glad to see the back of them.

1. The Adoring Fan – Oblivion.

By Azura! By Azura! By Azura! As if you expected anyone else but this little dweeb. Young, cheerful, the Adoring Fan is everything fans should aspire to be, only this adoring fan takes it to the extreme. The player forcibly becomes the object of his affection. Unlike the sarcastic, uninterested Lydia, the Adoring Fan is entirely too interested. He wants to literally shine the player’s boots at any chance he gets. If anything, the Adoring Fan is Bethesda achieving what they wanted. Clearly designed to be annoying, the Adoring Fan takes irritation to a whole new level. He earns the multiple videos of gamers killing him in imaginative ways. Knocking him from the tops of mountains, shooting arrows in his face, etc, etc. His piercing voice, his uselessness in combat, and his ability to respawn even when killed make the Adoring Fan a companion best left where you find him. Actually, it’s best to never find him in the first place. They say never meet your heroes, but in this case, never, ever meet your fans.