The party in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is a fundamental component from which you can not be separated for the rest of the game, and it is very important to plan its composition from the beginning of the game. You can do this starting from the first island of the game - the one with Port Maje - where you can assemble your party for free (to be precise, five characters, including the player's character). You can also hire companions at the inn, but it's not worth it. This guide describes where to find your first mates and what kind of classes can be assigned to them. The companions are as follows:
How to assemble the party for free
Eder is a character who will join your group at the beginning of the game - you don't have to look for him anywhere, he will automatically join your team. The classes available for Eder include the following:
Swashbuckler (Warrior + Rascal)
Xoti resides in the port area of Port Maje, in the lower part of the camp, as depicted on the map above. During your conversation with Xoti, she will offer to join the party, but keep in mind that you should meet her before starting the Stranded quest for the Governor of Claria - otherwise, Xoti will travel to Neketaka where you can recruit her later in the game.
The classes available for Xoti include the following:
Contemplative (Priest+ Monk)
The acquisition of Aloth is connected with the quest Stranded, obtained by the Governor of Claria in Port Maje. Your task is to find Oderisi, who is probably somewhere in the Engwithan site. After searching the excavation site and finding Oderisi, you are stopped by a group of people: during the conversation, Aloth will offer his services and join the party.
The classes available for Aloth include the following:
Battlemage (Wizard + Warrior)
Spellblade (Wizard + Thief)
Serafen can join your party right after he leaves the first island. After completing the Stranded mission, the governor will send some men to repair your ship - after finishing the conversation with the governor, he will return to the island's starting point, Vilario's Rest. Then you will be automatically transferred to the ship's travel mode, a few moments later you will be stopped by another ship: this time, you will have a conversation with Captain Furrante, during which Serafen will offer you his services.
The classes available for Serafen include the following:
Witch (Barbarian + Arcanist/Cipher)
Assemble your party at the inn
An alternative (which requires gold) to recruiting traditional companions is to hire them at the inn, e.g. The Kraken's Eye in the port of Port Maje. All you have to do is talk to the hotelier and choose the Recruit Adventurers option. A window will open, as shown in the picture below - from here you can hire a companion, whose maximum level will be equal to the main character's level (prices start at 250 coins and increase according to the character's level). Hiring a companion at the inn will open a character creation sheet, the same one you saw at the beginning of the game while customizing your character. This new companion can be customized from scratch, you can choose race, class, appearance and name.
Warning: characters who were present in the previous chapter of the game as companions (such as the aforementioned Eder and Aloth) may not be available for recruitment, depending on the choices that were made by the player in the original Pillars of Eternity. If you've imported the save files in which those comrades died, or perhaps you've chosen a story in which they died at the start of the game, you won't be able to meet them in Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire .