All humanoid companions can be Promoted by spending Exploration Points. Animal companions can be similarly promoted, but only with the Animal Whisperer perk exclusive to explorer Alexandra David-Neel.
There are 4 possible levels of promotion, and all companions start at Level 1. A companion's current level is shown next to their title at the heading of their stats screen.
Costs for promoting are the same for all companions:
|Exploration Point Cost|
|Level 1:||None - Base|
|Level 2:||1 point|
|Level 3:||2 points|
|Level 4:||3 points|
You can view a companion's promotional perk on their stats screen. The perk that can be promoted is indicated by a green + symbol next to the companion's other perk and ailment icons. Once the primary perk is promoted to Level 4, it is maxed out. Companions only have one upgradable perk, even if they come with extra perks.
Once the player acquires the required points, they can promote a humanoid companion at any time during an expedition simply by clicking the Promote button on their companion's stat screen. This button also indicates the number of points that will be spent for the next promotion.
- Promotions cannot be exchanged between companions and are lost if a companion is dismissed or killed. Points spent towards promotions are not recovered when a companion is lost.
- Points are accumulated across expeditions, so they can be saved up during multiple trips and used to upgrade a new companion all at once.
- Animals never come with perks, so using Alexandra David-Neel to promote an animal with will only enhance their Toughness and dice. Pack animals can upgrade their inventory space for Extra Capacity, but only in London through Animal Improvement.
- Promoted perks are permanent for a humanoid companion throughout your entire journey, as long as that companion stays alive.
For details on specific perk upgrades, see: Companion Perks