Companions, we love-hate them. Sometimes just hate them. I enjoy companions in Morrowind, partly because they can be so dumb and create random events that I use to tell my story.
That being said, in the last few years, several mods GREATLY improve companion management and make them more enjoyable to have around.
DISCLAIMER #1: I am listing the mods in alphabetical order, I could never rank them :)
DISCLAIMER #2: I play with MGE/MWSE, so I don't know OpenMW specific mods and most of the mods listed here are MWSE mods.
Companion Combat Communication by Stripes
Companions and followers (unless scripted otherwise) just won't let you talk to them while fighting. With this simple but nifty mod, you can.
Shift Flavour by Abot
A mod Abot made for me, where you can alt+activate companions to get a yes/no/maybe answer from them. So now this happens:
Me: Hey Jiub, should we head back to Balmora before it gets too dark?
... alt+E.... a message box appears...
Me: "All right, but Matze is on you!"
Companion Equip by Merlord
An early version that Merlord shared with me. Now, when looking at your companion's inventory, you can immediately see what they have equipped and you can tell them what to wear (while carrying other items they would equip automatically)
IMPORTANT Abot and Merlord are princes, they made these mods and allowed me to share them. They are alpha versions, use them if you want, but PLEASE, please, please, do not bother them about adding/fixing features, OK? If they choose to work on these mods again, yay for us, otherwise we're still super happy with what we get. /end rant
Companion Health Bars by Mesafoo
An absolute must-have. Not only can you easily keep track of your companions' health, but you also see at a glance who is following you (and who got lost/killed).
Companion Role-Play Plus by ManaUser
Companion RPP is a criminally under-rated mod by ManaUser. To be fair, to find it, you either need to visit ManaUser's website or stumble on the mod on Morrowind Modding History. This mod adds option dialogues that let you ask questions to your companions (think 8-ball style), ask them to switch outfits, borrow money from them, ask about their health, etc. Granted, Abot's Shift Flavour, Merlord's Companion Equip and Companion Health Bars kinda do that better (thank you MWSE!) but ManaUser's mod is OpenMW compatible.
Companion Stop by Stripes
Tell all your companions to stop following you at the press of a button. That simple. Be careful to not dismiss followers (especially vanilla) that do not have a 'follow me' or a similar topic.
Customizable MWSE Multi Mark and Harder Recall by Virntech
Ok, the name says it all, you can mark your mark/recall experience exactly what you want it to be in terms of how many marks and how often you can recall. As far as companions are concerned, you can also "mark" them, so you can teleport them to you at any time. Works with npcs and creatures.
Diligent Defenders by NullCascade
It is a thing in Morrowind: combat has not officially started until you bleed. As a result, guards and companions will watch you run around in circles while begging them to help you kill the 20 cliff racers currently following you.
The Morrowind Code Patch addresses the issue with moderate success and Diligent Defender makes sure companions, summons and followers enter combat as soon as it starts.
I've actually used by companions as aggro-detectors: Jiub starts going "Argh" and "Die!" the second something is chasing me.
NOTE: if you prefer a more hands-on method to get your companions to fight, read on, Kill Command might just be what you need.
Easy Escort by NullCascade
This mod is another must-have. Remember those escort quests, how the NPC was slow, got stuck, lost, dead, etc. With Easy Escort, ANY follower, be it a companion that already has a script, a summon, a vanilla NPC, will follow you when you run, change cell and even teleport! I mean it, download it, endorse it and consider naming your child NullCascade. (too much?)
Kill Command by Merlord
With Kill Command, you look at a creature or NPC, press a hotkey of your choice, and all your followers will attack the designated target. That's it. You want this.
Mass Cure by me!
My small contribution, I wanted a lore-friendly and immersive way for my magically challenged characters to heal and cure companions. I achieved this by tweaking the temple and Imperial cult shrines: you pay more for your blessings and cure, but the area of effect is large enough that your companions get them too.
Move or Take My Place by Abot
A simple mod where you press the alt key to switch places with a companion or make an NPC move.
Jay's published a similar mod recently Jay's Place Swap and One Time Move, while the functionality is pretty much the same, it lets you customise the hotkey.
Both mods work great, just pick one :)
No More Friendly Fire by Celediel
For anyone who's accidentally hit a companion and got killed for their tiny mishap. Companions will tell you to be careful, but not go mad when you hit them with a spell or a weapon.
NPC Commands by HornyBuddha
NPC Commands does what ManaUser's mod does, but more. More in the way that all NPCs get the new dialogue options. And more because there are additional options such as asking for the time, asking the NPC to follow you, to dance for you, asking for a kiss (and more), telling the NPC to lie down, etc.
Peaceful Pets by me!
Well, the code is NullCascade, I merely asked for it and added companion creatures. With this mod, companion creatures that are not supposed to fight ( a packrat, a scribe, a kitten, etc) will not fight at all. That's it.
Smart Companions by Abot
With this mod, you can alt+activate items, containers and doors. Your companions will then pick up the item, loot the container, unlock the door, disarm the trap, all that based on their skill and encumbrance.
In addition, all companions, even those without a script, now have high acrobatics and water-breathing as these were the main reasons why followers would die.
To make this mod even better, you have options to decide what items are picked up based on their value or value/weight ratio.
Finally, if you already use Abot's real-time travels mods, companions will now travel properly with you ON the boat, not desperately swimming behind it.
Right-Click Menu Exit by Merlord
This mod has nothing to do with companions, and yet, you'll go nuts without it. When interacting with a companion's inventory, you need to click "ok" to close the window. With this mod, you just right-click on the selected window and it closes. Saves a couple of seconds. It's not much but think of all the time you use Companion Share.
Those works with all the windows in the game, including containers, dialogue and trading.
While you're watching the video above, take a second to subscribe to Merlord's channel, you'll get to see what cool new features he is currently experimenting with ;)
Vvardenfell Travel Agency by Emma
An old mod that will make moving to cities with companions easier. You buy a ring from Raavir in Balmora. Equipping the ring will summon an agent from the travel agency that offers transport to 17 different cities.