Even though it was first released a full decade ago in 2011, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is still one of the best open-world games of all time. This Role-playing fantasy masterpiece was recently re-released on the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X, and VR, which makes this a great time to go over some tips for players who might be picking it up for the first time or are hoping to journey back into this magical realm on a new console. Here are 10 tips to help you out on your odyssey through the world of Skyrim.
1. Focus on your strengths
Let’s begin with one of the first questions most players will face – building a character. At the start of your game, Skyrim allows you to choose a race and decide how your character looks. But the real fun begins when the world lets you loose to explore. In the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, you raise skill points by doing things. Sneak past people, and you raise your sneaking skills, pick a lock, and you raise your lock picking skills, while this might seem pretty straightforward, the large number of skills and the individual leveling up in each skill can be a very long and arduous journey.
Instead, it’s better to think about how you want your character to play before you start to invest time and effort into these skills. Do you want to be a mage, a thief, a warrior? At the start of a new game, you will begin with a low level and might have to face off against high-level characters. We suggest considering the type of character you wish to build and putting your time and effort into skills that complement each other. A popular choice for many players is to play as a sneaky archer. They sneak by enemies, pickpockets, and locks, and allow their companions to do the dirty work while they pick enemies off from a distance. Choose your strengths and stick with them to see them grow into god-like powers to truly live out the Dragonborn fantasy.
2. Don’t spend your gold on equipment
It can feel tempting to simply buy good equipment at the start of the game but don’t fall into this trap. Merchants and vendors are best used as ways to sell off extra suits of armor and swords. If you didn’t already know this – Skyrim rewards exploring. While trekking through the world you are sure to find loads of steel and iron weapons as well as more arrows than you know what to do with. We advise that you save your money and spend it on training that will help you level up faster and enhance your combat abilities.
3. Remember to quicksave
Skyrim is a game that can be quite difficult at times. You might have to face enemies that are ridiculously overpowered and can kill you in one shot. This is only made worse by the fact that if you die in the game, Skyrim will simply send you back to the last time you saved. Regardless of whether that was a minute ago or a few hours ago. Skyrim can be very punishing if you do not have a habit of saving regularly. So remember to save often, especially if you are thinking of heading into danger, and even more so if you have just completed a difficult quest. Keep that quicksave button handy and remember to spam it every 10 minutes of your playthrough.
4. Stealing is fun
With the right skills and the right attitude, you can steal almost anything in Skyrim. But you can only get caught if you are within an NPCs line of sight. The solution? Pick up a bucket or a pot and place it on a shopkeeper’s head. This will disrupt their line of sight, and give you room to steal whatever you want! Stealing can help you make money, gather potions and collect items for alchemy and smithing recipes. While it might be difficult to sell your stolen goods in the early sections of the game, everything else is fair as long as you don’t get caught.
5. Diversify your combat skills
Combat is one of the three major skill groups, which branches into three offensive skill trees and two defensive skill trees. While nobody could claim that Skyrim’s combat is the best part of the game, the sheer complexity and diversity offered by each skill is enough to keep you entertained. Want to dual-wield axes? Use magic against foes? Carry a classic sword and shield combo? The ability to play the way you want and the variety of fighting styles on offer is still some of the best in gaming.
6. Never stop exploring
I have said this before, but it deserves its own point – Skyrim rewards exploring. As the game progresses, you will eventually be able to fast travel through the world, but we would still recommend taking the long way around. Skyrim is a game that is all about living your fantasies. Exploring might lead you to a cave full of loot, a tavern with a secret prince, or even an encounter with a dragon. Skyrim is jam-packed with content, and going off the beaten path and exploring is the best way to experience it. The journey is what this game is all about.
7. Keep updating your equipment
By this point we are all familiar with the RPG loop of fight, unlock new gear, fight stronger enemies, and unlock better gear. While Skyrim is a vast open-world with unique stories and NPCs, the basic gameplay loop still remains the same. Be sure not to fall behind in terms of armor or weapons so that you can keep taking on stronger monsters and progressing through the game.
8. Get married and start a family
Tired of all the questing, killing and looting? Settle down and start a family. Skyrim allows you to marry NPCs and even adopt a child through a Mod. All you need is an Amulet of Mara and a spouse who is interested to find your significant other in Skyrim. While simply owning a house is enough to let you adopt a child.
9. Join a guild
Even after reaching the second last tip, it feels like we are just beginning to scratch the surface of Skyrim. That just goes to show you the amazing depths this game has to offer. Factions are groups of people that have joined together to serve a common goal. The Dragonborn himself can join several of these factions, some even at the same time. Joining factions gives you access to unique storylines and combat abilities. Some of the factions that you can join are:
- The Bards’ College
- The Stormcloaks
- The Imperial Legion
- The Companions
- The Thieves’ Guild
- The Dark Brotherhood
It’s difficult to explain more about the individual factions without getting into spoiler territory, simply knowing that each faction offers a completely different storyline is enough to get many players eager to jump back into the game.
10. Play with Mods
With over 60,000 Mods on Nexus Mods and 28,000 Mods in the Steam workshop, Skyrim is one of the most modded games in existence. Even Bethesda eventually came around and made Modding an official part of the game. Because of the robust Modding scene and the fact that the game is quite old, a lot of players tend to start new games with Mods already installed. While this could enhance the experience, the sheer number and variety of Mods might also change the experience completely. Skyrim is a game that changes based on how you wish to play it. To fully enjoy the experience, we recommend adding Mods only once you have put in several hours into the game and would enjoy spicing it up. Modding is just a fun excuse to start a new game with a new race, new skills, a new faction and a brand-new experience.