First, you skydive off the top of a mountain. Then, you nab the gold and make a quick getaway by stealing some transportation while the law chases after you, fired projectiles whizzing inches from your head.
No, I’m not describing the latest Grand Theft Auto game. I’m actually talking about the greatest simulation game to ever grace the small screen: Skyrim.
While living out your dream of a high fantasy heist is certainly an option for those that set foot in Tamriel, it’s hardly the only thing you can get up to. Besides the usual quests, there’s tons of stuff to do. Some of them involve the usual murder and pillaging, while others are a little more eccentric, taking advantage of Skyrim’s sandbox nature that allows players to do virtually anything.
Which, as it turns out, can sometimes be pretty fricken' dumb.
If it’s been awhile since you’ve been to Skyrim, then maybe it’s time you dusted off that old disc, or maybe gave the Special Edition a go, and try to do some these stupid, stupid things. You’ll be glad you did.
20 Sacrifice A Follower For Demonic Artifacts
Only in Skyrim are you given the chance to sacrifice those sworn to protect you in order to benefit with a new suit of armor. The price is high, to be sure, but it is a very pretty suit.
You’ll need to initiate the quest “Boethiah's Calling” to start. This quest begins by reading a book that only starts to spawn after reaching level 30. From there, you’ll be told to bring a follower to the shrine of Boethia where they’ll become trapped. Then it’s stabby stabby time for your unfortunate companion.
As reward for your treachery, you’ll then have to kill the entire cult of Boethiah, then kill Boethiah's champion, and finally, you get your ebony armor.
The only real question is which follower do you want to off?
19 Kill Belethor So Ysolda Can Take Over His Shop
I never liked Belethor. He’s a pushy, boisterous salesman that never has what I need. On top of that, he’ll even send hired goons to come after me if I pickpocket even a tiny item from his store. Jerk.
Ysolda, on the other hand, is cute, soft spoken, and harmless, a woman who’s always dreamed of opening her own store and would be delighted for the opportunity to become a true saleswoman.
So, naturally, I offed Belethor so Ysolda could take over his shop.
It’s true! If Belethor dies (for any reason, not just Dragonborn assassination) then Ysolda takes over his old shop. She even keeps on Sigurd to help with the inventory and wood chopping. How awesome is that?
18 Steal Some Skinny-Dipping Hunter’s Clothes
At the hot springs off the road between Whiterun and Riften, just west of Eldergleam Sanctuary, there’s a collection of hot springs that a group of hunters has encamped at. It’s called the Hunter Jacuzzi, and it’s plain to see why: even in digital form, those hot springs look awfully inviting.
The hunters have all disrobed to get their hot-tub on, which means all their clothes is just sitting there on the rocks. If you steal it and get caught, be prepared for trouble: these hunters will all immediately become hostile, and if you get away they’ll send hired thugs out to return their clothes.
To be fair, I get pretty pissed-off when somebody takes my towel while I’m in the shower too.
17 Lose Weight By Eating
In a lot of ways, Skyrim is like opposite country. You get rich by raiding tombs instead of working hard for the man, horses are virtually useless as a means of transportation, and instead of gaining weight when you eat, you lose it.
That’s right! Shed those unwanted pounds by eating 30 sweet rolls, 14 cabbages, 9 salmon steaks, and 2 skeever-tails on a stick. You’ll have a beach-ready body in no time! That is, if Skyrim had any beaches.
Anyway, it doesn’t make sense, but along with regaining a bit of health and having some useful effects, eating your food has the obvious and counter-intuitive benefit of becoming lighter. So shove those meat pies down your gullet and never fear about any of those carbs appearing on your hips.
16 Be Launched Into The Stratosphere By An Unfriendly Giant
To be fair, this is probably something that many of us discovered pretty early on our playthroughs, but for the slightly more intelligent audience that thought better to antagonize the giant man with a giant club, this is a very exciting thing to do in Skyrim.
Step one: find a giant. Step two: bother the giant with whatever weapons you have handy. Maybe breathe a little fire on it, or better yet, try and steal some of his mammoth cheese. Step three: accept your impending fate. Step four: soar like a majestic eagle.
Just make sure you quick saved first, since the landing tends to be a little rough.
15 Have A Drinking Competition With A Demon
After reaching level 10 you’ll notice a mysterious black-robed stranger sitting at the local inn. His name is Sam Guevenne, and if you speak to him he’ll challenge you to a drinking competition. Drink three of his “special” ales and you win.
Three beers would make for a pretty cheap drunk, so I naturally ponied up and got my drink on. Three beers later and I’m waking up in Markarth with a splitting headache and a priest of Dibella telling me to get the hell out.
Turns out Sam is actually the Daedric Prince of revelry, and the two of you had a night to remember. Or forget, as the case may be, since the rest of the quest is you tracing the steps of your epic bender to right all the wrongs you committed. And there were many. You may have slept with a Hagraven.
14 Get Free Arrows
It’s hard to tell if this is an exploit or working as intended, but there’s a way to get free arrows if you’re both patient and possessing a high enough Pickpocket skill.
First, go to a military encampment that has soldiers performing target practice with their bow. Solitude is a good spot, but any large enough encampment will do. Next, wait for the NPC to shoot arrows at the target, and then swipe the arrow that hits. Continue ad nauseam until you have as many arrows as you like.
This usually only gets you iron arrows, but there’s a way of getting whatever arrow you like. First, pickpocket the NPC and steal his arrows, replacing them with your much better arrows. Now he’ll be shooting whatever arrows you gave him, giving you an infinite supply of arrows.
13 Mine Like A Machine With Elemental Fury
Mining is perhaps one of the most annoying aspects of Skyrim. You definitely want all that sweet, sweet ore since it will vastly improve your Smithing skills (plus there are expensive gems hiding in the ore), but it takes literally forever for the mining animation to complete. There must be a better way.
And there is! The Elemental Fury shout is normally used to make your Dragonborn into a blender, but it can also be used to mine. Just equip your pickaxe like a regular weapon, shout, and attack the ore vein. In seconds the vein will be depleted and you’ll have a backpack full of ore.
12 Fishing Made Easy With Unrelenting Force
Fishing is another stupid thing you can do in Skyrim. I never understood why you’d want to since standing in the middle of a frigidly cold river for hours waiting for a fish to be dumb enough to bite what is obviously a trap was never my idea of a good time. But there’s a way to make it a lot easier.
First, get Unrelenting Force. Next, find a nice pond full of salmon. Then, shout like it’s 1999. The salmon will all die from the shouting, leaving behind delectable salmon steaks and fish roe. It’s just like fishing with grenades!
Be careful though: slaughterfish are only stunned by the shout, and will eventually collect themselves and come after you. Have a dagger at the ready to stab that uppity fish right in the gills.
11 Install A Stupid Mod
One of the greatest things in Skyrim is how other developers have dived into the code to create their own unique spin on the game. Many times this results in a vast improvement over the original, adding new gear, new textures, or even brand new quests to continue your adventure. But sometimes those coders create something that defies all logic. Or even common decency.
How weird? Well, here’s a mod that makes Skyrim’s animals start pooping. Here’s one that turns your shouts into farts. Here’s another one that turns all of Skyrim’s dragons into the late, great, intercontinental wrestling champion Macho Man Randy Savage.
I guess that’s one way to get a somewhat more immersive experience. Sort of.
10 Buy A Torture Chamber
Sprucing up the old homestead is a time honored tradition and also a great way to spend your septims. After you complete the Dark Brotherhood quest line you can go a step further and increase the property value on your secret underground lair too.
After the “Hail Sithis!” quest you’ll unlock the “Where You Hang Your Enemy's Head” quest, which involves Devlin Mallory coming all the way from Riften to help you pimp that sanctuary. Some of the things you can buy are a secret entrance, an alchemy room for making poisons, and best of all, a torture chamber complete with pre-installed victims.
Those victims are more than just pretty scenery, by the way. You can easily level up your magic skills by burning them to the brink of death and then healing them back up. Do it often enough and one of them might even spill the beans to a secret stash o’ cash.
9 Buy A Horse
Yes, it’s true! You could actually go out and buy a horse in Skyrim. At almost every major city is a stable where you can throw away your hard-earned gold on a horse that will take you all over the rolling hills and plunging cliffs of the Nord’s homeland.
But you’d be stupid AF to waste your cash on a horse. Why? Because they’re almost useless. Yes, they do have a high average speed than a running hero, and they can jump over small gaps, but when compared to a Dragonborn on foot that can cross over mountain tops with some creative climbing the humble horse loses all its advantages in the speed department.
On top of not actually being faster to get around, being on horse prevents you from attacking, using any weapons or magic, or even just talking to passersby.
The only advantage to using a horse is that they can occasionally kill dragons, which is weird.
8 Skydive Off High Hrothgar
This may be something you didn’t know you could do since it’d be stupid to try, but you can totally skydive off the highest mount in the game. The tricky part is surviving it sans parachute.
First off, you’ll need Become Ethereal and Whirlwind shouts at max. Next, you’ll need to get both the Blessing of Talos and an Amulet of Talos to give yourself as much shout cooldown as possible. Now, get on up to the very peak of High Hrothgar and launch yourself off with a good Whirlwind shout.
Provided you’ve found the right spot, you should have your shout cooldown trigger just in time to shout Become Ethereal and avoid splattering yourself all over the ground. Pick wrong and, well, let’s just say there won’t be enough left of you to identify the corpse.
7 Run Around Naked
Actually, nearly naked. You can certainly achieve some nudity via mods, but otherwise, you’ll have to settle for running around in your underpants. Or whatever the Skyrim equivalent of underpants is, which seems to be rags and loincloths.
Anyway, this turns out to be a bit of a challenge run as in order to achieve your near nudity you can’t be wearing any armor. No armor means no fancy enchantments, although you are able to equip weapons. Then, head out questing!
When you return to town, the guards will almost certainly comment on your attire (or lack thereof) but you won’t get arrested. However, you really should, since there’s only one possible place you could be putting all that loot you just plundered, and I definitely wouldn’t be buying any of it if I were an NPC.
6 Go Bug Collecting
You might not have realized this, but Skyrim has a few things in common with Pokémon. Both have some pretty incompetent assassins sent to stop you, both have legendary dragons with fantastic powers, and both of them allow you to engage in one of my favorite pastimes as a kid: bug collecting.
You can run around the fields and just catch things with your hands, but for the true entomologist, you’ll want to find the rare items with bugs already in them. Scattered throughout Skyrim are 5 bugs in jars that you can find: a lunar moth, a bee, a butterfly, a dragonfly, and a torchbug. Each jar has mysterious runes inscribed on the bottom of them, and nobody knows what the jars are for.
Some say they were originally intended as a side quest that was never implemented, while others say it could be the means to summon an Elder Scroll. I say it’s just a fancy jar to collect bugs in.
5 Use Telekinesis For Fun And Profit
One of the best ways to level your Alteration skill is to find and use Telekinesis. This spell lets you magically levitate everyday items and throw them around. It can be incredibly useful for infiltration, as you can throw a rock down a hallway to grab the guard’s attention, but it can also be used for, shall we say, dumber purposes.
First off, grab a bunch of empty wine bottles and arrange them into something approximating a V. Now, grab a few cabbages and equip your Telekinesis spell, take a few steps back, and launch your cabbage at the wine bottles. Voila! Skyrim bowling.
I recommend having Telekinesis equipped in both hands to ensure you get the most out of your tosses.
4 Get Free Archery Training With Faendal
Here’s one of the better exploits still available in Skyrim. And by exploit I mean using the regular game’s mechanics in ways that may not have been exactly as intended.
First off, side with Faendal in the “Love Triangle” quest in Riverwood by giving Camilla the forged letter from Sven. Afterwards, he’ll agree to be your follower (apparently having completely forgotten about Camilla in favor of some Dragonborn adventuring). Faendal can also be a trainer in Archery, allowing you to train up to level 50.
Here’s where the free part comes in. Give Faendal the money for training, and then as a follower, open his inventory and take it back. So long as you have the initial cash for training, you can keep doing this up to the level cap to essentially start the game with level 50 Archery.
3 Muffle Your Way To Maximum Illusion
Leveling your magic skills can be a bit of a chore in Skyrim. Some magic spells will only accrue experience if you actually hit with them, such as Destruction spells, while others will only give you experience if you get struck by enemies, such as Alteration shield spells.
Muffle is an Illusion spell that breaks with tradition and always gives you Illusion experience with every cast. And it’s a lot of experience. A single cast at level 10 is often to give you 2 whole levels. Spamming these spell all day, every day is the best way to continue to get perks while you’re playing the game.
Just don’t do it too often early on, otherwise you’ll find yourself with level 100 Illusion and only level 15 One-Handed, making even mud crabs a dicey situation.
2 Max Archery By Shooting Your Own Undead Horse
After Faendal has gotten you to level 50 Archery, might as well get the rest of the way by shooting your own undead horse.
Shadowmere is a horse you get during the Dark Brotherhood questline. She’s a dead horse. Well, an undead horse, so maybe a zombie horse? Anyway, you can summon her whenever so you can mount up and traverse Skyrim’s icy wastes a little faster. But she’s also great for target practice.
Shadowmere has tons of HP, so shooting her a few times with your bow isn’t really going to kill her. Also, she’s already dead, so if you do manage to kill her you can just cast the spell again to bring her back. Just keep shooting until you’re at max Archery.
As for Shadowmere, I’m sure she suffered worse things than a few arrows to the knee in her time.
1 Perform The ”Run Lola Run” Challenge
This isn’t a real achievement, and I wish I could take credit for it, but I have to give this to Reddit user MasterSiegfried who posted this a few years ago. I’ll let him explain the basics:
“You take your character and strip them of all armor, arm them with only a dagger. It works best if you're in a "hallway" town (Whiterun/Solitude), but you go up to the Jarl, and stab them in the face. Then you turn around and book it.
“Shouts are allowed, but you only get 1. Magic is forbidden. We created an orc ("Lola") just for this purpose.
“20 points for getting out of the town. 25 points for every guard killed. 10 points for regular citizens. 1 point for animals. Highest score wins.”
So far I’ve managed to get 65 points before being buried under a pile of guards.