The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim continues to be an extraordinarily popular game even six years after its initial launch. The game initially launched on November 11, 2011, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. A Legendary Edition that contained all three DLC was released in 2013. A remastered Special Edition was released in 2016 for the PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. As if that wasn’t enough, Nintendo announced a version of Skyrim for the Switch that will launch during the 2017 Holiday season. As an added bonus, the Switch version will feature amiibo support.
It’s not hard to see why Skyrim is so popular. Until The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild came out, it was the quintessential open-world action role-playing game. Skyrim set the bar for all other games of its ilk. If you wanted to make an outstanding game, you had to beat Skyrim. The game is filled with secret locations and quests that range from bizarre to epic. You can find a variety of companions to help you along your journey or craft different armor and weapon sets to protect you.
Of course, Skyrim isn’t without its faults. It can be quite buggy at times, and there are some rather odd things that can occur during the game. However, gamers have had six years to come up with some of the strangest things to do to keep the game fresh and interesting. As always, this list contains a series of six-year-old spoilers. You have been warned.
20 Steal Everything With Impunity
Everything that isn’t bolted to the floor can be lifted, dragged, or otherwise stored. Granted, there are some things you can take without repercussions. But other items will slap a bounty on your head faster than you can say 'Khajiit.' Surprisingly, you can’t just nick things from stores or other people’s houses. It’s almost as if it’s illegal or something. However, Skyrim does have a bit lawful evil streak. You can take things, provided you aren’t caught.
However, there is a much easier (and funnier) way to shoplift. Simply find the nearest large pot or basket and place it over the merchant’s head. After that, you’re free to take whatever you want. Since they can’t see you, you won’t get caught. Granted, this doesn’t work if you’re trying to pickpocket someone. However, as long as no one comes in, you are free to loot everything in sight. The best part is that you can turn around and sell the things you stole back to the merchant you stole them from.
19 Lure Angry Giants To Town
Giants in Skyrim are a relatively peaceful race. Granted, they are absolutely capable and willing to pulverize you; but in a game where everyone is a jerk, Giants are just a little nicer. They normally don’t attack first (unless you mess with their mammoths). You can even walk right up to lone Giants if you are careful. However, if you piss one off, you are in for a bad time. They are one of the stronger enemies in the game and are the bane of all new players. One hit from their mallets can send you flying into the air. So, of course, pissing off a few giants and heading for the nearest town can make for some wonderful entertainment. The guards (if any are around) will quickly rush to stop the stampeding monstrosity. They’ll distract the giant long enough for you to retreat to a safe corner. After that, all you have to do is sit back, relax, grab some popcorn, and watch the carnage unfold.
18 A Night To Remember
Taverns are fantastic. You can sit by the fire with a cup of Nord mead and listen to the bards as they sing your praises (literally). Once you reach level 14, you have a chance to encounter a man named Sam Guevenne. He’ll be sitting at the counter and drinking. When you approach him, he challenges you to a drinking contest. Win and he’ll give you a staff. If you accept, he’ll offer you a “special brew” that is exceptionally strong. By the third drink, you’re badly slurring your words but Sam still announces you the winner. However, he decides that you’re fun to hang with and invites you to go drinking in a place where “the wine flows like water.” Unfortunately for you, you black out.
When you finally wake up, there’s an angry woman who’s yelling at to wake up. The whole quest takes a nose dive off the cliffs of sanity into a raging pool of bad decisions and surreal events. This quest is one heck of a wild ride.
17 Taking The Clothes Off Their Backs
Robbing a store is one thing. Pickpocketing is a completely different beast. Not only does your stealth have to be high, but you’ll need to level up your pickpocketing all the way 100 for this to work.
The final pickpocketing perk is called Perfect Touch. It allows you to steal equipped items. This includes clothes. Just head to the nearest city and sneak behind an unsuspecting guard. Their coin, swords, shields, and pants can be yours. If you’re careful, you can take everything from the guards without them even realizing. They’ll just continue on their merry way, with nothing but a bit of cloth to keep them modest. Do this enough, and you’ll have a whole city filled with nude guards. It makes for a rather entertaining afternoon.
Honestly, it makes you wonder who’s in charge of hiring guards in Skyrim. They clearly need to quit their day job.
16 Cabbage Sports
Welcome to Cabbageball. The rules are simple. Even so, it takes a lot of practice and luck to master. You’ll need three things to play: the telekinesis spell, a bucket, and a cabbage. Simply place the bucket on the ground and use telekinesis to chuck the cabbage into the goal. Once you get that down, you can start to work on your trick shots. You can bounce the cabbage off of a wall or toss it onto a rooftop and let it tumble into the bucket. Just try to be careful because you can maim and/or kill someone if you hit them with a cabbage. Doing so will get a bounty on your head and blood on your cabbage.
A variation of Cabbageball is Cabbage Bowling. You can use ten empty wine bottles as makeshift pins. Just use the telekinesis spell to hurl the cabbage at the bottles. Try using a slope or hill to make the game a little more interesting. It takes a surprising amount of skill to get a strike.
A third variation of the game is Guard Bowling, where you use Unrelenting Force on a bunch of guards near a cliff.
15 Start A Riot
There are actually few ways to start riots in Skyrim. The first is to drop some expensive equipment in the middle of a crowd. Nearby NPCs will start to bicker over the items before going full on terminator on each other. Some NPCs will run away, others will join in on the bloodshed. The advantage to this way is that you won’t get a bounty. Unfortunately, it makes for a very small riot.
A second way is to head to Riften and cause some trouble. You can get caught pickpocketing or attack someone. It honestly doesn’t matter too much how you do it, so long as you get an NPC mad at you. After that, the whole town will erupt into chaos as everyone begins attacking one another. Random citizens will rush to your defense. Guards will charge in with swords. It quickly turns into an all-out blood bath.
14 Climbing A Mountain On A Horse
Skyrim tends to be pretty good about physics… for the most part. Things that go up, do come down. Jumping off of a building really hurts. Arrows float. You can’t climb a cliff if it is too steep; except if you are on a horse. Horses in Skyrim give a giant middle finger to physics. If they aren’t climbing at near 90-degree angles, they are falling up or just floating in places that they really have no business being.
This particular stunt is pretty famous in Skyrim. A lot of players know about the ridiculous and seemingly magical horses. Some of them could almost put Spider-Man to shame. However, it is a rather useful exploit. Some of the markers on the map can only be discovered if you climb to the very top of a mountain. You can either try and jump from one rock to another, or just ride your horse to the very top. Just try to keep in mind that horses aren’t immune to fall damage. If you fall too far, both you and the horse will be dead as a doornail.
13 Silencing Heimskr
Heimskr is a rather obnoxious NPC in Whiterun. He stands in the central square and spouts nonsense about Talos all day long. He’s annoying to listen to. However, he makes for some great target practice.
You can start with small things, like throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at him with the levitation spell. You can replace all of his followers with vegetables and then throw them at him. You can turn him into a unicorn by impaling an arrow into his forehead. Why not try out few fun Shouts or spells? Try using Ice Form to freeze him into a solid chunk of ice, toss him back with Unrelenting Force, set him on fire, or even paralyze him with enchanted weapons. If you’ve got Mind Control, you can have him attack the guards and watch them take him out. After you’ve killed him via your method of choice, you can resurrect him via the Reanimate Corpse Spell (or Resurrect Dead if you have the mod) and start it all over again.
This can be done on any NPC, but it’s more satisfying to do to the obnoxious NPCs.
12 All The Mods
PC gamers have always been able to enjoy fan made mods in Skyrim. Console gamers finally got to join in the odd and interesting world of modding when the Skyrim Special Edition released back in 2016.
One of the strangest mods turns the big bad dragon, Alduin the Worldeater, into Thomas the Tank Engine. Instead of roaring, he blows his whistle. It is rather surreal to watch as NPCs run and scream in terror as a flying cartoon train engine lands on top of a tower and breaths fire all over the place. Another mod gives mud crabs a tiny top hat and monocle. One mod turns all dragons into Macho Man Randy. It is very surreal to see him flap his arms and shout “Oh yeah” as his distorted figure tries to take a bite out of you.
11 Arrow To The Face
Who doesn’t love unicorns. They are magical creatures that deserve a place in Skyrim. Unfortunately, without a unicorn mod, you won’t stumble across one by accident. So, you’ll just have to make one.
Making a unicorn in Skyrim is actually really easy. All you have to do is grab a bow, notch an arrow, and fire it into the skull of a nearby horse. Tadah! Instant unicorn. If you do this to a horse that is attached to a cart, it won’t even react. Of course, just turning horses into unicorns isn’t that much fun. So, turn your bow towards the nearest NPC and fire away. If that doesn’t kill them, you’ll have a human unicorn running around. But why stop there? Why not spread the magic to every corner of Skyrim. Frost trolls, hanging salmon, wild wolves, giants, and even horkers can be shaped by your arrow of destiny.
10 Taking The Fast Way Down
I imagine that when the developers of Skyrim made the Throw Voice thu’um, this was not what they had in mind. But breaking games and killing enemies in ridiculous ways is what we gamers strive to do.
The thu-um Throw Voice is meant to be used for stealth. It has your voice call out to enemies from a location of your choosing — typically by insulting them. Curious or infuriated, the enemies will head over to investigate. Normally, this would be the part where you sneak by or silently kill your chosen target. However, if you throw your voice to say… the edge of a cliff or side of a tower, you can use Unrelenting Force to blast them off like Team Rocket in the Pokémon anime.
9 Double The Daedric Artifacts
There are a total of 17 Daedric artifacts available in Skyrim. In order to earn the Oblivion Walker achievement, you must obtain 15 of the artifacts. Unfortunately, the Skeleton Key does not count towards your total. On top of all that, you have to choose between the Ring of Hircine and the Savior’s Hide. This means that you can’t miss a single artifact. However, there is a small glitch that allows you to obtain both of Hircine’s artifacts.
Hircine’s quest, Ill Met By Moonlight, asks you to help a cursed man named Sinding. He tells hands you the Cursed Ring of Hircine. It automatically equips and randomly transforms you into a werewolf. From there, you have to hunt and kill a white stag in order to impress Hircine. Once it’s dead, Hircine will instruct you to kill Sinding. If you kill Sinding, you’ll receive the Savior’s Hide. If you save him from the other hunters, Hircine will bless the Ring of Hircine. However, if you save Sinding, you can return to the grotto after the ring has been blessed and kill Sinding to receive the Savior’s Hide.
8 Spider Bombs
This one is not for the arachnophobes. It also requires the Dragonborn DLC.
First, you’ll have to travel onto the island of Solstheim. If you head into the White Ridge Barrow inside of the White Ridge Sanctum, you can find a small crafting station known as the Spider Scrolls and the Imbuing Station. You’ll have to clear the Barrow first. This goes double for the Dark Elf who guards the Imbuing Station and throws exploding spiders at you. However, once you get past her, you’ll have access to her recipes and station. You’ll need Albino Spider Pods plus a few other ingredients depending on what atrocities you wish to make.
The Imbuing Station can make a variety of weaponized spiders. There are a total of 14 different recipes. Some jump. Other’s explode. They can do a variety of different status effects including flame, frost, shock, mind control, and poison. There is even an oil spider that secretes oil that you can light on fire.
Necromancy is a common practice in Skyrim. Necromancers wander the world as enemies. Even the Dragonborn can dabble in this unholy art of reanimating corpses. Being a necromancer can be fun. Dealing with necromancers is a pain. But, there is one necromancer who has some rather odd tastes.
There is a special necromancer located just south of Geirmund’s Hall. They’ll be praying to an altar made out of a barrel wrapped in bones with a nest (complete with chicken egg) on top. Below the altar is a box with chicken eggs, a soul gem, and a giant's toe. There are a couple of chickens wandering around, but they don’t show up if you use Detect Life. If the chickens aren’t alive, they will be soon.
The necromancer attacks you the second they notice you. He raises the chickens from the dead, only to have them flee in every direction as you slay their unworthy master. The cuccos from The Legend of Zelda could teach these fowls a thing or two.
6 Talking Animals
Falkreath is one of the major cities in Skyrim, but what makes it a truly special place is that it houses a rather unusual dog. If you talk to the local NPCs, they’ll ask if you’ve seen a dog. Lod mentions that he has asked the guards to keep an eye out for the dog because he wants the sturdy canine for himself. He’ll ask you to catch the dog and even supply you with some meat to make your job easier. Of course, the dog is less interested in the meat and more interested in you. He runs up to you and announces that you are the exactly the kind of person he was looking for. After some snarky remarks, the dog will introduce himself as Barbas. He wants your help to settle a fight between him and his master, who just so happens to the Daedric Prince of Trickery, Clavicus Vile. This is one of the stranger quests you’ll go on, but it’s worth the effort.
5 Dragon Boxing
Dragons are one of the best, if not the best, part of Skyrim. The Elder Scrolls series was seriously lacking in giant, flying, fire/frost breathing lizards until Skyrim was released. The main antagonist in Skyrim is a dragon who has the nasty habit of resurrecting dead dragons. Alduin travels throughout the map to reanimate his fallen kin. However, your main concern with most of the dragons is how you can kill them without being killed yourself. There are several ways effective to do this: magic, arrows, swords. The more, shall we say daring, among us actually punch these suckers to death.
I would not recommend this battle strategy, but it can be done. You’ll need to have a lot of points devoted to unarmed perks and a lot more health. Unfortunately, in order to do this, you’ll have to ground the dragon first. The Shout Dragonrend will force a dragon to the ground, and from there it’s a matter of ducking and weaving as you battle with your fisticuffs. It will take a while, but eventually, you can punch the dragon to death. I’m not sure why you’d want to, but you can.
4 Corpse Catapult
The ragdoll physics in Skyrim is endlessly entertaining. You can enjoy hours of fun by dropping, dragging, or otherwise catapulting the corpses of your enemies or yourself. Granted, there are a few real catapults in Skyrim. However, there are also plenty of makeshift ones!
A glitch involving the giants can be exploited to send bodies hurling hundreds of feet into the air. Occasionally, when they smash someone with their club, instead of turning into a red smudge of on the dirt, the body will go flying into the air. This is both fun to watch, and fun to do. Another exploit involves the drawbridges that are scattered throughout the map. Each drawbridge has a handy lever that will lower or raise the bridge. If you place a few corpses on the end of the bridge and pull the lever, it will unceremoniously toss the corpses into the air. The best part is that it doesn’t matter how many bodies you put there. Even a giant can be catapulted using this method for some sweet, sweet revenge.
3 Bad Skyrim 'Adult' Fiction
Surprisingly, this one does not involve delving into the darkest parts of the internet. Instead, you just need to read.
Skryim is littered with books. Many of them tell the backstories of various characters or explain the lore of the series. There is even one title that acts as a choose your own adventure book called Kolb and the Dragon: An Adventure for Nord Boys. However, on, in particular, seems to be rather popular with the Nords; The Lusty Argonian Maid.
The Lusty Argonian Maid first appeared in The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. In Skyrim, you can find the book in one of 11 different locations (14 if you have the Dragonborn DLC). This book is so popular, it has two volumes! Although, calling it a book is rather generous. It is actually the script of a rather raunchy play. It’s pages are filled with double entendres as Crantius Colto tries to seduce the Argonian Maid Lifts-Her-Tail.
What would Skyrim be without its glitches? Everyone who has played the game has their fair share of fantastic and totally bizarre experiences. Skyrim glitches and bugs are as much of a part of the game’s experience as the quests and story. Heck, they could practically fill a whole list by themselves.
One of my most memorable bugs occurred during the Glenmoril Witch Head quest. The quest requires you to kill and decapitate the Glenmoril Witches. Once you loot the heads from the bodies, they dead witches will appear headless in the game. After killing all of the witches, I discovered a chest next to one of the bodies. I looted the chest and turned around to find the decapitated corpse looming over me with its claws reaching out towards me. Talk about jump scares.
1 Ascend To Godhood
It’s time to break Skyrim.
There is a way to make your character completely unstoppable in only 14 steps. The guys at Rooster Teeth did a video about in on their Achievement Hunter series. The first step is to wear gear that improves your alchemy by 25%. Next, you’ll have to drink a Potion of Fortify Restoration. This will increase the gear’s effects to 38% for 60 seconds. After that, you’ll have to create a second Potion of Fortify Restoration and drink that to increase the gear’s effect to 50%. From there, you just repeatedly disrobe and the equip your gear. This will cause the potion’s effect to re-apply itself to your gear. You do this repeatedly until the number is high enough. However, if you do this step too much, it will actually end up giving you a negative bonus; so be careful. From there, you make one of two potions; either the Potion of Fortify Enchanting or the Potion of Fortify Smithing depending on your skill level. This will allow you to create a Ring of Power that will fortify your smithing or your enchanting. If you do it right, you can get a boost that is over 5,000,000%. This will allow you to make stupidly powerful weapons and armor. After that, you use the same steps to enchant an item with Fortify Health. You will be untouchable.