It’s a well-known joke that Skyrim has basically been released on every platform available. There were even some viral videos of Skyrim being featured on the Amazon Alexa! And I mean, the fans aren’t wrong… as of the date of writing this article, Skyrim has been released on PC, PS3, PS4, PS4 Pro, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and even the Nintendo Switch.
Skyrim is the fifth main installment of The Elder Scrolls series, which is published by Bethesda Softworks. The game was originally released on November 11th, 2011, and almost seven years later it is still going strong. From its initial release, Skyrim received critical acclaim, and players everywhere still love to pick up this now classic game!
Here’s the thing, though; Skyrim is a massive game. There are so many options for the player to explore, right from the start of the game, and there are no rules. You can complete the main quest immediately, or do all of the factions as soon as you break free as a prisoner. So with a game that seems to have no rules, it might surprise you that there are things you can do wrong. Luckily for players, we've compiled them here and made it easy for everyone to see the things they could be improving on! Read on for our list of the 25 Biggest Things Most Skyrim Players Don’t Realize They’re Doing Wrong! And as always, please let us know in the comments below if you think we’ve missed something!
25 Worrying About Your Ancestral Stone Choice
When you begin playing Skyrim, you are soon offered the choice between three Ancestral Stones. These stones are named Thief, Mage, and Warrior, and they all offer your character different benefits.
Whichever one you choose causes skills associated with that class to improve faster than other skills.
However, there are actually 13 different ancestral stones that you can find throughout Skyrim, and you can change between them all whenever you like! Just remember you can only have one ancestral stone active at a time.
24 Using 3rd Person
For those who don’t know, Skyrim allows you to play in either first person or third person. Players even have the option to flip back and forth between the two viewing modes as they play. What people don’t know is that the 3rd person viewing mode was actually an afterthought, and it didn’t receive much work from developers. When it comes to combat, it’s better to stick with 1st person – the chaos will make the combat way more exciting, and there will be far less jank for you to see.
23 Forgetting About Crafting And Enchanting
When starting a new play-through, it is imperative that players focus on collecting more gold, finding better gear, and making their character stronger. However, it is very important to not forget about crafting and enchanting. Crafting is an easy way for you to make money, as you can quickly change cheap components that you’ve gathered from your journey into much more valuable weapons for selling. Enchanting is an extremely easy route to making some of the best weapons in game, particularly at its higher levels.
22 Angering The Giants And Mammoths
Okay, I get it, fighting the giants can be very appealing – especially if you come across one on your journeys as a traveller.
However, JUST DON’T DO IT, especially as a lower level character.
There are many giant camp locations scattered throughout Skyrim that contain up to three giants and three mammoths. These camps also have a large loot chest filled with several goodies, but the giants are aggressive towards intruders. It’s best to stay away until you are a higher level, or else they will all make very quick work of you.
21 Spending Too Long In Character Creation
There are a lot of customization options for the characters you can create in Skyrim. In past The Elder Scrolls games, Character Creation was also where you decided your class, which meant it had a huge impact on how you play the game. With Skyrim, the entire class system has been removed, but you still need to decide your character’s race, gender, appearance, and name. There are many possibilities at your fingertips, but don’t worry too much about what your character looks like, you’ll be covering your face with a helmet in about 2 minutes.
20 Not Saving Regularly
PC players can go ahead and skip to the next point, as their games have a quick-save button. For the rest of you console players, myself included, SAVE YOUR GAMES. The game autosaves whenever you sleep, rest, or enter a loading screen, but it never saves at any other point in time. Skyrim is a massive open world game, which means that you can find yourself exploring for hours without saving. And then a blood dragon comes and BOOM, all that work over the past few hours has disappeared.
19 Travelling Alone
Bethesda has included hireable companions in many of their games, but it is perhaps best implemented in Skyrim. There are also many companions that you can earn through various side quests and plot points!
Why are people not utilizing this amazing feature?
You’ll likely get your first companion in Whiterun, and she is sworn to carry your burdens. Embrace it! It’ll make your life a lot easier, as companions help you in battle and even carry loot for you!
18 Only Playing As A Sneaky Archer
One of the things many players love about Skyrim is its diversity. With so many options available to you, it can be hard to make a choice.
Do you use magic, sword and shield, two-handed weapons?!
And yet, with so many options, most players fall into the habit of playing as a sneaky archer. Granted, it is fun to sneak into a room of unsuspecting enemies and pick them off one by one… But there are also so many other really cool options to try! I’ve always loved spell-casting, myself!
17 Not Being A Book Worm
Did you know that there are over 470 books in Skyrim? Each book has a weight of 1, and that can quickly add up when it’s the start of the game and you’re stealing everything in sight. Most books are actually a waste of space, but there are some that have high value! These are worth taking along on your journey for two reasons: to sell, and to learn! High valued books will grant you either an extra skill level or a new spell! However, this only happens when you actually read the book, so be sure to open them before you sell!
16 Spending Gold On Equipment
There are many vendors throughout the land that are ready to sell you some fancy new equipment. Instead of buying from them, sell them all of the extra things you have picked up along your travels! You can save your money, as there are plenty of weapons and gear that you will earn from the thousands of side-quests out there. Instead, spend your money on training, especially early-game when you’re trying to get out of the low-level dregs!
15 Picking Up Everything In Sight
Speaking of selling things to merchants – You aren’t going to make any money by selling them wooden bowls and metal mugs. There are a lot of items used to make the environment of Skyrim seem “lived in”, and you do not need to pick them all up! Save inventory space for things that actually matter, like gear and potions to help you survive, and expensive loot to sell later! Of course, you can select stamina when leveling up to increase your inventory capacity by 5 pounds, but that’s still not enough to carry every plate around with you in your pack!
14 Buying Or Stealing Horses
Horses in Skyrim are pretty tempting to steal, as they can cost you a pretty penny. But what if I told you that you didn’t need to steal one, or even buy one for that matter?
To find yourself a FREE horse, just head over to the northern coast.
Just north of Windhelm and west of Winterhold, along the coast just south of Bleakcoast Cave. As you wander along the water you should find an abandoned campsite, complete with a horse waiting for their new owner!
13 Forgetting About Using Speech
There are so many skills in Skyrim that it can be easy to forget about some. Heck, some you don’t even need to worry about because you’re too busy being a sneaky archer to worry about how low your Tow-Handed skill is… But in all seriousness, there are some skills that will slip your mind. Don’t let Speech be one of those skills, as it opens up many cool dialogue options. Plus, you can attain level 100 Speech for free by repeatedly intimidating Nelacar in the Black Star quest!
12 Doing All The Factions At Once
The College of Winterhold, The Companions, The Dark Brotherhood… There are many different factions for you to choose from in Skyrim. However, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one, as you can actually be a part of every faction in the game at the same time! So go ahead and join whatever groups you want to join. My advice is just to spread it out, as all of the factions have some great questlines, so it’s better to pepper them throughout your entire game! Which reminds me…
11 Doing The Dark Brotherhood Quest The Boring Way
Yes, everyone knows that you can join The Dark Brotherhood in Skyrim. BUT... Caution: spoilers ahead!
Did you know that you can actually destroy it?
Once you’ve been abducted by The Dark Brotherhood in your sleep, you’ll be taken to a shack where you’re asked to end one or more of the three people in front of you. This is where you can actually attack Astrid instead, starting the quest “Destroy the Dark Brotherhood”! It should be noted that this is the only time that this option will be available.
10 Getting Artifact Weapons Too Early
The Daedric Artifacts in Skyrim are very unique and unusually powerful magical items. Many of the artifacts have appeared in previous Elder Scrolls games, and there is actually an achievement if you gather all nineteen Daedric artifacts!
Other unique relics include the masks worn by the nine undead Dragon Priests.
Be careful when you decide to follow these quest lines and achievements, as it can actually affect how powerful some of these items can become. As a general rule, only start hunting for these items after you’ve reached level 36.
9 Using Fast Travel Too Much
Only modern day gamers get to reap the benefits of fast travel being implemented in video games. With massive open world games like Skyrim, fast travel can sometimes be a necessity.
Don’t let yourself become addicted to fast travelling across the map to quickly complete quests.
Sure it’s okay to do it every now and then, but the whole point of this game is to get to really live in Skyrim. Ride your horse across the highway, get attacked by bandits, make them regret it! It’s all part of the fun!
8 Not Cooking Enough
With all the side quests to complete and skills to level up, it seems a bit silly to get hung up over something as simple as cooking. But here’s a secret: cooking is massively overpowered.
Consuming certain recipes can have a great effect on your abilities.
Take Elsweyr Fondue for example, eating it will increase your magicka by a whopping 100 for 720 seconds! Furthermore, making venison stew, veggie soup, or beef stew allows you to regenerate 1 stamina per second. It only takes one stamina point to power attack, so take advantage of this in your next battle.
7 Paying For Cure Disease Potions
Here's a cheat that all you gamers with a conscious that has standards can use! In fact, it’s not really a cheat at all, just a nice little tidbit of information. First, go into The Silver Hand Camp, but be careful as this is in fact a hostile location. Second, loot like crazy! There are tons of Cure Disease potions here, which are usually harder to find when out in the wilderness. So stock up, as potions can be expensive!
6 Staying Single
Getting married in Skyrim is pretty easy. Locate Maramal inside the Temple of Mara, and ask to be enlightened about Mara, who just happens to be the Godess of Love.
Once enlightened, you can purchase the Amulet of Mara for just 200 gold!
Wearing this amulet lets other NPCs know that you’re looking for “the one”, so talk to anyone you hope to tie the know with! Once married, your partner will be able to provide you with various different daily benefits, including 100 gold and a home cooked meal!
5 Forgetting Quest Items
If you have found a quest weapon that you just can’t dare to be apart from, don’t worry. If it’s a weapon, there is still hope that you can walk away with it even after completing the quest!
That’s right, you can keep quest items that you are supposed to lose with this special hack!
To make a quest weapon a regular weapon, just leave it on a weapon rack before completing the quest. Return to it after completing the quest dialogue, and you can still pick it up… And it’s no longer a quest item! Sweet!
4 Wasting Time Mining Ore
Did you know that there is a much faster way for you to get the ore your player character needs? Never waste time mining ore again! You can actually “attack” an ore vein with a pickaxe. Each hit with the pickaxe mines the ore. This technique is actually MUCH faster than watching the animation of mining the ore. Dual-wield either two pickaxes or daggers, and you’ll be even faster!
3 Not Feeding To Stay Invisible As A Vampire
If you've made the choice, or someone made the choice for you, to become a vampire of the night, there are some very tricky situations you'll have to wander through. The main issue: your thirst for human blood, while avoiding the burning hot sun. Let me start off with telling you that nighttime begins at 7pm and ends at 5am, which you’ll thank me for later. Staying invisible as a vampire is also a nifty trick to avoid unwanted confrontation, and you can even stay invisible while drinking blood from unsuspecting NPCs!
2 Running Around With Stolen Things
I know I told you not to steal everything in sight already, but that's basically impossible. If you’re having trouble keeping your sticky fingers away from absolutely everything, fear not! While giving your stolen items to your companions will still leave them tagged as “stolen”, making them into something new will remove the tag! Crafting, cooking, smithing and more with stolen items will create new objects, that are NOT technically stolen! Woo!
1 Not Making It To Level 80
I've saved the best for last... There's basically an actual "final boss" for the game, after you've finished all of the main quest. Not many players know this, because so many of us have just created another character after having our fill! If your character levels themselves up to Level 80, they'll be approached by the Ebony Warrior, who is one of the strongest characters in the game. He wants you to fight him with all your strength, and be prepared to actually fight, since he even knows how to shout!