Booting up Skyrim to start a new playthrough can sometimes be more than a little daunting for the uninitiated. After disembarking from the cart of many memes, players will be confronted with their first decision just before being unceremoniously marched towards the executioner’s block: choosing from among Skyrim‘s ten distinctly different fantasy races. Not to mention tinkering with the appearance sliders.


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The contentiously good news is that people won’t need to compound this conundrum by selecting a class afterward, given that Skyrim‘s skill and progression systems are fluid and classless. However, the indecisiveness among players might still be second-guessing every decision they’ve made, even through the prologue sequence. Thankfully, players are not alone, and here’s a checklist of tips to help people blaze through character creation and get busy actually enjoying the game.

Updated on November 24, 2022, by Chetan Shekar: Skyrim is an RPG that has set the hearts ablaze of millions of gamers around the world. Players can create their own characters and model them to reflect their tastes and preferences in the game. The world of Skyrim is packed with quests and adventures that can help the best of players put their skills to the test and conquer their greatest fears. Published by Bethesda Softworks, Skyrim offers hundreds of hours of gameplay to encourage players to explore the vast lands that constitute the game. People can customize their characters in unique ways that let them roam the cities and towns of Skyrim wild and free. Take a look at these pro tips for creating a character in Skyrim.

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13/13 Try Character Creation Mods Like The Imperious – Races Of Skyrim

Player fights enemies using Berserk

There are numerous mods out there that can spice up the character creation experience for Skyrim players. The Imperious – Races of Skyrim mod grants players access to new passive abilities for each race in the game. For instance, the Argonian race can sneak up on people more easily and move faster for 180 seconds after swimming with the Amphibious passive ability. Characters from the Dunmer race gain 25% fire resistance with the passive ability, Ashborn.

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Players can complete a new quest for each race to unlock a special power-up for their characters with the Imperious – Races of Skyrim mod. These power-ups include Berserk for the Orc race, which doubles attack damage and critical damage of their characters during combat. It also reduces spell costs by 15 seconds. People can unlock Berserk by staggering 150 enemies with Shockwave with an Orc in Skyrim.

12/13 How To Create A Vampire Character

Player attacks a human in his Vampire form in Skyrim: Dawnguard

Skyrim has hundreds of quests that players can enjoy, including becoming a Vampire Lord. This needs to be done after the initial character creation is done, however. There are several ways to become a Vampire in Skyrim that grant special powers to the Dragonborn. Characters with the Sanguinare Vampiris disease have increased resistance to frost, disease, and poison. There are a few disadvantages of turning into a Vampire. Players will not be able to regenerate health, stamina, and magicka during the daytime in Skyrim.

The easiest method of turning into a Vampire is by fighting the creatures of the night in the Broken Fang Cave. People can attack the Vampires found inside the Broken Fang Cave to contract the Sanguinare Vampiris disease.

The Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC changes the appearance of the character into a bat that can fly. People can also revert to their human form at any time. Players will get full access to the powers provided by the Sanguinare disease. Players can use Vampiric Drain to regenerate their health in the game. Vampires can also bring a corpse back to life using Vampire’s Servant, a spell that lasts for 60 seconds.

11/13 How To Create A Werewolf Character

Player bites into a monster in the forest as a Werewolf

Players can transform into a werewolf once a day after drinking the Beast Blood in the game. To do this, they will need to complete a few steps of the Companions questline, which begins at Jorrvaskr in Whiterun city. Characters in the Beast mode will become a werewolf, increasing the amount of damage dealt by their attacks, their speed, and stamina.

People can obtain the Ring of Hircine to be able to transform into a werewolf an unlimited number of times in a day. The Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC provides a perk tree to unlock new skills for the werewolf form. These perks can be used to make attacks lethal to enemies in the game. People can also bite into their enemies to slay them.

10/13 People Can Change Their Appearance Later

Player changes appearance after starting the game

The truly meticulous RPG aficionados can spend hours tweaking their character’s appearance during the creation process, and still manage to pick out a subtle flaw that ruins the experience a few hours later. Are the eyes a shade too light? Maybe the chin is just a bit too long. Whatever the case, it usually ends in deleting and starting from scratch.

Thankfully, Bethesda really thought ahead here. The face sculptor at the Ragged Flagon in Riften will alter the character’s appearance for a small fee, with all the same tweaks that were available to people during their creation. So if players find that subtle flaw that’s tempting them to delete and start over, be patient! Save a little gold, and get a facelift.

9/13 Roleplaying Is Way More Fun Than Power Gaming

Player explores Skyrim with armor

This is a stylistic choice more than anything, but putting together a character that players can personally sink their teeth into is going to be loads more fun than gaming the system for maximum benefit. For example, the Khajiit and Argonians have some of the worst racial powers in the game, but they are still favorites among fans on the merits of their personality and lore.

Of course, people can still need to find what the ideal racial selections are for most playstyles, but if they’ve got a specific vision in mind that really appeals to them, then the fun factor involved in following any personal preferences is going to pay off way more than slapping together whatever’s most mechanically overpowered.

8/13 What’s Permanent About Character Creation

Player applies remarkable facial features to the character

To be frank, there are an awful lot of things that simply do not matter during character creation, so it’s probably best to condense a short list of things that are absolutely set in stone once people leave Helgen for the first time. The first thing to keep in mind is that players do get a single chance to change everything once they complete the prologue section.

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After that, as mentioned, people can still change their character’s appearance at the face sculptor. However, their character’s race, gender, and name are pretty much permanent, unless they’re playing PC and don’t mind working some console magic.

7/13 Race: What Matters & What Doesn’t

Player chooses a race for his character

Race is arguably the biggest and most definitive choice people make during character creation, though some of the ways it impacts their experience might not be readily apparent. Likewise, there are a lot of ways that it doesn’t make any difference whatsoever that are good to keep in mind while they’re sweating it out between the ten available options.

Each race does have powers and abilities that are unique to them, which they can check out in a handy guide right here. The choices don’t impact the plot or quest availability at all, though some minor dialogue options and NPC reactions are race exclusive. Lastly, though they have different starting bonuses to some skills, every race can essentially fit into any imaginable playstyle, so if they want to play a magical, sneaky orc, nobody’s going to stop them!

6/13 Picking A Playstyle

Player springs into action in Skyrim

Going into it with at least a loose concept of how people want to play their character is definitely preferable to going in blind, and given that they’re talking about an Elder Scrolls title, they’ve got an awful lot of options at their disposal. But for the sake of simplicity, they can generally break down their options into three basic concepts: a stealthy thief, a powerful mage, or an armored, martially skilled fighter.

Of course, people can hybridize between the three options as they see fit, and they’re hardly married to their initial choice. But if they’ve got a solid concept in mind, they can make a more informed decision on picking a race, the specifics of which are briefly touched upon.

5/13 The Best Races For A Mage

Skyrim Altmer High Elf Mage discovers hidden items in Skyrim

Mages aren’t the most popular way to play Skyrim, but they really shouldn’t be overlooked. The two best choices for starting a mage are hands down, Altmer and Breton. The Altmer, or High Elves, are probably the superior choice, but the Bretons, essentially Skyrim‘s equivalent to half-elves, get some great bonuses that shouldn’t be overlooked.

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In a nutshell, they both get an incredible spread of starting bonuses to most of the game’s spellcasting skills, start with an additional spell, and their racial abilities directly benefit playing a spellcaster of some kind.

4/13 The Sneakiest Races For A Thief

Player prepares to steal a coin purse in Skyrim

Playing a sneaky rogue or assassin is possibly the most popular way to play Skyrim, and a lot of options play into it very nicely. The feline Khajiit, Argonian lizard people, and elven Bosmer all get a great start on stealthy skills, with the latter getting a bonus to archery as well, a heavily preferred combat choice for stealth characters. Though their racial powers are collectively lackluster.

The Dunmer, or Dark Elves, are also noteworthy as a sort of hybrid choice. They get bonuses for both stealth and magical skills, making them a great pick if they’re stuck between the two. Their unique racial benefits also tend to be a little more conventionally useful than the other picks.

3/13 The Strongest Races For A Warrior

Player fights enemy with sword and shield

The choices here might be a little obvious, but it is being covered anyway. Nords, Skyrim‘s native population, make for great warriors. They get a really solid bonus to two-handed weapons, so they’re definitely the way to go if people enjoy flailing about with oversized weapons of war.

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Orcs are also great, with rounded bonuses toward pretty much all of the associated skills. Their racial power is definitely among the best since it doubles their damage output for a short burst. Imperials have a sort of hybrid skillset, with a big bonus to restoration magic, as well as heavy armor and blocking, making them great for the classic “paladin” archetype.

2/13 It Doesn’t Matter Who People Follow During The Prologue

Player finishes the first quest after creating a character

This is more to prevent any sort of confusion during the prologue sequence, but people eventually will be confronted with the choice to follow Imperial soldier Hadvar or Stormcloak trooper Ralof in order to escape the dragon wreaking havoc on Helgen.

To be abundantly clear, this only directly impacts two things: the selection of starting gear available to people, and who they end up meeting up with in Riverwood. After that, they’re still totally free to opt for joining the Imperial Legion or the Stormcloaks as they see fit. Or neither, if that’s their thing.

1/13 The Standing Stones Can Be Revisited

Player visits the Standing Stones in Skyrim

Shortly after exiting the prologue, they’ll come across the first three standing stones. There are quite a few of them dotted across Skyrim, but these three are particularly special because they boost the speed with which people level up among the three skill types: Thief, Warrior, and Mage.

This choice is hardly permanent, unlike its “birth sign” equivalent in previous Elder Scrolls games, and they can revisit them at any time to swap out their boosted skill progression. This is an easy tidbit to forget, to keep it in mind when they head out on adventures with their new character!

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Xbox X|S, and Xbox 360.

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