10 Best Races For Beginners in Skyrim
Embarking on your first adventure in the vast and captivating world of Skyrim can be an exhilarating yet daunting experience. With its diverse and unique races, each possessing its own strengths and abilities, choosing the right one to suit your playstyle can be a crucial decision.
In this article, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 best races for beginners in Skyrim, guiding you through their inherent strengths, abilities, and how they align with various playstyles.
Whether you’re a warrior, mage, or stealthy rogue, this comprehensive guide will help you navigate the mystical realm of Skyrim with confidence and ease as you begin your legendary journey.
- Nord: Nords are the native race of Skyrim, and their natural resistance to frost makes them an excellent choice for beginners. Their Battle Cry ability can also help scare off tougher enemies in a pinch.
- Imperial: Imperials are skilled diplomats and traders, making it easier for beginners to navigate the game’s social and economic systems. Their Voice of the Emperor ability can calm hostile creatures and people, offering a non-violent solution to encounters.
- Redguard: Redguards are natural warriors, making them a strong choice for players who want to focus on combat. Their Adrenaline Rush ability allows them to recover stamina quickly, which can be useful in tough battles.
- Breton: Bretons are magically inclined, with a natural resistance to magic damage. Their Dragon Skin ability can provide an additional layer of protection against magic attacks, making them a solid choice for players interested in magic but still learning the ropes.
- Orc: Orcs are known for their prowess in combat, and their Berserker Rage ability allows them to deal double damage while taking half damage for a short period. This can be useful for beginners who need a boost in tough fights.
- Khajiit: Khajiit’s natural agility and stealth skills make them a great choice for players interested in a stealthy playstyle. Their Night Eye ability allows them to see in the dark, which can be helpful for navigating dungeons and avoiding traps.
- Argonian: Argonians have natural resistance to diseases and the ability to breathe underwater, which can be helpful for exploration. Their Histskin ability allows them to rapidly regenerate health, making them a good choice for players who want extra survivability.
- Dark Elf (Dunmer): Dunmer are versatile, with a balance between magic, combat, and stealth skills. Their Ancestor’s Wrath ability surrounds them with flames, dealing damage to nearby enemies and providing some protection.
- Wood Elf (Bosmer): Bosmer are skilled archers and excellent at sneaking, making them a good option for players who want a ranged and stealth-focused playstyle. Their Command Animal ability allows them to temporarily tame wild animals, which can be helpful in certain situations.
- High Elf (Altmer): Altmer are powerful mages, but their lack of natural defenses can make them more challenging for beginners. However, if you’re determined to pursue a magical playstyle, their Highborn ability allows them to rapidly regenerate magicka, giving you an advantage in spellcasting.
Overview of Skyrim Races: Abilities, Traits, and Starting Skill Bonuses
|Unique Activated Power
|Battle Cry (30s)
|50% Frost Resistance
|Two-handed, Heavy Armor, Block, One-handed
|Voice of the Emperor (60s)
|Increased gold in containers
|Restoration, Heavy Armor, Block, One-handed, Speech
|Adrenaline Rush (60s)
|50% Poison Resistance
|One-handed, Archery, Block, Light Armor
|Dragon Skin (60s)
|25% Magic Resistance
|Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, Alteration
|Berserker Rage (60s)
|Can immediately enter orc camps or strongholds
|Heavy Armor, One-handed, Block, Smithing
|Night Eye (60s)
|15-point Unarmed Damage (Claws)
|Sneak, One-handed, Archery, Lockpicking
|50% Disease Resistance, Water Breathing
|Restoration, Light Armor, Sneak, Lockpicking
|Dark Elf (Dunmer)
|Ancestor’s Wrath (60s)
|50% Fire Resistance
|Destruction, Sneak, Light Armor, Alteration
|Wood Elf (Bosmer)
|Command Animal (60s)
|50% Disease and Poison Resistance
|Archery, Sneak, Light Armor, Alchemy
|High Elf (Altmer)
|Illusion, Destruction, Enchanting, Alteration
Please note that the duration mentioned in parentheses for Unique Activated Powers refers to the duration of the effect in seconds. The Starting Skills listed are the main skills that each race receives a bonus in, but each race also has minor bonuses in other skills.
Detailed Guide to Skyrim Races
Hailing from the cold and rugged province of Skyrim, Nords are well-adapted to the harsh climate with a natural 50% resistance to frost damage. They are a hardy and resilient race, making them an excellent choice for beginners who want to explore the vast landscape of Skyrim without fear of the cold.
Their Battle Cry ability lets them send opponents fleeing in fear for 30 seconds, providing an escape route or a chance to regroup during challenging encounters. With a focus on two-handed weapons and heavy armor, Nords are well-suited for players who want a strong and durable warrior character.
Imperials originate from the cosmopolitan province of Cyrodiil, and their innate charm and diplomacy make it easier for beginners to navigate the social and economic systems in Skyrim. With better starting Speech skill and higher gold found in containers, Imperials have an edge in bartering and persuading NPCs.
Their Voice of the Emperor ability can calm hostile creatures and people within a 75-foot radius for 60 seconds, offering a non-violent solution to encounters and enabling players to avoid unnecessary conflicts.
As natural-born warriors from the province of Hammerfell, Redguards excel in combat, with a focus on one-handed weapons and shields. Their starting skill bonuses include One-handed, Archery, and Block, which make them formidable fighters from the outset.
Their Adrenaline Rush ability allows them to regenerate stamina 10 times faster for 60 seconds, enabling them to perform more power attacks and shield bashes during critical battles. Redguards also have a 50% resistance to poison, providing added protection against toxic enemies.
Bretons come from the magically inclined province of High Rock and possess a natural 25% resistance to magic damage. This magical affinity makes them a strong choice for players who are interested in utilizing spells and enchantments.
Their Dragon Skin ability grants them an additional 50% spell absorption for 60 seconds, providing a temporary layer of protection against magic attacks that can be invaluable in encounters with powerful mages or magical creatures.
With balanced starting skills in Conjuration, Destruction, Restoration, and Alteration, Bretons are versatile spellcasters ideal for beginners learning the intricacies of magical combat.
Orcs, or Orsimer, are known for their prowess in combat and strong affinity for smithing. Their racial abilities make them perfect for players who want to create a powerful warrior or skilled blacksmith.
Orcs’ Berserker Rage ability allows them to deal double damage and take only half damage for 60 seconds, granting a significant advantage during challenging fights.
With starting bonuses in Heavy Armor, One-handed, and Smithing, Orcs can quickly become formidable fighters and craft high-quality equipment to aid in their battles.
The feline Khajiit hail from the province of Elsweyr and are renowned for their agility, stealth, and hand-to-hand combat abilities. Their natural +10 bonus to Sneak and +5 to One-handed and Archery make them perfect for players interested in a stealthy playstyle or a skilled archer.
The Night Eye ability allows Khajiit to see clearly in the dark for 60 seconds, which can be incredibly useful for navigating dimly-lit dungeons, avoiding traps, and sneaking past enemies undetected.
Additionally, their Claws ability grants them a 15-point unarmed damage bonus, making them formidable in close-quarters combat even without a weapon.
Argonians, the reptilian inhabitants of the Black Marsh, possess unique traits that make them ideal for players seeking adaptability and survivability. Their natural 50% resistance to diseases and ability to breathe underwater provide significant advantages when exploring the diverse environments of Skyrim.
Their Histskin ability allows them to regenerate health ten times faster for 60 seconds, making them an excellent choice for players who want a character capable of bouncing back quickly from damage during intense battles.
With starting bonuses in Restoration, Light Armor, and Sneak, Argonians can be developed into versatile and resilient adventurers.
8. Dark Elf (Dunmer)
Originating from the province of Morrowind, Dunmer are a versatile race with a balance between magic, combat, and stealth skills. They have a natural 50% resistance to fire, which is particularly useful when facing fire-breathing dragons or fire-wielding enemies.
Their Ancestor’s Wrath ability creates a cloak of flames around them for 60 seconds, dealing 8 points of fire damage per second to nearby enemies and providing some protection.
With starting skill bonuses in Destruction, Sneak, and Light Armor, Dunmer can adapt to various playstyles, making them an excellent choice for players who want a well-rounded character.
9. Wood Elf (Bosmer)
Bosmer, or Wood Elves, hail from the forested province of Valenwood and are skilled archers and natural-born hunters. Their inherent +10 bonus to Archery and +5 to Sneak and Light Armor make them a great option for players who prefer a ranged and stealth-focused playstyle.
The Command Animal ability allows Bosmer to temporarily tame and control wild animals for 60 seconds, which can be helpful in distracting enemies or providing assistance in combat. Their natural resistance to diseases and poisons also grants them added survivability in the wild.
10. High Elf (Altmer)
Altmer, or High Elves, come from the magical Summerset Isles and are known for their innate talent in spellcasting. Although they lack natural defenses, making them more challenging for beginners, their magical abilities can provide a significant advantage in combat.
The Highborn ability allows Altmer to regenerate magicka 25 times faster for 60 seconds, giving them a substantial edge in spellcasting during critical moments.
With starting bonuses in Illusion, Destruction, and Enchanting, High Elves are a great choice for players who are determined to master the arcane arts and overcome their initial vulnerabilities.