Many gamers have been playing Skyrim for years at this point, but the recently released Special Editions are bringing a whole new crowd to the dragon slaying action RPG. Like all Bethesda games, there are a lot of skills to master when playing through the fifth Elder Scrolls game. Leveling up and becoming more powerful in Skyrim is a little different than it is in many other RPGs, so it’s easy to feel a little lost when first exploring the world.
To help new players avoid that kind of confusion, we’ve outlined the basics of leveling up abilities and creating a powerful player character in Skyrim. Here is how to get started…
If you’ve played previous Elder Scrolls games or other RPGs, you might find yourself asking where the stats and skill levels are. In Skyrim, the traditional stat formula has been hidden away and replaced with a system in which players increase skills in one of two ways: Buy an upgrade or frequently use an ability. Buying an ability is expensive and is rarely the right way to level up an ability. Buying a new armor proficiency is a good idea if you switch your plan of attack hours into the game and need to catch up, but in general, players should avoid paying for skill boosts. It’s a tempting shortcut, but not the best path to power.
Instead, players should make a serious effort to frequently use the abilities that they plan to carry throughout the game. It’s ok to experiment and try out a few different things early on in the campaign, but the earlier players commit to a plan of attack, the earlier they will start leveling up the abilities that they will want to have maxed out for the end-game (when they will be rocking unique special weapons). In short, pick a skill set, stick with it, and use it non-stop.
To speed up the skill-building process, players will also want to activate the Guardian Stones as early as possible. Three Guardian Stones can be found standing around in a semi-circle on the road to Riverwood from Helgen (which both look better than ever thanks to the Special Edition’s improved visuals). Each of the stones is linked to the skills of a particular skill specialization; warrior, mage, and thief. Activate the stone that correlates to the branch you plan to spec in and all skills from that branch will level up fasters than the others as they are being used.
Some players prefer to activate the stone that will be their secondary specialization because they plan to level up the primary skills just by using them more frequently. This strategy can work quite well too, just be sure to take advantage of the stones one way or another.
Do you have any other leveling tips for new Skyrim players? If so, let’s hear them in the comments!
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.