Character Creation in Skyrim allows players to customize the look and feel of their playable character. Skyrim features a wide range of races, each with their own customization options and gameplay bonuses. You are able to pick from a a wide variety of choices, ranging from the character's weight and facial features, to more nuanced choices such as how dirty they are and whether or not they have a scar.
After making a choice in Character Creation, you can alter your character's appearance by speaking to Galathil at The Ragged Flaggon with the Dawnguard DLC or the Special Edition of the game installed.
Character Creation in Skyrim
In Skyrim, players have the option of choosing their character's Name, Gender, Weight, and fine tune their character's physical appearance. After picking a Race, you will be able to start your customization be choosing one of the 10 presets provided by the game. In this page you'll find a comprehensive description of what character creation choices are available to you and how they work.
What is the best race in Skyrim?
Races can be considered 'starting classes' in Skyrim, with each providing early game bonuses to several Skills and each having their own race-specific powers and abilities. Though each race fits a certain playstyle and archetype in the early game (these archetypes being the Mage, Warrior, and Thief class types), come late game all Races have the potential to do well as any class and beat the game. The biggest consideration when choosing a race will be their racial powers and abilities and how they can fit in the playstyle you are looking for.
High Elves/Altmer are the optimal choice if going the mage route as their racial power allows them to regenerate Magicka at a high rate. Orcs make for great warriors with their ability to gain a double damage and resistance buff. Bretons are a good general choice with their innate resistance to all magic.
Can I change my characters appearance in Skyrim?
After settling on a character on the Character Creation screen, you can alter your character's appearance later in the game by speaking to Galathil at The Ragged Flaggon if you have the Dawnguard DLC or the Special Edition of the game installed. This service costs 1,000 gold. Galathil can change the physical look of your character, but you will be unable to change your character's Name, Race, and Gender once chosen during Character Creation.
Choosing a Race in Skyrim
The fist choice you will make when creating your character is what Race they will be. This will be the most significant choice you will have to make as it determines what choices in regards to physical appearance will be available to you, as well as what Skills you will have access to in the early game.
Races in Skyrim are one of the main choices made during Character Creation. Each Race has different physical appearance options and unique powers that can only be used once a day. Picking a Race will give players various bonuses to certain skills, each option giving 10 levels to one main skill and 5 levels to 5 other skills. The Race selection is the only option that has an impact on the character's skills and abilities during Character Creation. All Races start with 2 basic spells - Flames and Healing.
Do note that while it is possible to change your character's appearance by paying Galathil 1000 gold with the Dawnguard DLC installed, character Name, Race and Gender cannot be altered once chosen during Character Creation. This page features all 10 Race options available to the player in-game and their effects on gameplay.
Race Variety in Skyrim
Other Notes on Skyrim Races
- Player movement speed is dependent on the height of their race: Altmer (High Elves) being the tallest race, have a larger speed multiplier, with Orcs being the second tallest and fastest.
- There are minor dialogue differences depending on the race player chosen
- Quests storylines are not affected by race choices
- Although the in-game text says "Khajiit claws do 15 points of damage.", the actual effect magnitude is only 12 points.
Skyrim All Races
In addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, even the humblest of High Rock's Bretons can boast a resistance to magic. Bretons can call upon the Dragonskin power to absorb spells.
- Home Province: High Rock
- Abilities: Resist Magic 25%
- Powers: Dragonskin
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Conjuration
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Restoration, Speech
- Additional Spell: Conjure Familiar
A good choice if playing a battlemage archetype, with bonuses to several schools of magic and high magic resistance. Their Power allows them to absorb a percentage of Magicka from enemy magic spells.
Natives of Cyrodiil, they have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders, They are skilled with combat and magic. Anywhere gold coins might be found, Imperials always seem to find a few more. They can call upon the Voice of the Emperor to calm an enemy.
- Home Province: Cyrodiil
- Abilities: Imperial Luck
- Powers: Voice of the Emperor
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Restoration
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Block, Destruction, Enchanting, Heavy Armor, One-handed
An option with a well-rounded toolkit. Their Power is a great get out of jail free card when dealing with hostile NPCs.
Citizens of Skyrim, they are a tall and fair-haired people. Strong and hardy, Nords are famous for their resistance to cold and their talent as warriors. They can use a Battlecry to make opponents flee.
- Home Province: Skyrim
- Abilities: Resist Frost 50%
- Powers: Battle Cry
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Two-handed
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Block, Light Armor, One-handed, Smithing, Speech
A great choice for 2-handed warriors. Their Power causes nearby Enemies to flee for a short period of time.
The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel, the Redguards of Hammerfell have a hardy constitution and a natural resistance to poison. They can call upon an Adrenaline Rush in combat.
- Home Province: Hammerfell
- Abilities: Resist Poison 50%
- Powers: Adrenaline Rush
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): One-handed
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alteration, Archery, Block, Destruction, Smithing
A solid choice for melee fighters who specialize in one-handed fighting. Their Power boosts their Stamina regeneration, allowing them to press their attack.
Altmer (High Elves)
Also known as "Altmer" in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the high elves are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of all the races. They can call upon their Highborn power to regenerate Magicka quickly.
- Home Province: Summerset Isle
- Abilities: +50 Magicka
- Powers: Highborn
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Illusion
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Restoration
- Additional Spell: Fury
The ideal choice for a pure mage run. Their Power significantly boosts their Magicka regeneration for a period of time.
Bosmer (Wood Elves)
The clanfolk of the Western Valenwood forests, also known as "Bosmer". Wood elves make good scouts and thieves, and there are no finer archers in all of Tamriel. They have natural resistances to both poisons and diseases. They can Command Animals to fight for them.
- Home Province: Valenwood
- Abilities: Resist Poison 50%, Resist Disease 50%
- Powers: Command Animal
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Archery
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak
The premier choice for a stealthy archer build. Their Power allows them to call an animal to their aid.
Dunmer (Dark Elves)
Also known as "Dunmer" in their homeland of Morrowind, dark elves are noted for their stealth and magic skills. They are naturally resistant to fire and can call upon their Ancestor's Wrath to surround themselves in fire.
- Home Province: Morrowind
- Abilities: Resist Fire 50%
- Powers: Ancestor's Wrath
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Destruction
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Light Armor, Sneak
- Additional Spell: Sparks
A great choice for stealthy spell-casters. Their Power sets Enemies in melee range on fire.
Orc (Orsimer or Pariah Folk)
The people of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains, Orcish smiths are prized for their craftsmanship. Orc troops in Heavy Armor are among the finest in the Empire, and are fearsome when using their Berserker Rage.
- Home Province: Orsinium
- Abilities: None
- Powers: Berserker Rage
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Heavy Armor
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Block, Enchanting, One-handed, Smithing, Two-Handed
- Additional status: Blood-Kin
The go-to option for those who want control over the customization of their weapons and good melee presence in combat. Their Power boosts their survivzbility and damage output for a short period of time.
This reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their Black Marsh homeland, has developed a natural resistance to diseases and the ability to breathe underwater. They can call upon the Histskin to regenerate health very quickly.
- Home Province: Black Marsh
- Abilities: Resist Disease 50%, Waterbreathing, Higher unarmed damage
- Powers: Histskin
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Lockpicking
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alteration, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Restoration, Sneak
A good early game option for a stealthy playstyle. Their Power is a strong panic button to get you out of a rough situation.
Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent, quick, and agile. They make excellent thieves due to their natiral stealthiness. All Khajiit can see in the dark at will and have unarmed claw attacks.
- Home Province: Elsweyr
- Abilities: Claws
- Powers: Night Eye
- Main Skill Bonus (+10): Sneak
- Secondary Skill Bonuses (+5): Alchemy, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, One-handed
A good choice for a stealthy assassin build. Their power grants them vision in the dark.
Skyrim Character Appearance
This tab allows you to set the baseline of your character's appearance. The options available under this tab are:
- Sex: Determines your character's gender. Choose between Male or Female.
- Presets: Choose from a variety of pre-set faces. Each race has 20 presets, 10 for male and another 10 for female.
- Skin Tone: While there is no color-picker, the Skin Tone slider provides a wide range of skin tones for your character.
- Weight: Determines the body mass of your character.
Under the Head tab, you will come across more nuanced choices to change your character's head, which are:
- Complexion: Adjusts how flush the character's face is.
- Dirt: Determines how dirty the charecter's face is.
- Dirt Color: Modify the color of the dirt.
- Scars: Adds scars to a certain section of the face.
- War Paint: Add permanent tattoo-like paint.
- War Paint Color: Modify the color of the war paint chosen.
The most comprehensive tab, the Face tab allows you to determine the positioning and base look of several facial features. They are:
- Nose Type: Choose from an array of noses.
- Nose Height: Determines how high up on the face the base of the nose is.
- Nose Length: Determines how far out the tip of the nose goes.
- Jaw Width: Adjust how wide the jaw is.
- Jaw Height: Adjust how high up on the face the jaw is.
- Jaw Forward: Adjust how far forward the jaw goes.
- Cheekbone Height: Determine how how the cheekbones are places.
- Cheekbone Width: Determine how wide the cheekbones are.
- Cheek Color: Add color or shading to the cheekbones.
- Laugh Lines: Add color or shading to the laugh line area.
- Cheek Color Lower: Add color or shading to the lower portion of the cheeks.
- Nose Color: Add color or shading to the whole nose.
- Chin Color: Add color or shading to the chin area.
- Neck Color: Add color or shading to the neck area.
- Forehead Color: Add color or shading to the forehead area.
The Eyes tab allows you to fine-tune the look of your character's eyes. The options available are:
- Eye Shape: Choose from a set of pre-made eyes.
- Eye Color: Determines the character's eye color.
- Eye Height: Decide how high up on the face the eyes are.
- Eye Width: Adjusts how far apart the eyes are.
- Eye Depth: Modify the depth of your character's eyes.
- Eyeliner Color: Adds color to the edges of your character's eyes.
- Eye Shadow: Adds color or shading to the upper eyelid and surrounding area.
- Eye Tint: Adds color or shading to the lower eyelid and surrounding area.
You are able to customize your character's Brows in this tab. You will be able to determine:
- Brow Type: Choose from a set of pre-determined eyebrows.
- Brow Height: Determines how far up on the face the brows are.
- Brow Width: Adjust how far apart the brows are.
- Brow Forward: Modify the depth of the brows.
There will be option to manipulate parts of your character's Mouth under this tab. Your options are:
- Mouth Shape: Choose from a set of pre-made mouths.
- Mouth Height: Determine how high up on the face the mouth is.
- Mouth Forward: Adjust how far forward the mouth protrudes.
- Chin Width: Determines how wide the chin is.
- Chin Length: Determines how long the chin is.
- Chin Forward: Modify the depth of the chin.
- Lip Color: Add color to the character's lips.
Finally, round out your character's look by assigning their hair features under this tab. Choose from the following:
- Hair: Choose from a set of pre-made hairstyles.
- Facial Hair (unavailable to Argonians and females of all races): Choose from a set of pre-made facial hairstyles.
- Hair Color: Adjust the color of your character's hair.