Skills in Skyrim refer to a character's ability to perform actions. There are a total of 18 Skills in Skyrim, each with their own levels, cool looking constellations and perk trees to unlock. The 18 Skills are split into 3 main skill groups, the warrior skills, magic skills and thief skills. Skill levels grant bonuses to the tasks related to the skill, a higher one-handed skill level will increase the damage when attacking with one-handed weapons, with much larger bonuses being unlocked through perks. This page covers information to do with skills, leveling up, perks and more, check out the full list of Skills below.


Leveling Skills in Skyrim

Skills can be leveled up in a few ways with the primary method being to use the skill. Skills can have different specifics about the skill gain involved in the tasks performed. Players cannot simply cast a Destruction spell into the air and get skill experience for it, they will need to do damage for the skill to gain experience. See Leveling for more details on skill specific leveling, also see Crafting for information on leveling crafting skill.

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Another method of leveling is to pay for skill training from a trainer. Players can find and pay trainer NPCs to exchange money into skill points. There are trainers for every skill, see the Trainers page for details on where to find trainers and how training works.

Finally the last method for leveling skills is to use a skill book or through quest rewards. These are non-repeatable as each skill book can only be used once and there are a limited number of them in the world. Quest rewards that give skill levels are also rare or unique non-repeatable quests. 


Legendary Skills in Skyrim

Legendary Skills in Skyrim is a mechanic added in 1.9. Players can select a skill they have leveled to the maximum level of 100 to make legendary. Doing so adds no additional benefits to the skill that is now legendary, besides maybe calling yourself a legendary archer for roleplay.

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Setting a skill to legendary resets its level to 15 and refunds all perk points that have been used in the skill tree. Doing so preserves all experience gain contributing to player level and allowing players to once again level the skill up to 100. This allows players to gain new experience points in the legendary skills from 15 back to 100 and in doing so increase their player level, removing the previous level and perk point limits. 

While making their main skills legendary might help level up faster, players should think carefully before making their skill legendary to avoid suffering from the drops in levels that will affect their playthrough. 


Perks in Skyrim

Each skill in Skyrim features a perk tree that give players unique and additional bonuses to the skill when the perk is unlocked. The perks are in a tree configuration where players need to both have the level required as well as points in the previous perks to unlock new perks further in the tree. The larger bonuses to each skill are unlocked through perks so players will have to both level up their skills and invest perk points in their skill trees to gain the maximum benefits and expanded capabilities that improving a skill brings. 

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Players have a limited number of perk points as they only get 1 per level up. It is recommended that players focus on the skills they use most first when using their perk points to get the most out of their perk points.


Crafting Skills in Skyrim

Alchemy, Smithing and Enchanting are the crafting skills in Skyrim each belonging to one of the 3 main skill groups. Crafting skills allow players to augment their capabilities through their equipment, creating or augmenting their equipment to directly support their gameplay and capabilities. See the Crafting page for more information and details including information about crafting skill perks and crafting skill leveling. 

Rewards and bonuses applying to the skill group apply to the crafting skills as well. For example the 20% experience gain from the Warrior Stone also applies to smithing.


Skill combinations in Skyrim

Skyrim does not have a class system that players choose and stick to instead having skills corresponding to the various actions that players can perform. While Skills cannot be directly combined or grouped to produce a greater effect, it is recommended to select a smaller set of skills to focus on that compliment your playstyle. With the open world nature and choose your own playstyle game that is Skyrim, there isn't any single most important or best set of skills to have. Some pairs or groups of skills are very complimentary to each other while others may be more uniquely grouped together for the player in question. 

Below are some example archetypes for playstyles that players might choose to play and some skills that could greatly benefit them.

*Followers are not a skill but can be used to possibly enable or help a healer play out as a healer supporter style of gameplay.



Skyrim All Skills

Magic Skills



Magic skills encompass all 5 schools of magic each providing greatly to player choice and experience. From destructive magics to restoration spells that heal and protect, create illusions to greatly confuse enemies, conjure up your own creatures into battle or cast alterations that can cover the caster in magical armor. Players can discover their path of magic while focusing or mixing between any of the 5 schools of magic.


Warrior Skills


BlockHeavy ArmorSmithing

Warrior skills are the place to look for players looking to build a physical damage class. Players can find skills for playing as a powerful Two-handed warrior, as an long ranged Archer, as a One-handed fighter Blocking attacks with a shield and more. Skills supporting all weapon types from small daggers, to large battleaxes and bows and even shield skills are covered here. When selecting the weapon and playstyle of choice players can check the relevant skill pages to get a better insight on what support they can expect from the skill perks.  Heavy armor support is provided as well granting great bonuses to this powerful armor type.


Thief Skills

LockpickingLight Armor ♦ Sneak

Pickpocket ♦ Speech ♦ Alchemy

Thief skills are great for players looking to gain a foot up quickly in the world with skills that help the player get around. Players can play the thief, picking pockets and opening locked chests and rooms then smartly speaking to merchants to sell all the stolen items without anyone catching wind of anything. Play the assassin, sneak around the guards and enemies and take them out with finely timed and aimed attacks to assassinate them before anyone is made aware. Or simply use the skills to get around doors, people, and businesses. Light armor is supported here as well granting bonuses to those choosing to wear armor but stay light on their feet.


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