Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls games are famous for their wide open worlds full of possibility, but a side effect of this open-ended gameplay is a plethora of unintended consequences. Elder Scrolls games frequently have exploits, bugs and secrets that a player can take advantage of if he or she chooses.
With Skyrim, Bethesda has paid some attention to these sometimes game-breaking secrets, but there are still some tactics that work extraordinarily well.
Find the Guardian Stones
When you begin Skyrim, you will soon run into the Guardian Stones, a set of stones that provide a 20% increase to the rate at which you learn a specific set of skills.
But did you know that there are other stones in the game, and they offer their own enhancements, like the ability to carry more stuff? These Guardian Stones are littered throughout the game and can provide you with easy access to useful buffs whenever you need them. Seek them out, and the game will become that much easier.
Max Your Sneak Skill At The Beginning of the Game
At one point at the beginning of Skyrim, while trying to escape the dragon, you will encounter a bear. You have the choice of sneaking past or killing it.
You can also decide to backstab your companion until your skill level is 100. He doesn’t turn on you at this stage in the game and you will be considered hidden from the bear. So, instant skill-ups! It’s easy as can be.
Do be warned, however, that this may make the beginning of the game more difficult. Your sneak skill will be high, but some other skills will not be, which means you’ll have a leveled character that is weak in relation to many of the monsters you’ll encounter.
If you want to do this later in the game, you can also use the monks in High Hrothgar; they will not turn hostile when you attack them.
Leveling Up Armor or Block Easily
This one is simple but perhaps not obvious if you are new to the Elder Scrolls series.
If you want to increase your armor or block skills, just buy a bunch of magicka potions, grab your shield, and put a healing spell in your primary hand. Find a lone monster and let it beat on you, then watch your skill level increase. You can use your restoration healing spell to keep yourself healthy and that will also give your restoration skill a bonus.
You probably won’t be able to do this until you’re at least level 10 because until then you’ll be too weak to take a sustained assault for long enough to manage significant skill increases. Note that this tactic, while effective, is rather boring.
Exceed Your Weight Limits With Your Companion
Early on in the game, weight limits can be a bit of a problem. You’ll start to acquire a lot of times, but because even the cheapest house is still fairly expensive (5000 gold), you won’t have anywhere to put what you want to keep.
One solution to this is your companion. You gain one (Lydia) very early in the game during the Whiterun quests and you can use her to store items up to her weight limit. But you can actually exceed a companion’s weight limit if you drop items individually on the ground, and then ask your companion to pick them up.
Note that this only works with individually dropped items. Stacks are reduced to one when you ask a companion to pick them up, and in addition, dropped items can sometime disappear if you drop too many. Be careful not to lose your stuff!
Want a lot of arrows for free? Go to the Thieves Guild and find the training area. There should be an archer there training during most of the daylight hours. He fires constantly at a training dummy but he does not take back his arrows. They’re free for you to grab!
Easy Smithing to 100
In Skyrim, the smithing skill is very important for warriors because it allows you to craft and improve dragon bone armor, arguably the best armor in the game. You can build this armor fairly easily, as well, since you acquire so much dragon bone when you kill dragons throughout the game.
The only problem is getting the smithing skill to 100, right? Wrong. Skyrim does not distinguish between different items when deciding how much skill experience to apply towards leveling a skill, so you level at the same rate no matter what you build. Just make Iron Daggers (which require relatively few resources) repeatedly and you’ll be an expert smith in no time.
Be wary that this will also level your character.If you do this at a low level, you could gimp yourself. In-game content will increase in difficulty to match your character’s new level, but your combat skills will be way behind.
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- Image Credits: Bethesda