Welcome to my first platinum guide! This guide will work for all versions of the game! Please feel free to send me an email @ firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions, comments, or corrections.
This guide will use my intended God Mode base build, and can be adapted for any version of damage dealing you like… How? It’s all based around exploiting the crafting system, not by stacking potions, re-crafting etc. That’s overkill. Way Overkill. I haven’t completed all of the DLC trophies at the time of starting this guide, although I expect I will by the end of it… But for now my primary focus is getting you through the main games trophies and earning the completion trophy.
Let’s theory craft some characters given that they all end up doing Smithing and Enchanting(Alchemy isn’t required, but is recommended).
Table of Contents:
I: Roll Your Character
A:(S1A) Races and their Strengths
C: (S1C) Skill Trees
Races and their strengths: (S1A)
Home Province: Summerset Isle
Abilities and Powers: +50 Magicka, Highborn( Regen Mana Faster by 25 Times your normal rate for a minute, once daily)
Skill Bonuses: +10 Illusion, +5 Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Restoration, Additional starting spell, Fury
Build Strengths: Mages, Wizards, Warlocks.(yup all basically the same thing, just different ways of getting stuff done)
I have a buddy who pretty much always plays this race, and swears up and down they’re the best in game. They’re pretty great if you use magic, but I personally find magic builds underwhelming, especially on higher difficulties. They’re not unplayable, but you have to be very crafty, it’s a highly involved play-style, and requires more finesse then all of the other main builds(not more difficult then Wormtongue build…). Which makes them highly fun to play, and very rewarding, and also very risky.
Home Province: Black Marsh
Abilities and Powers: Resist Disease 50%, Water breathing, Higher Unarmed Damage Hitskin(recover health points 10x faster for a minute, once daily)
Skill Bonuses: 10+ Lockpicking +5: Alteration, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Restoration, Sneak
Build Strengths: Rogue Archetypes, as well as fairly decent Clerics
Home Province: Valenwood
Abilities and Powers: Resist Poison 50%, Resist Disease 50%, Command Animal (Once Daily, make an animal your ally for a minute.)
Skill Bonuses: +10 Archery +5 Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak
Build Strengths: Archers, All rogue archetypes, Drizzt cosplay.
Home Province: High Rock
Abilities and Powers: Resist Magic 25%, Dragonskin(absorb 50% of the magicka from hostile spells for a minute, once daily.)
Skill Bonuses: +10 Conjuration +5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Restoration, Speech, Addition Starting Spell: Conjure Familiar
Build Strengths: Arguably a better mage base line, Dragonskin offers amazing utility especially if you’re going with an alteration heavy build. They also make strong warlocks right of the starting line, and conjure familiar is a great spell.
Home Province: Morrowind
Abilities and Powers: Resist Fire 50%, Ancestor’s Wrath( Opponents getting too close take 8 points of fire damage per second for a minute, once daily)
Skill Bonuses: +10 Destruction +5 Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Light Armor, Sneak, Additional Spell: Sparks
Build Strengths: You’d think Wizard right, you’d be kinda right. They’re okay pure wizards, they excel at being sneaky battle mages though. They’re even kinda tanky if you stack light armor and alteration.
Home Province: Cyrodiil
Abilities and Powers: Imperial Luck, they find more gold, everywhere(increased gold gain, isn’t bad, and can really shine on a speechcraft character) Voice of the Emperor(calms nearby people for 60 seconds, once daily)
Skill Bonuses:+10 Restoration +5 Block, Destruction, Enchanting, Heavy Armor, One-Handed
Build Strengths: Ez Mode Paladins(making them arguably the best starting race, meh. not my favorite though) Mage-Tanks
Home Province: Elsweyr
Abilities and Powers: Claws, unarmed attacks deal 12 additional damage Night Eye( See in the dark for a minute, once daily, or turn your brightness all the way up and see in the dark infinitely, your call…)
Skill Bonuses:+10 Sneak +5 Alchemy, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, One-handed
Build Strengths: Assassins, f’rreal they’re fierce, if you’re rushing the Dark Brother Hood, go with Khajiit, you’ll love me for it. They’re also the best punch build characters in the game.(haven’t play-tested Punch builds above Adept difficulty)
Home Province: Skyrim
Abilities and Powers: Resist Frost 50% Battle Cry(Targets flee for half a minute, once daily)
Skill Bonuses:+10 Two-Handed +5 Block, Light Armor, One-Handed, Smithing, Speech
Build Strengths: Beserkers, (two handed, or dual wielding, or sword and board…) Tanks, they’re terrible mages. That said. They’re probably my favorite race, because they Beserkers work well if they sneak a bit too, providing varied game-play.
Home Province: Orsinium
Abilities and Powers: Thugnificent(AKA no ability) Beserker Rage( You take half damage and deal 2x damage for 60 seconds, once per day) They have no ability because they have an insanely good power. It’s the best oh button for melee in the game.
Skill Bonuses: +10 Heavy Armor +5 Block, Enchanting, One-handed, smithing, Two-handed (Blood-Kin: Allows you to enter orc settlements without getting attacked or having to complete the related quest-line)
Build Strengths: Heavy-Beserker, best melee damage dealers in the game. If you’re looking for a strong character, pick them. If it comes near you, it gets cut to ribbons.
Home Province: Hammerfell
Abilities and Powers: Resist Poison 50% Adrenaline Rush( Stamina regenerates 10x faster for a minute, once daily)
Skill Bonuses:+10 One-Handed +5 Alteration, Archery, Block, Destruction, Smithing
Build Strengths: Beserkers(they’re way better than Nords… especially as a hybrid assassin) Jack-Of-Everything(Three color build)
CHARACTER BUILDS: (S1B)
I’m only so creative, and I haven’t play-tested every variation of these builds, but I have play tested every single talent in every tree. That said, if you see something you want up here let me know! ALSO NONE OF THESE BUILDS SAY GET ENCHANTING OR SMITHING BECAUSE THEY ALL ASSUME YOU DO(I mean why wouldn’t you…. They’re better then all of the other skill trees combined, because they’ll let you play any build fairly efficiently and make hitting 100 in everything so much flipping easier. Also, I’m not going to say pick these talent for this build here. I’ll do that when I go through each of the talent trees and tell you which talents suck, and which don’t. If a talent is absolutely necessary for a build I’ll mark it so.
Assassin: Primary focus: Sneak Skill, One-Handed(daggers) or Archery, Light Armor, Alchemy or Illusion important stats to level up, HP and Stamina, 2 Health Levels to Every 3 Stamina Levels is usually how I do it. How to play: Sneak everywhere, at all times, you’ll be 100 in no time, keep the thief sign going until you cap it, and then swap to warrior to cap your damage skills. You can actually cap sneak fairly easily by exploiting your starting companion before you complete unbound, just sneak behind the rock near the bear, it’ll take you ~1-3 hours depending on how obedient the npc is and the sneak mechanics are feeling.
Archer(or Hunter): If you’re not going Archery and Assassin, try this build out. Primary Focus: Archery, One-Handed, Block, Heavy Armor, Even health and stamina levels. How to play: Shoot things in the face, if that doesn’t kill them, keep shooting them in the face until they get close, then pull out your shield and bash them in the face. It’s a very face smashing build. (Also considered a Warrior, but with one difference Warriors need more Health)
Battle-Mage: FAIR WARNING I HATE THIS BUILD. Primary Focus: Destruction, Restoration,Conjuration, Block, Alteration, Heavy-Armor(or light armor, or no armor, it doesn’t really matter this build is cancer…) 2 magic Levels 1 Health level 1 Stamina level. Why don’t I like this build? You’ll never have enough mana, forcing you to buy/craft potions more then I want to, and you have to go to the menu alot. It’s just a slower play-style then I prefer. How to play: Blast them with magic, if they get close summon a bound weapon and whack them in the face with it. Block sometimes. Use Restoration in your Off-Hand. Be careful with your talent choices. It’s not an easy build to navigate, bound weapons damage are tied to your weapon skill, so you’ll have to level that too. Making this build goddamn expensive, and only really hits it’s stride very late-game(Level 60+……….), where other builds sorta fizzle(Like they work, but they aren’t nearly as OP as this is if built right, after you get the talents just so crank up the difficulty to Legendary and Revel in your utility.
Beserker: A stupid easy class to play, and my favorite! Primary Focus: Two-Handed, or One-Handed(Dual or with Block your choice), Light Armor, Alteration is cool but not necessary, How-To-Play, Get in there face, kill them before they hit you, don’t get hit, focus mages, jump around a lot. Power Attack. Only use one type of weapon so you’re not burning talents. Alchemy works pretty well, or you can just buy/find poisons, but you want to keep your weapons poisoned most of the time. If you’re fighting a large group of enemies it’s usually a great idea to use a paralysis poison to knock out the heaviest armor enemy and burn down the squishies so you can hack away at the heavy armor enemy unfettered. And level Health and Stamina fairly evenly, if you’re getting hit a lot skew HP, if you’re a master of skirting damage go for more Stamina.
Mages, Warlocks and Wizards: Primary Focus, Destruction, Conjuration, Restoration, Alteration, Illusion. 2 Health Levels, 3 Magic Levels, Very Little Stamina. How to play: Cast buff spells, Wait around for magicka, begin throwing spells at them, chug a potion, throw more spells, hope it’s not a dragon, throw more spells, chug more potions, throw spells, wait around, cast buff spells, wait around. I’m pretty sure my disdain for this build is apparent, here’s why. Destruction damage is underwhelming, and completely falls off late game and on high difficulty, because unlike the rest of the damage abilities in the game you can’t stack damage increases, you can however get free-cast destruction, which is actually very fun, and deadly. Conjuration and Alteration are actually your most important things to manage, keep your buffs and minions up at all times.
Tanks: Primary Skills: Heavy Armor, One-Handed, Block, Two-Handed, Restoration, Alteration. You can actually play this build with or without magic, I’d have to say that magic is fairly spectacular on a tank. Conjuration is fun, but it’s not necessary. How to play: Dive into the fray, kill anyone in your way, swap your shield and heal if you need to, but dont stop attacking, if you’re playing the paladin varient(restoration and alteration) keep your buffs up and heal as needed. Two-Handed Tanks should cleave down most groups fairly quick and shouldn’t need much healing, your running attack will be a guaranteed critical late-game and with your enchants should one shot most things(or a few swings on legendary, although paladin build is better for legendary)
Weird Vampire Synergy Build: Restoration has an ability that makes all of your abilities more effective when cast on the undead, well, as a vampire you’re undead, so all of your self-cast spells are buffed up, what that means, your heals are better, your alteration buffs are stronger. It’s a weird synergy and you can play the entire game with this synergy at it’s core. It’s not my thing, but some players are really into the funky stuff So I threw it in.
Wormtongue and other non-combat builds: The wormtongue build is based on the character from LoTR so it’s primary skills are: Speechcraft, Sneaking, Alchemy,Pickpocket and illusion. How to play: This build is a challenge my friend, are you ready for it? Okay. So you’re gonna need the pickpocket skill that allows to place poisons on targets, use the frenzy poison to your advantage. It’s a fantastic build for trolling npc’s, but you’re gonna die alot, and dragons aren’t really something you wanna deal with… which is a shame because you fight alot of them. As such learn to rely on your companion and buff them up as much as you can. Talk your way out of every fight you can, and then sneak up to them and frenzy poison. This build is hilarious to play, but isn’t efficient in the least.
Skill Trees: This section is going to be really long and painful the rest of the game will be blissfully easy to go through in comparison…(S1C)
TO BE CONTINUED I need to collect screen shots, from my characters, and then I need to create a list of the best talents and their names and then do some maths to figure out which builds need what when… Grrrr.