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Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Character Creation Guide

The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim Character Creation Guide
Getting a good start in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim can really help get you on your way, this Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Character Creation Guide will give you some basic tips on what you can do at the very beginning to get you set on the right tracks. Minimal spoilers

Firstly you must make your character, Racial traits are not as vital as previous Elder Scrolls games so I’d pick whatever you feel best suits you from the list below. Main skills get a 10 level bonus to start, sub skills get a 5 level bonus

High Elf
Ability Highborn
Adds 50 Magicka to mana pool
Main Skill: Illusion
Sub-Skills: Alteration, Conjuration, Destruction, Enchanting, Restoration

Increase Disease Resistance, 50%
Ability Hitskin
Can breath under water
Main Skill: Lockpicking
Sub-Skills: Alteration, Light Armor, Pickpocket, Restoration, Sneak

Wood Elf
Ability Command Animal
Increase Disease Resistance 50%
Main Skill: Archery
Sub-Skills: Alchemy, Light Armor, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, Sneak

Ability Dragon Skin
Resistance to Magicka 25%
Main Skill: Conjuration
Sub-Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Restoration, Speech

Dark Elf
Ability Ancestor’s Wrath
Increased Resistance to Fire 50%
Main Skill: Destruction
Sub-Skills: Alchemy, Alteration, Illusion, Light Armor, Sneak

Imperial Luck
Ability Voice of the Emperor
Main Skill: Restoration
Sub-Skills: Block, Destruction, Enchanting, Heavy Armor, One-handed

Claw attacks
Ability Power of Night
Main Skill: Sneak
Sub-Skills: Alchemy, Archery, Lockpicking, Pickpocket, One-handed

Ability Battle Cry
Increase Resistance to Frost 50%
Main Skill: 2-Handed
Sub-Skills: Block, Light Armor, One-handed, Smithing, Speech

Ability Berserk
Main Skill: Heavy Armor
Sub-Skills: Block, Enchanting, One-handed, Smithing, 2-handed

Ability Adrenaline Rush
Increased Resistance to Poison 75%
Main Skill: 1-Handed
Sub-Skills: Alteration, Archery, Block, Destruction, Smithing

Once you’ve chosen your character and have control for the first time, you’ll want to follow the guard until you get to the choosing pick. Choose your side and continue on, both sides offer very similar items and opportunities. During your escape you will have chance to pick several locks as well as find a free magic tome book, easy to obtain later but it does increase your offensive magic options early in the game.

Once you’ve escaped Helgen Keep you’ll want to head to the nearest dungeon to grab some loot. If you’re close to full, drop anything heavy and worth less, stacking the chest piece from Helgen Keep is a good idea as they’re worth a nice bit each. Once you’ve cleared your inventory head North West from Helgen Keep and you’ll come across some Guardian Stones. Be sure to get the blessing from either the Magic, Thief or Warrior Stones. Just to the East of their is Embershard Mine, there’s a bandit standing outside so if you run West he’ll aggro you and make the entrance obvious.

Once inside the mine, explore it fully making sure to loot the chest pieces from the enemies inside. You’ll also want to grab all the mushrooms and alchemy ingredients from inside the mines. It’s a very basic dungeon so you won’t have any issues clearing it. Once you cleared Embershard Mine head East to the town of Riverwood. This is your first real opportunity to earn some cash, head to the Riverwood Trader and you can sell most of your items there. If you hang around and listen to the conversation you can get the quest to collect the Golden Hand.

Camila does have a nice bartering necklace but it’s very tough to steal, it reduces prices in shops by %12. She also holds the key to RiverWood trader if you would wish to rob it easily. Follow her directions to the next dungeon, Bleak Falls Barrow, you’ll discover a guarded tower on your way. Make sure to explore the tower as you can get free heavy armor in the form of Iron. There’s also a few lockpicks and a chest located right at the top. Once you’ve cleared the small tower continue on to Bleak Falls Barrow. Once you get inside there’s a few Bandits and a couple of other bad guys, nothing really serious until the end. During your journey inside you’ll come across a few puzzles. The first one offers 3 pillars and a locked gate with a level. Simply match the pillars to the stone faces holding similar images, from left to right, the second 2 are a level above. As you go through you’ll eventually get ambushed by several Dragur, they’re easy to dispatch just be careful for the trap at the exit of the crypt, don’t step on the floor tile. A short while after that, another trap with 2 swinging axes, simply sprint through to avoid damage. When you reach the end you’ll need to unlock the door using the Golden Claw. Be sure to inspect the item to get the combination to the door. Once you get through to the final room, inspect the wall to summon the boss. Easy to kill so no problems, you can now loot and exit.

Once you’ve finished the quest head back to town and go to the Inn. Speak with the bartender and ask about work and rumors, keep asking about rumors until he mentions the Love Triangle comment three times in row. You should have gathered a number of side quests such as finding Azura’s Shrine and going to the Magic School. Whilst your in there, use all your ingredients on the alchemy bench and return to the trader to sell them, you may also want to speak with Sven playing the Flute to unlock another quest.

These are your first basic steps in Skyrim, you’ve now got quests to follow, items to do it and cash to fuel your adventures. The rest is up to you. Feel free to suggest any further tips and I’ll add them to the guide and credit with your name.

Optional: Another choice is to travel to Riften using the cart outside the Whiterun stables. Once in Riften go to the Black-Briar Meadery and speak to the guy behind the counter. Use our Fast Level Guide here to level Speech to 100 in no time at all. Inside you’ll find loads of bottles of Brew, these are worth a nice amount and are very low in weight, clear the place of it all and sell it to the fence at the thieves guild.

Check out our Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Walkthrough Guide for all our guides, including Housing, Trainers, Horses, and Treasure Maps. We’ve also got a Tips and Tricks article that tells you how to get Free Skill Training, how to get rare artifacts and more!

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Blaine Smith

Blaine Smith, or Smith as he prefers to be called as he doesn't have to repeat it four times before people get it, is one of the original founders of Gamers Heroes. Smith has been playing games for over 30 years, from Rex & 180 on ZX Spectrum to the latest releases on the ninth generation of consoles. RPG's are his go-to genre, with the likes of Final Fantasy, Legend of Legaia, and Elder Scrolls being among his favorites, but he'll play almost anything once (except Dark Souls). You can best reach him on Twitter


  1. I made a bit of cash by stealing hides and other raw materials to make weapons and armour and then selling them back to the trader.

    Harvesting anything then ‘cooking’ it also made me a bit of extra gold. The salmon are easy to catch in the river and there are several other ingredients around the town that can be easily cooked into a meal to sell.

    Not too much money to be made, and if you looted a few places on the way it may not be worth it 🙂

  2. useful but do you have any tips on the actual character, according to my friends differents races have different abilities so I dont know what to choose, any tips?

    1. I’ve added each Race and their traits, hope it helps 😀 Thanks for your feedback. The majority of the racial abilities are useless but the resistances can help depending on build.

  3. A LOT of those racials are wrong (at least on the PC version).

    High elf get +50 magicka
    orc does not get magic resistance
    breton’s magic resist is 25%
    breton does not get +magicka

    1. Yeah got your message on the forums also, the information I was given for that part of the article was from the general Elder Scrolls wiki. I’ve fully updated the article now, thanks for pointing it out. There’s some more info on that link also, I’ll have that added shortly.

  4. You can actually make quite a bit of money early on selling Firewood to Hod, Gerdur’s husband. It works regardless of who you chose at the beginning, and he pays you at the advertised value (5g with no speech perks, I don’t know if it changes).
    Firewood is heavy though and chopping enough to really pay off takes a while …

  5. I started out as a Khajit, and when i started it said i could carry 300 pounds of shtuff. Is that normal? Cause I remember in Oblivion when I started it was like 2 hundo

      1. I know right, do you know how much extra weight you carry with each level up? Cause i’m lvl 21 now and it’s like 350 i think

  6. i have captured the dragon in the castle and he has flown me to the mountains and all that jazz. once defeating 2 dragons from the get go i went inside the building and i have to twist pillars to open a gate. i cant figure out what way i have to turn the pillars. can anyone help me?

    1. Haven’t done it myself but if it’s like any of the other puzzles, the clue is either on an object in your inventory like the Dragon Claws or in the surrounding area. Look for statues with symbols on them or anything like that. Hopefully someone can give more precise info 🙂

  7. Actually to answer the carrying weight question, its affected by your Stamina now(when you level up). It was advised to me by a friend and it did make a difference before I scrapped my character and restarted. Accidentally killed Sven and had everyone gunning for me.

  8. I just started playing Skyrim, and i suck at it… I keep getting attacked, is there any reason they could be doing this? It happens sometimes when i walk into Riverwood, i walk into a bar or something, and everyone attacks me. Why do you think this is?

    1. Are you wanted in the area you’re getting attacked in? If you’ve attacked someone before, in that town, or picked something up with the icon being red. You’ll be attacked on sight.

  9. When you first get to Riverwood, head East and go around the lower ridge that Bleak Falls sits on. You should see a shack marker pop up on your screen. Go there and kill the single occupant, she’s not that tough. Once you’ve done that, you can raid the shack. There’s a skill book (alchemy) worth 50g, some soul gems and ingredients, and the enchanted cloak on your victim. Inside the shack, there is a trap door by the bed. Go down below to find an alchemy lab and enchanting table, as well as more ingredients, soul gems, and random stuff. For an early chracter, it’s a good haul, and gives you a place to enchant and create potions if you incur a bounty somewhere.

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