Top 10 Skills In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

In Skyrim, it is essential to pick which skill trees to grace carefully, as you will probably only ever get 50 or so points to allocate. So here are the top 10 skills for the best/most fun gameplay!
The Top Ten
1 One-Handed

Probably a skill I have in all of my accounts and builds I make! It is very versatile as well as powerful, if you invest in all 5 Armsman points, you can deal massive damage with to any opponent as well as probably be the literally the most versatile person in the battle. One-handed allows for the use of other great skills like destruction, block and my personal favorite combo skill, restoration.

One-Handed weapons swing faster than Two-Handed weapons by default, and daggers are the fastest of them all.

Make a Dragon-Bone dagger, use the "Elemental Fury" shout, and watch as your enemies fall to blows that happen so fast they can't yell "HEY WATCH IT! " as they die.

The most essential skill for fighting in skyrim. Combine it with a shield, healing, or destruction spell or just dual wield!

2 Sneak

When you have 100 sneak, you've beat half the game, no questions asked. You can literally walk past any enemy and the damage bonuses you get is OP. Daggers become like 3x stronger than most weapons you'll come across in the first half of the game and if you combine this with pickpocketing, you'll be OP. This is the best skill for thief/assassin, but I can't even recommend investing time into it enough.

If you play stealthily, this is the skill for you! (Or if you want to pickpocket an item instead of killing someone in a quest lol)

I sat in high hrothgar for about an hour punching the gray beards in the back. IT WAS WORTH IT. (If you don't know this trick use it! Wait until one of the gray beards is meditating on the diamond where you first demonstrate your shout inside high hrothgar. Sneak behind him and wait until you're hidden then use your fists to punch them which should do sneak attack damage. Keep repeating this process until your sneak is 100! )

3 Archery

Regardless of whether you go warrior, mage, or a magic knight... you need ranged moves that don't rely on your Magicka.

Very handy if you have melee-oriented followers, since you can stay behind them and let loose.

Archery is very important to Skyrim, because the dragons are most likely going to try to stay away from you and spam shouts. Plus, who doesn't like the slow-motion stealth kills?

Since this is in skyrim and not TES series all together, I'm voting archery. This is because the archery system in skyrim is extremely immense, but overall the games I would say one-handed.

4 Pickpocket

Nothing quite like the meschevious fun of systematically looting a random peasant then just walking off.

Taking people keys for there house? Yes please...

5 Light Armor

While it's not as good as Heavy Armor (in my humble opinion), It's still helpful in situations where speed is more important than tankiness.

Granted, once you get the "Conditioning" perk in Heavy Armor, it's a moot point, but this skill shouldn't be overlooked.
If nothing else, it's some easy leveling if you let a bandit attack, as long as you watch your health.

Sure, Heavy Armour with the right perks can render this useless. But Light armour with the right perks can render even the Daedric Armour useless. Plus the Dragonscale looks badass.

6 Enchanting

I have 100 level enchanting, and one day I decided to create some dragon scale destruction magic armor. After creating it, I was toying around with some spells and suddenly realized I was casting destruction spells and the magicka bar wasn't showing up. That is because the destruction enchantments I used combine to make the suit use 100% less magicka when casting destruction spells, so now I can cast any destruction spell I want, with no cost at all, no matter what level destruction I am skill-wise. Enchanting is by far the most useful, you are invincible if you are good at enchanting, and I think smithing comes into a close second place.

Enchanting can allow you to create superbly powerful equipment, and help with a lot of QOL improvements on many skills. It opens up a plethora of extra buffs and improvements to any character.

Being able to put 2 enchantments on an item is OP. Totally worth upgrading all the way through. This and Smithing are definitely the two most important Skills in the game.

7 Destruction

The only limiting factor is that it's tied to your Magicka. Other than that, it's your jack-of-all-trades combat magic:

Fire = Damage over time, a nice "go-to" element and it's the easiest to level, ideal for taking out "rogue"-type enemies, since they generally have lighter armor the D-O-T has a greater effect, and still happens even if they go invisible.

Frost = Damage to Health AND Stamina, ideal for taking out "warrior"-type enemies, since you stop their power attacks and with the more powerful versions slow their advance, buying you time to make your next move.

Shock = Damage to Health and half that to Magicka, ideal for taking out "mage"-type enemies, since you take the biggest weakness of magic and use it against them, opening them up to other attacks.

As a whole Destruction magic is a Magicka-guzzler, so unless you have an enormous amount of the stuff (or a million Magicka potions) it's a generally better idea to open up attacks with Destruction, and then follow up with more traditional melee attacks.

Even if you abhore magic, get Fire Bolt, Ice Spike, and Lightning Bolt:
- relatively cheap to cast
- reasonable damage to enemies
- combines with the "Impact" perk to knock enemies back.

Regardless, make sure you can aim well, since a missed spell still costs Magicka, and be mindful when using Destruction in a village or town, or the bounty on you will add up faster than you can say "FUS-RO-DAH! "

8 Two-Handed

It may be slower than One-handed, but it is absolutely Devastating even more so when you level it up, the slowness of the weapon is no problem because NPC's don't really block when they should and you can still do plenty of Damage when they are blocking.

Who doesn't want to go around as a tank and destroy everything with the weapons with the highest attack ratings.

Nothing is better than decapitating guards with a greatsword.

9 Smithing

Easy to level if you have the materials, and being able to make Plate armors at level 13 makes you practically untouchable since while enemies scale to your level, their equipment does not.

This in turn allows you to more-or-less stand there in safety to take a few blows (leveling up your Heavy or Light armor skills, depending) or just hold the block button (leveling up your Block skill)

Even better, with the Arcane Smithing perk, you can now upgrade weapons and armor that are enchanted.
A lot of the best equipment in the game you either find enchanted, or you'll want to put enchantments on yourself.

So basically, leveling Smithing will almost directly level Heavy and Light armors, One-Handed and Two-Handed (better weapons = more damage = faster skill leveling), Enchanting, and Block.

That's 7 skills for the price of a bajillion iron daggers. (CHEAP! )

Anyone else level up their character 10 times in a row by forging 500 iron daggers?

10 Conjuration

He does all of the dirty work and you come in for the final blow and it's like having a second follow. Why learn destruction spells when you can have someone else do them for you. Also, conjuring Dremora who doesn't want to do that.

Spamming soul trap on a corpse to level up Conjuration to 50 quickly, and summoning expert level summons afterwards can be a way to level up almost as quickly as smithing. Wouldn't recommend it, though.

Bound bow, enough said.

The Contenders
11 Alchemy

Alchemy is a tie with Enchanting for most useful. The route to power in Skyrim is understanding that effects stack. Once you have acquired items with Fortify Alchemy this skill becomes a beast. High level alchemists equipped with a full suit of enchanted gear can craft potions in mass quantities that sell for $1000s of $$$ and can essentially make you the master of any trade, potions that make your Smithing 150% more powerful or your destruction magic, or your sneaking or... you get the idea. Alchemy is also easy to level. The key to is purchase every ingredient in shops and pick every flower and butterfly you see and craft grind those potions out.

Alchemy is a way to immortality in this game, it's how you become mortal immortal. You only need this and enchanting to become a real beast.

The most profitable skill which is useful in most situations-potions can be used for pretty much everything.

12 Heavy Armor

The advantage/disadvantage between Heavy and Light armor is very much what you would expect.
Heavy = greater protection, slower movement
Light = lesser protection, faster movement

But Heavy armor has the perk "Conditioning", which removes any speed/Stamina penalty.
That alone makes Heavy armor the superior armor.

Light armor is better for Sneaking, yes, but if you're wearing Heavy armor, you're not bothering with Sneaking in the first place, so the only real change is going from a tank who can go 20 mph to a tank that can go 50 mph.

All the benefits, but now you can slay your enemies even faster.

Heavy Armour works really well as long as you have two-handed weapon, crossbow (or a good bow) and either lots of Magika potions with fast healing or lots of healing potions. Also, conditioning.

Superior to Light armor at any given point, the only downside is your early game. For Skyrim veterans heavy armor is a must.

13 Speech

Very well may be the hardest to level up and maybe even the most expensive (next to Smiting, Alchemy, and Enchanting) but you're going to have to buy items if you can't obtain them otherwise due to sparsity, or lack of time. Plus it's a great way to make a little extra money with all the potions and enchanted weapons that you're blessing the lands of Skyrim with.

If you have a high enough speech you can kill someone in the middle of a town and tell the guards you didn't do it and they'll believe you. It's hilarious

Speech Is A Basic, and awfully overlooked, awesome skill. Bribing guards, investing in stores...

14 Restoration

It doesn't matter who you are or how powerful your build if you're dead because of low Health.

It can be perked to restore Stamina, which greatly aids Block for infinite shield-bashing; plus infinite sprinting is utilitarian perfection.

An easy-to-miss perk with two ranks improves your Magicka regeneration by 50%, which stacks with any other Magicka-regen you may have; which means more healing, more Stamina-regen; which means more baddies dead and you not dead.

And if that wasn't enough, there's ANOTHER perk that effectively saves your life for free with only a minute-or-so cooldown.

So on the off-chance you nearly bite the dust, you come back from the brink, ready to finish the fight.

Even the most edgey red-n-black lone-wolf-wannabe would be remiss to not have this skill.

Some of the most difficult battles can be won by simple positioning.
So to position correctly, you need to sprint to keep the enemy chasing you, which costs stamina.
With the right perk, Restoration (healing) can restore your stamina.
Which means you always have the means to survive a fight.

No one is going to remember your failed frontal assault where you died, but they'll always remember you getting away fast enough to take it down on the second try.

15 Alteration
16 Illusion
17 Lockpick

If you want to get really good treasure or fight karastaag you need better lockpick!

Very useful for thieves

18 Block

In terms of shields I would only use the spellbreaker for its amazing ability to double as a ward. I use it to obliterate ancient dragons.

Block is so easily ignored, but it is incredibly useful. It can save your life and eventually be used as a weapon!

Imagine never taking melee damage from any foe unless you are staggered

19 Stamina
20 Sneak Archer
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