The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is an open-world action role-playing game that allows players to create their characters and embark on an epic journey through the breathtaking landscapes of Skyrim. One of the most important decisions you’ll make during character creation is choosing a race. Each race has unique abilities and attributes, which can significantly impact your gameplay experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll discuss the best race in Skyrim for various playstyles, including mages, warriors, assassins, archers, vampires, werewolves, sword and shield users, and two-handed weapon wielders.
Best Race in Skyrim for Mages
Mages in Skyrim rely on their magical prowess to deal damage, support allies, and control the battlefield. The High Elf (or Altmer) is considered the best race for mages, thanks to their racial bonuses.
High Elves start with +50 Magicka, giving them a significant advantage in casting spells from the beginning of the game. They also have the Highborn ability, which allows them to regenerate Magicka rapidly once per day. This ability can be a lifesaver during difficult battles when your Magicka pool depletes quickly. High Elves are naturally talented in the five schools of magic: Destruction, Restoration, Alteration, Illusion, and Conjuration.
Best Race in Skyrim for Warriors
Warriors are melee fighters that rely on heavy armor and powerful weapons to defeat their enemies. The best race for warriors is the Orc (or Orsimer).
Orcs have the Berserker Rage ability, which grants them double damage output and half damage taken for 60 seconds once per day. This ability can turn the tide of battle in your favor, especially during boss fights or challenging encounters. Orcs also have a natural affinity for Heavy Armor, which provides excellent protection in close combat. Their starting bonuses in One-Handed and Two-Handed weapons make them effective melee damage dealers from the start.
Best Race in Skyrim for Assassins
Assassins in Skyrim specialize in stealth, sneak attacks, and eliminating targets without raising suspicion. The best race for assassins is the Dark Elf (or Dunmer).
Dark Elves have the Ancestor’s Wrath ability, which surrounds them in a cloak of fire for 60 seconds, dealing damage to nearby enemies. This ability can be useful when escaping or when facing multiple enemies in close quarters. They also have a natural resistance to fire, making them more resilient against fire-based attacks. Dark Elves have starting bonuses in Sneak, Light Armor, and One-Handed skills, which are essential for a successful assassin build.
Best Race in Skyrim for Archers
Archers rely on their bows and arrows to deal damage from a distance. The best race for archers in Skyrim is the Wood Elf (or Bosmer).
Wood Elves have the Command Animal ability, which allows them to control an animal once per day. This can be useful for distracting enemies while you pick them off from a safe distance. Wood Elves also have a natural resistance to poison and disease, making them more survivable in the wilds of Skyrim. Their starting bonuses in Archery, Light Armor, and Sneak make them excellent choices for archer builds.
Best Race in Skyrim for Vampires
Vampires are undead creatures with unique abilities, such as health and stamina regeneration, increased resistance to frost, and weakness to fire. The best race for vampires in Skyrim is the Breton.
Bretons have the Dragonskin ability, which allows them to absorb 50% of Magicka from hostile spells for 60 seconds once per day. This ability can be particularly useful for a vampire character, as they often face enemies wielding magical attacks. Bretons also have a natural 25% resistance to magic, which further enhances their survivability against magical threats. This resistance, combined with the natural benefits of being a vampire, makes Bretons an excellent choice for vampire builds. Their starting bonuses in Conjuration, Illusion, and Alteration are also beneficial for a vampire character, who often relies on magic to control and deceive their enemies.
Best Race in Skyrim for Werewolves
Werewolves are fearsome beasts that can transform into powerful wolf-like creatures with enhanced strength, speed, and stamina. The best race for werewolves in Skyrim is the Nord.
Nords have the Battle Cry ability, which causes all nearby enemies to flee in fear for 30 seconds once per day. This ability can be helpful for a werewolf character, allowing them to control the battlefield and isolate their targets. Nords also have a natural 50% resistance to frost, which is beneficial in the cold climate of Skyrim. Their starting bonuses in Two-Handed, One-Handed, and Block make them effective melee fighters, which complements the werewolf’s focus on close-quarters combat.
Best Race in Skyrim for Sword and Shield Users
Sword and shield users are versatile combatants who can dish out damage while also providing excellent defense. The best race for sword and shield users is the Redguard.
Redguards have the Adrenaline Rush ability, which allows them to regenerate Stamina ten times faster for 60 seconds once per day. This ability is particularly useful for sword and shield users who frequently perform power attacks, blocks, and shield bashes. Redguards also have a natural resistance to poison, making them more durable in combat. Their starting bonuses in One-Handed, Block, and Smithing make them well-rounded fighters who can excel in both offense and defense.
Best Race in Skyrim for Two-Handed Weapons
Two-handed weapon users are fearsome warriors who deal massive damage with each swing of their weapon. The best race for two-handed weapon users is the Nord.
As previously mentioned, Nords have the Battle Cry ability and a natural 50% resistance to frost. These abilities, combined with their starting bonuses in Two-Handed, One-Handed, and Block, make them formidable melee fighters. The Two-Handed skill is particularly useful for dealing massive damage and staggering enemies, allowing Nords to dominate the battlefield with their fearsome presence.
Choosing the best race in Skyrim ultimately depends on your preferred playstyle and the type of character you want to create. Each race has unique abilities and attributes that can significantly impact your gameplay experience. By understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each race, you can make a more informed decision and create a character that aligns with your desired playstyle.
To summarize, the best race in Skyrim for each playstyle is:
- Mages: High Elf (Altmer)
- Warriors: Orc (Orsimer)
- Assassins: Dark Elf (Dunmer)
- Archers: Wood Elf (Bosmer)
- Vampires: Breton
- Werewolves: Nord
- Sword and Shield Users: Redguard
- Two-Handed Weapon Users: Nord
Keep in mind that the recommendations provided in this guide are not the only viable options. Skyrim is a highly customizable game that allows for a wide range of character builds and playstyles. Feel free to experiment with different races and skills to create a unique and enjoyable gameplay experience tailored to your preferences.