Since it’s so important not to get lost in the wide world, here’s a few things you should do first in Skyrim to make the most of your arrival.
There’s nothing worse than leveling up and not knowing where you want to put your next skill point. It’s important to have a good understanding of the type of person you want your character to be when setting out on your adventure. Will you be a Warrior, Mage, or Thief? Or maybe something in between? Will you focus on secondary crafting skills, or go all in on combat?
Generally, it’s good to pick a handful of Skills you want to build on, rather than spreading your skill points between every skill tree – or only focusing on one. Pick skills that best augment your playstyle: For example, someone wanting to be a thief should look to Stealth, Pickpocket, Lockpicking, and a weapon skill like Archery or One-Handed.
Be sure to take advantage of IGN’s Skill Builder to experiment with different builds to map out your chosen character as they level up!
Standing Stones are large magical stones scattered across Skyrim. In previous games, you would pick a sign to be born under as part of the character creation process – but in Skyrim you have the option to go out and choose that sign, and even swap to other signs.
A Standing Stone, once interacted with, will provide a free bonus at all times that range from a once-per-day free spell, to increases to stats or even an experience gain. The effect will never go away until the player picks another standing stone to swap effects.
Fast traveling is fun, but when you need to get to a new area, sometimes your legs just aren’t good enough.
To get a free horse – without stealing! – you need to take a trip to the northern coast – North of Windhelm and West of Winterhold, along the coast South of Bleakcoast Cave. Head along the coast and you should spot an abandoned campfire – with the horse waiting for a new owner! Unlike stealing a horse, you can ride it wherever you please and it won’t trigger guards to arrest you.
After beginning your adventure, you’ll find that not many places will just let you waltz in like you own the place. If you enjoy finding a place to rest your head but don’t want to be spending all of your hard earned money on renting a room, there are a few quick fixes – Guilds.
The Companions, The College of Winterhold, and the Thieves’ Guild will all give you a room in their headquarters if you agree to join their ranks. Even if you don’t end up doing any other quests for them – they’ll at least provide a place to stay in some of the major Holds. You can join the Companions in Whiterun, the Thieves’ Guild in Riften, and the Mages at Winterhold.
Being a Dragonborn really has more effects when you have the power to unleash powerful Shouts – and the more shouts you have in your repertoire, the better. You can find Shout Locations in lots of areas around Skyrim – but here’s a few quick locations:
Skyrim can be a lonely place to explore all by yourself – so why not find someone to adventure with (and more importantly, carry all your loot).
Followers can serve a variety of useful purposes – like helping in a fight, moving to cover certain locations or perform actions while you have your sights elsewhere, and of course, carrying loot so you can bring back more treasure from your dungeon delving. Best of all, a permanent follower will be marked as a Protected NPC – meaning they can never die (unless you kill them yourself) and only be knocked down into a state of recovery in battle.
It sounds crazy, but sometimes reading Books can be good for you! There are certain books in Skyrim that will grant you increases to certain Skills upon reading them. Others may even put map markers on the world and let you discover new places. Best of all – you don’t need to steal books to read them, and just briefly glancing at the contents is all you need to get any potential rewards.
A good rule of thumb is if the book has a high sell value, it probably has a skill bonus it can impart upon being read.
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