Understanding Attribute Points in Skyrim
There are three attributes in Skyrim: Magicka, Health and Stamina. Each of these have a base amount of 100 when you start a new character, and every time your character level increases you can improve one of these three attributes by ten points per character level. Although perk points are the real substance of character customization, attributes can’t be ignored when it comes to planning your build, either. After all, a low Health warrior won’t be in the fight for long regardless of where they spend their points. A character with low Stamina won’t be able to sprint or perform power attacks/aimed shots as frequently, and mages with low Magicka won’t be able to cast the more powerful spells.
Magicka is consumed whenever you cast spells, the exact amount depends on the potency of the spell, your skill level in the spell’s related skill tree and what perks you have invested in said skill tree. This might seem like an obvious investment for aspiring magic-users, but alas, this attribute isn’t worth improving if you plan to spend some time leveling up your skills. If you level up your Enchanting skill you’ll be able to create armor that reduces the Magicka cost of a spell school, and several such pieces worn together can eliminate the Magicka cost of such spells entirely. When properly enchanted, you can wear whatever armor you wish and cast up to two spell schools without worrying about Magicka consumption. You should only need to invest in Magicka if you plan to play through the game without bothering with crafting at all.
This one is fairly obvious. The more you invest in health, the more damage you’ll be able to take before you succumb to your wounds and die. Although armor and resistance ratings play a significant role in keeping you alive (see our How to Stay Alive guide for more info on that), you’ll still need a good pool of health to work with in most fights, so we recommend investing in health first, and maintaining a steady investment as you level. If you’re aiming to create a warrior type class, health will be your most important attribute to ensure that you can take a beating in a fierce fight. However, you’ll still need a reasonable pool of stamina to maintain heavy attacks, or to get yourself out of a dangerous situation quickly when necessary.
The stamina attribute is arguably most useful for archer builds, with warriors coming in at a close second. As an archer, you’ll need a good supply of stamina to keep firing shots at a distance, since each shot consumes a fair amount of stamina. Alongside this use, you’ll also want to have a reasonable amount to work with even after you’ve fired a number of shots, to ensure that you can escape enemies who might come within melee range. As a warrior, performing power attacks and shield bashes will consume a lot of stamina if you spam them. You’ll need to learn how to use them wisely, when each attack type is most effective for particular fights. If you’re going for more of a rogue build, you’ll still consume stamina when rolling while in stealth. Stamina, then, is useful for almost any build type.