Basics of Leveling in Skyrim
Skill Levels and Character Levels
In Skyrim, leveling up has been significantly changed from the convoluted system in Oblivion to a more intuitive, simple system, albeit at the unfortunate loss of diversity, but that’s an argument for another time. In essence, when you level up skills in Skyrim (which is done by using said skill) you’ll gain experience towards your overall level. Skill level and overall level can be distinguished by referring to the former as skill levels and the latter as character levels. Swing a sword and you’ll level up the One-Handed skill. Cast a spell from a specific school and you’ll level up that spell school. Brew potions and you’ll level up Alchemy. As skills level up, your character levels up. The higher your skill level, the more experience you’ll get towards your character level, and the higher your character level, the more experience you’ll need.
Attribute and Perk Points
Each time your character level increases you’ll be able to distribute one Attribute point (you’ll be forced to do this upon opening the skills menu) between Magicka, Health, or Stamina. You’ll also be able to distribute one perk point, although you’re not forced to do this and you can save perk points to invest at a later time if you wish. You can see our Attributes and Perks pages to learn more about these in greater detail.