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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Leveling Up

Scott Peers

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.

(1 of 2) You can distribute attribute points between Magicka, Health, and Stamina each time you level up.

You can distribute attribute points between Magicka, Health, and Stamina each time you level up. (left), You’ll earn experience with a specific skill the more you use it, thereby leveling it and gaining access to more skill-specific perks. (right)


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Guide Information

  • Publisher
    Bethesda Softworks
  • Platforms
    PC, PS3, PS4, Switch, XB 360, XB One
  • Genre
    Action RPG
  • Guide Release
    31 May 2012
  • Last Updated
    26 October 2021
    Version History
  • Guide Author
    Greg Wright

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Skyrim is the homeland of the Nords, a fierce and proud warrior people who are used to the bitter cold and mountanous terrain that mark the lands of Skyrim. Wracked by civil war, and threatened by the return of the legendary dragons, Skyrim faces its darkest hour. You must make sense of this maelstrom, explore the frozen tundra and bring hope to the people. The future of Skyrim, even the Empire itself, hangs in the balance as they wait for the prophesized Dragonborn to come; a hero born with the power of The Voice, and the only one who can stand amongst the dragons. You are that Dragonborn.

Version 1.2

  • Introduction to the Races.
  • How to complete every storyline quest.
  • Where to find and conquer every side-mission.
  • Location of every powerful Dragonwall.
  • Search out and defeat every Dragon.
  • How to find hidden, powerful weapons.
  • Over 200 captioned screenshots provide even more help.
  • Dragonborn DLC covered in full.
  • Dawnguard DLC covered in full.
  • Screenshots for the major side-missions.
  • Achievements/Trophy descriptions (includes all 3 DLC packs).
  • Character Creation guide.

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