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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

Basics of Race

By
Scott Peers

This page details the basics of race in Skyrim, including the perks of being an Argonian, Breton, Dark Elf, High Elf, Imperial, Khajiit, Nord, Orc, Redguard, Wood Elf.

The Basics of Race in Skyrim.

Overview of Races in Skyrim

All of the races from the previous Elder Scrolls games are back in Skyrim, although they’ve been tweaked to balance their capabilities. It doesn’t matter much outside of aesthetics in terms of which race you choose to play. Each have their perks, and none have any negative traits which might severely cripple the player in specific situations. However, the perks for each race will still give you an advantage depending on the type of build you’re aiming for. There are specific default stat boosts, starting spells, and special abilities for each race that you’ll need to consider for a build based on your own preferences. We’ve provided an overview of these for each race (click on the hyperlinks below for detailed overviews), along with a brief description of their propensities.

Argonian

“The reptilian race, well-suited for the treacherous swamps of their Black Marsh homeland, has developed a natural resistance to diseases and the ability to breathe underwater. They can call upon the Histskin to regenerate health very quickly.”

Breton

“In addition to their quick and perceptive grasp of spellcraft, even the humblest of High Rock’s Bretons can boast a resistance to magic. Bretons can call upon the Dragonskin power to absorb spells.”

Dark Elf

“Also known as Dunmer in their homeland of Morrowind, Dark Elves are noted for their stealth and magic skills. They are naturally resistant to fire and can call upon their Ancestor’s Wrath to surround themselves in fire.”

High Elf

“Also known as Altmer in their homeland of Summerset Isle, the High Elves are the most strongly gifted in the arcane arts of all the races. They can call upon their Highborn power to regenerate Magicka quickly.”

Imperial

“Natives of Cyrodiil, they have proved to be shrewd diplomats and traders. They are skilled with combat and magic. Anywhere gold coins might be found, Imperials always seem to find a few more. They can call upon the Voice of the Emperor to calm an enemy.”

Khajiit

“Hailing from the province of Elsweyr, they are intelligent, quick, and agile. They make excellent thieves due to their natural stealthiness. All Khajiit can see in the dark at will and have unarmed claw attacks.”

Nord

“Citizens of Skyrim, they are a tall and fair-haired people. Strong and hardy, Nords are famous for their resistance to cold and their talent as warriors. They can use a Battlecry to make opponents flee.”

Orc

“The people of the Wrothgarian and Dragontail Mountains, Orcish smiths are prized for their craftsmanship. Orc troops in Heavy Armor are among the finest in the Empire, and are fearsome when using their Berserker Rage.”

Redguard

“The most naturally talented warriors in Tamriel, the Redguards of Hammerfell have a hardy constitution and a natural resistance to poison. They can call upon an Adrenaline Rush in combat.”

Wood Elf

“The clanfolk of the Western Valenwood forests, also known as Bosmer. Wood Elves make good scouts and thieves, and there are no finer archers in all of Tamriel. They have natural resistances to both poisons and diseases. They can Command Animals to fight for them.”

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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
    17 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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