The world of Skyrim is vast, filled with dragons, mystical creatures, and endless adventures. As you embark on your journey through this epic realm, one of the first decisions you’ll make is choosing your character’s race. With ten different races to choose from, each offering unique abilities and attributes, it’s vital to make an informed choice. In this guide, we’ll rank the races in Skyrim from worst to best, taking into account their abilities, strengths, and how they complement different character builds.
Ranking the Races: From Worst to Best
Homeland: Elsweyr Unique Power: Night Eye Bonus Effect: +15% Base Unarmed Damage
At the bottom of the list are the Khajiit. While they may be intriguing for their feline nature, their abilities are generally lackluster. Night Eye provides better night vision, but it’s not significantly useful in the well-lit world of Skyrim. Unarmed damage is a niche interest, making them a less practical choice.
Homeland: Black Marsh Unique Power: Histskin Bonus Effect: 50% Disease Resistance, Waterbreathing
Argonians boast a unique set of skills, including Waterbreathing and Histskin, which rapidly regenerates health. However, disease resistance isn’t particularly valuable, and Waterbreathing has limited application, as Skyrim’s underwater world is sparse. Histskin’s healing boost can be handy but is situational.
Homeland: Hammerfell Unique Power: Adrenaline Rush Bonus Effect: 50% Poison Resistance
The Redguards of Hammerfell are well-suited to physical combat, with a focus on One-Handed and Block. Adrenaline Rush provides a burst of stamina regeneration, useful in battle. However, their 50% Poison Resistance might not be as essential as other resistances, making them less versatile.
7. Dunmer (Dark Elves)
Homeland: Morrowind Unique Power: Ancestor’s Wrath Bonus Effect: 50% Fire Resistance
The Dunmer’s natural resistance to fire and their Ancestor’s Wrath ability can be handy. They excel as mage-rogue hybrids with a bonus in Destruction. However, they aren’t the best in either category, making them a balanced but not extraordinary choice.
6. Bosmer (Wood Elves)
Homeland: Valenwood Unique Power: Command Animal Bonus Effect: 50% Disease Resistance, 50% Poison Resistance
Bosmer’s poison and disease resistance make them durable against certain foes. Command Animal is fun but situational. However, their skills aren’t as powerful as some of the higher-ranked races for specific character builds.
Homeland: Cyrodiil Unique Power: Voice of the Emperor Bonus Effect: Find More Gold than Usual
Imperials bring unique abilities to the table. Voice of the Emperor can defuse tense situations, and they have a knack for finding more gold. While not combat-focused, their versatile skill set is valuable for a variety of character types.
Homeland: Skyrim Unique Power: Battle Cry Bonus Effect: 50% Frost Resistance
The Nords have an edge in combat, excelling in Two-Handed and Blocking. Their Battle Cry can save you when outnumbered. The 50% Frost Resistance is beneficial in Skyrim, where ice spells are common. Their durability and narrative relevance make them a solid choice.
3. Altmer (High Elves)
Homeland: Summerset Isles Unique Power: Highborn Bonus Effect: +50 Magicka
The High Elves boast exceptional magical aptitude. Their Highborn ability significantly boosts magicka regeneration, making them perfect for mage characters. They excel in Illusion, Conjuration, and more. Their extra magicka is a substantial bonus.
Homeland: High Rock and Orsinium Unique Power: Berserker Rage Bonus Effect: Can join Orc camps without becoming Blood-Kin
Orcs are the formidable warriors of Skyrim, excelling in Heavy Armor and Smithing, making and using powerful weapons and equipment. Their Berserker Rage doubles their damage output and halves the damage received. While it’s limited to once per day, it’s exceptionally potent.
Homeland: High Rock Unique Power: Dragonskin Bonus Effect: 25% Magic Resistance
At the top of our list stands the Breton. Their resistance to magic is invaluable in Skyrim, where magical attacks are abundant. Dragonskin grants them protection against magic, and the bonus conjuration magic and magicka make them a top choice for mages and various character builds. The Breton’s magical resilience sets them apart.
Which will you choose?
Choosing your character’s race in Skyrim is a significant decision. While personal preferences matter, understanding each race’s strengths and weaknesses is essential. The Breton, with their magic resistance, and the Altmer, the masters of magic, are prime choices for many character builds. However, all races have their unique charm, and your adventure in Skyrim will ultimately be shaped by your gameplay style and preferences. Happy adventuring!
Need a Second Opinion?