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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Fus Ro Dah!!! This guide contains a thorough walkthrough for all the main and side quests in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and detailed maps of all available locations.

Last update: 02 June 2020

The Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim is one of the biggest games in history. It is almost impossible to learn all its elements by yourself, so we created this tutorial. It contains a complete walkthrough describing all the quests present in the game (main, side, Deadric, Guild-related, and those related to the civil war), as well as their branching paths and alternative ways of completing them. A set of several hundred maps included in the guide should make navigating the unfriendly North easier, and descriptions of skills and races will certainly answer your questions. Our lists of skill books, teachers, traders, Shouts, standing stones, companions, spells as well as blacksmith and alchemical schemes (crafting) should also prove useful. If that wasn't enough, the guide also contains a number of useful tips on combat, exploration, committing crime, being a vampire or a werewolf. We have no doubt that this is the largest compendium that can be found on the Internet.

TES 5 Skyrim is one of the largest and most popular RPGs by Bethesda Softworks. We move again to Tamriel, the continent from The Elder Scrolls universe. The eponymous land of Skyrim is located in the northern part of the continent and is largely covered with snow. The character we created is a Dovahkiin, a dragon hunter capable of absorbing the souls of defeated flying beasts and learning abilities called Dragon Shouts.

The freedom of action makes Skyrim stand out from other RPGs. We can create a character representing one of several available races and develop it towards our preferred style of play. The game doesn't force you to focus on the main plot and then doing the side quests. You can also complete many other tasks related to, e.g. the civil war in Skyrim, or those that are part of various guilds found in this country. Free exploration is equally interesting. Hundreds of interesting locations like cities, villages, camps, ruins or dungeons inhabited by a variety of monsters are waiting for you to explore.

Tutorial content for the Elder Scrolls 5 Skyrim

  1. Walkthroughs for all main, side, daedric, guild and civil war quests - along with different ways of completing them;
  2. List of all trainers, merchants, skill books, shouts, companions, standing stones and spells;
  3. Tips for alchemy, blacksmithing and other types of crafting along with the lists of all recipes;
  4. Hundreds of maps depicting frozen lands of Skyrim as well as those showing the insides of the buildings and dungeons;
  5. List of all skills with instructions on how to use them properly;
  6. A set of builds for your character;
  7. Combat, exploration and general tips.

A few useful tips

  1. You can change the difficulty level of the game at will. You do not need to complete the entire game at the difficulty level selected at the beginning of the campaign. You can even change the difficulty settings during battles if they prove too difficult.
  2. You don't have to focus on the main storyline. This is because some of the later main quests involve fights with difficult opponents. We recommend focusing on The Way of the Voice, one of the starting quests.
  3. Saving frequently can save your skin. We are talking, in particular, about situations in which the hero will suddenly encounter enemies that are too strong. Saving the game will protect you from the consequences of bad decisions made during the quests.
  4. Get rid of unnecessary items on a regular basis. Excess loot can be stored in the hero's house or sold to merchants. Each item has its own weight - carrying too many items in the inventory will make your character overburdened.
  5. Join a companion to your team as soon as possible. Traveling with another character is helpful, e.g. during more challenging fights. The first companion - a warrior named Lydia - can be easily recruited by completing Dragon Rising main quest.
  6. Don't focus on developing only one skill. It is very desirable to develop different skills. Thanks to this, your character can level up faster. These additional skills can be useful in specific situations, for example, while performing quests related to the guilds.
  7. Repeating actions allows you to develop skills faster. In Skyrim, skills increase as you perform related actions. You can "cheat" a little by, e.g. casting spells repeatedly.
  8. Don't get caught stealing. Every time someone sees you commit a crime, that character will try to tell the guards. This increases the fine you will have to pay once you get caught. Rely on stealth and pickpocketing skills and try to steal during the night.
  9. Use the cart to visit the main cities. We recommend you to act this way in the first hours of the game. Hiring a cart isn't expensive. Also, when you visit a major city, you will be able to fast travel to it for free.
  10. Explore locations in 100%. Haste isn't recommended - always make sure you have discovered and searched all available rooms. The most valuable loot is usually stored in containers in the farthest rooms of any dungeon.

More detailed versions of these tips and tricks can be found on the Starting Tips page.

I have a problem and I'm looking for answers

Below we have listed popular questions and problems that may arise while playing Skyrim. All the issues discussed below have been described in more detail on separate pages of our guide.

  1. Can I romance the NPCs? - Skyrim doesn't have traditional romances like those found in, e.g. the RPGs made by BioWare. You don't gradually build relationships with any of the characters to have a closer romance.
  2. How to get married? - This is an alternative to the lack of romance options with NPCs. Your character can get married. Temple of Mara in the Riften and talk to Maramal about a marriage. You have to get Mara's amulet which you can buy, e.g. from Maramal. After wearing the amulet during conversations with some NPCs, you will get a dialog option to propose a marriage. Depending on the NPC, it may be necessary to fulfill additional conditions or desires. A positive response leads to a wedding and living in the same house (in the hero's house or the NPC's).
  3. Can I get rid of the vampire and werewolf curse? - Fortunately, you can get rid of the vampirism and lycanthropy. You don't have to suffer from them throughout the entire playthrough. You can stop being a vampire by visiting a mage named Falion in Morthal and start Rising at Dawn side quest. You can stop being a werewolf by doing Glory of the Dead side quest related to the Companions faction - the one where you have to throw the head of the Witch's from Glenmoril into fire in Ysgramor's Tomb.
  4. Is it possible to continue playing after completing the main storyline? - Yes, after completing the last main quest called Dragonslayer your character goes back to Skyrim. This will allow you to continue exploring the world as well as completing all the side quests you have missed.
  5. How to defeat the first dragon in the game? - You can't fight the dragon in the prologue, the only thing you can do is to run away. The first mandatory encounter with the dragon happens during Dragon Rising main quest when a dragon attacks Whiterun. Battle tactics depend on your style of play. If you're fighting from a distance, wait for the beast to slow down or land to have a better chance shooting it. If you are using magic, avoid fire spells. If you are using melee weapons, wait until the dragon lands and try to attack it from the side or behind.
  6. How to defeat the final boss - Alduin? - The final battle with Alduin happens during the last main quest called Dragonslayer. The key to winning this battle is to force Alduin to land by using Dragonrend Shout. Remember to always wait for a good moment to use the Shout so that it won't be wasted. You can attack Alduin from a distance (aim around its head) or in direct fight (attack it from the side or behind while your allies are distracting the dragon).
  7. Does the choice of gender affect the course of the game? - No, your character's gender isn't important. Don't expect significant differences when completing quests, nor that a given gender will unlock unique romance options. Minor changes may concern, e.g. dialog lines spoken by the NPCs.
  8. How to increase skills faster? - There are several ways to do it. The most obvious method is to repeat the same actions, even outside of quests or when you aren't fighting at that moment. You can, for example, intentionally block all enemy attacks or cast spells even when there is no one in sight. There are also two special ways to improve your skills - you can acquire and read skill books or have (paid) trainings.
  9. How to use fast travel? - It is very simple - just open the world map and choose any of the discovered locations. It may even be a place you haven't explored yet (just walk past that location to discover it). Fast travel is only possible if you aren't in a dungeon/building and aren't currently fighting any enemies.
  10. Why can't I enter a location? - There may be several reasons. The most obvious obstacle is that the location is closed. You have to use your Lockpicking skills or get the key to that door. Several unique locations in the game (e.g. Goldenglow Estate) are unlocked only after starting the related quests.
  11. Is it possible to escape from prison? - Yes, it is possible, though it is difficult to do. Your hero can get in jail after breaking the law, getting caught by a guard and voluntarily surrendering. To break out of the prison, use Lockpicking on the cell doors. Then, you have to find the chest with your equipment and get to the exit (you can sneak around or fight the guards). Unfortunately, you can't escape from the mine in Markart.

List of all main quests

The main quests are only a small part of the content offered by Skyrim. By doing them you not only learn more about the main storyline, but also visit important places and get unique treasures and Dragon Shouts. Below you will find a list of the main quests in Skyrim.

Side quests in Skyrim are divided into several different categories - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide
  1. The prologue is a brief introduction to the story, involving the use of a character editor.
  2. Unbound on separate pages of the guide, we described the collaboration with Hadvar or Ralof (you can travel only with one of them).
  3. Before the Storm - this quest has a different beginning, depending on your choice in the previous quests. In the end, the protagonist can meet either with Alvor or Gerdur.
  4. Bleak Falls Barrow is the first major dungeon explored during the main quest.
  5. Dragon Rising in this task, the hero will face their first boss, the dragon attacking Whiterun.
  6. The Way of the Voice is the quest related to the first ascent to mount Hrothgar and unlocking of Dragon shouts.
  7. In The Horn of Jurgen Windcaller, the main character has to explore yet another dungeon to acquire the eponymous horn.
  8. A Blade in the Dark in cooperation with Delphine, you need to visit the grave of a dragon and defeat the next beast.
  9. Diplomatic Immunity is a difficult quest requiring us to infiltrate an Embassy and find information about dragons.
  10. A Cornered Rat requires the hero to find Esbern.
  11. A Chance Arrangement is an optional quest, which you may or may not be given. The task requires you to steal Madesi's ring.
  12. Alduin's Wall is another big quest, this time about reaching Karthspire in order to discover its secrets.
  13. The Throat of the World has the hero visit the eponymous location and meet the dragon Paarthurnax.
  14. Elder Knowledge is a long and complex quest that involves visiting Winterhold and exploring the ruins in search of an Elder Scroll.
  15. Alduin's Bane During this mission, you will have to face Alduin for the first time, but the boss fight will not end with the dragon's defeat.
  16. The Fallen is a mission whose objective is to capture the dragon Odahviing with the intention of interrogating the beast.
  17. Season Unending is an extensive quest, in which we participate in peace negotiations, which may end in several ways.
  18. Paarthurnax is an additional quest that involves having to fight the eponymous dragon as an optional boss.
  19. The World-Eater's Eyrie will have the hero free Odahviing and go to Skuldafn.
  20. Sovngard is a quest that precedes the final boss battle. During doing this quest, you will have to defeat a mini-boss - Nord god called Tsun.
  21. Dragonslayer is the last main quest. The main character will face the final battle against the dragon Alduin.

All categories of side quests in Skyrim

Side quests in Skyrim are divided into several different categories. We have listed all the types of side quests below. It is worth noting that this division isn't official - we did that to make it easier to find some side quests in the guide. Don't expect an identical division in the protagonist's journal.

1 - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide
  1. The Dark Brotherhood - They can be treated as a "guild of assassins". The vast majority of quests of this faction is about eliminating specific targets. Not all of these tasks are related to the Dark Brotherhood's main storyline. They can also be small assassination orders.
  2. Companions - Warriors' guild in Whiterun. However, the Companions hide a secret - lycanthropy. In addition to learning about this secret you can also join the blood ritual to become a werewolf yourself.
  3. College of Winterhold - This place serves as the location for the "mages guild". You visit Winterhold during the main storyline. You can decide for yourself whether you want to visit the mages early in the game and whether you want to join them and complete their side quests.
  4. Thieves Guild - Your hero will have to do a lot of stealth and theft here. In addition to the main quests, there are many small orders where you have to steal less valuable items.
  5. Civil War in Skyrim - This is the most unusual category of side quests, because you have to choose from the Imperial Legion or Stormcloaks. This significantly changes the course of the quests. Also, depending on the selected faction you may have to, for example, protect or capture a city.
  6. Daedric quests - These are rather extensive side quests associated with the various Daedric deities. Each of these quests gives you an opportunity to acquire a Daedric artifact. Getting them, however, can only be possible if the hero has made the right decisions during the quest.
  7. The Bards College - One of the minor factions. You can complete only one big quest and several small tasks.
  8. The Blades and the Greybeards quests - Don't count that these quests offer an extensive story or that they are complex.
  9. Side quests - We have described all the other side quests in a separate chapter. They are those quests that aren't Daedric quests, aren't associated with any of the factions and don't concern the Civil War. These quests can be completely independent of other categories, or be associated with them to some extent.

World map and all locations in Skyrim

Skyrim is a game with a huge world map - the picture above shows that - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Skyrim is a game with a huge world map - the picture above shows that. Important information is that the locations aren't marked on it right away. You need to visit these places personally to add them to the world map.

You can discover these locations yourself or use our world atlas. All the basic information about locations can be found in the World maps section:

  1. List of all locations - We have prepared a complete list of places to discover along with directions where to find them.
  2. All North-West locations in Skyrim - This is sector 1 on the map in our world atlas.
  3. All Northern locations in Skyrim - This is sector 2 on the map in our world atlas.
  4. All North-East locations in Skyrim - This is sector 3 on the map in our world atlas.
  5. All Eastern locations in Skyrim - This is sector 4 on the map in our world atlas.
  6. All central locations in Skyrim - This is sector 5 on the map in our world atlas.
  7. All Western locations in Skyrim - This is sector 6 on the map in our world atlas.
  8. All South-West locations in Skyrim - This is sector 7 on the map in our world atlas.
  9. All Southern locations in Skyrim - This is sector 8 on the map in our world atlas.
  10. All South-Eastern locations in Skyrim - This is sector 9 on the map in our world atlas.

Is Skyrim a long game?

Yes, Skyrim is a very long game with a lot of content - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Yes, Skyrim is a very long game with a lot of content. The main storyline itself should provide you with about 30 hours of gameplay (a lot depends on the chosen difficulty level and time spent on exploration of the locations visited during the main plot) and this is just the beginning of your adventure..

You can spend more than 100 hours if you decide to do the side quests - the game offers a huge number of them and many of these quests (especially Daedric quests and story missions related to the Guilds) are quite extensive. They can require you to, e.g. investigate, sneak into large estates or explore vast dungeons full of monsters. You can spend even more time with the game if you want to get trophies/achievements (some of them are quite time consuming) and DLCs - each of the three big expansions for Skyrim offers a few or a dozen hours of content.

A set of information about the length of the game, as well as the approximate amount of time you have to spend with its individual elements can be found on How long does it take to complete Skyrim? page.

Does Skyrim have a difficult platinum trophy?

The platinum trophy in Skyrim isnt difficult to get - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

The platinum trophy in Skyrim isn't difficult to get. Don't expect, however, only positive information, as unlocking the platinum trophy can be very time consuming and take you more than 100 hours. The time-consuming factor of Skyrim's is affected by several major factors - you need to complete most of the major quests, collect 100,000 gold coins and reach level 50.

Fortunately, the game can be played at any difficulty level (as well as change it freely). In addition, you need to complete the campaign only once, although you have to be careful in Daedric quests to not lose the chance of getting the artifacts.

A full set of information about all trophies/achievements in Skyrim can be found in the Trophy Guide.

Do Skyrim Special Edition and Skyrim VR offer extra content?

Theoretically not, though a lot depends on how we treat both of these releases - The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Theoretically not, though a lot depends on how we treat both of these releases:

  1. Skyrim Special Edition is an updated version of the game developed mainly with the PS4, XONE and Switch in mind, although also published on PC. The edition features high quality graphics and, for the first time in Skyrim's history, the option to play it in a portable form on the Nintendo console. Special Edition includes all expansions - you don't need to purchase them separately.
  2. Skyrim VR is prepared for virtual reality goggles (PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive). The biggest novelty is a new way of playing the game - we can use motion controllers to control the limbs of the hero, for example, to attack with a sword or spells. We move around the world by making small jumps/teleportation to avoid possible nausea resulting from smooth movement.

It is worth noting that Special Edition and VR versions have the same achievements as the main version of the game. These, however, are separate lists of trophies/achievements, which means that you can earn them again by playing a different edition of Skyrim.

Does Skyrim have high system requirements?

The basic version of Skyrim has very low system requirements. They are as follows:

  1. Operating system: Windows 7/Vista/XP PC (32 or 64 bit)
  2. Processor: Dual Core 2.0 GHz
  3. RAM: 2 GB
  4. Disk space: 6GB
  5. Video card: DirectX 9.0c compatible with 512MB of RAM

Special Edition has higher system requirements because it offers various graphical improvements (e.g. higher resolution textures). They are as follows:

  1. Operating system: Windows 7/8. 1/10 (64-bit versions only)
  2. Processor: Intel i5-750 / AMD Phenom II X4 945
  3. RAM: 8GB
  4. Disk space: 12GB
  5. Video card: NVIDIA GTX 470 1GB / AMD HD 7870 2GB

Are there any cheats for Skyrim?

Yes, there are cheats that make the game easier. They are only available in the PC version. Below you can find information on how to unlock cheats as well as the list of the most important ones:

Press ~ key to open the console window. You can now enter the cheats.

  1. advancepclevel - you gain a level
  2. advancepcskill x y - develop a skill by x o y levels (instead of x, enter the name of the skill, for example, Destruction; instead of y, enter a value, for example, 10)
  3. advskill x y - develop a skill by x o y points (instead of x, enter the name of the skill, for example, Destruction; instead of y, enter a value, for example, 10)
  4. kill - kills the currently targeted opponent (after entering the cheat you need to hover the cursor over the enemy, press the left mouse button, enter the enemy's ID and press " ENTER")
  5. killall - kill all surrounding enemies
  6. movetoqt - teleport to the destination of the current quest
  7. player.additem 0000000f x - get x units of gold (instead of x, you need to enter a value, for example, 1,000)
  8. player.modav carryweight x - set the maximum load capacity limit to x (instead of x, you need to enter a value, for example, 500)
  9. player.modav dragonsouls x - get x dragon souls (instead of x, you need to enter a value, for example, 10)
  10. player.setav health x - set the number of the hero's health points to x (instead of x, enter a value, for example, 1,000)
  11. player.setav magicka - set the amount of the hero's mana to x (instead of x, you need to enter a value, for example, 1,000)
  12. player.setav fatigue x - set the number of the hero's stamina points to x (instead of x, you need to enter a value, for example, 1,000)
  13. player.setlevel x - the hero reaches x level of experience (instead of x, enter a value, for example, 30)
  14. psb - unlock all spells
  15. resurrect - resurrect the character you are looking at
  16. setpcfame - make your hero more famous
  17. tdetect - NPCs are easier to rob
  18. tgm - immortality
  19. tmm 1 - discover all locations on the map (tmm 0 hides all locations)
  20. unlock - open the closed object you are looking at (after entering the cheat, you need to hover the mouse cursor over the lock, press the left mouse button, wait for the item ID to appear and then press ENTER)

Attention! Using some of the cheats (e.g. unlocking all quests, turn off SI) can lead to unwanted behavior of the game or even a crash. All cheats should be used with caution.

Color markings used in the guide

Our tutorial contains the following color markings:

  1. Red marks primarily to encountered NPCs. We have also used this color to mark opponents, wild animals, and monsters.
  2. Blue marks names of locations, both the main ones that appear on the world map as well as those less significant like individual houses or subsequent dungeon levels.
  3. Green marks all items found in the game that can be added to your character's inventory.
  4. Orange marks mainly the names of all Shouts and Words of Power. We have also used it to mark all the skills used during quests (e.g. Speech) as well as related actions (e.g. getting a skill book that increases the value of a particular skill).

About The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Game Guide

Author : Jacek "Stranger" Halas for

Translator : Jacek "Stranger" Halas, Agnieszka "Aeth" Jedrzejczyk, Jakub "Cilgan" Lasota, Maciej "Elrond" Myrcha

Guide contains : 375 pages, 2765 images.

Skyrim Mods Guide

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Skyrim: Bruma Game Guide

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Main quests

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College of Winterhold quests

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Thieves Guild quests

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The Dark Brotherhood quests

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The Companions quests

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Daedric quests

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Side quests

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Civil War

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World Atlas

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Use the comments below to submit your updates and corrections to this guide.

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The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Video Game

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  • developer: Bethesda Softworks
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  • rated: PEGI: Age 18+ / ESRB: Mature

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